Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Favorite Homemade Christmas Ornaments Made By My Kids (And How to Make Them)

As much as I love themed trees and really primitive trees, I can't bring myself to change anything about our big tree in the living room.  It's so full of memories!  It's mostly just things the kids have made, ornaments my mom gives them every year, and special ornaments we've collected or been given.  Each one has a story.  We have so much fun remembering as we're decorating the tree.  There's stories about Colt and Joy, and now Luke will have his own to add to the tree as well.

Today, I thought I'd share some of my favorite homemade ornaments made by the kids with you, and how they were made.

This particular one is really a favorite because I look at it and see a special piece of art work and my kids' interpretation through drawing means so much.  The kids were asked to draw the nativity scene or "when Jesus was born in the stable". 

It's made with 3 craft sticks glued together in the shape of a triangle and a white piece of triangular paper or cardstock glued to the back.  (We didn't use them then, but I'm thinking glue dots would be easy now).  Add a little ribbon at the top to hang it.  Let the kids draw the manger scene.  I think it would be cute done with colored pencils, although my kids used a regular pencil.  Add some raffia or straw to the bottom for the hay in the stable.  Add a stick on star at the top (this one below is missing the star).  That's it and it's so precious.

This one is an old stand by, but a favorite, because it includes a photo.  For this one, you glue 3 craft sticks together in a triangle.  Then glue another 3 craft sticks together in a triangle.  Then place one of the triangles upside down over the other one and glue them together.  Then let the kids cover them with glitter (the fun part) :).  Then crop a picture to glue to the back.  Add a ribbon for hanging.

We've made these lots of times to keep kids busy for awhile.  Save your pringle lids (or other plastic lids in similiar sizes).  Pull out your Christmas cards from previous years and let the kids go through them picking out favorites.  They then crop the cards to fit the top of the pringle lid and glue it on the lid.  Put a border of glue around the edge of the lid on the cropped card and add glitter. Punch a hole in lid (this can even be done with an ice pick or a knife).  Add a hook for hanging or even a small ribbon.

This one is made from a circle cut from a piece of poster board and covered on the back with a piece of Christmas fabric.  Add your child's thumbprint and make a design from it.  Add decorative trim around the edge and a ribbon for hanging.

Salt dough ornaments are always fun for kids too.  They love getting their hands in the messy gooey stuff!  This one was made from a gingerbread cookie cutter and Colt used markers to decorate it like a tiger cub scout during a cub scout meeting.  You can use a straw to punch the hole before baking it.  They then used yarn for hanging it. 

This snowman was made from a plastic spoon and pieces cut from felt.  A face was drawn on the back side of the spoon for the snowman and a hat, body and scarf cut from felt.

And this one is definitely one of a kind. :) His name is Llama Bob.  He kind of reminds me of Squidward of Sponge Bob.  I'm not sure if anyone would ever want to make him and I'm not even sure exactly how he was made, but I had to show him to you.  When Colt got older (and Joy was little and happily making lots of ornaments), I asked him to make me an ornament for the tree.  You know it was during the time that he thought he was too big for such a thing (as boys tend to do) and this is what he came up with.  But it definitely tells a story and was "so Colt", that I love it.

Maybe I'll be back to share some other favorite ornaments, not necessarily homemade, but just some of my favorite ornaments from our big tree.  

So what about you....do you have favorite homemade ornaments made by your kids that you treasure?  I'd love to see them.  We enjoy counting down the days to Christmas and try to do an activity a day.  Making ornaments is usually on the advent list!

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a great day!  :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Luke Meets His Great Grandma (A Surprise Visit)

Recently, my Uncle Jesse came out to help Daddy complete work on installing a new heating and air unit in their home.  And remember my mom and dad live next door?  Well when Uncle Jesse came, he brought a pleasant surprise with him.......my Grandma!  She's my only living grandparent.  I hadn't seen her since last Thanksgiving when we went to Alabama.

We always tell her to come see us.  However, we know it's hard for her to make the 4 hour trip one way at her age.  She's soon to be 93!  But she did it!  She surprised us all...especially my daddy (her son).  Daddy stops by the mail box to pick up their mail as he comes in every afternoon and he picks up our mail as well and brings it to our back door and says hi to the kids.   Well, Grandma was at my house then, so we "hid her" in the living room on the piano bench.  When he came in, we sent him in the living room telling him to go look on my piano at what I got today.  :)  And there she sat...all 5 feet of her!   He was totally (and pleasantly) surprised!

This was the first time Grandma and Luke had met.  They hit it off just fine.  Luke was so gentle with her and she enjoyed him! 

I was thrilled to get these pics of them.

She does so well for her age and I think she looks great at her age!

We get to spend Thanksgiving again this year with her.  And then, I'll be one of those crazy ones out bright and early on Black Friday.  Alot of us ladies have a great time though and always get great deals.  We all meet up for lunch and eventually go home exhausted having put in a full day, but then we always end up doing it all again the next year!  :)

And speaking of Thanksgiving, I wish you all a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving with your families!

Hugs and Blessings,
~ Tammy ~

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One More Home Improvement Project Checked Off the List....

It feels so good to check another thing off our list!  The shed facelift is done and we're so pleased with how it turned out!  (Please excuse the mess still lying around....I took the pictures as soon as I could....didn't take time to clean up yet).

As a matter of fact, Joy said, "Are we just going to store things in it now?"  "It's so pretty, it should be a little cabin or something".  And I totally agree with her.  As a matter of fact, it has a front porch and I think now the porch is begging to be decorated.  :) 

What did we do?  There were some structural things that had to be done as in replacement of some framing.  Then as time and our budget allowed, we (well....mostly Jason) replaced the siding with Hardie board cement siding. We bought a new front door and Jason built the big side door. 

We painted the siding a color called Ginger Spice and the doors were painted Longjohn Red.  And Jason even painted my barn star red for me and hung it too!  That just completed it!

And so it's done!  Yay!  Now to finish my upstairs bathroom!  The list is never ending.  And believe me I DO have a list!  :)  Wish we had the pocketbook to back up the projects we dream up because it would be nice to have it all right now.  But then again, that's part of the fun......dreaming and planning, right?

And thanks to those that gave me leads on finding a stocking for Luke!  My bloggin friend, Gina, had an unbelievably close match in an old quilt and she's whipping one up for Luke!  I'll show it to you when she finishes and we get it hung!  Thank you so much, Gina!

And thank you so much for stopping by and making a visit to my blog a part of your day today! 

Hugs & Blessings,
~ Tammy ~   

Monday, November 15, 2010

Need Helping Finding One of These For Luke.......

I just love our stockings made from an old quilt.  I bought Jason's, mine and Colt's at the same time, so they are very similiar and are about the same size.  When Joy came along almost 10 years after Colt, I found the lady at the flea market who then had a similiar one, only a little smaller.  Joy has always reminded us that hers was a little smaller too.  :)  Now 11 years later, I need another one.  And I can't find one.  And I can't find the lady that sold them.  Sigh!

So....this is where I hope someone out there can help me!  Does anyone know where I can find one similiar from an old quilt?  Or do you make them or know someone who does?

We could use the size of ours or the size of Joy's; either one would be fine. 

I've already searched Etsy and Ebay and found nothing similiar.

I felt guilty hanging our stockings with only four.  Fortunately, Luke hasn't figured out that there are five of us and only four stockings.....yet.  He has just claimed one and it's a different one each time, so he's okay. :) But I'm hopeful that I will find one.

Thanks for your help!  Luke thanks you too! 

And thank you for stopping by today!  Hope you have a great week! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pillowcase Dresses for Missions

Have you seen these?

My sister-in-law, Missy, along with a friend, are making and selling pillowcase dresses to raise money for their church's mission trip to Honduras.  My brother has been several times now and has a heart for the people of Honduras and has gone back every year for several years.  I believe it's January that they go again and they're trying to raise money for the team that will go.

I sure wish Joy was young enough to wear these cute dresses!  Wouldn't they make a darling holiday Christmas dress for that special little girl in your life? 

They can make any of these in sizes 6 months to 8 years and can also customize any ribbons with different designs, and colors, etc.  Just let her know what you have in mind.

Cost for one dress is $25 plus $4.95 shipping ($29.95) or two dresses for $40 plus $4.95 shipping (total $44.95) within the U.S.  

I just love this one!  

Here's more pics of what they've made:

They look so cute when paired with leggings or tights and a long sleeved shirt or turtleneck.

If you're interested in purchasing one, just email me at countrygirlathome@att.net and I will put you in touch with Missy.  They would greatly appreciate any orders.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I appreciate your visits and comments so much and I also welcome my new "followers" too!  (I really like the sound of faithful readers better though).  :)


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Little Progress and a Recipe Too!

Slowly, slowly, so it seems anyway, our shed's facelift is getting done!  We've (.....well mostly Jason) just worked on the weekends (when we didn't have other things going on), and when we could budget in materials.  Hopefully by this weekend, it will be completely done!   Yay!   (Then we get to move on to much more fun home improvement projects)!

You can see the old worn out siding at the top on the front.  That's my dad and Jason working replacing the old siding with Hardie board siding.

Then with most of the Hardie board siding now on:

You can see a little better from this view the color that we are painting it.....it's called Ginger Spice.  I was thrilled to find this color to match our cedar home without custom mixing something!

Now all that's left to do is add the big door on the side and get the front door painted (red, or course, Longjohn Red to be exact). 

Oh, and I had to share this picture!  This was taken on Halloween.  Luke had to "help" daddy!

I thought I'd share a favorite apple recipe of ours around here (and it's easy too).  I just made it the other day and it was devoured rather quickly.  It jogged my memory on how much we really love it.

Apple Crisp

6 large apples
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup flour

Place diced apples in a greased baking dish. I use a 7 x 11 inch dish.
Pour orange juice over apples.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture over apples.
Combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Mix in butter until crumbly. Spoon over apples.

Bake at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes (until lightly browned on top).


It's best served hot.  Jason likes his with ice cream.

I prefer it without.

And here's a hint at what I've been up to......can you believe it already?  (I just can't help myself....it's my favorite holiday)!  :)

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  God bless!  :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Babies - A Movie Review

Last week on our "Just Us Girls" day, Joy and I watched this movie.  I'm so glad Joy remembered about it, because we really liked it. 

First of all, I should warn you that it does have cultural and maternal nudity in it.  Please take that into consideration as to who views it with you, if you decide to watch it.

Here's the synopsis on the movie:

Everybody loves... BABIES. This visually stunning new movie simultaneously follows four babies around the world - from first breath to first steps. From Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo, BABIES joyfully captures on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all. The children are, respectively, in order of on-screen introduction: Ponijao, who lives with her family near Opuwo, Namibia; Bayarjargal, who resides with his family in Mongolia, near Bayanchandmani; Mari, who lives with her family in Tokyo, Japan; and Hattie, who resides with her family in the United States, in San Francisco.

We especially enjoyed it because Mongolia borders Inner Mongolia, where Luke is from, and it gave us insight on the culture.  Since we visited the Inner Mongolia Museum, we were somewhat familiar with alot of this.  It is very likely that Luke has Mongolian blood running through him, and many of them are shepherds living in yurts.   Not to mention, that little boy from Mongolia (on the movie) is just adorable!

The movie parallels the four babies and what's happening in their lives during that first year of life.  It is so interesting!  Be warned, there's not much talking, as a matter of fact, very few words.  But no words are necessary.  Watch the trailer above for a little peek at what you'll see in the movie!  Then, if you're interested in watching it, right now you can get it at Redbox or it's an instant view on Netflix (if you have an account with them).   

If you love babies and would be interested in viewing other cultures and how they relate to their babies, you'll love this movie!  AND....the babies are just adorable!  :)       

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween....Starring Mulan, "Luke" the Builder, & a Guitar Ninja

We have way too much candy at our house!  The kids had double the fun.  They went to a trunk or treat at a local church that had games for the kids on Saturday afternoon.  Then they even squeezed in a little trick or treating at friends houses last night.

Joy was Mulan (our version)......and Luke was Bob Luke the Builder.  We have always put together costumes with what we can gather inexpensively, or find at consignment shops.  It's always a fun challenge to see what we can come up with by spending little or no money. Luke only cares about Bob the Builder and since we didn't have a costume for that, we just did the best we could with his hard hat, a make-do tool belt with his hammer, screwdriver and tape measure, and construction shirt. 

He would have been just as content (or more so) to wear his new footie pajamas that Grandmama bought him.  He doesn't want to take them off and when he does, he carries them everywhere and begs to put them on!

Luke was mostly amazed by the fact that everyone was just giving him candy, anyway! :) He was so appreciative.....and was so cute!  He caught on really quickly and was a bit hyper last night after all the candy!  Colt and Amber came in and asked why he was running around the living room in circles.  :) The candy is now out of sight and being rationed.  :)

AND then we had a ninja in the house too.......a guitar ninja (so he's nicknamed at church).  :)  

Hope you all have a great week!  :)  Thanks so much for stopping by!  You always make my day with your comments too!