Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snow Days

I'm a homebody.  Through and through.  I could go days without leaving the house or seeing anyone else and I'd be okay.  Not that I don't love my friends, my job, going out to eat, going to Target, heading to church, even grocery shopping I don't mind…..but I really crave being home.  And when we have days here in Michigan like we had today; beautiful soft snow falling ALL day long…..I'm thrilled to be home.

I picked Georgia up from school, we came home and had mac and cheese, watched a movie (which is code for I took a nap), made Christmas ornaments, painted toenails, baked cookies, played in the snow, and just loved being right here.  At home.  I'm storing these days away. They are good to draw on in the midst of crazy, frustrating, too much going on, and hard stuff.

First, a little DIY Christmas ornament.  I take zero credit for this idea.  Zero.  One of my favorite bloggers DIY'd it last year (I couldn't find the actual post) and I took a screen shot of it and stored it away in my DIY folder for another day.  That day was today.  And remember--this is straight from Ms. (creative) Hampton.  Visit her inspirational blog if you haven't already!

Water color paints (you must use Prang paints--best watercolors for kids around), random glitter, empty Christmas ornaments that are made to fill (mine are from Michael's ), tacky glue, paintbrushes, and other fun stuff that will fit into the ornaments to create a scene.

Have your little artist draw something; we stuck with animals and girls. I drew a box on white paper for her and told her to keep the drawing inside the box so I could be sure it'd fit inside the ornaments.  Then….she painted.  Which is her favorite thing to do on the face of the planet (besides eat mac and cheese).

Cut them out after they've dried, marvel at them (I mean--the girl with the blue hair?  LOVE.), and be sure to flip them over and date them so you'll always know when they were made.

Then, paint the back with the tacky glue (it will dry clear).  Next, carefully roll the little picture up, glue side in, and gently slide it into the ornament. 

Once it's inside, maneuver it around with a finger or the end of a paintbrush until it's in the right spot.  You'll want it a ways away from the bottom so you can fill it with some fake snow or glitter and still see the bottom of the picture.  Press the picture firmly against the back of the ornament with the end of something flat until it's secure.  My ornaments aren't round--they're the smashed looking ones so they have a flat back.  

Create a funnel and dump in some fake snow, blue glitter for water (we made a mermaid too), white glitter for a different take on snow, or whatever you want really.

I also put some wintery sticks in our snow scene ornaments and some little shells in our mermaid ornaments.

Use a sparkly pipe cleaner as the "ribbon" to hang your ornament with.

Hang 'em on your tree and admire the cuteness.

And a few shots from playing in the snow today.  It was so beautiful and we stayed out a long time.  It got dark, I knew dinner was way over-baking, and I didn't care.  We've got a nice start on a snow fort for tomorrow and sometimes that's more important than perfectly baked spaghetti.

And P.S…..to keep it real…..there were plenty of little fits, talks about following directions, a time out, and some counts to ten to get it together today.  Even "perfect" days are "typical."  Right?

If you're up north my way……stay warm tonight.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Adoption Blog Carnival

I'm part of this incredibly supportive group on Facebook--all bloggers who are adoptive parents and/or waiting adoptive parents.  The network of support that has been created through this group is invaluable.  If I have a question….."how did you handle this?………"am I thinking about this the right way?……….."what did you do when?………..I can post it to this group and get idea after idea from people who've been there, done that, are living it, and letting it change who they are.  

This week I'm hosting our groups weekly adoption blog carnival.  Those who want to, submit articles that they've written in the last two weeks about adoption, giving us all the chance to read them from one place.  If you're new to the adoption blog carnival take a minute to check out some adoption bloggers that you might not know about……..

The first one comes from The Cork Board. In "2013, A Day in the Life of Us," Melissa writes about a day in the life with six home-schooled kids…..four from hard places.

The second one comes from Made in China, With Love.   Updated Stats…and the Truth  gives baby updates and details about their special needs.

And finally, Susan writes about her favorite role as an adoptive mom--their #1 fan with a backstage pass to their hearts.

So take a look around and throw these great ladies some blog love.  If you'd like to share one of their posts (or this post) on Facebook or Twitter make sure to use the tag #adoptiveblogcarnival.

And if you're interested in submitting your own post for our next adoption blog carnival please do so by following this link!  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving in Pictures

We're appropriately wrapping up a crazy holiday weekend with naps in front of football games, turkey and rice soup simmering on the stove, and one very tired little girl upstairs having a quiet time.  Hope your weekend was as satisfying as ours was.  A few pictures…………

You really shouldn't judge unless you try it.  Nothing, nothing, nothing gets your turkey perfectly browned and crispy in all the right spots like a blow torch.  I promise.  And while you're at it--you could spot treat a stain.  

Growing up, breaking the wishbone was a tradition not to be missed.  Since I boiled the turkey remains this year to make home-made stock (that's right….I did….and I'm pretty proud of myself) I found the wishbone and had Georgia break it with me.  Like I'm supposed to as her mom, I let her win.  She got the biggest half and is convinced her wish for a bunny will come true.  I spent way too many years with a rabbit in my classroom to grant that one.  Dirtiest animals ever.

On Saturday we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with Chris's family since his grand-parents leave for Florida for the winter this week.  There are a crazy amount of grand-kids and cousins.  But that kind of chaos has fun written all over it for little kids.  

And now……
We enter into the best month of the year.  I wish the Christmas season was two months long.  It would give you plenty of time to soak up all of the get-togethers, cozy nights at home, Christmas movies, cookie exchanges, school concerts, church events, dinners with friends, family game nights, and all the other good stuff without feeling too rushed.  But alas…..it's not.  And with only three weeks between Thanksgiving and the kick-off to Christmas week we have a lot of fantastic to pack in!  I'm up for the challenge.  I finally got a white Christmas tree this year.  I've been dreaming of one for a while! 

And we opened our first advent box this morning.  Something about advent calendars makes me nostalgic for growing up.  I'll always love them. 

Happy December 1st!  

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