Saturday, 29 December 2007

These gifts still have me chuckling

We had to give Jaclyn this book purely so that she would own a book for 'Dummies'.

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Ah, the chair mat. Our roads are fairly dry thanks to our frequent Chinook winds, and this interferes with road hockey because ice pucks don't glide on asphalt. One if our neighbor boys started using an old chair mat as a launching pad for shooting pucks, and it worked very slick, so Jaclyn gave Steven a chair mat for Christmas. We're going to put Steven's new chair mat in the den and just have Steven use our old chair mat. Is that wrong?

The karaoke machine isn't funny, per se, but the singing is highly amusing. Carmen is now planning a karaoke birthday party.


Santa put an easy button in Chloe's stocking. She was SO surprised and couldn't figure out how Santa had known she wanted one since she didn't even ask for it. Maybe Chloe's 1st grade teacher told Santa how much Chloe likes the easy button at school?
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Monday, 24 December 2007

Christmas Eve

Ken:
The only thing better than Christmas Eve is Christmas Eve on a Monday night.
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Not that we watched football all night! We had cousins and grandparents and an aunt and uncle over for dinner.
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Ross kept us entertained!
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Carmen thought Ross was very funny.
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Emma and Carmen both bundled up to play in our cold, unfinished basement.
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Steven and Marissa tried to keep up with Ross.
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But Erica knew there was just no competing with the funny man of the evening.

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Erica won the right/left pass-the-present game, which meant she got to open Apples to Apples for the kids to play together before the cousins had to go home.

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Chloe set out cookies and chocolate milk for Santa. She has decided she believes this year, a difficult feat for a 6 year old with three older siblings..

{Carmen figured out Santa Claus at 3 years old - but first she figured out the Easter bunny. For some reason the whole idea of the Easter bunny seemed absurd even to her little 3 year old mind, and she was so upset with me for perpetuating the lie that I finally caved and admitted to being the Easter bunny for our family. She was so relieved to get the truth out of me. Her only other question was could she see my bunny outfit? (Daddy wishes I had a bunny outfit, honey) Within a week the tooth fairy and Santa Claus were also figured out - all without the 'help' of older siblings. Actually, at that point Steven still believed.}

So I think Chloe's doing well. Especially considering she shares a room with Carmen.

:-)

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

The Ghost of SPT Past

This week's SPT challenge is to capture what we do when our children are "nestled all snug in thier beds". Here's the thing, I have big kids who sometimes stay up as late as I do, so once my kids are in bed I do a lot of this:


{July 10, 2007 SPT}


But if I don't go straight to bed - which I never do, it's just a fantasy - I don't tend to work on Christmas projects in the evening. I have the good fortune to be home nearly full time and I do my Christmas work during the day. Maybe your house is different than mine, but my kids don't seem to stay nestled all snug in their beds very well, and bad timing of getting out of bed for *just one thing* could ruin some Christmas surprises in the evening.
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{July 17, 2007 SPT}
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After the kids are tucked in you might find me blogging.




And on school nights you will find me packing backpacks and lunches, getting ready to *do it all over again* tomorrow. Sometimes the routine feels like I'm living in Groundhog Day.



Today my kids went to see Enchanted (at a movie theatre owned by a family in our school). To break up the routine I printed up this picture on 5x7 cardstock and threw it and some crayons in my little's lunch kits for them to find on the bus as they eat their lunch on the way to the movie.

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Saturday, 15 December 2007

Knocking down the projects

(even if it does take years)

I had a little Christmas miracle when my Relief Society president gave me a stack of old Friend magazines to use for Sharing Time. As I sorted through them I found my childhood nativity set featured on the cover of the December 1977 issue.

I hadn't even known our (long gone) felt nativity came from The Friend! I kept the cover and the instructions thinking I would re-make my nostalgic childhood nativity some day. That was 11 years ago.

Somehow, this year was the year. My kids were old enough to help, and better yet, all of my siblings have children so we made a set for each of their families.


It was our *Top Secret* project back in November.
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Now I'd really like to attack another Christmas project that has been waiting for attention.
I've had this fabric for more than 5 years, but I still don't know what I want to do with six beautiful yards of nativity toille:



Philosophically, I don't believe in having things that are too precious to use. I really want to use this fabric.
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I could sew Christmas dresses for my little girls, but they will out-grow them, and history tells me, stain them.



I'm struggling to take scissors to this fabric! What would you make?
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Friday, 14 December 2007

Card Sharp

Chloe finished a big project of making 23 Christmas cards for her classmates, her teacher, and her class mascot. She glued a picture to the front of each card, then inside she stamped Merry Christmas and signed her name. It is funny to me that she made a big batch of Christmas cards this year; I know it is because she saw me with my Christmas card project last month.

The picture on the cards is one of Chloe and Carmen during our summer vacation at the Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City. If I would have thought of it at the time I would have had our whole family play dress up at this exhibit and pose for our family Christmas cards, but maybe it is sweeter just for Chloe's.
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Thursday, 13 December 2007

*Pink Post*

Look what came in the mail for me!

I got my Pink Christmas package this week. Thank you Elisa from Arizona! Clearly she did a good job lurking my blog to include some Milano cookies, which I generously shared with my family. And I am truly humbled by the wrapping job. I am determined to buy better wrapping paper in the future, and put more thought into my wrapping embellishments. These pinwheels are such cute present toppers.

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Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Self Portrait Tuesday

[Self portrait Tuesday really brings out the silly in me]

I took a normal picture first, but when I looked at my first photo the funny facial expression on our *Christmas Tiger* just jumped out at me. And then, well, there you go. I had to do it.

Ken grew up with the tiger ornament, and having it on our tree prepared me for the ornaments to come:


Painted and varnished fusilli, a science crystal experiment, and baseball players. Lots of baseball players.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

All that glitters is not gold


One of our Christmas traditions is to spend an evening cutting paper snowflakes. I missed out on paper snowflake night last night because of Ken's office party, but the kids documented the evening themselves.
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I'm ever-worried that the kids are going to outgrow this activity, so I always try to add a new twist to cutting out paper snowflakes. One year we folded and cut white paper coffee filters. This year I bought a roll of calculator paper to make paper snowflake chains. They turned out so cute, I can't believe I didn't think of this office supply for kids' crafts before. Now I want to make mini banners, paper doll chains, or other shapes!




I volunteered at school during the day on Friday, and Chloe's teacher sent me home with this snowflake glitter, which was another special addition to snowflake night. The kids painted glue onto their finished snowflakes and then sprinkled the glitter over top.



Clearly this would have been an activity better suited for parental supervision - Carmen and Chloe went a little crazy with the glitter. Jaclyn vacuumed the counter after they were done, but Ken and I (mostly Ken) still needed to vacuum the entire house today. And there is still snowflake glitter embedded in our carpet. It is driving Ken crazy but I don't mind it so much. The glitter is just putting me in the mood to go see Enchanted tonight with my girls!
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I don't know if Steven took this self portrait during the snowflake cutting, or during the craziness that followed:


Blair Witch Project

Now I have some insight into what goes on when I'm out. Steven filmed this after the kids were done making paper snowflakes (and glittering our whole house).

video

No need to comment, this is up purely for my own entertainment.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

SPT

I'm hoping I get a few more Christmas cards than usual this year, and I need a larger spot to display them. My plan is to try to line my cards up on the molding above the double doors to the den. And if I run out of room there, I have a few more door headers on my main floor that could serve as shelves this year.
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Neither life nor limb stays this blogger from the swift completion of her appointed self portrait! I had to climb up the outside of the staircase and hang onto the railing with one hand to get this picture.
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Saturday, 1 December 2007

I sure hope Christmas doesn't sneak up on us!

(Do you think we have enough advent calendars? )
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My childhood advent calendar: Carmen and Chloe do this one, taking a decoration for the calendar out of a pocket each day.

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Chocolate advent calendars X four.

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The best scripture advent calendar from the December 1985 Friend Magazine. I laminated it and we reuse it every year. Each day has a scripture from the Bible or Book of Mormon about prophecies of Jesus birth, or from the account of his birth in the New Testament. The kids take turns reading the daily scripture and finding the coordinating picture to stick in the calendar square.

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And our activity advent calendar. Each day contains a paper with a family Christmas activity to do together that day. This was a great idea when I had two small children home with me all day every day. Now it is much more difficult to implement daily family fun with four children in school and other activities, but so worth it because it keeps us enjoying the whole Christmas season together.

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