Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 177... Puzzle Piece Ornaments

Tonight we made puzzle piece ornaments for the tree. They turned out really cute. It was a pretty labor intensive craft so I would say it is for ages 7 and up.

Start with puzzle pieces. For the reindeer you need two connecting pieces. We hot glued them together so they would stay.

Figure out how many pieces you need to make your design. We used 4 for the reindeer, 3 for the baby reindeer, and 10-12 for the candy cane and wreath. Next paint them the color or colors needed.

For faster dry time we use the hairdryer. Make sure to paint both sides.

We almost always use hot glue on projects like this. The craft just stays together better and the mess is way less. The kids are getting older and with supervision they do pretty good with the glue gun.

Makenna ready to decorate her reindeer with embellishments. We used wiggle eyes, pom poms and 3d paint for the red dots and then buttons, foam stars and yarn for the wreaths. We then hot glued a red yarn string on the back to hang them.

Ready to put on the Christmas Tree!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 176..... Snowmen Ornaments

In honor of the first snowfall here in Georgia today we made snowman crafts for the tree. I showed the kids a few ideas from Pinterest and we all got to work. Have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest? So many ideas to get you thinking!!

BIG DADDY: I think he resembles Mr. Freeze Meiser from the Christmas show. It is made out of a blob of hot glue!

Mama: This one I made from just a large popsicle stick that I painted white then add your details.

Kenna's pot snowman. Cuter in person than it is in pics.

Jack: He made a footprint craft. Thought it turned out really cute!! Big improvement Jack.

Carson: He used small styrofoam balls put together with toothpicks. This one is cuter in person too.

Maddie: Paint Stick long snowman. Maddie gets the most improved. This is so much better than her turkey!! Way to go beanie!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 175.... Applesauce and Cinnamon Ornaments

Each year the very first ornament we make is Applesauce and Cinnamon ornaments. They make the house smell delicious and to the kids it is the "Smell of Christmas."

Big daddy said this was his first year getting to make them. I can hardly believe it as we have been making them 8 or 9 years. Needless to say he was as excited to get rolling and cutting as the kids! Let the fun begin!

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling!!

Cutting them out with Christmas cookie cutters. We used a tree shape, gingerbread man, candy cane, and star. Wish I could find a reindeer cutter. Maybe next year.

Getting a little help from Daddy!

Future Buddy Valastro from Cake Boss. Carson said "I'm taking the #2 and piping a little along the sides". FUNNY!

The kids love decorating them after they cool with a little glitter glue.

Their finished ornaments.

The recipe: 1/2 cup applesauce, and 1/2 cup cinnamon. Use extra cinnamon on your cutting board and rolling pin to roll them out. We use a straw to poke a hole. I think I usually cook at 275 for about an hour. Just cook long enough to harden them.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 174...Putting up the Christmas Tree's/Decorating

Rushing to put on a few bulbs!

What do you think mom??

Maddie was so excited to put the snowman on top.. Our star wouldn't plug into the prelit tree for some reason.

I did it!! I hope she keeps her excitement for a few more years!!

Playroom and fireplace decorated!!

The kids Christmas tree that they decorate themselves. Four excited kids ready to start the Christmas Season!! Now for making ornaments, and doing lots of fun Christmas things!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 173... Angel Tree toy Packing

Today we had an opportunity to work at the Salvation Army warehouse bagging up Angel Tree gifts for kids/families. This is the first time we have ever worked here. The kids LOVED it and did not want to go home. They liked looking for the different items kids wanted and then filling the bag for them. They would get so excited when they could give the child exactly what he/she wanted.

The Salvation Army is a great organization helping lots of families and kids in need. This service opportunity is a great way to volunteer your time this Christmas Season. My kids have made me promise we will go back at least once more to help. Maybe we will see you there.

This Salvation Army warehouse is located in Gainesville and they will be filling bags for kids up until December 17th. They were very family friendly and allowed all ages to work in filling the requests. If you would like to volunteer with your family please call Danielle Cunningham at 770-534-7589 for availability and times at this particular warehouse. I know age requirements vary at different locations!!

At the warehouse in Gainesville.

Maddie and Daddy bagging up a families Christmas.

These are some of the bags we filled today!

The boys working as a team to fill a families requests.

Maddie looking for just the right gift.

Kenna loved working on her own today and filled 5 families orders by herself!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 172... Festival of Trees Unicoi State Park

To kick off our Christmas fun I thought we would head to the Festival of Trees at Unicoi State Park. A beautiful drive in the mountains, 50++ decorated trees. That would certainly inspire us to get in the Christmas spirit and get decorating this weekend right?? Wrong!

We got stuck in traffic in Helen...ugg ugg ugg!!! We then got to the festival of trees and let's just say it wasn't exactly what I had pictured in my overactive mind and imagination. I envisioned a winter wonderland that would have the Greeneteam overjoyed and ready for hot cocoa, candy canes, reindeer, Christmas lights and Santa.

Instead what we found were a little over 30 decorated trees that were just average. Twelve were nice large trees but the remaining were rather small table top trees. Not the wow factor I had in mind when I heard the name Festival of Trees. I guess you win some and you lose some. This activity I would say was a lose in our fun column. Had there been hot cocoa, Christmas music, candy canes etc it may have saved the activity. As it was though not something we would sign up for again!

Shortly after we left the festival we had to make a 911 call as we came across what appeared to be an out of control fire surrounding a home. We were on back roads so as to not get stuck in Helen again. We weren't sure of course about the situation but all of us knew that our gut reaction was trouble and something was wrong.

I have to say that I hope it is the last 911 call I ever have to make as it really shook me up. Just thinking that people could be trapped or that someone could lose their house was really scary.

We talked about it the whole way home. Had we had a fabulously fun time at the festival?? Not exactly. But maybe, just maybe we were where God wanted and needed us to be. I am sure we will never know exactly what happened. What I do know is that we all felt good after making the call and doing what we knew was right. Maybe that was the lesson/fun we learned today.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 171... Thanksgiving Fun!!!

We are watching the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade, cooking, relaxing and watching t.v. for our day of fun. Pretty typical for what most families do on this day. We are fortunate to have Grandma here for company. Wish everyone could be here with us but we will take who we can get. Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving 2011!!

85th Annual parade!

Daddy and Jack watching the parade and drinking coffee!! Good times!

Makenna on a high thinking about the desserts for Thanksgiving.. Pumpkin pie, Apple Snickers Salad, Cookies, and Apple pie.. Life is good!!

The kids favorite float SONIC from Mario!!

Future Rockette Maddie Greene!!

A boy and his best friend on Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 170.... Giving to Others

Today we decided to donate to charity for our fun of the day. The kids all went to their room and brought down whatever they felt they could live without. They came up with a bunch. Books, toys, stuffed animals, games, coats, shoes and jackets filled the entire back of the car. Our donations filled a big donation bin at the Goodwill. The worker that took them seemed very appreciative.

We also loaded the 291 cans they have collected for the food drive and will drop them at AHG on Monday. The troop is trying to reach 1000 cans in time to donate for Christmas dinners. It felt good to clean out, and it feels good knowing that someone else will benefit from the things we were able to give away. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 169... Soccer

It was 70+ degrees today. We decided to take advantage of the weather and head to the beach for some soccer fun!! The kids and daddy had a blast running on the sand peninsula kicking the soccer ball. John used to play so getting out with the kids was lots of fun for him!! Too bad we can't do this one daily. I loved shooting the pictures, being at the beach, and watching them play one of Johns favorite games. A great family night of free fun!!