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Friday, December 16, 2011

Reindeer Food - Classmate gifts!

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 As I mentioned below, I'm learning how to balance my new life.  My weekends consist of crafts with the kids.  Last weekend my boys and I made reindeer food for 40 of their closest friends...aka their classmates ;)!  It's moments like this, that I miss their tiny European classes (last year they had an average of 8 kids in their class...but I digress).

What is reindeer food, you ask?  Well, its a cute idea that Jo came up with when we lived closer together.  We would make these and sell them at local craft fairs, and it was SUPER popular! 

This is a cute, cheap, way to spread Christmas joy to all your children's friends

What you need:
Equal parts of the following...
  • Krispy cereal
  • Oats/oatmeal
  • Birdseed (I omitted this.  I'd like to think it's because I'm in Africa, but who am I kidding?  There is birdseed here...I'm lazy!)

    Also needed:
  • A few shakes of colored sugar (red and green add to the seasonal cheer)...I ran out of green sugar, and couldn't just run to the supermarket, so I actually made my own...see the savvy tip below!
  • Sandwich bags (preferable those without the zip tops, but you can always cut off the zip, like I had to do this year)
  • Ribbon or yarn (you will see in the above photo, I used ribbon...much cuter.  But this year I used craft supplies and all :)!)
  • Card stock and a cute poem!
 For 40 bags, I used about 3 cups each, and the boys scooped in about 1/4 cup of the mix in each sandwich bag.

Directions:  Place all the ingredients (except the sugar) in a large mixing bowl and stir CAREFULLY to combine.  Scoop about 1/4 cup into a sandwich bag.  Add a few shakes of the sugar to each bag.  Once the food is in the bag, tie off the bag with the poem (printed on card stock and punched hole!).

As the poem says, on Christmas Eve, the kids take the food to the lawn, and sprinkle it for the reindeer to feed on while Santa is placing the gifts.  (Can you tell Jo and I grew up in fireplaces, hence no chimneys, hence Santa landed in our back yard!)  This is why birdseed is helpful...the birds will hopefully eat the evidence before the kids realize they have to go check out if the food is gone. 

Savvy Tip:  If you don't have a large yard, careful about just sprinkling it in the road.  Or you may find yourself, in a 5am...sweeping up the evidence...while explaining to the neighbors what you are doing...YES THIS HAPPENED TO ME, CHRISTMAS 2007!

Our Poem (if you use our poem, you must reference us...thanks for understanding!)
Savvy Tip:  Don't have colored sugar, but you have food coloring?  Make your own colored sugar.  Use 1 cup of sugar and at least 2 drops of food coloring (the more drops, the darker the color).  Add to a ZipLock bag and shake vigorously for about a minute...VIOLA!  Colored sugar!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

And here are my apologies...

Picture above is property of
MomsPartyCafe/Party Savvy Moms...
Photo by Shelley
Merry Christmas all!  The love and support that we have received from pintrest and all of our loyal followers is AMAZING.  As Jo alluded to in our "Apologies for my extended absence" post, we both have had some big news of late!

In her spoiler, Jo mentions Ethiopia, and that, no it is not where her new little angel comes from.  Her crazy little sister moved yet again!  Because of my DH's job, we moved to Ethiopia about 5 months ago.  It has been a wild ride.  I have alluded to our lifestyle in a couple of posts, but now is the time to elaborate.  We have been getting so many new, wonderful, comments and emails.  Those I've responded to may have noticed that I respond "in the middle of the night."  I try and answer emails in the morning, which will be most of our readers' "middle of the night."

My DH's job keeps us on the move.  We move every few years, and we have now lived on 5 continents in 5 countries (in just under 10 years).  Our latest move brought us to Ethiopia.  And yes, WE LOVE IT!  Although it is a 3rd world country, it's not what you imagine.  The people are kind and generous, and the country is just beautiful! 

The other big news is that I have gone back to work full time, for the first time since my two angels were born.  It has been a lot to get used to.  I'm feeling like a bad mom; so all you other working moms out there, send me some love.  I have a really good friend, who is an AMAZING lawyer and an even more AMAZING mom, tell me: "Give it 6 months, and you will completely forget about all the free time you had." Now, really SAHMs, how much free time do we have.  I feel like I just traded in PTA, class-mom, and carpool, for the duties of the office.  It's just that mommy guilt takes over more often now, right ladies?

So, in the last 5 months, along with being a new working mom, I have planned 2 birthday parties, hosted Thanksgiving for 3 families, made "Reindeer Food" (post to come soon), made dozens of brownies (very coveted overseas), and I am in the midst of planning Christmas dinner for 6 families...

Yesterday, to top it all off, I get a phone call on my way home from work, from my 8 year old that says "Mom, little man has had an accident."  And as much as I love Ethiopia, the traffic is beyond horrible.  DH did his best driving and got me home in time to find out the 6 year old had tried to ride our 11 year old lab mix!  The nanny did a great job carrying for him, and he's fine. A big shiner but mostly a bruised ego, and I think there were lessons learned all around. 

Please keep sending us emails, and comments!  We do LOVE them.  We are trying to figure out how to get the word out there more, so send suggestions as well. 

Stay tuned...I have to download some pictures of my weekend project with the kids; and that was making Reindeer Food for all their friends!  I will post pics, recipe and a cute poem to go with it all! 

Thanks again for all the support and love and...

PLEASE continue to come back for you daily cup of Jo and Shelley!

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