Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Fun!

My intention was to upload a fun Thanksgiving Idea each day... but we've been so busy having a good time that I didn't get around to it. :)

Since it's a little late to share all of the fun crafts we did, I'll suggest some Thanksgiving Day Games you can play with the fam or to keep little ones from underfoot while the ladies are in the kitchen!

This year, I am bringing some things for the kiddos to play alone and others to do all together:
1) Draw with Sidewalk Chalk (Mayflower contest, anyone?)
2) Turkey Toss (Beanbag into a gobblin' turkey!)
3) Pilgrim Relay (Boys vs. Girls- grownups included!)
4) Bubbles! (No explanation necessary)
5) Indian Corn Hunt (like looking for a needle in a haystack...)

And another idea I had but didn't get to... pick up paint swatches and have the kiddos find something in nature to match the different hues. I thought it could be an adventure to look for bright red, oranges, pinks, grays, etc. Oh, and you could always collect fall leaves and make a collage or leaf rubbing.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Time with family is precious and this is a way to get the oldest laughing with your little ones!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Holiday Tip #1

Holiday Tip #1: Get Your Sitters Early!

I waited to post this until I had sitters secure for the two Christmas Parties we're attending... I have to practice what I preach!

We like to do most of our celebrating as a family, but for the evenings that are too late for the little ones or for grownups-only gatherings, plan early!

It's so easy to make a phone call to your favorite sitters, but just as easy to forget. :) Grab the phone (or shoot an email) and mark one thing off the list! Look how easy that was- this is going to be an easy-breezy Christmas.

Christmas Shopping

I have the itch. Today is a brrr... cold day. It's a fire day, a hot chocolate day, a prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas kind of day!

The children are choosing favorite game and craft ideas for Thanksgiving while I nurse Georgia Anne for her nap. I'm excited to go up and hear what they think of when we talk about Thanksgiving. Family, a trip to Tallahassee and food all come to my mind.

Oh, but my topic was Christmas Shopping! That's because I have a neat idea that I want to share. Even with a budget, moms are often subject to impulse buys. And $5 here and $20 there will blow a budget every time!

I've taken my Christmas list to a new level. As the catalogs start pouring in, I fold down everything I like. Then I go back through and cut out the items and glue into a folder, one page per person I'm shopping for. Sometimes I don't cut out something I folded down- that's impulse elimination phase 1. :) Phase 2 is gluing in... if there are 2 things that are similar, or if all of a sudden that remote control toy (and the 10 batteries it needs) doesn't seem so practical, I toss it.

Phase 3 is... (drum roll...) my Hubby! We look through my folder together (well, except for his pages) and he helps clarify our choices for the year. No return lines, no over-abundance of toys that will break in 3 days anyway... we pare it down to 3 gifts per kiddo and some stocking stuffers.

Freedom!! Now I have a purposeful list and when I hit the stores (or websites) if I see something I just "have to buy" I can look at the pictures we already chose and weigh my options wisely.

What do you do to keep expenses down?