Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shoe Boxes in Sudan

We packed Shoe Boxes this year as part of Operation Christmas Child for The Samaritan's Purse . We were able to track our boxes and we received an email the other day saying that our boxes went to Sudan. Here is what the process looked like on our kitchen table back in November when we packed them up.

We packed 1 girl box and 1 boy box for children the same ages as Little Miss and E.

Little Miss helped me with most of the shopping while E was at school.

E made a card to put in the box for the boy.

Here is Little Miss' creation for her box.
We also included a family photo in each card. It really is amazing how much you can fit in one Shoe Box...those things were heavy!
We definitely plan on doing this again next year. What a simple way to make a difference.

This year there was a 40% increase from 2009 of shoe boxes shipped from RI and nearby MA ...EXCITING STUFF!

Before we started this project, I watched the video with Little Miss and E. I think it is important to expose kids to the whole picture. I think they are sheltered from the reality of life around them sometimes. They tend to take life for granted and not truly understand what they have. It's so hard to teach children the value of what they have. How many times have we picked up crayons, paper, dolls, cars and other toys off the floor or asked them to clean up their messes? I have a feeling there will not be anyone asking the children in Sudan to pick up the contents of their Shoe Boxes off the ground.....and hopefully, someday, I will not have to ask my children to pick up their crayons either.

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more”

-Anthony Robbins

(Love that quote!!!!)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Altered Holiday Shop Items

Generally E has decent taste, and in the past has selected really good gifts from the school's holiday shop. This year, however, I think he must have been under some pressure to move quickly and made some impulsive purchases. Two of which were for his great grandmothers. I wouldn't have put them on the list for him to purchase a gift, but he insisted. He selected earrings....BIG, LOUD earrings that my grandmothers probably would not wear (and in one case, couldn't wear because she doesn't have pierced ears). I didn't want him to be hurt or offended if they were not able to tactfully "appreciate" his gifts. I delicately explained to him that his grand memeres couldn't wear those earrings, so maybe we could make them into something else. We made them into handmade ornaments.

Here is the before.....

...and the After

E punched the snowflakes, chose the glitter and wrote Grand Memere on the tag.

For this one, I just punched a couple of holes on the bottom of the ornament and put the earrings through the holes. I twisted the wire on the earrings so they wouldn't come off. Again, E wrote a tag that says Grand Memere.

Now only if I could think of something creative to do with the lovely necklace he purchased for me. I'll leave you in suspense until next time.
"Mommy, I knew you would like it!" ...And of course, there is a part of me that does LOVE it! (just not the part that would wear it out in public)

I love you E!

“I discovered that what's really important for a creator isn't what we vaguely define as inspiration or even what it is we want to say, recall, regret, or rebel against. No, what's important is the way we say it. Art is all about craftsmanship. Others can interpret craftsmanship as style if they wish. Style is what unites memory or recollection, ideology, sentiment, nostalgia, presentiment, to the way we express all that. It's not what we say but how we say it that matters.”

-Federico Fellini

This quote doesn't really relate to what this post is about, but it was one that I had to read a couple times to figure out what it was trying to say. I'm still not exactly sure if I get it, it's sole purpose is just to make you think...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Song

I swiped this post from Joy's Hope. While your over there, check out her post from's fabulous!
Merry Christmas once again.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Christmas is here....finally, in the eyes of children, and already, in the eyes of their parents.

Christmas gift suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness.

To an opponent, tolerance.

To a friend, your heart.

To a customer, service.

To all, charity.

To every child, a good example.

To yourself, respect.

~Oren Arnold

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Handmade with Love

Some glimpses of this year's handmade gifts for the kids' birthfamilies.

I found the idea for the next ornament here.

I scanned a drawing of Little Miss' snowman and then printed it in a smaller size to make a card to go in the box.

E's ornament

I think it's important for the kids to be a part of this yearly tradition and they do really seem to enjoy the giving part of it. Sometimes E takes some convincing, but he is always so proud when he is finished. Although he did say to me "Mom, those ornaments are just, seriously mom, how can your fingers be snowmen?"

"Hands that give also receive."

PS Yes Mom, you have some handprint snowman ornaments coming your way ;)

Monday, December 20, 2010


No matter how much I try to get things in order for Christmas waaay ahead of time, I always feel the crunch the week before. There is something to be finished or put together, mostly as a result of me coming up with a last minute idea. I saw Ashley's post on the Anderson Family Crew blog and I decided to put together some craft boxes for the kids for Christmas gifts. Here is my version of the boxes and journals.

I'm linking up with Blessed Little Nest for Life Made Lovely Monday.

“Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute”

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I'm pretty sure I never made a gingerbread house...ever...up until last weekend. I can't believe I've been missing out on the fun all these years. I bought a couple gingerbread house kits for $9.00 each. They were something like this. I also bought extra candy (safe for E with no nuts) and some frosting (just in case the icing didn't work). Little Miss and I first assembled a small one together while her big brother was in school. I thought it may be a good idea to test it out first. Then, the next day we gathered our supplies and created...they had a blast and it kept my boy focused for quite some time...not always an easy thing to do these days. Here are the results.

Here's E with a wad of gum in his mouth. After eating half the supplies, I thought it wise to give him something else to chew worked....but, a little too late. He and his sister were bouncing after the gingerbread craft.

Next year I think I'll try some of

"And I had but one penny in the world. Thou should’st have it to buy gingerbread."
– William Shakespeare, Love’s Labours Lost

Friday, December 10, 2010

No proof

So much has been going on these days, but I have no proof of it (in pictures). I haven't really taken too many photos lately. Here are a few I took before my unintended break.
This one was taken after the Polar Express, thus the reason they are in PJs outside. Their Daddy was cracking them up. Happy kids=happy Mom!

Little Miss sporting her style on the big wheel...she loves that thing!

A little bit of Christmas right outside the front door. I love that it all came from my yard.

2 weeks away...really?! list is still kind of long:
1.Finish and send 35 more Christmas Cards
2.Wrap, wrap, wrap
3. I still have some gifts to buy and I refuse to go anywhere near a store on the weekends (unless it's past 7pm)
4. Make gingerbread houses with the kids.
5. Make gifts for the birthfamilies and send them out.
6. Visit LaSalette
There are still many things to add to the list, but why overwhelm myself? Somehow, it always works out and things get done. Fun stuff!

"It is the quality of the moment, not the number of days, or events, or of actors, that imports."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lovely Holiday Candles

I saw this and this and came up with these:

I bought the plain religious candles from K-Mart for $1.49 each.

I let Little Miss choose the tissue paper; she chose this pretty gold one. Next, we tore the paper into pieces.

I watered down some school glue and spread the glue onto the candle with a foam brush.

I made one so I could show Little Miss how to do it and she did the entire candle on her own.

When the candles were completely covered in tissue paper, we allowed them to dry and then added glitter and ribbon.

This is a great kid's project and the creative possibilities are endless.

This will be one of the Christmas gifts that we will mail to her birthfamily.

“For it is in giving that we receive.”
-St. Franciss of Assisi

I'm linking up with Heather at Blessed Little Nest. Go check out all the great ideas.


Friday, December 3, 2010

What we have been up to....

It's been a while since I have posted; it's the holiday season!

Here's what we've been up to:
E earned his first badge in Tiger Scouts: The Bobcat...very exciting! Now I have more things to sew onto the shirt....not so exciting.

We went on the "Polar Express" and saw Santa

My dad has been a bit envious of E's faux hawk and decided to try it out on Thanksgiving. E got a kick out of it, but look at my tired boy's eyes.

We visited Edaville Railroad...probably for the last time. The owners are selling and as of right now, there is no buyer. Even if there is a buyer, they'll probably knock it down and build, so sad! My kids (and I) love it there; it's perfect, old fashioned fun.

The holidays are upon us and thus the hustle and's so very hard to stop, breathe, and take it all in, but I'm trying. Just in case you're wondering, Christmas is 3 weeks from tomorrow.

PS. Oh, I almost forgot! We made the Blue Lily Blog-that was so very exciting for me! I seriously feel like a couple of Rock Stars posted us on their blog! I can't wait for them to come back to Boston.

Go check it out. Here's the link.