Friday Favorites and Freebies

Welcome to a Favorites and Freebies Friday! I hope your day has been great. Here are a few favorites this week, including some things to think about as well as make at this beautiful time of year!

A neat story about following Christ from the NY Times

Free Christmas printables (tags, card, etc.) here :)

Check out this neat Scrabble game advent calendar!

It's not too late to do handmade gifts, here are 20 free patterns!

If you made the list today be sure to grab an "I've been featured" button from the left sidebar. Happy Friday!

Advent Projects

I'm thinking back to last year when I didn't have a single advent calendar and set out to change that. This year we will have a few to count down to Jesus' birthday. Last year Jay and Kay were so excited to open their Christmas gifts on Jesus' birthday and I'm hoping some of our new advents help us get ready for that special day.

#1 I am excited about this advent that I am just finishing. I picked up a felt Christmas tree at Dollar Tree and then some felt nativity stickers (40% off of $3.99 at Hobby Lobby). I'm just cutting out some animals and other felt pieces so that we have enough for the whole advent. This was a very budget friendly advent. We'll just put the pieces on like we are decorating the tree.

It's easy to make your own envelopes with wrapping paper. We will find a felt piece in each one of these. Just start with a square piece of paper, fold all the corners to the middle and tape or put a cute seal and number the envelope.

I've been working towards keeping Santa out of the picture. He gets way to much credit and doesn't deserve it! Yup, I'm a strict Mom this way. The whole "He sees you when you're sleeping, He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good.." Doesn't that sound like more of something we should be thinking of our Savior doing? Santa doesn't save us. He's temporary. Santa isn't very real. Christ is. So we will be focusing on the gift of Christ and His love and power to save instead and I'm hoping our advents help us stay on track...Now I'll get off my soapbox :)

#2 I also found this open-the-door advent at a thrift store and will fill it with fun activities that remind us that 'Jesus is the Reason for the Season' and things we can do together as a family to celebrate.

#3 We will also be doing a Book Advent, see last year. I don't wrap these like I've seen others do. All the books go into a treasure chest box and the kids close their eyes to pick one out. That way we sill have the surprise without the paper waste :)

#4 We will also be turning the our play Village into Bethlehem with an advent. Here are a few of the animal characters...more on this to come.

#5 and last, but not least, this easy Button Advent I made last year, with a tutorial for you coming tomorrow! All you need is 25 buttons, some wire, a wood frame, a nail, and a little clay. Get ready for a fun way to decorate a Christmas tree each day!

I know it doesn't bother everyone, but I'm determined not to get bogged down in the commercialization of Christmas. The shopping's pretty much done, the gifts are nearly all sent. Now just to wrap the rest! Then I hope that we will have time to cherish friends and family and enjoy traditions without so much stress!
Here's another site with ideas for keeping a Christ-centered Christmas. I'm always looking for ideas for a Christ-centered Christmas, so please share yours too with a comment below!

Happy start of December tomorrow!

Thanksgiving Kid's Crafts

We've done a couple more kid's crafts that would also be fun the day of if you are hosting a big group with kids for Thanksgiving so I thought I would share them with you.
This paper plate turkey is easy to make and also great for little fingers to practice their coordination with the clothespins.
I used packing tape to wrap the end of each feather onto a clothespin and they've held well. Then just have the kids draw their turkey face on the plate.

Thanksgiving is a great time for This Little Project's Doodle Rubbings. If you haven't seen the past post on these, check THIS out. They are EASY to make and cost next to nothing too.

We rubbed Happy Thanksgiving (you only need to make one rubbing sheet since the kids can share that)
Then traced our hands in the middle and turned them into turkeys by coloring the feathers.
Then glued colored fruit cereal on with elmer's glue.
Set aside to dry.
Easy and fun! I'm hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year and finding that it's a whole lot of {Little Projects}. Wishing you and your family a VERY Happy Thanksgiving!

My Little Turkey (T-shirt)

I whipped this little shirt up in no time for my Little Turkey (aka Kay) to wear. It had a stain on the front and I love that she can wear it again now thanks to the turkey and all its feathers. I included two pink "feathers" because I knew she would never wear it otherwise-she is such a silly turkey!

To make yours, use 3-4 inches of ribbon for each "feather" and the turkey is made of orange knit (cut from an old t-shirt) roughly the shape of a drumbone. I used french knots for the eyes and stitched a little beak too before pinning the turkey to the shirt. Use a pin for each ribbon and they won't move on you. For a feathered look, use pinking shears around the turkey's body once you have the shape cut out. A cute little zig zag stitch is the perfect touch to sew it on with. EASY if I can do it-you can too!

Then let your favorite Little Turkey wear it :)

Friday Favorites and Freebies-Thanksgiving Edition!

Enjoy this extended list of Thanksgiving Favorites and Freebies. I hope you find something to fit your fancy. If your blog "made the list" today be sure to grab an "I've been featured" button from the left sidebar. Note: if you were featured in the past and have an older button, grab the new code!
Wishing you a Fantastic Friday!

I LOVE this turkey softie idea!

A fun group game for Thanksgiving here.

Learn more about Thanksgiving history here.

This is a simple and sweet kids craft for Thanksgiving.

Another fun way to count your blessings.

This hand print shirt is a precious too!

Take a look at these pretty printable napkin bands.

This is a great way to give a new look to your decor/table setting without spending much-all thanks to some paper!

Looking for a fun way to do Thanksgiving breakfast-without a lot of work? These will be on our table :)

A beautiful way to put the "thanks" and the "giving" together here.

Thanksgiving Kid's Game

I'm getting some games and crafts together got a kid's Thanksgiving party this week and made this game board. It is just a variation on one of our VERY FAVORITE games: "Don't Eat Pete."

We love this game because any age can enjoy it. Even little Kay has it totally down.
The images are from the internet-they aren't mine so just use them for home use :) Just click on the image to see it full size and then print. You will want to print it on heavy paper, laminate it, or use a page protector.

How to play "Don't Eat Tom Turkey"
Cover each of the turkeys with a small snack or treat (cereal, trail mix, m&ms, etc.)
One person in the group goes out of the room.
One of the Turkeys on the game board is chosen by the group to be "the Tom Turkey."
The person comes back in the room and chooses a snack and eats it from off of each turkey. When they get to "the Tom Turkey" that was chosen by the group, everyone else yells, "Don't eat Tom Turkey!!"
That person's turn is over and a new person goes out of the room to repeat the game.
You can play as many rounds as you like, or print off multiple boards if you have a big group.

This would be a great game to play to keep the kids busy on Thanksgiving day. Since they each take turns, no one will get to full of snacks :)

Thanksgiving Blessing Mix

I love treats with meaning (probably because I don't feel so guilty eating them!)
This Thanksgiving Blessing Mix is perfect for your candy dish, a family get together, or gift for a friend or neighbor.

Here's what's in the Blessing Mix: (If I was super photoshop smart I would make this all cute so you could print it out cute on a card...but I'm not :)

Bugles: Cornucopia or Horn of Plenty: a symbol of our abundance

Candy Corn: Sacrifices of the Pilgrims' first winter. Food was so scarce that the settlers survived on just a few kernels of corn a day.

Pretzels: Arms folded in prayer, a freedom sought by those who founded our country.

Sunflower seeds: Promis of a future harvest, one we will reap only if seeds are planted and tended with diligence.

Cranberries: Harvest gifts of our bountiful land.

M&M's: Memories of those who came before us to guide us to a blessed future.

Enjoy a tasty reminder of how blessed we truly are!

Felt Turkey Toy

I have wanted to make this one for a while. Jay insisted that our turkey had a wing and not just feathers to button on. I used different colors of buttons to match the feathers so it's a matching game too. It has been a great manipulative for building fine motor skills and a fun way to enjoy turkey :)

Tom turkey in all his glory!

Friday Favorites and Freebies

Here are a few extra Favorites. Have a Happy Friday and weekend!

Don't just send a card, send a candygram!

This Night Stand made from books is so clever!

Speaking of books, I love this hanging bookshelf idea!

This Blessings Box is another fun way to count your blessings this month.

If you are needing a little sweet, try these chocolate nachos :)

This is a fun art project with an owl that could easily be altered to make a turkey :)

If you have a puppeteer in your house, be sure to check this doorway puppet theater out!

This Family Rules board is such a great idea!

This Fabric bowl idea is so fun-I love the bright cheeriness of it!

Remember to grab the "I've been featured" button from the left sidebar. It was changed a few weeks ago due to a glitch so if you have the old code that isn't working now, be sure to grab the new code.

Gratitude Tree

Thank you all for your caring words. My husband was able to come home after 5 days at the hospital. The day before his emergency (unable to breathe) I was working on our "Gratitude Tree." I cut it out of fabric (a 25 cent thrift store shirt-I love repurposing!) so that we can use it from year to year. The idea is that we would be able to write things we are grateful for on the leaves of the tree. I had no idea that the tree would not go up because of a near-death experience, but it seems all the more meaningful now. My first leaf on the tree was "Daddy is home." What a great BIG blessing!

Here's how the Gratitude Tree came to life:
1-Brown light-weight shirt

2-Cut out tree top from newspaper (free hand) and lay it on brown shirt. I did have to cut the shirt arm seams to get the fabric to lay straight enough.

3- Here is the top of the tree

4-I used left overs to piece the trunk together. The sleeve cuffs are the "roots."

4-Here it is on the wall. I just used some handi-tac (you know that rubber/gum feeling stuff that you can use instead of tape) to stick it to the wall.
The letters are yarn made like our yarn cards.

5- Jay decided that since we had seen so many birds lately we needed some in the tree. I just used cereal boxes for our pattern and we went crazy with the birds. I'll try and get the pattern up for you to use...

6-Then we added our leaves with our blessings written on them to the tree. We'll add a few each day this month.
This little tree has been a bright spot in our home. It's certainly a reminder of how precious life is. I'm grateful for you who stop by to say hello. My family and our Little Projects fill my life with fulness and joy. Enjoy counting your blessings!

No Fridays Today

No posts this week. My husband has been in the hospital. He's finally out of critical care and will hopefully be home soon. He's had pneumonia. It's been our not so Little Project lately.
Next Friday will have a few extra to make up for this week :)