Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wrapping Up Christmas

I think I found all of Christmas and boxed it up.  No doubt I’ll find a towel in the laundry or a jingle bell hidden in a couch cushion next week. For now though, Christmas is put away.  It’s always bitter-sweet putting away the trappings of the holiday season.  I love decorating everything.


I won’t miss Meap, the Claw Kitten ransacking the Christmas tree or leaving scratch marks on my reindeer.


I won’t miss her derailing the Christmas train either.


But I will miss her sleeping in the manger.


And I’m already planning for next year.  I’ve pulled out my Christmas Planner only to discover the web hosting site where I stored all the pages went down.  I’ll try and find a way to post them again.  I love what Organized Christmas does.  They have a Rudolf Club that works on Christmas on the 25th of every month of the year.  I’d love to do that this year.  So every 25th I’m hoping to get one step closer to a more relaxing season next year.  I’ll probably follow my own schedule.  So far I’m planning on May being my Power Tool Present Fest.

This Christmas was probably my most relaxing so far.  Mainly because I turned it all over to Prince Erik and my Angel Mom.  I’ve been recovering from surgery.  Nothing tramatic, my plumbing just needed upgrading after 6 kids.  So why not have it in the busiest month of the year?  I like doing things that defy reason.  But, it needed to be done and I’m sure blessed to have such a Knight in Shining Armor Guy for my husband.  Double Bonus is that he cooks and he’s good at it too.  I’m a lucky girl.


And special thanks to my Mom who braved a winter blizzard to come stay with me for a week and chase all my wild herd from one Christmas activity to another.  I owe her big time.


So I’m planning away for next year with all the excitement of a child on Christmas Eve.  I’m sure it will be here before I know it.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Lights Bingo

Every year, usually the Sunday before Christmas, we take our family on a drive around town to view the beautiful Christmas lights.


Having a large herd of kids, there tends to always be one or two who just don’t have the patience the rest of us have.  So a couple of years ago my husband started rattling off Christmas objects for the kids to keep their eyes peeled for. That helped them enjoy the ride a bit more. 

This year we made them a little Christmas Lights Bingo Page.  I’ll try and link them soon.


I printed them out and glued them to a colored piece of cardstock, then laminated the sheets.

They loved them.  I let them use dry erase markers to cross off the Christmas objects that they did spy.   And the teenagers were just as engaged with our Christmas lights adventure as my little ones.


Viewing the Christmas lights was never more enjoyable.

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When we got home we used a little magic eraser and wiped our  bingo sheets clean.  That way we won’t have to create them again next year.  I’ll just slip them in my Christmas planner and they will be ready to go the next time we take a light adventure. 



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Every time a bell rings…

It took us two days to talk with our kids about Newport, Connecticut.  Two days of only watching TV when they were not. Two days of reading statements from the experts ranging from our local school district, from online new sources, and friends on Facebook.  But it wasn’t until I read what Kathryn at Daring Young Mom Posted Here, that we finally knew how we were going to talk to our kids about this. Thank you Kathryn.  You said what I needed to hear as well.

My mom happened to be with us when all of this happened and we were reminiscing about how in the olden days people hung mourning wreaths on their door when a loved one passed.  Now a dark and dreary wreath isn’t too helpful.  It might encapsulate the somber feelings and hopelessness that accompanies such tragedies, but I can’t live in that state of mind without sinking into depression.  Then this movie came to mind.

wondergful life bell

‘Every time a bell rings an angel gets their wings…’

And seeing how there are a couple dozen/plus new angels in heaven we thought we’d combine Kathryn’s thoughts with bells.

Kathryn mentioned that we can do something.  We can fight darkness and despair with light.  For every act of evil or frustration that threatens to pull us down we can counter this darkness with light and love.  The key word is ACT – Do Something.  Smile, lift those around you that are down, render service to those in need.  Might I add reach out with kindness to those who are alone or struggling.

Being Christmas time I happened to have enough bells laying around that I could make a little wreath.  I put a bell on a simple string representing each of the victims of this latest act of evil.  Sparkly silver for the kids and pink for the adult women.  I’m no great wreath maker.  I strung the bells on a string and then wrapped the string around a wire hoop.  Then, I wrapped the wire with ribbon to hide the string.  It’s simple, but now we can remember those newest angels.


Our family wrote down the names of all the victims and committed to do an act of service or reach out with love in honor of each of them.  And every time we do we will jingle our little bell wreath.  Yes, I know a bright jingle bell wreath can’t take away the hurt and heartbreak that comes with such tragedies.  But our family is choosing to make the world a better place in honor of those lives lost.  We are choosing to act with love and light.

Little Hope came home from her first day of school after the weekend and the first thing she did was reach up and ring the bells. 

“Mom, guess what, I choose to make the world better today.’ she told me as she jingled the bells.  ‘I was kind to a kid at school that was feeling bad.’  

Thank you Hope.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Up a tree but still moving

I’ve been meaning to pick up the blog pen again, for quite a while now.  There is, of course, so many wonderful, and not so wonderful things I could tell you about that happened over the course of my absence, but I feel it would be best to start with the here and now.  Sometimes the past can hold you back, and sadly all the things I’ve been meaning to tell you about have held me back from letting you into my wild and crazy life now.

So I’m back. Wild and Crazy as Ever.

Thought now would be as good a time as any to introduce you to the newest member of our herd.   Last year Pumpkin, our Ninja Kitty disappeared.  We’d like to think his stealthy moves led him on a secret adventure to someone else’s home and that he didn’t meet his demise at the jaws of a ferocious beast in the wild.  But none the less, Pumpkin is no longer with us.  And missing our mouser led to this wild and crazy fuzz ball joining our family.

Meet Meap.  The furriest pouncer on the planet.  Miss Meap, is such a wildly active little feline we’ve had to rework the whole ankle bitter definition. Yes, she really does bit ankles.


Nothing is safe from her curiosity.  This wild and crazy kitty has done more damage to breakables in my home than all my kids combined.  Within five minutes of putting up the Christmas tree here is what she did.  Then she proceeded to stay there for another two hours and would pounce on ornaments the second we hung them on the tree. 

So, in an effort to protect memorable family ornaments, we did something we never had to do with our toddlers.  We placed the tree in a alcove above our stairs.


The kids were digging the adventure of decorating the tree from the top of a ladder.

Our newest tradition this year is our 25 Days of Christ Advent Ornaments. The sweetest lady designed this and sold out this year but when she picks it up again next year I’m going to get more for family and friends.  Here’s her website.

I made some little bags to hold my 25 ornaments.  I used a scrap sheet and some leftover blue fabric that I had laying around in my craft room.  The numbers happened thanks to t-shirt printable that you can print on your printer.  Iron the numbers onto your fabric and your done. Then I hung them on twine with clothes pegs on my fireplace mantle. 


I thought of hanging little snowflakes on the bags.  Next year, maybe.  Love them.


It’s good to be back.