Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to All...

christmas card

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rudolph Pops...

Sunshine wanted a little treat to take to her classmates tomorrow at school so we decided on these cuties (thank you Pinterest)...



Monday, December 17, 2012

Teacher Gifts...

Christmas Time is here! Yay!!!

If you have kids in school, this time of the year is a great time to recognize the teachers in their lives and and give them a token of appreciation.  I wish I could give them all something fabulous and wonderful, but I have four kids and they have LOTS of teachers. LOTS. School, MDO, Sunday School, Choir, Mission Friends, Zone, extracurricular...all times FOUR!  Wednesday nights alone pretty much blow our Christmas budget...each of the kids have 6-10 teachers EACH on Wednesday nights!  And my big girls can't imagine leaving out the "extra" teachers they have at school...art teacher, computer teacher, physical education teachers, school nurse, school counselor, school secretary, janitor, will this list ever end????

I am thankful for each of the individuals that feed encouragement and love into my kids and I agree with the girls, I don't want to leave anyone out either! 

So...I decided to do small gifts...lots and lots of small gifts for their teachers this year.

It's not the amount you spend on the gift, it's the thought and love put into the gift.  Right?  I hope so :o)

This year, I made a truckload of these....

Untitled

I found the idea here and there is a great tutorial! I modified mine a bit because I couldn't find the pretzel bags at Hobby Lobby so I used small treat bags and put the bars in side ways, trimmed the bags and taped the plastic down. I actually preferred this (even thought I was super disappointed I couldn't find the pretzel bags at first) because the packages were super easy for the girls (and boy) to carry in zip lock bags, ready to hand out! I labeled each bag with the child/location and the kids could easily grab the right bag and go. Super easy!

Untitled

To make things simple, I labeled all of the packages from our whole family so I could easily switch between the kids if one kid needed more/less.

Untitled

Btw, I found the pretzel bags a few days later at Wal-Mart. Ha! That always happens to me! I think I have to go to a "speciality store" to find supplies and the supplies are usually at Wal-Mart, right down the street from my house! Ha!

I used a variety of miniature Hershey bars instead of Hershey nuggets because they were less expensive and who doesn't like a variety :o) We have a very special teacher in our lives that cannot eat candy so he got a tin (from the Dollar Tree) full of cuties! Yummm!

Untitled

For the big girls' main teachers at school, I made Christmas Wreaths...

Untitled

I didn't make a tutorial, but I think I can explain the process :o) Start with a straw wreath...

straw wreath

I got mine at Hobby Lobby and used the 40% coupon on their website :o) Next, fold your burlap in half and cut strips 2 to 2 1/2 inches wide. Then cut those strips into strips about 15 inches long (fold the long strip into thirds and cut...much quicker). The next part is super hard...ha! Tie each strip onto the wreath and double knot. One yard will cover one wreath.

  Untitled

Be sure and leave the straw wreath wrapped in the plastic packaging, it makes the process so much easier! Next, flowers! I used a couple tutorials off Pinterest and made two types of felt flowers...

Untitled

I got the wooden letters from Hobby Lobby and painted them green.

Next, hot glue the letters and flowers on the wreath...and you are done!

I was kinda stressing about packaging the wreaths so they girls could easily carry them to school until I found the.perfect.bags at the Dollar Tree! Two "basket bags" for a dollar. The wreaths fit perfectly!

  Untitled

The cool thing about these wreaths is you can customize the colors for any occasion! Here is one I made for Memorial Day/Labor Day/The Forth of July for my door :o)

Untitled

Yay for being DONE with teacher gifts :o)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sweet Pea...

Sweet Pea LOVES Mondays because she gets to go to preschool and dance! She is a goer :o)

You can imagine her excitement when not only did she get to go to preschool and dance, but she also got to see Santa at dance!

A very good day :o)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Gingerbread Houses, Christmas Shirts & Christmas Frig...

Christmas Randomness :o)

Each year, I buy a gingerbread kit for the kids to work on together. With four kids, things tend to get a little crowded and the pushier kid (s) usually end up doing most of the decorating while the others watch. This year, I decided to let them each decorate their own house. They LOVED being in complete control of their little house.

  kidsgingerbread2

I made the houses out of graham crackers. My initial idea was to use small milk cartons (like the ones they have at schools and the donut shop), but I couldn't find them anywhere!  I checked gas stations, Dunkin Donuts, drug stores and Wal-Mart.  I could have waited until the next morning and bought them at the our normal donut shop, but I might have been too impatient for that :o)  Instead I just built the houses with crackers and icing and let the icing dry completely before giving them to the kids.  It worked out great!

I bought lots of fun decorations (red hots, fruit loops, m&ms, sixlets, gummy bears, life savers, candy canes & sour rounds) and the kids went to town!

It probably doesn't come as any surprise that Baby Boy was more interested in eating his house than building it :o)

jonahgingerbread

I mentioned before we are currently living in a rent house. Oh the joys...ha!  When we moved in, I wasn't crazy about the frig, but thanks to Sparkles, our elf on the shelf, it is starting to grow on me :o) Who knew our elf on the shelf was a fan of Pinterest :o) Ha!

frig

Speaking of Pinterest, when I saw this cute Christmas tree shirt, I knew I had to make one for each of the kids!  I ran out of time and had to cut corners on the little girls' shirts, but I still love how they turned out. I  just love dressing my babies alike.  Is that weird? Ha!

kidstreeshirts

Baby Boy's hat is crackin' me up! I thought it was a little small, but he sure didn't care! Ha!

We experienced our first "small town" parade this week. It was so much fun! Baby Boy's hat came in super handy as a candy bag!  Ha!

kidsparade

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Traditions - Cutting Down the Tree..

I am not sure if the kids were more excited about making our yearly trek to the Christmas Tree Farm or if I was more excited :o)

I LOVE going to the Christmas Tree farm :o)  I especially like when the weather is warm and sunny when we visit the farm.

IMG_5916

I know some of you probably thinks that's weird because you like the idea of a white Christmas and crackling fires and bundling up in coats, boots and scarves, but not me!  Ha!  I HATE cold weather. If the temperature never got below 60 I would be a very happy chicka!

The tree farm we visit built a new "petting zoo" since we were there last and it is really nice! The kids had a ball feeding the animals and "baaing," "clucking," and "neighing" at the animals...constantly...to be fair that was mostly baby boy :o)

IMG_5918

IMG_5920

Sunshine's class at school is reading Charlotte's web so she felt a strong connection to this cutie!

IMG_5923

Next, we set out to find the perfect Christmas tree. I have a picture of the kids doing this same walk every year...

IMG_5927

Think there's any chance I will be able to get them to do that same, hand in hand, walk in ten years? Ha! I call this one, "Hey Mama! Are you coming?"

IMG_5928

Me and that boy like to stick together...big time :o)

You know that "sassy, hand on your hip" pose that is so popular on facebook, especially among college girls? It comes natural to my Little Pumpkin!

IMG_5934

I call the following three pictures, "The 'Hey Mama! Take my picture by this one.' Montage."

IMG_5940

IMG_5941

IMG_5942

We finally found the perfect tree!!!

  IMG_5956

We are currently living in a rental and space is limited so we went with the "Charlie Brown" model :o)

In keeping with tradition, each of the kids took a turn cutting down the Christmas tree.

IMG_5959

IMG_5961

IMG_5965

IMG_5968

Building memories!

IMG_5969

Happy kiddos!

IMG_5976

Watching our tree get cleaned...

IMG_5983

Wrapping it up! Yay!

IMG_5985

Mission accomplished.

Next on the agenda...pig races! Is that just an Arkansas thing or do y'all do that in other parts of the country?

IMG_5946

Not sure what's going on here. Practicing his hog call?

IMG_5947

Handsome little man!

IMG_5950

Big sister. Little brother.

IMG_5951

Check out that cute little smile. I LOVE it. She lost her first top, front tooth a few weeks ago and the other is lose. So sweet!

IMG_5952

My beautiful baby girl.

IMG_5954

A fun day.

I'm curious. Do you cut down a tree each year or do you have an artificial tree?

Hanging of the Greens...

Each year, on the first Sunday in December, our church has an awesome service called, "The Hanging of the Greens."  There is lots of beautiful Christmas music accompanied by church members marching in with Christmas decorations to decorate the sanctuary.  In between each "decoration march," scripture related to Jesus' birth is read aloud and each childrens'  choir group performs. It is a really neat service and I LOVE it! 

I am not sure if I had blogged about it or not, but my sweet Little Pumpkin, who used to be quite the introvert has really come out of her shell over the last year. She still can be shy occasionally, but for the most part, she loves attention. The other girls have always liked the attention :o) They were all really excited about singing on stage :o) Little girls, ready to go!

hangingofgreen

Sweet Pea and her group :o) Oh, how I love all of those kiddos! Can you spot Sweet Pea?

IMG_6004

Sweet girl singing about baby Jesus. LOVE.

IMG_6005

Next up, Little Pumpkin. Can you find her?
IMG_6011

And lastly, Miss Sunshine!

IMG_6015

Next year Baby Boy will be singing...is it crazy I am already concerned that he will be running all over the stage? Ha!

After the service, we went downstairs for cookies and hot cocoa.  Oh, we saw this guy too :o)

IMG_6026

Sunshine and one of her besties :o)

IMG_6031

Another fun night with my babies. Oh how I wish I could keep them little forever!