Miscellaneous: Elf on the Shelf Days 8, 9, 10, and 11

Turtle RacingSee the title? It rhymes with the last one. All this elf nonsense has me thinking in rhymes all the times! But I digress…
Day 8 found our elf racing a turtle. This is one of those ideas that I found someone else’s poem for, and went with it! (There really are not many poems out there. Apparently not everyone leaves notes every day. I am really wishing that I didn’t decide to do this as well…). The note for the day:
“I decided to take the car for a spin.
I was racing a turtle–I think I win!”
It is definitely nice to have these little notes printed and ready for my lazy nights!

Elf KissesDay 9? Yeah, this is another of those already found ones:). Clyde left elf kisses out for the kidlets. The note for the day reads:
“With little Elf eyes watching you,
There’s not a lot that Santa misses.
So to help you be good today,
Here are some sweet Elf kisses!”
The biggest problem with this one is that Clyde took my baking kisses, and now I need to go buy more for the cookies!!

Elf in the TreeI really didn’t intend to do three pre-done antics in a row (I wanted to save them for the days I was really not being creative), but unfortunately, we put up our tree and decorated it. So the Elf in the Tree had to happen that night–it would have been weird if Clyde waited. So, Clyde appeared in the tree, happy as can be, with a note for the kidlets three:
“Look what I see!
You decorated the tree!
It looks so pretty–
Did you do it just for me?”

Elf on the Advent CalendarsI am now all caught up on Clyde’s antics! This morning we woke to find him on the advent calendars–we each have a candy cane advent calendar (made by yours truly), and Clyde was hanging from the top of Daddy’s. Daddy doesn’t remember to eat his candy cane every day, so his was the logical choice–otherwise Clyde would have messed up the countdown! Clyde even had candy cane left on his mouth (we have fruit flavored ones, so he had to eat a blue one so the kids could see it!)ElfontheAdventCalendar2
The note for the day? This is what it did say!
“Your advent calendars are so very fun,
I did eat a candy cane, but only just one.
I took it from Daddy’s, I know he won’t mind,
He hasn’t been eating them anyway, you’ll find!”

Stay tuned for more elf antics!

Miscellaneous: Elf on the Shelf Days 5, 6, and 7

Elf on Bugs ShelfThe elf has been busy every day-as have we all!  Day 5 found Clyde in Bug’s room–apparently it was too messy for his liking.  He left her a little note telling her to clean it up (which she did, but I discovered that she just shoved everything into the corners.  Is that really cleaning? It looked better at least…).  The note said,
“Christmas is coming, your room is a mess.
Can you please clean up? I would be so impressed!
It may not be fun, but it’s easy to do.
You can make it much neater.  I believe in you!”

Elf on the boys' shelfOn day 6, Clyde had moved over to the boys room.  Bug, Meeska and I were heading to Disneyland for the day to meet a friend of mine, so Clyde appeared in Meeska’s Mickey Mouse airplane.  His note for the day read,
“Hey Meeska, I hear you will see your best friend!
Remember to have lots of fun at D-land.
And be nice to your sister and the new friends you’ll meet,
because making new friends sure can’t be beat!
And K-Dogg, you’ll do great at school today.
I’m sure you will get another time to play.
Keep being good, being nice to each other,
being nice to your friends, you aunt, dad, and your mother!”
Now, before you worry that poor K-Dogg didn’t get to come on a trip to Disney with us… He got to go to two hockey games with his dad the last week, and Bug was feeling left out.  So the trip was her special thing.

Making Reindeer FoodDay 7 found us on the weekend–Saturday morning. I wanted Clyde to set something fun up for the kids, so he got out the baking (well, mixing bowls). Clyde was found in the kitchen surrounded by several bowls, and holding a wooden spoon (you’ll notice he also had his Mickey plane–I think he flew downstairs in it. The kids didn’t notice that one…). Clyde set it up for the kids to mix up our reindeer food for Christmas Eve.  He had a bowl of oats, and three smaller bowls of the mix-ins (one for each kidlet). He also had set out his recipe card for them to follow–the kids then just needed to dump the stuff in with the oats and stir it up. Easy peasy baking for them! Oh yeah, the note for the day read:
“Yesterday you all were so very good,
I told Santa about it (you knew I would!).
Today, I started to help you to make
Reindeer food for the reindeer to take.
Please help mix it up, I’ve measured it all,
You just need to stir it all up in a bowl.
Then on Christmas Eve, sprinkle outside with care,
For the reindeer to munch on when Santa is there!”

Want to see the recipe card? Click Reindeer Food Recipe Card!

Miscellaneous: Elf on the Shelf Day 4 – Santa Got Captured!

Clyde's Been CapturedFour days in and still going strong!  Tonight Clyde got captured by some of his army buddies (and an ewok, a storm trooper, some weird worker figures…whatever I could find).  Apparently they didn’t like his fishing antics of last night, and thought to teach him a lesson. So poor Clyde got tied to a catapult.

If you notice in the back corner, Santa got captured as well.  What did Santa do?  We don’t know, but he must have been naughty as well!  I will leave that to the kidlets’ imaginations tomorrow morning, when they find Clyde;) Santa was Captured too!

Easy setup tonight, though a bit time consuming.  I had no idea we had so many of these figures!  And, of course, there is a note to go with them.  Tonight’s note read:

“Okay, I admit I was a little bit bad.
But it wasn’t that naughty, only a tad.
But these guys didn’t think so, they caught me you see!
They tied me up to this catapult and were going to fling me!
I promise to be better!  I hope you will be too.
But the real question now is, what did Santa do?
Love Clyde”

Bug needed a little reference to up her behavior a bit–I had to add it in there!

And here is the wild west photo shot:

Elf in the Wild Wild West

Miscellaneous: Elf on the Shelf Day 3

Elf on the PottyThis elf is a lot of work–even using ideas found on the Internet! I know that I could just move it around the house, without all the attachments, but once I discovered what some people do with their elves… Well, I have to keep up! That, and K-Dogg is getting to the age where he doesn’t really believe, and I keep hoping that the elf antics will help hook him back in to childhood. At least for another year.
Elf on the Potty 2
So today our elf appeared in the bathroom–fishing goldfish out of the toilet, using a candy cane fishing rod. I used beading wire tied to the extra plastic at the straight end of the candy cane (the loop is the rod’s “handle”) and tied the other end around the tail of a goldfish cracker. I also dumped a few goldfish crackers in the toilet–I figured that they would soften overnight and not be an issue (hopefully!).

I did put Clyde’s booty in a wet wipes container–I was a little worried that he would go for a swim otherwise (especially since the candy cane is much heavier than he is). I added a tag with the poem “Fishing in the potty is only a little bit naughty”. Although I found the poem on the Internet, I made up my own little note cards using Clyde’s “writing” (I.e., the same handwritten font on my computer) and his signature, to make it more personal to our family. Gotta keep using that name, now that he has one!

Miscellaneous: Elf on the Shelf Day 2 – Elf Recovery

ElfontheShelf-2Our Elf survived:).  Clyde reappeared today on the mantel, toting a jar of Magic Recovery Dust, another letter, and a picture of him being helped by Santa himself!

As I mentioned previously, Clyde suffered a fall night before last, and had to be touched to be picked up off the floor (in a house with 3 kids and 3 dogs, it is dangerous to leave him lying around).  Bug was very upset with the idea that Clyde would lose his magic, and did not like when he had to be picked up.  (She was even more upset when he had to be picked up again after her little brother knocked him off his perch again, but Boo doesn’t really understand the concept yet.)

We needed a way to deal with this, and a way to deal with it should it happen again (which is likely).  So he came with his own jar of Magic Recovery Dust (silver, pink and green glitter in a small votive jar that I cleaned out and de-labeled).  I added a tag to let them know exactly what it is and put it in Clyde’s lap, in the hope that they won’t take it themselves (it is meant for the grown-ups in the family to help the recovery).

Clyde and SantaClyde also returned with this photo of him being “dusted” by Santa.  Clyde stated in his letter that he made it back to the North Pole, and I wanted to offer the kidlets a visual.  I Photoshopped together a picture I found online of a lit up Christmas tree in the snow, a picture of Santa, and a picture of Clyde (I did some manipulations on them to make them a bit more cartoon-y).  I then added a trail of Magic Recovery Dust from Santa to Clyde’s head.

And now we have an out, should Clyde fall again!  I wanted to make sure that the kids knew that it was an accident, and accidents are not as bad as deliberately disobeying the rule of no-touching Clyde.  If they do decide to touch him (which happened last year–Clyde disappeared for several days that time), well, Clyde may be gone for a while.  He may even need to visit the North Pole Hospital 😉

Want to see today’s letter from Clyde?  Click below!

Letter from Clyde Post-Fall

Miscellaneous: Elf on the Shelf Day 1

ElfontheShelf-1It’s that time of year again! All our friends elves seem to be making appearances, and it was about time that ours appeared too. We had a talk last night with little Bug about the elf, and we discovered that we never named him last year. So she named him, and I went online and registered our elf at www.elfontheshelf.com We figured that would bring him home to us. 🙂

Sure enough, this morning we awoke to Clyde sitting on our Merry Mailbox, who brought us a couple letters with him. Clyde needed to remind the kids of the rules, and he also appeared with his Certificate of Adoption and a letter from the big red guy himself. Both the certificate and the Santa letter can be found at the Elf on the Shelf website. The letter from Clyde was modified from one I found at Lil’ Luna.

I should note that Bug found Clyde on the floor this morning–apparently he fell from his perch during the night. Unfortunately, that means he needed to be touched to be picked up–a big no-no in the Elf world. So tonight he needs some recovery (stay tuned for how I dealt with it!)

Want to see the letters Clyde brought? Click the links below!

Letter from Clyde
Letter from Santa
Clyde’s Certificate of Adoption

Miscellaneous: Laundry and Dishwasher Soap

20121013-103346.jpgI made detergent! Lots of people do, but I never have. So this is news around my house.
I had been seeing lots of pins on Pinterest about making your own laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent, and it made me interested. Especially since I do sooooo much laundry around this house (three kids, three adults, three dogs makes for quite a bit of mess) and I thought that it would be nice to have a large amount for much less money. So I tried it out.
It turns out the actual process of making the soap is not that time consuming. I bit of mixing and some grating. The only issue I had was finding a bowl large enough to hold all the soap while I was mixing it (I never found one–I just mixed it in a garbage bag). I have yet to try out the laundry detergent–I am still trying to finish off the last bottle of store bought. And I don’t want to tell my sister when I try it out–she has skin allergies and I want to see if it irritates her without telling her when I use it because she thinks it is going to bother her (yes, Kristy, I am playing mind games with you…).

20121013-104225.jpgI also made dishwasher detergent, and that I HAVE tried out, and it is fantastic! The white film on my glasses has disappeared, and I am very excited about that! I put both of my detergents in glass jars, which I etched with glass etch just for fun. The laundry detergent makes about 2 gallons of soap, so I divided it into two 1-gallon jars. (There are 2-gallon glass jars out there, but I wanted my soap in screw-top jars and the 2-gallon ones didn’t screw. I thought having the screw top would seal it better, since it is soap–I want to keep water out until I use it!).
Here are the recipes I used in case you want to try too!

Laundry Detergent:
1 box Borax
1 box A&H baking soda
1 box A&H washing soda
1 large tub OxyClean
3 bars Fels-Naptha soap, grated

Mix it all up, and use 1-2 tablespoons per load. Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser for an extra clean rinse!
Recipe from beingcreativetokeepmysanity.blogspot.com!

Dishwasher Soap:
1 1/2 cups Lemi-Shine
1 1/2 cups A&H washing soda
1/2 cup A&H baking soda
1/2 cup sea salt

Mix it all up, and use 1-2 tablespoons per load. Add vinegar to the jet-dry dispenser or to a cup in the top rack of the dishwasher for a rinse aid.
Recipe from theecofriendlyfamily.com!

(I have read that vinegar can degrade plastic parts, at least in the dishwasher. Use these recipes at your own risk!)

05/2013 UPDATE: I just ran out of laundry soap, and believe me, I do a LOT of laundry. So this stuff lasts quite a while. And I love it. It works just as well as the other brands I was using (which admittedly is not perfect, but I saw no difference in quality) and the price and longevity can’t be beat. The dishwasher soap, on the other hand, was a total fail…

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