Cheap Christmas Craft Time!

I am always on the lookout for cute little projects that I can use as Christmas gifts for my 2nd grade students to their families.  This is one of my favorites and I’ve heard that these end up actually being used for years and  years!


Glass Magnets

You will need:

Round glass pieces that can be found at any craft store or dollar store

Modge Podge & brush

Glue gun

Round button style magnets

Heavy white paper

Crayons/color pencils or markers

 

Step one: Trace the outline of a round glass piece onto white paper.  You can cut out several of these (always do some extras for mistakes).

Step two: Have your child draw on the little circle, the more color and background the better it will turn out!

Step three: Using a small brush, paint Modge Podge onto the colored side of the circle and attach to the flat side of the glass piece.  Smooth the edges or trim with a scissors.  Let dry for a few hours.  At first, the wet modge podge will appear very smudgy.  As it dries, it will become clear.

Step four: Use the glue gun to glue a round button magnet to the back of the glass piece.  Let dry and you’re done!!


About the Blogger:

Hi! My name is Trisha and I am wife and mom to two little ones that love their Babylegs. I also teach 2nd grade and make hand stamped jewelry! It’s a busy life, but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah!Happy Hanukkah!

For our non-Jewish readers, it’s the holiday also known as the “Festival of Lights,” when we remember the re-dedication of the Temple following Judah Maccabee’s victory over Antiochus. According to the story, victorious Maccabees could only find a small jug of oil that had remained uncontaminated, and although it only contained enough oil to sustain light for one day, it miraculously lasted for eight days, by which time further oil could be obtained. This miracle is commemorated by lighting a special nine-branched candle-holder, called a menorah. One candle is lit anew during each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, until finally, on the eighth night, all the candles are lit. Children receive one gift each night, blessings are recited, games are played, and special foods are eaten. Though the celebration bears some resemblance to the celebration of Christmas and occurs during the same time of year, it is not a Jewish version of Christmas!

Speaking of Christmas- last week, I was in a large national chain store looking for Hanukkah candles. I had searched high and low, all over the store: the “Holiday” (Christmas) section, housewares, greeting cards, and toys….finally I gave up and asked an employee. He led me to a small endcap sandwiched in between the paperbacks and the giftwrap. I did find my candles, but that was about it! Aside from a small felt wall-hanging with Velcro candles and flames (it is going to be so much fun for my toddler to use!), some random menorahs, a few packages of paper napkins, and plates with dreidels on them, there wasn’t much to choose from. Seeing Hanukkah shoved aside like that, while the rest of the store was decked out in so much red and green it could have been the workshop of Mr. Claus himself, would have been almost comical if it hadn’t been so sad!

As a celebrator of both holidays, I want to encourage those who don’t know much about Hanukkah to do some research. There are lots of fun activities and great recipes to try with your kids that can help teach them about the holiday. Help your children build an understanding of people who are different than they are, and make them more culturally aware as future members of society. Latkes, anyone? In fact, make ‘em healthy: I found a recipe for apple latkes at smittenkitchen.com the other day! I’ll share it below.


Apple Latkes

Makes 12 2 to 3-inch latkes

1 pound tart, firm apples such as Granny Smiths (2 large or 3 medium)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 large eggs

Butter (about 2 tablespoons)

Rich plain yogurt, sour cream or crème fraîche for serving

Preheat oven to 200 degrees and place a baking sheet inside. Peel and core apples and then grate them, either on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor, on the shredding blade. Transfer to a clean dishtowel or cheesecloth sling and wring out as much juice as you can into a small bowl. Set it aside if you wish to make a dessert sauce with it later.

Transfer grated apple to a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice. In a small dish, whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder and toss with the apples, coating them evenly. Whisk eggs in this small dish until lightly beaten and stir into apple-lemon-flour mixture.

Heat a large skillet to medium with one tablespoon butter. Once it has coated the pan, drop tablespoons full of apple batter in little piles, gently pressing them a bit flatter with a spatula. Fry until they are nicely brown underneath, about 3 to 5 minutes, then flip and continue to cook until they are browned and crisp. Drain briefly on paper towels and transfer to preheated oven to keep warm. Add a pat of the remaining butter for each new batch in the pan, and repeat with remaining batter.

 


About the Blogger:

Hi, I’m Carlee! I teach public school in Middle-of-Nowhere, Virginia. My hubby and I have been married for four years and have a daughter who is  two years old. I also give private music lessons and enjoy the arts, animals, and children- but spending time with my beautiful family is my favorite pastime!

Living On Limited Income

My family of four has been living with a limited income for over three years (ever since I had kids) and I would like to think I’ve become a bit of a pro at it. On our single income we have managed to pay off all my medical bill debt, buy a new house, a new car, and take the family on a nice vacation each year. It was hard work, but these days it seems so simple. Prior to becoming a one income family my boyfriend and I were both working full time and had no debt whatsoever.  Daytrips to Seattle and Portland were normal, and buying new clothes for myself with each paycheck was a must.

The hardest thing for us was building a savings account for emergencies.  We are still adding to that fund, but we have a full mortgage payment, and car payment saved up. Most importantly we need some extra money for medical bills. We are not married, so I am not covered on his insurance. Thankfully I’ve only had to go to the doctor once, but for strep throat it was $120, plus another $40 for the prescription!

 I started out couponing when my son was first born. I was completely overwhelmed with all the coupons, and had no clue what I was doing. It took me a year before I mastered it. I’m no “extreme” couponer, but most things I buy are on coupons. I found it easiest to find a few blogs that follow coupon deals and every few days check in on them to see if there are new deals posted. I’ve managed to cut our grocery bill in half this way. We started shopping at the bread outlets, and buy a few loaves at a time and stick them in the freezer. I buy meat when it’s reduced for quick sale and package it up for the freezer when we get home.

One thing that took me a long time to understand was just because it’s a really good deal, doesn’t mean you should buy it. Do my kids need every single little people play set just because I can get them for $5 at a consignment store? No.  I am just now getting rid of all the unnecessary toys in my house. It’s hard! I have made lists of what the kids will need, and how many presents they will get for Christmas, and I stick to it. I shop the Target toy clearance, usually in August, and in late January/early Feb.  I buy clothes a season ahead of time when stores are starting to clear out merchandise for the next season.

Since we have become a one income family my priorities have really changed a lot. No more fancy coffees for me.  If I don’t need new clothes I don’t buy them.  We cut down our cable bill by getting rid of the extra add on package we don’t need.  We switched to a pay as you go cell phone, since we don’t really use it on a regular basis. This has allowed me to use the extra cash on more important things such as: Preschool for my son, Tee Ball, and our family vacations.

Living on a limited income has been a challenge, but I’ve managed to control my spending, and budget the important things in with a little work.  Anyone can do it, it’s hard to get started but I think it’s important.
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About the Blogger:

I’m Renea P. I’m a stay at home mommy to a one year old girl and three year old boy. I love spending time with my family, couponing, crafting, and doing fun activities with my kids.