Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

Putting Memories Together

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

I have talked about Grandma Camp – the activities and the adventures and the fun.  I like to  put together a memory album for my grandchildren so that they can look over what we did and years from now remember the fun.  Actually my grandson usually pulls out the albums from the previous years each June before we have our first camp.  He looks at what we did and decides what he wants to do all over again.

I have just completed an album for my grandchildren who live 20 minutes away.  We had two camp sessions during the summer so there were  many photos to put together for the album.  Having put albums together for the past three years for all the grandchildren, I have learned a little something about photo albums.  I search out albums for 4 X 6 photos.  I like the ones with sleeves to slip the photos in.  They seem to be made in two capacities – 60 and 160.  Gr, rr 60 is not enough, and 160 is too many.  Live with it, Grandma.


First of all, I spread the photos out and select the ones that I want to use in the album.

I cut out 4 X 6 rectangles of colored paper to slip into the album to serve as fillers and to hold blurbs that describe the photos.

Then to put the album together.  I laid it out in chronological order and composed some descriptions to accompany the photos.

 

 

I enjoyed reliving the Grandma Camps as I put the photos into the album.  I remember some of the  fun times and hilarious comments of my grandchildren.

And finally I selected a little photo to slip into the cover.  A photo of the three of us.  And here is the finished product.

Thank you for visiting Grandma in the Mailbox.  Next week I’ll have a delicious cookie recipe to share with you.  It is a recipe that can alsoeasily be turned into a vegan version or a gluten-free version.  I hope that you stop back again for another visit.

 

Who Lives Here?

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

When my10 year old granddaughter was just about two years old, I had an idea for a book that I would make for her.  Who Lives Here? I wanted a book that would help her to learn to recognize the homes of her grandparents and aunt and uncle and cousin.  A learning moment as she and her mommy or daddy looked at the book with her.

I accumulated photos of the houses of  the various relatives.  Then armed with scrap booking papers and card stock, I started assembling the little book.  I also purchased laminating sheets and some comb binders.  At that time I was still working and luckily was able to avail myself to a laminator and a comb binder/punch in the office.  Those items made the project easier to do and the end product much more attractive.

First, there was a dedication to my granddaughter using one of her princess photos.

Then I laid out the pages using printed scrap book paper and coordinating cover stock.  I laminated the photos so that my granddaughter could touch the pages and not leave sticky finger prints behind.  Yes, sometimes there are sticky fingers.

On this page I inserted a photo of her younger cousin as a clue since she had never seen the home of her aunt and uncle and cousin.

Of course, I had to have a photo of my house for her to see.

On the remaining pages I included a photo of her home and photos of all the other grandparents’ homes.

On heavier card stock I set up the title page and the back cover.  I punched all the pages with the binder punch and bound them together.  And, voila – Who Lives Here? was finished.

I made a similar book for my other granddaughter.  Her book featured photos of people rather than homes.  It was entitled Who Am I? I included photos of her parents and grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles.  Also I included photos of the various families’ pets.

These were such fun projects for me.  They took a little time, but the happy, warm feeling I had when they were finished was well worth the time.  The granddaughters used them and then when they were followed by little brothers, the fellows could look through the books – often with the help of a big sister.

Thank you for stopping by Grandma in the Mailbox.  I hope that you stop again for another visit.  Next week I’ll talk about putting memories together.

Do you remember May Baskets?

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

When I was a small girl, I spent the week before the first of May busily making May baskets to leave on the front steps of my friends’ houses early on the morning of May 1.  These were creations that I made from construction paper.

My mother let pick flowers from the garden to put in the May baskets.  Since it was early spring, I was usually limited to bluebells, lily of the valley, violets or the last of the tulips and daffodils.  My mother would also buy me a bag of candy so that I could put a few pieces of candy in each basket.

I had no trouble waking up early on May Day since I had everything ready and was eagerly anticipating my trip up and down the block.  It was exciting to creep or sneak up to the door and leave my May basket and run off to get another basket to deliver.

May baskets over the years became a distant, but sweet memory.  Back in 1970, we had a 3 year old little guy and a two week old baby who found that sleeping at night was not his preference.  On May Day morning I  opened the front door to get the milk (yes, there was home delivery of milk back then) and there by the door was a May basket.  I was so surprised and with those  postpartum emotions pulsing through my body, I was just overcome.  I sat down and sobbed.  That gesture of thoughtfulness was wonderful.  It made my day and got me going.  I never did learn who gave me the May Basket.  It was a random act of kindness back before we even recognized random acts of kindness.

As my boys were growing up, I helped them make May baskets for the neighbors who all happened to be girls.  We used those plastic wicker baskets that strawberries and cherry tomatoes came in at that time.  The boys wove strips of construction paper through wicker.  I bought bedding plants that they put into small drinking cups.  Into each basket they put a potted flower and some small cookies that I had baked.

I coached them on how to be very quiet and not to talk or giggle when they went up to Irene or Jennifer or Stephanie’s houses to leave the baskets.  While they were delivering the baskets, I slipped May baskets on to the front porch for them to find when they returned.

This year I decided that I would make May baskets for the grandchildren.  Since two of them live 3 hours away, I had to enlist parental help with their baskets.  They have been delivered and secreted away.  I shall remind the tall people that the baskets need to be put out when they retire for the night on April 30.  I can drive to the home of  the grandchildren who live 20 minutes away to deliver the secret parcels.

I decided to make cone shaped baskets out of scrapbooking paper.

Using a pattern from the internet, I cut quarter circles and rolled them into cones.  It does take a little practice to get them rolled just right.  Since this was heavy paper, I decided I needed a hefty glue.  I had some glue for attaching pompoms and felt that I had used a few years ago.  I squeezed the bottle and nothing came out.  Squeezed again and nothing came out so I took the cap off and thoughtlessly turned the bottle upside down.  Oh, sure, then something came out all over me and the floor.

Time out for cleaning.  After I formed the cones, I let them dry over night and then assembled all the parts.

I crumpled colored tissue to put into the cones.  Since the long distance baskets would not have real flowers, I made one flower using some of the card stock and put a  pompom center on it.  I had long craft pipe cleaners to use for hangers and I had bought some butterfly lollipops to put into the baskets.

With a few pieces of candy dropped into the basket, my granddaughter’s May basket was done.

And so was my grandson’s basket.

I’ll make the same baskets for the grandchildren who live 20 minutes away substituting real flowers and their favorite candy.  I hope all the parents take photos for Grandma of the surprised faces on May Day morning.

There is plenty of time for you to put together a May basket surprise for someone special – a child, an elderly neighbor, or a special friend.  It will add a sparkle to their day.

Thank you for stopping by Grandma in the Mailbox.  Next week I’ll give you a recipe for breakfast cookies.  They are tasty treats for children and for Grandmas and everyone else.  I always have some in the freezer for a quick breakfast.  I hope you visit again.

Mt. Vesuvius and Mt. Etna Erupt

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

While my grandson and granddaughter who live 3 hours away were visiting at my home during Spring Break, my grandson wanted to know if we could have Grandma Camp.  I suggested a science experiment, and he thought that was a great idea.

We would make volcanoes and have them erupt.  I told the children could choose the color of lava they wanted – any color.  My granddaughter thought teal and sunset orange would be great colors for lava.

We started by molding volcanoes out of white sand around plastic cups.  We let them rest overnight so that the volcanoes could harden.  Then the children landscaped their volcanoes.  

When the volcanoes were ready, we put the recipe for lava into them.  First, 1/2 cup of warm water was poured into the plastic cup.  To this was added about 6 drops of dish washing detergent and several drops of food coloring – any color or any combination of colors.  Two tablespoons of baking soda were dropped in the the liquid and this was all stirred together well.  Almost time for the action.  The final ingredient, 1/3 cup of vinegar, was poured into the mix and voila.  We had eruptions. We had lava.  Wow, what colors.

After the eruptions had settled down, my granddaughter reminded me that we were going to make flower coronets for her to take home.  This was truly going to be an experiment because I had never done this before.

We cut hyacinths from my garden.  While the children broke the individual flowerlets from the stem, I cut lengths of floral wire.  Then the children began stringing the bits of hyacinth on to the wire.

Oh, the coronets smelled so sweet as they grew.  When they were finished, I put ribbon streamers at the back so they would stream down from the coronet.

My granddaughter modeled one of the coronets.

And my grandson was eager to show his completed work.

We tucked these fragrant headdresses into a cooler and set out to go over the river to their home.  The  flower head-wear lived for a week by spending each evening in the refrigerator.  I’m sure this is a Grandma Camp experience that they will remember for a long time and next spring will request a repeat.

Thank you for stopping by to visit Grandma in the Mailbox.  Do you remember May Baskets?  Oh, back when I was a small one, I spent the week before May 1 busily preparing baskets for all my friends.  I’ll talk about these next week.  I hope that you stop back again.

Spring Break Fun

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

The grandchildren recently had their Spring Breaks.  The ones near and the ones far away had the same week of vacation so we were able to have lots of fun.

Another grandma and I picked up the grandchildren who live 3 hours away to bring them back to our houses for a visit.

When I was young, I really enjoyed the stories about Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox, Babe.  I asked my grandchildren if they knew about Paul Bunyan.  My 9 year old granddaughter said that she had “heard” of him.  Her 6 year old brother just shook his head no.  I tried to sketch out the story for them because we were going to visit Paul on our way to my house.

For a couple of years I have wanted to drive to Atlanta, IL, to see the BIG Paul Bunyan eating a hot dog.  I know, I know, Paul usually eats stacks and stacks of pancakes, but it appears that he liked the occasional hot dog.  Atlanta, IL is located on old Rt. 66.  Like other cities and villages along Rt. 66 Atlanta wanted a “carrot” to attract visitors to the village.  As I read about Atlanta, IL, on the internet, I saw that they had the big Paul who stands 19 feet tall and also an old-timey restaurant serving among other things luscious pies and a transportation museum.

It was just a little jog on the map to stop in Atlanta so we did that on a Saturday afternoon at 4:00PM.  Unfortunately the Palms Grill Cafe,  the restaurant with the slices of pie that had us salivating, was closed. Alas, no cherry or pecan or peach pie that I had read about.  Add to that another unfortunately because the transportation museum was also closed.  We were able to look in the window at the motorized bicycle and the old, old tricycle.

Paul – Paul was still there.  His head was not through the clouds, but he was really tall.

We stood on his feet to have our photo taken.  No complaints from Paul about standing on his toes.

Cousin play dates always mean two things – craft time and dress up time.  I still had the tree that had been a Valentine tree.  Its branches were bare so the children gathered at the craft table and colored rabbits and chicks and eggs to turn the tree into an Easter tree.

 

“May we get out the dress up clothes now?”  Of course, so the big tub of clothes came up from the basement.  The girls went into my bedroom and shut the door telling their brothers not to disturb them because they not only had to find their outfits, but they also had to “do their makeup.”

The boys always dress quickly.  There is a stash of baseball shirts and Illini- wear from when the daddies were young.

Here we are breaking all the rules about playing wiffle ball in the house.  But you have to find some way to pass the time waiting for your sister.

The girls appeared wearing the first of several outfits that they modeled for us.  They enjoyed posing and then ran giggling back to the bedroom to change and to touch up their make up.

Then it was time for hide and go seek outside with Grandma being “it.”  There were a couple of super hiding places that caused me to wander around the yard looking and looking.

We ended the cousin play date our favorite way – making ice cream sundaes.  Ice cream and toppings, but oh, oh, Grandma forgot to buy whipped cream.

Thank you for stopping by Grandma in the Mailbox.  Next week I’ll finish the Spring Break visit talking about the eruptions of Mt. Vesuvius and Mt. Etna and  about some beautiful hyacinth creations the children made.

I hope you stop by again for another visit.

 

Valentine Place Mats

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

I have made a Valentine treat for my grandchildren that will not go into their mailboxes.  I’ll deliver these to them personally.

I have made place mats that they can use during the Valentine season.

First, I bought some day-glo card stock.

Then I searched for some children’s Valentines that all the children would like.

They all love the Pixar movies so that was a perfect choice.   A few years ago when they were younger and had diverse interests I made placemats using princess cards, My Little Pony cards, Bob the Builder cards, and Wiggles cards.  Everyone  received his/her favorite on a place mat.

Now that they are older and can read, I typed up some blurbs to add to the place mats – blurbs about the movies.  ”Which movie did you like best?’  ”Which movies are these characters in – Sulley, Bullseye, Dash, Ramone, Violet, Finn McMissile?”  ”Name something funny in each movie.” “Which movie would you like to see again?”  ”Which movies are these characters in – Rex, Linguine, Marlin, Jessie, Dory, Russell?”  ”How many Pixar movies can you name?”  (Yes, I have watched many Pixar movies with my grandchildren.)

Why the blurbs?  Sometimes at breakfast the children eat by themselves at the table while their parents are getting ready for the day.  My grandchildren can read the questions and tell their sibling the answers.  If the whole family is dining together, everyone can talk about their favorite movies.  I didn’t put names on the place mats so they can trade them whenever they want.

I put 4 Valentines + some blurbs on the piece of card stock with photo mounts.  Then I added Valentine hearts to decorate the place mat.

I covered the back of the card stock with a piece of clear Contact paper.  Then I covered the front of the place mat with clear Contact paper.  I trimmed the edges.

And voila – place mats for the grandchildren.

I think my grandchildren will enjoy reading the Valentines, reading the questions and talking and laughing about their favorite Pixar movies.   It will be fun to give them their surprises before Valentine’s Day.

Thank you for visiting Grandma in the Mailbox.  I hope you visit again. Next time I’ll be reminiscing about a February back when I was a young girl.

Happy Valentine’s Day.  Hope that you have some special cards in your mailbox.

Welcoming the Year of the Dragon

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Recently I went over the river to visit my grandchildren who live 3 hours away.  We always have a craft activity when we get together.  Since Chinese New Year was just around the corner, I suggested that we could make dragon masks – masks for the whole family.

My 6 year old grandson was quite excited because his class was planning a parade for the Year of the Dragon.  He said that he would take his mask to school to wear it in the parade.

I found two really great dragon patterns on the internet.  Below you can see one of them.  Actually the masks were available in color or black and white.  Since we were going to color masks, I printed the black and white ones for my grandchildren to use.

dragon masks coloring 231x300 Chinese New Year Printable Craft: Dragon Animal Masks

I found the masks at:  http://www.animaljr.com/chinese-new-year-printable-craft-dragon-animal-masks/

We got down on the floor to work on the masks.  I had brought along felt pens, colored pencils, and crayons for the children to use.

My granddaughter used colored pencils.

My grandson liked the bright, bold colors of the markers for his masks.

They each colored two masks so everyone in the family would have a mask to wear.  We taped a soda straw at one side in the back of the mask to use to hold the mask when “wearing” it.

My grandchildren were eager to model their masks when they were finished.

 

In addition to the masks we made fortune cookies out of circles of felt.

How to Make a Fortune Cookie Craft

I found the instructions for the fortune cookies at:  http://familycrafts.about.com/od/asianeastcrafts/ss/fortunecookie.htm

The instructions suggest using a glue gun to put the cookies together.  I instead opted to use felt glue.  First, you fold the felt circle in half and glue the top, middle edges.  It took a few minutes for this to dry so the children had time to write fortunes to slip into the cookies.  I had brought along a list of fortunes if they were stumped for ideas.  However, they went right to work writing fortunes.  They also  included lucky numbers.  They had great ideas and funny fortunes.

 

The website shows a video for assembling the fortune cookies.  You slip in the fortune and then gently push up the center of the cookie while you pull the two ends down together and glue them.  This was not a simple process so Grandma got to do the final gluing of the cookie.  I had brought along snap clothes pins that I used to hold the ends together until the glue dried.

At the end of the afternoon when the whole family was together, my grandchildren distributed the masks and they sat for a Year of the Dragon portrait.

Then the fortune cookies were handed out and everyone pulled out a fortune and read it to the family.  Laughs and smiles.  We had only made 4 fortune cookies so I didn’t have one.  My granddaughter said that I needed a fortune anyway so she wrote a fortune and gave it to me.

My fortune:  If you take a picture of a mermaid and she winks at you, that is good luck.”  She also included my lucky numbers.  I won’t share those with you since I just might use them to play the Lotto.

Such a fun visit, but it was time for me to slip back into my car and go over the river and home again.   As I drove home, I smiled thinking of our craft time, of playing school, and of playing the board games Hungry Hippos and Dinosaurs Extinct.  My mouth watered as I remembered our trip to the coffee shop to pick up an assortment of bakery treats so that we could have a pastry buffet for breakfast as we watched Kung Fu Panda.

Thank you for stopping by Grandma in the Mailbox.  Back to thoughts of Valentine’s Day.  I hope you stop by again soon.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner.

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

My grandchildren who live 20 minutes away recently came for a play date – one final chance to play with the Snow Village before it was tucked away until next year – and time to get ready for Valentine’s Day.

Of course, we had to dress the cat (not the real one.)

The cat did not come with a Valentine costume so my grandson made a blanket for the cat and my granddaughter made a hat and a bib.  All ready for the holiday.

I thought it would be fun to make a Valentine tree.  First, the tree -

With my trusty lopers I chopped off two branches from a viburnum bush and inserted them into a square of floral foam.  My cat Olivia is inspecting the tree to see if there are any good smells there.  As you can see, the tree is temporaily resting in the Snow Village that was about to be packed away.

My grandchildren were going to trim the tree for me.  Before they arrived, I had made heart shapes – many hearts in many sizes.  Of course, I learned when the children started working that I didn’t have nearly enough hearts and had to cut more as they worked.  There were hearts and stickers and markers and crayons and lace doilies.  Off they started to work on their creations.

My grandson decided to draw pictures on his Valentines.

He has a snowman with a Valentive love bubble; a train carrying a load of Valentines, a Wii bowling alley with hearts on each side and a Chicago Cub Valentine for my Cub gnome to wear.

My granddaughter drew colored hearts with doilies and embellishments.

Her Valentines graced the tree and the veteran cat plus my new cast iron cat.

Carefully, carefully they hung their Valentines on the tree.  Why carefully – well, the tree is not totally stable.  The cat had already tipped it over.  Presto, the tree was finished.  We stood looking at the tree with the tinsel they had draped on it and at each of the Valentines they had made.

Fun, fun, fun.

Time for lunch.  I had made a plate of pbj sandwiches and had bowls of fresh berries.  As we sat down for lunch, I brought out two of their favorite Valentine books.  I said I knew they could read the books themselves, but it was so much fun for me to read to them.  My granddaughter said, “I really like it when you read to us.”  SO I did.  I read The Night Before Valentine’s Day by Natasha Wing.

As we went through the book, one child or another pointed out something funny on each page – like when the envelope stuck to the boy’s tongue or the principal came into the classroom dressed as Cupid.

Then I read Queen of Hearts by Mary Engelbreit.  We read this one every year.  My grandchildren like to watch as Anne Estelle adds more and more to her Valentine box, and they wait to see what she has forgotten to do.

Soon it was time for Mom to pick them up.  They ran to the door and told her to close her eyes.  They led her into the living room and placed her in front of the Valentine tree.  Then they told her to open her eyes.  Surprise.

Thank you for visiting Grandma in the Mailbox.  I hope you visit next week when I show you the fun I had greeting the Year of the Dragon with my grandchildren.

 

Christmas Potpourri

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Today I am writing about holiday potpourri or ”this and that” – not about the dried fragrant plant materials placed in bowls to evoke memories of Christmas or summer time.

Gifts – Years ago when the daddies were little, we made gifts for them to give to their grandmother for Christmas.  One year I decided that pomander balls would be a fantastic idea.  I gathered  two large oranges, a jar of whole cloves, some net fabric, and a poultry skewer.  The idea was that the boys and I would sit around the dining room table listening to Christmas carols and work on Grandma’s gift.  I planned that we would poke holes in the oranges with the skewer and then insert the cloves into the orange, covering the orange with the cloves.  Had I ever done it before?  No.  Did I ever do it again?  NO

The problems that arose – the boys poked themselves from time to time with the skewer and  juice (luckily no blood) was running all over their hands and arms and shirts.  The cloves sometimes broke when they were inserting them.  And finally the surface of an orange will accommodate more cloves than two small boys have the interest or attention span to insert.

When I saw that we had reached the point of dimishing returns, I told them they could go play.  I finished the pomanders and wrapped them in net and put them to age in a box for a couple of weeks.  At Christmas with big smiles they happily presented to their grandma the pomander balls THEY had made for her.  She was delighted.  (We grandmothers are pushovers, of course.)

The next year I decided the gift for Grandma would be something that took less time so it truly could be done by the boys.  I bought some sheets of thin cork.  On one side of the cork we glued a square of green felt the same size as the cork square.  When that dried, around the edge of the cork square the boys glued unpopped pop corn kernels and split peas.  After they had finished and the glue was dry, I brushed a sealant over the corn and peas.  Voila.  Coasters for Grandma.  She loved them, and they were on the coffee table at her home for several years.

Last year I decided to help my grandchildren who live 3 hours away make some coasters.  Unfortunately I could not find sheets of thin cork.  I had to buy a roll of cork.  What a pain.  I cut the squares of cork before I went to visit.  Since they came from a roll, they curled up.  For a week I had them weighted down with the dictionary, the atlas, a copy of Plutarch’s Lives, and The Oxford Latin Dictionary – any heavy book I could find.  That flattened them out.  Lately now that I don’t need it I have again seen sheets of cork in craft stores.  My advice if you want to make these – use the sheets.

Happily now one can purchase sheets of felt with adhesive backing.  These were easily cut and attached to the cork by my grandchildren.  For decoration they used stick-on jewels around the edges.  They looked really nice and were received with smiles and hugs.

One other gift that my grandchildren and I put together were refrigerator magnets.  I bought a roll of  adhesive magnetic sheeting.  We cut out photos of the children that were taken during the year and put them on the adhesive.  Presto, personalized refrigerator magnets.

Planting paperwhites – For the past four years my grandchildren who live 20 minutes away and I have planted paperwhites – usually about the second week in December – in a holiday bowl.  Then we place the bowl in a light, bright plant stand and the children watch the sprouts emerge and grow and bloom.  Typically the flowers open early in January.  This is a happy surprise to look forward to after the Christmas tree and decorations have been taken down.

Christmas Music – My grandchildren have a holiday CD that they love – especially the boys.  It is Christmas Rocks by The Brian Setzer Orchestra.  When they visit my house, they want to have it on while they play; when we drive somewhere, they ask me to put it in the CD player in the car.  The boys always request track 17  – Santa Drives a Hot Rod. It is a lively and funny tune.  They also know that Grandma’s favorite track is 2 – Gettin’ In the Mood (for Christmas).  This is an upbeat version of the big band tune In the Mood.  When they play that track, I dance in the living room, and everyone laughs at the dancing Grandma.

Christmas DVD – A fantastic DVD came out this year – Merry Madagascar.  Remember those animals that left Central Park and ended up in Madagascar with no way to return to NYC?  Their story was in the movies Madagascar, Madagascar 2, and in the summer of 2012 Madagascar 3. In this Christmas DVD Santa Claus crashes in Madagascar and has amnesia.  The animals with a sleigh pulled by penguins deliver the toys for Santa while he is recovering.  As the video draws to an end, the sleigh only has enough fuel to (a) take toys to the last group of children or (b) take the animals back to Central Park in NYC.  Decisions, decisions.  Yes, they made the right one.

I watched this video 3 times last weekend with my grandchildren and if I hadn’t returned it to the library, I would probably watch it again at home.  It is really funny and really enjoyable.

Christmas Fun and Games Newsletter – Check out this website:  www.kids-christmas-activities.com/12days/all12days.htm

This newsletter offers games, board games, word puzzles, mazes, coloring sheets, and more to entertain children. There are free games plus on-line books you can purchase.  I often print out some of the games or mazes and stick them in my purse.  Then when I go to a restaurant with my grandchildren, I pull them out and we play with these until meals are served.

Next week I’ll show  you some ornaments on my Christmas tree and share with you some holiday recipes.

Thank you for spending a few minutes at Grandma in the Mailbox.  I hope that you stop by again.

 

 

 

Getting Ready for Christmas

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at my house.

The cat (not the real one) is dressed for Christmas.  My grandchildren who live 20 minutes away stopped by recently to help me get holiday decorations out and up.

I had a list on the chalkboard in the playroom of our tasks for the afternoon.   First item was to dress the cat.  They enjoy taking turns crossing off the items on the list so that we can get down to the final item of snack time and book time.

They decorated the wreath in the kitchen with Christmas items.  Next was setting up my Advent Calendar.

Then it was Craft Time.  I had printed out some templates of Christmas trees and reindeer for them to color.  I thought they would put the individual items around the living room.  As they were working, my grandson asked if I had a sleigh they could color.  No, I didn’t.  “You can find a sleigh on the internet, can’t you?” he said.   Off to the computer and soon I was back with two sleighs.

The children decided they wanted to make a poster so did I have big pieces of construction paper they could glue their items on.  Yes, off to the basement.

My granddaughter thought it would be good to have a Santa to fit in the sleigh.  Back to the internet.  I suggested that I would print a Santa in color so they didn’t have to color it.  That sounded good to them.

Grandma wasn’t well prepared for this Craft Time.

Here is the poster my grandson made of Santa and the reindeer flying over a tall brown house.  Notice the fancy jeweled collars on the reindeer.

My granddaughter had requested a piece of black construction paper for her poster.  It is a little difficult to see the red house that Santa and Rudolph are preparing to visit.  I did ask her why she wanted black construction paper.  The answer – “Grandma, it is dark out.  It is night time.”  But, of course.

The children always look forward to decorating the “kids” tree with mini Disney books.  http://www.amazon.com/Disney-Trim-Tree-Book-Ornaments/dp/0786834587 There were also Dora ornaments, penguins, cats, snowmen, Care Bears and teddy bears.  My grandson divided the ornaments as they started – one for you and one for me.

Lunch time – While my grandchildren ate pbj’s and fruit, I read to them a few of their favorite Christmas books.

Merry Christmas, Splat by Rob Scotten,  Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous  Christmas by  Jane O’Connor, Russell’s Christmas Magic by Rob Scotten, and A Merry Bunny Christmas by Rosemary Wells.  Another favorite is The Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Natasha Wing.  Unfortunately it was checked out at the library.

All the items on our list have been checked off so let’s head to the Snow Village to play until time to go home.

Hopefully this year when they assign houses in the Snow Village, I won’t have to live in the hospital again.

Thanks for visiting Grandma in the Mailbox.  Soon I’ll tell you about some gifts that I put together for my grandchildren in years past.  I hope you stop back to read about them.