The Joys of Home Educating: December 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Party Decor - LOTS OF PICS

So the hubby surprised me this morning and took all 3 kids out to run errands for 4 1/2 hours!  I was in decorating heaven without having three LO's at my feet. I got the place decorated and ready for our NYE family party tonight.  I only gave myself a $ 30 budget for the party for decor and I spent less than that!  I used things we had from previous years, stuff around the house and at the last minute (this morning) decided to go with the Candyland Theme for the kids part of the party.  This was FUN and EASY and cost me here goes...enjoy! (I will post pictures tomorrow of the party itself)

This was a project I did at Thanksgiving time and have been using it ever since. Taking a plastic charger plate and painted chalkboard paint over it. Writing with my awesome Chalkboard markers (found at the craft store).

Some decor in my 3 tiered French Basket where the drinks will be.

Picture of our window in the kitchen looking out at the deck. Drinks for the upstairs guests...I purchased (at Dollar Tree - the plastic wine glasses for the kids to partake in some sparkling grape juice)

Kids area...went with the Candyland theme. Took my Ball canning jars...filled with candies I already had..put a Candyland guy in a glass star and he is trapped!

My inspiration for the CLtheme was the beautiful gingerbread houses that my kids did over the holiday. I just can't throw them out I used them for the centerpiece on the buffet.

Trapped another CL guy in a jar of sprinkles.

Fun for the kids...colorful and using all the Christmas candy that was not claimed yet!

a FUN BOWL full of noise makers for the kiddies

Kids table...crafts galore will be on this table...beads, pipe cleaners, crayons, coasters to make and more. I went online and found Candyland pictures, printed them, laminated them and taped them to a larger sheet
of construction paper for the placemats for the kids. Very colorful. They all have their own crayons, beads at their spot too.

The kitchen where all the hot food will be, away from little hands.

Downstairs on the bar in the family room (guy hang out). Previous project, took a frame, painted a piece of wood with the chalkboard paint and use it as a memo or menu board. Again using my great chalkboard markers!

Centerpiece on the bar. I created this using homemade apothecary jars (take a dollar store candle holder and a dollar store glass vase and use your epoxy to glue the holder to the vase....there you have it... instant apothecary and different heights also)

The bar in the family room - food will be set out...drinks...huge TV down there also with the fireplace.

I put some of these sayings around the house on the little ornament placecard holders. I got these at Michaels Crafts a few years ago...come in handy!

As seen in yesterday's post, these are the gifts for the adults and kids for when they leave.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing our NYE decor and I am looking forward to the company arriving at 6 pm.  

HAPPY NEW YEARS TO YOU ALL!  See you in 2011!

Linking up to this great party site for an entry to their contest!  come see all the awesome parties linked up!



Andi over at Potential Treasures has a new giveaway for starting 2011!  Handmade custom piece! You have to check it out!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Years Party on a tight budget - Sneak Peak IDEAS!

So Christmas has come and gone and we have mostly De-Christmased the house of all decorations (including 6 trees!)  Budget is real tight now until hubby gets his bonus (March)...however, we always do something for New Years and for the last two years the hubby and myself have hosted an adult only News Years gathering at our home. It was all church family couples. This year we changed it up.  We invited FAMILIES with children and will be hosting a family party. Starting a little earlier (6 pm) and having fun stuff for the kiddies to do as well as the adults. So I gave myself a $ 30 decorating/gifts budget (not including food)...done real good, I did!  Here is a sneak peak at what I have been working on:

Michael's Craft Store - small place card holders - make great decor for a small apothecary jar.

Goodie bags for the parents to take home. Found these adorable tuxedo bags (nice and hard too) in the bridal section of our local Dollar Tree. 10 for $ 1.00  BLING!

Icebreaker mints - stuck a cute printable from Love the Day these are going into the adult goodie bags.

Kids goodie bags - again printed out FREE New Years printables from Love the Day and pasted them onto little cardboard white goodie bags - again from the bridal section of our local Dollar Tree store. There were 12 in the bag for $ 1.00 - JACKPOT!

Inside these cute bags are 1 blower and 1 beaded necklace for the kiddies. I got 12 for a $ 1.00 for the blowers in the birthday section of the Dollar Tree and 8 necklaces for $ 1.00 from the New Years section of the Dollar Tree!   Cheap and CUTE!

Hung these up in the windows of the playroom...took some old encyclopedia pages, fanned them, glued them and stuck a printable in the middle. Cute and no cost at all!

So that is all I am going to show for now...stop back tomorrow afternoon to see some finished projects and finished decorations! 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year = Hallway Makeover = SIMPLIFY

We have taken a few weeks off from homeschooling, which means I have a few more minutes in the day to do something I want to do....decorate, redecorate and recreate our home. Isn't a home always evolving to what you want (at that time?)....I finally finished painting the hallway to match the playroom/schoolroom which leads into each other.  I took off all the old pictures and decorations and went SIMPLE...that is my new word for the new year SIMPLE!  I think it turned out nicely. I am thinking a large mirror for the opposite side...

UPDATE:  Just wanted to tell you all how I did this....I took close profile pictures of the kids, printed them, put a piece of black paper behind the picture and cut it out...mounted them and framed them!  EASY BREEZY...the vinyl I bought on ebay, but it was hard to put on and some of it is still not sticking the best, I might have to "operate" and glue some of it down...

Linking up to: Unskinny Boppy - Blogger Parade of HOmes

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Jesus Cake & Play

This is the start to frosting our Birthday cake for Jesus.

Zachary did a big heart with Jesus' name inside.

Molly did balloons.

Finished product...very tasty!

Christmas Eve the kids performed "The First Christmas" for all the moms & Dads
at my Mother In Laws. 

Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus with their new Melissa & Doug Birthday cake.

Very blessed we are getting SNOW SNOW and more SNOW...loving it!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Day schedule and Christmas Brunch Menu

I heart all things Christmas but Christmas morning is one of my favorite times. 

Even as an adult I still get the butterflies  that you get from coming downstairs Christmas morning and seeing all the goodies! 

Christmas morning is always such a flurry of excitement and I want to be as much of a part of it as I can, however, I am in charge of food (as usual).   I try to prep as much as I can the day before, not easy since I have only about 4 hours in the morning to get everyone out the door for visiting grandma for Christmas Eve activities. 

Our schedule is a pretty easy going one.... Christmas morning the kids get up, get Dad and I up and have to wait until Dad goes down and starts the fire, gets the camera ready.  Then the kids (and adults) can open stockings, play with the 1 toy that Santa brought (which is not wrapped) and relax until brunch time. When I have all the food ready we eat while we open gifts 1 at a time, it's an all morning into the afternoon event.    Later that night, we do French Onion soup and Crab legs and that is all...So here is our Brunch Menu this year:

  • Crescent Roll Cinnamon Rolls  - kind of a "semi-homemade" type of roll using Pillsbury Crescent rolls...find on -  EASY
  • Sausage & Cheesey Biscuits  - EASY - Take the Pillsbury Grand Biscuits and break in half. Take 1 half and flatten a little put into a cupcake tin (no paper)...then.. cook up some crumbled sausage (I used Jones in the round package and I break it up - make day before) and some moz cheese - drop a little of each into a Pillsbury Biscuit - bake until brown - THESE ARE A HIT - can use bacon or chicken or anything real
  • Hash brown casserole (this has egg and bacon in it and you prep night before)
  • Brisket in the crock pot. (cooks for 10 hours putting it on at midnight Christmas Eve)
  • Sweet & Sour Meatballs - EASY quick recipe...1 can of cranberry's, 1 jar of apricot jelly and 1 container of chili sauce..mix and put your meatballs in with a crockpot.. DIVINE!
  • Stromboli - pepperoni and cheese in the Pillsbury Pizza Dough
  • Pudding w/brownies and whipped cream..forgot what this is called, but you layer it in a truffle bowl.
  • Chocolate Cake - Happy Birthday Jesus cake. (my personal fav)
  • French Toast sticks - We buy the frozen kind and sprinkle some powered sugar on them - keep them in a warming tray...
  • Drinks and fun!

Its not a lot work and is sooo yummy! 

Maybe you can find something above for your breakfast? 

Merry Christmas to you all! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Prayers needed for a blogging friend PLEASE READ!

Brenda over at The Family Revised is sending out a request for prayer to the blogging community. Her father got some bad news, again, about his cancer.  Please friends, take a minute to hop over there and leave a message letting her know you are praying for her father, healing and strength to everyone. Thank you in advance for taking the time.

Publish Post

Some of my favorite holiday decorations

This is an ornament from the girl's room tree. Love it!

Another ornament from the girls tree. All decked out in pink, white and purple.

The kids worked so hard on their houses this year, so proud of them.

A new addition...bought her at a farm market stand.

Put up our Little People Nativity!

Probably one of my favorites...the Happy Birthday to Jesus Bulletin board. Kids made a craft and hang it up.

My oldest (22 yr old now) made this little 1 foot tree for me, decorated and all when he was 4. I love it!

Our table in the 1/2 bath. 

My 1st Nutcracker!  

Part of the mantel. Mostly outdoor feeling to it.

Our bar area. Real festive and lights!

One of the subway signs I found on line. 

Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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