Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Paper Link Christmas Tree Chains- Day 1

Paper Link Christmas Tree Chains- Day 1

Colored Paper

Cut the paper into strips, 1" by 6".

Sort the paper in piles according to color - green here, red there and so forth.

Put glue on one end and loop the piece back to form a ring.

Insert another piece of paper through the ring, then put glue on one end and loop around to make the second link.

Continue until the chain is long enough for your tree.

Allow the glue to dry before hanging the chains on the tree.

You could also cheat, like I did and purchase Red And Green Christmas Tree Chains.

Monday, November 29, 2010

25 Days of Christmas Projects

This was Christmas 2008, Benjamin was 13 months

This is Hayden at 12 months

Overlooking the fact we have a Charlie Brown looking artificial tree because well…it fits perfectly in our house and until the boys get a little older I don’t have the strength/time to take care of a real tree. For the record, my parents gave us their 7’ fiber optic tree this year but well…lets just say it’s safer staying in the basement for at least another year. Back on track- this is Christmas 2010; notice the boys dismantling the tree as my husband and I are assembling.

Which leads us to the point of my blog title “25 days of Christmas Projects”, a few weeks ago I started thinking about Christmas; remembering what Benjamin’s 2nd Christmas was like and the constant Benjamin vs the tree, I knew we had to have a child proof tree for 2010. In my brainstorming I came up with the idea- my kiddos make the Christmas decorations, there will be NO heirloom/keepsake/breakable ornaments on our tree this year. For the next 25 days I'm going to post a Christmas activity each day; coming from a mom that struggles to keep ontop of cleaning, laundry and meal planning this is definitely going to be a challange!

I leave you with one of our family tradition, Christmas stocking pictures; my mom knitted all of us personalized stockings and requested I take a picture of the boys next to their stocking ever year.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful for simplicity

What a wonderful Thanksgiving; I hated the thought of the day ending, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. It’s been a stressful year and I’m ready for 2010 to be over, but there have also been praises to God for answered prayers and I have much to be thankful for. Yesterday, for the first time in a long time, my family was able to spend an entire uninterrupted day together; no computers, phones, knocks on the door or anywhere to be other then a family dinner. The boys didn’t have share their daddy with work or a community (nightmare) project; it was just the four of us!

I woken up in the wee hours of the morning with a little boy opening our bedroom door asking if he could cuddle in bed with my husband and I, a few hours later Hayden joined us. We had breakfast in bed while all snuggling together watching the Macy’s day parade, afterwards it was a lot of playing together on the living room floor, family craft project, watching a movie, reading books and an afternoon family nap. We celebrated Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s family (in-laws, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins…), though it isn’t written in stone we all have a specify item we bring; my husband makes canadels. The best way to explain a canadel is "stuffing ball"; but with more ingredients and there spicy. It’s a family recipe that has been passed down for generations, I’m not sure what the origin of it is but it’s delicious and so not healthy (fried in bacon grease). The recipe is primarily made at Thanksgiving and Christmas; my husband took over the role of making canadels in 2002. The joke in our house is our Christmas cookies are canadels. Though it seems my six year old Canon Rebel XT picked last night to begin its dying process, I was still able to capture a few special (blurry, out of focus) moments of my favorite Thanksgiving thus far.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Red Maple Design Review

Take a moment to read the review Deal Wise Mommy wrote for Red Maple Design; don't forget to register to win a $15 store credit.

Benjamin's Artwork

I’m so proud of the pictures Benjamin’s drew last night that I had to share them with you! He drew his daddy and little brother; I’m amazed by the “detail” in his pictures…granted Hayden has three eyes but Benjamin drew hair and a smile, the picture of daddy has a head, arms, hand and legs!

On the topic of exciting- Hayden learned to spin around in circles last night (a night of many "firsts"), he giggles when he gets dizzy. ♥

Title: Daddy

Title: Hayden

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Teddy Bear Den

Every bear needs a den to hibernate, including teddy bears…right?!?! After reading Leaves by David Ezra Stein I realized that Bear didn’t have a place to sleep and Benjamin had to fix this little problem; to solve this issue we created a den for Bear.

Cardboard box
Packing Tape

Tape box closed, cut a hole on the side of the box, large enough to place your child’s bear inside. Have your child glue leaves onto box, be sure to cover box. You might want to line the inside of the den with some dry leaves or fiberfill to keep teddy nice and cozy.

You can make a sign for the face that says “Good Night, (name)! See you in the spring! Don’t worry about not seeing your teddy bear for several months. Bears often wake up during the winter months and come out and wander around a little before going back to sleep.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Flat Stanley Project

Flat Stanley Project- the international literacy and community building activity for students of all ages, teachers and family.

About the Flat Stanley Project
In 1995, Dale Hubert, a Grade 3 teacher in London, Ontario, Canada, began the Flat Stanley Project. He invited other teachers to take part by hosting flat visitors and to encourage their students to write their own Flat Stanley journals. Jeff Brown, the author of the
Flat Stanley book, was delighted with the Flat Stanley Project as it renewed interest in the book which resulted in a sequel almost 40 years after the original. Jeff Brown stayed with Dale when he visited Wilfrid Jury Public School in London, Ontario as a guest author and hosted Dale and his family for a wonderful two week holiday in Connecticut. Dale and Jeff remained good friends until Jeff's death in 2003.

How It Works
One of the many advantages of sending flat visitors is that they can visit friends by travelling in an envelope. Students' written work goes to other places by conventional mail and e-mail. While it is similar to a penpal activity, it is actually much more. In a standard penpal exchange, students rarely know how to begin or what to write about, but, with a Flat Stanley or one of our other flat characters from the Template Gallery, it's as if the sender and the recipient have a mutual friend, and writing becomes easier and more creative.

This isn’t a project my household directly participated in but I loved the activity and felt compelled to share it with others that might not have heard of the famous Flat Stanley! A few weeks ago my mom received an envelope in the mail from my niece’s school; upon opening, she discovered a “little boy” that would be her traveling companion for the next month. My mom colored Stanley and took him EVERYWHERE she went (bike riding, vacation, out to dinner, feeding squirrels, to work…) taking pictures of him along the way; when she dropped Stanley off at my niece’s school last week she had the pleasure of talking with the teacher; in my niece’s class, Flat Stanley had visited Hawaii, Austria, Iraq and Russia.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall, How I Love Thee

I love fall; it’s my absolute favorite season, I love the smells, colors, weather and FOOD! I can’t explain it but every year around this time something magical seems to happen; I feel as though I’m glowing and filled with an abundant amount of love and happiness.

I’ve truly enjoyed the past week with my family; as the temperatures drop we’re bringing out or fleece jackets and blankets, we’re curling up on the sofa watching movies, sipping hot chocolate and playing together on the floor. The hustle of the previous season has died down, no where to be other then together as a family and enjoy the beautiful scenery God has provided for us.

Oh how I love cold weather food! Saturday morning I made cinnamon waffles with caramelized apples. Sunday morning we attended a semi-annual all you can eat pancake breakfast, Sunday evening my husband cooked a whole chicken using our grill rotisserie while Benjamin and I made a pumpkin pie. Tonight I made a pot roast, garlic knots and a pumpkin roll.

The boys and I attended a Halloween party on October 29th where I realized Benjamin inherited my (lack of) dance skills…I’m so sorry baby boy! We went trick-or-treating later that night; this is the first year Benjamin fully grasped the concept of Halloween, he was very excited to be able to visit with all the neighbors and for “ANDY”! Though Hayden didn’t completely understand what was going on or why his big brother took off running with him in the stroller while mommy and daddy were putting on coats (apparently we were taking to long and Benjamin anxiously started down the sidewalk without us), he loved being outside, seeing all the costumes, smiling at everyone and helping hand out candy.

Saturday night we went to
Corn Cob Acres; the boys enjoyed their first hay ride, barrel rides, moon bounce and GIANT corn bin. Sunday was all about trains, after our delicious pancake breakfast we headed to Strasburg Railroad and ended our day at the Toy Train Museum.

I’m not sure what the up coming weekend has in store for us but I’m pretty sure it’ll involve pumpkin spice pancakes and