Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, and a wife to a great husband. Needless to say, there are a lot of daily messes to clean up around our house. Daily Messes is my blog to share ideas on things to do with your kids, snack and meal ideas, crafts, and holiday fun. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Elf 2017 Days 4 - 9

I may be a little behind updating the Elf. I am still baking lots and lots of cookies. We give them to the neighbors each year, hubby brings in platters to work, and we have them for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day events.

Eugene moved most days, although he forgot twice. He also hasn't been extremely exciting this year. I have a few ideas for him, but haven't been able to implement them yet.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Elf 2017, Days 2 and 3

This Elf is a little tired, so no crazy shenanigans the last couple of days. We're working on the crazy amount of Christmas cookies we make every year. I'm also having a little hard of a time being creative with spots so far this year.

Higgins has requested that Eugene make the crepe paper barricade again this year, so that may make an appearance again this year. Apparently, it was his favorite Elf event. 😊

Day 2: Eugene hid in Higgins' wrestling mask on his dresser.
Day 3: Hid in Bernardo's room by the mini Christmas tree, Harry Potter tin, and the Cyberman paper mache head I made for his Doctor Who birthday party a couple of years ago.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Elf On The Shelf 2017

Eugene arrived ahead of schedule. He normally arrives on 12/6 for St. Nick's Day, which is his anniversary in our house. He normally likes to do something big for his yearly debut.

This year, he made a paper snowman on the boys' bathroom door. (He didn't want any fighting over whose door the elf should have made the snowman, so he picked a neutral door.)

If you have white doors, it's even easier. Use the whole door as the snowman body. Cut out the coal for eyes, mouth, and buttons. Tape to door (brown tape or painters tape works best). Add a scarf (paper like mine, or ribbon) and a hat. I used construction paper to make the decorations and a roll of banner paper for the snowman body.

Monday, December 4, 2017

It's Elf Time Again!

Our Elf is a little lazy and comes on St. Nicholas Day (tomorrow!), which is the day we originally got him. I am still coming up with this year's ideas for our elf Eugene. However, I do have some of his more exciting past adventures listed below. I'll update this post when I get new ones! (All of the Elf ideas, both boring and exciting, can still be found on the blog under Categories/Elf On The Shelf.)


Thursday, November 30, 2017

St. Nick's Day

I know it seems like we just celebrated Thanksgiving, but St. Nick's Day is Wednesday 12/6! I have a little history about St. Nick's Day and some Stocking Stuffer ideas below!

I used to love St. Nick's Day when I was a kid. I remember waking up on December 6th, excited to see what my stocking of goodies contained. I later learned that not everyone celebrates St. Nick's Day; it's popular in German and Dutch communities and in Europe. I grew up in a city with strong German roots and St. Nick's Day was always celebrated. My mom had never heard of it until she came here for college and they told her to put a shoe outside her door.

Who Was St. Nick?
St. Nicholas was basically the model for the jolly man himself (Santa Claus). St. Nicholas was from a wealthy family and would secretly give out gifts to people. The story I remember hearing was about a father who had three daughters. He was poor and could not afford dowries for the girls. Without the dowry the girls' future was bleak. Nicholas threw a bag of gold coins for each daughter into the house through a window at night. (Some accounts have it over 1 night, 3 nights, or even 3 years.)

How To Celebrate:
Growing up, we each had our own stocking that we put out the night before St. Nick's Day. My husband's tradition was to put his Christmas List in his stocking for Santa to pick up. However, other families put out shoes instead of stockings. The night of December 5th, place a stocking or shoe outside the children's door(s) and fill it with goodies. In the morning (on December 6th), open the stockings!


Ideas from years past. I find lots of great items in Target's dollar section. Michael's also has some fun stocking stuffers.
Stocking Stuffer Ideas:
  • "Gold" $1 coins in honor of the bags of gold coins St. Nicholas gave.
  • Candy (I just picked up cute soda flavored jelly beans in a small soda shaped bottle at Target.) My favorite is the Candy Cane Tootsie Pops.
  • Small games or deck of cards.
  • Books or Comic Books.
  • Small coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, markers, fun pens, etc. The coloring book link is to Amazon, but Target and Michael's often have these Grab & Go packs for $1.
  • Small stuffed animals.
  • Grab and Go games. These fit in stockings and are great for car rides or while sitting in restaurants. Some of our favorites are ClueConnect FourGuess Who, Battleship, and Trouble.
  • Barrettes, headbands.
  • Hot chocolate mix.
  • Lego's (There's so many kinds! Ninjago, a box of Lego's,  Nexo Knights, Minecraft, Friends.) Lego also has Ornaments: There are several to choose from. Kids build the Lego figure and place them inside a clear round ornament to hang on the tree. The boys loved them! The mini figure packs are also great stocking stuffers (Lego online or in stores carry these, as well as Amazon or Target. Sometimes even the grocery stores or Wal-Mart will have these.).
  • Small toys.
  • Art supplies (crayons, pencils, pens, drawing pads, paints, pencil sharpener, stickers...)
  • Special ornament (We get each kid an ornament every year. It has their name and the year on it. We try to make it special for that year. Examples include an apple/desk/pencil if they started school, a horse for their first horse ride, an ornament from vacation, a train if they took a train ride, etc.)
  • Pez Dispensers (I loved getting these every year. I used to have a small collection, but now I have no idea where it is. They come in so many varieties you are sure to find one everyone.) They have ChristmasStar WarsAvengersScooby Doo set, even Presidents, etc.
  • Flashlight.
  • Stickers.
  • Toothbrush.
  • Temporary tattoos.
  • For older kids: gift cards to a movie theater, laser tag, their favorite store, iTunes, Amazon, beef jerky, new phone case.
  • New earbuds for the computer, i-pod, etc.
  • Chapstick (or lip gloss).
  • Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars.
  • Small fruit (clementines, apples).
  • Hexbugs.
  • Gum.
  • Compass.
  • Small Nerf Guns.
  • DVD: Target's $5 movie rack is a great place to find these. The boys sometimes get a joint St. Nick gift of a DVD.
  • Elf On The Shelf. Eugene originally came to us on St. Nick's Day.
  • Advent Calendar. 
    • Kids: It's a little late, but they will like having a few days to open at one time! There is, of course, the normal chocolate calendar. (I found some at Michael's and at the grocery store.) There are also non-chocolate calendars: Lego, Lego Star Wars, Lego Friends, Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hot Wheels, PlayMobil, Play-Doh, Minions, Disney (Tsum TsumOlaf/Frozen) and even a bead craft option. There are also simple countdown versions. Note: Last year I had a hard time finding the regular Lego calendar, it seemed to be sold out everywhere! Most of the online ones for sale were people reselling it for at least $10 more than the normal price. I finally found on at a local Barnes & Nobles bookstore. Check online and in stores early to make sure you get the one you want for the regular price.
    • Adults: There are lots of adult themed Advent Calendars available too! Master of Malt offers many different alcoholic (especially whiskey and scotch) calendars. I bought myself a nicer chocolate Advent Calendar with dark chocolates.
       
LINKS
St. Nicholas, Wiki
http://www.stnicksday.com/

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving

How is it possible that it is almost Thanksgiving? It feels like we just had Halloween! If you need any last ideas or some recipes, I have a few below. :)  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

FOOD:

CRAFTS:


ACTIVITIES:


BOOKS:

Thanksgiving Word Hunt

How many words can you make out of the word Thanksgiving? How about the word Turkey? I have some of the words we found under the puzzles.



You can print it or click on it to make larger. To Print: Right Click-Open image in new tab-Print or Ctrl-P. Or Right Click-Save/Save Image As/Save to Computer-Open the saved image-Print.

THANKSGIVING:

Ah     An     Ankh     As     Ash     Ask     At     Gag     Gain     Gaining    Gains     Gait     Gaits     Gash     Gat     Ghast     Gin     Gins     Gist     Giving     Gnash     Gnashing     Ha     Hag     Hang     Han     Hanging     Hangs     Hank     Has     Hat     Hats     Hi     Hint     Hinting     Hints     His     Hit     Hits     I     In     Inn     Ink     Is     It     Kin     Kings     Kings     Kit     Kits     Kith     Kiths     Knight     Knights     Knit     Knits     Nag     Nags     Nan     Nit     Sag     Saint     Sang     Sank     Sat     Shin     Si     Sign     Sin     Sing     Singing     Sink     Sit     Skating     Ski     Skiing     Skin     Skit     Stan     Tag     Tags     Tan     Tang     Tank     Tanks     Tans     Thank       Thanks     Than     Thin     Think     Thinks     Thinking     Thing     Tin     Tins     Van     Vans     Vast     Vat     Via

    TURKEY: 

    Key     Re     Rye     Rey     Rue     True     Trek     Try     Tyke     Yet     Yurt

      What words did you find? (It's almost midnight as I try to finish, so I'm sure I missed a lot. Please share what you found!)

      Sunday, November 19, 2017

      Thanksgiving Word Scramble

      Here's a Thanksgiving themed word scramble to help keep everyone busy while you get things ready for Thanksgiving!

      Answers below:

       


      To Print the word scramble: Click on image. Right click. Choose Open In New Tab/Window. Click Print. Or, click on image, right click, choose Save Image As. Print saved image.

      Thanksgiving Kids Table

      I may be running a little behind on my Thanksgiving planning. We are hosting Thanksgiving this year and I am trying to create a kids table to help keep them busy.

      I wanted something fun that they could interact with, but also wouldn't take up a ton of room in the dining area. I am going to make a coloring/activity table.
      I found a fun coloring activity tablecloth at Target for $3.50. Amazon also has a similar one that comes with crayons, but it costs a bit more. If you don't like tablecloths, Target and local craft stores often have coloring place mats as well. We have used the Christmas tablecloth version almost every year with the kids, and I would definitely recommend using crayons. Colored pencils would rip the paper. I haven't tried markers yet, so I'm not sure if they would bleed through to the table.

      To go with the tablecloth, I made some pilgrim hat crayon holders. They are pretty easy to make. You can make each hat the same or personalize with different colored hat bands or write their names on them. I couldn't find plain small black paper cups at the local stores, so I ended up buying some plastic ones on Amazon. They worked pretty well, but paper probably would have been easier to work with. To make the cups, flip over and cut out the bottom of the cup. Cut out a circle that is larger than the top of the cup to make the hat brim. This will also hold the crayons in the cup. Glue the hat brim to the large top of the cup. I used hot glue. Next, cut a length of ribbon or colored paper and glue around the edge of the cup and hat brim. Cut a small rectangle or square out of yellow paper and glue in the middle of the ribbon. Fill with crayons! Yes, there is a distinct lack of crayons in the picture. I couldn't find the extras I bought at back to school time. I will run out and buy more so there are plenty for everyone! :)

      I'm also going to be printing my Thanksgiving Word Search, dot games, and Thanksgiving themed Mad Lib Sheets. There are a lot of free printables online! I also found small wood pumpkins at the craft store that the kids can color ($5.99 for 12 at Hobby Lobby). I'm working on making a Thanksgiving Word Scramble and Word Hunt. If I get them done in time, I'll post them.


      What do you have at your Thanksgiving to keep the kids busy? Please comment and share!

      Wednesday, October 11, 2017

      Halloween is Coming!

      It's getting closer to Halloween! I love this time of year: the leaves are changing and falling, decorations, and fun food. I love everything except horror movies and haunted houses. I know, it's weird to love Halloween and hate those two things.

      The boys are once again really excited, although no costume decisions have been made. I also do not have any decorations up. What?! I really need to get on that. We recently adopted a new dog. She is an amazing retired racing greyhound. I'm trying to convince the boys to do themed costumes with her. We'll see if I succeed. 
      I have gotten a few things for the Boo bags, but haven't Boo'd anyone yet. We still have to go to the pumpkin patch, get costumes, put up decorations, carve the pumpkins, and roast the seeds. Oh, and buy lots of candy! If you need any Halloween ideas, I have a bunch below!
       
      ACTIVITIES:
      • Coloring Page.
      • Pumpkin Soccer or Bowling. Use a small pie pumpkin as the ball. 
        • Soccer: Split into two teams and create goals (small plastic cones work well). Have kids spider walk (aka crab walk) and kick the pumpkin soccer ball with their feet.
        • Bowling: Make pins from rolls of toilet paper.
          • Ghost pins: Decorate rolls with black paper eyes and mouth.
          • Mummy: Wrap a piece of toilet paper around a roll and add eyes.
          • Witch: Wrap in green tissue paper, add construction paper eyes/nose/mouth, and top with paper hat.
          • Vampire: Add fangs/mouth/eyes, and a black paper cape.
          •  Frankenstein: Wrap in green tissue paper, draw with sharpie or add black paper stitch marks/scars. Add eyes/nose/mouth.
      FOOD:

      CRAFTS:

      TIPS:

      Some of my Fall Fun links work great for Halloween too!


      OTHER FUN LINKS: (Links are external links, not to DailyMesses.)