Category Archives: holidays

A Bit of Pinterest for Christmas

A friend posted a picture of melted crayon ornaments today. I have seen this many times before on Facebook and Pinterest, but always forget to make them.  There is no other excuse, I mean, we have crayons coming out our ears, I have 3 clear ornaments just waiting for a craft, and there is always our trusty hair dryer that only ever gets used for crafts.

The time was today!

First, you pull the wrappers off crayons, who doesn’t enjoy doing that. then you break them into pieces, put them in a clear ornament and heat.

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Woo hoo, finally did a craft I’ve been putting off…and it took all of 20 minutes…

We Don’t Skip Thanksgiving Here

Sue has a November Birthday.  It often falls very close to Thanksgiving.  She gets really perturbed that the stores go right from Halloween to Christmas.  Where is Thanksgiving people?!  I knew this craft just had to be hers when I saw it.
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That’s right folks, a gingerbread turkey.

Peace and Joy from my family to yours in these days we face.

They Showed Us Up

Saturday hubby and I stepped way out of our comfort zone.  We volunteered to decorate our trunk and pass out candy at our churches’ inaugural trunk or treat.

We pulled out the girls stuffed animals and made a jungle.  I bought three big bags of candy.  Certainly that would be enough.

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Alas, it was not.  We, and the church, ran out of candy in the first 20 minutes.  People from the planning team were immediately sent to get more candy, but what to do with the kids there now?

The girls had gone around to the trunks at the beginning of the trunk or treat and ended up with lots of candy.  As you know, candy is a precious commodity for kids, but ours pulled out the candy they had collected and gave it away as we waited for candy reinforcements.

2015-10-31 15.07.58 2015-10-31 15.08.01Talk about being proud of my girls!  I knew they were amazing but they really showed it Saturday.  I was so proud of them.  I still am.  I told some sweet neighbors down the street, and yesterday, they showed up with this.

2015-11-02 10.21.40They were touched by our girls too and wanted to gift them with this to show when we bless God, He blesses us.

Now, do we need all that candy?  Heavens no, trust me, I’ve already eaten too much of it, but the message behind it is worth every last piece.

Happy Birthday To Me

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This post could go so many directions…so I think I’ll just stick with

Thank you for all the love, support, encouragement and help you have given me to get me to my 40th Birthday!!!  It was such a joy to read each and every Birthday wish yesterday!  Thank you more than words can truly express.

 

What About Jesus

Hubby read my Sunday blog post, Generation to Generation.  I hold my breath waiting for his opinion when I know he is reading.  He is a great deal more conservative than I about what gets shared with others and what doesn’t.  Believe it or not, I don’t quite let it all hang out, and dirty laundry stays safely tucked away, but I still have a lot more to say than he would prefer.

Beyond all that?  His opinion is the one that really matters to me.  Yes, I write for myself.  Yes, I write for others.  But when he likes something I write?  That’s when it really matters to me.

And when he read Generation?  He found a typo (that has been fixed) and said, “what about Jesus in Christmas?  Doesn’t that matter?”

Yes hubby, there is Jesus in Christmas.

Honestly, when I wrote about decorating and Christmas, I was not intending to diss all of Christmas, just the glitter and glamour.  I could live without a tree up in my house, I could definitely live without two months of Christmas movies on my favorite TV channel and two to three months of Christmas songs on the radio are a bit much.

Most of Christmas, I love.  I love the opportunities to give that it brings out.  I love Operation Christmas Child.  I love taking the girls to the dollar store and filling boxes just as full as we can to send to kids around the world.  I have November 17 marked on our calendar so we get our boxes done and ready to be shipped to kids who most likely will have no other Christmas.

I’m already watching our church bulletin for updates on Angel Tree.  I will be picking three angels off the tree.  Each has a gift listed on it for a particular child.  Buying a gift for a child on behalf of their incarcerated mother or father is one way our family can be the hands and feet of Jesus.

I’m not altogether altruistic.  I also love shopping for my girls.  I used a gift certificate yesterday to start the process.  And I am watching Facebook and Twitter for deal alerts.  It is amazing what different deals people find.  On-line deals tend to save me a bundle.

Beyond the gifts, I love the added freedom Christmas brings us to talk about Jesus.  His name is found on Radio Stations where He is never mentioned otherwise.  Churches have special concerts and programs that people are willing to come to when church is not always on their radar.  I love the candlelight services at church, time to pause where we normally rush through.  I love reading and talking about the Christmas story.

I love having my family to share the holiday with.  I love the extra devotions we do nightly as we put the ornaments on the Jesse Tree.  I am totally enamored with the fun crafts the girls and I can do, the special school studies we can draw upon.

Really, I don’t think it was a dislike of Christmas that was handed down in my family, I think it was just of the decorating and the programming changes that drag on and on.  I love the warm and cozy of Christmas, just not in front of a tree.

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Generation to Generation

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Ho, ho, ho and Merry Christmas weren’t really heard in my house.  Not that we didn’t celebrate the, we did, but it didn’t bring out the best in my nuclear family.

My dad wore Christmas, truly, he worked in the Christmas tree fields seasonally.  And each year, said trees have to be painted green.  Yup, there’s the big secret, the trees are naturally pink, so they paint them green.  Or, they grow green but need to be treated with pesticides which are put in a green “paint” solution.  Yes, yes, yes, the second explanation is a little more logical, but the pink thing?  Way more fun to tell the other little kids in your class when you’re a kid.  Those big eyes when you tell them Christmas trees are really pink–priceless!!

But his Christmas cheer didn’t go past skin deep.  He hated not having money to buy lots of presents.  He really hated tracking back through the lights to find the burnt out bulb.  And he didn’t do any decorating past that.

From that point on, it was me and my mom.  We put up ornaments and cute little decorations around the house.  It was nothing elaborate, but it worked for us.

Then the days of the stupid needles falling off, trying all different solutions to make them stay on longer, the counter weights needed on the tree to keep it from falling over and still hearing the “crash” at least once per season.

My mom would Christmas shop at sales, yard sales, bargain hunting from December 26th on each year.  So we had gifts, but money was always an issue.  Always.  And it made my folks grumpy.  With themselves, with each other, and with the season that taxed an already tight budget.

The days of glitz and lights brought little cheer to our house.  Come Christmas morning I never felt cheated in presents to open, but I knew the season was not a favorite around our house.

The disappointment, the fights, the arguments kept it from being an exciting time for us.

Over the years, my folks went their own separate ways.  My mom found someone who loves decorating for holidays and she continues her skill at shopping year round.  They have their tree up early each year, lights spread around and garland up  and down.

I don’t.  No early here.  None.  I prefer the later the better.  I hate having the furniture moved around to accommodate the tree.  I hate having to tell the girls not to touch or to be careful.  I don’t enjoy the process of getting the tree out of the box, the branches spread out, ornaments unpacked.  The one and only part I enjoy is sitting in the living room with just the tree lights on.  But a week of that is enough.

I have seen more than one post today on Facebook talking about when people put up their tree, with many saying today.  And then there is me–“as late as possible” or “skip it due to lack of interest.”  Too bad that last one is unacceptable.  And the other is out of fashion.

Because me, I’d rather be over here ignoring the bling of the season.

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to Me

Today was teacher inservice here which loosely translates to, I didn’t want to teach on my birthday.  I did make them do reading, but beyond that, nuttin’ honey.

So we packed ourselves up and went to the last Homeschool Skate event.  We should have gone to the others.  The girls loved it.

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Sue was the most fearless, Caitlyn was hesitant but she kept on trying, Patrice got tired after one time around the rink but is definitely up for going again.

Then we came home, had yummy, gourmet Mac and Cheese, cake and ice cream.  Yummmmmmy.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Thank you for all the lovely greetings on facebook and twitter

It Got Quiet

I’m not sure what happened here on the blog, but it got really quiet.  Trust me, I wasn’t.

The stupid stomach virus kept me pretty wiped out til Wednesday.  Then it was the gift that kept on giving.  I wasn’t able to take my meds for most of a week thanks to being sick.  Once, I started to get better, my mind decided to kick it up a notch and cause some lovely mood cycling.  It was scary and truly the worst I have felt in over a year.  Today I am starting to feel a little more like myself, a little more even keeled.  And I am so thankful.

The days of mood cycling and fluctuations were hard.  Crazy hard.  I am so thankful for the people in my life who reached out to me, not when I got better, but right where I was.

Today was lovely.  We went to the traditional service at our church, the earlier one we never seem to make it to, where they sing the glorious hymns of the Christian Faith.  I grew up on hymns.  The beauty of them, the truth in them, has always been nourishment for my soul.  Today I realized what had been missing in my worship, it is those hymns, and this morning my soul came home.

Plus, after a horrible winter in these parts, Spring seems to have arrived and today was just right.

Yesterday, we loved on our girls with an Easter Egg hunt and lesson about what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross and rising from the dead three days later.

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Then today, the girls were extra spoiled with an Easter Egg hunt at their Aunt’s house.

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So, it’s been quiet around here, but all in all, we’re okay.

From Our House to Yours

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Okay, my pictures are kind of out of order.  Ah well.

Here’s how we made them:

First, we went to a friend’s house on Wednesday where she made them with the kids.

Second, we came come and did our own version today.

Third, I cut strips of paper 12 inches long by about an inch and a half thick.  My scrapbooking paper cutter wasn’t long enough, so I cut those babies by hand.

Fourth, we folded them in half, back/ugly side showing.

Fifth, put a small piece of double sided tape in  the fold.  Squeeze it so the paper sticks well.

Sixth, fold them into a heart, so the pretty side now shows as the heart.

Seventh, put a piece of double sided tape on the inside of the point of the heart.

Eighth, staple them into a circle.

Ninth, staple curling ribbon so it can be hung.

Tenth, Give them away to spread Valentine’s Day cheer.

Eleventh, tell all of you Happy Valentine’s Day from our house to yours.

Our Three Wise Men

We have been doing a Christmas Unit Study as part of our schooling.  I enjoy the learning we are doing, we all enjoy the crafts the author, Amanda Bennett, has been adding recently.

Today was a hand print Wise Men scene.

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It was very simple to create.

Our blank canvas, was, just that, a blank artist canvas I got on sale.  You could also do it on heavy paper.

We did hand prints in brown acrylic paint, upside down, to create the camel.  I had the girls put them in order by size, then we did the pointer finger in a pretty color of acrylic paint for the body of the wise man.  Finally, we painted the crowns on with glitter glue and added camel tails in brown and hooves with glittery glitter glue.  We had to have some royal pizzazz, right?  Caitlyn added the Star of Christmas and smaller stars with glitter glue to light up the night sky.  Once it dries, I will put their names and ages on the back.