As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and
create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not
only the world around you but also the world within you.
~President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Fun 2011

Since the Holiday season is underway, I thought I would share are a few of the activities and good finds I have come across. These are simple and affordable, so enjoy!

Storytime Advent:
Anni LOVES books, and so for our "advent" this year I wanted to incorporate the reading of Christmas books. I have been collecting Christmas books all year from the thrift store. I am going to wrap each one individually and have them in a box under the tree to open one each night. This will also help with her urge to open presents early.

Snowman Fun! At the Real Canadian Superstore right now they have "Snowmen Kits" for $9. The kit includes a nice big felt hat, scarf and all the accessories for a decked out snowman! This is going to be fun, and I am pretty sure $9 is cheaper than I could have made it for.

Gingerbread "Boys" or "Girls"--the cheater's version. My husband grew up with the tradition of making gingerbread boys each year. As I have kept up the tradition the last few years I have found the only downside is making the actual dough! Talk about putting your mixer to the test! This stuff is thick. When I saw that Pilsbury had come out with a tube of gingerbread dough for a couple dollars, I decided that was well worth it! I also found this at Superstore.! I have loved online shopping for gifts this year. is one of my favourite and most trusted sites. They have a real range of items for every budget. For example, my dad is so hard to shop for so I was excited to find him this WWII puzzle! He is a history buff and loves puzzles! Yeah for!

5.Nativity Window Stick-Ons -- I didn't know what to call these things, but you know what I'm talking about. Anni has been having fun playing with these on the window. They came on a sheet at Wal-Mart for $0.99.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Birthday Fun!

Birthdays are such a great time to focus on those special people we love! This year for Anni's birthday she requested a "My Little Pony" party. I wanted to keep it simple as I am realizing that a lot of times doing all the extra "fluff" just isn't worth the energy at this point in my life with two little kids to take care of. I did want to keep the party focused on Anni and the things we love about her.
When you have all adults come for the party it's easy to talk about things that aren't fun for the kids, so I made up a little "Anni Trivia" game, which also doubled as the centerpiece. This kept us talking about Anni and kept her engaged and at the center of the party.
I had made up questions and discussed them with Anni earlier in the day to make sure she knew what she wanted her answers to be. It turned out well and Anni loved having people talk about things she is interested in!
A few examples of questions are:
-What is Anni's favourite book?
-What does Anni love for a bedtime snack?
-Where was Anni born?

The party cups.....Anni helped me pick out stickers to apply to clear plastic cups.

For food we went with a homemade McDonalds night. Anni loves hamburgers from McD's so I made our favourite slowcooker hamburgers (which make things nice and easy!)
Here's the recipe:

1 lb. Hamburger shaped into patties (or use premade patties)
1 cup ketchup
1 tbsp brown sugar
6 tbsp onion (diced)
3/4 c. water
3 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
1/2 cup bbq sauce
1/2 cup salsa (the secret ingredient for a really nice flavour!) You can even use less ketchup or bbq sauce when adding the salsa if you would like.

Brown the hamburger patties on frying pan. Place in slow cooker. Mix up the ingredients for the sauce and pour over the hamburgers. Cook on low for 6ish hours.
Serve on buns with all the fixins!

We served the burgers with homemade fries with the seasoning found here, as well as a veggie platter. Simple but yummy!

Here is a couple of the gifts Anni received. Tess whipped up both of these and I thought they were so cute!

A personalized pie with beans inside:

The apron: