Welcome baby Austin! What a great Christmas present! He was such a cutie. We even got some photos with the whole family- 3 dogs included! We had to take a couple photos with the mailbox for his mail carrier mom and of course then with his Dad’s work clothes!
For Valentine’s Day I got these cute little mailboxes from the dollar bins at Target. I had great plans for using them! I still have great plans for next year… since I didn’t do all that I wanted with them this year. All I did to decorate them is put a glittery heart sticker on each of them- however they were quickly removed by my three year old. As you can see in the picture above from my phone only 2 of them has a sticker and they are barely hanging on! Maybe next year I will get names on the mailboxes. Each of us in our family has our own mailbox. I was originally planning on doing a 14-day advent type countdown to Valentine’s day- but that didn’t happen. I was going to do it like we did for December with Christmas where each day there was a valentine note/treat plus a service project and fun activity to do that day. So since I wasn’t ready to do it February 1st I thought maybe I’d do just 10 days… but I wasn’t together by then either.
So I ended up doing it a lot simpler- which made my life easier. I just did a note with a treat for every day of Valentine’s week (until Valentine’s Day- so just 5 days). I mostly just did the cheesy notes- but that’s what you do for Valentine’s Day right?! I tried not to do candy but of course my little boys love it so I did a little for 2 of the days. For example, I did “I love the way you make me snicker!” and gave them a few snicker mini’s. Another day I gave them berries and said “I love you berry much!” I think my boys favorites treats were the glow bracelets and another day glow in the dark balloons (they have a little LED light in them). My husband is anti-candy so he got nuts, berries, gum, chap stick and something else I’m forgetting.
My three year-old loved this! Of course receiving mail is always exciting! He doesn’t want me to put the mailboxes away! It was so cute because on the second day, Beckett got out paper and “wrote” everyone a note and put it in their mailbox. He then found random treats from the pantry to give everyone. He picked out a bag of coconut to give to his little brother… but it couldn’t fit in the mailbox. I still thought it was sweet of him. Each day he wanted to write a note too! We only did a few other valentines for others outside our family- maybe next year we will be better. Even though it wasn’t quite as elaborate as I planned, I think the valentine’s mailboxes were a huge hit and will be improved next year… well we will see. I’m pretty sure next year I’m not going to be any less busy!
Meet beautiful Jessica! She’s a senior at Central High School- class of 2013. She loves dance and soccer. She is involved in many activities including dance, student senate and NHS. She sees herself going to college to study nursing after high school. Her favorite quote is “Life is a roller coaster, so go ahead and scream a little.” She says she can not live without her car. Jessica want people to remember her as happy and says her friends might describe her as supportive, sweet and motivated. Check out her senior photographs- she had too many good ones to post!
This cute family had me photograph their family to help document their time spent in New Castle and Western Colorado. They moved to Denver shortly after these photographs were taken. I think we all shared the same love of the view of the hogback mountains in New Castle- so we had to make sure those we featured them in a few of their photographs.
Carder is a Glenwood High School Senior- class of 2013. He’s a cute, shy boy that also plays baseball! I’m lucky he’s even letting me post a few of his senior photographs because he doesn’t want to draw any attention to his self! They look great though!
For the elf on the shelf tradition I started out strong… I even took photos of it. But as the month went on and things got crazier- it would be 11pm and I’d be like “Crap! I still haven’t done anything with Elfie!” So I’d look through my list of planned ideas and find the easiest one to do. I’d want to shoot myself for making this tradition so difficult. Finding Elfie each morning was exciting enough! But no, I knew this would be most beneficial to have a planned service and a planned fun activity to go with it each day. Otherwise I may not have done any of these fun ideas. Also, I tried to have it all coordinate with what Elfie was doing, but I couldn’t always think of things to do that matched. And after about the first week or so I didn’t take photos either (or only a few snapshots with my cellphone)- so I will tell you what we did with our Elf on the Shelf from what I can remember… now that it is about 2 months later! So some of these may not be in the exact order we did them in. For day 1 and 2 check my earlier post on Elfie.
Day 3: Elfie in a Lego fort
Service: Build someone up today by giving compliments or writing a nice note.
Fun: Build a fort.
My boys loved our huge fort we made and of course we had to play with flashlights in it!
Day 4: Elfie making snow angel
Fun: Make snow globes.
Service: Be a secret angel to someone.
We stuck gift cards in our snow globes to city market and to amazon to give to a few people we felt deserved a little surprise. We just left them on their doorstep so we wouldn’t get caught. I hope they saw the gift card and realized it was an active one. That was my big concern that they wouldn’t realize that. I read online that they tested the gift cards after being in snow globes and worked fine as long as it hadn’t been in the water over a week! So hopefully all that wasn’t wasted!
Day 5: Elfie riding a dump truck, taking out the trash.
Fun: We used that “trash” and had an indoor paper snowball fight.
Service: Do something nice for the garbage collectors.
My three year is fascinated by the trash collectors and loves watching them in the morning so I prepared a couple goody bags to have Beckett give them in the morning. The only problem was we didn’t get up early enough to do it. I actually enjoyed a little extra sleep! So instead we gave the goody bags to our mail carrier and the Fed Ex delivery guy. I was caught off guard a few days later when we received a card from the U.S.P.S. But it was a thank you note from our mail carrier. About a month later when we saw the Fed Ex guy again… he thanked us as well. I was grateful for them taking the time to do that because it just reinforces the learning experience for my 3 year old. He was so proud! He was always so excited about doing all the things and most of which we did in secret.
Day 6: Elfie hiding in a stocking.
Fun: Candy cane hockey (played with candy cane hockey sticks and m&m hockey pucks) My 1 year old discovered m&ms and was pretty determined to eat all our pucks! He was pretty hilarious!
Service: Create a stocking full of goodies to give to friends.
I planned this activity for this day intentionally because it was St. Nicholas day. If you know anything about him and how our stocking tradition came about… I thought it would be appropriate. We also tried to do this one in secret. So first we assembled all the different goodies into all the stockings and then we left them at their doorsteps. I planned to do it when a couple of the families would be picking their kids up from school that way no one would be home to see us but I knew they would be there to receive the stocking in a few minutes. Beckett was just so excited about this he kept talking about it for days and so when he saw one of the families a few days later, that was the first thing out of his mouth! Little stinker! Three year olds aren’t the best secret keepers.
Day 7: Elfie going fishing. (excuse the ugly mirror!)
Fun: Christmas music Freeze dance
Service: People are fishing for compliments, so be sure to dish them out today.
Day 8: Elfie on the vacuum cleaner
Fun: Make a reindeer sandwich
Day 9: Photog Elfie taking photos with a camera
Fun: Dan’s Work Christmas Party
Service: Make a gift for someone using photos
We made a few different kinds of jewelry for a couple different people. We used beads but we also used the plastic shrinky dink for the photos and some other beads. I had Beckett color a sheet of shrinky dink then I cut circles out and we made beads to use for some other jewelry. We made one necklace for one of Beckett’s friends birthdays and some others for his aunt.
Day 10: Elfie making paper snowflakes
Fun: Made paper snowflakes and tortilla snowflakes for lunch.
Service: Make something to give to someone… we made our own bath salts/ sand art. We made about 10 of these jars! Beckett keeps asking to make some more for us this time!
Day 11: Elfie reading books to little people.
Fun: Church Christmas Party
Service: Do something nice for the library people. Since we are always bringing treats to Dan’s library we decided to bring cookies to the Rifle library and Administration staff.
Day 12: Elfie riding a fire truck.
Fun: Visit Santa Clause at the library
Service: Bring treats to the firefighters (Beckett’s other favorite people!) He still talks about this every time we drive past the fire station. “Remember when we took cookies to the firefighters!”
Day 13: Elfie with mini easel making an artwork
Fun and Service: Make an artwork for someone. ( I cheated this time and counted it as both)
Other things we did were make gifts for your teachers, bring a meal to someone (cheated and did this with grandma when we were in Denver), and other things I have forgotten and many others I never did that we will save for next year! That last week while we were out of town I didn’t do much besides hide Elfie… it was a bit too crazy!
Anyways! I know this post is super long. But I hope it helps give you some ideas for Elf on the Shelf, service, Christmas or winter activities you can do with your kids! And maybe next year I will be better at it! It sure was fun! My three year loved it!