A Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Party.

Rudolph Party

Our first Christmas movie night party of the month was the Charlie Brown Christmas Party which was awesome, under $10, and we all loved it!

Our latest movie night party was Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!  And this time we added one more guest – bringing our total to 6 – and spent less money!

I definitely did less for this party, but it was still completely fun and everyone had a great time!  We made a craft, ate some cake, and watched the movie.

PARTY DETAILS

The main centerpiece of this party was the cake.  Totally got the idea off Pinterest, and I loved how it turned out!  I hoped I had some glittered scrapbook paper in my stash, but I didn’t. So, I made the antlers using stuff I did have — cardstock, gold paint, glitter, and glue.  (Once everything dried, I used Mod Podge over the top of it to seal the glitter on there, since I didn’t want everyone eating glitter. Ha!)  Once I was done making them, I just hot glued some skewers onto the back to stick in the cake.  I did already have the black gel icing that I used for the eyes. And the nose was a jawbreaker I got out of the kids’ Halloween candy.  Also, the box cake mix and icing were on sale when I bought them, bringing the grand total for this cake to…$1.50.

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The reindeer head place settings I loved!  It was so easy!  And *gasp* I think I came up with it all on my own, but it’s entirely possible I saw it on Pinterest and just forgot.  Ha! Anyway, I had these plates from Dollar Tree, and I just cut out the heads from construction paper I had, and drew on them with Sharpie.  Then I drew their antlers on the Dollar Tree tablecloth.  It turned out to cute!  Total for this table setting: $2. (Plates, tablecloth.)

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I set up a photo booth just for kicks at the last minute.  The props I already had — and this is the 3rd year we’ve used them!  And they’re from the Dollar Tree originally.  #win  And the red backdrop is just red wrapping paper I had taped to the wall. Total cost for me: $0

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It was a simple, fun movie night for me and the kids!  And the grand total was $3.50 for me.  Woo!  I even had a little reindeer antler craft that was left over from Alice’s class party last year.  (I’m a party supply hoarder, clearly.)  Only the girls were interested in making them, but they were there!

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Christmas Movie Night #2 is in the books!

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Posted in Alice, Crafts, Family, Friends, Holidays, Motherhood, Parties, Tom | Leave a comment

Snow Day.

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So let me get this bit of bitterness out of the way before I start — our old house, an hour from here,  got 10 inches of snow this weekend, and our new house got zero.

Strike one, new house!  Don’t make me move back to Atlanta — I will turn this car around and go right back there! Don’t think I won’t!

Okay, now let’s talk about the snow I did find! Ha!

Saturday morning, after waking up for hours to check for snow because surely we would get *some* snow — and then realizing we weren’t — I texted Rachel (who lives 20 minutes from us) at 7 a.m. to ask if she had any.  And SHE DID!  It wasn’t a lot — but it was real, actual snow, and that’s all that mattered!

I seriously raced around here like a crazy person, grabbing all the wrong things — because if there’s one thing I know about a dusting of snow in Georgia, it’s that it doesn’t last long!  Whatever, man!  We were in wrong shoes, wrong gloves, and wrong pants, but we were also PLAYING IN THE SNOW!

We got to Rachel’s and PLAYED!  We threw snowballs, we made snow angels, we built a snowman, we went sledding, we went for a hike through the woods, we caught snowflakes on our tongues — we did it all in the TWO HOURS there was snow. Ha!  It was hilarious, and awesome, and I was thrilled.

The kids were beyond excited.  They loved everything.  They really, really did.

I loved walking through the woods with the girls, and sledding with Tom when it was just the two of us.  It was just pure fun.

Georgia snow doesn’t hardly ever happen, and it really doesn’t in December.  We usually have some sort of gross icy/snow mixture in February that shuts everything down, but this…this was snow.

It was just a little bit, but it was enough.

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Posted in Alice, Family, Georgia Outdoors, Motherhood, Tom | 6 Comments

A Charlie Brown Christmas Party.

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Now that we live close to Rachel and her kids, I’ve taken advantage and invited them over every Friday in December for a Christmas movie night!  Our first movie night was Friday, December 1, and it was even better than I could’ve imagined!

Our first Christmas movie was A Charlie Brown Christmas!

I honestly had so. much. fun with this!  I pretty much just crafted everything for it, and nothing makes me happier than a ton of themed crafts.  Seriously.

And I think the kids — oh, this is for the kids, right?! — had the best time!  They played with each other, I made them a nutritious meal of hot dogs (which Tom aptly named “Snoopy dogs”and ohmygosh, I’ve never been more proud!), they gobbled up all the Charlie Brownies, were all super stoked for the craft, wore their necklaces, and watched the movie.

It was really fun, and they were so cute!

Party Details!

And here’s the stuff that make my craft-loving heart go pitter-patter!

I made the Snoopy house out of an old box, a red poster board for the roof, and construction paper.  I already had red paint to paint the box, and I didn’t even bother caring that you could still see the delivery label and all that.  Who cares!  I just taped the poster on top, drew lines with a Sharpie, and cut out “snow” and “lights” out of construction paper.  It honestly didn’t even really take very long.  It was one of those projects that I thought looked neat, but wasn’t hard!  My favorite!

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I made Lucy’s psychiatric advice stand out of stuff I had around the house.  I hot glued paper straws to the bottom of a little crate I had, and taped a piece of cardboard from a box on top.  It was the perfect little platform for my Merry Christmas, Charlie Brownies!

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And Charlie’s tree was also made with stuff I had already.  I had these wood shims — is that what they’re called? — I think that’s right. (They were from Lowe’s, but you could use anything — rulers!  Whatever.)  Anyway, I had them from a project I did years ago, and they popped into my mind when I was thinking about the tree.  So I used those, hot glued them together for the base. Then I used a screwdriver to kind of carve out a little dent in the top of it, so my Christmas tree branch would sit in there.  My “tree” is a literal scrap from our Christmas tree.  I squirted hot glue in the dent I made, and sat the tree in there, holding it until it dried a bit.  I then grabbed the red ball ornament off our actual tree. Ha!  The ornament made it too heavy for my stand, so I put a couple of rocks on top of the base, and covered it with a 20 cent piece of felt…I mean, Linus’s blanket! Tah-dah!

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And our backdrop was a Kate and Alice original!  I already had that blue plastic tablecloth (I’m a hoarder of party supplies, remember?), so one night I just decided to paint the “snow” on there as a backdrop.  And then Alice came in and wanted to help, and we had the best time!  She was so funny, and had a real and true plan for how she wanted it to look.  She used her fingers, she used different sized paint brushes, she just…added her own touch!  And it was awesome.  I loved having her help.

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For our craft with the kids, we made handprint trees!  Painting the kids’ hands is always a hit. (Except with Hazel, who hates “being dirty.”  Ha! But even she did this!)  Again, this was just all stuff I already had.

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Each kid received a Linus blanket (piece of felt), and a Christmas light necklace ($1 each from Dollar Tree).

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And that was it!  Fun had by all! (Especially me.)

And the best part was — it was under $10!  Woo!

Five kids, under $10.  Pretty good, right?

Okay! So here’s the cost breakdown:

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree: $0
Psychiatric Help Set-Up: $0
Linus “blankets”: pieces of felt from Michael’s 20 cents x 6 = $1.20
Snoopy’s dog house: poster board for roof from Wal-Mart 50 cents
Five Christmas light necklaces from Dollar Tree: $5
Tablecloths for table and backdrop (Dollar Tree): $2

TOTAL: $8.70

Woo-hoo!  I’m pretty proud of that total.  (And so is Kevin, I suspect. Ha!)

I had way too much fun with this one, and I can’t wait for the next!  I think $10 parties is going to be my new goal. Let’s see how I do next time…

Posted in Alice, Family, Holidays, Motherhood, Parties, Tom | 2 Comments

She’s A Beaut,Clark!

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Every year there’s one Christmas movie that I watch more than the others, but it seems to change every year.

A couple of years ago, it was A Christmas Story.

Last year it was Elf.

This year it’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  Or as the kids like to call it, “That crazy movie where the guy uses a chainsaw.”

Seriously, what they remember about it is that Clark uses a chainsaw to cut the roots off the tree. Ha!

One of my favorite memories as a kid was going to the Christmas tree farm with my parents to cut down our tree.  Once I was older, I realized what a simple memory that was.  But it’s true.  It was always something I looked forward to, and I’m pretty sure we all went together to do it every year until I graduated from high school.

This year, we went to a local Christmas tree farm with Rachel and co.

And it was so…warm.  Like I was dressed like it was cool, because I guess in my mind it was supposed to be, and I didn’t bother to actually…check facts.

It was close to 70 degrees or something!

But besides the weather not even giving us the feeling of the holiday, it was a really fun day with the kids running around with each other, playing games, and picking out our trees.

And as Cousin Eddie would say, “She’s a beaut, Clark!”

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Posted in Alice, Family, Holidays, Kevin, Motherhood, Tom | 2 Comments

Surviving Thanksgiving.

IMG_9498You guys, we had the best Thanksgiving!

Now everything else that I will share in this blog about our Thanksgiving may seem to contradict that statement, but it doesn’t.  I swear.

We had the best Thanksgiving!  Remember that.

Thanksgiving morning we woke up early to drive down to my parents’ house.  Tom said that his throat felt weird, and I said it was probably allergies or just dry.  And then I packed everything and all the people into the van and started the drive down.

Pretty much from the beginning of the drive, Tom said he thought he had car sickness. I opened up his window and just kept going.  But once we got to Macon (about 30 minutes from my parents’ house) he kind of started really saying he wasn’t feeling well at all. So I pulled off the road with the intent of getting him some crackers from the back for him, but while I was doing that, he threw up.

Now, even though *I* had had a virus at the beginning of the week, I still thought it was car sickness with Tom.

Never underestimate the power of denial.

Poor, poor, poor Tom.

This is the fourth Thanksgiving in a row he has missed because he’s been sick.  He gets a virus on Thanksgiving every year!  Isn’t that the weirdest thing?!

So next year, NOBODY TELL HIM it’s Thanksgiving!

Anyway, the poor dude was so bummed to miss Thanksgiving.  He just stayed in the guest room with his bowl, and I just checked on him throughout the day.  And can I just say, he’s actually the best sick person I’ve ever met.

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Seriously, he was always so…happy?  Is that the right word?  Optimistic?  He would throw up, and then say something like, “I think I only have 3 more throw ups left for today, and then I’ll be done!”  And you guys, he was honestly right.  I’m so thankful for this sweet boy, and so sorry he’s got some Thanksgiving curse on him!

In other non-vomit-y news, Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house with my Uncle Kelly was wonderful and we had an amazing time.  My mom outdid herself (as usual) and everything was beyond great. Thanks, Mom!

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The next day Tom woke up feeling awesome!  So he ate like…4 helpings of carrot casserole for breakfast (that’s the part he was really bummed to miss out on!) and then we headed to the Museum of Aviation where they were having their visiting model train exhibit.  Tom adores this exhibit, so we were thrilled to be there while it was there!

One of the train guys was selling old Hot Wheels cars, so we bought some for the kids and headed outside to play, while Kevin walked around looking at all the planes.

And after five minutes, Alice ran over to us crying and saying there were ants on her.  Now, Alice is a fire ant magnet. For real, she is.  She kind find one anywhere and it will bite her.  She once got bit by an ant IN THE OCEAN.  And they hugely affect her (they really swell up, and she has trouble sleeping they bother her so much), so when she says there are ants on her, I take it seriously!

Assuming they were on her feet/shoes, I took those off and started brushing them away.  But she’s still super upset and saying they’re in her shirt.  So I take that off.  And they are!!  In her shirt, on her belly, on her back!  So I got scared they were in her britches and took those off too (and they were there too!) and then Tom said, “There’s one in her hair!”  Oh my gosh you guys — THEY WERE IN HER HAIR!  A bunch.  In her dark brown hair, making them hard to find.  I mean, seriously?!  Who gets fire ants in their hair!?!  Have you ever heard of such a thing?!  Oh my gosh, this poor child!  She is naked, outside a busy museum, and her mom and Grandma are shaking ants out of her hair!

My little girl got 13 bites total (feet, shoulder, hip, back, HEAD, and neck), but again, because this happens to her, I actually carry Benedryl in my purse.  So she took that right away, and then we went about our day!  Ha! She was fine the rest of the day!  Such a trooper.

That evening we went to the farm to visit and spend the night.  It was awesome.  Pretty much right away, Alice caught a HUGE catfish!  We seriously never catch them that big, because usually our lines snap.  But she got it!

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And then the next day, Tom caught 3 brim, right in a row! And none of the rest of us caught any!  Ha!  He was so proud!

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After fishing, we rode around on the golf cart (A LOT!) and the kids like to stop and swing on the big, round swing that hangs from a tree near the lake.  Kevin was pushing them, and I walked over to get a picture — and right when I got there and got ready to take a picture of them, the rope SNAPPED and they crashed right on the ground.

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This is the picture I took when it collapsed. I call this, “Mom running.”

What?!  Poor babies!!  They both cried, because it scared them to death!  But they were both okay.  And later in the day, Alice completely forgot that happened, because she asked to go swing. Ha!

Oh my goodness. Whew!  We survived Thanksgiving.

And I am telling you, we loved it.  We honestly had the best time.  We loved being with family, and we loved being out at the farm, and we loved everything.  I think it just shows that after you’ve been a parent for awhile, you know stuff happens, and you just keep on keepin’ on!  Kids are resilient, man.

Hope y’all had a Happy Thanksgiving too!

Here’s hoping next year has a little less vomit, ant-filled hair, and rope breakages.

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Posted in Alice, Family, Georgia Outdoors, Holidays, Huck, Kevin, Motherhood, Tom | 4 Comments

Life Lately.

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Life this week has been all about getting ready for Thanksgiving break next week!  I’m pretty much just as excited as the kids.  I’ve spent most of this week trying to get all of my Christmas shopping done while the kids were in school, because nothing makes me happier than having it done before December gets here!  And I’m thisclose to having it all done.  I’ve got a few stragglers, but I’m inching toward the finish line now. Woo!

Last weekend, Tom was so funny and cute when he asked if we could go to Fernbank Museum.  We went all the time when we lived in Atlanta, but since the move, we’d only been once this summer. (We’re about an hour away from it now.)  So this weekend, we went!  And I’m SO glad we did.  First, Tom had the absolute best time.  That boy feels more at home surrounded by dinosaurs than anywhere else.  And second, my BFF and her family met us there at the last minute — so it was awesome to do a quick in-person catch up like old times. Yay!  I had to mention that they were there, because I got no pictures of it at all.  Not even any with Alice and her BFF Maggie!  #momfail

But the museum was awesome, and Tom was in his element.  I shared this story on Instagram, but my favorite part was when a volunteer was setting up a table to talk about dinosaurs, and Tom went to talk to him.  I was a little bit away, but I just kept hearing the volunteer say, “Yes! You’re right!” about 20 times to whatever Tom was saying.  When I asked Tom later what they talked about, he said, “Well, he at first said that the T-rex and the ??? (some other dinosaur name I’ve forgotten) lived at the same time, but I told him that a lot of people think that, but they didn’t, because the T-rex lived during the Cretaceous period and the other dinosaur lived during the Jurassic.  And then he realized I was right.”

Well…okay then!

I will say that when moments like this happen at the museum, it fills my mama heart right up.  Because Tom struggles so much in school with reading and writing, and seeing him soar and excel at something that he loves — well, it kinda makes me tear up.  It just means a lot to us right now.  That moment alone was worth the trip.

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I keep my niece, Hazel, several days a week for Rachel and Adam.  She’s such a good, smart little thing!  This week her favorite thing was taking 1 million pictures of us on my phone.  My favorite was when she said, “Okay, let’s cuddle!”  Okay!

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I snapped this picture of Alice, who fell asleep with her new book fair find!  She literally snuggled up with a good book. (About a magic puppy, of course!)

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The kids were dressed so snazzy yesterday!  Man, they’re cute!

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Alice loves to show off her fashion choices.  Alice is always putting together things I wouldn’t think of — and she’s way better at it than me!  Future fashionista for sure.

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One last picture from the museum.  Alice is an accidental model all the time.  I don’t pose her — she’s just living her model life!

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Hope y’all have a great weekend, and a very Happy Thanksgiving!

LOVE!

Posted in Alice, Family, Motherhood, Tom, Weekly 2017 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Halloween 2017.

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Halloween 2017 is in the books!  And it was awesome.

As per our tradition, after school we headed over to Rachel’s house. But unlike years past, it only took us 15 minutes to get there now that we live closer — instead of our previous 1.5 hours.

My mom met us there, and the kids played for a couple of hours, before we headed out through the woods to Rachel’s town’s downtown area.

Rachel’s town has a main street, with older homes on it.  The police shut the street down, and everyone comes out and trick-or-treats on that main stretch.  It’s so neat!  Every year, I feel like we’re in a Disney Halloween movie.  And the kids just adore being with their cousins.  Trick-or-treating with Mary Poppins, a cowboy, and a pink Princess Elsa?  Nothing better!

This year, Tom was a werewolf.  He knew he wanted to be some type of monster, and at Target, he decided a werewolf was the best.  He was so cute and funny.  He only put on that scary werewolf mask once he got to the person handing out the candy.  Other than that, it was off and he was smiling and laughing the whole time.  It was so funny to me that this sweet, sensitive soul wanted to be something so…scary!

Alice was Rey, from the newest Star Wars film.  My BFF let me know when Disney was having a sale, and because Alice hadn’t decided what to be yet, we scrolled through all of their costumes online.  Of course, they were all princess costumes — which she liked — but when she got to Rey (tough, awesome Rey!) — Alice LOVED it!  She immediately said, “REY! REY! REY!  I want to be REY!”  And she was Rey.  And y’all?  She took it so seriously!  I don’t think she ever wanted to smile in her costume, she was so intent on becoming the character.  She’s a little actress, that girl!

We had a wonderful time trick-or-treating with family, heading home with all of our loot, and then eating the stew that my brother-in-law made for us.  It was the best day!

Hope you guys had a wonderful Halloween, too!

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Posted in Alice, Family, Holidays, Kevin, Motherhood, Tom | 1 Comment