Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Crafts & Such..

Yesterday Lawrence and I joined in on the crafting that's been going on around the house. The boys made Christmas trees with feathers and pom-poms and paper stars. Then they made some 3-d stars (like the one atop that tree in the picture to the left), which are now hanging from our livingroom windows. The tree on the left is what Lawrence and I made. It's super simple to do, and all you need is a magazine. Unfortunately I didn't have any "unneeded" ones on hand, so I ran by a thrift store and paid 20 cents each for two. Then we folded each page three different ways and the result is the tree on the left. Mind you, it's only really half a tree, but if you put two halves together you get a whole. We have a few reader's digests laying around we might fold up at some point, but I suppose I should wait until they've been read, huh? All though they aren't always as colorful as the ones we used (cooking magazines).. The boys were intrigued to sit and watch because they couldn't wait to see how they'd turn out. All though I also think they were using our distraction to their advantage in an attempt to raid my scrapbooking sticker supplies. They live for stickers, I'm afraid I might have a slight addiction too..

another view, kinda creepy cause it looks like my bulletin board sits atop it, but I swear it doesn't! The tree doesn't reside in our nativity set up either, but that countertop is long and it does sit on the other end of it. The kids snagged their star back, so I guess I need to make my own.

I had a ton of Christmas pattern material and decided to use it up for something, and when I came across a star pattern, I thought, why not! This is one of my favorite pieces of material, but I used a dozen different ones. The kids had fun counting to see how many I was making. It was a quick and simple project. I simply cut out two pieces of material from the cotton I had. I put a bit of cord on each end (no measurements there, but I'd say 4-6 inches if I had to guess..), I left a small gap to stuff it up with batting and then I sewed the gap closed. Each new star was attached on to one end of the cord so that it made one long line of stars! They are now hanging in the large open "doorway" between our kitchen and dinning room. I'll have to see if I can get a full view photo. I was very tempted to make LOTS more and string them up on the living room hallway, but I'd all ready packed up the sewing machine until after Christmas, so... Maybe next year..

Remember those skittle sets the boys made at the beginning of the month? Well, we decided that their youngest cousin might enjoy a set for Christmas as well. They aren't entirely done because we've managed to loose the painters tape, that's why a few don't have stripes! So I whipped up a few beanbags out of some Christmas material (yeah, I made a star out of that same print too!) I suspect someone's going to have a lot of fun knocking these little elves down. (I got the idea for a few scared/screaming faces from Morgan!)

This isn't a craft I did, but a bunch of crafts a variety of homeschoolers have done. The boys signed up for a Five In A Row Ornament Exchange. So all the ornaments on the tree have come from a variety of people who use the same curriculum we do. You can see Morgan's ornament as well (the red book up front). Don't ask me why the star is leaning, I gave up trying to straighten it!

As long as I'm at it.. We got a package today! The boys are mail crazy, which isn't surprised since they've been getting Christmas Ornaments in the mail, all of which they've raved about. Today's package was full of books and cds for us. YIPPIE!! Notice all the Nate The Great books? We'll be doing a Detective/Spy unit this school term, should be fun if I can get it all put together!

Last, but not least, we headed out to the Honey Farm today. As normal, we tasted many honeys, some that were less then desirable, and others that were scrumptious. There was a new carmel flavored honey that was super yummy. Made me think of the apple cake with carmel topping, I bet it would work beautifully in it! I also REALLY enjoyed the vanilla honey that was on display today (I don't recall seeing this last time!) and think it will work wonderfully in marshmallows (recipe coming soon), hot cocoa, and many other things. It was really mellow in the honey flavor and booming in the vanilla. I loved it. They had one called Crunchy Apple, very apple"y" and interesting. Not bad, but I don't know that I'd purchase it simply because I suspect the guys wouldn't enjoy it. We picked up a few small bottles of our favorites: orange, zesty lemon (so super lemony!), vanilla, raspberry, anise (perfect for our annual cut-out cookies), and then a new one we tried called chili. Yes, it seriously has chili's in it! It's wonderfully zingy and slightly sweet.

In fact, for those of you who've tried the Philly pour overs, specifically sweet chili, it reminded me of that (minus the cream cheese of course!). So we picked up a small bottle to pour over our own cream cheese for a sugar-free version of it. Can't wait to dig into that! We also picked up a bottle of raspberry honey as a gift for someone, but my lips are sealed as to who!

The boys snagged the stuffed bees, which kinda look like pooh in a funky bee costume, don't they? This little place isn't just full of honey. It also has a few old fashioned honey farming items on hand to check out, a video that's constantly running, and a live bee hive which you can watch in progress. I promise it's safe, it's behind glass! The kids love checking it out and looking for the queen bee, we've yet to spot her.

Oh, and just for the record, they make honey ice cream in several flavors. You can't get a free taste, but you can purchase a cone of it if you want. Chocolate, vanilla, and boysenberry always seem to be the top choices here, all of which are good.

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