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Merry Christmas!

Christmas Scripture

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

We actually get to celebrate Christmas on Christmas this year!!! You don’t know how rare that is in a firefighter family, so we are pretty tickled! It’s also our littlest baby’s first Christmas, and she is already intrigued by all the lights and sounds around her.

Wishing you a blessed day with people you love!

Want to hear about our more typical firefighter family Christmas? Read about our Firefighter’s Family Christmas last year!

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Merry Firefighter’s Family Christmas!

Santa at the fire department

Santa at the fire department

When you marry someone in public safety, one of the quickest thing you need to learn is flexibility.

Holidays, anniversaries and birthdays may be celebrated on completely different days than they actually fall on, because someone in public safety has shifts that fall when they fall, regardless of the special days they might fall upon, and their services are necessary 365 days a year. If you can’t handle that, don’t marry someone in that field of work. It is the least of my gripes with being married to someone in public safety, honestly, because I wasn’t raised with holidays being a big deal (we didn’t celebrate Christmas at all), but it’s a huge issue for a lot of families.

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In my case, my husband is a firefighter paramedic. We often have ornaments like this Firefighters Courage Under Fire Christmas Ornament
on our tree, read our children this kind of book Firefighter’s Night Before Christmas, and you’re likely to get something like this Firemen to the Rescue Christmas Cards from us in the mail. He works 24 hour shifts, often pulling 48s between two different fire departments. This year he won’t be home from a 48 hour shift until probably 10am Christmas Eve, and has to be back early Christmas morning, so those days just don’t work for us to celebrate Christmas on. Our Christmas is officially December 26, when he actually can get home early enough to enjoy the sleepy eyed wonderment of our munchkins.

So….today is Christmas in this firefighter household. Merry Christmas and God bless from our family to yours, especially those who are also shifting those holidays around for similar reasons! Any other firefighter families out there?

Need gift ideas for your active guy? Look at my budget friendly gifts for active men!


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Mom In Heaven

Mama and me

Mama and me

December 20th was the seventh anniversary of my mom’s passing. She was only 44 at the time. I had no idea how I was going to face life without my mom, because she was my best friend, mom and everything all rolled into one amazing woman. Life has gone on, but it will never be the same. I wrote a poem about her on the 20th, but was hesitant to share it here. It’s “off topic”, and not my best work. I decided to go ahead. Maybe it will touch someone else struggling with facing life and/or the holidays without a loved one they feel should be here to celebrate with them…

If you had asked when I was young

How long I thought my mom would live,

I’d have told you she’d outlive us all

And still have time to give.

If you had told me she’d be gone

When she was only 44,

I’d have called you crazy

And not listened anymore.

If I had known that she’d be gone

Before her time should be,

I’d have done all I could do

To keep her here with me

If I were given the chance

To see her once again,

I’d tell her how much I love her,.

Thank her for all she’d been.

She lived more in her short life

Than many who are old and gray

She was the best mom she could be,

And I miss her every day.

When she knew the end was nearing,

She had little left undone.

She just wished she’d see me married,

Get to hold the children of her daughter and son.

When I look at her grandbabies,

I see her sparkle and her smile,

I feel her love and laughter,

See her dancing silly and wild.

I know her love is with us,

And in our hearts, she’ll never die,

But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss her

Or in the darkness cry.

If I could give my mom a present

I’d fly all of us up to Heaven,

And spend a day with her in

The place she’s been for seven.

In Loving Memory of My Mom, Dorinda

Mom, Nana and me

Mom, Nana and me


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National Free Shipping Day!!!

free shipping day

December 18 is National Free Shipping Day, with no minimum orders and hundreds upon hundreds of participating retailers….and guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve!!

For the frugal procrastinators among you, or just those with something they need to order for later, this is a humdinger of a day!! Which retailer are you going to order from?

I suggest ordering some of these items from Amazon if you have an outdoorsy guy or new mommy and baby on your list

Here is the link with the listing of all the great places you can order from during this one day promotion:

http://www.freeshippingday.com/


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Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments

Baked Ornaments

Mommy's Ornament

Mommy’s Ornament

One of my favorite traditions I’ve established with my little ones is to make new tree

Jingle Bell Ornament

Jingle Bell Ornament

ornaments each year and to make some sort of fun & yummy Christmas treat together every year. Last year we made Beaded Christmas Ornaments. This year I decided to try the classic salt dough ornaments, which was a first for both me and my five year old daughter. They are simple to make, and so much fun! If you choose to do these, allow for at least an hour to mix and knead the dough, cut the shapes and then let them bake for 30 minutes. You’ll need to allow them to cool, and if you won’t have time to paint then, just put them up to paint another day. I’ll share the link to the recipe I used at the end of the post.

First, we had fun measuring, mixing and kneading that dough.

Shaped ornaments

Shaped ornaments

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Next, we enjoyed choosing the cookie cutters to use and pressing out all the fun shapes

Snowman and Stocking Ornaments

Snowman and Stocking Ornaments

we’d chosen.  This set gives a great variety to choose from Set of 6 Christmas Cookie Cutters
! I rolled a little ball and pressed it on the face of one snowman to see if it

Christmas stocking ornament

Christmas stocking ornament

would turn out okay as a nose, and it really did.

We wound up with so many shapes already, I molded some various fun figures with the leftover dough for a second batch to cook up. I also pressed each child’s hand into the dough and cut out the print, which is probably going to be one of my favorite keepsakes for the tree.

Once the ornaments were baked and cooled, I set out newspaper, paints and

bowls of water. I let my little missy paint hers however she pleased, as you can see from the various pictures. (Washable Kid’s Paint
is your friend!) I painted one with her, which made her really happy, too.

 

Painting ornaments

Painting ornaments

Once they were dry, I let her glue shiny shapes onto a couple of her ornaments, and she thought that was quite the fancy touch.

We were supposed to seal them, but I don’t have any sealant, so they are just going without for now. I want to get some Mod Podge Sealant
before we put them up so they will last.

I had some gold cord already in my craft stash, so I just cut lengths of that and knotted them, then let my little girly girl hang them on our tree. She was over the moon with the results. She also said making ornaments with Mommy was one of her favorite things she’d done in a long, lonnnnnng time! Good enough for me. 🙂

What shapes would you want to make your ornaments in? Here is the recipe we used:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Ornament-Dough/

Here is a fun little ebook about Christmas crafts for kids: Christmas Crafts for Kids: Easy Christmas Crafts Your Kids Will Love Making!

If you don’t have a Kindle, but want to be able to read e-books like the one above, here is a free app that will help you out: Amazon.com – Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices

 

Flower and Cowboy Hat Ornament

Flower and Cowboy Hat Ornament


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Get Amazon Prime FREE!!

Amazon Prime Free Trial

Amazon Prime Free Trial

Did you know that you can get a 30 day free trail of Amazon Prime? This is the perfect time to take advantage of this deal, with all of the online shopping we are all doing during the crunch for Christmas gifts. Some of the perks you can enjoy with Amazon Prime membership include not only FREE two day shipping with no minimum order size, but unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs, you can watch over 40,000 movies and TV episodes, borrow Kindle books, etc. If you do any of these things regularly, it’s worth the $99, anyway, but the free trial is beyond worthwhile & affordable even for the dead broke among us. 🙂

Please follow my referral link below and take advantage of this terrific offer! If you don’t want to continue the membership by paying, simply cancel within 30 days (if you join today, Christmas is a good reminder that it’s time to go ahead and cancel if you don’t want to pay up). Easy peasy! 🙂

Shop Amazon – Give the Gift of Amazon Prime
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Christmas Bead Ornaments

Bead Ornaments

 Bead Ornaments

My 4 year old loves crafts and Christmas, so I’ve had to come up with alot of random crafty things for her to do that are Christmas related. One thing she has especially enjoyed is beading. She’s done ornaments, as well as making bracelets and necklaces galore. We even made a camo bracelet for her baby brother.  I also had to come up with a way to include her 19 month old brother in her new favorite activity, which I’ll share in a second. 🙂

Concentrating on beading

Concentrating on beading

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

She made a few candy canes and a wreath to hang on our little Christmas tree. I just twirl one end of a Creativity Street Stetems/Pipe Cleaners 12″ X 4mm 100-Piece Assorted Colors
to hold the Pony Beads Multi Color 9mm 1000 Pcs in Bag
on and shape the finished beads into whatever we are making. She enjoys making a pattern by laying out beads in the color scheme we are going to use,  and then using that to remind her of the order her colors should go on her pipe cleaner.

Her brother was jealous after she’d made bracelets for herself and me, so I came up with a camo themed bracelet idea. He wears it proudly, and Daddy isn’t the least bit bothered by his son wearing a camo bracelet like he might be of Princess Peach’s suggestion of purple and pink for her brother’s bracelet. 😉

 

Camo bracelet

Camo bracelet

 

Of course, I couldn’t leave the little guy out of all of this Christmas fun! I was looking at his little face, which he would’ve stuffed with all of the pretty candy colored beads, and had an AHA!! moment. I strapped him in his highchair, handed him a pipe cleaner and dumped a handful of multigrain Cheerios on his tray. Tada! Edible beads for baby! He was thrilled to be doing what big sister was doing, and I was happy that both of my children were safely entertained. 🙂

Baby beading Cheerios

Baby beading Cheerios

This is a super cheap and easy activity that will keep Princess Peach busy for hours, and my little squirt happily engaged for as long as 20 or 30 minutes. Anyone who has ever cared for small children 24/7 knows that a fun activity like that is priceless!

What are you keeping the little ones in your life busy with during the holiday season? Need another idea? Check out my popular Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments!