Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happiness is... {living nativity scene models}

Linking up at the Happiness Is... Blog hop at Rub Some Dirt on It today!

Happiness is the laughter that comes from the memories of Christmas' past...

home made Santa Bobbers

Christmas gift

Amazing, Awesome and Cosmo
Christmas 2010

 And the joy that comes from new memories in the making.
FW:Nativity models!

November 28

Happiness is anticipating a Blessed Christmas Season!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Ornaments past (crafting)

Linking up at Living LIfe Intentionally Today!


The first Christmas Daddy Y and I spent alone together was 14 months after we were married.  We had decided to move far from home to where we knew no one and didn't have jobs.  It was exciting and terrifying all at once.  For our first Christmas, we didn't have a lot of money, but we went to a tree farm and selected a modest tree to bring home.  Because this was also our first Christmas tree (we'd hadn't had one our first Christmas together), we really didn't have a lot in the way of ornaments.  I owned a collection of Berta Hummel ornaments that my Grandmother had given me, but they left the tree pretty sparse.  We decided that to supplement we would make ornaments and so we went and bought a package of clothes pins.  Daddy Y already had a box of assorted model paints and we decided those would work just fine.  What a fun day that was.

Since that time, we have accumulated quite a lot of other ornaments, but these little soldiers and their wives along with their chipped paint come out every year as a reminder of our humble beginnings.

We both love to create things.  Many Christmas' since we have made ornaments with the kids.  Often times they have been prefabricated ornaments picked up at places like Hobby Lobby and Micheal's that the kids personalized with their own paint.  Sometimes though, we've felt a little craftier and come up with other options.  Here are some that we really enjoyed making:

"Sugar Cookie" ornaments

These were discs of recycled cardboard.  I traced peanut butter and jelly lids on the cardboard to make different sized circles to cut out.  Then I painted them gold on the front and back with acrylic paint.  After that I cut slits in the side at about 1/2" intervals all the way around the circles.  I gave the discs along with strips of Christmas colored yarn to the kids (including a 5 and 2 year old) and demonstrated for them how to slide the yarn into the slit and wrap it around to another slit.  When they came to the end of each string, I tied a knot at the end of the yarn and called them done.  I was surprised at how cute these cheap little ornaments turned out.

"Santa Bobbers"

These were Daddy Y's idea.  We bought bobbers, cotton balls, googly eyes, sequins and white pompoms.  Awesome, Cosmo and Amazing were cracking up putting these guys together.  They couldn't have been simpler and each one had it's own personality.  They have definitely stored this Christmas memory in their brains forever.

"Painted Glass Ornaments"

These were very interesting to make.  We simply purchased plain glass ornaments and acrylic paints (well, let's be honest here... I probably already had the acrylic paints because I love acrylic paint).  They took the end cap off of the ornament and poured in colors of their choosing, one or multiple, and rolled the balls around carefully (VERY FRAGILE!) until the paint was dispersed over the entire inside of the ball.  After this we placed the balls upside down into egg cartons for the excess paint to drip out and the remaining paint to dry.  These turned out really beautifully!

So gorgeous!

Considering the quantity of ornaments we have right now, I don't think we'll be making so many ornaments this year, but we just can't resist making some.  I'm betting that my Cosmo, Amazing and Awesome are going to want to make some of the snowman hand print ornaments I'll be making with the daycare soon.  We're definitely going to have to have a bigger tree next year.

A Nativity and a tree

I can't get enough of this nativity scene my sweet Daddy Y made,
with the help of my little Cosmo and Amazing.

and our cute (very tired, slightly shedding) little 10 year old Christmas tree is up!

With 19 years of Christmas ornaments piled on, courtesy of Awesome, Cosmo and Amazing.
It looked a little like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree until they fixed it up.

And for the first time in years, tons of  December work has been rolling in for Daddy Y, making me wonder if the tide is finally turning.

There is so very much that I'm loving on this Wednesday!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Naptime Giggles

I'm so excited because today I'm being featured at A Mother Seeking today!  Yea, my first feature!  Hop on over and check it out

A Mother Seeking

I am thankful for children... mine and those on loan to me each day.  I am thankful for lego's stacked to the ceiling and train tracks clogging the floor.  I am thankful for B-I-N-G-O and even more thankful for Tom Petty.  I am thankful for a Cosmo helping his younger sister Amazing with science and children who think math is too easy.  I am thankful for kids who love to create,  washable tempera paints and tiny washable hands.  I am thankful for stories and imagination and for beautiful naptime giggles.  I am thankful for sleeping children and the escape to my Diet Coke.  I am thankful for the afternoon sunshine streaming in my windows.  I am thankful for one on one time with my children and endings to work days.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving painted handprint turkey project

We made our painted handprint turkey's today.  The 3 year old was very patient, the 2 year old looked like she was nauseated by the whole ordeal and the 1 year old thought it was icky, but liked the way the paint felt on her hand.  My 12 and 9 year old had a blast helping me with painting little fingers for the handprint stamping, and then enjoyed making their own silly turkey's.

Overall, it was a pretty quick and easy project, when done one child at a time.  Here are pictures of the process while working on it with the one year old:

And here is the one year old's completed turkey:

And here are all 5 completed turkey's.  The 3 year old can't remember that they're turkey's though.  He keeps telling me how excited he is to take home his chicken.  What?  I'm so conufsed.

We'll try our feather turkey project next week.  Can't wait for that one!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving daycare crafts

With this being the season of giving Thanks, I like to do something special for my daycare parents.  The children, even though they are 1,2 and 3 love participating in all kinds of crafts.  My favorite crafts to do with them at this age are the fingerprint/hand print crafts.  There are so many cute poems and ideas available.

I have seen a cute card idea floating around this year.  It is a hand print turkey.  I know, hand print turkeys are really a staple of thanksgiving.  Any household with preschool age children has some variation of the hand print turkey floating around their house somewhere.  This year though, we are going to try a new challenge, multiple paint color hand print turkey's.  I will paint their little palms and thumbs brown and then each of their four fingers will be a different color, orange, yellow, green and red.  I am certain that the 3 year old will be able to handle this project with very little difficulty.  I think the 2 year old may protest a little because she has some texture issues.   I may wind up tossing the idea completely with her.  The 1 year old, well now that's any one's guess.  I am expecting some challenge when it comes to keeping her little hand open for the entire painting process.  I expect she will revel in the sensation of the cold paint on her little fingers and want to squish it around, making for more of a tie-dye looking turkey in the end.  I think it will be cute none the less.

The second project we will do is another variation of the hand print turkey.  I will trace their little hands on brown construction paper and cut the shape out and glue it to another piece of paper.  Then I will draw on little legs and faces (the 3 year old will do his own) and I will give them paint brushes and glue and a plate of feathers.  Fun right?  It's always fun to watch the little ones trying to glue things.  Their sticky little fingers make releasing the feathers onto the paper a bit of a challenge.  It should prove to be a fun project that will keep them busy for a while.

A couple of years ago I did this same project with children who were about 6 months apart.  It was fun to see their results.  I hadn't drawn anything on.  I made one of my own for an example to show them Then I gave them each their hand prints, eyes, beaks, feet, waddles and feathers to glue on.  The 2 1/2 year old glued things in various places on the page.  It looked like the turkey had been in an terrible explosion.  The 3 year old glued some parts onto the hand print, so it did have eyes, a beak and a waddle, and feet, but in strange locations.  The feathers were all glued in one area hovering above the turkey, but not attached.  The 3 1/2 year old, on the other hand, glued everything in it's proper place and designed an excellent piece of art that clearly represented a turkey.  It's amazing to see what developmental difference there is in children within just a just a few months at this young age.

I can't wait to see how these turn out.  The 1 and 2 year old are definitely going to make things interesting, but that's what being a kid is all about right?  Hopefully, I'll remember to take some pictures of the end results to post.   I won't be be posting any pictures of the paint covered feathered children though, but you've probably got a mental picture of that right now, haven't you!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mommy Y

As I mentioned on Sunday, I've decided to change the name of this blog.  As my 15 year old daughter has informed me, there is too much controlled chaos out there, from video games, to music, to comedy tours.  Even though my life resembles all those things from time to time, it is none of those things (although the comedy tour isn't really a very big stretch).  Therefore, Mommy Y seems more appropriate.

I certainly get asked why enough times a day to justify the title.  It is the motto of the toddler.  The direction of the blog will remain the same.  This means I'll still be writing about my whatever I feel is relevant, on a daily basis.  I reserve the right to write whatever I want.

I am still saying no and living with joy.  I am the momma and it is my perogative.  Hear me roar.  Go me.