Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thank You Santa

I think it is important to teach your children the power of saying Thank you. During the Christmas season there are so many opportunities for that lesson to be taught. Here is a wonderful way to say Thank you to Santa for all the wonderful gifts that are given to them. It's a nice way to show your children to appreciate the gifts that are given to them. Taking the time to write a letter to leave out for Santa is a nice way for this lesson to be reinforced.
Just click here and it will take you to the site to print out your Thank you letter to Santa. Your children will feel really special when they write this special thank you.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas 2011

Father Jim and Mr. Will

Grandma and Grandpa
Blowing our the candles


visiting with Santa

The Advent season has been such a joy this year. Even though our family has been busy attending lots of fun gatherings, School Christmas Programs, visits with Santa and celebrating Grandpa's Birthday, we have had many moments where we slowed down to remember the reason for the season, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Looking back at all the special moments during this time of year,what a perfect time to reflect on the blessings from our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Gift Suggestions 2011

Here are some Christmas gift suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness.

To an opponent, tolerance.

To a friend, your heart.

To a customer, service.

To all, charity.

To every child, a good example.

To yourself, respect

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Start a Holiday Family Traditon

The holiday season is a time to build lifelong memories for your family. Traditions help you bond and reconnect with loved ones, friends, and neighbors.

Creating traditions takes just a little time and energy to plan. Iv'e put together a list of fifty traditions that you can choose from to help make your holiday season a little brighter .

Holiday food traditions

1. Make traditional dishes for your holiday meals and include foods from your culture or foods you ate growing up. Ask for recipes from relatives to keep your family food traditions alive.

2. Organize a cookie-baking party. Invite friends and family, or a group of your kids' friends. Ask everyone to bring their favorite holiday cookie recipe.

3. Make the same entree for Christmas Eve (such as stew) and Christmas Day (ham or turkey) every year. Or, choose a side-dish that becomes the yearly tradition, even if it's just for laughs.

4. Make a gingerbread house with your family. Those pre-made sets make it easy and provide you with everything you’ll need! Another option is to use graham crackers, some royal icing and candy you've saved for this purpose. I Love doing this every year

Neighborhood and community traditions

5. Get a handful of friends together and go caroling. You’ll be surprised by how well-received your singing group is, even if you’re out of tune!

6. See a local production of ‘The Nutcracker,’ ‘A Christmas Carol,’ or another holiday-themed show.

7. Check out holiday lights in your area. Get in the car, turn on your holiday playlist, and find brightly lit houses.

8. Record local holiday events on your calendar. Most cities have concerts, festivals, plays, and more to celebrate the season.

9. Walk door to door delivering Christmas cookies after you've made a batch.

10. Go visit Santa! Do your research and find out what times of the day are best to this, like mid-week during the evening.

11. Go sledding, ice skating, or other outdoor winter activity with your family. A great time time to schedule this is on Christmas day, after the gifts are opened, the meal is eaten, and everyone is getting antsy from being inside.

Around the home holiday traditions

12. Start the ‘Elf on a Shelf’ tradition. Your kids will love it and it will keep them on their best behavior! Our Elf is named "Elfie"

13. Read holiday books before bed each night. The Polar Express, Santa Mouse, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas are all excellent tales to boost your family’s holiday spirit.

14. Go to a tree farm to locate the perfect Christmas tree. At home, decorate it as a family or let the kids do their thing. Have some treats and hot cider or cocoa on hand to keep energy levels up!

15. Create a holiday playlist that your family listens to in the car or at home. Don’t forget classics like ‘White Christmas,’ ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas,’ and ‘The 12 Days of Christmas.’

16. Use an advent calendar to count down to Christmas. There are many varieties of advent calendars, from candles that are burned daily to boxes you open daily.

17. Set aside one night each week to watch a holiday movie or television special, such “Miracle on 34th Street” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

18. Have your child start an ‘I Am Thankful’ list. Have him add one thing he is thankful for each day. You can turn this into a decoration by having him write it on a paper Christmas tree or snowflake that you then hang across the fireplace or some other area.

19. Purchase or make a holiday ornament for each child every year. This is a great reason to reminisce during holiday decorating. All three of our children fill up their tree in their room with homemade ornaments.

20. Sit down with your child and write a letter to Santa.

21. As a family, write your holiday letter. Have each member contribute one memorable moment from the year to be recorded to share with friends and family.

22. Make holiday decorations yourself! Decorate windows with paper snowflakes, glue glitter onto pinecones and arrange in a bowl, and visit kid-friendly crafts sites to get creative and fun ideas that will involve your children.

23. Start a holiday village display. Add a new house or shop to your display each year.

24. Camp out in front of your Christmas tree one night. Keep the tree lights on, read holiday stories, and snack on holiday treats.

Giving back holiday traditions

25. Volunteer your time as a family at a soup kitchen or a food bank that hands out food to families in need.

26. Find a giving tree that allows you to sponsor a family in need or purchase toys for children in need. Go shopping for the items together and donate them.

27. Start a canned food drive in your neighborhood or at your child's school. Ask neighbors to donate canned and non-perishable foods, then donate them to a food bank.

28. Go through closets and donate gently used clothing (coats are particularly useful this time of year) to a local shelter.

29. Hold a book drive and ask coworkers, friends, neighbors, and family to donate books for kids that you can give to your local library, elementary school, or family shelter.

30. Deliver cookies and treats to your local fire station, police department, and even the staff at your local hospital. After all, they’ll be working through the holiday.

31. Don’t forget senior citizens! Volunteer time at your local senior citizens center or see if there is a giving tree specifically for the residents.

Holiday gift traditions

32. Draw names in your immediate family and make a gift for that person. It can be as easy as a playlist for an MP3 player or a photobook of your family’s greatest moments of the year.

33. If gifts have been sent from relatives that are far away (like grandparents), use Skype or another video chat service when they are opened so everyone can share in the joy.

34. Spend a day, and possibly a night, in a local metropolitan area and get your holiday shopping completed. Ask your mom, sister, or sisters-in-law to come along!

35. Pick names randomly and only give gifts to the person whose name you draw. Set a dollar limit to keep it even and have fun!

36. If your extended family is large, make a deal among the adults to buy gifts for only the kids of the family.

37. Spend Thanksgiving night planning your Black Friday. Check out all the sales, map your route, and make your list.

38. Start a gag gift tradition. Give a funny gift to a family member. Each year, pass the gift on to another unsuspecting family member.

Christmas Eve traditions

39. Open one gift on Christmas Eve.

40. Track Santa’s progress across the globe on NORAD.

41. Make reindeer food on Christmas Eve (oats and candy sprinkles) and toss it on the lawn for Santa’s team of reindeer.

42. Read The Night Before Christmas at bedtime.

43. Leave a ‘trail’ of gifts from the chimney to the tree to show Santa’s route in the house.

44. Get matching pajamas for the kids to wear on Christmas Eve. Talk about a great photo op Christmas morning!

Christmas morning/day traditions

45. Open all the gifts under the tree at 12:01a.m. on Christmas Day. This works best with older kids and teens.

46. Don’t open presents until after religious services or brunch.

47. Choose a family member at random to pass out gifts to everyone.

48. Call or have a video chat with loved ones who aren’t able to be with your family.

49. Invite family, friends, and neighbors over Christmas evening for games, dessert, and to decompress from the holiday.

50. Go out for breakfast and let someone else do the cooking!

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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving was a blast with family this year!!! I always enjoy spending time with family over the holidays. Since all my shopping is complete, now we can enjoy all the Christmas activities like baking, wrapping, spending good times with the kids and singing Christmas songs. I love the Christmas season!!!

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