Silly Sock Snowmen

Our MOPS group fills Operation Christmas Child boxes to be sent around the world to needy children, and this year we added a personal touch to each gift by creating these adorably silly snowmen using socks and basic craft supplies.  Each one made me smile and giggle more than the one before it.Silly Sock Snowmen 10Supplies:

  • Chenille socks ($1 per pair at the $1 store)
  • googly eyes
  • scissors
  • yarn
  • buttons
  • hot glue gun
  • batting/polyfillSilly Sock Snowmen 1Step 1: Cut the toe off of the sock (about 3 inches or so) and set aside.  Then turn the sock inside out.  Using a little yarn, tie one end tightly and turn right side out.Silly Sock Snowmen 3Step 2:  Fill sock with lots of polyfill.  That’s right, just stuff it in there!Silly Sock Snowmen 4Step 3:  Tie the open end closed tightly (you don’t want those snowman guts oozing out!).Silly Sock Snowmen 5Step 4: Using several strands of yarn, tie the snowman around the middle to divide his “head” from his “body” and attach his hat.  It was nice to have a variety of socks and mix up the bodies and hats. Silly Sock Snowmen 6I mean silly and cute sum up these homemade snowmanSilly Sock Snowmen 8Silly Sock Snowmenr 7I hope these cuties make the children receiving them as happy as they made us while we were making them.  WAY TO GO MOPS MOMS!!

Gratitude Tree

Put on your blinders and resist the urge to join retailers in the pursuit of Christmas.  We still have Thanksgiving on the horizon.  Before you encourage your family to make wish lists, have them jot down what it is that has them so GRATEFUL this season.Gratitude Tree 2

I used good old construction paper to make this tree and its leaves.  Over the next several days each member of our family is welcome to add his or her own appreciation for life’s blessings.  By Thanksgiving we will have a maple tree bearing all our gratitude.  Gratitude Tree 1Gratitude Tree 3This one was written by Emily (pretty sure she meant to add an “e” on everyone, but she was in such a hurry to add her leaf to the tree – so sweet!

Frankenstein Pudding Cups

Another school-sponsored Fall Festival has passed and we were in charge of the bake sale again.  This adorable treat was NOT created by us, but by a 5th grade buddy and her mom.Frankenstein Cups 3They simply (and quite artistically) drew adorable monster faces on small, clear plastic cocktail cups with a Sharpie.Frankenstein Cups 1

Then, added green food coloring to a batch of vanilla pudding and spooned it into the cups.  What is Frankenstein’s coif made of? Why, Oreo cookie crumbles of course!

Thanks Lisa and Reagan, these little babies were monstrously delicious!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

National “Do Something NICE” Day

Wouldn’t you LOVE to get a nice note in the mail. You know, the mailbox, not your “in-box”.  Keep reading!

October 5th is National “Do Something NICE” DayThis one should be easy.  Take time to be nice just for the sake of being nice. Pay for the latte of person behind you in Starbucks, offer to pick up a few things from the store for your neighbor, take a plant to that friendly teller at the bank, bring in the recycling bins for your husband, you get the idea.

Make a real difference by sending a nice note. Not an e-mail, text message, voicemail, facetime, post, Instagram or other digital gesture.  Get a blank card or choose a witty or sentimental greeting card.  Sit down and write a note to someone.  It can be someone you see every day or someone who touched your life in years past.  In your notes, express your feelings about this special person and tell them what makes him or her so special to you.

This act will change your life and the lives of those around you.  Watch, you’ll see.  Please comment on how this gesture has affected you and those you care about.

Help us generate good in the world one nice move at a time.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:32

Paper Plate Fish

We stole this idea from Vacation Bible School this year.  These are super cute (and CRAZY easy!) and are sure to liven up any fish or beach-themed party.Paper plate fish 1To make these fish all you need is a handful of paper plates, googly eyes, glue and scissors.  Cut a triangle out of the plate and glue it to the outer edge of the plate across from the cut.  Attach an eye and swim on!

Gift Card Holder

My niece wanted help putting together a fun basket for displaying several gift cards she bought for a friend.  She wanted all of her money to go into the gift cards and NOT the wrapping.  With a few items from around the house this is what I came up with.Gift Card Bouquet close up

Using some foam from a swimming kick board, I made a bed in the bottom of a $1 Store bin to hold several skewers. Grift Card Bouquet prep 1

I had mismatched straws and mini cupcake wrappers that I used to complete the look of “flowers in a garden”.  The flowers?  I just used a flower-shaped cookie cutter as a template on printed paper.  Gift Card Bouquet prep 2

I assembled as shown below.  I used tissue paper to cover the foam and taped the gift cards to the stems.  Gift Card Bouquet

Pretty cute!

 

Red, White, and Blue Bundt

Here’s a super simple way to create a patriotic dessert in a snap.Patriotic Bundt Cake done

Ingredients:

  • boxed white cake mix with ingredients to make it
  • red and blue food coloring
  • canned white frosting
  • red, white, and blue sprinkles or decorating sugar

To Make:

I started out by mixing up the cake mix per the package directions.  Then I divided the batter into three parts.  I left one part white.  I used the food coloring to dye one part red and the remaining part blue.Patriotic Bundt Cake batter  I sprayed my Bundt pan with cooking spray, and then layered in the batter.Patriotic Bundt Cake pan I baked and cooled according to package directions.Patriotic Bundt Cake cooling  To make a pourable frosting/glaze, I removed the plastic and foil lids from the frosting container and microwaved it for about 20 seconds.  You may need to do more time, but that is a good starting point.  I then drizzled it on the cooled cake and sprinkled it with some festive decorations.Patriotic Bundt Cake inside  Slice and enjoy!

Patriotic Windsock

These cute decorations can be made by your kids and used on Memorial Day, July 4th, or any other time you’re feeling particularly patriotic.2012 thru 2013 1988 (2)

Materials (all in red, white, or blue):

  • empty toilet paper roll
  • paint
  • paintbrush or sponge
  • crepe paper or curling ribbon
  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • chenilles
  • glue
  • tape

To Make:

First, paint the toilet paper roll.  While it’s drying, cut various sized stars out of the construction paper.  Tape or glue the stars to the dry toilet paper roll.  Cut the crepe paper into thin strips and tape inside one opening of the toilet paper roll to make your windsock streamers.  In the other end, punch holes on opposite sides and thread the chenille through to create a hanger.  Hang outside whenever you are feeling patriotic!

 

A Tie-Dye 4th of July

What better way to get kids to enjoy the birthday of our country than with everything tie-dyed?  These fun ideas were all so kid-friendly that they really got our kiddos into the spirit of things!

Tie-Dye Garland made with Spin Art Stars and Tie-Dyed Filters – This garland proved to be an easy and festive decoration that was crafted entirely by the kid.  After the filters and stars were dry, we punched holes at the top of each and used white ribbon to attach them to twine.  Two easy crafts, one great garland. 

Tie-Dye T-shirts – By sticking with white T’s and red and blue dye, we created the perfect Tie-Dye 4th of July attire.Nate, Emily, Cole, & BrettGrant & GavinElaina & Evie

Tie-Dye Cake Jars with Pudding Icing -  Okay, these are just crazy fun (and you know how we love anything that starts with a cake mix.

Hope you and your family have as much fun as we did!

God Bless America!!

 

Backyard Campout

Saturday, June 28th is the date of The Great American Backyard Campout, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation.  Check out all the details on the NWF website http://www.nwf.org/Great-American-Backyard-Campout.aspx.

In honor of this day, we challenge you all to camp out.  We gave it a test run in our backyards, but you can camp at a local park or campground.Emily and Grant

Elaina

Gavin and Brown Dog

Being in the backyard didn’t keep the kids from dragging their snuggly bedtime favorites outside.

Top 5 Things to do While Camping Out

  1. Sing songs
  2. Tell stories
  3. Make s’mores (see our S’more-gasbord, S’mores Squares, and S’mores Mix featured at the end of this post)
  4. Catch fireflies
  5. Enjoy some unplugged family time

Also, your kids will LOVE these Flameless Lanterns

How to make these Flameless  Lanterns

Supplies

  • mason jars
  • floral/craft wire
  • yellow tissue paper
  • LED powered candles (these were found at Walmart for 2 for $2)

 

Twist wire around the rim of the jar to create a handle.  Place 4-6 strips of tissue paper in the jar along with the illuminated candle.  Now you can enjoy a little light without the risks associated with real fire!

Perhaps campfires are a NO in your backyard.  If so, you can try the S’mores Squares or this easy S’mores Mix…

Ingredients:

  • Golden Grahams cereal
  • milk chocolate chips
  • mini marshmallows

 

 

 

 

Mix in a large bowl using a ratio that suits your palate. The girls liked to stack them up like mini s’mores and the boys liked eating the mix by the handful.

 

 

Enjoy your quality time – that is what this is REALLY all about!!