Crafting Away

I am still here, just crafting up a bunch of baseball shirts, homeschooling like usual, and gearing up for LOTS of projects to have available for you very soon. With Teacher Appreciation week, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day all just a month or two away, I have to plan ahead!

Baseball Mom Shirt

I do have an Easter decor post coming for you soon!  Can’t wait to show you the simple canvas that says it all.

Tuesday Tutorial: Paper Banner

 

Another party happened recently around here and I realized that I haven’t ever done tutorials on how to make your own party decor.  Banners are super easy (although not the quickest project) and can easily be saved for use again.  You can hang them for holidays, birthdays, showers, or really anything you want!

Paper Banner Tutorial

Finished Paper Banner

Materials:

- cardstock (bottom layer, second layer, and one or two papers for the lettering)

- Cricut (or something else for cutting the desired shapes)

- glue or Mod Podge

- tiny hole punch

- brads or ribbon

Gather materials - cardstock

Above you will see the papers I picked out for my son’s Avengers banner.  I wanted to use the red and blue cardstock for the back layer.  Then the red and white polka dots for the smaller layer on top of that.  Finally I just used black for the lettering. Quite often I use a shadow behind my lettering to make the words POP more but in this case I didn’t.  My paper stash is HUGE from all the scrapbooking I do used to do, so most of the time I don’t have to buy paper for my banners unless I am planning an entire party from invites to water bottle wraps.  Then everything needs to match!

To clarify here is what I gather when I am beginning to work on a banner:

-Bottom layer – 4-5 pieces of cardstock in 1 or 2 colors.  I like to alternate colors sometimes, other times I do all one color.  For this banner I grabbed 2 sheets of red and 2 sheets of blue to give me 20 circles (5 per page).

-Second layer – this is mostly decoration so for this I always use a patterned paper that matches the theme. I used 3 sheets of paper and cut 6 circles per page.

- lettering – 1 or 2 colors depending on whether or not you cut a shadow. Here I didn’t.

Cut out all pieces

Once all the pieces are cut out, I like to lay out my banner and arrange it before I start putting it together.  That way if I am alternating the back layer colors I don’t mess up!

begin to layer

I center the layer on the back circle. At this point I am not gluing anything together.

add lettering

Then add the lettering on top to get that all arranged correctly.  You don’t want any misspellings!

arrange entire banner

So here is what my desk usually looks like when a banner is in progress.  From here I start gluing it all together.  I was low on my craft glue sticks and didn’t want to mess with Mod Podge since my boys were all upstairs with me doing school.  Honestly I really love using Tacky Glue Spray Adhesive but it makes a mess and I didn’t have a box to spray onto.  But it makes banners come together SO very fast without the bubbles of Mod Podge.

add decorations

 

To add some color and decorations to the banner I found the Avengers colors that I was using for everything else and cut 4 circles in each color (the extras were used for other party decor and labeling).  Then using some vinyl (because I really didn’t want to have to glue so many pieces of cardstock down!).  The vinyl is already sticky backed so it was like putting on a large sticker.

Punching holes for brads

Next to put the banner together I use a cool tool that I received from my friend, Aimee (she loves handing me down all the scrapbooking supplies she doesn’t need anymore and she has given me LOTS of cool things, this tool being one of the best!)  You can get yourself some at JoAnn’s if you are lucky or you can just order some HERE.
assembling the banner
Now just start assembling your banner.  I like to use brads to put mine together for a couple reasons: they are a bit quicker than stringing the banner on ribbon and they are then able to be saved since they fold up so easily! (see the picture below)
Back view
To make sure they are going to fold nicely (great if you are taking the banner to another location to use or if you want to reuse them in the future) you will need to hook them together in the right way.  One side of the banner needs to be on top for all the circles while the other side is on the bottom.  See the picture below – the right side of the circle is always on TOP of the next circle and then the left side is always on the BOTTOM of the circle right before it.
Banner -right side under, left side on top
See how nicely this folds up!  Now it is time to fold it up and put it away for the next superhero party!
Folded up banner
What are you going to make a banner for first???

 

 

 

Tuesday Tutorial: Simple Superhero Cape

When my 7 yr old decided he wanted a Superhero party I was a bit surprised (all I had heard about for MONTHS was Lego Ninjago so I thought for sure the theme would involve plastic blocks).  Thankfully we have Pinterest now, seriously does anyone use Google anymore???  I know that is the first place I look for just about everything now!  I immediately started pinning away.  Then suddenly the party morphed into an Avenger theme, mainly because the birthday boy wanted to be Captain America.

Since this was going to be a small affair (only 3 guests and the birthday boy), I knew I could do a bit more for the favors.  Capes were a must!  There are many cape tutorials on Pinterest but in the end I decided just to do my own thing.

Superhero Cape Tutorial

Superhero Cape Tutorial

Materials:

  • 3/4 yard of fabric (I used cotton broadcloth)
  • bias tape
  • sewing tools – pins, rotary cutter, matching thread

To start I wanted my capes long so I didn’t cut the fabric (I left if the 44″ – selvage to selvage).  If you are making capes for little ones (toddlers), cutting the fabric in half where it is folded on the bolt would make a perfect length.

First I took one side that was 27″ and made that the top.  I found the center, marked it with a pin, and from there measured out in both direction marking my pleats with pins.  From the center I measured out 3″ then 2″ then again 3″ and 2″.  That way my pleats were about 4″ apart and there were two on each side.

 

 

mark pleats

I then pleated the fabric making sure the pleats faced INTO the center.  I folded the pins that were 2″ apart into each other so they met and then pinned them in place and ironed the pleats.

bring pins together

bring pins together to make pleat

Here is a close up picture of two of the pleats on one half of the cape.

IMG_6159

Here you can see the entire top after it was pleated.

pinned pleats

Once all the pleats were completed I did a quick basting stitch to hold the pleats in place while I hemmed the other three sides of the cape.  That way I didn’t have to worry about the pins coming out or the pleats getting messed up.

Next, I hemmed the cape on the remaining three sides.  I measured 1/4″ all the way around and folded the edges in.  I did this again and pinned as I went.  Then just stitch all the way around the camp.

 

hemmed edges

hem sides and bottom edges

I had a few eager helpers that wanted to sew when I was making these!

mommy's helpers

 

Now for the final step.  To finish the top edge and create the ties I went with bias tape.  I wanted something very simple that would still look nice. I prefer to use the EXTRA WIDE DOUBLE FOLD bias tape.

bias tape to finish top and create ties

I cut my bias tape to 36″ long (next time I think I would do a 54″ cut to make the ties a bit longer).  Then I folded the tape and marked the center with a pin.  Then I lined that up with the center top of the cape.

fold cut bias tape in half to find the center

Pin the bias tape all along the cape (it’s pleated now so it has a slight curve to it.  Fold each end of the bias tape into the folded edges to finish the ends.  Then just sew all the way around the top to secure it closed and to the cape.   Pin bias tape Add bias tape for ties

Find a willing assistant to model the completed cape and let them “fly” off to save their friends from harm.

Cute Cape Model

Here is a view of the back so you can see how the pleats fall.  My model is a bit smaller than the boys these were made for the so the pleats are harder to see.  Final Product

 

 

Here is a view of the finished capes on the Superheroes!  They are quite long but I like that they have room to grow!

Superhero Cape TutorialMy son wanted an Avengers themed party so I then used my Cricut and some iron on vinyl to create the symbols of the various Avengers.  More on that in another post!

 

Tuesday Tutorial: Fort Kit

When it comes to gifts for little boys, there just aren’t as many homemade gifts that can be given.  But this is a quick and easy gift idea that creates HOURS of fun for boys and girls (and their mommies and daddies).  My boys received a fort kit for Christmas in 2011 from a dear friend and they have played with it for HOURS!  I LOVE that it is something that has them get creative and can be played with in SO many different ways.

Want to make your own??? Well let me tell you how…

Tutorial: DIY Fort Kit

 

Fort Kit

Materials Needed:

- twin sheets (I bought two so that the fort could be a bit larger if desired)

- bias tape

- coordinating thread and sewing machine

- clamps

- various lengths of rope

- flashlights (with batteries of course!)

- glowsticks

- a bag to put it all in

- optional – iron on vinyl to label kit

Supplies needed

I bought two twin sheets at Walmart to start with.  I love these since they are under $5 each for just a flat sheet AND they come in a cute fabric pouch.  Up until now I haven’t found a use for these but I always save them just knowing that one day I would put them to use.  They made the perfect pouch for holding the clamps and ropes for the kit.

Start by cutting your bias tape into 8 -12″ lengths and 4 -3″ lengths.  Each corner is going to get a tie and then the loops will be sewn onto the sides of the sheets in the center.  Sew up the open side of ALL the pieces of bias tape.
Fort ties

Fold each 12″ piece of bias tape and sew them onto the corners, backstitching several times.

attach ties to corners

Here are my two finish sheets with all the ties attached.  Now the hard part is done!  Seriously, the rest is pretty much just putting it all in the bag.

Ties attached to sheets

I wanted to label the bag so that it wasn’t so plain.  After cutting some iron on vinyl, it got ironed on and then it was onto the rest of the kit.  (The bag I found from Jiffy Shirts, where I order my craft shirts from.  It was only about #3.25 and came in SO many colors!  You can bet that I bought a few to keep on hand for future fort kits.)

Fort Kit bag

If you have ever made a fort with a blanket and some chairs, you know how helpful clamps would be to keep the blankets in place!  The clamps I purchased at Big Lots for just a couple dollars.  It was a 16 piece set so I split it in half and the other 8 will be used for another kit.  They were put into one of the pouches that the sheets came in and I labeled the pouches with some iron on vinyl.  I did the same with the various lengths of rope.

clamps

Flashlights are a GREAT gift for a boy!  I put some in my boys’ stockings this year and they have enjoyed them!  And best of all I found these in the Target dollar bins!!!  Yep, only $1 for LED flashlights (I bought several more to put away!)  The glowsticks just finish it off.

Glow sticks and Flashlights

There you have it.  Now go off and whip up your very own fort kit to play with!  It is perfect for winter days when it is too cold to play outside and the possibilities for forts are endless!

My To Do List for January…

The holidays came and went and with so much crafting that happened before Christmas I wanted nothing more than to be LAZY  after Christmas.  So that is pretty much what happened!  I watched movies, played with the boys, planned some New Year’s Eve fun with my family and pinned away on Pinterest.

So when January arrived I suddenly realized just how crazy busy I needed to be in order to get done all that I need to get done.  I planned out posts and tutorials I want to share with you. There are way to many versions of a to do list and supply lists floating around my craft room and I have piles {all sorted} of projects that need to get completed.

This is a post where I don’t necessarily SHOW you myself what I am doing {since I haven’t done most of them yet}, but instead I am going to show you where the ideas for my upcoming projects came from.  I have one nephew’s bday, 2 baby showers, a neiece’s birthday, my oldest son’s and a few projects I want to get done for Valentine’s Day!

Here we go:

1. Newphew’s Bday Gift – Fort Kit

 

If you are on Pinterest you might have seen a version or two of these floating around.  My sweetest friend made a fort kit for my boys’ last Christmas and we have had LOTS of fun creating with it!  I LOVE gifts that are TOYS but are still oh so fun and encourage PLAY.  My post for my version of a fort kit will be coming up next Tuesday, but for now I will show you where the idea came from.

 2. Baby Shower – one for a friend, one for my sister-in-law

 

Seems to be baby season all around me and with that being the case I have two baby showers to go to in January.  The first is for a woman that we have known for years now.  It’s a Dr. Suess theme (remember one near and dear to my heart) so I know it is going to be adorable.  I love giving handmade gifts – shocking I know – so I decided this time to make a carrier cover.  I wish I had one of these when my boys were small. A blanket, while having the same function, just isn’t as lovely as a cover that is handmade!

For my sister-in-law, I made the invites and will be very busy soon crafting up banners, cupcake toppers and more! YAY!!!  She wanted an owl theme so I put two owls sitting on a tree branch on the invites.  Super cute!  I will be sure to take pictures and show you all I make for the shower.  Might even do a few party tutorials on how to make banners, water bottle wrappers, cupcake toppers and more.

MBC - invites in progress

 

3.  My niece’s upcoming birthday

For those of you that don’t know, I finally have nieces!!!  After 6 years of having only boys on my hubby’s side of the family (my four included) I now have 3 nieces and one more on the way (see the pink and purple baby shower invites pictured above!)  Needless to say I have LOTS of ideas on my If I Only Had a Girl board on Pinterest that will now be getting some attention!  One item that I have seen and wanted to try out was felt food.  Since I am {sigh} at the end of my baby years, I wasn’t sure this was the right thing for me to invest my time in creating for my boys.  Now, however, I am obsessed and can’t stop searching for and pinning felt food ideas.  Thankfully felt is cheap!

I have a huge list of food I want to make for my nieces.  They got a lovely pink princess kitchen for Christmas and it NEEDS food for them to cook in it!  One has a February birthday and the other is in April so I can spread out my felting of food a bit.  My boys now also want some sets (and I want to play with them too!) so I will probably be making doubles of everything.  I’ll post my felt foods as I get them sewn.  Lots of hand sewing is involved so I am hoping my hand can hold out!

5. Superhero Slumber Party

My oldest is about to be 8 yrs old and he is finally to the age of slumber parties.  While I do LOVE to throw parties (as seen here and here) they are a lot of work and with 3 boys with birthday months all back to back, this busy mama needed a break!  So my two older boys both agreed to forego family dinners this year for slumber parties.

My oldest has requested a Superhero party so I started searching for boy slumber party ideas.  I found a few cute superhero party themed ideas. I am hoping time allows for some personalized party favors for the boys that come.  These makes are so awesome!

Source: cutesycrafts.blogspot.com via Allison on Pinterest

6.  Valentine Projects

I finally completed my version of the conversation hearts hanger I found on Pinterest last Valentine’s Day.

Source: thepeanutpaintshop.blogspot.com via Allison on Pinterest

I never got around to completing the last few steps of the project.  It now is proudly hanging on the wall by my front door.

MBC- Conversation Heart Hanger

I will be selling these until Valentine’s Day so if you want one you can place on order by sending me a message on my

Facebook page! I’m selling them for $15 for up to 4 hearts and $3 for each additional heart after that.  Let me know if you

want some cuteness hanging on your wall for Valentine’s Day.

I will also be working on some new wreaths for Valentine’s Day so check back to see what I have come up with!

I’m already tired thinking of the work I have ahead of me but I am always excited to craft and try out some new things!

Celebrating Fun: January 2013

Happy New Year!!!  Where did 2012 go?!?!  I can’t believe another year has already come and gone.  This year will bring birthdays where my boys will turn 8, 6, 4, and 2; my business will officially turn one; and I’m sure LOTS more fun to celebrate!

 

January Holidays

1 – New Year’s Day (we don’t usually do much on New Year’s Day, but New Year’s Eve is lots of fun!)

8- Bubble Bath Day – fun for the kiddos and relaxing for mamas!

16 – Appreciate a Dragon Day – Think we might just have to watch “How to Train Your Dragon”

18 – Winnie the Pooh Day

19 – Popcorn Day

20 – Camcorder Day – make a movie of your kiddos!  They grow up WAY too fast!

21 – National Hugging Day

23 – National Pie Day – HMMMM, what kind shall I bake?

24 – National Compliment Day / National Peanut Butter Day

28 – Bubble Wrap Appreciation – there are oh so many things that the boys could do with bubble wrap!

29 – World Puzzle Day

31 – Man Day – Oh geez!  With 4 boys and a hubby every day around here is “man” day! haha

So there you have them! Lots of days to celebrate fun with your family and friends!

 

Year in Review: Top Posts of 2012

 

Well here it is the end of 2012.  Can you believe it?  I sure can’t!!!  Where did 2012 go?!?!

It has been a busy year.  One in which I starting {trying} to keep my blog more updated, began my business and started making my creations for you, participating in a few craft fairs, and continued on with homeschooling and my life with my 4 boys.

My goal for this next year is to be more on top of my posts (which means much more preplanning and getting projects done EARLY!).  Crafting is always going on over here it just doesn’t always get photographed and written about.

So here is my year in review: my top 4 posts and a few categories on my blog that are visited quite a bit.  Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my posts and can only hope that they have helped you make your own beautiful creations!

Mom’s Busy Crafting

Top 4 Posts of 2012

Top4Posts

1. Candy Cane Wreath Tutorial

I would have to say this project probably got the most talk on my Facebook page so I am not surprised that this post was the most popular.

2.  Crayon Roll Tutorial

These quick and easy project is perfect for just about anything and everything: birthdays, stocking stuffers, party favors.

3. Burlap Wreath

Love this versatile wreath and how it can be dressed up or down for any and every holiday!

4. Pillowcase Dress Tutorial: Simple Version

If you have a little girl in your life these are perfect for them!!!  And since they only take about an hour to whip out you can make LOTS of them ;)

Some popular categories that were searched quite a bit were my tutorials, my iron-on vinyl posts, and my Cricut category!

I’m looking forward to all that 2013 will bring!  Not sure what the future holds but I do know it will be full of fun with my boys, my hectic and wonderful life, and LOTS and LOTS of crafting!

Happy New Year!

Polar Express Party

My boys LOVE the movie Polar Express! To them How the Grinch Stole Christmas is scary and they are still to young for Elf so this has become our go to Christmas movie.  So when I saw the idea of having a Polar Express party on Pinterest I just knew that was the perfect way to have some Holiday fun with the boys.

Mom's Busy Crafting: Polar Express Party

All Aboard the Polar Express

After searching for some ways to make the night even more fun I found this pin for making train tracks leading up to the front door.  I showed my hubby and he immediately volunteered to “lay some tracks” for the party.  A bit of black tape and voila!

Train tracks leading up to the door

Once on “board” the kiddos, all dressed in their jammies, patiently waited for the cookie decorating to begin (ok, honestly with 10 boys and 3 girls it was more like WWE and Risky Business while waiting- footie jammies and tile floors make for lots of fun).  Once all the guests had arrived the sugar fest began!  My husband made red velvet cupcakes complete with a peppermint stick for the “North Pole”.  They were supposed to look like this, but I ran out of time.  They were still VERY festive!

Sweets, Lots of Sweets

Both my kitchen table and dining room table were needed to decorate so I had 2 cupcake trays (another idea I saw on Pinterest somewhere) FULL of colorful sprinkles.  I for some reason have a HUGE sprinkle collection so don’t worry, I am still WELL stocked in the sprinkle department.

Sprinkles

 

Here are some pictures of my boys decorating their cookies (didn’t include other party guests as I didn’t want anyone upset that their child’s pictures are on a site).  Ethan was grumpy so I didn’t get a picture of him :(

 

Decorating cookies Icing! More frosting than cookie

Once my floors the cookies were covered in sprinkles, all the kiddos sat down with their blankets and pillows to watch the movie.  Their “tickets” were passed out (Thanks again to my wonderful hubby for making and printing them!) and the movie began.

At precisely the right moment, their hot chocolate was delivered by dancing waiters (ok, by me, but I was dancing a bit).  I found a SUPER SWEET recipe that could be made in the crockpot.  Boy was it SWEET!  After a taste test before the party started, I added in about 3 more cups of milk to make it a bit more drinkable.

Hot Chocolate

Last but not least, no movie would be complete without popcorn.  All too soon, the movie was over and the train was ready to deliver it’s passengers back to their homes.  Although I didn’t have the time to do EVERYTHING I had wanted to, we had a magical time and I definitely will be doing this again next year.
Popcorn and Hot Cocoa

Merry Christmas

and remember “The Bell Still Rings for All Who Truly Believe!”

Sugar, Aprons, and Christmas Lights

Tis the season to bake!  As is tradition on my husband’s side of the family, we all got together this past Sunday and had an afternoon of making goodies to give to friends and neighbors.  This is mostly handled by my mother-in-law and all my sisters-in-law while the kiddos play and the hubbies watch sports.  Since rolled cookies take a lot of time and there isn’t a whole lot of space in my mother-in-law’s kitchen, I volunteered to bring the sugar cookies (aka teacakes as we call them in my family) for the children to decorate. After a couple days of mixing, chilling, and rolling out dough and many cookie sheets full of cookies, the teacakes and gingerbread cookies were ready for decorating.

To add to my already long list of things that need to be done by Christmas, I got the bright idea on a trip to JoAnn’s (the Thursday before the cookie baking, I might add) to make all the nieces and nephews matching aprons.  That meant 4 for my boys, 3 for Shannon’s kiddos, 3 for Angie’s (newly adopted!!! YAY) little ones, 1 for Kim’s little man, and then 2 tiny aprons of for sister in law’s baby (she is due in March so she was already busy “baking” her little girl, but next year she will join in the baking fun!) and one for my sweet friend, Kayla’s little guy.  That is a grand total of 12 aprons that needed to be made in about 48 hours!  My excitement got me through a couple late nights and I got all the aprons done by Saturday evening!

I was so excited to have the little ones open their baking treats.  Most of them immediately put them on and began decorating the 1 or 2 cookies they selected.  The thrill was over quickly and off they all went to play again, but I know the aprons will get well used for years to come!  {I am terribly sad, however, that we didn’t get a group picture!}

Baby Mills decorating cookies

Z and C with their new aprons

Cookie decorating

C decorating like a pro

After all the treat making was finished, the whole family headed to a neighborhood here in So Cal that is always overly decked out with Christmas lights.  Talk about a “winter wonderland” as my 5 yr old would say!  We walk up and down the street admiring all the shining lights and yard decorations and enjoy making memories and taking pictures.  It is a yearly tradition that I have come to love and I know it is something my boys will always remember!

Family pic looking at lights

I am trying to be better about taking more family shots when we have these sort of outings so I made sure we got one!

Celebrating Fun: December 2012

December Holidays

4th – Santa List Day – have the kiddos sit down and write out their Christmas lists for Santa.  Even better use this printable from Somewhat Simple I found on Pinterest!
Source: somewhatsimple.com on Pinterest

Then take their lists and make these cute ornaments to have a keepsake of their lists each year!

6th – St. Nicolas Day – Learn about the man that started the tradition of Santa by watching the Veggies Tales St. Nick movie or the Christmas What’s in the Bible? DVD

7th – Letter Writing Day – write some heartfelt notes to family that is far away this holiday season.

8th – Brownie Making Day – make some brownies and deliver them to friends and neighbors!

18th – Bake Cookies Day –  This is something we have done every year since my mom and dad moved to So Cal.  It might not always be the 18th but it is sometime in December.  I pack up the boys, lots of tupperware containers, and some ingredients and head to my mom’s house where we spend most of the day baking away.  The boys help roll out and decorate cookies and then when they are done we turn on some movies for them and really get to work.  By the end of the day we have LOTS of yummy cookies to make into trays or tins to give away.  

Cookie Decorating 1

 

Cookie Decorating 3

25th – Christmas Day – spent with family and a day of remembering the birth of Christ, the TRUE reason for the season!

 

Our Christmas Family Traditions

Family Gingerbread House Competition

My husband and boys are big fans of the Food Network and all their competition shows.  Each year we send the boys to play, get the table all set up with TONS of candy treats  and preassembled house structures (because there is NO way the boys would sit while they dry!).  Then we spend the evening decorating our house while munching on sweets and sipping hot chocolate and rocking out to Christmas songs on Pandora!

Family Gingerbread House Competition

2011 Gingerbread Houses

Looking at Christmas Lights

We do this a few times during the month.  Usually we drive around one night as a family.  Our local newspaper puts out a map for our city with all the best places to see lights and we get the boys in their jammies and drive through Starbucks before driving around. 

My husband’s side of the family also gets together and we all go to a street in Rancho Cucamonga, CA called Throughbred.  The ENTIRE neighborhood goes all out and has some fabulous lights.  We park and all walk together taking pictures and having fun.  It is something we look forward to each year.  

Looking at Christmas Lights

Birthday Cake for Jesus

Happy Birthday Jesus Cake

On Christmas Eve it is tradition to make Jesus a birthday cake that we eat after we open presents on Christmas Eve.  The boys each help me make the cake.  I seriously have pictures of Christopher as a toddler sitting next to my mixer as we make a cake for Jesus (they are just backed up right now so they are NOT on my computer! boo)

Last year I found a pin on Pinterest that made this tradition even better.  It was detailing how to make a layer cake with different colored layers to represent different things to basically present the gospel in cake!  

Happy Birthday Jesus Cake

The chocolate layer reminds us that we are sinful.

The red layer reminds us that Jesus shed his blood for our sins.

The white frosting reminds us that Jesus has given us a clean heart.

The green layer reminds us to grow in Christ.

The yellow decorations remind us of heaven.

The candles remind us Jesus is the Light of the World.

 Christmas Eve Family Photo

Before opening presents on Christmas Eve we always get the boys in their jammies, make hot chocolate and take a family picture.  We don’t often get pictures of all of us so I love looking at these!  It shows me the blessings that God has put into my life and how each year our family has grown and changed!  I also take pictures of the boys all decked out before we head to Christmas Eve service.  

Christmas Eve Family Picture

Christmas Brunch

Christmas Brunch

I have a lovely set of Christmas china that I have collected (thanks in great part to my mom) since we got married.  I LOVE using these all December long, but especially on Christmas Day.  That is the day I get to host brunch for my mom and dad.  I always make Caramel Sticky Buns (thanks to Betty Crocker’s cookbook) the night before and then set them out to rise before the boys wake up.  Then into the oven they go and we sit together and enjoy a nice breakfast before heading to celebrate Christmas with my husband’s side of the family.

There are so many more little things we do this time of year to focus on the real meaning of the season but I will have to save those for another post.

For more ideas of things to Celebrate Fun in December, check out my CHRISTMAS CHEER board on Pinterest!