Saturday, February 1, 2014

Elf Fun part 4

 Day 16
I made some new friends last night, and we sure had fun.
We beat all the bad guys until there were none.
You can fight for what’s right and be super too.
If you always try to do as Jesus would do.

At my dad's company Christmas party, Santa gave the boys Iron Man and Iron Patriot. They were so excited that Santa knew that Erik's favorite color was red and David's favorite color was blue. Christmas Tree thought they were cool toys too and made friends quickly.

Day 17
These Christmas cards look really great!
Let’s mail them quickly so they won’t be late. 

 This was another favorite activity. While the littles were napping, David and Erik pretended to be my elves and helped me get our Christmas cards ready to send. I stuffed the envelopes, Erik put on the stamp, and David stuck on the return address label. Then I sealed them up. It really was fun, and we got it done so quickly.

Day 18
Get out of bed.
It’s time to sled!

The kids had a lot of fun sledding on the snow mountain of Erik.

Day 19
I love this book about jolly Saint Nick.
What’s your favorite Christmas book, if you had to pick?
Let’s read it together because reading is neat!
Especially together with your family so sweet.

 Christmas Tree's favorite book is Santa Claus is Coming to Town. David liked it the best too. Erik liked Snowmen at Christmas. Anna liked Olivia Helps with Christmas.

Day 20
Only one more sleep ‘til Christmas,
Then I’ll be on my way.
Back up to the North Pole
With Santa on his sleigh.
But I’ll be back again next year 
With more Christmas cheer and fun
To help us all remember
The gift of God’s own Son.

Merry Christmas Harris family!

Christmas Tree brought us Christmas pjs and promised to be back next year. The kids still talk about him (David misses him a lot), and they can't wait to see him again.

Elf Fun part 3

Day 11
Marshmallows are so soft and sweet.
As you enjoy this special treat,
Remember to be kind to those you meet.

 Good thing I took a picture because the first thing the kids did when they saw this was eat up all the marshmallows. Kindness is sweet. :)

 Day 12
Here’s something that would be fun.
Let’s play a board game with everyone.

Playing Hi-Ho Cherry-O.

Day 13
Let’s whip up a snack of popcorn and cocoa. 
Then snuggle on the couch and watch a Christmas show.

 We watched our favorite Christmas movie: A Muppet Christmas Carol

Day 14
At Christmas we remember when Christ came to the earth
With these toys and the Bible, we can reenact his birth.

This was one of David's favorite elf activities. He loved finding the characters as I read Luke 2.

Day 15
Let’s use these crayons, it won’t be hard,
To color a pretty Christmas card.

 David and Erik learned how to draw a Christmas tree.

Elf Fun part 2

Day 6
Let’s get bundled up and play in the snow.
Then come inside for some warm cocoa.

Day 7
Candy canes are tasty and sweet.
But we can find meaning in this Christmas treat.
Bent in the shape of a shepherd’s crook,
These canes are a symbol of those who did look
And follow the star to a tiny child,
A newborn King, all meek and mild.
Like shepherds of old guiding their sheep,
The Savior will help you the commandments keep.
So while you enjoy this peppermint staff,
Remember to follow in His perfect path.

Day 8
The Lord is my light, then why should I fear?
Let’s hang up these lights to spread Christmas cheer.
But first can you help me get out of here?!

Day 9
Giving gifts is a great way to show
How much we care about those we know.
And when we show love, our love will grow
And deep inside our hearts will glow.

Day 10
Just 2 weeks ‘til Christmas! It’s getting near.
Let’s make a chain to let us know when it’s here.
Fourteen links, counting down all the way.
When they are all gone, it will be Christmas day!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Elf Fun part 1

The kids loved doing Elf on the Shelf this year. Here are some of our memories.

Finding our elf. The kids named him Christmas Tree.

Day 1
Good morning sweet children! Look what I found.
These cups are great fun, all silver and round.
What do you think we could do with these cups?
We could mix up some cookies and then eat them up!
And wouldn’t it be nice and loving and sweet,
To go to our neighbors and share our fun treat?

Christmas Tree in the measuring cups. We decided to make Grandpa cookie truffle balls, otherwise known as oreo truffles. Here is a link to the recipe.

Erik and David smashing the oreos up.

Smooshing in the cream cheese.


 Day 2
Hello my dears. Were your dreams sweet?
I enjoyed your tasty Christmas treat.
Santa says “hi” and hopes that today
You will try hard to be kind and obey.
And what better way to show kindness to others
Than serving your very own sister and brothers.
So today think of something nice you can do
Like read a story or help pick up a shoe.
Then after you do your kind action (or three!)
Tell your parents about it, and then come tell me!

Christmas Tree helped himself to some of our cookies! Then he challenged the kids to find a way to serve each other. The boys cleared each other's plates at lunch and then argued over who got to clear Anna's. They settled on one clearing her plate and the other putting away her boots.

Day 3
I hope your day is merry and bright.
I know a way we can start it off right.
Let’s have an indoor snowball fight!!
This was one of our favorite days. Just some rolled up socks and a whole lot of fun. Even Anna got in on the action.

Day 4
Let these colorful bells with voices ring.
Today is the perfect time to sing,
Songs about snow and the birth of a King.
We have these kid play bells. They are so much fun. I found this blog that has color coded music charts already made. Bonus!

 Day 5
Hello my dear ones. Do you see what I’ve made?
This kind of snowflake won’t melt or fade.
Snowflakes are unique, both paper and ice.
Each one is special. Isn’t that nice?

Just like snowflakes, God’s children are all special too.
And He loves them all. He loves me. He loves you.
He loves us so much that He gave us His Son.
So we can repent and our wrongs be undone.

Let’s make some snowflakes, it’s easy and quick.
With paper and scissors, I’ll teach you this trick.
And whenever you see the snowflake you made,
Remember God loves you, and His love does not fade.

 Christmas Tree and his paper snowflake. The kids loved making these and hanging them in their bedroom.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Elf on the Shelf with a Twist (why I love Santa and what he represents)

Let me start by saying that I love Santa. Love. I loved the excitement and anticipation I felt as a child waiting for him to come. I loved the magic, the mystery, the enchantment.

And now as a mother, I love seeing my children love Santa. Last week we were shopping at the mall when David and Erik noticed Santa sitting for pictures. Their eyes lit up, and they ran to him with smiles and laughter. They jumped on his lap and wrapped their arms around him. Erik even gave him a few kisses on the arm. And my heart smiled. (Luckily this was before Thanksgiving, and there was no line to see him, otherwise they might have jumped in front, and my heart would have had different feelings). Then Santa asked them, "What you do you want me to bring you for Christmas this year?" And they were stumped. Neither of them had thought about asking Santa for something. They were just so excited to see him. And my heart glowed. We carried on with our shopping, and about 30 minutes later, they asked to see Santa again because they had decided what they wanted. Well, they are 5 years old, and Santa did ask. :)

I think it is easy to get lost in all the commercialism and stress of Christmas and forget the real reason we celebrate. And I know some people blame Santa. Not me. I think he is a wonderful way to bring magic to the season. You just have to do it right.

And that's why we decided to do elf on the shelf this year, but with a little twist. First of all, I have four small children, and absolutely no extra time. I will not spend crazy amounts of time thinking up clever things for our elf to do. And I certainly won't be having him do anything that involves me cleaning up an extra mess. I can't keep up with the chores as it is.

Instead our elf is going to do simple things and leave notes to encourage kindness, service, and family love. Then each night, he'll report back to Santa and share what we did that day. We still get the magic of the elf and Santa, but the focus will be on developing Christ-like love as a family.

I wrote a letter from our elf explaining who he is and why he is here. And yes it rhymes. :)

Dear Harris Family,

Hello dearest children from down off the shelf
I’m your new friend, a real Christmas elf.

I’ve come here to play for the month of December,
To join in your games and help you remember

That Christmas is about more than presents and fun.
It’s about love and mercy and the birth of God’s son.

I was sent here by Santa himself, it is true
To watch, to play, and to report back on you.

I’ll see if you choose to be naughty or nice,
So before being bad, I suggest you think twice.

For each night while you’re sleeping all snug in your bed,
I’ll fly to the North Pole, to the Big Man in Red.

I’ll tell him about our adventures, and I’ll say
If you have made good or bad choices that day.

But if you slip up, dry your eyes, do not fear.
Santa is full of grace and holiday cheer.

Just like God, he forgives when we make mistakes.
Trying harder each day is all that it takes.

Santa loves all God’s children, every girl, every boy.
And he smiles when they serve one another with joy.

So I’m here to help think up fun Christmas tricks.
I’ll help you be good. Then I’ll go tell Saint Nick.

I’ll report all your actions, loving and kind,
Then I’ll fly back here, and in the morning you’ll find

That I can do more than just sit on a shelf.
There are grand ideas in the mind of this elf.


P.S. One more thing before we start our fun.
I need a name. Can you think me up one?

Feel free to share your favorite elf on the shelf idea. And I'll do my best to post our ideas too. Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

First Day of Plindergarten!

Today was David and Erik's first day of kindergarten. Or as David says "plindergarten." I had the bus time wrong, so we missed it. The boys were really sad. So was I. I know they were really excited to ride the bus. But they still had a great time at school.

Since they have a summer birthday, their teacher had them celebrate today. Each of them got to pick 5 kids to be their candles. Then they sang "Happy Birthday," (David went first they informed me), and when they blew out their "candles," they kids fell down. They both declared this the best part of their day. Even better than recess.

They loved riding the bus home. They loved it so much they didn't want to get off the bus. I had a mini heart attack when they didn't get off. But when I climbed on, there they were, all smiles. It was a great day.

As a fun tradition (thank you pinterest) we decided to ask them "what do you want to be when you grow up?" at the beginning of each school year.

David wants to be be a policeman "because then I can bring the bad guys to jail." That's very David. He wants things to be fair and just, and he doesn't want bad guys to roam free.

Erik wants to be a fireman "because they sound awesome." That's Erik. He likes everything awesome.

My future civil servants:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Love my Littles

Jack at 2 months

 Anna at 22 months

Erik at 4 1/2 years

David at 4 1/2 years

Love my twins!

Love my babies!!

Love all my littles!!!