Monday, November 30, 2009

December daily journal

A December daily journal is an album that documents the month of December leading up to Christmas day (and sometimes beyond). It is a chance to reflect, to share, to celebrate the season in a manageable, in-the-moment way. Click here to go to  Ali's blog to see how to put one together.

You can start planning some family fun activities to put in your December daily journal. Some things might include baking cookies, going sledding, ornament making, caroling, hosting a gift exchange, buying gifts for the needy, making gifts, decorating the house etc.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting ready for Christmas

At an Organized Christmas I found lots of planning sheets to organize the different aspects of preparing for the season. Go ahead and get a cute binder to put these handy planning sheets in. There are a lot to choose from. Don't overwhelm yourself and try to do them all. Pick a few. You may want a Christmas calendar or a master gift list to help you plan your gift giving. How about a little help planning that perfect holiday meal? The Houseworks Holiday Planner has it all.

If your house is a complete wreck, and you just don't know how you are going to pull off Christmas this year. Let alone an edible Christmas dinner and perfectly stacked presents under the tree by Christmas eve. You dream of sugar plum fairies coming to clean your house, while you bake delicious cookies listening to Swan Lake. The nutcracker twirls you around your perfectly decorated and blissfully lit tree. Try the Holiday Grand Plan. It's for you.

Still not enough? If you like to think about Christmas all year long, you can join the Rudolph club. The Rudolph club encourages you to take the 25th day of each month and dedicate it to getting your house in order for Christmas. Only for the serious at heart.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Advent Calendar Round-up

If you are wanting to have an advent calendar this year, some of them take a little preparation. You can buy a pre-made one, or make one yourself.  The celebration of Advent is a wonderful time as a family, preparing for Dec. 25th as you count down the days until the coming of Christ.  It helps you focus on the meaning of this season as you think about the coming of our Savior daily.

Crafty mom has an Advent calendar round-up with several choice finds.

Elizabeth's fabric advent calendar is beautiful, and would be a keepsake for any traditional family.

You can wrap little boxes like this advent calendar, with ideas of things to do each day together as a family.  Get out the wrapping paper!

How about an advent calendar out of matchboxes?  This one wouldn't be hard to make.

We use a Jesse Tree for our advent celebration.  You can see our mini tree filled with 25 hand made ornaments that we used last year and are getting set-up to use this year again.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Please enjoy one of my favorite George Winston songs on this blessed day. I hope you are enjoying all of life's splendor today.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Skits

Try your hand at some family skits this Turkey day. These were selected with young children in mind. I hope you enjoy!

The Ugly Turkey - You can probably guess that this is a thanksgiving rendition of the ugly duckling.

The Meal Must Go On - A comedy in which the different foods at the thanksgiving table argue about which is most important.

Thanksgiving Day - A play for a large group of people to perform/read about the first thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day - Another play about the pilgrims first thanksgiving, this one is for younger children.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Quotes

He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart
:: J. A. Shedd ::

Let us remember that, as much has been given us,
much will be expected from us,
and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips,
and shows itself in deeds.
::Theodore Roosevelt::

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise;
be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good...
::Psalm 100:4::

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues,
but the parent of all the others.

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men;
but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.

::E.P. Powell::

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget
that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,
but to live by them.

::John Fitzgerald Kennedy::

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year;
to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.

::Edward Sandford Martin::

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Monday, November 23, 2009

thanksgiving links


Look what I found while looking for some new family traditions to add to Thanksgiving.

At 400 Things, you will find a way to preserve Thanksgiving memories. What are you thankful for? This idea gives you a way to hold onto the thankfulness.

Do you need some tried and true recipes for your Thanksgiving table? How about you look at Homesteaders Heart's e-book. I know I want to try the cranberry salsa and mom's sweet potatoes.

This is a sweet little treasure, a hand-made give thanks countdown chart. I love this. I want to use this every month.

For you awesome crafty moms, here is some last minute Autumn decor to grace your thanksgiving day front door and table. I'm going to start making the paper loop wreath today.

Stop by my family blog to get some ideas to do with the little 'uns, like learning to talk like a pilgrim and reading the mayflower compact.

And, if you just can't wait until Christmas, then go ahead and make your countdown chain like His Mercy is New made for her kids that are just giddy about Christmas!

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5 Holiday Snags

{{adorable legwarmers can be purchased from Small Packages :: felt acorns can be found at Fairy Folk :: original woodburned gourds from Natalies Kreations :: handsewn purse sewn by Sinem Inugur :: statement necklaces crafted by Cardinal House}}

If I had extra money to spare I'd love to snag these 5 things from Etsy. I thought I'd share them with you today.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving fortune cookies

Don't you just want to make these? Well, you can. Thanks to Amanda at Kind Over Matter. She's created a free pdf file for you to download and instructions on how to make these adorable fortune cookies.

Print the fortune cookie pdf and follow the tutorial to make these fun, whimsical decorations for your Thanksgiving table.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Turkey luminaries

photo courtesy of Family Fun magazine

Enjoy a simple craft of turkey luminaries. Remember to use battery operated candles so that you don't inadvertently start a fire. Cut a circle out of the side of a bag, and glue down triangles of tissue paper across the opening. Cut the shape of a turkey body out and glue it on top. So simple, and so cute!

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Friday, November 20, 2009

A modest thanksgiving budget

photo by Sheryl Julian

Are you making Thanksgiving at your house this year, and wondering how on earth you are going to pay for it? Try this link for making a smashing Thanksgiving meal for 8, for $100.

If you are looking for a modest affordable feast this Thanksgiving, you don't want to miss this.

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Thanksgiving Place-mat Craft

I love new ways to bring memories to Thanksgiving. When I saw this idea in a magazine to make place-mats, with a twist, I thought it would be a nice addition to our table this year. The making of the mats has been time well-spent and I think they will be treasured by their new owners as a thoughtful gift.
The idea behind this place-mat is that the guests have to read the words on the place-mat and decide which one describes them, before they can sit down in the chair. Of course, the names are on the back if there are any complications. These are a wonderful keepsake to use the rest of the year. But, I thought they were more original then place cards.
First, I made a questionnaire that each person who was coming to our Thanksgiving table had to fill out. Here are the questions that I came up with, but you can certainly make up your own:
  • I collect....
  • I'm grateful for....
  • I admire....
  • My favorite books and movies are....
  • When I grow up I want to....(yes, this is for adults too)
  • In my free time I like to....
  • Other interesting tidbits about me are....

Next, I collected some appropriate scrap-booking card stock for each guest. I got some themes for the children and some for the adults. You need the big square sheets, one per person, as the actual place-mat and several color coordinated papers for decoration.
Then I collected the questionnaires from everyone and opened up a program on my computer that has a great selection of fonts. I typed in one or two word answers, each in a different font. You can certainly use the same font, but that's not my style. It's important to pick one or two words instead of whole sentences because of the nature of the layout.
After cutting out the words, I gave a set of words and papers to my children to cut out background paper for each word and glue the words down on the place-mat. We completed approx 4 per hour. But, we also had lots of snacks and giggling going on to!
Finally, I took the place-mats to get laminated so that they will last longer, and the guests can take them home with them as mementos of Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving craft as much as we did.

This article was originally published on Mentoring Moments , November 2009.