I love taking pictures of my kids and I love the idea of amazing Christmas Card pictures. But somehow it's really hard to make 5 boys stand still and smile all at the same time! Once in a while I get lucky and a family picture will magically turn out. Most of the time I shake my head and wonder how many packages of fruit snacks it takes to bribe them to hold completely still!
I've learned (or maybe I've gotten old and tired) to go with the flow a little more and not aim for perfection because we are far from perfect. Instead, my favorite pictures now are the candid ones - even the ones they take sometimes. Lesson learned - Don't sweat the small stuff. My big brood of boys are probably never going to all stand still and take a perfect picture until they are all like 30 years old. So I'll laugh at the faces and enjoy the squinted eyes for now. Here's a few of my favorite from our very impromptu Christmas photo shoot last year. Man do I love these faces!
1. "I just like to smile. Smiling's my favorite."
2. "The four basic food groups are candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup."
3. "First we'll make snow angels for 2 hours. Then we'll go ice skating. Then we'll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie dough as fast as we can and then we'll snuggle."
4. (My Very Favorite!) "The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear."
Wishing all of you a Holiday filled with lots of cheer! We can't wait to see you back in January and get the New Year started. Until then, lots of candy canes, cookie dough and snuggles to you all! Don't forget to Sing Loud!
--Miss Amy :)
We're so excited to invite all our friends and family into the studio for our Holiday Showcase Week! We can't wait to give you a sneak peek of what we do in class every week and how amazing your dancers are! Don't forget those cameras - you won't want to miss a minute!
Christmas is such a magical time of year! I love the sights of Christmas lights as we drive through the neighborhood, the smell of fresh baked rolls (my husband love to bake and is REALLY good at it!) and the sound of Christmas music playing everywhere. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!
One of our traditions is that no one opens anything until everyone is awake. I remember as a kid practically being awake all night long waiting for the clock to turn to 6:30am. That was our designated time when we were FINALLY allowed out of bed. Our kids are a mix of early risers and late sleeps so some years we have had to wait a little while (dying on the inside, no doubt) waiting for the last kiddo to wake up.
Another thing we do is take the mandatory Christmas Tree picture before presents get opened. The boys know it's easer to indulge my photography need and get it done with. Here's the picture from last year. Cute boys huh!
We started a new tradition last year after feeling like our family needed a little more together time. Instead of so many things under the tree, Santa delivered a family outing for each boy. It was something we could all do and enjoy together. As our kids have gotten older and busier, time together is more scarce. We wanted to provide more opportunities to make memories together and this felt like a great way for us to accomplish that-- I mean Santa helped us accomplish that. Having some inexpensive activities (like having a picnic at a park) to do together this year has really helped our family become closer. So this is something Santa is going to continue at our house. We Love It!
What are some of YOUR family traditions and favorite holiday activities? Share below!
--Miss Amy :)
Here's a fun idea I came across for the holidays. Our neighborhood did something similar at Halloween being "Boo-ed" This one is being "Snowed On!" It's easy and fun and will put smiles on your neighbors faces!
1 - Find a treat that resembles snowballs. Powdered doughnuts or white fudge covered cookies work well.
2 - Attach a copy (I've included it below) of the poem and Snowman face to each treat.
3 - Package them up cute and secretly deliver to 2 friends in your neighborhood. Remember - don't get caught!
4 - Put a copy of the Snowman face on your front door so people know you've been Snowed On.
Watch and see how many Snowman faces pop up in your neighborhood! I've never started a neighborhood treat like this before but I love this idea so we will be Snowing On some unsuspecting neighbors soon! (Don't forget to click on the images below, download and print!)
--Miss Amy :)
Maybe you need some inspiration for the kids school (or dance) teachers, or a last minute idea for the beyond patient bus driver who hasn't thrown your kids off the bus yet . . . Here are 10 Terrific Quick Gift Ideas that are cute, simple and sure to please!
1. Gift Cards. Keep some inexpensive gift cards on hand. Because you can buy in any increment you like, these are a great Quick Gift. I like to buy Sonic Gift cards especially for the bus drivers - gotta keep them happy, hydrated and possibly on a little sugar high to survive driving our kiddos all day!
2. Hand Written Note. It's a dying art almost, right? If you keep some Thank You cards close by, a simple and heart-felt "Thank You" goes a long way for everyone!
3. "We WASH You a Merry Christmas!" Grab a festive smelling bottle of soap from your favorite store (I love Bath and Body Works) and add a creative tag.
4. "Hope you get Wrapped in Christmas Love!" The Dollar Store can be a treasure trove if you know what to look for! A roll of wrapping paper with a zippy gift tag and presto - instant gift!
5. Personalize an Ornament. My favorite ornaments the kids have made are the ones from school where they use their fingerprints to build a snowman - I happen to LOVE snowmen! Anyway, get those creative juices flowing and personalize your own ornament for your teacher. Find out his/her likes and make their day with something unique from you!
6. Baked Goods. If you have a little more time and enjoy baking, tie up a little plate of baked goods. Can anyone resist holiday baked goods this time of year - especially when the calories TOTALLY don't count???
7. Classroom Supplies. If your school teacher is low on kleenex, crayons or pencils, think outside the Crayola Box and package the items in a fun way.
8. Books Books Books! Along with classroom supplies, teachers love getting books for their classroom. Find a few of your favorites, write a little note on the inside and it will be a treasure your teacher will remember forever.
9. "Fudge the calories this year, enjoy the season!" Hand over the fudge with this creative tag attached. If you are NOT a fudge maker (like me) use White Chocolate Covered Oreos instead. Mmmmmmm.
10. "We Wisk You a Merry Christmas!" Hit the Dollar Store again, grab some wire wisks. Throw some Hershey Kisses inside the wisk. Tie up in a cellophane bag with a cute bow on top!
--Miss Amy :)
Miss Amy: I love teaching kids and watching that "A-ha!" moment happen when all the dots connect and the light bulb goes on! There's nothing better!