Disney Cruise Countdown Details

12/29/2012 08:33:00 PM Posted by mommy2twincesses

In a previous post, “Unique Countdown to Disney” I gave a brief overview of how I planned on spending out time from Christmas morning until the day we actually leave-11 days altogether. I’ve got the ball rolling and thought I’d share more details in case any of you want to have your own countdown someday :o)

Using a Mickey head cookie cutter, I traced and cut out colorful Mickey heads from scrapbook paper. I glued the heads to the front of regular white envelopes and wrote the countdown day number in the corner. I then strung them together with yarn and stuffed strips of paper inside that told the countdown fun to be had that day.

Here is picture:

The strips read as follows: (oh, but forget to mention where I got the cool Disney-like font, I found it free here http://www.dafont.com/walt-disney.font )
11.) 11 days until we leave, let’s pass the time by decorating the tree!
10.) Only 10 more days ‘til our trip so sweet, today we’ll bake some tasty treats!
9.) Just 9 days before we go, you can use these in the water hole!
8.) We won’t see our bunch for quite a while, let’s make some cards to make them smile!
7.) In just 7 days we’ll say “See Ya Real Soon”, let’s deliver our cards to family, like Mamaw June!
6.) 6 days until we’re out of this place, come help mommy pack our suitcase!
5.) In 5 short days we’ll jump on a plane-let’s learn all about it with reading and games!
4.) As we meet Mickey and other characters there, we’ll ask them politely to please sign these bears!
3.) Ahoy! There me mateys, 3 days ‘til we sail, we’ll party like pirates to wish Castaway Cay farewell!
2.) 2 days, oh my goodness! How ever will we sleep?! Be sure to answer when this rings and don’t make a peep!
1.) Today’s the day! It’s finally here! And look, Tink’s left you all this awesome Disney gear!

A Moment of Praise

12/13/2012 07:35:00 PM Posted by mommy2twincesses

Here I am, typing through tears of pure humble joy! What a God we serve!

In the hustle and bustle that is the “season” I’ve found myself lost in all the wrong things, not intentionally of course, but it happens.

Then, in all his mysterious glory, my Savior hugs my heart and opens its eyes long enough to feel joy insurmountable! 

Nothing out of the ordinary happened tonight, but praise his name, I saw my “normal” through his eyes.

As I was tucking my daughters into bed I felt tiny warm kisses from perfectly beautiful, extremely healthy, huge hearted children who love the Lord! 

I heard “You’re the best mommy in the WHOLE world!” as little arms encircled my neck and gave it a gentle squeeze.

I felt the comforts of a safe warm home in a quiet quaint neighborhood, saw our Christmas tree twinkling above a few gifts for treasured family members, and was completely overcome at that moment with gratitude and joy completely unspeakable!

Here I am, so undeserving, so blind, and yet, so incredibly blessed.

Words are inadequate to describe what’s going on in my heart at this very moment, so I’ll simply pass on a prayer that you too may be “blinded by the light” this season. That you’ll take a moment to look around, open your heart, and stop-be still-and truly absorb the many blessings around you!

“Joy to the world! The Lord has come!” and even with all our inadequacies, he loves us still! Halleluiah! 

As you’re counting your blessings feel free to comment below how He has moved you recently!

Simple Ways to Improve Your “Elf on the Shelf”

12/02/2012 11:04:00 AM Posted by mommy2twincesses

He’s everyone’s favorite guy of the month, next to Santa Claus himself. He’s sly, tricky, playful, and usually, quite frankly-up to no good! He’s the “Elf on the Shelf”. Ours is named Herbie, and unfortunately he looks EXACTLY like a million other elves-or at least he did last year ;)

I’m not a big fan of blending in, especially when it comes to little red elves that ooze mischief and are posted all over social media and store shelves alike. My girls are only 3 and seeing what appears to be “their” elf, EVERYWHERE else is downright confusing….and frustrating! So, I decided to make a few little adjustments to Herbie to set him apart from the pack (and make it easier for me to create mayhem with him).

To hopefully end the “There’s Herbie!” cries, I simply sewed a tiny silver jingle bell to the top of his hat. That’s it, for this year anyway. I told the girls that the bell was a special gift to Herbie from Santa, kind of like a Girl Scout badge. He must’ve been a very helpful elf to earn such a big reward! 

I’ve decided that if the trend of “elf personalizing” catches on (which I’m sure it will because it’s brilliant, LOL) that I’ll add a little something different each year. Like next year he may have a name tag, new shoes, a cool stripe down his pants, a flashy silver belt…….who knows?!

But the main improvement I made, from a mommy perspective anyway, was the floral wire to his limbs. I was fed up with trying to figure out how to get this stiff little felt doll to stay where I put him, so I made tiny slits in hidden places and ran doubled floral wire through his arms and legs! A job well done, if I have to say so myself! The little booger is now bendable and posable and I don’t have to fiddle for hours with string, putty, or tape to make him stay put!

Go mommy! It’s your birthday! And now elf posing won’t drive you cra-zay! *doing a little dance*

Have you tweaked your elf in some way? If so, share your ideas in the comments below!

2012 Elf on the Shelf Game Plan

11/26/2012 07:57:00 AM Posted by mommy2twincesses

Despite what the Elf on the Shelf book says, I’ve decided that our elf, Herbie, will not make his big debut at our house from this year forward, until December 1st. According to the book, he’s supposed to come the day after Thanksgiving, but you know what? I’m not ready then! And I’m not going to feel guilty about it.

The days after Thanksgiving in our home are spent putting up the Christmas tree and resting up from all the hoop-la of the holiday. We deserve a few down days! I need those days to plan the chaos that Herbie is sure to bring, and 24 days of elf-capades is PLENTY! I finalized our plans last night and am sharing them with you now.

The last night of November we’ll throw up a few little decorations, including the “Welcome Back Herbie” banner I made as my very first Cricut project.
December 1st-crepe paper will barricade their door as we’ll “accidentally” leave it out from decorating for Herbie’s “Welcome Back”.
December 2nd-Herbie will be hanging from mistletoe and there will be Hershey’s Kisses scattered about on the floor with a little note saying how much the elf missed them.
December 3rd-We’ll find our elf “rocking baby Jesus” in our Little People Nativity set with a note reminding us that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”.
December 4th-There will be a silly face drawn on their bathroom mirror. Probably an elf, reindeer, or Santa face that they’ll be able to stick their faces in to get some giggles-this will depend on which I manage to draw best ;)
December 5th- A messy message will be left for the girls in the kitchen with “spilled” cheerios, crackers, or M&M’s (depends on what we have on hand that morning! LOL) The message will be a simple “Be Good”, “I Love You”, “Santa’s Watching”, “Elves R Cool”, something like that!
December 6th-Herbie will be enjoying “elf donuts” (aka Cheerios) for breakfast with syrup to drink, probably sitting on daddy’s coffee pot or somewhere close to it.
December 7th-Our elf will be a master gardener as he leaves “magic seeds” to plant while we’re gone to Shu Shu’s house. (We’re going to visit the girls’ grandmother, so this buys me a few lazy days ;)
December 10th-We’ll come home to find that the “magic seeds” have grown into suckers!
December 11th-We all put our shoes beside the back door and Herbie will be hanging there with a sign reading “I didn’t do it!”. He’ll have put jingle bells on the girls’ laces!
December 12th-This is the day before the “12 Days of Christmas” begins in their stockings and Herbie won’t be able to contain his excitement so he’ll wrap the toilet as a present!
December 13th-Personalized books will be in their stockings and Herbie will be found reading too.
December 14th-An empty package of glow in the dark stars will be in their stocking. Herbie will be bowling and have a note that says, “You’ll be bowled over by the stars tonight!” While they’re in the bath I’ll scatter the stars around their ceiling :o)
December 15th-Herbie will be found taking a bath and there will be “magic towels” and bath crayons in their stockings.
December 16th- Hot cocoa will be in their stocking and the elf will have instigated a marshmallow fight with other toys.
December 17th-Punch balloons will be the stocking surprise and Herbie will be “floating” from one.
December 18th-Today begins the official week countdown to Christmas and elves tend to get a little extra boost of crazy as anticipation builds for the big day! He’ll leave recorders in their stockings and have Christmas music BLARING from our speakers when we turn the radio on to play/sing along :o)
December 19th-All of the stockings will be replaced with underwear and inside will be bags of “reindeer poop”. And sticking with the “poop/undies” theme, Herbie will “TP” the tree!
December 20th-My girls have a strange love for flashlights, so Herbie will leave new little flashlights in their stockings and tape down all the light switches to encourage maximum flashlight usage.
December 21st-The first surprise of the morning will be waking up to mom and dad’s noses painted red like Rudolph! (I’ve seen it done with the kids’ noses, but I don’t think mine would sleep through it!) Herbie will be perched near our bed somewhere and the face paints will be in their stockings.
December 22nd-In light of the Chipmunk movies being their stocking surprise, Herbie will pose as Alvin in the singing chipmunk trio.
December 23rd-Ingredients to make reindeer food will fill the stockings as Herbie rides one nearby.
December 24th-A good bye note will be the last thing from Herbie in their stockings and he will empty the tree in the breakfast nook to make way for the Disney themed ornaments we’ll be making in the coming days!
There it is! This is our Elf Plan 2012. Of course, if something comes up it won’t be a big deal to switch days or adjust accordingly to their behavior. I can’t wait to post pics of our wacky elf mischief!

Share your favorite Elf on the Shelf ideas!

Organizing Christmas Cards from Years Past

11/25/2012 06:07:00 PM Posted by mommy2twincesses

I like to tell myself that I’m not a pack rat, but there are certain instances that it’s just not true. Pictures of family and friends are some of the things that I can just NOT get rid of! But what to do with them?!

For the past few years I’ve been displaying the cards we receive in the mail for that season and then when I put away all the Christmas decorations, I would stuff them the best I could manage in a photo album. However, as with everything else on the planet, the “bigger is better” mentality has begun to apply to Christmas cards and my ordinary photo album, with its measly 4x6 openings, just wasn’t cutting it. 

I tried trimming the gigantic ones down, but that just hurt my heart because I was ruining the cards, sometimes even severing the names and dates. Something had to give!
After mulling over possibilities, including just “round filing” them, I finally settled on what I’ve deemed the perfect solution!

I separated the cards into piles for each family, chronologically arranged them, punched holes in the upper corner, and then thread them onto metal ring binders! I have a ring for my side of the family, DH’s side, friends, and then simply our family cards. 

I’m in love! I can easily flip through my cards now and watch how families and children have grown and changed over the years! I’m just tickled pink! 

This little project was a tad time-consuming as I’ve been saving cards for at least 6 years now, but the sacrifice of an hour or so seems insignificant as the reward is well worth the time!

Do you save photo Christmas cards? If so, what is your method of keeping them organized?