Last year my cousins gave my kids this really cute bottle of "Santa's Magical Reindeer Dust." They loved it! So this year I made them for some of our neighbors and cousins. I purchased the jars for 99 cents at Michael's. The "Dust" consists of red, green, silver glitter and fake snow. I found the cute take out boxes at Hobby Lobby. The saying on the front of the boxes reads- "Santa's Magical Reindeer Dust- Special Formula- Directions for use on Christmas Eve- Sprinkle this dust outside tonight, the moonlight will make it sparkle bright. As the reindeer fly and roam, this will help to guide him to your home."
This year I added new clips with bigger numbers. Lucy knows her numbers now and Lily makes a math problem out of anything and everything. I covered the clips in scrapbook paper and glued the printed and punched number.
For the past few years, the kids have had Christmas lights in their bedrooms. We string them over the windows. The girls insist on reading their bedtime books with them on. This year after I had finished decorating they were able to decorate their rooms with the stuff that I didn't use. So they have star garlands around their mirror, snowflakes hanging from the fans, and snowmen and Christmas trees all over their dressers. They love it!
We have been collecting Christmas books since our first was a baby. We now have quite the collection. The basket of books is one of the first things we get out when the seasons rolls around. We put ours on our lowest shelf in the family room so they are able to get them by themselves. So many times I come into the room and all of them are reading one. The books really help us to get into the spirit.
The kids are really what makes our Christmases so special. So start some traditions that they will remember forever!
Every time I look at my kitchen table I smile and breathe a little sigh of relief. Relief that I still have a few more weeks before the crazy, but fun, month of December rolls around. My table holds the real fallen leaves from our trip to Sedona a couple of weeks ago. The kids love to see their leaf collections as part of our tablescape. I was inspired by the Pottery Barn magazine to slip some photos of the kids playing in the leaves into one of the jars. I love how pomegranites can be used for Fall and Winter decor items. I wrapped a branch with gold berries around the smaller jar. It's simple, just as it should be!
Some of the things we are thankful for: Lily, the thoughtful one, is thankful for her eyes so she can read and our home. Lucy is thankful for playing outside. Who isn't this time of year? We are all happier now that most of our days are spent exploring the backyard. Hudson is thankful for tree branches (I think he drew the picture first and decided it looked like tree branches) and Batman. The other night I drew a picture of a bed and wrote that I was thankful for bedtime. The kids just could not believe it. I don't think they realized it was their bedtime I was thankful for that night!
This recipe is one of my husband's favorites. It has a slight kick to it, but still kid-friendly.
Spicy Tortilla Soup
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
32 oz. chicken broth
14 oz. mexican style tomatoes (Rotel is the best)
4 oz. fire roasted green chilies
1 t. cumin (add more if you like it more spicy)
1 t. chili powder
1 t. sugar
1 T. lime juice
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
freshly cut cilantro
4 oz shredded monterey jack cheese (or cheddar)
1 cup corn tortilla chips, crushed
In a 6 quart pot combine onion, garlic, and olive oil and saute for 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and puree. Stir mixture. Add crushed corn tortilla chips. Stir well, cover and simmer about 30 minutes. If liquid cooks down too much, add water.
When ready to serve, put cheese, cilantro, sour cream, avocado and a handful of broken chips in bowl before serving soup.
Recipe from Katherine Fields
The kids loved these! We found this cute mini pumpkin bundt cake pan at Walmart. We just used a yellow cake mix. For the frosting it worked best when we warmed a can of frosting and poured into the center of the pumpkin. To top it off we used sprinkles and an M&M.
1 box (unprepared) yellow cake mix (reserve one cup for topping)
1/2 cup butter (softened)
This BOO sign is super easy to do and the best part is I am going to put JOY on the otherside for Christmas! It will serve two purposes. To start you will need to get 3 boards cut to the size of a 12X12 piece of paper. Then drill holes in each of the four corners. I painted the edges of each board black. Next choose 3 sheets of scrapbook paper and modge podge onto each board. Once dry I took a black ink pad and distressed the edges of each board. I poked a pencil through the holes and then took sandpaper to the edges of the holes.
The candy delivery truck bringing the goods.
The finished products. In years past we have given out prizes to the Spookiest, Cutest, etc.The moms always want to make their own Haunted House but we are too busy helping the kids. We decided it would be a fun date night with several couples making them.
This is how we made it: We used 3 different sizes of embroidery hoops - 12, 10, and 7 inches. We wrapped them with black ribbon dabbing with a little hot glue at the beginning and end and in the middle as needed to hold. We strung the three hoops together with invisible thread. We cut little bat shapes from black glitter fun foam and punched eyes with a small hole punch. We strung each bat (we poked a hole through the top and bottom with the thread showing on the back of the bat ) on black carpet and button thread and then strung it through a small black pom-pom. We put a dab of hot glue where the thread goes through the bat to make sure the bat stayed in place. Then we tied each bat and pom-pom on the hoops. We put 9 bats on top, 8 bats in the middle, and 6 bats on the bottom. We love the way it turned out. It flutters around perfectly.
Next to Christmas, Halloween is my favorite time of year to decorate my house. I love the colors and my kids love the spooky stuff we have around. It is just a fun time of year - the beginning of a great season.
We have some great projects to share that you really can do yourself...no for reals!
We made this banner last year while the boys were at the Priesthood session of conference. (Wait til you see what we will be working on this year!)
The background is 6 by 10 inches with a 4 inch angle to the middle. We backed the pattern paper with black cardstock to give the paper more body. The orange rosettes are made from tissue paper. We cut a sheet of tissue paper into 2.5 inch wide strips. We folded them accordion-style and used double-sided tape to attach the two folds on each end. The letters are cut from glitter fun foam (we found ours in the Kids Craft sections at Hobby Lobby and Joann). We found a font that we liked and printed a pattern. Our letters are 4.5 inches tall. We then hung the banner on a strip of tulle.
This year I added the gems on every other flag. I bought these gems at Michael's. The price on the bag was 3.99 for 30. They rang up at .01. I felt a little guilty so I showed my receipt to the manager. She said they were on extreme clearance but if it stayed at .01 it would mess the whole system up. So she had to fix the price to 1.00. OK fine, I'll still take them. It was still a bargain!
To attach them, I wound wire around a marker two times, punched a hole at the bottom of the paper, and put the gem on the wire and then through the hole.
My banners hang on a curtain rod that I hung over my couch in the living room. But some of us hang them over windows or on shelves. You find the perfect place in your house.
*It's been awhile since we've found this recipe, but we're pretty sure it was from allrecipes.com.
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt (opt.)
1 cup butter
1 ½ cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup sour cream
Sift flour, powder, soda, salt – set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter & sugar. Beat in egg, sour cream, & vanilla. Add sifted ingredients. Wrap dough and chill overnight (or for a few hours).
Roll out dough, making cookies ¼ inch thick.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Makes about 3-4 dozen.
For the frosting, we just use the recipe on the back of the C&H Powdered Sugar box:
5 Minute Buttercream Frosting
1 lb. box of C&H Pure Cane Powdered Sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter, softened (we usually use less than this)