Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2011 Advent calendar

For the last 3 years I have made a fun advent calendar for the family that includes tons of fun Christmas or holiday activities. So far on the 1st day, we read tons of Christmas books including a new Berenstain Bears book. The 2nd day, we watched Rudolph, ate pizza, pop, and peppermint ice cream. The 3rd day we went to a friend's house and decorated cupcakes and drank hot chocolate. The 4th day we set up the tree. The 5th day we cut snowflakes out of coffee filters. The 6th day we made homemade peppermint play dough. And tonight is the 7th day, we will be setting up the Playmobil nativity scene.  We have all had a blast so far, and are looking forward to opening the door on the calendar each morning before school!

 So excited to put up the tree
 This tree is nearly as old as I am. It is the one my parents bought when I was about 4 or 5 I think from Sears. Adam and I have used it every year for the last 7 years.
 Trying so hard to make a snow flake

 Every year Adam makes a tree snowflake, but this year he put a new take on it. Do you see the ornament with the star in the middle surrounded by trees and gingerbread men?

 D wanted to make a peace sign. Pretty close.
 And Adam the show off once again!

Our finished Thankful Tree

We made it most of the way through November remembering each night to put up our leaves.  Here is what our finished tree looked like. I'm not sure why the kids chose to put some leaves on the trunk of the tree, but I think it turned out pretty cute overall. The kids LOVED writing their own ideas and then taping them to the wall. We will have to do this next year again. Now, I'm going to post what we wrote down and some of them are really off the wall. But that was what made it so much fun.

D:                                  L:                                    K:                                         A:
baby pics                       happy                              food                                     Grandma
boots                              money                             music                                   walks in the fall
grandma                        thankfulness                    patience                                friends
leaves                            Amazing Race                warm blankets                      Grandpa
flowers                          leaves                              lazy Saturdays                       warmth
Milo (our cat)                Dad                                 silliness                                 electricity
kitchen set                     D                                     family TV time                       courage
pickles                           Mom                               a cozy bed                             fresh fruit
toys                                education                       coffee                                    peanut butter
glasses                           Thanksgiving                 inside jokes                           job
pictures                          car                                  knitting                                 free time
cows                              TV                                    birthdays                               forgiveness
peacocks                       fun                                  L                                            dinner with friends
pumpkins                      shoes                              God (L told me to put this)    fall walks
games                           tooth                                health                                     honesty
pillows                          clothes                            home      
cartoons                        clock                               easy going
                                      family and friends          coupons
                                     Wild Kratts                     turkey
                                      entertainment                 books

A day with Daddy!

Every 3 months for one day, I head up to Chicago with my friends and the kids get to spend the whole day with just daddy. They love it! You see, Dad is fun and does things that Mom does not do. Such as while shaving his beard, he lets them foam their faces up with shaving cream as well.

 Or take a walk to the local Meijer just for the fun of it. And draw seasonal pictures for the kids to paint with water colors. They each got a season, and even left one for me to paint when I got home.

 But the best is when Daddy tells them it's time to make the donuts for the next days breakfast! This is great fun because they get to crack eggs, mix batter, and use the rolling pin. Then in the morning, you get to mix up the glaze and pour it over the hot doughnuts. YUM!

 But the best part of all is that mommy gets to shop at some of her favorite stores that are not at home, with her favorite friend, and be herself instead of mommy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Kid's 1st Thanksgiving

Yesterday was the moms group's first Thanksgiving day feast! We had hats to make, they could either make a boy pilgrim, girl pilgrim, or Native American. I thought it was cute that today when I helped in L's school we made all the same hats, I guess great minds do think alike! I also had some fun coloring pages for the kids. There was a simple Thanksgiving one, and a book about the first Thanksgiving for the kids to color and make.  We also read a few stories. There are not many available at our local library that were geared toward kids 5 years and under. Everyone brought a dish to share. There was stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, turkey rolls, turkey melts, corn, rolls, deviled eggs, cookies, pumpkin pie, muffins, cranberry juice, and pop. It couldn't have been better!

Books we read:
The Littlest Pilgrim by Brandi Dougherty
10 turkeys in the road by Brenda Reeves Sturgis
This is the turkey by Abby Levine

Thanksgiving crafts:

Fall tree craft take 2

This is another pinterest craft that I found months ago. I just couldn't wait to do this. I plan on using this method for making a tree for each season and then hang them all up together. This was super easy.
Supplies needed:
brown paint
red paint
yellow paint
orange paint
small paint brush
paper plate

I squeezed the paint onto a paper plate for each child. You don't need much paint, and little puddle will do. I used the small paint brush and showed the kids how to paint the trunk and some small branches on the paper. (I did cover the coffee table with newspaper to protect it) We then used 1 q-tip per color. I showed them how to dip it in the paint, and then dab it on the paper. I did draw a shape around the tree and branches to give them a guide on where to put the spots. We even added a few falling off the tree. Both the kids and I had fun doing this, and like I said, I plan on doing this for each season. I figure for winter, use a blue paper and white paint for snow, spring use pink paint for blossoms, and for summer green paint for leaves.

All 3 trees
 L's tree
 D's tree
 My fall tree. Very happy with how it turned out!

My 32nd birthday

I celebrated my birthday this year on 11-11-11! What a special thing to say. It started earlier that week with dinner out with my dad and brother, lunch out with D and my mom, and then the day of my birthday I woke to the kids excited to give me a present. They almost spilled the beans on numerous occasions, but made it through to the morning. D picked out some new slippers, L picked out some neon mix match socks, and Adam got me new running shoes and a knitting loom. I also got to help out at L's school that morning. That night, the kids went to an Uncle's house, a friends gave us money for a date night so we headed out to eat and then for drinks. Adam made me a cake this year, it was the first time he has gotten to make me one, so that was special too. I had a great birthday this year, and I hope the next year keeps getting better. The best present I did get was L lost his first tooth the very next day. He was so excited, and loved that the tooth fairy came and brought him some coins for his piggy bank. The tooth right next to it is loose too, and he can't wait to loose that one too!

A Festive Fall Wedding

Like I said in the previous post, Adam's friend since middle school got married on the Friday before Halloween and Adam was the best man. It was a really nice wedding. The entire wedding and reception was small and very festive. The colors were all fall leaf colors, the reception felt rustic yet cozy, and it was very "them".

A rare family photo where we are dressed up!
 The kids were honored to carry flowers down the aisle.
 L with the bride, I believe taken by D.

 A shot of D and the bride taken by L.
 Very yummy cupcakes done in 3 different flavors.

Halloween 2011

I know, I know, this is like really behind! But October was just crazy busy this year. On top of the normal Halloween fun times like a party, trick or treating, carving pumpkins, and zoo boo, we had a wedding. The groom was Adam's friends since middle school and he had the honor of being Best man. So there was tons of fun getting ready for that!

This year the kids did most of the pumpkin carving fun. They did need help cleaning out the pumpkin guts, but they designed them and did most of the cutting. They turned out fantastic!!!

This year L decided to be Clark Kent, and D decided to be Wonder Woman. For L's costume it was so super easy! He already had the pants, shoes, tie, glasses, and long sleeve superman t-shirt. I headed to Goodwill and found the dress shirt and sports coat for only $7 total! Add plus was that he then was able to wear it for the wedding. Score! For D's costume, we were inspired by this post that I found on She had on jeans under the tutu, the red turtleneck was also purchased from Goodwill, her Hello Kitty rain boots were just simply covered in a red fabric. The tutu was made out of a piece of elastic, blue tulle, and white felt for the stars. The cuffs and headband were made from a shiny gold fabric, and the stars were made of a sticky backed red foam. The "W" on the shirt was just a piece of yellow felt that I drew the symbol on and then stitched on the shirt with red thread. I think they both turned out great! L did get frustrated that most people either called him Harry Potter or just Superman. Oh well.

 The moms group held our traditional Halloween party in the library. We did not do any crafts at the party but decorated with the crafts we made earlier in the month. We did play some games found from Parents magazine. Pin the tie on Mr. Bones, and Jack O'lantern toss game. We also read some stories (look at the bottom of the post for links), and had a costume parade all through the library.
The cookies I made inspired from pinterest!
 These were yellow cupcakes, with a green vanilla pudding middle. Slimy!
 This was the first year the kids got to go trick or treating with a group of friends. It was a blast, and we can't wait to do it like that next year!

Books we read:
Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley
Ghosts in the House by Kazuno Kohara
If you are a monster and you know it by Rebecca and Ed Emberley

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