Thursday, December 5, 2013

Elf on the Shelf Mischief

We all love our elf on the shelf and there's nothing more fun and rewarding for our late night's of elf mischief than the smile and excitement on the faces of our children in the morning.

I'll be posting some of our silly elf shenanigans periodically to perhaps give you some new ideas. 

The Adventures of Bailey and Chippie! 

Our scout elves are back for the season!
They arrived through this little fairy door this year with
welcome note in hand!
The elves wrapped everything in the bathroom (mirror, toilet, soap, etc.) and were 
caught with the scissors and ribbon in their hands.
Breakfast with their favorite scout elf!
I looked for a cute cereal box with a face on it, cut it out, and had the
elf popping through. They loved it!
Kids always love a scavenger hunt too! Create clues for them to search for throughout the house with the final clue leading to a small gift from your elf!

This next use may be my favorite in my 3 years of elfing...I found an elf hat, vest, and boots at Target in their $3 bins and it just came right to me. Sneak your elf costume into your room and quickly don your new apparel just before your kids wake up. Pretend to be sleeping when they come in to discover your new elf attire. When they "wake" you, you'll be completely mystified as to how you got such a silly costume on! I added a note to our elf's hand saying she had played a joke on Mommy just to add to the fun. My boys were in disbelief and could not stop laughing hysterically! What a great start to a morning! 
Good morning! Wait, what happened?!?!
Elf Training
One tried to sneak into a present but fell in! The other just giggled :)
Rocketing away back to the North Pole!
I found these free printable rocket ship templates on this site.
They wanted to add their heights to our growth chart!
If Chippi has an aviator jacket & goggles, he certainly has to take Bailey on
a plane ride! 
Shooting mini Nerf guns at their target
Playing Elf Twister
Free Mini Printable boards on this site. 
Absolutely perfect for the evening of  December 20th!
Credit to my friend, Kendall, for this one! Fore more days!
Minecraft elves with blocks and farm animals
(I think that's what happens in Minecraft, I never pay attention, lol!)
Free Printable elf block heads found here!
Camping and reading mini Spooky Elf Stories around a campfire

Stuck in a Slinky hanging from the ceiling fan
They have their eyes everywhere to watch for good behavior!

This one was super fun and, once again, my boys were left totally stunned! I set up a little mini elf "photo booth" and placed the kids' iPad next to it. When they awoke and looked on their iPad, it seems those silly elves had been taking selfies!
Elf Selfies!
For the life of me, I can't find where I found these
adorable photo booth props, my apologies! It was somewhere on Pinterest!
This set-up was found the morning we were flying out for a trip. The kids got very excited with the hint that the elves may be traveling with us!
Packing their suitcase...Bailey's simply won't close! Too many skirts! Chippie to the rescue! 
With a little secret smuggling, they did make it to our hotel! Imagine that!
All cozied up for the night in the hand towels and washcloths for pillows. 

And in case you've noticed our beautiful Bailey wearing an engagement ring in some of the pictures, this is how that began...

Chippie pops the question to Bailey!
She's been seen wearing her ring each night since the engagement,
so she must have said "Yes!"
They kids ALWAYS love it when the elves toilet paper the Christmas tree! 

***As always, keep checking back for more fun ideas and happy elfing!***

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Containing those stuffed monsters!

Stuffed animals taking over your house? Here's a simple (and inexpensive) solution...purchase a bean bag chair cover (cover only). They sell them all sorts of places, I think I've seen them at WalMart for $10. I got our dragon at Ikea for $10. Then, instead of using the bean bag chair insert, fill with your child's stuffed animals! It contains them into one place AND doubles as a comfy place for them to sit in their bedroom! Voila! Problem solved! 
I stuffed 27 stuffed animals in this dragon as it's only about half the size of a standard bean bag chair. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Helping a 6 Year Old's Self Esteem

I was tucking my beautiful 6 year old into bed tonight and he said something that caught me off guard. He had just gotten a hair cut and he told me he liked his hair cut, but he didn't like his face. This devastated me. Every single day, I make it a point to tell him how handsome he is, how well mannered he is, how intelligent he is, how kind he is, how generous he is, how loving he is, how kind he is, and how he is just a perfect person both inside and out. Somehow though, something seeped through his young, impressionable mind and impacted his self esteem. It made him doubt everything I have ever taught him to believe about himself. I am so troubled by this. How could this low self esteem start so young when he comes from such a loving family?

I reached out to my family and friends on Facebook for some self esteem boosting and they came out in droves. I posted a picture of him and comment after comment was made about what a handsome young man he has become...even a few remarks of a resemblance to Justin Bieber (he'll LOVE those!). This outpouring of support to help my little boy stand a little taller filled my heart with joy that just can't be put into words. I cannot wait for him to wake up in the morning and see all of the wonderful comments. This is what we need all the time, not just when called upon. We need this encouragement and love from the world to be shown upon all of our children every single day to ensure they are walking with their heads held high. There's just no excuse for a child to be feeling any other way. 

This was a huge wake up call to me this evening. I thought I was doing enough. I'm not though. I need to be doing more. I need to be doing whatever it takes to ensure my baby feels good about himself and can walk confidently through his school hallway when he faces others who may not be the kindest to him. He needs to KNOW he is an absolutely beautiful person on the inside AND outside and it does not matter what anyone else says, he is a courageous, intelligent, talented, strong little boy who had faced challenges in his life that no little boy should ever have to face and he has persevered and done so with humility and dignity and for that he is truly remarkable. I love him more than anything on the planet and my mission has always been to make sure he knows that. My new mission will be to make sure he loves himself as well. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Packing For the Beach

Another beach trip is upon us and it's our 5th trip to be same location and I must say, I have now become somewhat of a pro at packing exactly what we need to ensure an amazing beach experience. Our first couple of trips didn't go quite as well and many trips to the local Target were made buying the things I either forgot or never would have imagined I would have needed. So, I've decided to compile a list of often overlooked items that you may find useful while packing for your upcoming trip. This list is intended to be used in conjunction with your typical list of beach items (towels, sunblock, sand toys, etc.). 

Beach stuff:
-long handled fishing nets (trust me, your children will use these for HOURS trying to catch fish) 
-pop up sun shelter tent 
-electric inflator/deflator 
-small beach cooler
-small freezer packs
-reusable water bottles

Stuff to do other than the beach:
-water squirters
-party tub (seriously, easiest fun ever...just fill the tub with water and give your kids the squirters. They'll keep refilling them in the tub and have a blast!)
-water balloons
-cards/games (great for when the kids new a little down time or if it's rainy out)
-s'mores stuff 
-s'mores skewers (I found these awesome telescoping ones at the dollar bin at Target and I love them!)

First aid:
-waterproof bandages
-medicine (Tylenol/Motrin)
-tweezers (these come in handy for so many things, but if nothing else, just plucking the occasional stray eyebrow that's bound to pop up on vaca)

Other house stuff:
-liquid hand soap
-toilet paper (we always seem to run out of the rolls the house stocks for us)
-trash bags (again, we always run out of the provided ones)
-paper towels
-dishwasher detergent
-ziplock bags/Tupperware
-pop up hamper (this has revolutionized vacations for me! No more "living out of a suitcase" feel!)
-extension cord (because there's NEVER an outlet close enough to the bed to charge my phone at night)
-scissors (sounds stupid but I've always needed them for one thing or another)
-barbecue lighter
-pen & paper
-plastic plates/cups/utensils (I try not to use these the entire week, but maybe one or two days...I am on vacation after all!)

...and if you want to be super over-zealous, or have insomnia (or just want to procrastinate packing like I typically do), you can always plan to have a Minute to Win It night with your family. It is SO much fun!! The whole family will be cracking up, guaranteed! I have a whole Pinterest board you can check for great ideas here:

I hope some of the things on here are helpful to you or perhaps jog your memory to pack something else. Most importantly though, I hope your family has an absolutely wonderful beach vacation filled with lots of love and laughter and memories made. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Surprising the Boys with a Disney Cruise!

I never blog anymore, I just don't have time, or I forget, or I'm too lazy, or whatever the reason, but I wanted to about this. I recently booked a Disney Cruise for the boys and I wanted to think of a way to surprise them with it...surprise them big! So after some brainstorming, I hatched up a plan.

We often go geocaching in the local areas around us. For those of you who don't know what geocaching is, it's like a big treasure hunt game where you use your GPS to find "caches" that people have hidden in various places. It's so much fun! You have to try it if you haven't already! So, I decided to put together a box of Disney cruise "clues" and hide it in the woods while the boys were away. When they came home, I suggested that we go geocaching and they were all for it. I pulled out my phone and pretended to pull up the app that we use to navigate our way to local caches hidden. I got totally into it. "It says it's hidden near the river bank, under a tree, just beside a large rock." They were so excited.

My older son spotted it first and went running to it, where he then saw that our name was on it. He obviously knew something was up and quickly opened it.

Inside they found Mickey Mouse, an airplane, a cruise ship, an island, and a pirate telescope. They didn't quite understand. So I suggested that perhaps these were clues trying to tell them something. They still couldn't figure it out at first.

Then my older son got it...sort of. Lol! I FINALLY got to tell them the secret that I'd been keeping for what felt like forever! We were going to be taking a Disney cruise to the Bahamas!!! To be honest, their reaction was...anti-climactic. They were more concerned with peeing in the woods than with this ridiculously exciting news that I just shared with them, but they have become more and more excited with time and can't wait to go now. They're really looking forward to the pirate night on board the ship and Castaway Cay, Disney's private island.

All in all, this was a really fun way to surprise the kids with the trip and I'm so glad I did it! So, if you're looking for a creative way to surprise your kids, I definitely recommend geocaching!