Monday, December 29, 2008

Edible New Year's Hats

Cute dessert for New Year's Eve!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

From our families to yours - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Julie's kids - Joshua (2 1/2), Ainsley (7 months), Jacob (4 1/2)

Shanelle's kids - Chasen (21 months), Stella (3), Kylie (4 1/2)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Real Snow"-cones

Sorry, you're out of luck for this one if you live somewhere that's warm and sunny all year round! We got about a foot of snow yesterday, which my 2 year old loves to run outside (in bare feet and pj's!) and eat. All day long. To keep his trips to a minimum, we've started making snow cones - packed snow in cup sprinkled with Torani flavored syrups we had in the cupboard. Pretty good and Josh's toes stay warm.

Any other ideas for flavoring the snow?!

reindeer sandwiches

Slice a piece of bread into two triangles and slather with peanut butter. Add 2 pretzels for antlers, and raisins for eyes and a nose. If you're a really nice mom, make a Rudolph with a maraschino cherry nose.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Button Wreath Ornament

Oh my ever-loving cuteness!

leave it to Martha!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

tissue paper christmas tree

Do you need a last minute art project or card? (you could also use construction paper strips)
Source: Art Projects for Kids

winter bird feeders

I thought for a minute about giving the birds outside the burned popcorn from yesterdays garland before I decided against it. Then I saw all these this morning.

My favorite to make have always been the peanut butter on pine cones rolled in birdseed
but maybe we'll try something different this year.

Click on photo to get to original source/directions.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Nativity "Go Fish"

Click here to choose between the black and white or color version of the cards to print out.

Directions: Shuffle the deck of cards. Deal each player four cards and place the remaining cards face down. Each player takes a turn asking another player for a specific card. (Players can only ask for cards from a set that they already have a card of.) If the person has any cards of that set they must give up all of them to the person who asked for them. If the person doesn't have the card they're being asked for they say, "Keep Trying" and the player then draws a card from the stack and their turn is over.

When a player has a complete set of four cards they show the rest of the group and place them in front of them on the table or floor. Play continues until all the cards have been placed down. If a player has no more cards they draw one from the deck. If the deck is gone the person must wait until the game is over.

Example: There are three players. Player one has a card with the baby Jesus and asks player three if they have any cards with the baby Jesus. Player three doesn't have any and says, "Keep Trying" and player one draws a card. Player two (who also has a card with the baby Jesus) asks player one if they have any, which player one gives to player two. Player two's turn is over. Play continues until all the sets of cards have been placed down. The player with the most sets wins.

Notes: You can print the cards on card stock, cut them out, and then laminate them so they will last longer. They're also easier to play with when they're not rough.
For younger children you can remove half the cards (in sets) from the deck and only deal two cards per player. When someone has two in a set they can discard them.


popcorn garland

*Prints for Rudolph

foot*print for head
hand*prints for antlers
finger*prints for eyes
thumb*print for nose

Paper Lanterns

This was fun, multi-step project that all of my kids got to participate in (that's not as easy as it sounds when the kids are 21 mo, 3 yrs, and 4 1/2 yrs!).
1. We started by painting red and green construction paper with white paint, using paint/clay rollers (I still wonder how we ever got along with these!)

2. Fold paper in half, long-ways, painted side facing out. Cut along folded side, about 1" apart, stopping about 1" from edge. Cut the last strip off to use for the handle later.

3. Open paper, then glue short sides together. Glue handle to inside.

*We used red and green paper, but this is certainly something that can be used year-round with different colors. I keep thinking bright colors, glitter, and jewels for Cinco de Mayo!

Santa Pancakes

How awesome! We make lots of things with pancakes, but I don't think I would ever have come up with this on my own! We're making this Wednesday morning for Christmas Eve Breakfast, and I can't wait.

Original Link

Christmas Tree Art Projects

I found two cute Christmas tree art projects this morning and let Jacob pick which one we'd do (Josh is still sleeping so he can pick the next project). He picked the popsicle stick one, and I'm a bit bummed - that puzzle one looked really different. Click the picture to go to the original link.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Peanut Butter Balls

This was so much fun for the girls and I to make! I made the "batter" with Chasen while the girls were in preschool, then they got to roll the balls and dip them in chocolate. Perfect for those little fingers who always insist on helping!

Holiday Memory Game

Here's a simple Memory game for you to print out for the holidays! I made it using DJ Inkers clipart (love DJ Inkers!). Click on the link below (or pic above) and it should take you to a pdf file (let me know if it doesn't). Print 2 copies on cardstock, or glue to cardstock (I did this b/c I didn't have white cardstock), cut, and you've got a simple memory game for your little ones. There are just 8 cards, but sometimes that's plenty. If you have a child who is still too young for Memory, try having them match the cards. You'd be surprised how much they like this! Enjoy!

last minute teacher/neighbor gift

At 6:45 last night I realized that WHOOPS, I needed a teacher gift STAT for Jacob to take to preschool in the morning. We whipped up a quick batch of minty marshmallows, and I took some store bought (shhhh) mint hot chocolate and spooned it into a glass jelly jar. I printed a sticker in a Christmas pattern to cover the ugly lid, tied on a bow with directions and VOILA - done! It's not a Target gift card, but I think it's cute and something I'd love to get.

minty marshmallows

I saw the idea in a magazine - I'm pretty sure it was the Dec 08 Better Homes and Gardens. Mix 1 cup of sugar and 3 T of water to make a glaze. Dip the bottom half of a large marshmallow in the glaze, and then roll in crushed candy canes. Let them dry on waxed paper. Voila! The kids loved to do it (and lick their fingers after), and it makes a quick gift - perfect in hot chocolate!

Magic Reindeer Food

This was the perfect thing for Jacob to take to his preschool friends today. We had everything to do it at home and it took 15 minutes from start to finish.

I used glitter glue in a baggy (I didn't have sparkle sugar or regular glitter) and mushed it up with oats - I did a batch of gold oats and a batch of sparkly green oats. After they dried, I put a small scoop of plain oats in a snack sized bag with a bit of gold sparkle oats and green sparkle oats, then stapled the label on and wrote Jacob's name. DONE! and Jacob and I are both excited. The poem on the back says

Sprinkle on your lawn Christmas Eve night,

The moon will make it sparkle bright!

As Santa's reindeer fly and roam,

This magic food will guide them to your home.

and Jacob is sure this is going to work.

I got the idea and the FREE download for the label here.

Idea for a neighbor (with small kids) gift: take one of these baggies, along with some "human reindeer food" (Muddy Buddies in a bag with a pretty bow and a tag). Food for the people and the reindeer!

snowman boxes

How cute? Grab some take out boxes, have your kids art them up, and stick some homemade yummies inside.

Directions here.

Macaroni Menorah

If you know me, you know I'm not Jewish, but sometimes (especially during Hanukkah, Passover and the High Holy days) I like to pretend I am. So we do Christmas AND Hanukkah crafts and celebrations at our house. And I love that one.

Directions here (scroll down a bit).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

more Christmas math

Click here for the download.

gingerbread math for the littles

Click here to grab the link to the FREE download.

paper wreath

I just found a new blog today with lots of really cute kids crafts and ideas. How easy is that wreath? Cut the middle out of a paper plate, let your kids go nuts with squares of crepe paper (she used printed scrapbook paper) and glue, then add beads or pom poms or whatever. Ta-da!

Ice Cream Snowballs

I forgot to take a picture! (the horror)

We rolled vanilla ice cream into small balls, and then rolled those in shredded coconut. Stuck them on a plate, put them in the deep freeze to harden, and viola - ice cream snowballs. It was extra fun to stick a toothpick in between and make a snowman.

Cornflake Christmas Wreaths

What a cute treat for the holidays!

1 bag (10.5 ounces) mini marshmallows
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
Green food coloring
4-1/2 cups cornflake cereal
Jumbo red nonpareils
Light corn syrup
Red sour belts

1. Line 2 baking sheets with nonstick foil or parchment paper. Lightly coat a 1/3-cup measure with nonstick spray.
2. Stir marshmallows and butter in a large saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and tint with 5 or 6 drops of food coloring. Gently stir in cornflakes.
3. Scoop 1/3 cupfuls of the mixture and drop into 6 piles on each baking sheet. Let cool 5 minutes. Spray fingers with nonstick cooking spray and shape each pile into a wreath, gently compressing the flakes together. Refrigerate until firm.
4. Decorate wreaths with nonpareils or candy balls, attaching them with a dab of corn syrup.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas & Winter books

I just realized in the middle of dinner that I forgot to put up a Christmas and winter bookshelf! Whoops! It's at the top of the page, just like last time. Please make sure to click on "next" in the bottom right corner to see all of the wonderful books that our kids are loving (there are over 20... sorry, we love to read)!

And as always, please let us know if you have any favorites that aren't listed.

snowflake ornament

Materials: craft sticks, white paint, glue, sequins, pipe-cleaner

Paint sticks white. Let dry.
Glue sticks together in desired shape.
Glue sequins to sticks.
Glue looped pipe-cleaner to back for hanger.

stained glass

This might be a little too "classroomy" for some, but my kids loved doing it, and they turned out pretty cute! Plus, if you're a teacher, it's super easy and not that messy! (yes, I did this in my classroom when I was teaching... hey! I was a teacher long before I was a mother!)

*Draw a picture on white paper and trace with a black sharpie*
(Kylie drew a picture in pencil and I traced it for her)

*Color picture with crayons*

*Rub baby oil over entire picture. Let dry. Hang in window.*

Meringue Snowmen

Somehow, even though the high never reached freezing yesterday, a lot of our fresh new snow melted, leaving icky ice everywhere. We didn't get outside to make a snowman, just to throw snowballs. We're making these meringue snowmen today. I don't think the boys will mind that they're not the real deal.


Like Meringues? Try this recipe, too. Once you make them, it's easy to create your own recipes - mint, chocolate, lemon, whatever you want.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Paper Flower Ornaments

So cute. You could do them blue and silver for Hanukkah or throw some up fast for Christmas or New Years. I'm going to wait and do these for Valentines day and hang them from the arch between my kitchen and family room. I'll update with pictures.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

snowman and reindeer cookies

Directions and recipes here. My favorite is the snowman, how about you?

Friday, December 12, 2008

...Babies Wear...series

We haven't read them all yet, but we're enjoying the series. Perhaps you will, too.

(clicking on the picture should take you to the Amazon page)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Candy Cane Ornaments

Another "remember those?!?!" craft:

You could put them on the tree or tie them to a package. They take almost no time at all. Two pipe cleaners - one red, one white or green. Twist, bend. (then we cut ours in half) Done.

Jacob decorated the tree with his - all by himself.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008