Friday, December 30, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all

Running just a bit behind, but that is what seems to happen around the holidays with family in for visits and final finish ups on gifts. But regardless of the time we'd like to wish you and yours a (belated) Merry Christmas and a very Healthy and Happy New Year. May you all be safe and the year 2012 be a blessing to you.

Now a few quick New Year's ideas. This year we are doing something a little different - we are joining my husband's family for First Night in Oil City. So instead of being here at home and lacking excitement we will be out and about. But even though we are going to be out, I have a few things that I'm taking with me to add to the fun evening, esp for the kids. First in my bag goes the glowsticks. What a perfect night for bright colors and safe fun. We might wear glowstick necklaces, or ankle bracelets, or hair decorations or just regular bracelets, but they will light up the night just a bit. Next into my bag is going the balloon blower and twisty balloons - these are great for making party hats that are unusual and a lot of fun. And finally there are the confetti poppers for each person to pull the string and pop confetti all over each other.

I was thinking about the plastic stemware, but I'm not sure how that will work out on the town. In the past years we have sometimes made it Game night to help keep us all awake until the ball falls. When we have the game night New Year's Eve we usually have snacks and music and all sorts of board games. But I also make a balloon bouquet that the boys can raise to the ceiling rather than drop to the ground.

Regardless of how or where you will be spending New Year's Eve I pray that it will be a safe night and a great year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas on Sunday?!?

Has anyone else noticed that Christmas lands on a Sunday this year? Has this caused problems with the traditional Christmas Morning events? Have you heard these words in your home..."Do we really have to go to church on Christmas morning?"  I have heard of several houses having this very conversation to which I answered, "take a minute and think about what you are saying...."

When it comes to our birthdays, here, we try to have it on the birthday or after the birthday (Mainly because before the birthday doesn't really make sense - the first time around the baby wasn't here, yet) But to celebrate a birthday you usually have the honored guest present, there are guests to help celebrate, there are decorations and gifts and sometimes something to eat (maybe cake & ice cream) and a song. So on Christmas morning will all of those things be there?

 In church- the chosen place for the celebration.
The Honored Guest - I think Jesus will be there.
Those to celebrate with - will you be there?
Decorations - I think they might already be up
Gifts - Have you given something to Jesus this year? Time? Your Heart? Your money to help the kingdom?
Something to eat - in some churches there might be a coffee area, but this isn't required
A Song - Will you be singing his praises this year and be part of the Jesus Christmas/Birthday Party?

If not you are missing out on the most important Birthday party of the ages!!!
Think about it... Christmas on Sunday - seems right to me!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas gifts that kids can make

Well it is that time around here. We have begun the process of making Christmas gifts. I try to challenge the boys to make something for our families. I try to have them do different projects so they aren't giving the same thing.

Here are some ideas that have been hits:
Bracelets - they are so simple and depending on the age and resources can have a wide variety. Last year we found charms that told the Christmas Story in Oriental Trading. So Robert made "Christmas Story" Bracelets.

Christmas Ornaments -  There are so many different types of Christmas Ornaments to choose from. Several Years ago, Robert found some string art patterns online and we then cut light weight wood and made little string art ornaments. Garrett has some plastic ornaments (also found in Oriental trading) and we used multiply colors of paint and then the paint swirled together and made some beautiful ornaments.

Soups in a jar - Garrett made "Love Soup" in a Jar a few years ago. We went to the store and bought supplies according to the recipe that we found online.  We then spent part of a day with measuring cups, ingredients and jars and in a little bit of time had all of his gifts done. He also got to practice simple measuring.

Elementary Band Christmas Concert

Tonight was the Elementary Christmas Band Concert, Robert has been playing the trumpet for just a little over a year. The elementary band is 5& 6th grade students. I am still amazed at how quickly students can learn an instrument and how our director guides the kids into making beautiful music. This is the same director that I learned from, so I have been through the lessons and the practicing, but I'm still amazed.  Here is a little video of the trumpet line as they played"Hark the Herald Trumpets Swing"

Robert did a good job and he switched for the last some and played percussion too!

This is great time of year to take in a free concert to help get into the Christmas Spirit. Keystone's Sr high concert is next week.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Easy Baby Gifts

Hooded towel

Recently in our neighborhood there have been a few additions, new babies. I am always looking for gifts that are practical and used a little longer than the first few months. So I have started making large hooded towels. These aren't very difficult as you only need a washcloth, a bath towel and some binding material. I cut off the edges of the washcloth and get it square. Then fold it in half. The folded edge becomes the edge of the hood, while the other 2 sides meet with the sides of the towel when put on an angle. I then zigzag the washcloth to the towel. Then I use a binding strip that starts at 2 1/2" which is folded and pressed in have and then I fold in the edges to the center and press. I open the 1/2 fold and wrap that around the edge of the towel and zigzag all the way around the towel, for a finished look. These are great gifts as there is not much worse than a wet squirmy baby and not enough towel to help get the baby dry and help keep you dry too. These towels can be used for years to come as I still have boys using their hooded towels now and then. These would make great Christmas gifts too!