Friday, December 7, 2012

Planning for the Christmas Holidays

I am SOOOO not an organized person.  I always feel like I have a zillion balls in the air and that they are all going to come crashing down at the same time at any moment. I feel like I have ADHD but I know that I don't.  I just have too much going on.

So this year, this season, we are doing things a bit differently.  There are a few different factors that make this holiday season a bit different.

First, we are NOT going to Disney World.  Since 2007 we have gone to Disney for a week or so just before Christmas.  This meant that I had to be super organized because I would have to have everything ready for Christmas prior to us leaving for Disney as we would often be returning on Christmas Eve or on Dec 23rd.  So it ALL had to be done.  Not this year.

Second, we have like NO money for extra things.  We have enough to buy some gifts but we are not doing extravagant things and have no extra money to do other stuff that we wish we were able to do if we weren't going to Disney.  We aren't buying new decorations or more lights for the front of the house, or anything we don't NEED.  Not this year.

Third, because we are homeschooling we actually have a bit of extra time on our hands and we tend to sit around "wishing" that we could go here or do this.

Extra time + NOT going to Disney + NO extra money = Mom has to be creative.

So this is what I did.  I took an inventory of the things I wanted to do and then I surveyed the kids and asked them to give me their top 5 things they wanted to do this holiday season. Next I crossed off everything on their lists that would cost a lot of money or that included "going to Disney World".  I ended up with a nice list of things.

Some of the things the kids said were:
go Christmas caroling
go look at Christmas lights
have a party for our friends
bake cookies
go Christmas shopping for each other

Some of the items on my list were:
go look at Christmas lights
string popcorn and cranberries
do some baking
read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" together
read "The Christmas Carol" together

Then I looked at the calendar and printed out a December calendar and started to add things on it.  This way we will have some things to look forward to each week.

We have an extra week this year and with us not going out of town we have a lot of extra time we usually don't have. I hope that this year we will be able to make some great memories just the 5 of us that won't cost a lot of money.

What do you do to plan for the holidays?  Do you have any fun things you like to do each year that doesn't cost a lot of money?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Have you ever looked on Amazon and found great craft books for FREE???

I have recently as I have been looking for some new ideas.  Yeah, I  know Pinterest is there but I like to look in different places too.

Here are a few books I found for the holidays.  These all were free when I posted them and when I purchased them.  Please check the prices of them before clicking to purchase.

Did you know you can read these books even if you don't have a Kindle or a Kindle app?  Yes you can and this is how I do it.  I downloaded the Kindle app to my PC and I read them right on my computer.  I also can read them "in the cloud" on the internet using no app at all.  How cool is that?

This one looks interesting!

Kindle Freebies - 12/6/12

Check out these books I found today on Kindle for free.

Children's Bible Comic Book Kings and prophets

My middle one is wanting to publish a book that she wrote. I am thinking this book (for FREE) might help her along a bit.

How To Write, Market, and Sell Your Own Ebook! (Everything You Need to Know from A- Z!)

Homeschool Mosaics' Holiday Blessings

I don't have a preschooler but if I did, I would be all over this book.

Homeschool Your Preschooler on a Day

This book I recommend with caution.  Truly the reason I posted this one is to tell you to please preview your children's books you buy for them.  I know you probably do but this one we were a bit shocked by.  We reluctantly bought this for our son last year after several months of him begging us to buy the book for him.  We did and we read it too.  It was not at all what we thought it would be.  The main character purposefully tries to get suspended from school.  We weren't quite sure we wanted our son to think that this behavior was accepted or tolerated by us.  We let him continue to read the book but had many a discussion with him about the content of the book.  In the end it turned out okay but if we were to do it over again, I am not sure we would have chosen this book for our son.  So in the end, I am glad that amazon offers previews of books.  We as parents can read the preview and see if it is appropriate for our children, as well the kids can read it for free and if they don't like the book we haven't spent our hard earned money on it.  So many books go unread here because they aren't interested in it once they start the book.  Here is a preview of this book and James Patterson has a bunch of other books for middle school aged kids.  I don't think we will be purchasing anymore of his books without reading a preview first

Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life - Free Preview: The First 20 Chapters

And check out this book. This one looks awesome for a young teen girl. It is Christian based too! (Bonus) This one will be loaded on my daughter's new tablet she will be getting from Santa this year.

Asking for Trouble: 1 (London Confidential)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Looking for Christmas Themed Books

I have been looking for Christmas themed books for this season.  I want to read some to the kids.  I also have been looking for Christmas themed crafting books and crafting gifts ideas, as well as the Christmas themed cookbooks and such.

I have found a lot and I thought I would share some with you.  I plan to download all these for my own use.

This first one I think I am going to read to the kids as a family read aloud.  It sounds really good.

White As Snow : A Christmas Story (Mysterious Ways #1)

This one is one for the moms.  I hear it is a tear jerker!

A Christmas Miracle

This book also looks like a great book for ideas!

Printable Pink Peppermint Christmas Decorations

I am such a sucker for fleece crafts.

Simply Fleece

A great book for early readers and young children.

Christmas Puppy

This book looks interesting.

The meaning of Christmas symbols of Jesus birth

I love that this book is illustrated.  We will be reading this together as a family.

A Christmas Carol (Illustrated)

What an awesome find!  The Queen's Christmas Day speeches all compiled.  There is also the 2011 speech out there on Amazon, I found it and it was free too.

The Queen's Christmas Speeches (1952 - 2010)

These look fun!

30 Crazy (But Unique) Home Crafted Christmas Gift Ideas! Easy to Follow Instructions.

We love Mexican food.  I am always looking for new recipes.

Mexican Christmas Holiday Recipes

This one looks good.  I hope to do some of these and give as gifts.

100 Easy Recipes In Jars

Worried you don't have a Kindle?  No worries.  Get the free Kindle app on your phone, tablet or on your PC.  You can also read these books "in the cloud" without an app at all.  As with anything you are purchasing, please check the price of each item prior to checking out.  Many of these will only be free for just a short while, so make sure you check prior to purchasing.

Have a great day.