January 10, 2011

Christmas in review | DIY therapy packs and Lightsaber earrings

We had a great Christmas and New Year.  We started the holiday break with the capture of a tiny little mouse.  The process of capturing it took several hours and a lot of chocolate chips as bait.  Once we had him captured we put him in a rubbermaid tote and fed him different foods until it was time for his release.  This mouse likes bread and chocolate chips but NOT cheese or peanut butter.  huh.

Then it snowed. A lot. When the weather turned nice and it hit nearly 70 degrees I thought it would be a perfect time to release him.  We were ready to head out the door when the tornado sirens went off.  Then actual tornadoes came through the city.  We hung out in the basement. So did the mouse (thanks to my kids tearful pleas).  Weeks later the mouse is still with us.  This was the week for him to go but now there's snow on the way.  Sigh.  I'm gonna leave this release thing up to my husband... I'm sure he'll be released tonight regardless of snow, tornadoes, or firestorms.

This holiday I tried to get the boys involved in the season of giving.  They were in charge of picking out certain gifts and were given a very meager budget to do so.  We also focused on making a lot of our gifts.  Big brother picked out ornaments from the Missouri Botanical Gardens for his teacher's gifts.  Then we set about making a pen holder/gift wrapping.

We wrapped some aluminum cans in scrapbook paper, glued on ribbon around the top edge, and tucked the ornaments inside.  We added stickers to circle magnets to make this one even more multi-purpose.  Now its a pen holder-note holder-gift wrap.

We have several neighbors on our street that are older single ladies.  We try to visit them when we can.  They love to see the boys and are so touched at even the smallest gesture.  So we set about making small gift bags for 8 of our neighbors.  We baked lots of cookies.  Chocolate, chocolate chip and Beacon Hill cookies drizzled in chocolate.

For the other handmade gift to go in the bags we decided to make what we call boo-boo packs.  You fill a fabric baggie with rice (or wheat), add a few drops of essential oil, and sew them up.  They can be microwaved to use as a heat pack or put in the freezer for use as a cold compress or for boo-boos.  I made eleven of these.  The first one took forever.  Then I went on youtube to check a video on how to thread a sewing machine and the rest were done in minutes.  They turned out very nice.  I'd give a tutorial here but seeing as I needed to look up on youtube how to use my sewing machine you might be better googling diy therapy packs to find a better tutorial.

After delivering the bags of goodies to eight of our neighbors (the delivery took longer than the making of the gifts; the neighbors like to visit; another lesson for the boys on the holiday spirit of giving... giving time)

When we got home I set to work on making Lego lightsaber earrings for my sister who is sort of a Star Wars nerd.  Now that I have been thoroughly schooled in all that is Star Wars and I am surrounded by these adorable Star Wars legos the creative ideas are endless.  I don't typically make jewelry so this was a wing-it DIY project but they turned out and she was pretty happy with them.

Then the Christmas madness began.  We do Christmas presents on Christmas eve morning since its the only quiet, relaxed time we have to really take the time to open presents and be together just the four of us.  The boys loved their presents and spent the day with new legos...

Then it was a weekend FULL of family.  Presents at my mom's house; presents at Phil's mom's house.  A million cousins to play with all weekend (and week) long.  Tons of time for me with my family and in-laws.  A really wonderful holiday.

After unwrapping all their toys and opening a few the boys decided to play with...
a box.  Yep, it was a rollercoaster among other things.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  I know we did.

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