Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Magic Christmas Elf Idea: #12

Now here are some jumbo size playing cards! They measure 8 x 12 inches. As  you can see, the elves couldn't even hold them. I'm not sure if they were playing Hearts, Rummy or Euchre. The grand kids loved the over sized cards and can't wait to bring them to our family Christmas party.

And what are Freckles and Dimples doing with ties around their neck?

While the boys played cards, Giggles got a little crazy with ribbon. She had a trail of it everywhere and then decided to show-off her acrobatic skills. Didn't Santa tell her it's not nice to show your panties?

Magic Christmas Elf: Idea #11

Those dog-gone elves found a glass marker last night! The little stinkers had no shame in laying claim to their naughty deeds. In fact, I think they are enjoying being the center of attention.

The grandkids planted their magic seeds in the snow dirt the night before. As you can see, a giant candy cane sprouted up overnight.

Unfortunately, my daughter broke one of the candy canes and had to improvise. She wrote a note from one of the elves on napkins. Instead of a candy cane, the snow dirt produced candies.

The grow a candy cane idea has really caught on with fellow my elf loving friends. One person used sugar instead of the Insta-snow. It was also suggested to grow the candy canes in stages. Start with a mini one, then a traditional size, and finally a jumbo size. I thought that was pretty clever.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Daddy's Boots

I asked my four-year old grandson, Fischer, to put on his boots. Daddy was arriving soon to take him to work with him. My little guy wasn't too happy about the boots he was wearing and said, "NeeNee these aren't work boots. I need boots that are dirty and torn like my Daddy's. That's all I want for Christmas."

Those words were spoken with such sincerity. He wanted to be just like his Daddy. It prompted me to write this poem which I'm gifting to my son-in-law Christmas Eve. My daughter took a picture of "Daddy's Boots" as a backdrop for the poem.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Assistant is a New Mommy!

My wonderful (and very pregnant) assistant, Jenni, helped me cut and wrap soap for the holidays on Friday. It was her last work day before her anticipated delivery. I received news today she delivered and both mommy and baby are doing well.

Jenni will be off work for the next month. My former assistant, Kaylee (who is currently in nursing school) is filling in for Jenni while she's off for Christmas break. A BIG THANKS to Kaylee.

Please have extra patience while Jenni is on maternity leave. She's my right hand gal and generally the person you communicate with when emailing or phoning the office.

Congrats to Jenni and Jay on the birth of Baby Lance! Lance will be hanging out with us at work in the near future while Jenni gets acclimated to her new motherhood schedule.

Magic Christmas Elf: Idea #10

Somehow the elves found the grandkids tote filled with experiment stuff. They really made a mess of the kitchen, but nearly as much mess as the kids did. They decided to play scientists after finding their elves. Dear me, I don't think I've ever seen so much Paprika on the floor or kitchen sink.

I guess even elves have to wear glasses to read. Freckles borrowed a pair of my glasses to read the experiment book left for the kids.

Not only did the kids' elves make a mess, they solicited the help of the Annabelle elves to open cupboards to find secret ingredients for the experiments.

There was salt, paprika, garlic powder, tarragon... and various other pantry goodies used to fill test tubes and bottles.


The kids had a blast this morning and were thrilled to put on their personalized scientist lab coats purchased earlier this year.

Soaps Donated to Local Charity donated 50 Grinch soaps to local community holiday gift baskets.

Over 50 hand-crafted soaps were donated to our local Angel Tree for holiday gift baskets. I moved to the Fenton/Linden area twenty-four years ago. I am thankful to be a part of such a wonderful community that truly cares about one another. We've rallied through our share of losses, celebrated births, graduations and marriages. We attend our local churches, are active in the school systems and you will find us in the cheering stands at high school games.

Today I pray that those in the community of Sandy Hook school district bind together during this horrible tragedy. This has forever changed and shaped the future of many residents and family members. May each and everyone be gifted super-natural strength to bear the weight of such loss. The nation grieves with you.

Magic Christmas Elf: Idea #9

Nothing like a Diet Coke Christmas tree. Those elves are so funny. I'm not so sure that mommy was happy about the ornaments taken from the decorated tree.

But, I bet mommy appreciated the elves help with gift wrapping.

Nothing like holiday entertainment while wrapping and decorating a pop can tree.

Magic Christmas Elf: Idea #8

Between being sick and the crazy holiday rush at work, I'm behind in my Christmas Elf posts. I'm trying to do some catching up this morning and apologize for multiple elf posts. I'm usually on top of the elfcapades, but not this year.

The Magic Mail Elf delivered a note to the kids the other night. It told them their elves would be leaving special gifts later that night. The grandkids discovered the note when they returned home from Awana club. They had a hard time going to sleep knowing a gift was forthcoming. In the morning, they found their elves in the shower with shampoo, conditioner, washcloths and Grinch soap.

Dimples had taken off his soccer shoes and shirt and neatly placed them on the bath mat outside the shower door.

These Santa bath towels were hanging outside the shower for each kid. They will use them this holiday when hot tubbing at NeeNee and Poppy's house. I am fairly certain they will use them to play Santa as well.

Christmas Elf Idea: #7

While Olivia was sleeping, Dimples, pulled out the trunk filled with American Girl doll clothes. It seems Dimples was tired of her elf attire and needed a more fashionable look. The American Girl clothes were a perfect fit. We found her wearing two mismatched boots, coat and hat.... and a tutu. Not sure about a tutu at the North Pole????

While Dimples played dress-up, the boys (Dimples and Freckles) prepared for a movie and popcorn. Freckles slid into his special hand-made slipping bag with pillow while Giggles got the popcorn started. I wonder what movie they watched?

Once the elves discovered the American Girl clothes were sized for them, they took turns playing dress-up. Below is Freckles in a soccer outfit.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Elf 2012: Idea #6

Oh my, those elves made a sleigh from a skateboard to deliver personalized ornaments from Bronners Christmas store in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The ornaments are in remembrance of Grandpa Beard, Grandpa Lobbs, and Uncle Don. It included a small bell for each of the kids to ring as they hung the ornaments.

The poem from the elves read,
"We heard you lost family close to your heart.

So as secret elves, we’ve a gift to impart.
Tucked inside this wrapped box are three ornaments,
Each one hand-selected in remembrance
Of Uncle Don, Grandpa Lobbs and your Grandpa Beard.
A Christmas reminder their presence is near.
When you hang each ornament, give a ring of the bell
To let those in Heaven know all is well.
When Christmas is over, and we elves must depart,
May memories of family stay tucked in your heart."

A Soaping Marathon Week

This last week has been a soaping marathon. We've turned out 125 soaps in a matter of days, PLUS packaged them all. This is the last batch for my grandson's third grade classroom. He picked out two scents, one for the girls (they get the red soaps) and one for the boys (green soaps). It was fun to watch him select fragrances. I had to keep reminding him that the scent wouldn't smell so strong once it was added to the soap.

I must say I've fallen in love with Mold Market's slab trays. Each slab uses 2 pounds of soap base.

The drizzled soap and sprinkled glitter (cosmetic grade) was an easy solution and the grand kids had fun with it.

Each soap is wrapped with clear plastic stretch wrap and placed in a cello bag. When my grandson saw the soaps being donated to our community Angel Tree, he said, I want my soaps to look like that.

So, the packaging is a "Grinch" theme that includes the following poem:

"Rub-a-dub-dub, there's a Grinch in your tub.
And he says lather up and wash off the grub.
Use this bar of soap to clean body & head,
Then put on pajamas and crawl into bed."
You can make 18 of these soaps for under $2 each and still plenty of leftover color for other soaping projects. Here are the supplies needed:

I previously posted about this Grinch sleigh that my grandson will gift to his teacher. I will also include a copy of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas book for her to read to the classroom once the soaps are distributed to the students.

My grandson is VERRRRRY excited about his teacher and classroom gifts this Christmas. As for NeeNee, I'm done pouring soaps for the season.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Melt & Pour Soap Making: Production Soap Molds

During the Christmas holiday season, we are all hard-pressed to get gifts purchased and wrapped. Not to mention those gifts we want to craft by hand. It can really put the pressure on us as we scramble to get everything done before the big day.

If you have hand-made soaps on your gift list, I suggest Mold Market's tray molds. The above mold produces nine, 3.75 to 4-ounce, square soaps in one pour. It was a life-saver this year when I volunteered to make 50 soaps for our community angel tree baskets.

Mold Market Tray mold for Soap Making at

Two pounds of melt and pour soap will fill the tray mold. You can jazz it up by pouring in layers and drizzling with colored soap. We added cosmetic glitter to the top (white) layer for a festive look. I was under the gun to get these soaps to the local charity distribution center, so there wasn't much time to get them poured, wrapped and labeled. But, that's the beauty of these tray molds. You can get more soaps poured in less time.

GoPlanetEarth (GPE) offers several tray molds as well as giant-size production trays (up to 32 bars). Check out our entire selection of Mold Market tray and production molds.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

And So It Begins...the Elves Arrive 2012

Those elves never cease to amaze us. This year we found them inside the van while having dinner at Applebee's. When the van doors opened, we couldn't believe our eyes. We can only guess how they managed to unlock the van doors and jump inside. The kids are thinking they jumped in the back of the van when unloading groceries earlier in the day.

However, or whenever, they wasted no time in making mischief while we were fast asleep. After the Cirque Holidaze show, the grandkids (and elves) stayed the night. This is what we discovered this morning. Dimples, Freckles and Giggles used colorful masking tape around the house. Carson's elf tried to place the blame on Carson, but that didn't fool us.

They spelled the grandkids' names, placed arrows on the floor and walls, taped the doorways and even taped the TV screen.

One panel of the sliding glass door was completely covered in red and green masking tape. And they even took the Gingerbread Man prisoner taping him to the chair.

Hearing the excitement in the kids voices and watching the joy expressed on their faces makes the elves' visit worthy of any mess they make. Thankfully, Miss O volunteered to help with clean up because, "she likes to clean".

The kids were so wired last night after the Cirque Holidaze event they couldn't sleep. It was close to midnight before they finally surrendered to the fairy's sleeping dust.

It doesn't matter that NeeNee had less than 5 hours of sleep last night, or that my once clean house looks like a North Pole battleground. The grandkids' enthusiasm is my fuel today. There is plenty of time to sleep when I'm six-feet under.

This morning the kids are running around the house with eight rolls of colorful masking tape. I'm in my office and don't even want to know what they are taping. I am guessing just about everything within their reach. They just closed my office door which leads me to believe they are taping the door shut. They are probably doing more mischief this morning than the elves will do during their entire Christmas stay.