Wow, I never would have thought that Elf on the Shelf would become such a fun family tradition. Last year my kids were surprised when the Elf showed up at our house. They had seen her arrive at a few of their friend’s house earlier. When they found her at our house she was sitting on a book “the Elf on the Shelf”, we sat down and read the book right away. The girls named their newly discovered elf, Holly. Holly had fun hanging around the house last year in various places. She didn’t let the girls down when she showed up on December 1st of this year.
Here are a few places that the girls found Holly:
She was sneaking the candy out of the candy jar…She even ate a few.
Wrapped up in a jar of ornaments on the dinner table. The girls were super excited to share dinner with Holly.
Holly took Tiffany’s schoolwork out of her backpack and hid inside. Luckily, it was a Saturday morning when we discovered her there and she didn’t need her backpack for school.
Tiffany got a kick out of this one. How was she going to brush her teeth without touching Holly. Thank goodness Mom had another tooth brush.
This is one of my favorites: Holly having a marshmallow bath with her penguin friend. She was holding a flag that read “Hi Tiffany and Becca”
Sorry about the picture quality, didn’t know I would be using them as a blog post this year. I am so happy I am though!!!
Come back by next week to see some new places that the girls found Holly!!!
After the Holidays are over, do you ever have stuff left over that are too good to throw away but too big and bulky to store. This year I ran into that problem with the girls plastic trick or treat pumpkins. After all I do have 4 children now. The pumpkins were too big to fit into the Halloween bin. So they sat on the counter for a few weeks now when I told my youngest daughter Becca I think I’m just going to put them in the recycle bin. She got teary eyed and said “No, Mom we have to turn them into a craft!” Well, that got me thinking and I asked her what if we make SNOWMEN out of them. Becca smiled and said, “Let’s do it now Mom.” She is so cute.
What you need:
- 2 Plastic pumpkin
- 2 Small bucket
- White Spray Paint
- Hot glue gun
- Black Paint
- Black card stock
- Black Felt
First, we spray painted the pumpkins white. You could see a light hint of coloring under the snow if we didn’t paint the pumpkins.
Now, cut the snow to fit around the pumpkin and set aside until you’re ready to glue it to the pumpkins.
Then, added hot glue to the inside rim of the pumpkin.
Now, wrap the pumpkins in the snow pressing firmly against the hot glue. (Be careful may be hot) They should resemble snowballs now. Repeat, for the amount of snowballs you want to create. We wrapped a second layer of snow on the bottom snowball to create a bigger snowball. We used a small bucket to make the head.
Next, we hot glued the snowman together by putting a ring of hot glue around the top of the snowball.
The next thing we did was make a hat for one of our snowmen from a bucket that the girls had. First, we painted the bucket black. Then, we added a ring around the hat using construction paper. I also added a strip of red felt around the hat for added color.
I looked for a carrot to add as a nose but could not find one, so I used a snow cone cup, cut off the end and wrapped it in orange felt to create carrot like nose.
The finished Snowmen!
Who would have thought that a Halloween bucket would make such a cute Christmas decoration? Let your creativity flow and the skies are the limit.
Trying to get a family ready for a vacation can be grueling. This year my family decided that we would travel to see my Grandmother and Mom for Thanksgiving which is at least a nine hour car ride. This means traveling with six of us in one car and the kids are age 6, 3, and 19 month old twins. So many things come to mind when I think of what is need for the trip.
Here are a few recommendations that may help!
Getting organized is my first line of defense. Sit down and figure out what you need to take. I usually create four list; Clothing, Toiletries, Miscellaneous Things and Kid Stuff. Creating lists helps so you will not forget anything. I often make my list a week or two before my trips. This gives me the opportunity to add additional items or make a trip to the store if I needed before we leave.
Packing your luggage:
When you have a family of 6 you do not have a lot of extra space in the car. So remember when you are packing to fold or roll your items. Plan outfits that you can wear your shoes more than once with; shoes take up a lot of space. Pack you sock inside of your shoes to utilize wasted space. Take only clothes that are necessary. Having one extra outfit should be fine. When packing toiletries purchase smaller bottles or transfer some from your home bottles into smaller bottles. If you are traveling to a colder area pack a neutral coat that will go with multiple outfits, same with gloves and scarfs.
Packing the car:
Another challenge!!! Get ready to put your jig saw puzzle skills to practice! This is one of my favorite parts I like to think that I am good at this. The first thing I do is try to pack our clothing in luggage of the same size, it helps when stacking. Try to pack as much as possible in luggage or boxes. Having bags makes it hard to stack. Pillows and blanks I usually place next to the girls so that they can use them if they get sleepy on the long ride.
Keeping the Kiddos happy:
Movies… We are lucky enough to have a DVD player in the car so we pack several of the kids favorite movie and we get hours of fun. Pack some popcorn and a few little bowls and the kids will feel like they are at a movie theater.
Snacks…you don’t always want to stop when the kid get antsy or hungry. Having a little something for them to snack on will help. You might have to break the rule of no eating in the car when you take a long road trip.
I have trays in the car for my oldest girls so that they can color, do puzzles, write or read books on. I purchased these trays at Michael Craft Store for only $6.00 and don’t forget to use your coupon for added discounts. For the little ones bring lap toys for them to play with too.
Pull over and let the kiddos run around for a while. We found that even if you just take 15 to 20 minutes they become happy riders!
Hopefully, this gives you a few tips to help you get ready for your next trip. Happy traveling from my family to yours!
Thanksgiving is definitely the time of year that I reflect back on all the things that I am Thankful for. I will have to start with My HUSBAND, I couldn’t ask for a better man. He works hard every day to provide for our family. He is everything I could have ever dreamed of and more. He is the one I turn to in time of need and he is always there to listen. He is a fantastic father. He holds the key to my heart and my love forever.
My FAMILY; I am one lucky mommy with four beautiful little girls that seem to amaze me each and every day. They are so caring and loving to each other as well as others. They teach me something new every day. They bring the best out of me. I love them to the moon and back.
My PARENTS and IN-LAWS; I am thankful for all the love and support they give my family. Their unconditional love is overwhelming. They are amazing Grandparents to my children. I love them all so much.
My FRIENDS; Not many people can say they have friends like mine. We are all so different, but yet have a bond that will never be broken. Thank you for all your love, support, and tears of support that we have shared. You are all amazing.
My BROTHERS; Times are getting busy and our children’s lives are making our lives even busier, but I am thankful each and every day that I wake up and know that they are always there for my family and me. We have not gotten together much this year but I love you just as much as always.
I am thankful for the chance to blog and do something that I enjoy doing and all of the individuals that check my post out!
I am thankful every day that I wake up and get to continue on my lifes journey. I am thankful for so many things. I hope that each and every one of you has a chance to live a life full of things to be thankful for too.
Please have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your day.
Thanksgiving is almost here! I thought I would do a little round up on the Thanksgiving things we made this year. Many of them are so simply that they can still be done before Thanksgiving.
Chocolate Thanksgiving Turkey’s: This one is very easy, fun to do with kids and makes a great decoration for the Kids table. Actually, Adults love them too.
Thanksgiving Decorations: Stop by here and check out a few ideas for decorating your home. It’s still not too late to add a few flags to the home to help it feel festive.
Thanksgiving Center Pieces: This is an inexpensive center piece done by Nathalie that can be thrown together when you find out that you have extra guest coming for dinner and need to add a table quick.
Glittered Pumpkins and Gourds: This project is actually a lot faster than it sounds and not very messy…Stop on by and check out the step by step how to.
I hope you enjoyed all the Thanksgiving projects we did this year. We had so much fun doing them and letting our creativity run wild.
Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving Day from Simply Creative Ways.
As a Mom, I am always trying to find something fun for the kids to do that is inexpensive. Crafting with them is often a great solution. Since, Christmas is approaching fast, I figured doing a Christmas craft would be fun. I had a few toilet paper rolls lying around and thought we could cut them up and make a Christmas Garland. Tiffany was so excited to begin.
The following was written and instructed by Tiffany Hostetler age 6.
What you need:
* Toilet Paper Rolls
* Card stock
* Cookie cutters for tracing
* Glue Gun
We collected toilet paper rolls. Then, we cut triangles on the sides.
Next, we painted them.
Then, we added glue.
Then, we added glitter.
Next, we traced cookie cutters. Then, we cut them out and added glitter glue and gems.
Then, we put a string through the toilet paper. Next, we glued our now candy pieces to the string.
Then, we hung the garland. We can’t decide between the fireplace or a Christmas tree.
You will have so much fun doing this fun craft.
Once again, Tiffany has done a fantastic job making and writing her blog. This craft is easy to do for all ages. Not to mention it didn’t cost anything to make. Most of the supplies can be found at home. We hope that this gives your families some ideas to make a fun garland to hang around the house for Christmas.
Every year we buy the advent calendars with the little chocolate inside for the girls. This year I was thinking that I would have to get four of them. I guess I could make them share but that just causes too much aggravation in the mornings. So I figured I can make one, one that is big enough to fit something small in it for all of the girls. It will not always have to be candy either!!! I went to Michaels’ and looked around and decided to make a wreath. Then, as I was placing the boxes on the counter to see placement I realized that a Christmas tree would look good.
What you need:
- 24 containers/ boxes
- Mounting board
- E6000 glue
First, I placed all the boxes on the mounting board to see placement. I figured that I need a space between the columns of boxes so the lids can be remove.
Once, I figured out how I wanted them, I removed the boxes and flipped the mounting board over and repositioned the boxes. It was easier to see the pencil marks on the white verses the green. Then, I traced the end box of each row for a cutting guide.
Next, I connected the edges to create my tree to cut out.
Then, I cut out the tree. It does not have to be perfect because the boxes can hang over on the back side if needed.
Now, I placed all the boxes back on the tree to make sure they lined up correctly.
Then, I removed one row at a time and added glue to the back of the boxes and placed them back on the tree. I used E6000 because it dries slow, giving me the ability to reposition the boxes if needed.
We added small black numbers to various places on each box numbering 1-24.
Once, all the boxes were in place and the glue is dry you can add the goodies to each box.
I know the girls will be excited every day to do the Advent Calendar and see what goodies are inside. I plan on filling the boxes with rings, necklaces, bracelets, candy, lip gloss and anything else I can find. Some days it might be something for them to share or it might have four, one for each of them. I will also put in a few handmade coupons for an extra book at bed time, Icee after school, special 30 minutes alone time with mom or dad, etc.
Planting a garden has so many benefits! Spending Quality Time with family, my youngest daughters enjoyed playing in the dirt while my older daughters loved digging the holes and helping plant the seedlings. Having Fresh Organic Food, I love knowing that no chemicals are being used on the food we consume. A Learning Lesson for your kids, teaching the importance of our land and how to grow food for their future. This year we got a late start to our Fall garden so instead of planting seeds we purchased some seedlings. This is a first for us, so we can’t wait to see how they grow.
The first thing we did was remove all the remains, dead or wilting vegetables from our last garden, loosen the soil and then add some new mulch.
Then, we dugs some holes.
Next, we loosened the roots of the seedlings, placed the seedlings in the holes and covered the roots with soil. Be sure to pack the seedlings down well.
We place the stake that comes with the vegetables telling us their name and instructions next to the seedlings.
We continued this until we planted all the seedlings.
The last thing we planted was Sweet Peas; we placed them in front of an old gate that we added to the head of our garden. We will be able to wrap the sweet peas around the gate as they grow an eventually they will continue to climb up the gate on their own.
Final, we added a few signs, watered and we are ready for them to grow.
After planting the garden we took a walk around the yard to see how a few fruit tree were doing and our artichoke plant.
The girls were so excited that they got to pick an apple for them and their sisters to eat from the tree. Gardening can be so much fun for the whole family and the rewards are priceless!
Since, our home is already decorated for fall, transitioning into Thanksgiving is very easy. We left most of the FAll decorations up but added a few of the traditional Thanksgiving symbols. We added Pilgrams, Turkeys, Scarecrows,Holiday Flags, Pumpkins and Gourds.
When you walk up to our home you are greeted with a Happy Thanksgiving Sign and a Scarecrow that we add to a potted plant.
We placed a larger Scarecrow in another potted plant by the brick chimney.
We added a Happy Harvest sign to a fountain.
We placed a flag with a Turkey to the mail box and a leaf garland.
We placed two addition flags around the yard.
Now, lets move inside. We placed two Pilgrims’ in a window seal with some hay, pumpkins, glitter pumpkin and gourds and a ceramic turkey.
We also placed some of the Glitter Pumpkins and Gourds into vases and stacks around the house.
We found this great sign that we placed on our window seal with a little scarecrow.
We added a few hand decorative towels to complete our decorating.
Thanksgiving is the time of year when we should GIVING THANKS for who we have in our lives and what we have. I would like to say that I am very thankful for my family. I have a wonderful husband and four fantastic little girls. I have an extended family that I can count on always and love to death. I have the most amazing friend in the world. I am thankful for the life that has been placed before me and the journeys that I have yet to come across. I am thankful to Dinah for pushing me to write a blog and do things I have a true love for. I have so much to be thankful for and I feel very blessed for all I have in life.
I love having crafty friends. My Friend Nathalie is a self-proclaimed DIYer and has confessed to having a small addiction to Pinterest. I think most of us crafters do. Pinterest definitely help with getting the creative juices flowing. Natalie decided to make a Thanksgiving Center Piece for her kitchen table. The nice thing about this center piece is that it can be left out for the entire Fall/Autumn Season.
With a little creativity and a trip to Michael’s Craft Store, Nathalie was able to make her beautiful center piece for very little money. She reused some flower vases and candles she had around the house. She found pinecones when she was out and about with her children. She had and old sunflower arrangement at the house that she was able to cut up and reuse them on the centerpiece. At the trip to Michael’s Craft Store she purchased some burlap and a $2.oo bag of tiny pumpkins. So as you can see this is definitely a budget friendly project!
Nathalie, placed the candles in the vases and surrounded them with the mini pumpkins and pinecones. Next, she tied the burlap around the base and added the flowers. Then, she arranged them on her table. Here are a few pictures of how her center piece turned out!
Nathalie, Thank you for taking the time to share your fantastic center pieces with us. I’m sure your family will be enjoying them during this holiday season.