Wednesday, December 23, 2009

have yourself a very merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish everyone a very merry Christmas. I hope you enjoy this special time with family and friends...and remember to take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas ~ to celebrate Christ's birth!
Blessings to you in the New Year!

{to see all the other Christmas photo cards I was able to design this year,
head on over to HB Creative Design!}

Sunday, December 20, 2009

day 20

Day 20 of "25 Days to Christmas"...

Go to church all dressed up in our Christmas clothes!
{this was after the kids playing in their church classes...
can you tell by the shaggy braids and rosy red cheeks?}

I can't believe Christmas is 4 days away...are you ready?!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

i should be wrapping presents...

Yes, there are many, many presents still to be wrapped, but instead, I've decided to use my time in other blogging!

Yesterday (Friday) my sister and family came into town and they are staying at my parents' house for the next 10 days. After naps, the kids and I decided to head on over there to spend the rest of the evening with family since Ryan was going out after work for a poker night!

Day 18 of our "25 Days to Christmas" activity for the day was to decorate cookies with the cousins! We actually did 2 activities on Friday and ended up also going to a local church to watch the new Christmas Veggie Tales movie. {Please excuse the not-so-good-quality pictures...the camera was having an off night!}

Cookie Time!

Cousin Jacob

Cousin Noah
Every little sprinkle in place...
Cousin Hailey just observed.
Death by sprinkles!!
Heading out to the movie.
Sugar overload!!
(cousin Hunter joined us after the cookies)


The activity for Day 19 (today) was one of those "quick, think of something to do!" kind of days. I had mentioned in an earlier post that I wouldn't have all of the activities pre-planned at the beginning of the month. Usually I just think of something we can do the night before or maybe there's something we already have planned for the evening that becomes the activity. This way I make sure it's going to fit into the schedule. Well, finally at 7:00 PM, after some begging and pleading from Mikayla to do the activity for the day, I came up with a quickie...

(I added a few red sprinkles for fun!)
I'll spare you the pictures in the kitchen. We were rushing because bed time was fast approaching, but the recipe we used is Best Ever Popcorn Balls found at

Diggin' in!


We ended the evening with reading Frosty the Snowman and then it was off to bed!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!
I should really try to get caught up on reading all of your blogs (I'm so behind...sorry!!), but the wrapping of presents has got to get done!

Friday, December 18, 2009

spread the JOY

Happy Friday Everyone!!

I'm excited to share that my JOY card from Christmas 2006 is one of many being featured on Tip Junkie today and you can go over and vote for your favorite card! If it's mine...excellent! If not, no big deal! *wink*

more Christmas fun - join in!

Yikes! Can you believe we only have 1 week until Christmas?!

I must admit we've been having a blast with our 25 Days of Christmas activities and it has truly helped us enjoy the holiday season just a little bit more. However, there still seems like there's so much to do, but a lot can happen in 7 days, right?

As part of Liz's Countdown to Christmas,
I'm sharing this week's activities...
{click on each collage to view larger}

On Monday (Day 14), our activity was all about trees! We made paper stand up trees and the kids got to use my circle punches again to punch out patterned papers. We even punched out some stars to add a little bit extra. This wasn't anything too complicated and it actually didn't last long, but they had fun nonetheless.
After dinner, the kids got to decorate sugar cones with green frosting and sprinkles. The perfect edible Christmas tree!

On Tuesday (Day 15) we spent the evening with some dear friends of ours, the Newton family. We enjoyed spaghetti & meatballs for dinner and the kids had ice cream sundaes for dessert! The kids exchanged books...a tradition we started last year. Earlier in the day, Mikayla and Austin helped wrap Ellie & Claire's books...boy did they have fun with the tape!
On Wednesday morning (Day 16), we headed over to my friend Sarah's house for a little play date with the kids (and the moms). We thought it would be fun if they did a little craft, so the kids made reindeer by painting their hands and feet, which they loved! It was a pretty simple activity, but we had fun.

Yesterday (Day 17), after dinner the kids decorated some coffee cups with stickers and then we made some "hot-cold cocoa" that the kids could take with them in the car while we drove around to look at lights. We didn't go anywhere too spectacular...just drove around the neighborhoods in our town. At this age, the kids are excited over any kind of lights!
That's us! How about you?
Hope you're soaking in all of the fun of the season!

Ryan has all of next week off, so we're looking forward to that. My sister and family are in town starting today, so I'm sure we'll be spending lots of time at my mom and dad's. Christmas card to be sent, presents to be wrapped, more gifts to make...and the list goes on. But most of all lots of fun to be had!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

jingle all the way - the "how to"

Thank you all so much for the kind words on my Jingle Bell shadow box I shared earlier for the Christmas Crafts party. Many of you asked if there was a tutorial for it. I actually did take a few pictures while making it, so you're in luck!

The "Jingle All the Way" phrase is a Decor Elements vinyl that came from Stampin' Up!

 **Updated to add on 8/9/12 - Unfortunately Stampin' Up! has discontinued this item and it is no longer available for purchase.  I am so sorry!

I have a few other samples I shared HERE on my stamping blog.

I found a square shadow box at Ikea for only $4.99 (size 6-1/2" x 6-1/2").

**Updated to add on 10/17/11 - Last I checked at Ikea...these frames were no longer available. So sad!! I'm on the hunt for a similar (and just as cheap) shadow box frame and will let you know if I find something!

**Updated to add on 11/10/11 - I did find a couple of shadow box options at Michaels. One was an 8" x 8" square with a little bit of a border around it (kind of like a roped edge) and the other was a rectangle...need to check on the measurements for that one.

You'll also want a variety of sizes of jingle bells. I prefer silver. I found these large tubes of two different sizes of jingle bells at Michael's (brand name: Celebrate It). At the time, they were 50% off, so I stocked up!! You'll also need the small size of jingle bells which come in smaller packages. I don't normally use very many of those, but adding a few gives it the right affect.

Start by applying your image to the front of the glass using a Decor Elements Applicator or something hard and thin (like a credit card or one of those Pampered Chef brown scrapers used for their stoneware). It's super easy to do these vinyls, especially when they're so small!

After opening up the back, place your jingle bells in the frame.

Cut your paper to size to fit in the back of the frame.

Tie a large bow around the frame. I used the Stampin' Up! 1 1/4" Old Olive striped grosgrain to match the color of the vinyl. Updated to add on 11/22/11: Unfortunately Stampin' Up! no longer carries Real Red 1-1/4" Striped Grosgrain ribbon (as seen in my other samples), but there are many other beautiful options.

Turn the frame over and shake the frame a little to spread out the bells. Then prop the frame up and adjust the bells to your liking.

Holly Bloggy Christmas Bash - Christmas crafts!


Welcome to Day 3 of the Holly Bloggy Christmas Bash! I'm super excited to be chosen to host the Christmas Crafts portion of the event! (Thanks, Jeri for thinking of me!)

So...what kinds of Christmas crafting have you been up to this season? I know it's a busy time of year, but there's always time for a little Christmas crafty fun!

Maybe you've created Christmas cards...

Or cute packages to put a small gift in...

Did you make your own gift tags?
Maybe you've had a few extra minutes to make some Christmas decor...

{this is a brand new decor piece I just finished!}
~ visit HERE for the "how to" ~

Have you had a little Christmas crafting fun with your kids?

Please feel free to link up below so that we can all see your beautiful Christmas creations that you have worked so hard on. The linky will be up until Sunday! Don't forget that if you link up on this post you'll be entered to win some fun prizes over at Simply Sweet Home. Hope you join us! And, tomorrow go visit Jeri to share some of your favorite Christmas recipes!

Monday, December 14, 2009

monthly craft challenge winner

Thank you to everyone who participated in this month's craft challenge - Christmas-themed decor. I know it has been a busy month for everyone, so I appreciate those who took the time to join in the fun! Please be sure to go visit if you haven't gotten the chance.

According to, the lucky winner is Katie @ Katie's Nesting Spot! She shared the cutest handmade paper plate wreath...if you haven't seen it, please go look! It's stinkin' adorable and I'm hoping to get to it for grandparent Christmas gifts.

What has she won, you might ask??

A "Let it Snow" goodie package!
Can you tell I'm ready for a {light} dusting of snow!?
Congrats, Katie! E-mail me your mailing address at and I'll send you a little Christmas gift!

So....if you haven't figured it out yet, we're not doing a monthly craft challenge for December. Too much going on with all of the fun festivities of the holidays. In fact, I'm not sure if I'll be hosting the monthly challenges anymore. I need to re-evaluate a little bit more on some priorities for the coming year, so I'll let you know the first part of January!

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