Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Eugene, the Elf: Day 11

Eugene decided to hide out in Bernardo's room. After seeing Higgins up all night with a stomach bug, Eugene was too tired to be creative. He did startle a yell out of Bernardo when he saw him though!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Eugene, the Elf: Day 10

Sorry for the late post! My morning got away from me.

Eugene didn't want the kids sneaking downstairs early this morning, I guess.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Present Ideas

I can't believe Christmas is in a week and a half! I still have plenty of shopping, wrapping, and cookies to bake. In case you are like me and still need to do some shopping, here are some of my gift ideas. I've added some new ones (my favorite new ones are the whiskey balls and glasses Hubby got last year!).


Eugene, the Elf: Day 8

Eugene left the popcorn snowman cups for the kids to find.




Saturday, December 13, 2014

Popcorn Snowman Cups

I feel like Christmas is sneaking up on me way too quickly and I'm not getting anything done that I wanted too. I normally make fun snacks and crafts with the kids, and haven't done any of that yet this year. I made these cute snowman cups for snacks. I am going to fill with popcorn (like little snowballs) but it could be used for anything.
I drew on the eyes, mouth, buttons with a Sharpie. I cut out a triangle from orange construction paper, and taped it on (if you had an orange Sharpie that would be easier). I had ribbon out from wrapping a present and used it to make the scarves.

While I made these today, I think Eugene is going to leave them as a surprise for tomorrow.

Eugene, the Elf, Day 7

Eugene apparently had poker night last night. It looks like they found the kids drink shaped bottles of flavored jelly beans (7-Up and Dr. Pepper) and the jelly beans I got for Hubby too. Crazy toys. It looks like Eugene is winning though.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Reindeer Food

Higgins came home with this from school the other day and it is super cute! It's really easy to make too.
You will need:


Directions:
1. Mix together oats and glitter to create the filling/reindeer food.
2. Fill bag 1/2 to 3/4 full. Make sure to leave room to twist tie the bag shut with the pipe cleaners.
3. Wrap pipe cleaners around top of bag to close and create the antlers.
4. Attach eyes and nose.

Eugene, the Elf, Day 6


Eugene was very daring this morning as he zip-lined from the ceiling fan to the Christmas tree. He wasn't very safe about either; I don't see a safety harness or anything! 


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Eugene, the Elf, Day 5

It looks like Eugene recovered, only to be attacked by zombies! Good thing he found some plants to help out and extra peas to throw...


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Eugene, the Elf, Day 3

Eugene was apparently feeling a little peckish and made himself a snack in the pantry...now I feel like eating a s'more!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Eugene is Back!

Eugene came back on St. Nick's Day. This time he was sliding down the tree!



The sled was made from 2 graham crackers "glued" onto two candy canes with icing. A ribbon was tied around the curved part of the candy canes to create a handle. And finally, the snow was a piece of batting!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Eugene's (Our Elf) Past Experiences

We've had Eugene, our Elf On The Shelf, for a few years now. I was trying to find another cheap "doll only" so that both boys would have one when they have their own kids. (I didn't have any luck since all I could find was the plush type.)

I then realized I had no plans for Eugene this year and he's supposed to come out tomorrow on St. Nick's Day. He's had some pretty fun adventures in the past, but I had no ideas yet for this year. Granted, most days he just moved from ceiling fan to hanging onto a cupboard knob. Some days he didn't move at all. However, Higgins had been asking about him. I went through old adventures to try and come up with new ones.

Here are some of Eugene's more exciting times:
Seriously, I thought I had a few more exciting ones in the bunch! I don't plan on having crazy things everyday (especially if it involves lots of clean up), but I think I should come up with 1 or 2 more.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Don't Forget Saturday Is St. Nick's Day!

Do you celebrate St. Nick's Day? Every year on December 6th, I remember waking up looking for my stocking full of goodies. Not everyone celebrates St. Nick's Day; it's popular in European countries and in German and Dutch communities. 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. When they told her to put a shoe outside her door at night, I think she thought they were nuts!

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 would probably become...night workers. 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 would put his Christmas List in his stocking for Santa to pick up. However, other people 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!

This year's stocking stuffers: Candy Cane Tootsie Pops,
Crayon Rings, Etch A Sketch, Coloring Books, Candy

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.)
  • Small games
  • Books or Comic Books
  • Small stuffed animals
  • Coins/Money
  • Barrettes
  • Hot chocolate mix
  • Lego's (Bernardo is into Ninjago right now, while Higgins does better with a box of Lego's he can create his own inventions with.). 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 each got one last year and loved them!
  • Small toys
  • 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 for boys or girls.) They have Christmas, Star Wars, Avengers, Scooby Doo set, even Presidents, etc.
  • Flashlight (Higgins got his own flashlight last year and it has outlived the previous one. Luckily it seems he learned his lesson that you can't put a flashlight in the toilet and expect it to still work.)
  • Crayons/Colored Pencils/Markers
  • Stickers
  • Toothbrush
  • Temporary tattoos
  • For older kids: gift cards to a movie theater, laser tag, their favorite store, iTunes, Amazon
  • New earbuds for the computer, i-pod, etc.
  • Chapstick (or lip gloss)
  • Chocolate coins
  • Hot Wheels/Matchbox Cars
  • Small fruit (clementines, apples)
  • Hexbugs
  • Gum
  • Compass
  • Small Nerf Guns
  • Mighty Beanz
  • DVD: Target's $5 shelf is great for these. The boys sometimes get a joint St. Nick gift of a DVD.
  • Elf On The Shelf. Eugene orginally came to us on St. Nick's Day.


LINKS
St. Nicholas, Wiki
http://www.stnicksday.com/

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Word Hunt

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week. I have no idea where November went. The kids are super excited because they love turkey (and the two days off of school don't hurt either!). I thought I would try a Thanksgiving themed Word Hunt with Bernardo this year.

I have some of the words we came up with at the bottom, but I'm sure there are plenty more! I also let him add an 's' to the end of words to come up with new ones, as well as names.

To Print:  Right click on image, Save As/Save to Computer. Open or Right click, Print.


HINTS: Break the words down and put the letters in alphabetical order. Use rhyming to help come up with more words!

Possible Words:
Ihahehi
atasahansiit
isiniffaehthe
tantagtattiatietin
teatenhathashaghit
henateantAnnAnaash
askageaveAvaaftnat
nitnetkitkinKenkeg
shesatsansagskisit
sinsissetseagasgag
gingiggetgenitsIan
inkvatvanviavievet
fatfanfitfinfigfie
eateggEvathanthaithat
thentanktanstangtaketags
tinetinttiketiesteakteas
tenstentTesstesthatsHank
hanghavehafthitshinthike
hisshivehiesheathefthens
antsantianteankhAnnAnne
akinasksagesAsia
Nate
NashnagsNitabaitniteNike
nighNinaninenetsneatnest
Kateknitkithkitskiteking
kisskievkentkegsStanstag
shinsatesheasanksangsane
sanssakisakesagesagasags
savesafesashsnagsnitskit
skinskissitesitssinksing
sinesinssighsignsiftseth
setsseatsSeanseassentsega
gateganggashgaitgaingave
gnatGinagistgivegigsgift
getsgentinksIvanisisIkea
vatsvansvanevastvasevain
vinevisavisevetsventvest
veinfatsfatefansfangfake
fastfitsFiatfinsfinefist
fishfigsfivefetafeatfest
fatseatseasteggsEvanthank
thinkthinsthingthinethieftheft
tankstangstakentakestaskstaste
tainttingetinestintstikestight
tithetitanteakstenthtentstests
hangshasteHaitihavenhintshinge
hikeshivesheatshennaheisthefts
antesangstashenAngieAnitaashes
assetagingagentagateagainavian
avastnaivenavesnitesnightNisan
ninthninesnestsneighknaveKatie
knitknitsknifekiteskingsKieth
Kevinstankstakestagestagsstain
stavestashstatestatsstinksting
stintsteaksteinshakeshaveShane
shaftshineshinsshiftshiessheaf
sheiksatinsatesSantasangssages
saintsavessafessnakesnagssnits
sneakskateskitsskinsskiessites
sinkssingessingssightsighssigns
siftsseatsgatesgasesgaitsgains
gnatsgnashgiantgivengivesgifts
geniigentsinsetinanevanesvast
vasesvinesvistavisitviesvents
vestsveganveinsfatesfangsfakes
faithfaintfinesfistsfightfives
featsfeastfestsfeintfeigneight
Ethan
thefts
knight
Tahiti
thanks
taking
things
tastes
thinks
tinges
thesis
tights

tithes
hasten
Athens
afghan

Titans
havens
Athena
native
tenant
hastes
asking
Viking
tennis
having
assign

tenths
hinges
assent

hankie
hiking
aghast

Friday, November 7, 2014

Identify This: Part 71

Do you know what it is?



















ANSWER:
Brussels Sprout plant! We tried growing two plants this year since hubby and Higgins love my grilled brussels sprouts recipe. We got a decent yield, but it took forever for them to grow. Next year, I think we'll just buy them at the store.





Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Coloring Page

To Print:  Right click on image, Save As/Save to Computer. Open or Right click, Print.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Links

It's getting closer to Halloween! We carved our pumpkin last night and roasted the seeds (so yummy!). If you need any last minute Halloween ideas, here are some ideas :) 
ACTIVITIES:

FOOD:

CRAFT:

TIPS:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Maze: Pumpkin Time

It's time for another Halloween themed maze! This time I made the kids a pumpkin shaped (more or less) maze.
Work your way through the maze from Start to End.
To Print: Right click on image, Save As/Save to Computer, Print.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Sloppy Joes

I wanted to make something themed for dinner, but something quick and easy. I had already made Haunted Shepherd's Pie and wanted something else. I had sloppy joe mix and since it was a little chilly out, it seemed like an easy dinner.  I love cheese on my sloppy joes, so I used a pumpkin cookie cutter to cut out a pumpkin face and placed that on top of the sloppy joes! Maybe I'll make Haunted Parfaits for dessert...


You will need:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Maze: Monster Time

The kids asked for another maze, so here is a Monster themed one!
Don't get caught by the monsters!
To Print: Right click, select Save As/Save To Computer. Find on computer, Print.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Drink Is Staring At Me!

I found a pack of gummy eyeballs at the store and wanted to do something with them. I had frozen raisins in ice cubes to make ants or spiders, and wanted to try the same thing with the eyeballs. I filled the ice cube trays and added in the gummy eyeballs. I froze it overnight and then at lunch gave the boys a drink with the eyeballs in them! At first they just had water, but them I gave them fruit punch, which gave it a creepier look. They melted faster than a regular icecube, so I wouldn't add them to the drink until you are ready to serve them. The kids had a blast with these.


DM TIP: If the eyeballs keep floating to the top, fill about halfway, add eyeball and freeze. Once it is frozen, fill the rest of the way and freeze again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Spider Suckers

The boys made these at a Halloween party last year, and they are a super easy Halloween party craft or a goody to give out!

You will need:
  • Suckers/Lollipops
  • Googly Eyes
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Glue/Glue dots

Directions:
1. Glue on the googly eyes. I like to use glue dots to attach the eyes because you don't have to wait for the glue to dry.
2. Bend the pipe cleaner in half and wrap around the stick to create 2 legs. Repeat to get 8 eight legs.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Homemade Tombstones


I wanted to do a graveyard theme in the front yard, but nothing too crazy. When I went to the store, I couldn't believe how much they charged for a small plastic or styrofoam tombstone. It was nuts! I decided to make my own, and it was pretty easy. I used cardboard, so you will need to bring these in if it rains. I had a few styrofoam signs and a plastic tombstone that I added in as well.
You will need:
  • Cardboard (DM Tip: Check Costco/Sam's for boxes. Other stores will usually be glad to let you have their empty boxes if you ask.)
  • Dowel rods, Paint stirrers (ask at Lowe's and Home Depot and they will usually give you free paint stirrers)
  • Paint. I used a black spray paint as the base layer. I then sprayed a textured spray paint over top.
  • Hot Glue/glue gun
  • X-acto knife

Directions:
1. Cut out 2 shapes for each tombstone.
2. Hot glue the paint stick in between the two pieces. I also glued around the edges of the tombstones to help keep them together. Let set.
3. Spray paint the base color.
4. Optional: Cut out RIP, a skull, etc. out of cardboard and glue onto the tombstone.
5. Lightly spray with textured spray paint.
6. Optional: Use red craft paint to add blood splatters.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Toilet Paper Craft

Higgins made this last year at school, and it is super cute and easy to do! It makes a great decoration too. We kept it in the the guest bathroom for while before Higgins snuck it back into his room for safe keeping.

You will need:
  • A roll of toilet paper (per pumpkin)
  • Orange tissue paper
  • Green pipe cleaners
  • Brown paper bag

Directions:
1. Wrap the tissue paper around the toilet paper roll and tuck the ends into the open center of the roll.
2. Roll a brown paper bag to create the stem and stick into the open center of the roll. This also helps keep the ends of the tissue paper in!
3. Wrap the green pipe cleaners around the stem to create leaves/vines.
4. Enjoy!

DM Tip: You could even glue on googly eyes or cut out pieces of construction paper to create a jack o'lantern face.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Monster Time

Higgins loves crafts around Halloween, especially monsters. This was an easy craft that he could do pretty much by himself and make it how he wanted to. We started with one made at school but now we now have several of these he made at home decorating the fridge too!

You will need:

Directions:
1. Cut out a square or rectangle from a piece of construction paper. This is going to be the base.
2. Cut out legs, arms, body, mouth, horns, etc. from pieces of construction paper.
3. Glue down the body and the arms/legs. Glue on horns, wings, etc.
4. Next spread glue around the body area. Place down the shredded/crinkle paper. 
5. Glue on mouth, eyes, etc.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Witches Potion

Makes about 4 servings.

You will need:
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 2 Tbpn honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Blender
  • Food coloring, optional
Directions:
1. Add all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Add food coloring, if desired, to make drink look spooky. I added about 6 drops green, 4 drops blue, and 2 drops red.
2. Enjoy!

DM TIPS:
  • We liked the flavor, but for younger kids, you may want to cut the cinnamon and nutmeg in half as it is somewhat strong.
  • If you want more of a milkshake, try adding in ice cubes to thicken it up.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Monster Eggs

We like to try different styles of Easter eggs each year. Last year, we bought a monster egg kit ($3.99). However, this kit was so easy to make on our own!  

Why am I posting about Easter eggs in October? Because these Monster eggs and the Crackle eggs fit in great for a Halloween breakfast or lunch! DM Tip: Use a orange or black dye on the Crackle eggs for a Halloween spider web effect. Dye another egg black and use black pipe cleaners to create a spider to go with it!


You will need:
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Egg dye (It can be hard to find at Halloween, but check out my post on homemade egg dyes for ideas!)
  • Glue/Glue dots
  • Googly eyes, Pipe cleaners, Pom Poms, Stickers (for eyes, hair, etc.)

Directions:
1. Make hard boiled eggs. Let cool.
2. Dye eggs and let dry completely.
3. Use stickers or glue/glue dots to attach pipe cleaners/googly eyes/pom poms to create your monster.