Tag Archives: Christmas

Merry Christmas!

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Hello! I hope you all have had a very Merry Christmas! At the beginning of the month, as the kids were putting ornaments on the tree, I got the last minute idea to make a time lapse video of the process. I really enjoyed doing it and shared the video with some friends and family. And then on Christmas morning, I decided I might as well go ahead and film the proceedings and do another time lapse so we could preserve a quick glimpse into our morning. I love being able to see my kids’ excitement on Christmas morning and hope that we’re instilling a love for their Savior and a sense of gratitude for all they have in the process. We try to keep things simple and provide constant reminders of the reason we celebrate this season. May we always remember and be grateful for the gift of our Savior, whose birth we celebrate with gifts and service each year.

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How Not to Give Your Kids a Trip to Disneyland

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Let’s just ignore the fact that it’s been nearly 2 months since I last posted and carry on as though I never left, shall we? Okay then.

For Christmas this year, Mr. LPMD and I decided to surprise our kids with a trip to Disneyland. Not a trip during the Christmas break, but for a bit later in the year, thus we needed to come up with a fun way to let them know what their gift was. (Seeing as how we live on a budget and it would therefore be replacing the majority of what they usually get for Christmas.) Enter brilliant idea numero uno: a treasure hunt.

I grew up with treasure hunts. Like, my mother is the QUEEN of treasure hunt creation. Thus it seemed only fitting to channel my inner mother and do the same, right? Part of the treasure hunt creation curse is that it MUST rhyme. Must. I blame my mother. Again. So here are the clues I came up with. (I changed the number of days because, as much as I love all of you lovely readers, I’d rather not publicly advertise when we’ll be away from home, thanks.)

Merry Christmas to you, and all of the Rays!
We have a big present
It’s really quite pleasant
But you don’t get to have it for 42 days!

I know that’s a long time, but never you fear
To find out what you get,
Don’t cry and don’t fret,
Just follow the clues that you find far and near.

CLUE #1
Look for the girl with the crazy red hairs.
I’ve heard she’s quite Brave – she might be downstairs!
{Their clue was accompanied by a new DVD of Brave}

CLUE #2
To find the next clue, you must work together,
And search the back porch, no matter the weather.
Might be buried in snow, might be stuck in a crack,
But I’ll give you a hint – the next one is black!
{Nothing fancy – just glued the clue to a black piece of construction paper}

CLUE #3
You found it! Great job! Now back inside fast,
You must put on your coats and your gloves and your hats,
And then put on your boots the last thing of all
To find your next clue (which is pretty dang small).
{Clue was hiding inside of one of the boots}

CLUE #4
Now that you’re suited and ready to go,
Walk two houses south to somebody you know.
Sing a carol or two when they come to the door,
But you have to sing loud, to get what you came for!
{I had previously delivered the next clue to this neighbor, so she could give it to them after they sang}

CLUE #5
Home again, home again, jiggity jig,
Look for the next clue with Ralph, who is big!
You’ll have to look in your bedrooms to find him
The clue that you seek will be hiding behind him.
{Clue hiding with new Wreck It Ralph DVD}

CLUE #6
Don’t you love spending Christmas with family all day?
At the hospital, people are working away!
Let’s take them some cookies and spread Christmas cheer
To brighten their day and wish Happy New Year!
{I had the next clue in the car and gave it to them after we delivered the cookies}

CLUE #7
Now head to Park City, to see Grandma and Grandpa
Tell them about all your good things from Santa!
Then look for your clue that is hiding with Hugo,
When up, up, and up to the Lego Loft you go.
{The “Lego Loft” is what our family affectionately calls the attic-level playroom at Grandma’s house and the clue was accompanied by a new HUGO DVD}

CLUE #8
This is your last clue, so listen up good!
Stay close together, as good siblings should!
If you were a present, then where would you be?
Perhaps it’s not hiding, but _______  ____  _______!

YOU FOUND IT! HOORAY!
WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY!
Now all together you can open the box,
But first let me tell you, this gift totally rocks!

 

Now…what would they find at the end of the hunt? Cue brilliant idea #2: A box, full of stuff to do in the car on the long drive to the park and a cute Mickey Mouse countdown chain and some Disney trading pins and their backpacks/lanyards from Get Away Today (where we purchased our trip) and a Disneyland guidebook and a calendar with the dates of the trip marked. Mr. LPMD contributed the idea of park maps. We gave the big wrapped box to Grandma to already have at her house when we came. It was hidden away and when the kids went upstairs to look for their clue, we pulled it out and put it front and center under the tree.

This was going to be awesome. They were going to be sooooooo excited. We tease and talk about going to Disneyland all of the time. The kids have never been there and frequently ask if we can go. We tell them that we’ll go when they can pay for it. Or when the 1 year old (who’s not a 1 year old anymore) guesses the “secret ingredient” in our dinner without any help. As in: it’s never going to happen, kiddos! So yeah, they’ll be shocked and excited. We’re going to end up with one of those home videos where the kids are told they’re going to Disneyland and they freak out they’re so freaking excited about such a freaking awesome gift. And then Disney would get ahold of the video and love it and want to use it for advertising and give us free trips to Disney parks for life. My kids would be just. like. that.

Clearly, we have some work to do in the excitement department. (And for the record, they ripped 4 links off that chain when they just tossed it aside like garbage. Punks.)

I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Our Christmas Eve Tradition

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Since I’ve posted about Christmas Eve and all, I figured I’d share one of our family traditions as well. Now, you may be surprised to find out, but I occasionally have an idea or two of my own. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. Several years ago, my husband and I noticed that Christmas Eve was dragging on sooooooooooooo slowly and we got to talking about how it often felt that way as children too. Then I had a brilliant idea. (Actually, at this point, I can’t remember if it was mine or his, but I’m just going to go ahead and take credit for it.) You know how on Christmas Eve, lots of people get to open a present of new PJs to wear to bed? Well we do that too. (No, that is not the brilliant idea of which I speak.) But now, every year on Christmas Eve morning, our children get to open one present which contains a new pair of PJs to wear all day AND a new book to read. That’s right, Christmas Eve is officially pajama day at our house. We hoped, as the kids got older, that this would help to make the anticipation of Christmas morning weigh a little less heavily on their minds since they would be engrossed in their new book instead. And this year, for the first time, we had a child old enough for that to actually work. This Christmas Eve, the Princess started and finished her new book (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) on Christmas Eve. It’s a fun tradition that we love and if you want to adopt and love it too, be my guest!

Glue Catchers

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A while back I discovered the amazing Play At Home Mom blog. They have fantastic ideas and are much nicer to their children than I am to mine. One of the projects that they posted was these Glue Catchers. I decided it was just the kind of thing my kids would love to do, so on Christmas Eve, we broke out the cookie cutters and glitter and got to work.

THE RESULTS

All Set Up

I got it all ready and then invited the older two to come and have some fun. They enjoyed it and we ended up adding about 4 or 5 more cookie cutters to the tray before we were done.

The Princess Squeezing the Glue
“Batman” Adding His Glue (Geeze, this takes forever!)
“Superman” Up From His Nap and Doin’ the Glue Thing

Squeezing was a bit hard at first – even for me – but I snipped off just a little bit of the inside tip and things went better after that.

GLITTER!!!
More GLITTER!!!

Like there can ever be too much glitter.

In the end, it took about 3 days or so for them to dry and I never did get pictures of the finished product.

WHAT I LEARNED

*It is not all that easy to mix food coloring into a glue bottle. The glue tends to be…sticky (imagine that) and doesn’t want to mingle so much with the coloring, especially when you’re just using a skinny little skewer. I think it would have been easier had I dumped the glue out of the bottles to mix it. But then I would have had to pour it back in…so…not happening.

*I was surprised at just how much they shrunk in thickness as they dried. They ended up pretty thin, but I certainly didn’t measure so I couldn’t say how thin.

*Everything’s better with glitter.

THE VERDICT

It was fun! The kids really enjoyed making them and we could do these for just about any occasion. Even just a rainy day.