Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Part II

Some crafts just seem to require glitter and Christmas crafts seem to top that list.  But glitter glue is way more expensive than plain glue ($2.99 for 3 ounces versus about a dollar for 6 ounces) especially given how the baby girl just LOVES glue.  And the idea of loose glitter with these two is way too scary.  So, after some internet research, I decided to make our own glitter glue.  I had about 15 bottles of elmers glue that I had bought on back-to-school clearance for 20c a piece.  So, I bought gold and silver glitter ($1.99 each) and added it to some of our glue. 

Then we made our bowtie pasta wreaths.  I did have to make the hole bigger on one of the glue bottles and completely remove the red twisting cap from the other.  George was, as usual, very meticulous with his wreath.  He glued green bowties evenly around the plate then added a red bowtie on top of each green one.  Vicki mainly spread glue around and only added a small number of bowties - some red and some green.  I'm waiting to see how the glue will look once dry since it will dry clear except for the glitter. 

Georgie did some simple math while doing his wreath.  I had deliberately given them more green than red bowties since the red were supposed to be like berries on an evergreen wreath.  He had added all except seven of his red bowties and started to realize he wouldn't have enough.  He counted the green bowties left without red bowties (14), then counted his remaining red bowties (7).   He then told me he didn't have enough red bowties to finish and needed 7 more.  This kind of thing seems to come pretty naturally to him.  He's very interested in numbers and adding/subtracting.

After our wreaths, while I was cleaning up the kids made snowflakes.  I gave them large foam snowflakes and a bunch of foam snowflake stickers to put on them.   Stickers are always a hit and, since the mess isn't too bad, they are perfect for keeping them busy while I clean up from a messier craft or set up something new.

We made cotton ball snowmen.  George was more interested in putting on the features and accessories than the cotton balls but Vicki  (who will use glue for as long as possible) put lots of cotton on hers.

We tried making glue and Q-tip snowflakes by putting a large puddle of glitter glue on waxed paper and adding Q-tips.  But, instead of just adding the Q-tips, Vicki used them to spread the glue out.  The idea is to peel off the glue once it dries and stick the "snowflakes" to a window but Vicki had spread her glue too thin and Georgie didn't use enough glue.

Georgie did a couple of writing/tracing pages with Christmas/Winter theme words and his full name while Vicki and I worked on shape activities.  Vicki's activities were printed off from  She was able to name most of the shapes but was a little confused with rectangle and oval.

Vicki ended up catching George's cold and then giving it to me so we took it pretty easy the rest of the week.   We did make wild bird treats with peanut butter and seeds, and glittery soaps as presents.  Georgie helped stir the glitter and coloring into the soap flakes but didn't want to get soap on his hands.  Vicki loved grabbing handfuls of soap to put in cookie cutters to make shaped soaps, or to roll into balls.  We also decorated gift bags by stamp painting using cookie cutters and using foam stickers.

We got a decent snowstorm over the weekend and Georgie kept begging to go outside and play.  We tried to keep Vicki inside since she still has a little bit of a cold but of course, that didn't work.  George took them out to play for a little while with Zappa.   They didn't have much in the way of snow gear so we dressed them in layers, dug out some gloves and out they went.  It was pretty cold so we didn't think they's last too long.

Vicki started out by scooping up big handfuls of snow and throwing them in the air.

Then Daddy taught them about snowball fights.

As a Samoyed, Zappa is just made for the snow and loves running around in it.

They jumped on the snow covered trampoline for a little while.

Then Georgie decided to try and shovel the yard.

After about an hour, they came back in crying because they wanted to stay outside.  They were soaked, cold and ready for more.  I spent about two hours online trying to find snow pants, boots and decent gloves for them at a time of year when stores are already ready for Spring.

Vicki also loved playing with our Little People Nativity set.  She loves pressing the button on top (which plays "Away in a Manger") and singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".  This is the first year she is really aware of what's going on and it's been lots of fun introducing her to everything.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Part I

Since George and I just returned from our vacation in Greece and there's lots of laundry, unpacking and organizing to do, I started really simple with our Christmas crafts.  I printed out a Christmas Tree from for them to glue pompom "ornaments" to. 

Vicki always loves anything to do with glue so this kept her occupied for a while.   She actually did much better than I thought she would at putting the pom poms in the blank spaces.  I wish I had sorted my pom poms by size before doing this project but I just never had the chance.  Of course, now that we're done I found the time to do it.

I'm very thankful lately that I bought a bunch of glue from Walmart for just 20 cents a bottle during their clearance after Back-to-School. 

Our completed Christmas trees.  Georgie decided to draw some presents under his tree.

After the trees I gave them paper and Winter-themed foam stickers.  Foam stickers are always a big hit and keep them occupied for quite a while without too much mess.  Peeling off the paper backing is great fine motor skill work.

Georgie with his completed picture.

Vicki didn't really have a completed picture to show since after a while she decided to stick the stickers to her belly.

We read Thomas's Christmas Delivery and listened to Christmas music while we were doing our crafts.

This ended up being all we were able to do this week.  We lost power Thursday evening and ended up not getting it back until late Friday morning.


George and I just returned from Greece.  He had to go on business and I was able to accompany him.  This meant that for two days he was at work during the day and for two days we were able to explore together.

Our flight out had a lay-over in Milan Italy so we flew over the Alps.  We also had a decent view from the airport terminal.  I have never seen Mountains like that so it was very neat.

The first day George was working I went to the Archeological Museum.  I found it very interesting looking at statues, jewelry and stoneware that was over 2,000 years old.  Other than the museum visit, I mainly looked around at shops and explored.  It was a lot like being in Manhattan, if you ignored the funny-looking letters on the signs.  Although, many things were also written in English and many people spoke at least some English, making it much easier to get around.

A couple of the items seen at the Archeological Museum.

We stayed at the Hilton Athens.  It was nice but very expensive.  If we weren't there on a business trip, we probably would not have stayed there. 

We had a nice view of the Acropolis from our balcony.

We did climb to the top of the Acropolis while we were there.  You do have to walk all the way up there.  It wasn't too bad and the view was absolutely amazing. 
The Parthenon.  It was interesting to hear the history of the temple.  It's in poor shape but not mainly from the passage of time.  Over the years it was burned by the Persians in 480 BC, blown up in 1687 and looted many, many times.

the Erechtheion

The Theatre of

The Odeum of Herodes Atticus

We also went and visited the Temple of Olympian Zeus which was one of the largest ancient temples......

and saw ruins, including Roman baths.

The trip was a lot of fun and I'd love to go back sometime.  Because we went in Winter and the weather was a little iffy, we didn't get a chance to visit any of the Islands and more time to explore would be wonderful.