Here's our pine cone craft. The kids, especially Veda, love gluing and pasting. The cone on the left is one of Veda's. (Note the extra glue, tee hee.) The one on the right is one that I did. Linus made one but then pulled all the puff balls off. I've learned to just let it go when crafting with toddlers. If they're enjoying it and it isn't going to make a permanent mess, it's not a big deal. On the other hand, SERENITY NOW.
Amazon sent our monthly stock of diapers in this enormous box. Thanks for the early Christmas gift, Amazon. So far the box has been a rocket ship (as pictured), a school bus, and a boat. It's also great for coloring.
Last year we put up our full-size artificial tree. Within days, all of the ornaments were scooted up within the top two feet of the tree. It was a constant fight to keep the tree put together. I decided this year we'd do what I've seen on Pinterest with the felt tree that the kids can decorate and re-decorate. It's been okay, but I do regret not putting up the big, lit tree just a bit. Linus exhales a "Wow!" every time we see a "real" decorated tree. But then I remember that it's not worth the fights. Nope, not at all. Next year, though, we'll do the big tree for sure.
Speaking of my spirited little fella, today will be our elf's last day this year. Unfortunately, Mr. Linus has elected to touch the elf once again. If you're not up on Elf on the Shelf policy, children aren't to touch the elves lest the elves lose their magic. The first time, Santa sent this letter:
Dear Linus and Veda,
I have decided to give your elf his magic back one time because your were sorry that you had touched him. I hope that you will not touch him again, or he will have to come back to the North Pole with me until next Christmas.
Your elf says that your favorite Christmas carols are "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Jingle Bells". Be good, and I will visit your house this Christmas.
Clearly, with this second elf-touching, we're just not ready for the elf yet. See ya next year, elf.
On Friday morning I woke up knowing that I was getting sick again, so I thought we'd better forge ahead with a Santa visit before the opportunity might be lost for the whole season. We used our zoo membership to get in to their little Santa village. We passed on the professional photographer and just took our own photo. Total cost = $0.00. And they gave us a mug for being members. I love the zoo, and I'm looking forward to taking advantage of their homeschooling program in the future.
We've also been working on crafting Thank You cards, but we've still got a step to go. I'm sure you'll be on the edge of your seat awaiting the results - and much, MUCH more - in the next installment of This Week In Christmas.