Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Eve

It is a tradition in our family that we open one present on Christmas Eve. Jillian and I thought it would be fun to let the Littles open the presents that we caught them in the claw machine. :)

I think they liked them. :)

They really love the Happi Birds. (Shhh... Don't tell, but I got the gray one for Jillian and she'll find out in the morning.)

Look, you can see Clyde's little tree in the background. :)

Don't forget to spread the reindeer food out in the yard before you go to bed!

Santa is coming! Go to sleep! :)

Day 32: Clyde's last day. :(


That's super exciting, but also a little sad. Because it is Clyde's last day. He showed up in the spot that he arrived on the first day. Up in our dining room light fixture.

Sorry the picture isn't great. Right after I went to bed, I realized that I better run out a snap a few quick pictures before the kids got up. And you'll see why in a second.

Clyde left a nice little layout for the kids!

Clyde got the kids Open Season 1, 2, & 3. They were only $5 each at Target. I originally bought them as stocking stuffers, but I thought it would be a fun gift from Clyde. :)

The kids were very happy!

I hope you all have a great Christmas!!!!

Day 31: Cookies for Santa

In all the busy-ness of the Christmas season, you can't forget to make cookies for Santa! Clyde knew that we'd probably be swamped on Christmas Eve, (especially since we needed to get the house cleaned up for Grandma's arrival). So, he made sure we remembered to make to make the cookies early. :)

He was, of course, referring to the set of cookie cutters we got from IKEA this summer. We made all the traditional Christmas cookie shapes: Christmas tree, star, gingerbread man, candy cane, squirrel, moose, bear, fox, and hedgehog. LOVE the hedgehog! I had to find a good recipe for high altitude baking. Thankfully, the one from High Altitude Cooking worked great! If you live way up here, like we do, definitely go with this recipe! The cookies turned out perfectly! And sugar cookies can be a pain. I think the best part was rolling out the dough between two sheets of wax paper. That way, the dough doesn't get off balance with all the extra flour.

Time to decorate!

Christmas Hedgehog!!! :)

By the way, run out to Albertson's and pick up a couple of adorable Christmas salt and pepper shakers. They are on sale already! :) A dollar each!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Day 30: Magic Reindeer Food

Clyde left us all the ingredients to mix together some magic reindeer food. You know, so the reindeer don't miss our house. ;)

I originally saw the idea on Pinterest. The tomkat studio came up with an adorable printable for bags of reindeer food to pass out to your friends. But I wanted to make it for us and before Christmas Eve, so her printables didn't work for us. Enter my best friend Google, she led me to Organized Home. They had a cute poem that wasn't Christmas Eve specific. They also had cute printables to add to bags of reindeer food, if that's what you plan on doing. Clyde left a note with the poem written on it.

The ingredients were left in cute little ceramic snowflake shaped dishes from Michael's.

Sunflower seeds:
And glitter! No, gold sugar:
The kids were very curious about this one. They couldn't figure out what it was. There are several recipes for Reindeer Food online. But, really, you can put whatever you want! I encourage you to use only edible things for the safety of any critters that might enjoy it. Red and green sprinkles would be a cute addition.

The kids poured all the ingredients together and we have it saved in a plastic container. It is all ready for us to spread in the snow on Christmas Eve. It's supposed to snow again that night. Hopefully, it will and I won't have to go out into the yard to make it look like the reindeer munched away on it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 29: Hot Cocoa!

Can you believe Christmas is only 4 days away?!!! I can't believe it is! I don't feel ready. I've got lists and lists and lists everywhere.

With Christmas just around the corner, that means there are only 3 days left to do something fun with your elf. Don't forget that there are lots of printables available on the official Elf on the Shelf website. Including these fun cutouts that you can pose your elf with.

Clyde has been snooping through our pantry again!

He realized that we only have two packages of hot cocoa left. Only TWO! So, he told us to make sure we get some today.

He didn't just tell us to go shopping, he also left us some really cool, special SnowmanMallows. They are French Vanilla flavored and perfect for hot cocoa. :)

We gave the candy cane white chocolate covered Oreos to the kids' teachers. They loved them! I love making people happy. It's so much fun!

Sorry this post is short, but I've got to get to those lists! :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 28: Rice Krispie Treat time!

Clyde must have broken a North Pole rule, because he had to write lines this morning. I don't know all of Santa's rules, but, apparently, feeding marshmallows to the reindeer is not allowed. Maybe the reindeer are vegan. ;)

But Clyde knew that it was okay for my kids to have marshmallows, even though I'm a vegetarian. (Psst! Don't tell! But every now and then, I eat marshmallows! They're so delicious!) He got us a box of Rice Krispies and a bag of marshmallows so we could make some rice krispie treats.

Yesterday, Katie wondered why Clyde didn't leave a note. He explained that he got too tangled in tinsel. :)

Don't worry about the fireplace behind him. It isn't working. :( This is very sad. It was -6 this morning. Yep, negative 6.

I got the lines idea from Clearly Candace. She used a chalkboard. I kinda like that idea better than the dry erase board I used, because it is more nostalgic. Old fashion school chalkboards are the best! The other side of our dry erase board IS a chalkboard, but who knows where our chalk is?! I knew where a dry erase marker was, so, there you go.

Do yourself a favor. Grab some of these. Candy Cane flavored Candy Melts.

Melt them down using a make-shift double boiler like this.
These ones didn't melt as smoothly as the chocolate ones, but that's okay. Get a hold of a cookie mold. Plop a spoonful into each mold. Don't worry about smoothing it out.
Tap the mold on the counter and the candy fills in the molds and smooths itself out.
Here's the exciting part! Grab some Oreos and press one in each mold. Viola! You have just created Candy Cane covered Oreos!!! Yummmmmmmmmmm!!!!!
Unfortunately, you have to put them in the refrigerator for a bit. But then you have the best thing ever!!!! :D You're Welcome!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 27: Elf Christmas Tree

Clyde decided our house needed an elf Christmas Tree. He decorated it himself with mini candy canes, mini gift bows, a string of lights, a LOT of tinsel, and personalized ornaments. He got a little wrapped up in his work.

The tree is from Michael's. I need to stop going there. I keep buying things that were never on my list! I saw these trees and was inspired. They were on clearance for $3.49. You can choose from a red felt base or a burlap base. The burlap ones are really cute, but Clyde thought the red one was more Christmas-y. The string of lights, a bag of tinsel, a package of mini bows, and mini candy canes were all from Dollar Tree. I already had the lights, so out of pocket for the whole thing was $6.49. I think that is pretty awesome!

While waiting in line at Michael's, I saw some personalized ornaments and got sucked in. They were on clearance for 99 cents! How could I just ignore them! Tricky, tricky Michael's! ;)

So, if you add those to the cost of the tree, it goes up to $9.46. But can you put a price on Christmas cheer?!

A friend of mine, her elf is named Tinsel. I kept thinking of him while helping Clyde dump lots of tinsel on the tree. :)

Clyde got a little too into it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 26: Elf portraits

Christmas Eve is around the corner. Which means Clyde will be leaving soon. This is making Katie sad. The countdown to Christmas has been turned into the countdown until Clyde leaves. To make the transition a bit easier, Clyde decided to leave a few portraits of himself around the house for the kids. He used the printer/copier/scanner to make a few prints. But he got a little carried away at the end. :)

With his end! Ha ha ha!

At least this time he stayed in place. I think his hands resting against the edge of the printer helped keep him up.

The first thing the kids saw, though, was the full portraits he taped up in their rooms.

Then, when they found him on the printer, the bum shot was a fun surprise.

I didn't think this one up on my own. I got it from Lil Blue Boo. Again, she's awesome. She cut the tag off her elf's bum. I should do that, too. Maybe he will stay in place better.

I've been picking up a bunch of last minute items for Christmas. I am super excited about a surprise I got for Jillian. She is the super Harry Potter fan in the house. Besides Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, I got a chocolate mold in the shape of frogs. Candy melts were on sale at Michael's and I stocked up!!! Dark chocolate and Candy Cane. I'm going to make a few chocolate frogs to give her as a Christmas surprise. The Candy Cane ones are to make peppermint covered oreos! Yay!!! I'm thinking they'd be another good neighbor gift. :) 

Random extra shot of first graders making gingerbread houses. I've been hovering a bit lately. I think you can understand why.

P.S. I think that is blackberry jelly on his face, from lunch. :)

Day 25: Pancakes!!!

A few weeks ago, we were having pancakes for dinner. The kids always love it when I make a few extra tiny ones with the end of the batter. It occurred to me that they looked like elf-sized pancakes. So, I made a bunch, threw them in a baggie, and threw the baggie into the freezer. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them yet, but I knew I HAD to something with them.

Last night, we had pancakes for dinner again. We really don't have pancakes that often, but the cold winter nights just call for comfort food. I knew it was time to put out the elf pancakes. I wish I had a tiny plate to put them on. Instead, I used a Christmas tree shaped ceramic dish that I got at Michael's. For a buck!!! I got a bunch in all the colors and I'm going to use them when we have a hot chocolate bar and when we make reindeer food. (Speaking of reindeer food, I have a special treat to show you at the end of this post.)

I stacked up a little pile of pancakes and plopped Clyde down next to them.

I don't know about you, but I'd LOVE to eat at the North Pole kitchen! What a wonderful time that would be! Ooooo, I should look around to see if there is a North Pole Kitchen Cookbook out there.

Again, Clyde couldn't keep his butt in place. I even tried electrical tape instead of scotch tape. I guess elves can fall prey to food coma, too. :)

Reindeer food surprise: Gold Sugar! It looks like gold glitter, but it's edible, so you don't poison the poor reindeer. Or whatever critters scamper through your yard. It will sparkle in the moon light when you sprinkle the reindeer food in the snow, (or grass), to attract the reindeer to your house. :)

Day 24: Elf houses?

Remember the Christmas themed bird houses I told you to go get at Michael's? Well, the time has finally come for them to appear! 

Clyde arrived with the three bird houses, a fresh supply of paint and some new paint brushes. He's sitting on our banana hanger thingy, but he kept sliding over. I was able to put him back without the kids noticing all but two times. They think it is okay for adults only to touch the elf if he needs help. That would be the lesser of two evils. I've had a problem with him slipping sometimes. Scotch tape does not work. It doesn't stick to his little felt butt. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

Silly guy thought that they might be elf houses! :)

The sun has come out again and made the snow even more beautiful!

And since the roads were clear, Hubby grabbed the kids and ran off to go Christmas shopping for me. :) And I took the opportunity to wrap as many presents as I could. I still haven't figured out how to wrap Thor's hammer. I'm sure that's an ancient riddle from some where.

One of the things I have been planning are some fun stocking stuffers from Clyde. I found these cookies at Barnes & Noble and had to get them!

One for each! They were expensive for cookies, about $3 each, but for a once a year present from an elf, it was worth it. I was at Barnes & Noble to pick up some Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Flavour Beans from Harry Potter. The kids talk about them all the time and I thought they would be a funny gift from their mischievous elf.

If you have no idea what these are, they are a mixture of regular flavored jelly beans and disgusting flavored jelly beans. Dumbledore famously popped what he thought was a toffee flavored bean into his mouth only to discover that it was earwax flavored! :p

In case you can't read it, the flavors are:
Banana, Black Pepper, Blueberry, Booger, Candyfloss, Cherry, Cinnamon, Dirt, Earthworm, Earwax, Grass, Green Apple, Marshmallow, Rotten Egg, Sausage, Lemon, Soap, Tutti-Fruitti, Vomit, and Watermelon.

I often sneak bits of the children's candy. I will not be pinching any of these. ;)