Thankful Tree

We do crafts on Thanksgiving.

Last year we made a Turkey with an apple.

This year I needed to combine our home craft with a project for my son’s class.

We made the Thankful Tree.

It’s very simple.  All you will need is a tan piece of felt, 5 paint colors, and a sponge.

Now get the fingers ready for some leaves!

After you have added enough leaves take a step back and admire.

I added the Happy Thanksgiving to our final project.

Extremely simple and inexpensive!

I am making about 23 of these tomorrow with a kindergarten class and then again with family members on Thanksgiving.

Halloween Party Ideas

There are times that life gets the best of you. Times that feel as if a sledgehammer has been taken to your knees and it is all you can do to regain your composure and continue on. That sledgehammer feeling has been a reality over here and it has taken me time and lots of prayer to get back into the grove.  We are not completely through our hump so please forgive me over the next few weeks if I am not up to my posting norm…On that note….ONWARDS:

Halloween Party Ideas:

I have entitled this post as Halloween Party Ideas however please note that we do not participate in the evil/creepy/spooky aspect of Halloween.  We keep our fall celebrations focused on kid and family friendly activities. Our recent Pumpkin Party is an example of such a par-ty and I have made a list of a few ideas for your next shindig.

1. Picture Station:

Many weddings and baby showers offer funny photo stations for their guests.  We provided one for the kids. They LOVED it!

This “station” cost about 8 dollars to create.  The orange back drop is from Hobby Lobby and was about 6 dollars for 2 yards.  The felt was about $1 a piece as were the wood sticks.  Yes, I made those mustaches from felt!  I had the picture frame on hand and hot glued the sunflower to the side.

2. Monster Jars:

I posted about these earlier this month but they were so cute and easy to make.

These were four dollars to make.  2 glass candlesticks from the dollar store and 2 dollar store bowls, hot glue together.

3. Easy Decorations:

Don’t break the bank. I scrounged Pinterest and found a few DIY decorations that I could do with my kids and would look really cute.

This Hanging Spiderweb was placed over the kitchen table

These Tin Can Luminaries from Jolly Mom were fun to make and use.

We also hung twinkle lights (aka white Christmas lights) across the backyard for fun lighting for nighttime playing.

 4. Fun activities that are fun to play and easy to plan:

We chose a decorate your own pumpkin contest.  Each person brings their own pumpkin, decorates it, and then some poor unsuspecting parent gets judge them for a winner!

Try a glow in the dark hunt.  Simply place a glow stick (smaller thick ones are the best) into a balloon and blow it up.  Then go hide them outside and send the kids out to find them!  We used the park across the street however the picture below shows an example of a glow balloon.

This party actually proved to me that I could come up with some fun ideas and decor without spending a ton of money.  Give them a shot and let the fun begin!

DIY Hanging Spiderwebs

I seem to have a thing for messy crafts.  If it requires a lot of glue and drying time I can almost be assured to try it.

This Spiderweb Balloon craft came from the Better Homes and Garden website but they did not adequately describe the amount of effort involved.

Tutorial on:

 You will need:

Cotton yarn

Elmers glue

Balloons

Hot Glue

Plastic spiders

Mix the Elmers glue with equal parts water

Cut LONG sections from a skein of cotton yarn.

Dip yarn completely in the water glue mixture and pull the piece through your fingers to remove excess glue

I recommend wrapping an end of the yarn to the knot of the balloon to get you started

Wrap around the balloon

Don’t be discouraged if it takes a few attempts to get the yarn to stay in place.

I used several pieces of yarn to get the entire effect.

When you are finished wrapping make sure you have a long string to hang the balloon to ensure proper drying.

After they are completely dry hot glue the plastic spiders

Then poke a small hole in the balloon and allow it to deflate.  I recommend the slow deflation because I accidently popped a balloon and it pulled the yarn a little hard.

Your web should be complete!

Discoveries:  Acrylic yarn does not hold the form well.  Cotton yarn is the best. Younger kids will probably get impatient wrapping the balloons because it take a little bit of maneuvering to make the initial yarn wrapping stay.

I gave each spider web a quick spray with Mod Podge spray to ensure the web stays stiff but you probably don’t need to do it.

We are really happy with our results and they will look great for upcoming Pumpkin Party!

Thanksgiving Craft

If you are looking for a simple Thanksgiving craft to keep your kiddos hands out of your kitchen, I may just have what you are looking for.

Apple Turkeys

How to make an Apple TurkeyThese guys are incredibly easy and my kids loved making them.

What you need

Apples – any color

Marshmallows – large and small

Raisins

Candy Corn

Tooth picks or anything that will keep the marshmallows on

That’s it.  I had to help my four year old and it was a little sticky but otherwise this is a great craft for kids.  Our turkeys will be used as decor for tomorrow.  The kids enjoy knowing that they are adding to the day tomorrow.

Have fun and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!




Christmas Shopping for the extravagant

The holiday season is upon us in full force. Today I am going to abandon the economically sound advice on gift giving and walk you through the Hammacher Schlemmer guide to obscene extravagant gift giving.

Looking for Christmas lawn decoration that will out do your neighbors and block out your home from the random passerby?  Try out this slightly pornographic Snowman with his come hither pose…Guaranteed to add a little “sparkle” to your Christmas.

Pornographic snowman from Hammacher Schlemmer

 This handsome gent can be yours for the low price of 199.95!

Trying to figure out what to get that random hockey player in your family? Look no further, H.S. has the answer for you; buy them their very own Hockey Rink.  That sounds like a sensible buy to me….

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Having their/your own rink will save you several of those George Washingtons!  However you may want to double your insurance to cover all the injuries that will be sustained by their friends on your property.  But who is looking at costs when you can have dozens of lasting memories.  Make those memories yours for only 529.95

Now the following two are my personal favorite from the catalog.

The Hands Free Hair Rejuvenator!

Hands Free Hair Rejuvenator

I can not tell you how many times I have been out and about thinking “Wow, I wish I could rejuvenate my hair right now.” or “Man, I could do with a little rejuvenation in the hair department today.” What really puzzles me about this product, other than the red glowing suction cups is that this “photo-biostimulation therapy” is used by professional physicians.  What physicians are strapping on this hair helmet and charging 200 dollars an hour? Either way, you can have your own stimulation for 699.95

The Light Therapy Skin Revitalizer

Skin revitalizer is the only way to go

 This gadget claims to “bathe the face with the wavelengths that stimulate cell growth and the production of collagen and elastins, chemicals that keep the skin feeling supple.” Supple skin with technology developed by NASA! Can’t go wrong there.  Wait a minute, is this what the scientists are doing since the government shut down the space program? I wonder what would happened if I wore the Hair Rejuvenator WHILE revitalizing my skin. Probably nothing good.  This little gadget is 349.95.  Such a small sum for supple skin from NASA.

There you have it.  The catalog for obnoxiously expensive gifts.  I am still wondering how I got on this catalog mailing list.  Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel gave up on me long ago.

 

Green Thumb Thursday Link Up!

Green Thumb Thursday is here and I can’t wait to see what everyone has been creating. Here is my contribution to the day:

Easy to make Fall Wreath

When I first started to make my own things instead of buying them one of the first items I wanted to learn to create a wreath.  A wreath that I could change with the seasons.  I was a newbie in the craft/decorating department so I would scoure blogs for help tips. Here is my step by step of making an affordable seasonal wreath.

First find a wreath that is easy to change.  I chose this one,  a twig wreath.  (I don’t know the real name)

How to make a Fall or Autumn Wreath

It was on the door with some Summer flowers but I failed horribly with the summer selection so it was pretty bare.

Summer Wreath

I wasn’t too proud of that one so I was anxious to start fresh. I hit Hobby Lobby and found an assortment of Fall leaves and they were all on sale! 50% off! I love Hobby Lobby something fierce.

Fall Leaves found at Hobby Lobby

Set with the accessories and a blank wreath, I went to work.

How to make a homemade Fall or Autumn Wreath

All done! I bought the wreath last year on sale for about 8 dollars and all my accessories were 9 dollars! Crafty on a budget!
How to make a Fall or Autumn Wreath on a budget

Now it is your turn! Link up and share your projects….Everything that is homemade or organic! I love blog hopping! The only thing I ask is for you to grab the Green Thumb Thursday and advertise!

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We don’t like Father’s day

Father’s day isn’t a big holiday in our home. Neither is Mother’s day for that matter. Over the years my husband and I continually worked hard at trying to make the day special for one another and it never quite made it to what we had personally envisioned so we gave up.

My husband has been a father for six years.  When we first celebrated Father’s day I made it into a big deal with lots fanfare.  I was really trying to make the day a big deal however by the end of it all he really wanted to do is hang out with me and our oldest son.  My determination to make Father’s day an incredibly important day continued for four years.  Finally, I clued into the fact that he wasn’t really interested.

My discovery of his distaste for Father’s day was a little shocking.  Both of our parents have a huge sense of self importance and demand recognition on the day so when my husband said not to do anything I was really taken aback and my reaction probably wasn’t the best. What?! Not do anything?!  You are the man that help create these two boys and you contribution demands to be recognized! Now lay down, let me bring you some toast and you are going to like it! F.A.T.H.E.R.

As time went by and we went through two more Mother/Father’s Days I began to realize that I really don’t like the holiday.  I don’t like Mother’s day OR Father’s Day.  The expectations to honor the other person are so high and I HATE trying to live up to them.  I continually found myself expecting so much on Mother’s day and it never quite achieved what I had envisioned and that is my fault.  My husband and kids made me gifts, bought me flowers, and treated me like a Queen for a day and somehow it was never enough.  I am horribly selfish and self-centered.  Father’s day was similar except my husband is much nicer than I am and all he wanted to do was hang out with US!  (He is polishing his halo now….)

So this is where we stand today.  We have mutually have decided NOT to celebrate the day.  We will recognize it with a kiss and a “Hey, Happy (insert holiday here) Day” and allowing the other person decide what we will eat for dinner but other than that don’t expect to much.  The other decision that we have made and are EXTREMELY excited about is our plan for our kids.  When they have grown and are married with kids we are going to celebrate them and their wives on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We want to take the focus away from us because we will be done with the waking up to children and trying to make them productive, responsible, God fearing human beings part of parenting. So we want to celebrate them in their roles as parents.

….unless they hate the holiday as well. Then we are all screwed.

The beautiful Gingerbread house that never was….Oh and a winner!

The other day I invited some good friends to come over with their boys and decorate Gingerbread houses with us.  I had wonderful visions of Christmas carols playing in the background, fresh cookies coming out of the oven, the boys playing nicely, and all our Gingerbread houses looking like something from the store.

That isn’t exactly what happened.  They boys did play nicely and cookies were coming out of the oven but the mommies were more interested in “backin our thang up” to Dance Central on the Kinect and chatting!  When we did get down to the important business of decorating the houses I came to a startling revelation. I am not a huge fan and neither are my kids.  It is sticky, gooey, and never comes out looking like the picture….

 This is my masterpiece…Do you like the satanic snowman?!
This is my good friends.  Hers actually looks like it is a little cottage from the Swiss Alps.
All of them together. Wow – We are good.

Now on to the winner of the Hat Giveaway………
Number 30 : Jessie from Raggedy Baby Love !!!  Jessie said on that one comment

“I am an email subscriber! I LOVE the frog hat!! Your hats are soooo cute!!!! On your etsy shop’s page it said available for 3-6 months–I would want a size 18-24 months if possible :)

I will be contacting you within the next 24 hours! If you don’t hear from me please drop me a line!!

Alright all, Thank you for playing!  I will be doing another giveaway soon and I have some fantastic new additions coming up!

Moving on and in

I posted on November 29 that we were officially moving and finding a rental.  Well, we found a wonderful place and we have already moved!  I do want to say thank you to everyone that read my blog entry about foreclosing and were not only supportive but shared your own stories. I read and truly appreciated each one….

Now I would like to take you on a small tour of the new home.
Let us begin with a shot from the front door.
 The view of the kitchen from the living room.  (it is all one big room area)
The library/computer/den room  —- I am sitting at that desk right now!
My favorite corner in the house so far
Here is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE part of this house….

There you have it.  I didn’t take any photos of the bedrooms because they are still a work and progress and well they are bedrooms.  So, if you are ever in town drop me a line and we will grill up some steaks and enjoy the fire.

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