Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Wrapping

I absolutely love wrapping gifts. It may be a sickness; I'm not quite sure. My oldest daughter noted that there aren't many folks in my camp of loving to wrap gifts. It's such a beautiful precise thing, measuring, cutting, folding, taping...ahhh...just talking about it makes me all giddy.

To go along with the love of wrapping is my love for printable gift tags and box top embellishments. Some wonderfully creative bloggers are giving away printables for gift tags. Go visit Creature Comforts for a LONG list of free printables.
The Handmade Home has some here.
And Fresh Picked Whimsy has a cute set here.

This year I printed tags from the last two resources listed above, mainly because I just found Creature Comforts list today.

I hole punched the tags and used all kinds of fun, different sized ribbons to tie up my packages.
Hope you enjoyed this holiday wrap-up of my wrapping! :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monster Cookies with "Muffin"

The little "Muffin" I babysit made monster cookies with me the other day. We had a good time. She loves to bake, cook and be in the kitchen. I loved it when she tried to stir the M&M's into the mixture. Her little arm couldn't even move the spoon. :)

We took two plates of cookies along with homemade cards to some of our local community service men and women. The county jail sheriff and deputies and the firefighters were glad recipients. We  have been intentionally thinking of ways to give gifts to others--whether it be gifts of baked goods, candy canes, cards, time, etc. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be with my kids and do fun things like this!

Monster cookies are GREAT because it makes a BIG batch, they are yummy, and they freeze well. The only downside is that you spend hours switching cookie sheets in and out of the oven.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Homemade Ranch Crackers

I made these yummy crackers today! I posted the recipe here a few years ago. Easy recipe and SO good.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December is under way

I've been thinking:   if I can post a status update on Facebook every day of November, then I can make time to post something on my blog everyday of December. :) My goal is to include a picture from that day and some thoughts about our happenings.

So, it's December 3rd and I've already missed yesterday...I know. Tiredness overtook me and I slept for a long time last night! I took a picture though. Here is a picture of one of the crafts we are taking for our local homeschool's annual Kid's Christmas Craft Sale. I got the idea from a friend and then I did some research online. I found this cute example:
Everyday Art--alphabet glass stone magnets
I know originally I looked at lots of other sites, but I can't seem to find them now.  We used scrapbook paper, regular stick glue, glass stones (flat on one side, bubble on the other) and round magnets glued on with E-6000 glue. We glued the stone to the paper, cut it out, glued the magnet on and walaa! Cute!

The other pictures are of my younger two with their Truth in the Tinsel craft. We are enjoying this Advent devotional.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent--You are Here!

I really enjoy this time of year. The concentrated focus on Jesus does my heart such good. Oh, to keep that focus all year long. For several years, we've celebrated Advent as a family. Each year we seem to add a little something and this year, we've added two little somethings. :) You can see below what we do, and please, leave a comment and share how you celebrate Jesus' birth.

First, a good couple article by Noel Piper on Advent can be found here. She's written several more that pertain to Advent (use the "search" feature to find them.)

Ann Voskamp has written a lovely thoughtful devotional called Jesse Tree Advent Family Devotional. Last year, I printed out the ornaments, mounted them on card stock paper, hole punched and threaded a ribbon through each one. We usually read this devotional at lunch time and the younger kids take turns hanging the ornament on the tree.

This year I found "Truth in the Tinsel" This fun Advent devotional is geared more toward younger children and will work well with the little girl I babysit. She is four. My two younger kids (ages 6 and 9) are doing it too and enjoy making crafts. I found this great printable from Mama Jenn that has added a curiosity factor for them.

Lastly, we've decided on lots of fun "random acts of kindness" based on this idea from Lil Light O' Mine. We read through all the ideas and have a whole pile of ones we are praying that we are able to do. We are so excited! Today the younger two kids and I tied ribbon and a little message on to the candy canes. My little 6 year old has given two of them away already! One to mom of the little girl I babysit and the other to a HVAC service man. {I love my kids!}

12 Days before Christmas we will start Adornaments that we received years ago from a sweet friend. They were sold by Family Life Today, however I don't know if they still sell them. Each day you read about a different name of Jesus and there is an ornament that you hang on the tree. There is also a CD with a song that goes along with the name of Jesus. We've enjoyed this devotional for years.

Our church is celebrating Advent too, so it's wonderful reinforcement for the kids. The message on Sunday was on hope and was very powerful. We have hope in Christ!