Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Are Those Christmas Jammies?"

YES, yes they are!
Every year, we all get a new pair of coordinating pajamas to wear "On The Night Before Christmas!" I'm pretty sure this is the LAST year Jax will be allowed to wear that style pajama. He's getting too old and too cool for them!!!
We have really enjoyed the self-timer on our camera these last few weeks!!!! I am thankful there is such a thing or I'd probably NEVER make it in any photos.  
This sweet pose was Tyson's idea! "Everyone get on top of me! Biggest to smallest."
And then there was this FUNNY song made for people like US.  Our favorite part of this video is the annoying neighbor, who says, "Are those Christmas Jammies?"
Don't be hating on our Christmas jammies. You know you want some!

Homemade Cookies and Milk For Santa (2014)

99 Traditions down and just a few more to go.... Next up, homemade cookies and milk for Santa.  That jolly old guy "better watch out" NOT to eat too many cookies or he's going to be needing a key, instead of a chimney, to get inside. LOL! Our cookies turned out so pretty this year, so it was hard to part with them, but you just CANNOT NOT leave Santa milk and cookies. The kids each picked out a cookie for Santa. Ty carried the cookies, Lilah carried the milk, and Jax carried the hand-written note to the floor, near the fireplace.  
What cookies were chosen? An "S" for Santa, a santa cookie, and a decorative Christmas Tree.
Of course we left Santa a note that read, "We love you Santa? Merry Christmas! Enjoy OUR mll and cookies. Love, Ty, Lilah, and Jax"

"TY!!!!!!!!!!!! Come Back...DEER!!!!!"

Oh my Tyson... he's such an interesting character.  Straight A student, Vice President of his school, loved by all of his peers and teachers, amazing athlete, and his knowledge of the Gospel is insane! An all around cool kid, until he gets around the twins and I.  Haha.  This week has been an interesting week with him.  He has tested and tried my patience like there was no tomorrow, YESTERDAY.  But, today, it was sincerely BLISSFUL! Lots of hugs, well behaved, kind and encouraging to his siblings, and loads of laughter.  I love days like that. 
This video above was taken about two weeks ago. We were hanging out in the kitchen, after school one day, and I spotted four deer.  I told the kids to quietly go to the sliding glass door, so we could stare at them.  EVERYONE listened, BUT TY. Where did he go? OUT THE GARAGE DOOR, with his BB gun in HAND, to shoot the DEER!  Thanks JAKE SHAFFER for your hunting influence.  Sigh... I tried to capture Ty, but he was hiding on the side of the house.  

AND as if that BB gun incident was NOT enough, guess what I spotted today after taking down the Christmas lights, in Lilah's room? A BROKEN WINDOW!!! From what you may ask? Well...I'll tell you.  An intuitive little boy, who thought shooting his basketball net, with his bb gun, would be fun. The bb bypassed the already broken backboard and hit Lilah's window, shattering it. This apparently happened, a few weeks back, while Darren and I were in D.C, but he didn't have the heart to tell us because he "thought [he] would get in trouble!" The insurance company politely reminded me of our $1,000 deductible that we have to pay BEFORE they would cover the cost to replace Lilah's bedroom window.  Ty said, "I figured it up. I will have to work about 1,000 days to pay this off!" Yes! Yes you will. Needless to say, the BB gun is GONE, G-O-N-E and we are considering this an early blessing/warning from the Lord that GUN SAFETY is key, even IF it's just a bb gun.  

Christmas Light Tour (2014)

Every year we take the kids out to see the gorgeous Christmas lights around town.  I took them around our neighborhood a few times and it's always a pretty sight pulling up to our home, at Christmas time, in the dark!  I love our decor, I really do.  But aside from touring our neighborhood lights, we always go to this one location, about 20 minutes away, I think it's in Shawsville, to tour the most insane amount of lights and inflatables.  WE LOVE IT!!! I am always extra excited to see that this particular family makes certain to put out lights for Jesus.  After all, "Jesus is the reason for the season!" After a nice dinner out at Alejandros, we knocked out A-N-O-T-H-E-R tradition of ours.  We passed the Harris family and know of at least two other families from our church that had the same idea, that night (Shaffers and Schoonovers).  This has been a fantastic Christmas season.  As you will hear from the video, the kids just appreciate so much this year.  The enthusiasm and appreciation is evident in their little voices.

Feeding Santa's Reindeer (2014)

One more tradition was fulfilled this year.  It's one of our favorites: feeding Santa's reindeer.  HOW in the world can you forget those sweet reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blixem and of course RUDOLPH?
Our reindeer food is quite simple, bowls of dried oatmeal (for energy) and Christmas sprinkles (for flying).  Blend together and walaa!!!! We always feed the reindeer AFTER we leave Santa homemade cookies and milk! Of course, that is NOT the order that I am posting it this year.  #sobehind  The video footage is quite bad.  NEVER rely on iPhones for good footage, but at least I was able to capture it.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Candy Cane Song

I have so much to blog about, as you can see from the past few days.  It seems like it's endless amounts of posts.  I am trying to post at least 2 posts a day until I am caught up, but with the kids home, the photos are piling up that much faster. It's irking me that these posts arrive out of chronological order, but at least they are getting done.
This post shows the children of West Salem Baptist Church singing the "Candy Cane" song.  A few days prior to this, our church went to a local nursing home and sang this song and others, in front of the residents.  The children sang the Candy Cane song on their own. They did such a fantastic job that Pastor Nick asked them to sing it again, in front of the congregation, on Sunday, before the service.
This song is about the candy cane and how it is a representation of what Jesus has done for us.  The lyrics are below, but my iPhone's storage was full  (only 8 months old) and it only recorded 17 seconds of this song.  Ugh! AND the photos are terrible. I am not giving any credit to APPLE iPhone photography today.
Every time I see a candy cane hanging on a tree
I can't help thinking of the one who gave his life for me

Everything about a candy cane from its color to its shape
reminds me of my Saviors love- that's why I celebrate 

A candy cane of red and white
Could just be my favorite sight
Those stripes remind me Jesus paid the price.

Like a shepherd he'll protect me 
from the harmful things of life
Through my journeys he'll be walking by my side

A candy cane can taste so sweet
its my favorite Christmas treat 
And I can taste the kindness of our Lord

He has offering to forgive me 
And to wash me white as snow
I'm his child now and I want the world to know

Next time you see a candy cane hanging on a tree
Stop long enough to ask yourself if a treat is all you see

'Cause everything about a candy cane from its color to its shape
reminds me of my Saviors love- that's why I celebrate.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Have Yourself A "Mani" Little Christmas!

This year, for Christmas, I wanted my gift giving, to my girlfriends, to be unique and different.  I knew from the moment I started shopping what I wanted to do for them. It actually came to me after going to the "Stocked Market."  A local representative for "Jamberry Nails" had a booth at the Roanoke Civic Center and we were able to see them being applied and thumb through a catalog. Lilah fell in LOVE with them, as they have a children's line, and begged for some.  She had already picked out a "souvenir" from the Stocked Market, so I had to tell her no.

I had originally planned on picking out a pattern/style, of Jamberry nails, that I felt fit each of my girlfriends' personalities. Before I could blink, Christmas arrived, and I ran out of time to place an order. I then considered purchasing gift cards for them, but then I realized I would miss out on their "Buy 3 jamberry nail packs, get 1 free."  SO... it was then that I went on a hunt for a great way to present this gift to my Sensational 6.  

I first checked Pinterest AND as we all know, I didn't have to search anymore. You truly can find anything you need on there. I fell in love, IMMEDIATELY, with the FIRST idea I found. I came across this pin, which led me directly to Persia Lou's blog. "Cute!", I thought.  I couldn't wait to shop and assemble this gift idea.
I found this adorable cardstock at Michael's.  It's a raised dot/brown, paper bag cardstock! 
I didn't have gift cards, like Persia did.  So, I just printed a mock gift card by using a Jamberry image off of google.
After assembling the cardstock paper and mock gift card, all that I had left to do was "wrap" the gift card holder with my favorite color washi tape.
Although it was Christmas, I chose to use a pink patterned washi tape, unlike Persia's Christmas patterned washi tape.
There you have it!!! I loved the way it turned out. I am NEVER usually a fan of completely copying something, but I'll admit, I am not sure I could have come up with a catchier phrase.  
"Have yourself a MANI little Christmas!"
Major props to you Perisa Lou.  
I am so thankful to my sister-in-law who referred me to Kristen.  I am extra thankful for Kristen, who came to my rescue, less than 2 days before our Sensational 6 dinner.  She sent me 7 catalogs, overnight, along with some samples of Jamberry Nails. 
I enclosed the mock gift card with a catalog. Each of my girls are in the process of picking out their favorite pattern as we speak.  There are over 300 different designs.  It will be hard narrowing it down to one.
I used the samples and put them on Lilah's nails the other night.  I LOVE the look of them.  They are so cool even Darren said, "Wow, that is honestly so impressive!"
I am interested to see how long Jamberry nails last on me, verse my gel manicures. I told Darren if it lasts long, I may alternate between manicures and jamberry nails, but Darren said, "Yea but one of the things I LOVE about you getting a mani/pedi is how soft your skin feels after it's complete."  I love that my hubby wants me to get mani/pedis.  LOL!

You should TOTALLY give this gift out to your friends, teachers, or daughters too! I thought of a catchy phrase to use when giving this gift as a thank you to someone...

"MANI thanks for ALL you do!!!" See?!?! I can be created and original too.  Hehe!

A Winter Wonderland Kindergarten Party

This year, I have the pleasure of planning the classroom parties for "Class Dixon's" Kindergarten class.  My first BIG responsibility was the Christmas party. I started planning the party the second week in November. I titled the party "Winter Wonderland" and tried to organize the party around the adorably, cute snowman Olaf!!! To start the party off right, I asked Ms. Dixon to play the FROZEN soundtrack aloud, for all the students to hear.  I had NO idea, while planning this party, that the plan was, earlier that day, for the entire school to watch the movie FROZEN. How perfectly arranged was that, for our party?
Elsa and Anna also made an appearance.
The parent involvement has been incredible this year.  Out of 21 students, I think at least 18 of them volunteered both their time and donated money towards the expense of the party needs.

First, I created a menu.  I remembered at the Halloween party, this year, we threw out a TON of food and the waste really bothered me.  So... I made the menu items "fun" and "cute", but I simplified it a bit.  Here's what we ate:

Snowman Kabobs: These snowman kabobs were designed and created by Ms. Heather Wingfield.  She used powdered donuts, m&ms, fruit roll ups, cake dye, and kabob sticks to form these little guys.
Santa Fruit Hats: Designing a fruit around "Olaf" was hard.  So Ms. Vivian Sowder decided to make these cute Santa hats out of strawberries, grapes, and marshmallows.  
Snowman String Cheese: Ms. Heather Wells volunteered to make these adorable snowman string cheese. They came out even cuter than the ones I asked her to make.
Melted Snow Drink: I signed up to bring bottled water, but of course I wanted to coordinate it with our Winter Wonderland theme.  I wrapped the water bottles in heart shaped scrapbook card stock and stuck a 3-Dimensional snowflake sticker on each bottle.
"Frozen" Punch: Ms. Amy Troiler signed up to bring blue Hawaiian punch.  I found these adorable, HARD plastic cups at Five Below.  I purchased 21 of them.  They were $2.00 a piece and I wasn't sure if we were going to actually get to keep them, to use, but the cash donations were so kind, we had enough left over to cover the cost of these cups.  Each child went home with an Olaf drinking cup.  
Some of the other items that parents signed up to bring were pretzel sticks (snowman arms), white cheddar cheese balls (snowballs), and carrot sticks with ranch (carrot noses).  I loved that we had a sweet, a salty, a protein, a fruit, and a veggie. Just enough....

All of the food was served on Olaf paper goods.  I also found these at Five Below and Ms. Sarah Perkins was kind enough to purchase them for the class party!
And here are the Kindergarteners enjoying the Winter Wonderland menu.
Of course we had a craft planned.  I shopped and designed the cute "Melted Snowman" ornament for the kids to bring home as a keepsake. I'm doing this a little out of order... I had already posted on this because "The Stir" wanted me to submit some snowman crafts for them to share on their website. This will be my 3rd feature on their website.  So exciting!
You've got to have games to play at a party, right?  The first game we played was "Inflatable Antler Toss"  Although it didn't really go along with Olaf, it did coincide with the character, in the movie, "Sven".  My first plan was to blow up these Antlers and surprise Darren with the task of being the moose, but he REFUSED.  So, the next best victim was the students' teacher, Ms. Dixon. LOL!  She was a good sport about it. 
The kids had fun playing this game, but they were all so excited to have a turn, so it was a tad hectic trying to decide who got to go next.  LOL! I am really not sure how Ms. Dixon maintain's classroom order.  Imagine (21) 5 year olds in one room. Ahhhhhhh!
After a while, the Antlers were slowly deflating.  Such a bummer!!!  I wound up returning that dud!
 The next game was "Pin The Carrot Nose On Olaf".  
A special thank you to our local YMCA who allowed me to borrow Olaf, for the chosen game! I just printed carrot noses off of google images and made sure the kids used a light weight tape. I didn't want to ruin Olaf. I promised to return him flawless.  
The kids really loved this game.  Again, they all begged to go "next".  It's the classic syndrome of "ME FIRST".  You can see the laughter as Lilah tried to pin her carrot nose NO WHERE near Olaf.  Silly girl!!
I took the class in groups of 5.  So there was 4 sets of 5 students.  I had 5 prizes.  The student who was the closes to Olaf's nose, won a prize.  Not EVERYONE won a prize.  Lilah was brought to tears when she didn't win a prize. Sigh... that's the HARD part about being the class mommy.  Had I not been there, I highly doubt she would have cried.
Here were the prizes the students won: First, An OLAF BOOK with STICKERS.
 A Snowman Hand Warmer.  
 A Snowman Wooly Willy
 A Light-Up Yazzle Snowman Olaf.
 A Snowman Necklace Kit.
At the very end of the party, all the children were presented with "Ty" Olaf plush dolls to take home. These dolls could NOT have been possible without the kind, cash donations from many of the parents.  
This plush toy beats a baggie of trinkets that will get lost or thrown away, eventually, if you have a mommy who doesn't let you save anything.  LOL!  Yes, I just told on myself.
I cannot thank the parents enough for ALL of their help!  I have had and heard of horror stories where the "classroom parent" had to do most everything on his/her own, both financially and physically, and that is really tiresome and frustrating. Class Dixon's parents ROCK!