Monthly Archives: November 2009

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

1. Give the kids washable markers and have them draw holiday borders around the bathroom mirrors.

2. Record a fun holiday message together on the answering machine.

3. Go on a natural ornament walk together. Collect a basket of pine cones, evergreen boughs or even driftwood depending on what sort of landscape you live in. Bring them home, bring out the gold and silver paint and glitter, and make ornaments. Attach ribbons to hang or gather them in bowls as centerpieces.

4. Start reading a wonderful holiday classic together. We particularly love "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." It’s so funny and so touching at once.

5. Decorate an outside tree with some edible ornaments for wildlife…
  • Cover pine cones with nut butter, suet or shortening and then roll them in birdseed.
  • Cut oranges into halves.
  • Cut bread into holiday shapes with cookie cutters and spread with suet and birdseed.
  • Make cranberry and popcorn garlands….

6. Laugh! All day long! Challenge yourself and the kids to laugh a certain number of times, or at least every half hour. Fake it if you have to — it’ll turn real. I guarantee the day will be better than it would have been otherwise.

7. Decorate yourselves for the holidays. Put curling ribbon in your little girl’s hair (yours too!). Wear jingle bells around your ankles so you jingle when you walk. Wear red and white stripes. Pin bows on like brooches….

8. Make advent booties. We did these for years and I’ve seen fancier versions online lately but ourse were marvelously fuss-free. All we did is gather all of our old baby socks and decorated them together with fabric paint, buttons, baubles, ribbon and even markers. We put a number from 1 to 25 on them and I hid them each day of December with little treats inside for each child. They all worked together to find the day’s sock and sometimes I’d whisper clues to the youngest. Some of the treats inside were quarters, dragon tears, slips of paper promising neat activities with me, Hershey kisses and tiny toys.

9. Make snowmen out of stiff mashed potatoes with an ice cream scoop (lay the snowman down on the plate, stacking won’t work!). Offer things like baby carrots, olives and peas to personalize him.

10. Go running together. Maybe it doesn’t sound magical to you, but children love to run and it’s a great way to spend time together and get healthy. It reduces stress, helps your heart, gets some fresh air and sunshine, and is just all around good for you. It also makes your child feel great when he or she can leave you gasping behind! 🙂

Have a magical week!


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Happiness Is….

… Having allowance to spend and visiting a store like this.

Being two and being allowed inside!

… Making your own fabulous jewelry.

… Pumpkin carriages in handmade houses.

… Cooking with Daddy.

… Helping decorate the tree.

We’re back from our trip to see family. We had a wonderful time.
I’ll start sharing handmade holiday ideas tomorrow
(especially simple ones).
No matter which holiday you celebrate,
let the magic begin.

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Random Thoughts

I probably won’t be around for a few days.
We’re heading to the big city (for us)
to see family for Thanksgiving.
We even get to stay in a hotel with a pool.
That’s a big deal for my kiddos.

Today we had a wonderful day
with fabulous friends
at a science museum.
The kids were in heaven.
I wish we lived closer to places like that
but we sure appreciate it when we do get to go.

We even got to lie on a bed of nails
as part of a science show.
Anna went first and rocked it.
I went second, even though I thought I was fairly convincing
that no, I really didn’t want to, thanks!

You know what?
It really does sort of hurt when you lie on a bed of nails.
Don’t let them fool you.
Especially at one’s heavier parts (I won’t mention which parts)
and the nails are sharp!

Jack had the most priceless quote of the day:

"It’s very much painful and a little bit relaxing."

When the man asked if he wanted to get off
he said no
and later asked to do it again.

There ya go.

For me, once was enough.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Be thankful you don’t have to lie on a bed of nails!


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Thanksgiving Nifties

The Crafty Crow
has some particularly darling crafts right now
in honor of T-day.
If you’re in the mood,
go take a peek.

I’d ramble more but I’m so, so sleepy
and we’re going to the science museum in Sioux Falls tomorrow.

It’s a long drive
to see good friends
at a neat place
and I may even get Italian food.
Does it get any better?

Happy Tuesday!

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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

1. Go for a ride together on a train, bus, carriage or anything new and exciting.

2. Bake cookies for loved ones and decorate them with words
representing all the things you love about them.

3. Sit and draw crayon portraits of each other.
No artistic talent necessary.
Display the finished masterpieces.

4. Do something with the kids that you really don’t want to do
but you know means a lot to them.
(Courtesy Magical Daddy Daryl)

5. Get some rubber gloves
and the fanciest trim you can find
and make fabulous cleaning gloves for each of you.
There are tutorials online like
this if you sew
but I’m a glue gun kinda girl so I think I’ll wing it.

6. Hide funny little notes all over the house.
See how long it takes for people to find them all.

7. Go to a thrift store and get a cheap oil painting (without glass).
Take it home and alter it together with paint, glitter, fabric, anything!

8. Get a blank book and encourage all of the family members
to write, draw, etc. it in every day or two
as a sweet family memento.

9. Make pumpkin scones together and don’t look at the calories.
(Blame Magical Mama Lucy)

10. Dress up in super fabulous clothes and go grocery shopping.
Crowns optional!


Have a magical week!
Don’t forget to take care of you!

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Our Gratitude Tree

Here’s a little project we made up today
in honor of Thanksgiving

We cut a branch outside and trimmed it
and pushed it deep into a nice heavy potted plant.
Then we cut leaves out of colored paper
and wrote things we were thankful for
on each one.
We punched holes at the ends
and hung them from the branches.

We each had our own color.
Mine was teal, Daryl’s was red.
The kids had purple, green and blue.

The kids were so proud of our finished gratitude tree
and I have to admit it makes me smile too.

More thankful projects and activities are here.

And did you know about the Melissa and Doug recalls in Canada?
I think those of us in the U.S. should be aware of it, too,
since their toys all come from the same factories (in China)
and the holidays are coming.

Enough seriousness.
Please go do some random silly thing now
and have a wonderful Sunday.

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Happiness Is….

…getting out in nature one last beautiful fall day
before winter hits

If you have lovely weather in your neck of the woods (or plains)
I highly recommend taking advantage of it!

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Boredom Busters!


Nothing to do?

Here’s a pile of free and easy ways to turn a lazy day fun…

Make an obstacle course of couch cushions and stray objects in the living room.

Play charades.

Give kids a screwdriver and let them take apart broken phones and other gadgets.

Alter a book.

Challenge the kids to fill a laundry basket with something representing every letter of the alphabet. The catch? It has to be out of place already. Afterwards, put it all away and fill it with 10 blue things and so on.

(Shhh, don’t mention this is eerily similar to cleaning.)

Mix tempera paint with a little liquid dish soap and let the kids paint a fall decoration on a window.

Teach them a new card game.

Paint rocks, sticks or pine cones outside.

painted rocks

Turn a large box into a post office, rocket ship, puppet theater, boat….

(Add your own!)

Happy Friday!


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Thanksgiving Table Printables!

Here’s some fun printables to keep your favorite little people
busy this Thanksgiving!

Click here for the fun.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a small boy
who napped too late and woke at entirely the wrong time
who’s planning on hanging out with me
till the wee, wee hours
so I guess I’d better find some munchies!

Happy Thursday!

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A Few Good Crafts

Here’s a few of the crafts and goodies I’ve been drooling over lately…

1. This lantern is so gorgeous!
The tutorial is very light on instructions
but I’m going to go for it anyway!

2. Did you all know about frame tape?
Oh my goodness, I want a hundred rolls.
I’m in love with the idea.
I’m going to cover walls with artwork.

3. Magical Mama Lucy shared the link
to make these fabulous looking Starbucks Pumpkin Scones.
I have a freezer full of pumpkin.
I think a double batch is in our near future.

4. I love the idea behind this project
minus the sewing and taking a really long time bits.
I’m all about sentimental
but also really about easy. 🙂
So I’m working on a lazy mama version of this one…

5. How cute are these?!
I love the painted toenails
and know four kids who’d love to make a set each.

What’s on your fun list lately?
Have any crafts or nifty sites to share?

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