Super cute, super cheap advent calendars

November 30, 2009 at 10:36 am (Christmas, crafts)

I should begin by saying the ideas for these advent calendars are super cuteMy personal versions however, leave much to be desired!!!

Last year my friend ohAmanda linked up to one of the cutest Advent Calendars EVERthe Dentyne Gum Advent Pocket Calender.  I filed it away mentally as a reminder to make them this year.  They were a little trickier than I thought.  It took me a few extra cuts & folds and I’m still not completely satisfied.  The grandmothers & aunts got the first prototypes pictured below (sorry ladies!) and now that I’ve got the folds right, I’ve got just one day to finish up the ones for Evan’s teachers.  I thought that would be a fun & unexpected gift for the 1st day of December since it’s also his 1st day back at school after the Thanksgiving Break.  For the cost of gum, some leftover cardstock & a pack of stickers you have a fun, unexpected little gift for someone!!

The Gum Advent

Then Amanda once again found another one of the cutest Advent Calendars EVERthe Bubble Wrap Advent Calender.  Evan, like most any other little kid, loves Bubble Wrap … what an awesome idea to incorporate popping the bubbles as part of the Countdown to Christmas!!  This project didn’t cost me a dime!  I already had some bubble wrap from some Christmas shipments that came in.  I used an old frame that I had lying around.  And some extra stickers.  Super Cute & Super Cheap!!

The Bubble Wrap Advent

So, the overall moral of the story … if you’re not following ohAmanda then you should be!!  She does super cute things all the time & if she doesn’t do them, then she finds them for you!!  Thanks my friend!

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And now comes december

November 30, 2009 at 12:05 am (family, Thanksgiving)

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  And scarier than that, is that Christmas is literally just around the corner!!  How is this even possible?? Old people are right when they say it comes quicker every year … it does!  Does that mean I’m old?! Don’t answer.

We had a good Thanksgiving.

I got to meet this cute little Indian at his class’ Thanksgiving Lunch.

A little Indian
A little Indian

They made turkey shirts in class with their feet!

The Foot Turkey

We made Turkey Cookies at home.


Spent time with family.

Reading with Mama Lou

We had some good conversations, my favorite one of the day is here.

And we attempted to get just one cute, co-operating picture of the kids in the Turkey Shirts.

My little turkeys


The latter did not happen.

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.

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Conversations … thanksgiving edition

November 29, 2009 at 9:07 pm (Conversations with a 4 year old, Thanksgiving)

This conversation comes courtesy of my husband’s family.  We spent Thanksgiving evening at his Aunt’s house.   I lose track after ‘1st cousins’.  Is it 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins, cousins once removed … I don’t have a clue! This story however is about one of those 2nd, 3rd, or once removed cousins!!  But for simplicity sake we’ll say Evan was playing a video game with one of his “cousins” (aka “The 6 year old”) as my husband looked on.

6 year old: Evan would you like me to help you get the car off the road so you can race again?

Evan: Sure.

Husband: Thank you for helping Evan, that was very nice of you.

6 year old: You’re welcome.  Would you please be sure to tell my Mom and Dad …

My husband was waiting for the rest of the sentence.  It didn’t happen.  He just wanted my husband to be sure & tell his Mom & Dad that he was being nice!!

Cracked us up!!

Apparently he gets in trouble alot so he makes sure his parents hear anything good that they can!!  And I think he’s a future salesman!

So, any funny Thanksgiving Conversations at your family gathering??

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November 26, 2009 at 6:03 am (family, Thanksgiving)

For beautiful days in the month of November.

To go outside and enjoy the weather.

With these two little cuties.

Evan – November 2009
Megan – November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

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November 25, 2009 at 7:10 am (1 year olds, Megan)

Megan is now 15 months old.  She tries her best to keep up with her big brother & for the most part he enjoys her tagging along.  Last week, we were with my husband’s family celebrating an early Thanksgiving Dinner with his grandfather.  So there were lots of people around & they were of course all looking at the kids.  Megan was running to catch up with Evan and she fell.  No big deal.  Her mind’s going faster than her little feet can go & she fell.  But to her – such a big deal!!

Megan - November 2009

This isn’t the actual picture.  I just thought it was funny – ha!!  In this picture she’s mad.  On the day she fell … in front of everyone she was NOT mad!  Pepper picked her up & she literally buried her face in his shoulders.  It was the deep cry.  The one that takes your breath away.  She could not catch her breath & she would not look up.  She was so incredibly embarrassed that she had fallen.  Fallen in front of so many people.  Only people who love her, but at that moment nothing matter.  My little 15 month old’s pride was shattered!!! 

Pride that I didn’t even know she had.  Sure she knows to be happy & clap when she does good things, but I guess I always figured that came from seeing all of us clap or jump up & down.  She knows she ‘supposed’ to have good pride.  But how does she know to be embarrassed?  Already?  At 15 months?

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Top ten tuesday – more randomness

November 24, 2009 at 12:14 am (random, Top Ten Tuesday)

I must be in a funk.  That or my procrastination is just catching up to me & I don’t have any posts ready.  Either way, looks like you’re stuck with another set of Random Facts about Mandi again!!

1.  My car has been hit on THREE separate occasions while it was parked!!  In a parking lot!!!  Two of those times were to the same car.  Is that normal???

2.  I cannot clap on beat.  Seriously.  Just ask my husband (and anyone else that stands near me in church).

3.  I just randomly became a Pampered Chef Consultant (so if you need anything let me know!!).  I was only hosting the party because the Sisterchicks wanted to have one.  And I became a Consultant.  Go figure!

4. I have 1 older sister & two younger twin brothers.   So I’m sort-of like the middle child, even though there’s four of us.

5.  I got married before I could legally have a drink … that’s why we honeymooned in Jamaica (totally kidding Mom!!).

6.  We call my grandfather CaCa and yes, I totally know what that means in Spanish … but we say it ONLY with pure love!! (He’s name is Carl.)

7.  I was sick as a dog at my 10th (I believe that’s right) birthday party.  I was vomiting as my friends were skating around the roller rink!

8.  My husband & I got a private tour of a lot in Hollywood – we got our picture taken and even splashed in the water of the famous “FRIENDS” fountainI loved every second of it!

9.  The sight of hair (no longer attached the head) will seriously make me gag.  My Dad always cleaned my hairbrush as a child & now thankfully my husband will!!

10.  In highschool & college, I dyed shoes for a living … just ask ohAmanda!

For more Top Ten Tuesday or to link up to your own list, visit

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How do you get a haircut?

November 20, 2009 at 7:32 am (4 year olds)

Evan’s hair is such a battle for me sometimes. If he has a normal cut then it’s a fight for him to let me brush it in the morning.  I absolutely hate having “that kid” that looks like he just rolled out of bed in the morning & his Mom couldn’t even get it together enough to brush his hair!!  (Note:  That is what I thought before I had kids.  Now I realize that is Mom probably was just choosing to pick her battles & her child’s hair wasn’t the biggest battle of the day!!)

Either way, I like Evan to look clean, put together, well dressed (that does not read nice/expensive clothes, just whatever he wears may he wear it well, etc.).  But for about the last year and a half or more, the easiest solution to this battle has been a buzzed head!!

Evan does great when I take him to a salon for a haircut, but can I just say that it hurts my heart & my CHECKbook to pay $20+ for someone to buzz his head!!!  That’s crazy to me!!  I’ve done the Great Clips thing, the cute little kid places, and even barber/salon shops but when it’s all said & done it’s $20-$25 bucks.  To SHAVE the kids’ head!!!

So my husband’s been shaving it for a while now.  The only difference is that at home – Evan does NOT co-operated. At.  All.  Not even a little bit.  He wiggles, he screams, he whines & he’s a pill.   So our solution for taking it off the top …

Haircut ...

... with Goggles!

This way it doesn’t get in his eyes (because Lord knows he can’t possibly keep them shut for 1 minute!!) and for whatever reason it’s fun to him!!  I think he can embody a character that way!!  He becomes the mean diver in Finding Nemo!

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HANDmade calendars

November 19, 2009 at 8:32 am (random)

Last year, the Sisterchicks got together at my house for the ‘craft of all crafts’.  Honestly – we were crazy!!  We had four adults, and 6 children under the age of 6.  Only one of those children was six.  Three of them were toddlers and two were newborns.  Like I said – we were crazy!!

We were inspired by the Handprint Calenders over at Doodles Place.  We had a good little thing going for a while – about 5 minutes tops!!  And then the kids’ excitement started to wear off.  They were ready to play with toys instead.  But I think the end result was well worth it!!  I ended up printing calendar templates off from Microsoft Word & inserting important family dates.  Then I took it to Kinko’s to have bound.  I added stickers to name each month.

Even with the craziness of putting them together this is probably one of my favorite HANDmade crafts.  I really do love these calendars & I know the grandparents love them as well!!

HANDmade Calendar

January - Snowflake

January - Snowflake

February - Heart

March - Clovers

April - Cross & Sun Rays

May - Flowers

June - Butterfly

July - Fish

August – Sun

September - Apple

October - Pumpkin

November - Turkey

December - Reindeer

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Top ten tuesday – the post birthday edition

November 17, 2009 at 11:49 am (Top Ten Tuesday)

I celebrated my 31st birthday this past Saturday.  I did some very random & unusual things on my birthday coupled with some very wonderful things.  I’ll let you decide the random or crazy ones versus the other!

1.  I had 550 Krispy Kreme doughnuts in my car.  The aroma is how I think Heaven should smell!!

2.  I wore a birthday “crown” on my head thanks to my sis.

3.  I spent an unusual amount of time in a walk-in refrigerator.

4.  I opened up a box of under garment thingies (not lingerie exactly but not Hanes either) from my mother-in-law (in front of all my in-laws).   Umm … Awkward.

5.  I drove home with a crock-pot full of chili praying it wouldn’t run out the sides & onto my floorboard.

6.  I was greeted with this in my drive way.

Sidewalk Chalk


7.  I saw a late-night movie with my husband.  (on a side note, if you want to feel really, really old – go see a late night movie with your husband on a Friday night!!)

8.  I ate my favorite food – Mexican – two of the three weekend nights.

9.  I slept in till 6:45am on Saturday.

10.  And the day that my husband had morning duty, both kids slept past 8:30am!!!

Craft Time with Daddy


For more Top Ten Tuesday Posts, or to link up to your own, visit

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Conversations with a one year old

November 16, 2009 at 11:06 am (1 year olds, Conversations with a 1 year old)

Translation:  “Tickle, Tickle, Tickle”


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