On "Black Friday", I stayed home and didn't do anything since hubby had to work and to be honest I didn't feel like going out with both my kids in tow to all the stores. But Friday night hubby was flustered with the kids and I was on the phone with my mom and she heard him in the background and offered to come over with my sister and watch the kids for a couple of hours. We agreed to it and while she and my sister watched the kids, we went Christmas shopping, with what little money we had to at least buy them some gifts. While we were gone, my mom and sister cleaned the kids' closet out and got rid of a lot of things that we didn't need nor wanted. She put all the "baby stuff" (swing, pack-n-play, etc.) in the closet and the kids toys were put throughout their room. They also cleaned out the kids' toy box and cleaned up my kitchen, and did some dishes. They also put the kids to bed for us. After being out for 3 hours and going to 2 stores we bought all that we could for gifts. We arrived home and showed my mom and sister what we purchased because I wanted to be sure that we didn't get any duplicates. Out of everything we purchased we only got 1 item that my mom had purchased and neither one of us are returning it because the one we bought will be for here at home and the one my mom got will be kept at her house.
Now am I done shopping, yes and no. I am done as far as I can tell, but we are taking it paycheck by paycheck to see if we have any extra money to buy some stocking stuffers for us (both hubby and me). The kids and I have also started to make presents for family. Which is the purpose of this post. Next Sunday, the 2nd of December, is the First Sunday of Advent. I asked Little Man if he was ready for Advent. Now he's almost 3 and I know he really doesn't understand the term Advent, so I re-phrased it by asking him if he wanted to start preparing for Baby Jesus' birth. Right after I said Baby Jesus' his eyes lit up and he told me in his own way yes. It brings tears to my eyes when he lights up over Jesus. At church on Sunday mornings, he loves seeing Jesus and waves at him. I'm so grateful, but at the same time so sad because hubby isn't there sharing in this special time. He hates going to church and makes it seem like I drag him when we attend on Christmas Eve, that's the only time he goes. I worry that as my children grow older they will use the excuse if daddy doesn't have to go, then why should I. I worry about it, but hope that my son and daughter will always want to go with me to church, besides they get to see my parents for extra time when they go.
Yesterday started the homemade gifts and crafts for Christmas in our house. We made salt dough hand prints for family members. To make enough salt dough for 24 hand prints I used:
- 8 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
- 3 1/4 Cups of HOT Water
- 2 Cups of regular table Salt
I put all the hand prints on Reynolds Non-Stick Foil on top of my cookie sheets. I then pricked, using a toothpick, some little holes in them to help avoid additional bubbling, I pricked the kids' names and the year. I left them to start drying overnight and this morning I baked them in a preheated 300 degree oven for 20 minutes. I let them sit overnight because most of the comments I read from other people that used different salt dough recipes was that they cracked and bubbled and weren't dry after cooking in the oven. So I figured give them a head start on drying and then bake them in the oven. I can say that they're looking great! They are dry and cooling right now on the stove. Here's what they look like after coming out of the oven: