8th Day of Christmas

Today’s card said, “Christmas Coloring”


When I wrote that I honestly didn’t know what we were going to do.  We have Christmas coloring books, so we could have just sat together and colored those.  I considered taking them to the store to pick out a new coloring book.    I also thought about printing some coloring sheets from online.  But this is what we ended up with…  I drew block letters to spell out JOY.  And everyone got to decorate one.  Garner had the ‘J’, Reese and I had the ‘O’ and Baylee had the ‘Y’.  We all had a lot of fun!!!

And they were all so proud of their letters!!

We decided to hang them above the family calendar, in the kitchen.




2nd Day of Christmas

“Christmas Tree/Craft Night” is what was in today’s card.

We had a little bit of a dilemma this year with our tree.  Reese, who will be 2 yrs old the 28th of this month, is at the stage where there seems to be no boundaries.  No matter how many times you tell her “no”, “not a toy”, etc., or redirect her.  It doesn’t work.  So, of course, all she wants to do is play with the tree!!  We have collected so many ornaments over the years.  I love and cherish every single one of them!!  Mine, Drew’s, the kid’s… doesn’t matter, they are all special.  A memory seems to be attached to every one of them.  Even if it’s not directly with the ornament, but something involving Christmas and the ones we love.  We have enough ornaments to decorate at least 3 different trees.  And no, I am not joking, actually probably underestimating.  So as special as they are, I did not want any of them to be broken by toddler hands.  I also didn’t want to play the Christmas Tree Police all month, continually telling her to not touch them.  The solution:  A ‘Kid’s Tree’.

Tonight we made paper chains!!!!  Remember those?!?  We probably all made our 1st ones in Kindergarten, or earlier.  We did two things different than I remember as a child.  First, we used nice cardstock paper. Kids are not gentle, regular construction paper just tears too easily.  Second, we used tape!!  No mess with glue, and it probably holds better.  Garner and Baylee had so much fun making them, and were amazed at how long it got.  Reese sat at the table with us and colored.   Drew was the tape guy as I tried to keep crayon on the paper and off our table. 😉

We also had a lot of Apple Sauce Cinnamon ornaments that we made last year to add to the tree.  It took me a long time tying the ribbon on all of them last night.  One of those things I never got to last Christmas.

Between the paper chain, yummy smelling ornaments, and some non-breakable ornaments we had already… We now have a decorated tree!!  I put the garland, chain and star on while Garner and Baylee did the rest.  Drew and I sat on the floor playing with boxes with Reese, while they went to town.  Christmas music playing in the background.  No TV noise.  Everyone enjoying the moment!!   “This is the best Christmas Tree we’ve ever had!!”  Baylee said.  Awe, just melts my heart!  They were so happy!!  Totally worth keeping the other ornaments in safe keeping this year, and probably the start of another new tradition.  I guess we’ll for sure be shopping the After Christmas Sales for another fake tree for next year!!

It has been a great start to our December!!  I hope all of you are enjoying it as much as we are!!  Just a little music suggestion… If you don’t have Frank Sinatra’s Christmas album, get it!!!  It’s my favorite!!

Happy Holidays from The Darlings!!


Halloween Felt Circle Banner

Here’s a quick Halloween Decor idea to do with kids!!!

What you will need:

orange, black and white or cream felt


sewing machine

thread color of your choice (I used a very light tan that matched my cream felt.)

First, trace all different sizes of circles onto your felt.   Then cut them all out.

My 4 and 7 yr old kiddos cut out all of the traced circles.  I actually winged it on the black, because I couldn’t find my fabric pencil.  One of  the great things about crafts with kids is that it looks like kids have helped do it. Our circles were far from perfect, even my black ones.  I did have to do a little trimming here and there but, pretty much left them as is:)

Then lay them all out and layer them until you’re happy with the variety.

Being that felt is pretty thick, I pinned all of them together to help them not slide while they were being sewn.  I just used a straight stitch… I have no idea what the width was.  I am not a master sewer.  Yet!!

Then I used some regular tape to hang it.  And now we have a wonderful Halloween Decoration for our mantel.  It only took a couple of hours from start to finish.  So Easy!!!!