Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Christmas Book List

This year we are doing the ABC’s Of Christmas so I tried to incorporate books that would fit in with each letter. I had trouble with a few so I added our favorite books on those days. Here are the books that you will see cropping up on my blog over the next month :-)

Some of these books may be out of print as I’ve had them for a while but I’ll link the best I can.

Books for 2011


A – Alabaster’s Song

B – There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell

C- The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher

D – Drummer Boy

E – The Happy Elf

F- Once There Was A Christmas Tree

G – Gingerbread Mouse

      The Gingerbread Pirates (a favorite from last year).

H – Humphrey’s First Christmas

I – Snowmen at Christmas (I’m thinking icicle….)

J – Tiny Baby Jesus

K – The King’s Christmas List

L – The Light of Christmas

M – Mortimer’s Christmas Manger

N – The Nutcracker

O – Olivia Helps With Christmas

P – The Jolly Christmas Postman

Q – A Magical Christmas

R – Olive, the Other Reindeer

S – Song of The Stars

      Oh, What a Christmas!

T – Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree

U – Merry Christmas Curious George

V- Angel Pig and the Hidden Christmas

W – Willy and  May

X – The legend of the Poinsettia (for xmas around the world)

Y – The Legend of the Christmas Kiss

Z – The Christmas Lizard


others we’ll be doing for a special day (if we have time):

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Polar Express


Some Aussie Favorites:

An Aussie Night Before Christmas

An Aussie Day Before Christmas (I had trouble finding a link)

Wombat Divine

The Golden Kangaroo

A Bellbird in a Flame Tree

Santa’s Aussie Mix up


If you are looking to get a new book for Christmas this year, my favorite book of all time is “The Christmas Lizard” (see list above)…….Amazon only sells used copies now but it id well worth it! I so wish I had have bought 2 copies as mine is getting a little worn but the illustrations are BEAUTIFUL and the story is WONDERFUL and kind of ties Christmas all together by explaining the true meaning. We always save this one for Christmas eve :-)

I’d LOVE t hear what your favorites are! Leave a comment or link to your list in the comments below – I look forward to checking them out!

Check out some other GREAT books at TBA – click on the link below!

Christmas Week

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Christmas Bag


Each year, we do a countdown to Christmas with books. In the past, I wrapped each one up and then the boys got to open it each day – they had an absolute blast! This year though I got to thinking about paper………..it’s expensive AND it takes me forever to wrap up all of those books (not to mention how many trees I was wasting by the amount of paper I’d be using each year to wrap my books). I was brainstorming one day and came up with “The Christmas Bag”. I think I’ve mentioned before that I am a TOTAL novice on the sewing machine and really have no idea what I’m doing……but where there’s a will there’s a way!

The bag is big enough to hold all sizes of books (and some Christmas DVD’s too) and the boys will simply open the bag each day to find what goodies are inside. I also made 25 of the little number ornaments that I can easily pop on the  bag so the boys know what number we’re up to. We’ll hand these up after each day on the wall in the shape of a tree:-)


I hand stitched the middle part of the bag. I have the pattern for the tree if anyone is interested in making their own {Click HERE}.


I even lined the inside of the bag (to a non sewer, this was a BIG deal and caused me great stress but I think it turned out).


I alternated the red and green color (material and number buttons). The buttons came from Jo-Ann but are kind of pricey (about $6 a packet and I needed 2……make sure you take a coupon along).


There is a green rope that ties the bag together (which you can vaguely see in the top picture). All in all I’m happy with how it turned out and am having visions of passing it down to grandkids one day :-)

I can’t WAIT to start filling the bag with books! Stay tuned tomorrow for a list of the books we’ll be reading.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

North Pole Breakfast


Last year we did “The Elf On The Shelf” and it was a MASSIVE hit with our 2 little guys. This year, I snagged this (much cuter) elf at Hobby Lobby for only a few dollars and thought I was set to go…………THEN I saw the “North Pole Breakfast”  idea on Pinterest and knew it was a tradition that I wanted to start with our family too. I decided that our breakfast would be today (first Sunday after Thanksgiving) and here’s what it looked like:


The cute plates came from Hobby Lobby during their 50% off Christmas sale last week (not sure if it’s still going on) and the adorable little elf cups came from Wal-Mart for only $1.


“Trix” (our elf) left us a hat, socks and PEZ….all from the dollar section of Target.


The menu…….


The letter to Santa that “Trix” asked us to fill out so he can take it to Santa tonight.


Santa left a note for the boys reminding them why we celebrate Christmas and the “rules” of Trix being in our house (like not touching him).


It’s a little hard to find “treats” that Sully can eat with his peanut allergy but I did find some white Cotton Candy and called it “Snow Clouds”.



Here’s a quick picture of the boys……I (unfortunately) didn’t get too many as I was busy dishing out and cutting up the food :-)



We were too full at breakfast to have our “snowman soup” so we had it after lunch instead.


All in all, it was a HUGE success and I hope the start of a great tradition! I made the printables using clip art from  KPMDoodles and Miss Tina. Unfortunately I can’t share the files with you due to the copyright on some of the graphics BUT if you head over to “Me & Marie”, Ashley Has some WONDERFUL printables that you can use (for free!).

Come back tomorrow for a post about another tradition we are about to start!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I’m Having A Sale!

sale in store

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As a thank you to all of you, I am having a little sale in my TPT store. You’ll be able to get 15% off everything…….. no need to do anything special, the discount is already applied to all of my items :-)

The sale will only last until tomorrow, so head on over and check it out (you can click on the picture above to get there).

Enjoy your family!

The above clip art is copyright and designed by Dianne J. Hook. Thanks you Djinkers!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Lights!

Christmas Lights Pic
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Sorry I haven’t been around much lately……I don’t think I told you but my husband and Channing went to Australia for a VERY quick visit (they were only gone a week). Unfortunately I didn’t go because when we purchased the tickets, I was still in the process of becoming a US Citizen and you aren’t meant to leave the country while it’s being processed. We had no idea it was all going to happen so fast for us (and I could have gone in the end). Oh well – I’ll get to go next time! I’m about to pick them up in about an hours time………..I have missed them like CRAZY!!! My sweet hubby and I have only been apart ONE day since we have been married and I think I’ve only been away from Channing for a night too……..needless to say that while Sully and I were BUSY, there was still lots of “missing” going on around here.
Anyway, I’ve been crazy busy trying to get some Christmas things ready for my kiddos and I thought I’d give you one of the printables a little early. It’s a counting/color Christmas lights book that includes the numbers 1-10. I hope you’ll find it useful :-)

The activity above will be included in my Christmas Pack coming soon to TPT.......

Also, I wanted to let you know that I’m now an author of

The Crafty Community

…..it’s an AWESOME new blog filled with craft ideas for kids! Come over and follow along, it’s going to be bursting with crafty fun.

Once again, the clip art and tracing font I used to make the Christmas Light Printable, is copyright and designed by Dianne J. Hook. Thanks you DJinkers for allowing me to use it!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday Celebrations Around the World (another keepsake book)!

Holiday Celebrations pic

Wow! I can’t believe I got it done but I did! “Holiday Celebrations” is my newest Keepsake book. It includes a short sentence or two and a craft (of course) from 14 countries!

There are 16 crafts included, along with templates for everything. It will supplement any holiday world trip you were planning with your kiddos :-)

Here are the countries included:
















Most pages are really simple but some are a little ore detailed which is why I am moving the age range on this one to K-3rd grade. It’s available in my TPT store if you’d like to check it out (it’s 45 pages long)! You can get there by clicking on the picture above or HERE!


I hope you’re still reading because (you know me, I’m all about giving away)……….the first 3 people to comment here on my blog (with their email address) will be sent one for FREE!!!!!

Christmas Book Winners

Keep sake book winners

Congratulations to these lovely ladies! I hope you have TONS of fun making them :-) Isabel, can you email me musingsofme@yahoo.com with your email address!

Thank you so much to everyone that entered! I hope you’ll head over to my store to check them out.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Keepsake Book Giveaway!

As promised, here are the two new books I’m giving away:

Holiday Fun and Christmas Bundle

Here is some info about them:


The Tale of Christmas


“The Tale of Christmas” keepsake book is back by popular demand! This adorable keepsake book tells the story of Christmas with a craft for each page. Each craft is easy to complete and uses materials that you probably already have.

What a great opportunity to make a memory with your kids as you explain to them the true meaning of Christmas!

Pages include:




Baby Jesus



Wise Men


As always, this keepsake book is a great one for parents to keep and show their kids when they get older.


Holiday Fun!

Do you love holiday craft but hate all the bits of paper and mess? My “Holiday Fun” keepsake book is the perfect solution. This book includes an original poem with a craft for each line. This book includes 11 of my all-time FAVORITE holiday crafts in one place! Kept together in a book to look at for year to come!

Craft include:


Christmas tree with lights





Christmas Cookies


Candy Cane


What a great gift for parents! Each craft is simple to complete and uses materials that you probably already have. I hope you enjoy the holiday season and making a memory with your kids!


Here’s the good news! I am giving away these two books to 3 people!!

 All you have to do is leave me a comment below and you’ll be entered :-) 


You have until Midnight tonight (EST) to enter.

If you can’t wait, They are available in my TPT and

Teacher Notebook store for $3.50 each or you can purchase my “Holiday Bundle” that includes both books for $6.00.

Thanks for entering and good luck!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas ABC Coloring Book (Freebie)!

Christmas ABC's picI know that Thanksgiving is not even here yet so it’s weird to be thinking about Christmas………..my fellow Aussies however are thinking Christmas and the celebrations are in full swing! This year I’m doing an ABC countdown to Christmas with my boys (more about that in a future post) so I whipped up this coloring book.  It’s and A-Z coloring book of all things Christmassy. We’ll be focusing a LOT on the true meaning of Christmas in our house but there are some other fun things we like to do as well.
If you are interested, you can find this booklet in my TPT store.
The clip art and tracing font that I used to make this cute book are copyright and designed by Dianne J. Hook. Thank you so much DJinkers!

I’m happy to announce that I have finished my two new keepsake books:
Back by popular demand (and now with templates) Take Of Christmas pic1

Holiday Fun Book Pic
Both books contain some of my all time FAVORITE Christmas crafts! I will be having a giveaway of these books on Sunday so please come back later to join in the fun (they will also be available for sale in my store sometime tomorrow).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Big Event!


Yay! The party was a HUGE success so I thought I’d share it with you…..just in case you have a little superhero too that want’s a fun party :-)

Before we get started, today is the LAST day (until 5pm) to vote for me at Circle Of Moms…..do you mind jumping over there (see pink button on my side bar)….I’d LOVE to make it in the top 25!

OK, this was my inspiration board from Pinterest:


HEAPS of fun ideas!!

Here is what each little hero got when they arrived at the party:



A cape (they got to choose the color…….I cut them all out and my lovely MIL sewed them all for me :-)


……….and a mask (the girl ones are a little pointed at the ends)….I sewed these so they are not nearly as neat as my sewing skills are not the best).


They also got a Hero ID. The circle on the front is where they put their thumbprint…………At the conclusion of each “Station”, they got a sticker to put on the corresponding star. To complete Hero Training School, they needed to have sticker on each star.

I also gave the parents a note so they would have some clue as to what was going to happen.


I also had some activities set up outside to do while we waited for everyone to get there:


A skyscraper scene that the kids stood behind and got a photo…..I wasn’t counting on the amount of wind we had that day but we still got a few good shots.


A “Pin the mask on the sidekick” game…….(I sewed this too).


“Duck For a Hero” game where the kids had to use tongs and try to catch a duck with a candle drawn on the bottom. I got the little hero ducks from Amazon but as you can see, they aren’t the best floaters!



We everyone got there, we went inside to play a game of “Pass the Kryptonite” (a big rock I sprayed Green)….we used this song to play the game to:

After that, the kids got into 4 groups (I had a mom lined up to help with each group)…..I had emailed them a list of activities earlier in the week but here’s what they got at the start of the party-


It included a list of the kids names in their group, the order they were doing the activities, stickers to out on the kids ID’s and any other last minute changes I had to make to the activities after I emailed them.

Now let’s get onto the hero training tasks:



I made the heavy weight by using 2 bouncy balls (MUCH cheaper than using polystyrene balls), and a dowel……..it worked out great. I made the big boulder with used paper and tape (along with trusty old black spray paint).



Sully loved this task! The kids had to use their super strength to left the weight and the boulder….You should have heard some of the cute statements from the kids….”I am soooooooo super strong"!





At the “Hero's take action” task, I stuck 6 pictures of villains on helium balloons and the kids had to use the hero bean bags (which I made) to “get them”…….this was Channing’s favorite task of the day :-)



At the “Hero’s Save the Day” task, the kids had to balance over the “lava” to save the dog (and walk back across with it).



At the “Hero’s Do the Unexpected” task, the kids had to put on the glasses and tie (which I made) and complete the obstacle course:



First thing to do was to jump over the yellow sticks.


The kids then had to go through the “bat cave”……


Jump into the hoops……


Walk across the stepping stones ($1 drain mats I got from dollar tree and spray painted)…..


Zig- Zag around the cones with the egg and spoon………


Go under the limbo……


……and finally get to the telephone booth where they took off their glasses and tie and changed into their cape and mask! We used a u-haul garment box that we had from when we moved 5 years ago…..I tried to find a refrigerator box but they are pretty much impossible to find unless you have lots of time in which to wait for one (I planned thing thing in 2 weeks so I didn’t have the time to wait).



At the “Hero’s Stand for Truth” activity, the kids all sat down and listened to the statements. If they were true, the kids stood up. If they were not, the kids sat down.



At the “Hero’s Don’t Give Up” task, the kids had to pick up the “kryptonite” (more rocks sprayed green” ) with tongs (so they don’t lose their power) and fill their buckets.



At the “Hero’s Have Power” task, the kids had stick their hand in the mystery box, feel one of the things (pictured on the box but the kids didn’t see them to start with) and guess what it is.


At the “Hero’s Have Gifts” task, the kids put a hero bean bag (the same as the ones pictured further up in the post) on their head and had to walk on the (crooked) line without it falling off.



I didn’t get a picture of this one but for the “hero’s are Helpers” task, I had some “jumping Spiders” and the kids had to help them jump from one line to another………please note that they do NOT “jump” on carpet….we ended up flicking them – I should have tested it first!




At the “Hero’s Have Courage” task, the kids had the walk across the “spider web” without touching the web…….the boys LOVED this one. One of Channing’s little friends thought the web was real and showed GREAT courage by actually doing the task!


Finally, the food!!!


I didn’t get a good photo of this either but at each place, was a bag holing the kid’s lunch…it says”Hero Tucker” on the front and included:

Mini ham and cheese sandwich

A super flexible cheese Stick

A power-up fruit cup

A funny bendy straw for the juice



I made these cute hero cookies for dessert and attempted rainbow Jello parfaits but they didn’t work (the cool whip rose into the next layer – YUCK….can anyone tell me why this happened? I had some of the Jello mixed into it…..) Anyway, when the first layer didn’t work, I just made them into rainbow Jello cups :-)


This is the coloring sheet I made to go under each hero’s lunch plate…I had crayons at the tables so they could color when they were done.


The backdrop…..


The water bottles (for the adults)…..


the juice bottles (for the kids).


The cake that I made!


The inside of the cake……..Chocolate and orange layer with chocolate buttercream (it was really yummy!) and Yellow marshmallow fondant.


The spider cupcakes (I got the silicone holder for $2 a pack of 6 from Hobby Lobby!).


The take home bags….these included:


Hero Pop rocks (which we got from the dollar store), Hero Cards of virtue and my Book “Little Hero’s Flight” which you can find on my printable page.


The Hero Cards of virtue, included 12 little cards that matched each of the tasks…..they also include a Bible story to match each task so the parents can use them at home.


We Read “Charlie’s Superhero Underpants” by Paul Bright….what a CUTE book!!!!



And finally, every little hero got a certificate (signed by Batman) and a medal (make with a cookie, aluminum foil and a paper cut out) and a hero lollipop!

Oh what a blast we had!!! I’m kinda glad I have a whole year to plan for the next one…….trying to plan this in 2 weeks almost killed me….I had HEAPS of fun though :-)

I designed everything using the following clip art sets:

Papers: Cocoamint

Clip art used in coloring sheet: Alice Smith purchased at Scrappin Doodles

Clip art used in “task” signs and hero cards of Virtue: SpringHill Graphics

Frame used in Certificate: Kpmdoodles

Clip art used in Certificate, parent letter and on cookie Medals: Marie Truelove

Clip art used on villain balloons: Spring Hill Graphics

Clip art used in backdrop and Little Hero Book: Zenware Designs