Thursday, December 20, 2012

School Christmas Treats

For the record, I did NOT plan to do treats for school this Christmas. Really. Wasn’t going to do a thing. Between being sick, having sick kids, running around non-stop, working 90 hours a week, and all the other things I already had to do for school – bringing in wrapped books for Santa to give to the kids, Christmas plays, Christmas parties, making costumes, etc., having to make something for 2 classes, and everything else going on I just didn’t have the time. Or the energy.  :)

Then one day as I was sitting in the floor sorting through various things that needed to be picked up, put up, donated, or just plain thrown away it occurred to me I had a ton of stuff left over from various parties, favors, and a miscellaneous hodge podge of things I had bought and for one reason or another (not quite enough for everyone, too big, too much, etc.) and ended up not using. In fact I had a whole slew of Lightening McQueen stuff I had collected before the boys’ Lightning McQueen party for party favors before it occurred to me that little girls would probably rather have little girl stuff instead of Lightning McQueen stuff.  :) And since we hadn’t moved to this school until after that party I had a whole new audience who would likely appreciate it.  :)

And luckily because there were 2 classes with as few as 7 or 8 boys or girls in one class and only 14 or 15 boys or girls in the other I was able to take advantage of those things I only had 10, 12, 14, or 16 of vs. having a whole class set of 25-30. While the classes got essentially the same things, one class got toolboxes, while the other class got lunch boxes. One class got reward stickers, the others got glitter stickers. One class got pencils, one class got pens. Etc.  And I didn't have to buy a thing, except candy.  Though I did end up giving away some hotwheels I will probably miss come birthday party time sometime I am sure as I only had 7 or 8 actual LMQ cars left

As it turned out I had exactly enough lunch boxes, but was two short in the class with the toolboxes.   Luckily enough that also happened to be the class with two of the kids that we knew from before we moved to this school who had come to the boys' party and already had toolboxes.  So they got the "lockers" I had picked up as "just in case" when I was scouring Walmarts looking for more toolboxes or lunch boxes after Valentines day - 2 years ago?  Win, win!

Same thing with the girls – as I was making past Christmas treats, or was planning to make future treats and saw things here and there I picked them up to add to my stash.    So the girls got quite an ecclectic collection of things from stamps, and pencils, to pulles, coloring books, and cups.

Though the packing really wasn't up to my typical standards.  In fact the ONLY  Brandi like packaging was the pencil sets – which I actually drafted Kevin into making much to his chagrin when at midnight I was rounding up supplies and realized that despite the fact SOMEWHERE IN THIS HOUSE there are a MILLION Christmas themed erasers I couldn’t find them. Though I did manage to locate a package two days before to make a sample. Someday I will discover them in the most unexpected place and run screaming madly though the house “I FOUND THEM!!!” 

Though despite my example showing everything perfectly straight, Kevin managed to get them in the package with much less attention to detail, and much more focus on “just getting this crap done!” and at 2:30 am when I got home after having searched two stores to no avail I didn’t even notice, and even if I had I wouldn’t have cared. My thanks at his having helped for the first time that I can remember in my treat packaging madness was quite heartfelt. I did however find another set of Christmas erasers though not the ever elusive originals to include the last 11 packages which I finished up just in time to see 3 am roll around.  :)

I had planned to assemble the girls' treats simply in little gift boxes that I picked up at Target last year.

Given the precarious packing and lack of space left in my oversized bags, floor, and car I opted to leave the girls’ unassembled to be finished at school just before putting them in the kids’ cubbies.

As it was it was a miracle I managed to get in the door at all with just 2 of the giant bags.  Not to mention two giant store bags carring the last odds and ends of the girls' stuff that aren't even pictured.  Needless to say it too me several trips.  And being loaded down like a pack animal I was anything but inconspicious.
It was funny as I tried as unobtrusively as possible to sneak back into the kids’ classes and put the boys’ treats in the cubbies. This school actually seems to breed precocious, inquisitive, and talkative children. Particularly the girls. And several of them came over to see what I was doing. I shooed them back to their work and after putting the last of the boys’ boxes in tried to sneak back out the door. Two of the little girls headed me off and asked ever so politely if I needed help carrying anything else in, as their cubbies still sat auspiciously empty. I assured them that I had not forgotten them and would be back in a little while with their treats, too. Once all the girls’ treats has been assembled and put in the cubbies I was heading out for the last time and Ellie, one of the little girls in Ryan’s class came over and asked sadly if she was going to be getting a treat, because there was still nothing in her cubby. Her cubby had been filled to the brim and there simply hadn’t been room to put anything in it so I had put hers up on the very top and mentioned to the teacher as I was leaving that 2 in fact had had to be put on top as there just wasn’t room and to please mention it to the kids’ parents at pick up time. When I told her that of course she was getting a treat, and pointed it out up on top of the cubbies she was estatic. I actually manged to pick the boys up slightly early (i.e. before the nick of closing time) and there were still several kids there. Ellie came running up beaming and drinking out of her snowman cup to thank me again, for such wonderful treats. It was so sweet I almost cried.  :)

A few extra special friends also scored the last of the left over penguins from the boys' 3rd birthday party instead of stamp sets. Of course I got called to the carpet by one of the other little girls who noticed quite astutely that I seemed to have forgotten her penguin.  :)   Now I remember why everyone is supposed to get EXACTLY the same thing!  :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Elf on the Shelf Arrives - North Pole Breakfast 2012

Elfie outdid himself this year.  Seriously.  WOW!

He decked the table and left us a scrumptious breakfast of strawberries, raspberries, and cinnamon rolls.  Though he himself was no where to be found...

He pulled out our favorite place mats, silver chargers, santa plates, and reindeer cups.

And red and white straws of course.  He tried red and white silly straws first, but they were just a tad too big for the cups and kept falling over.  :)

He set just about everything up the night before so that he didn't have to get up too much before the crack of dawn.  :)

He searched high and low trying out a variety of cake plates and pedestals before he finally remembered where he put these and the missing ramekins in the bowels of the cabinets.  :)   He made sure all the ramekins fit on the pedestal, and made sure there was still enough room for his friend "Snowflake" and his book, too, so that all he had to do in the morning was wash the fruit and pour it into the ramekins, and pull the cinnamon rolls out of the fridge and pop them into the toaster oven and hit start.  He even told the boys in his note that he may or may not have time to cook the rolls before he had to head back to the North Pole so we might need to to pop them in, hit start, and wait until our noses and the bell told us they were done.  :)

Though of course this was the ONE day that the boys slept late.  We ended up having to wake them up which of course left them bit cranky and out of sorts.  They are not morning people on any one's terms but their own.  :)

They weren't sure what to make of Snowflake at first and wondered where Elfie was and what was going on.  But once the sugar hit their system and we read Elfie's note explaining that Elfie was helping Santa out at the North Pole and his friend Snowflake was an elf in training and would be helping him out for a few days keeping an eye on the boys they warmed up and told Snowflake what they wanted for Christmas and everything was back to normal again. 

And they thoroughly enjoyed themseleves and scarfed down breakfast, and seconds, too.  :)

Elfie is missing

Call 991, or 911, or whomever it is you call when your elf has gone missing.

Operator: "What is your emergency?"
Us: "Our Elf is missing."
O: "Your ... elf... did you say?"
U: "Yes.  Our elf.  His name is Elfie."
O: "And Elfie is an ... elf?  Like from the ... North Pole?"
U: "Yes, an elf from the North Pole. But he was supposed to come stay with us until Christmas.  He never made it."
O: "But you are sure he left... the North Pole?"
U: "Well, no... He doesn't call ahead or anything, but he should be here by now."
O: "Because elves from the North Pole come to .... visit.... you often?
U: "Of course he does.  Who else is going to tell Santa if we are Naughty or Nice??"
O: "Because this missing ... elf ... from the ... North Pole... tells ... Santa... if you have been Good or not."
U: "Yes.  But he's missing!"
O: "Well, when did you last see him?"
U: "Last Christmas Day when I frantically shoved him at my husband and said "GET RID OF HIM!  QUICK!  Before the kids see him!"


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