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?

Letters to Santa 2012

11/11/2012 03:44:00 PM Posted by mommy2twincesses

I can’t believe it’s finally here! Time to write letters to Santa! SQUEEEEEE!!!!!!!! 

Yes, those are MY thoughts, not those of my 3 year olds :oP

We normally wouldn’t do them so early, but our local Post Office is preparing their annual display and asked if we would participate, so we did them. Tonight!

It actually works out perfectly because we’re going to take pictures with Santa on Tuesday, so they’ll be able to take him a copy of their letter! SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I found several adorable Santa letter templates on Pinterest, you can find them on my board HERE!

For those who may not know, we do Christmas a little differently than most families. At our house, Santa only brings ONE gift for each child. After all, he’s only got ONE sled and has to deliver gifts ALL over the world to EVERY single boy and girl on the planet. That’s quite a tall order and we’re not going to complicate things even more for him by asking for an entire list of gifts. It defeats the whole purpose of Christmas, in my personal opinion. (And keeps mom and dad out of the poor house, LOL)

Then, as parents, we give them 3 gifts each, from us. The reasoning behind this being the Bible mentions that Jesus received 3 gifts (gold, frankincense, and myrrh) the night of his birth, and if 3 gifts are enough for the King of Kings, it’s enough for us! Again, this helps us keep our focus on the REAL reason we celebrate Christmas-Christ’s birth-instead of making it all about the presents.

We do the “12 Days of Christmas” with small, trinkets in their stocking as a countdown to Christmas, and then on the morning of, we’ll have a small birthday party for Jesus and enjoy opening gifts!

I wrote their letters, word for word, what they told me they wanted them to say, and then they signed them all by themselves! *tear* I bet by next year, they’ll be writing the whole thing, just needing help with spelling.

M is asking Santa for “a baby doll with a spoon and yogurt” and K wants “a Jasmine costume and shoes”. That’s easy enough! But what they don’t know is what’s killing me! “Santa” will bring those things, but he’s got an EXTRA SPECIAL gift for the entire family this year……….check it out here!

Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Snacks-Turkey Lurkey

11/06/2012 02:33:00 PM Posted by mommy2twincesses

This past weekend at their grandmother’s house, my turkeys enjoyed making turkey snacks all by themselves! They dubbed them “Turkey Lurkeys”, and for lack of something better to call them-it stuck!

Gather up your kiddos and a few ingredients likely to already be gracing your pantry and get ready to gobble ‘til you wobble!

You’ll need:

Round crackers
Chocolate frosting
Candy corns
Hershey’s Kisses
Caramel cubes

Start by giving each child one cracker, one Kiss, four candy corns, and one caramel.  Demonstrate for them how to lightly dip each piece into the chocolate frosting and place on the cracker to form a Turkey Lurkey! 

That’s it! Simple, edible, Thanksgiving inspired fun for all!

Here’s a finished Turkey Lurkey!

Just a word of warning……if your kids are like mine, beware of eating Turkey Lurkeys they’ve made! My girls licked each and every piece, sometimes multiple times, before settling for sticking it to the cracker to make the turkey ;) Not exactly guest friendly, LOL!