Monday, December 19, 2011

Children's Christmas video

My kids love kid history!! If you haven't seen it you must check them out on YouTube. My kids love these videos and can quote them word for word!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Printables

I am a bit embarrassed to admit, I have had picture frames up in the front entrance way for well over six months now waiting for pictures to be put in them. I just never got around to ordering the right pictures to fill them up. That has changed. The first thing you see as you walk into my house will no longer be six empty frames and two side ways pictures hanging on the wall!
(Sorry for the crappy pictures I keep forgetting to take pictures during the day)
I did not fill them with pictures, because ours are now outdated and I just refuse to hang the old ones, as cute as they are... I really need to get new family photos in the new year!!
But for the temporary fix this will do. I removed two of the frames which made a difference in the lay out. I love it! (I really need to start taking befor and after pictures.)

I found these printables here
1. Jones Design Company love that I could add a few scriptural Christ centered ones to the wall
2. Polkadots on Parade
3. For the life of me I can't find the link. UGH! Really thought I bookmarked them all.
4. Betty Crocker Wannabe
1. & 2. Love from home
I used the making a list and sleigh bells ones

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Teachers Christmas gifts

This year I decided to let the kids help with teacher gifts. I tried to think of something they could make and be proud of yet something the teacher would like (coming from a 5, 6, and 10yr old).

After a bit of discussion they all picked something to add to the teacher bags.

They wanted my simple nativity, faux nog (since all their teachers and their aides loved it last year. My favorite is 1-2Tbsp Faux nog, 1/2 crushed ice and 1cp milk blended with the magic bullet. It is so frothy and delicious), flavored hot cocoa, and dipped pretzels, Oreos, and marshmallows in a mug.
Lil' Mr Emo mixing some faux nog
The kids loved dipping their pretzels, marshmallows and Oreos on a stick in chocolate and almond bark then decorating them with sprinkles! We had a few neighborhood kids that joined in on the fun
I am not sure if there is more sprinkles on the pretzels or my floor at the moment, but they make some good memories and a slight sugar high.
Every counter in my kitchen is a staging area for some part of tomorrow. This counter is being used to assemble goodie bags for a class party tomorrow. Best be off to bed so I can wake a bit earlier than normal to clean up after all this mess and get these things all packed up and ready to deliver tomorrow AM.

Monday, December 12, 2011

We seek after these things...

Our youths theme for this past year was

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

At the end of every year several of the congregations in the area get together and celebrate all the things the girls have accomplished. Each congregation is given a table to display some of their girls accomplishments or to spotlight the girls.This year we put some of our humanitarian quilts and then we made a craft to display that went along with this years theme. I found this on a blog someone shared with me.
the girls personalized them. They turned out so cute!
(sorry just couldn't get these two photos to turn!)
I cut some vinyl and then printed some swirls clipart I found. We transferred the swirls by scribbling with a pencil all over the back of the page and then tracing them onto the wood. We colored them in with sharpies and then added the vinyl.
We adhered the pictures with spray adhesive (WAY EASIER THAN MOD PODGE!! and there were no bubbles.) then we applied to coats of Mod Podge.

Side note- have you seen this before? It's my new favorite thing!! SPRAY MOD PODGE (glossy, not a big fan of the matte) coupled with spray adhesive of course! Thinking of buying Wal-mart out and giving it to everyone I know for Christmas.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Butternut Squash soup

It has cold off something fierce here. I love fall/winter and the excuse to make yummy warm soups.

Last week we made Butternut squash soup. I love butternut squash! I was so excited this morning to find butternut squash in my bountiful basket. I had this post scheduled for Monday, but decided this was a wonderful excuse to rearrange posts and share now.

I found this recipe last year, I altered it a bit. Last week I made enough to freeze for three family meals and a half dozen lunch size portions. I'll scale the recipe down for I family size serving (5-6cps).

1 Butternut squash (the ones we got in our basket were a bit smaller than the ones I usually use, I used two big ones when I tripled the recipe)
2.5-3cps chicken broth (depends on how thick you like it, the thicker then better in my opinion)
1/3-1/2cup onions, chopped (or 1/3cps dehydrated onions reconstituted)
2cloves of garlic
2-3tsp curry powder ( I love curry so the more the better for me)
1tsp nutmeg
1tsp ginger
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt to garnish

Cut squash lengthwise in half and remove the seeds
Bake squash at 400F until you can push a fork thru easily (about 60-75min)
Cool and Peel the baked squash. We found this works well with a simple pairing knife. We turned the squash flat side down and used my handy little pampered chef pairing knife.
Cut the squash into 2" chunks
Put everything into your a large pot and use your hand plunge blender thingy to blend it all together (or carefully use a blender. I never have any luck using a blender and hot items I always get burned).
Heat thru on the stove top and garnish to taste with sour cream or yogurt.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christ centered Christmas

It is quite the topic this year-Christ centered Christmas!

I am not ready to "kill" Santa Claus for my kids, but I like the idea of educating them about the original St Nikolaus. I only have one Santa decoration and it reminds me of our days in Germany so I am not going to put it away.

I love to give. I love to give my kids gifts, but Christmas isn't about gifts. I need to be more focused on educating my kids on where gift giving started, and remind my kids it isn't about getting it is all about receiving. We have decided to let each kid pick a random act of kindness and spend the week befor Christmas serving others to better remind them its all about giving.

I own quite a few nativities (something I inherited from my mother). Every year we add another one to our collection. Some big, some breakable others are small or durable enough to survive being played with daily. Christ is well represented in out home around this season. They know the story of Jesus and have daily reminders of his humble beginning.

This year I have wanted to make this craft since I first saw it back in November sometime, but have yet the energy to focus on it. I had no really connection with the word JOY so I kind of put it off as a "if I have time" project. I think I will be making it this weekend with the kids!
Our youth group had an assignment to do a service project tonight that wouldn't take too long and I was looking for a lesson to teach the girls on the importance of service and let them know how proud I was of them for all they have done this past month in service. As I trolled the internet I came across this site and found a lesson on J.O.Y. (its the fifth little dot down). I loved it! I think the girls enjoyed it. And I am thinking I am talking to my kids about it come family night!
Here's the idea...
J is for Jesus. He had a purpose here on earth no one else could fill! He lived and died for us. I went into a little more detail then we watched this video clip

O is for others. It is a time for service and time to focus on others. There never is an easier time to find ways to serve. A time to give back. Give Christ the gift of service, find every possible way to do small random acts of kindness this holiday season. I spoke of how they more than willingly spend money on making holiday meals tonight for shut ins and elderly people in our congregation, how they made 90 quilts for a homeless shelter for Christmas, how they jump to serve every time I ask them to. It is that service that builds up and strengthens others, that makes a difference in the world, that is the Saviors work here on this earth.

Y is for you. "YOU?" you ask. Yes YOU! Not you as in what you want, not as in you time but You as in taking the time to reflect on your own testimony of the Savior. Recommit. Accept his message and build up your personal understanding of who Christ was/is and what his teachings are. Accept him into your life, not just when you are going thru a trial or are extremely overjoyed, but everyday in everything good or bad or just because.

After our lesson I had the girls cut out some of these to hang as a banner or as Christmas decorations to remind them of the true reason for the season. We cut out the balls and hung them with grosgrain ribbon.
I printed off these ones and hung them in my kitchen as my own personal reminder.
I may not have it all together but I am certainly going to focus more on educating and talking about Christ with my little ones this year. I am going to find every opportunity to serve others big or small. I am going to recommit myself to being a better disciple of Christ. I am going to find JOY this year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.