Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Happy Valentine's Day

Posted on: February 14th, 2013 by ssteinruck No Comments

I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day. I'll just put that out there. We (should) show love to others every day. Right? But the kids still have Valentine's parties at school and exchange cards/candy with their classmates. This morning, I led groups of 3rd graders in this craft:

source: http://spoonful.com/crafts/jolly-lollies

Most kids chose to do the mustache. Interesting. Mustaches are "in" apparently. We also did a version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Only  it was Put the Lips on Mrs. Valentine. Silliness! They loved it, and should be on a nice sugar high when they come off the bus today.

The Bear only has 5 other kids in her sweet preschool class. So we got each of them a little red bucket from the dollar spot at Target and filled it with treats. Of course, I put each child's name on the bucket with my fabulous Silhouette.

And, since it's taken me all day to actually finish this post, due to countless interruptions, I can confirm the after-school sugar high. And now we wait for the crash! Happy Valentine's Day ya'll!

 

 

Christmas Recap

Posted on: December 30th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

Did you miss me? I thought since the kids were off school for Christmas, I'd take a break too. So here's a quick recap of part of our Christmas morning. The kids were too busy to pose for us in front of the tree, but I'll take what I can get.

The big kids got those craft loops to use with looms and make potholders. I think I have a drawer full of them now. They've been busy!

Bud got a cool remote control truck. The dog loves that. And so far, it's not broken. Amazing! The big kids also got IPod Shuffles (as shown in the back of the truck.) So now, they can listen to music that we approved. I'm not sure the headphones will come off for a few days, until the novelty wears off. (It's been so quiet at our house!)

One of my favorite traditions that I married into is the Christmas Morning Danish Kringle. We only ordered 2, but by the miracle of Christmas, we were shipped 4. Cherry, Apple, Cream Cheese, and - my all time favorite - Raspberry.

See that? Is your mouth watering? Here's a picture of the package, in case you'd like to start the tradition in your family.

They know how to make Christmas morning wonderful.

Neighbor Gifts

Posted on: December 24th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

We are so blessed to live in a neighborhood where we actually know (and love!) our neighbors. Our street pretty much rocks. We are those people who are always having cul-de-sac parties in the summer. I've borrowed eggs and rang doorbells late at night knowing we'd be welcomed with open arms. So I like to do a little something for each of my fabulous neighbors at Christmas.

This year we made chocolate covered pretzel rods with sprinkles. The Bear and I worked together and made 9 little goody bags. I made a simple tag and the girls walked from house to house delivering the treats.

In years past, I've done jars of Christmas Tea, Gingerbread Men, and Peppermint Bark. We have received everything from sampler cookie plates and hot chocolate, to sparkling apple juice. What do you do for your neighbors?

 

Three Little Bakers

Posted on: December 22nd, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

On the first day of Christmas break my three loves helped me bake gingerbread men.

They got silly and mostly played with the dough while I attempted to work with what ended up being very dry crumbly dough. (Where did I go wrong - more molasses maybe?) They liked getting messy and sneaking nibbles of dough - which by the way, does not have eggs, so it's ok to eat raw, in case you wondered. It's actually quite good, and if we hadn't baked today we might not have had any dough left in the fridge!

After struggling to roll it out smooth and cut out the little men, I gave up and we just started making gingerbread blobs and squares instead. Bud wanted to make a dog. Girly wanted to make a girl. And the Bear just wanted me to keep sprinkling "sugar" on her little pile, which was really flour. (She calls most white things that can sprinkle sugar - like Parmesan cheese and salt.) They totally didn't care how it looked, and neither did I.

When the gingerbread men came out of the oven and onto the cookie rack, they looked like they had just returned from battle. Some of them just plain didn't make it. Limbs were missing. Some heads too. And any that were actually in tact were dry and cracked like mud baked in the sun.

But. They still tasted great. Just like the dough. Only warm! Obviously, I am not a stickler for perfection, especially when it comes to doing anything with my kids. Why set myself up for failure?

But I have yet to celebrate a Christmas without gingerbread men - or gingerbread whatever.

 

 

Decking the Halls

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

With Christmas less than a week away, I thought I'd show you some Christmas decorations around our home. With 3 young kids we don't do anything terribly elaborate or breakable. Just about everything we have out gets handled by little hands, so if there's something I'd but upset about breaking, I don't use it. That's probably why my fine china has been kept safely in the cabinet for 10 years.

Over the years, we've been given various pieces of the Willow Tree Nativity. It's probably my favorite thing to put out each year. I started to put in on our sofa table, but then I had visions of the dog grabbing a wise man and chewing him to pieces. So the Nativity went on top of the TV cabinet, safe from the dog and kids. Mr. Helpful designed, built, and crackle-painted a custom creche a few years ago. We put lights behind it so the cut out star actually "shines".

I just realized that the 3rd wise man is hidden behind the 2nd wise man. He's back there.

The mantel is often the focal point of the room. Ours is pretty basic. A large mirror leans against the wall. Maybe someday we will actually hang it on the wall, but for now, it's leaning. Two mini-trees laced with cranberry beads cap off the ends. My mother-in-law made each of the stockings with our names embroidered on them. The stocking holders spell PEACE, which is ironic since there's not usually much peace to be found with kids' excitement for Christmas! But it was the only word I found with 5 letters. They should make one that says CRAZY. It's not very Christmasy, but it definitely describes my house this time of year. My only complaint about them is that they fall with the slightest pull on the stocking. So once Santa fills them, they will likely need to lay on the floor.

The tree sits in the corner with all kinds of non-coordinating ornaments. My family gave us an ornament shower when we got engaged, which gave us a great start to our collection. Many are handmade by our kids - some made by me when I was a kid!

In the other corner of the room I have wrapped presents that are really just empty boxes that I wrapped for decoration several years ago. But every year, the kids want to open them. Go figure. Some presents need to be replaced - they moved with us and spend most of the year packed up in the garage. They sit on top of our very classy piece of furniture: the dog crate. I made a custom cover for it, so it's not as bad as it once was. It's tucked in the corner out of the way, but I've never been real sure how to incorporate it into the room when it's not Christmas.

And that's our family room. All decked out. More Christmas stuff coming up this week! Have a great Monday!

Feather Boa Wreath

Posted on: December 5th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

So I saw this idea on Pinterest. Don't you love when I start like that? Hey, at least I'm trying to make the things I see on there.

Christmas wreaths have traditionally been made up of some sort of greenery. But I wanted to try something different this year. So I went with the white feather boa and foam pipe insulation. The foam stuff is cheap (found mine at HD) and you can create any size you want. But the first time I tried a wreath with the foam, it ended up bending and kinking and looking not-so-circular.

Then I found the solution. On Pinterest. (No, I'm not getting paid to promote Pinterest. I just love it!) (But if you'd like to pay me, please contact me!) Ha!

The foam insulation has a slit down one side that you can pull/cut open. The genius of Gail at Gail Made realized that if you open up that slit, and tuck one side into the other, it allows the diameter of the inside of the circle to be less than that of the outside, since the slit lets the foam slide a little to...um...make it work. Whatever. It works!

Because my boa is white, I needed to cover the grey foam so it wouldn't show through. So I took a long sleeve white shirt that had been retired, and used the sleeves to make sleeves for the foam. It took three tube sleeves to cover the grey entirely.

Then I used clear packing tape to secure the ends of the foam together to form a circle.

I positioned the white sleeves around and overlapped them slightly so grey would not show through. I taped the overlaps to hold it in place.

The boa was easy to wrap around. I used two six-foot long boas from Michaels. I could have used more, but I only had 2, so I made it work. This is where the white sleeves came in real handy since there are some gaps in the feathers. But you'd never know it since it's white underneath too.

Once I had it wrapped all around, I showed Mr. Helpful. His first comment was that it looked like something from Victoria Secret. Nice honey. Not at all what I was going for.

So in an effort to make the wreath less...um...sexy...and more festive for Christmas, I added some red ornaments that I had in our ornament box. I just poked the wire through and stuck it into the foam.

He doesn't like it. His hesitation to comment said it all. Oh well. I like it. I think it's cute and fun and something totally unlike most of our more traditional holiday decor.

I should totally put a feather boa in Mr. Helpful's stocking. Wink wink, honey.

 

Christmas Wish Lists

Posted on: November 29th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

It seems like once the turkey is off the table and the parade has passed, there's a race to Christmas. Most of our neighbors have Christmas decorations up. We still have pumpkins on our porch. Keeping up with the Jones' is tough. No, really, the Jones family lives on the corner and they are already fully decorated for Christmas. I heard they hired people to do it for them - cheaters. (Just kidding Jones family - you guys are great!)

Best Christmas movie ever!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both passed and I have yet to purchase a single gift. I need to have my kids get serious about their Christmas Wish Lists without letting their expectations soar. They are WISH lists, after all.

So have I missed out on all the deals? I doubt it. Am I too late to have things ship in time? No way. My goal this year is to order online. Anything I can order online and have arrive on my front porch sounds good to me. I'm not a shopper. I don't like crowds, lines, or parking spaces a mile from the store entrance. Not to mention that I have 3 kids, and finding time to go shopping alone is not easy.

And my hope is that by shopping online, I can stay on task and on budget, and not purchase extra items that might tempt me in the store. Wish me luck!

 

Veterans Day

Posted on: November 11th, 2011 by ssteinruck 1 Comment

Happy Veteran's Day! Thank you to all our men and women who have served and are serving our country.  Thanks also to their families who "fly solo" at home while their loved ones serve. I have many family members and friends who fall into that category, so hugs and thanks to you all. I hear you (Veterans and Active Duty) can eat free at Applebee's today.

School is out for my kids today. Girly told me it was veterinarians day. Seems like I should teach them a little more about Veteran's Day while I have them home today. I see American Flag crafts and patriotic music in my very near future.

If you're looking for things to do with your kids today, this website has some fun Veteran's Day activities for kids of various ages. Also check out this one, and here too.

Oh, another thing on the list today: pull out Girly's tooth! Check this pic out - it's hanging by a thread! The other front tooth is loose too, so I bet we'll be singing "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" before too long!

Have a great weekend!

 

 

About Susan

Susan I am a stay-at-home mom with three great kids, a fabulous husband, a cat, and a dog. I enjoy making things (but not cooking), painting, rearranging furniture (that one is genetic), organizing, purging, and most things DIY. Thanks for stopping by! More »