Monthly Archives: November 2015

White Christmas Living Room

I’m exhausted right now, so I can only hope this post is coherent.  The last 3 days were spent decorating our new house for Christmas.  It’s done, it’s beautiful – a dream come true, but I’m pooped.  It was a lot of fun though to see how all of our old decorations fit into the new house.  It’s funny, but even though I loved them at the old house, it’s as if all of our Christmas stuff was just made for this new house all along!  When in fact the decorations in just one room are new for this house.

Our living room has a whole new “White Christmas” theme, and I absolutely love it even though ironically “White Christmas” is not my favorite movie.  (I much prefer “Love Actually,” but you can’t exactly decorate a room around it… Little Hugh Grant figurines dancing to “Jump?”  Christmas lobsters in the manger scene?  No thanks.)  It’s all all white and silver and pale green and sparkly with lots of snowflakes and little trees and houses covered in snow.

White Christmas Village

White Christmas Village

I looked all over to collect the decorations for our living room.

White Christmas Shelves

White Christmas Shelves

Some are from Crate and Barrel, some are from Pottery Barn this year, some are from Pottery Barn last year, some are from Target.

White Christmas Tree

White Christmas Tree

Some like the snowflake marquee and the signs on the long shelf are even homemade with supplies from Michael’s and the Silhouette Design Store.

White Christmas Snowflake Marquee and Jar

White Christmas Snowflake Marquee and Jar

It’s a room that’s totally different from anything else in the house, but I must admit it might be my favorite.

But I still don’t like the “White Christmas” movie.  I’ll stick with “Love Actually” for my viewing pleasure, thank you very much!

Grapevine Pumpkins

If you need a last minute Thanksgiving centerpiece or decoration, these grapevine pumpkins are the perfect thing.  I found a similar idea on Pinterest last summer.  I made these earlier in the fall, and I’ve enjoyed having them out all season.

They are incredibly easy to make.  Just get some grapevine balls (often found in vase fillers) and some artificial leaves.  Use wire to secure the leaves to the balls.  I was really lucky to find these leaves with wire already attached at Michaels which made the project even easier.  Put them in a cute bowl or basket or just scatter them on the table and that’s it!  Happy Thanksgiving!

November Card of the Month: Fall Baby Shower Invitation

A few weeks ago we got to have a fall baby shower for a friend.  The hostesses planned a beautiful shower with food and decorations that were perfect for a baby shower in the fall.  When I learned that the shower would have a fall theme, I was thrilled – so many fun possibilities for a fall baby shower invitation!  I just had to share.  So November’s card of them month isn’t a thank you card or a Thanksgiving card like you might have expected.  Instead, it’s a baby shower invitation.

I started with an 8.5″ X 5.5″ piece of light blue card stock folded in half.  I thought about using brown, but I wanted something on the invitation to indicate it was for a baby boy.  I found some fall plaid paper with yellows, oranges, browns, and even a hint of the same blue that matched the blue background of the card.  I cut it into squares to look like baby blankets.  I attached a square with a pop-up dot in the lower right corner of each card.  I also punched some little hearts out of the same paper to accent the words “Little Pumpkin” which I printed out on return address sticky labels and stuck to the top left corner of each card.  I punched out orange circles to be baby pumpkins and added brown stems.  Those I attached on top of the plaid blankets using pop-up dots.  I kept the pumpkins’ faces very simple to make sure they looked like babies and not like jack-o-lanterns.  Now to look forward to meeting the real “little pumpkin” himself!

November Poem of the Month: Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

As promised, it’s time for November’s poem of the month.  It is a recipe poem, specifically a “Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving.”  I adapted this from a recipe style poem I found in a teacher book a million years ago.  The format is very simple to follow:

Line 1: Noun and noun.

Line 2: Noun and noun.

Line 3: Noun so adjective.

Line 4: A complete sentence with some sort of action.

Line 5: Gerund and gerund.

Line 6: Getting more noun.

Line 7: Exclamation!

Line 8: This makes Thanksgiving.

Here is a completed version from one of my former third graders who is all grown up now:

Family and food.

Potatoes and turkey.

Vegetables so good.

The family is coming.

Giving and eating.

Getting more thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This makes Thanksgiving.

For fun you can have kids write their poems on recipe cards.

Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving Poem

Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving Poem

After all, what says Thanksgiving more than a recipe poem?

Thanksgiving – 3 Year Old Style

I was going to write about a poem of the month for November this week.  It’s a really cute poem called “Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving.”  And I still will share it next week, for sure!  However, our 3 year old reminded me of the true meaning of Thanksgiving today, and it seemed only right that I share that experience instead.

I had a loooooong to do list today (not exactly the lazy Sunday I wrote about a few weeks back, but -oh well- you can’t win them all I guess).  The agenda for today included, church, choir practice, delivering a treat to some new neighbors, laundry, putting away Halloween decorations and toys, getting out Thanksgiving decorations and toys, preparing the outside of the house for winter, making a turkey for the fridge with our daughter, and writing my November poem of the month blog post.  Phew!  With so much to do, I decided multitasking was a must.  So while my husband was out winterizing the house, I was busy doing a load of laundry and making the annual hand print turkey for the fridge with our daughter.  I will admit she was less than interested in the task, so I sweetened the deal with glue, sequins, and feathers… many, many feathers.  She was suddenly more enthusiastic and ended up making a handprint turkey that looks like a performer in a Las Vegas show.  Not exactly what I had planned, but it made me feel happy and thankful for her creative little self.

Las Vegas Turkey

Las Vegas Turkey

Then came time to put away the Halloween stuff.  Our daughter began to cry as I boxed up a stuffed Halloween toy she had not even touched once during the entire month of October.  I tried to cheer her up by showing her the new Thanksgiving toys for her to play with and telling her a very simplified (and not entirely historically accurate) story of the first Thanksgiving.  (In a nutshell, I told her that the King of England said the Pilgrims had to go to his church and that made them sad, so they decided to leave England and sailed far across the ocean on the Mayflower.  When they arrived at Plymouth Rock they had no food, but some kind Native Americans helped them learn how to grow food.  After learning to live in their new home they had a feast to celebrate having food to eat and to thank God for everything they had.)  Our daughter then began playing herself and retold the story in her own way, and even invited a few new guests to the feast: Doc McStuffins and Mario.  Why not?  Here is her version of the first Thanksgiving:

The Pigrims left England because they had no feet.  Then they lived in a manger with the Mannequins.  Then they prayed to be together forever and there would be cheers.  Then they all curved a pumpkin together.

Thanksgiving According to a 3 Year Old

Thanksgiving According to a 3 Year Old

After hearing her tell this story, I was thrilled because I knew she had been paying attention both to me just then and also to her choir teacher earlier in the day who had talked about Jesus in the manger as we practiced our songs for the upcoming Christmas performance.  I also was happy that she had clearly enjoyed “curving” her own pumpkin the night before Halloween.  But most of all, I felt like for the first time in my life I really, really understood the true meaning of Thanksgiving.  Taking the extra time to play with her during my crazy busy day made me short on time to prepare my blog post about a “Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving,” but it reminded me that the true recipe for a happy Thanksgiving is spending time with my precious family and enjoying special little moments like these.  And that while unorthodox or unexpected, the 3 year old version of things is by far the best – especially if it includes a showgirl turkey and Doc McStuffins at the first Thanksgiving feast.  When I break the wishbone on Thanksgiving day, my wish will be that I can remember this all year long.