I have noticed that Elf lovers and Elf haters BOTH have something in common… they are happy with their own way of doing things. Casey has great Elf ideas (that even incorporate Bible verses), and Krista is an example of someone who all of you Elf-Haters could relate to. I am not Pro Elf or Anti Elf.
I think I might even fit into a whole new category.
I’m just kind of an observer of all things elf. So, when I saw these elves, I bought them but I didn’t have any intention of doing the Elf on the Shelf thing.
I actually had a few different ideas in mind:
1) To give them as gifts this year to friends, each holding Personalized Chocolate Bar with caricatures of our family dressed as elves. (I was really proud when I came up with this gift idea!)
2) To tell our kids that Santa sent us elf toys to take with us each time we go to do something special for Christmas (like picking out a Christmas tree, caroling, taking pictures with Santa, or going to parties). If I forget to take them, we will just tell our elves all about them when we get home. Each child gets their own elf and it is simply a plush toy – no magic involved.
3) To decorate with the little cuties.
4) To make boring spots of our house fun and festive…. like the microwave. I love that their hands velcro together.
There isn’t going to be much more to it than that for me, but this was exactly the elf I had been looking for if I was ever going to consider including Elves in our holiday traditions or household.
But maybe you do want this to be your Elf on the Shelf and in that case, CLICK HERE and go buy them. 🙂
I didn’t even know at the time that that post was a “Part ONE” but when a Pre-k teacher asked me if I could turn it into a printable, I decided to stay up all night (like the night owl I am) and make it happen.
So, here is how this HUGE set works…
You can have your little one cut up the movable shapes that make up the letters or you can cut them yourself and laminate them, but either way….
I made this so that you can work on a letter a day if you want to OR you can have a bunch of the shapes out and about and let your littles explore with combining them to make the letters (or numbers).
You get an E for effort either way… see what I did there?
The first page acts like a little reference.
I am including this set in my Members Page.
If you EVER have problems with getting locked out of the site or losing your password e-mail me Jessica (at) the mommy teacher (dot) com so that I can take care of it!
Jessica and I are both Momprenuers that juggle both the lifestyles of stay-at-home moms and working moms. My art and design business, Kidspired Creations, went on an exciting and unexpected journey this summer that has, to say the least, made it especially hard to find time to blog (my deepest apologies). But let me tell you a little bit about what has been going on and about how we have been giving back to an amazing organization called St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – perhaps you’ve heard of it?
This is Bennett. His story has touched thousands of lives and counting! In December 2013, the Coleman family began an unexpected journey as Bennett, just 17 months old at the time, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer. He was admitted to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis for treatment where he and his family spent the last few months of his life here on earth. On april 28, 2014, the cancer died and Bennett began his new life, healed, happy and free of pain in heaven. The staff, nurses, doctors, patients and families at St. Jude are incredible and held the hands of the Coleman family all the way…
Being close friends with the Colemans, my business partner, Brooke, and I shared updates about Bennett with our kids. They learned all about St. Jude, cancer research and treatment, and the wonderful care that the organization provides families free of charge!
Brooke’s son Cooper, age 4, decided that he wanted to raise money for Baby Bennett. He said, “I love God. I love to paint. And I love Bennett.” He asked his mom to help him sell some paintings so he could donate the money to St. Jude. Brooke started a Facebook page, Cooper Paints, to document Cooper’s donation efforts and art endeavors…
…and this got Brooke and I thinking… thinking about how much our kids enjoy painting… and how beautiful each creation is… and how more kids would probably like to do what Cooper is doing… and who can resist a beautiful piece of artwork made with love from a child?
Photo Credit: Kelsey Ann Photography
And thus, Blue Balloon was born – named for the blue balloons that family, friends and prayer warriors have released to celebrate Bennett’s life. Here, child artists can donate paintings to sell and the proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in honor of Bennett Coleman.
Cooper and his friends have created true KIDspired art! Each 8″x10″ piece was hand-painted with love and is available for purchase HERE for $15.
This summer, Blue Balloon has been blessed by our community here in Lafayette, Louisiana. We were given space to host a Paint and Donate station at the Mommy & Me Expo in June where nearly 60 kids donated their time and talents to make and sell artwork for St. Jude!
We then were invited to sell those paintings at Applause for a Cause, a play, also benefiting St. Jude, and the organizers of the Baby & Kidz Expo donated booth space for us to sell paintings at their super successful event as well.
Our wonderful donors, volunteers, artists and vendor events!
Many businesses around the area donated materials and services for Blue Balloon to participate in these events! Many thanks to Office Depot and Lowe’s of New Iberia and Michael’s Arts and Crafts and Super-1 Foods of Lafayette for donating art and cleanup supplies. Also, to Kidz 337 Magazine for donating ad and article space and Kelsey Ann Photography for providing professional promotional pictures!
We surpassed our goal!
With the help of these businesses and events, our high school volunteers, child artists ages 1 to 16 years old, and including the auctioned artwork that raised $200 at Bennett’s Bash in Lafayette, Blue Balloon has raised over $1300 for St. Jude! More than $300 over our original goal!
So, now we have a new goal!
We are hoping to raise $1500 by August 15, 2014! For just $15 you can purchase a painting and help us meet our new goal! Your entire $15 will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help toward research, treatment and care for patients and families as they battle this horrible disease. St. Jude operates solely on donations and at no cost to the families so they can focus 100% on their loved ones.
To read all about Bennett and the Coleman family, you can follow them on Facebook and #pray4babybennett. If you would like to make a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, please visit http://www.stjude.org.
After writing Monday’s post, I thought a little more about my tactics over the last few months to resolve so many of our conversations with my four year old that turn into “Poo-Poo Stink Face.” Sound familiar?
Since one of the first times I heard my son use a “potty word” I told him to go spit it in the potty.
I don’t like to rule out his favorite words entirely, but just giving him a designated space where he can let it all out has spared the rest of us from hearing them as often.
I have always been about CONTEXT: There is a time and a place for lots of things. Use wisdom here folks… if the future of a behavior leads to serious issues then avoid it all together! But, here are kid-friendly examples that I am talking about:
If my kids are climbing on me then I will say “You can climb on monkey bars, but not on mommy.”
If my kids are kicking: “You can kick a soccer ball, but not a person.”
If my kids are biting: “You can bite food, but not your brother’s finger.” (CHARLIE!)
You get the picture.
I don’t want them to GLORIFY any one word or behavior because of their lack of being able to use it.
So, I would rather give them a place to use it.
BUT, that then means that I have to follow up with my child:
Sternly, but calmly “Sean Patrick, that is a potty word. If you want to use that word you need to go to the potty and say it into the potty where no one else can hear it but the potty.
If he does it again, “Sean Patrick, what kind of word is that?” (Wait for him to tell me). “That’s right, and where does it belong?” (In the potty).
If he does it again, I would bring him to his room to “take a break.”
I know this is so silly to write an entire post about, but it has been encouraging to see that he is okay not using a word or behavior in other settings when he has a place to use it if he gets the itch to.
Now, when he gets around another silly, potty-word-using kiddo, all of my influence seems to go out the window, but… it just gives me a chance to remind him about our little family policy.