Happy Valentine’s Day!

Presenting: The Valentines Day Project. Dreams of the kiddos getting involved with cutting, gluing and the like ended up more like one of us (um, me) staying up late to do the dirty work, oh well…one can dream, right? They did have a blast handing them out though – and their classmates thought it was great!

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We Saw the Sevens but Not the Falls

It was my son’s comment as we were leaving from our visit to Seven Falls in Colorado Springs, CO. His lack of enthusiasm had much to do with our timing – not just that we chose to visit in the month of December when the falls are frozen over, but because we had set out before sundown in hopes of benefiting from the sun’s warm rays. One small detail overlooked: the icy falls light up at night. Oops.

I wouldn’t say the trip was disappointing though because we did get to see many beautiful sights, ride the elevator to the top of the mountain (stairs closed due to ice) and shop inside the toasty warm gift shop.

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If I had known then what I realize now, yes, I would have suggested a winter *evening* visit so we could enjoy the lovely Christmas lights and the colorful glow of each of the seven frozen falls. I guess that’s what this blogging stuff is all about though – providing helpful tips to other families, right? We’ll just have to take the kids back in the summertime to hike around and experience the falls…not just the sevens.

Pikes Peak Attractions

Surviving the Wake of the Holiday Season with MomPower

Fruitcake and Antidepressants. They were two of the top “trending now” items on my Yahoo mail page this morning – along with Matthew McConaughey and Mitt Romney. I’m not really sure why this caught my eye but it did.
 
It’s one of the most sought out Christmas gifts in our culture…TecHNoLoGY…and yet with the many gadgets and gadgets received this holiday season, the millions of web surfers, the infinite number of topics to spark our curiosity and all we can come up with is fruitcake and antidepressants – with a little Matt and Mitt in the mix?
 
We’re still vacuuming pine needles and recycling Christmas wrap and these are the things we’re obsessing about…strange eats, fab abs, politics and holiday blues.
 
I don’t know about all of you but I want something more – for my family, for our country and for the entire human population. I want for the billions of dollars spent on megabytes, gigabytes, 4Gs and whatever else is fueling this Internet searching to be an investment toward powerful ideas and knowledge that leads to astounding results. I wish to find my children Googling healthy, helpful topics on ways they can improve, help others and do the most good with they have been given.  I certainly don’t want my family – or anyone – feeling depressed. 
  
I believe that BIG changes happen in small ways and I suppose that’s my hope with this little article. I think moms are some of the most influential people in the entire world and always have been. Just one of us can make a monumental impact…and all together we can most certainly change the world. So what can we do to help our families survive the wake of the holiday season? We can start with a healthy example: take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others.
 
We can use our MomPower to tip the scales on happiness, joy, fulfillment and encouragement in our country. Our hugs, baked goods, handwritten notes and forehead kisses can and will be the spark that ignites amazingly influential people. Next year…MomPower top trend.
 
 
 
How do you keep yourself and your family healthy this time of year?
 
 photo: lovedetouradvice
 

Simple Tips for Fabulous Holiday Décor…Final Tip

Take Time to Remember

The most important decorations are those that help remind you and your family what this holiday is all about. Hang those reminders, talk about them with your children and focus on the reason for the season…the rest will fall into place.

Related Articles: The Story of the Candy Cane, A Gift Not Available in Stores

Reindeer Handprint and Footprint Craft for Christmas

For this enDEERing craft, you will need the following:

White T-shirt
Acrylic paint (we used gold) to make hand & footprints
Red fabric and no-sew adhesive to iron-on for Rudolf’s nose
Buttons/Needle & Thread for eyes

This is a fun Christmas project that can be a forever keepsake. Have a Merry Christmas!

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Comes to Colorado

It’s the first day of winter break – kids are out of school and parents are wondering what to do. Following the whirlwind of class parties and gift exchanges, you may be lacking in creative ideas. Start your vacation off right with festive cheer and show your children the importance of giving to others. Toys for Tots will benefit from donations at this event AND Choose Outdoors had a great suggestion – donate outdoor toys and help our youth stay active and have fun…OUTDOORS!

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree for the 2012 Holiday Season to come from Colorado Join Gov. John Hickenlooper, Undersecretary of Agriculture Harris Sherman, the U.S. Forest Service, Choose Outdoors, John Fielder, the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of Colorado and many more this Friday for an important holiday announcement. The REI Denver flagship store will host the kickoff event for the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, which Colorado will provide for the first time in more than a decade. Learn more about participating throughout the year for the chance to accompany the tree to Washington, D.C. for next year’s lighting ceremony at the Capitol Building, hosted by the Speaker of the House. One lucky youth will get the opportunity to flip the switch to turn the lights on the tree. Toys for Tots will be at the event, ready to accept your donation for this year’s holiday season. Choose Outdoors recommends donating outdoor toys to encourage youth to spend more time outdoors.

What: •Press Conference for 2012 US Capitol Christmas Tree – “Celebrating Our Great Outdoors”

When: •Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Press conference begins at 11a.m. Join us at 10:30 a.m. to get into the holiday spirit with music, refreshments and festive celebration.

Where: •REI Denver Flagship Store – Between main entrance and Starbucks 1416 Platte Street Denver, CO 80202

Simple Tips for Fabulous Holiday Décor…Quick Tip #3

Clear the Clutter (and fast)

One simple way I’ve found to minimize clutter during the holiday decorating process is by storing the normal décor in the empty Christmas bins until the holiday is over (obvious but sometimes overlooked). I just empty the Christmas items, refill with the normal décor and place boxes back into storage until after Christmas. Another fun idea that a friend suggested is taking the extra clutter (particularly if company is arriving on short notice) and boxing it up – this makes me laugh….*wrap the box* in lovely paper and place it under the tree! LOVE IT! Just don’t get too excited when it comes time to open gifts, ha.

What’s That Mouse Doing in Your Stocking?

That’s no ordinary mouse…

While our family won’t be making a stop at a Disney theme park this winter (hopefully a summer trip!), we will experience the whimsical charm – vicariously through Disney favorites found stuffed in our stockings for Christmas morning.

Walt Disney toons have been a holiday favorite in our home since our first child was born. I get a year-round giggle when I think back on a quote from one of the Mickey’s Magical Christmas movies ~ a princess explains what she’s thankful for: friendly mice who make beautiful evening wear!

Unfortunately, we don’t have designer mice at our home (or in our stockings) but we do have enough of one special mouse to make us all smile…Mickey Mouse. His ears are in my son’s closet, his stuffed clone on my daughter’s shelf and this holiday season, he’s making a grand appearance, mostly in one specific room in our home – the children’s bathroom!

With foam soap dispensed from these familiar ears, the kids will be delighted to wash their hands – we might even personalize a set of Disney hand towels to assure our hands get dried! Boo boos will be handled by…guess who…Mickey. My son will learn to shave with lessons from, yes, Mickey (and a handy learn-to-shave kit). AND (this one is a stretch but worth a try) we’re going to see if a Princess Hair Care Set might help convince my wild one to sit still for a do!

You can find these and many other Disney products, well, pretty much everywhere…and check out the Mickey’s Magical Christmas movies for sweet memories and giggles all year long!

 

For fun family tips and a chance to win a trip, check out Disney’s D-Lightful Living on Facebook.

Simply Beautiful Holiday Decor – Quick Tip #2

Delegate Tasks

The family was happy leaving the tree assembly up to me this year, and after messing it up, taking it apart and finally putting it back together correctly (yes, one really can mess this stuff up!), I handed the ornaments over to the kids – so I could give my Christmas cheer a little rejuvenation (aka: dark chocolate and a glass of wine). I would normally assist in the tree adornment process but I figured I’d just set them loose this year – I was impressed. They got along, joyfully cooperated and even helped each other stand on tiptoes atop a chair to reach the highest places…we ended up with a beautifully decorated tree. And, while I did do a bit of readjusting later (it looked like the tree was being strangled by a blue tinsel python) it was PeRFeCT and they loved being fully in charge. Now to convince my hubby to hang those exterrior lights.