Oct 31, 2015
1. Pajama Night: My children and I love Pajama Night when we all grab our favorite pj's and settle in for a fun night of Christmas movies. It is our tradition to gather all the pillows in the house and lay them in the living room floor and get comfy for the annual viewing of ELF! This tradition is so near to my children's hearts that they won't want this particular movie all year long until Pajama Night arrives.
Throw on your pajamas and gather your family together to watch your favorite Christmas classics!
2. Thrift Shop Treasure: Find a local thrift shop and take the family to pick out that one of a kind treasure to give to a family member or friend. Kids love browsing through thrift stores where everything is unique and they always find something their gift reciepient would never expect to receive. These gifts are really given from the heart because kids tend to take this task seriously when thinking about what gift would be perfect to give. I love seeing the look on my kids faces as they take this gift home to wrap and put under the tree!
3. Baking Memories: One of the yummiest Christmas traditions for my family is making old fashioned cookies and candies to give out to neighbors, family, and friends. Like us, you may have traditional family recipes that get pulled out every holiday. If not, there is the great world of Pinterest to find some amazing treats that could become your traditional holiday favorites. The possibilities are endless.
Sugar cookies are great because you can cut out all sorts of holiday shapes and decorate any way you please. Just remember when younger kids are involved with this activity the process may get a little messy. Don't worry thought, it is the time spend with them and seeing their excitement during this project that will make a lasting memory.
4. Giving to Charity: This is probably one of the most important traditions for our family. During the holidays you can find many different charities to give to.
The Salvation Army has their red kettle drive and bell ringers are set up all around the city where you can drop your change in the donation bucket. I always make sure I have extra change in my purse this time of year just for this purpose as well as making sure my kids have a few coins in their pocket for giving. It's amazing how proud children can feel just when giving a few cents. This tradition also helps a child start on their path to giving from the heart. Believe me when I say the spirit of giving will follow them throughout their life when they start early.
The Angel Tree is another thing you will see in malls and stores throughout the holiday season. You can pick an angel to shop for according to their wish list and return the gift to the given location. It can be fun for your child to pick an angel that is similar in age to themselves. There is always fun when shopping for this special child. We also like to pray over our angel throughout holiday season.
Sometimes you may not have the extra funds to buy gifts for an angel because you are struggling yourself. This has happened to us before when my husband or I were out of work but we still wanted our children to have the gift of giving. This is when we would pick out an inexpensive gift and drop it off at a local toy drive. Personally we bought a few games of Candy Land when on sale for $3! If you plan ahead you can even pick up toys for up to 75% off all throughout the year. Don't miss out on the spirit of giving even if it is something little. For the reciepient it can be a big thing!
5. Christmas Lights: The reason I really love the tradition of driving to see Christmas lights is because it is a really frugal activity and the kids love it! Do you have that one house in the neighborhood who goes all out on their Christmas light display? We do and it is a must see every year! A great idea is to wrap up a small inexpensive gift for your child and allow them to open it during your drive to see the lights. We like to pack a festive basket of goodies and a thermos of hot chocolate when we go. Just a little tip we like to use.... I purchase the Styrofoam coffee cups at the dollar store with the lids. It's like Starbucks but well, you know, much cheaper!
There are literally a ton of Christmas tradition ideas on the internet. I've had fun sharing some of our family favorites with you, but no matter what traditions you begin, just know they will hold a lifetime of memories for your family.
Oct 30, 2015
Our home happens to be in the DFW area of Texas but as so many families experience, my husband works during the week out of town to provide a comfortable living for us. (Thanks Honey!) While most weekends he comes home, sometimes we head to visit him and experience all the fun sights and attractions near his work home.
Since he is located about 90 miles from the Texas/New Mexico border we decided to take on a day of adventure to Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Plus the fact that we were entering a new time zone really had my son excited. It's the little things for him I guess but hey, whatever makes the trip more exciting is just fine with me!
It is the time of year now where it goes from hot in DFW to downright cool out west. As a fan of cooler weather, this was exciting for me. Well, maybe my son and I are alike. It's the little things that get me excited too. Hmmm....
Okay, okay I promise I'm getting to the good stuff.
Each year Carlsbad Caverns plays host to around 300,000 visitors. Located about 27 miles from the city of Carlsbad, the caverns lie in the Guadalupe Mountains just beneath the Chihuahuan Desert. The drive into the park was absolutely beautiful!
When we arrived at the visitors center we purchased our tickets and were given the option to walk into the entrance of the cave via the Natural Entrance Trail which is a steep 1 1/4 mile descent (equivalent to 79 stories) or take the elevator down. We chose to take the elevator and leave the all the descending to the adventurers! Once we exited the elevator and were inside the cave, our exploration began.
Carlsbad Caverns offers several guided options which range from walking on paved trails to walking rough dirt trails and even crawling through narrow cave passages. For us personally, we decided it was best to take the self-guided tour through the 1 /1/4 trail. This allowed us to take our time and enjoy our surroundings. Inside the cave it stays a constant 56 degrees Fareinheit so be sure to bring along a light jacket or hoodie. It is also best to wear a comfortable pair of shoes (flip-flops not recommended).
We have visited a few caves in Texas before but I was impressed as soon as we set foot inside Carlsbad Caverns. The size of the cave is quite magnificient! It still boggles my mind that a treasure like this is just underneath the desert surface. There are more than 119 known limestone caves within the park all created by sulfuric acid. This is different than most limestone caves that normally are formed with carbonic acid. That is just one interesting fact we learned but there is so much more to this cave. The speleothems were really awesome to see. If you have a little aspiring geologist, they will love making a visit to Carlsbad Caverns.
As I mentioned earlier, be sure to take a jacket and wear a comfortable pair of shoes. Small children may get tired along this journey of over a mile, but there are short-cuts and even bathroom facilities inside the cave. There is also an underground café in case you get hungry. Just remember that you can't take food with you while walking inside the cave. You can plan your trip and learn more about Carlsbad Caverns HERE.
Have fun on your visit!
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Treat your little Ghosts and Goblins to the movies this Halloween at the Movie Tavern where you will receive 1 FREE Child's ticket with the purchase of 1 Adult ticket. This offer is good for showings of Hotel Transylvania 2 and Goosebumps on Saturday, Oct. 31st! Click HERE to find showings for your location.
Oct 26, 2015
Alert: Great Christmas Gift Idea Below.....
Like any parent, I am a sucker for pictures of my children. I snap them on my phone all the time and every once in a while there is that one that stands out above the rest and I just have to have it in print!
When I learned about printed metal pictures from AdoramaPix I was excited. I love this idea and can't wait for my print to arrive so I can share it with you!
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Oct 13, 2015
The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker is coming to Texas!
Are you getting excited for the Holidays yet? I know I am! It's never too early to start planning holiday activities you know. The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker is definately something you want to add to your holiday activity calendar this year! During the months of November and December you can find The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker touring many Texas cities. For a Full Schedule of Event Dates/Venues and Times please visit http://www.nutcracker.com/buy-tickets.
We're all about saving money this holiday season so as a holiday treat, my readers can save on tickets now with this exclusive offer from US Family Guide. Click HERE for offer.
What You Can Expect from A Performance of The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker?
It's the ultimate holiday tradition and creates memories for a lifetime. The production includes over 200 romantic costumes and 10' tall playful animal puppets; shimmering colorful, backdrops splashed with 3-D effects; life-sized Matrushka (Nesting) Dolls and a puppet show for shadowing the Nutcracker Story at the opening Christmas Party. During the battle with Nutcracker Prince and the 3-headed Rat King, a golden cannon shoots roses! In the Magical Snow Forest an authentic Russian style Troika Sleigh, known as the fastest sleigh in the world, is escorted by Father Christmas (Ded Moroz) and Snow Maiden (Snegurochka) on their way to Act II. The Great Russian Nutcracker is known for its dedication to world peace with Act II named the "Land of Peace and Harmony." The first scene of Act II features a stunning "Dove of Peace" with a 20' wingspan and danced by 2 dancers each with one feathered wing. All ages feel the spirit of the season at Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker! Use the code JOY to get the biggest discount of the season for your family.