Last Friday, I enjoyed having a few friends over for great Thai food, a favorite edible gift (from woman-owned business) Edible Arrangements, my favorite wine and got a little card making and scrapbooking done too.
Oh, I received flowers from my little Tay-Tay too.
I'm a huge fan of live performances. Sometimes the cost is prohibitive with four children, but I was blessed to take six other people with me to see the National Ballet Company performed the Nutcracker right in my hometown. It was fabulous, the youngest member of our group was 4 and an aspiring dancer. What a thrill it was to taker her to the ballet.
Life 's just not busy enough, that I add doing an advent calendar to the December madness, LOL.
This is my first attempt and we'll see how it goes. My goal is to just partake in some low-cost activity, craft or just plain old bible reading in the days leading up to Christmas. I looked up lots of calendar ideas, but thought I'd put that big barrel of socks to some good use.
I decided not to sleep away my free time during Thanksgivng since I didn't have to cook, I got our crafting underway. Being the GREAT Recession that it is, we will once again look for low cost ways to decorate, celebrate and show love to our family friends and strangers. Already, the girls and I spent an evening doing a makeover of a home office space for a friend (I promise to post pics as soon as we put on the finishing touches).
It's always a challenge to come up with crafts to do all at the same time with kids that age between 4-15, but I mangaged to wing it as usual. On this particular night we used stencils (very easy for the 4 and 6 year old to do) paper clipping the stencil to the paper and teaching them the pouncing method is crucial. Thanks Lisa Renee for the stencils, we found them in your give away box. The finished products can be trimmed and used as gift tags or mounted on notecards.
I also purchased inexpensive wooden decorations from our local big box craft store, using fine tipped paint brushes made it much easier and less frustrating for all the painters. We also customized the ornaments by adding glitter and snow to certain elements.
Step by Step Instructions, coming soon.
What easy, stress-free, or eco-friendly crafts will you be doing this holiday season?
For my whole life I've been the one to decorate for Christmas (except for 2003 when I had Joseph one week before Christmas...and that tree had the New Year's decorations on it!) finally my kids are capable and WILLING to do it themselves, HALLELUJAH ! I keep reminding them, what you put up you must also take down and put away. I'm hoping to get away with just decorating the tables on Christmas eve.
What's your favorite part about decorating or decorations in general. (I love the monochromatic look)
Well...it's almost true, I did stress over the cleaning (why do people insist on living like slobs, we don't have a cleaning service!) rant over.
A big thanks to my in-laws, husband and daughters who did all the cooking (although we did make a grocery store run on Thanksgiving morning...no Macy's Day parade watching for us). Clean up after dinner was a breeze, most of the leftovers went home with the in-laws and starving daughter.
In fact we had enough wind for a little bit of musical entertainment after dinner. Tavien learned to blow a clarinet, Jonathan and Leah took turns on the cello and violin and Jerin strummed a few chords on the guitar...and oh yeah, Joseph gave strumming a harp a try.
No Black Friday shopping so that means I really saved money...kids really rather go on fun and exciting vacations...but maybe santa will bring them a little something.
To conclude, we were pretty much tradition free, and I'm okay with that, but please share with me some of your non-food related Thanksgiving Holiday traditions in the comment sections.
Jerin's first season of being a Bowie High School POM (drill team for us old schoolers) has come to an end. Practices started back in the spring, went through the summer and were 4-5 days a week through the fall. It was grueling for her and me. The rules and regulations surrounding the 23 team members will make basic training at Parris Island seem like Vacation Bible School. I'm not sure I would have survived at her age. (Come to think about it, I did have my own character building sophomore year when I didn't make majorettes)
I'm so proud that she hung in there, performed in every performance and actually had FUN...for those of you who know Jerin that was a biggie. She grew as a teenager, having to deal with the "girl drama", maintaining her studies (all Honors and AP classes), taking the PSAT and a slew of other standardized tests, a babysitting job as well as the chores at home, attending family events and sibiling games.
As a reward to memorialize this high school experience I did a photo shoot of her in the yard. It was fun to do, the neighbors all came out and congratulated her and I've never seen her smile so much as she has in the last few months.
Vesta and Candy, thanks for coming to the games, the last one was a killer...it was about 40 degrees in the sun!
Many of you know that I'm a trained accountant, so how in the world does rain equal roses? Read on...
Maryland experienced rainy downpours all day today. So I took a few minutes out of my very hectic schedule to snip a few roses from "my rose garden" because the wind and rain were just beating them to death. I feel so adultlike saying my "rose garden". I grew up with my Grandmother always tending to her roses.
I have them surrounding my computer so I can enjoy their loveliness for a few days.
Finally, the kids have a FULL WEEK of SCHOOL. Boy, if I had their school schedule back in the day, I would have been in heaven. For them it's going to be a long week, hopefully for me a very productive week.
Jonathan is learning to play the cello this year and he's super thrilled about it...he practiced five time the first day he brought it home...I'll be glad when he plays something I recognize. The 8 o'clock hour is the grin and bear it hour when he and Leah (violin player) get to practicing.
Full week of school means I've got to get back on my game too as a hybrid homeschooler.
We were very, very blessed to take a number of trips this summer in the midst of this depression. One of the highlights was just being plaine ole lazy at the beach. We rented a fabulous house at Topsail Island in NC, apparently an unknown gem of an island, and we'd like to keep it that way.
The kids turned 5 shades darker, I got a beautiful reddish tan and my Dad, well...can I say the REDD Foxx look alika LOBSTER, LOL. We watched Alex Haley's Root mini-series everynight, went to a BINGO hall for the first time, celebrated National Cheesecake day by eating it for breakfast, laughed at our Guesture movements, introduced Sierra (the water dog) to the ocean, and just had a good time.