Welcome to my little corner of the world wide web. :) What a blessing modern technology is. I'm so grateful for the websites and ideas that others have shared that have helped them to be successful in their homes, their service in the church, or in life in general. Thought I'd pass on a few things I've learned along the way on my life-long mission to become a better wife, mother, and in my service in the church. Thanks for stopping in!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fun Christmas Gift Ideas

I typically just post about music ideas on here (as that's my current calling), I want this blog to be well rounded.  Since it is Christmas time and everyone is looking for fun ideas, thought I'd throw some ideas out there for easy/inexpensive Christmas gift ideas (because frugal is how I roll) :) .

I have a ton of self control with my eating until Christmas time rolls around.  While I love me some sugary goodness during the holiday, I hate feeling sick all of December because of it.  Last year I opted to forgo making oodles and oodles of goodies-because I inevitable indulge-and instead did a cd with a compilation of our family favorite Christmas Jingles.  They turned out super cute BUT it would have been helpful if I'd burned them onto CD's instead of DVD's.  I had quite a few people give me a hard time about that.  What can I say, I am not the most techy person in the world.  Once I realized-or rather, once it was pointed out- :) what I'd done, I redid the rest on the correct type of CD.  They were a hit!

Here's the label I made. You are welcome to use.  Just right click the image and save to your computer.

Note pad with gift card to teacher's favorite restaurant (or wherever) with note attached that says "You have been the WRITE kid of teacher for me"!

Teacher's favorite soda with note attached that says "Thank you for QUENCHING my thirst for knowledge".  Gift card to favorite restaurant attached.

I was running short on time for neighbor's gifts so we just popped up a huge batch of caramel popcorn, threw them in some cute bags, and attached a note saying "Just wanted to POP in to wish you a Merry Christmas"!  Super simple but so yummy!

Fleece Blanket with note attached "FLEECE Navidad" for Specials teachers.

and this year...

Neighbor gift-
White Chocolate Chex mix- He's Making a list and "Chex"ing it twice.  He's gonna find out you've been awfully nice.

Preschool Teacher gift-
The class went in on a gift card but I wanted to do something cute and personal as well.  Framed collage of all the kiddos names.  My little guy helped me pick out fonts and colors for all of his friends.  It was a lot of fun to put together.

 Teacher Gift
Gift cards for teacher with a fun touch as well..."SANTA"tizer hand sanitizer.  What teacher doesn't needs some of that in the classroom, especially this time of year.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Bells

A month ago, I was in Michael's and I saw this bell set (reg. $24.99).  I had a 40% off coupon so I thought this would be a great thing to have for Primary...and at home-my kids have LOVED them.  I assumed they wouldn't have a very good tone where they were really inexpensive but surprisingly, they were in tune with the piano and sounded pretty good.  

Anyway, last week I introduced the bells to the kids and they were a huge hit.  We did Christmas Bells as the last song so I told them I'd be watching them through singing time to see who was participating. They were going to be the bell ringers. Needless to say, great participation by all. :)  I'm going to pull them out again tomorrow and maybe do this song for the Christmas sacrament program.

Friday, December 9, 2011

"Seeking Baby Jesus" Singing time Idea

While we just finished up our Sacrament meeting Primary presentation this last week, I was thinking we'd have a little break from performing but I guess we are singing two Christmas songs in Sacrament meeting, and then two at the ward party.  I don't want the kids to feel burned out from always practicing to perform so I thought I'd throw a little twist into our practice time this Sunday. While we will work on the songs for the programs, we will also "Seek Baby Jesus" while we do it.

I'd done the "Lost sheep" missionary singing time a few months back (scroll down for more on that one) and the kids loved it.  Unfortunately it had been a busy day in primary that day so we didn't get to do it very many times.  I thought I could revise that same activity and make it Christmas themed.

Here's the plan:

I have a cute little plush nativity (any nativity will work though).  I showed the kids the baby Jesus (unfortunately he'd gone missing the day before, thanks to my four-year old who loves to play with him-so I had to whip up a new one late Saturday night). :)

I began by telling the story of the wise men who came searching for the Savior.  While everyone knows that they used the star to help guide them, the herald angels also proclaimed his birth. 

I called up three kids to be the wise men.  Just for fun, I'd brought crowns for them to wear (Burger King is really good to give those out for free if you want a few).   The wise men were then instructed to leave the room.  After they left, someone hid the baby Jesus.  When the wise men returned to the room they had to listen to the herald angels (which will be the rest of the kids singing) to find him.

As they got closer to the hidden baby Jesus, the kids sang louder; quieter as they moved further away (same as the hot/cold game).  We repeated the song until the wise men found the Savior.  The nice thing about this is that it's repetitive singing so they were actually polishing the song but they didn't even realize it.  Practice makes perfect! :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The "Holiday Cheer" Experiment

A few days ago I was browsing Pinterest, looking for ideas for Advent calendars to count down the days to Christmas. The only thing is that I wanted there to be a purpose behind the calendar.  I didn't want to just give the kids a piece of candy each day.  I wanted there to be more of a focus on the spirit of Christmas and why we celebrate it.  Then I came across this awesome idea Light Em Up and decided that this was the perfect combination.  Christmas is about the Savior and he spent his whole life serving. That is the best way we can honor him and his birth.

My mother-in-law had commented the other day that everyone these days seem so down and unhappy.  While I hadn't made that observation personally, I tried really hard over the past few days to be more aware of the people around me. While I can't say that I had the same impression (maybe Georgian's are just really happy people), I did make a greater effort to be warm and friendly in my daily interactions.  Life is hard and everyone can use a little boost every now and then.  So anyway, when I saw this "Light Em Up" idea, I thought this was the perfect way to try and spread some holiday cheer in our community.  We talked about it as a family and everyone was excited to put the experiment to the test.
Here's how it works:

I made a fun label to attach to the jar (feel free to use it if you want to join in on the experiment-just right click the image and save it to your own computer. I sized it to about 4.5" x 4.75" but you can resize it to whatever size your jar is)

I printed out the labels from the above referenced website.  It has tons of fun ideas of acts of service you can do.  The nice thing is that they are all simple enough that they are doable.  Our weeknight schedule is pretty crazy so I needed the ideas to be simple.  I think the point of the experiment is not to do grand, elaborate things but simply to do SOMETHING. ANYTHING. After all, sometimes the little things are all it takes to turn someone's day around.

I attached one label to each candy cane in the jar (there are 25). Each morning before the kids head to school we will draw one of the candy canes out and whatever the label says, that will be our act of "service" for the day.  I figure if we pick it in the morning, that will give me ample time to prepare any items beforehand that may go along with the service, and help us to plan how much time we will need to set aside for the service, etc.

Below is just one cute idea of an act of service.  Another fun one was to go through your house and collect as much loose change as you can find.  Then go to the Salvation army ringer and drop it in their bucket.  I also threw a couple blank ones in there so that the kids could choose the act they wanted to do that day. 
After we've completed the act of service for the day, the kids will each get to pick a Hershey's kiss from the jar.  I lined the outside with the candy canes and filled the inside of the jar with the kisses.  That way they get a kiss for their act of kindness-both will make them feel good inside. :) 

I am so excited about this project and I think it will be a good way to help the family focus more on others this holiday-something that's hard to do sometimes when you get so caught up in the hustle and bustle.  Anyone care to join us in our "Holiday Cheer" experiment?