Elf on the Shelf: Tradition

The number one reason that we do the Elf on the Shelf in our house, is because the KIDS LOVE HIM!  They get out of bed each morning, eager to find him, they can’t wait to show me where he has landed each morning.  They love to talk about what Alfie has been doing to their friends.  We get to hear all kinds of stories about what other neighborhood elves are up to as well.

There is one Elf on the Shelf activity that we have done every year in our house.  Connor has loved it each year and by this year he was asking Alfie when he was going to bring magic seeds!  Fortunately Alfie doesn’t give away his time table for these activities…

elf on the shelf

Each year, Alfie brings a bagful of magic seeds (tic tacs) and a letter giving instructions on how to plant the seeds and some friendly reminders about behaviors.  Amazingly Alfie has brought the SAME LETTER with the same friendly reminders THREE years in a row!  Connor eat you dinner and Amelia get a good night’s sleep!

elf on the shelf

This year they grew into candy canes, but red and green candy canes.  In fact there were the same number of green and red seeds as there were green and red candy canes.  However, Connor did ask why they had wrappers….

Read about previous year’s magic seeds here:
Our first year
Our second year

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Elf on the Shelf: An upgrade

This year, Alfie, our Elf on the Shelf got a bit of an upgrade!  I had seen a few tutorials online before to make your elf’s arms and legs bendable, but mine didn’t see to go quite as others had posted so here is my suggestions!

elf on the shelf

Elf on the Shelf: Alfie 2.0

Step #1

Make sure that you have enough time alone with out little eyes sneaking up on you.  I ended up doing this at 4 am one morning when I couldn’t sleep, but yet I was almost caught by a wandering 2 year old.  Then gather your supplies! I used thread and needle, a seam ripper, bendable craft wire and some wire cutters.

elf on the shelf

Step #2

To insert bendable craft wire into your elf on the shelf, generously rip open the hands and feet of your elf.  Our Alfie’s limbs are stuffed with tubes of stiff paper and I really needed to see where I was poking the craft wire. I used some plastic covered craft wire I had on hand. I ended up sticking in wire as far as I could go and then trimming it off with wire cutters. I was able to put three lengths of wire into each limb. Basically I was looking to figure out the right amount I needed for the flexibility and hold I was after.

elf on the shelf

Our elf on the shelf only has openings are his feet, not the back of his knees as referred to in other tutorials.

Step #3

Once his craft wires are in place.  I did quick stitching to close up the openings! He is ready to go!

elf on the shelf

I also have some Velcro dots to attach to his hands so that he can hold on a bit better, but alone time for secret stitching is hard to come by!

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Elf on the Shelf: Week 2

Alfie, our Elf on the Shelf, has been busy this week!

While he was “scheduled” to appear in the dollhouse, he opted for the silo in the barn. Really any Little People toys make great Elf on the Shelf hiding places!

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He left a note for Connor and Amelia on the chalkboard.  He kept it simple since we only have one emergent reader.  He also held on to that chalk for dear life!

elf on the shelf

He also “found” kids stockings!  While I do refer back to my planning calendar, I also try and look at what is happening in our house at the moment and run with it.  This weekend we unpacked the decorations that don’t go on the tree since we are putting off getting our tree until later and Connor was getting anxious to decorate. I had the stockings tucked away so I could gauge my shopping (stop buying stocking stuffers when the stockings get filled) and their weren’t in the box.

elf on the shelf

He also built a tower out of Legos ahead of schedule after the kids left them out one evening. Connor also took it upon himself to write a note to Santa and ask Alfie to pass it along.  He asked Santa for more TMNT and flowers for Mama!

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Next Alfie landed on an actual shelf!  He was perched over a picture of the place that Daddy first kissed Mama and then asked me to marry him (a bit later on).  He returned a note from Santa in which he asked Connor and Amelia to be kind to one another.

elf on the shelfAlfie also took a ride on the pirate ship- an annual favorite!  But this year I somehow managed to forget to take a picture so this is last year’s!

Elf on the Shelf

What was your Elf on the Shelf up to last week?

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Elf on the Shelf: Week 1

Our Elf on the Shelf arrived the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Already he has been quite busy helping us get ready for Christmas!

He arrived via rocket ship!  I constructed the rocket-ship out of scrapbook paper after seeing a template at Sweet Paper Trail. It was too adorable not to try!

Alfie Rocketship

He also delivered 23 wrapped Christmas and winter books that we tuck away from this very occasion.  Apparently we own two copies of the Night before Christmas thus `Alfie wrapped up two together and we had 23 packages. He usually brings a whole box of goodies on December 24th so I am sure one more book won’t be missed!

Alfie delivers books

Next he hid amongst the glass ware in the dining room to check out dinnertime behavior!

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During November we had a gratitude tree in the living room.  Basically it was a dead tree branch from the yard stuck in a bucket of rocks.  The kids and I cut out paper leaves and wrote down things we were grateful for.  When Alfie arrived he swapped out the leaves for silvery stars!

Elf on the shelf

While we all know that the Elf on the Shelf can fly, Alfie took Dusty the airplane for a ride around the kitchen. Clearly Alfie did not consider the blog when he landed in a spot that gave a clear shot of the new walls and ceiling – sans crown molding!

elf on the shelf

Alfie, did get into a bit of mischief as we have seen other Elves on the Shelf do!  He got caught up in the slinky!  Not to worry – no messes and he was able to escape in time to get back to the North Pole to see Santa.

elf on the shelf

I am sure Alfie will be up to many more adventures this upcoming week too!

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Elf on the Shelf Planning Calendar

Oh…….. the Elf on the Shelf debate that rages on mommy blogs, Facebook and wherever else elf debates rage.  We are pro happy Elf!  Our elf, Alfie, doesn’t get into trouble and he doesn’t ever make a mess!  Connor even indicated that he was glad we didn’t have a messy elf! Connor understands that the elf is there to report to Santa, but it doesn’t appear to really be impacting his behavior all that much!

Both kids are over the moon, excited to find Alfie each morning.  Connor remembers every place that Alfie has ever land EVER and has so many questions.  Amelia stood in front of him the other morning shouting “Look, Mama, look!” until I came to see what all the noise was about.  As the kids get older and I get more tired, I knew I needed a better plan to keep up with the Elf!  I also remembered having some really cool ideas last year and not getting to them all because I wasn’t remembering things in time.

So I made an Elf on the Shelf Planning Calendar…. I know, I know.  The first time I saw one, I thought that mother was nuts too.  But gosh darn it – I am so tired at night.  I need a cheat sheet.  By the second night I already couldn’t figure out what to do with him, so I went back to the drawing board to come up with a plan for this year.  Built in with a few last minute ideas in case things got muddled.  Really, this is just a guideline for me – but it was a way for me to organize me thoughts and HAVE FUN with the elf!  That is the point after all!

The Elf on the Shelf Planning Calendar

Alfie Calendar 2014

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Christmas Bucket List

Ummmm…. hello internet!  I didn’t mean to take the whole month of November off from blogging!  I didn’t mean too – really!  After completing the 31 Day Challenge, I knew I needed to take it slower, but one whole post for November!  Oops!  Bad blogger!

I have a really good excuse!  We have been working really hard on our kitchen renovation – you know the project we started last MAY!  We were all fired up to do the demolition back then, but summer happened and well… nothing in the kitchen happened!

But Christmas is upon us!  And while we still have some more work in the kitchen that we want to get done before family comes to visit at the holidays, there is much to celebrate and many special ways make memories for our family!

Christmas bucket list

This is the same one I printed and laminated last year.  I specifically chose not to put a date on it so that we could use it year after year, creating our family traditions.  And I found it just last night!

Here is one for you to print: Christmas Bucket List

Stay tuned for our adventures with Alfie, our Elf on the Shelf!

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Apple Pumpkin Squash Soup

Apple Pumpkin Squash SoupMy favorite thing about fall is flavors of fall food.  Having a farm share at an organic farm also means that veggies don’t always last as long without chemicals and preservatives so sometimes it is all about using up what you have quick!  Looking at what was on the counter, I made some Apple Pumpkin Squash Soup!


I baked some delicata squash and  a few apples.  I baked them all whole and then cut cut the squash to scrap out the seeds.  I totally should have cored the apples first…. Then I tossed in the squash, apple and some leftover pumpkin (from the cookies) in a saucepan with some chicken stock.  Since all the veggies and fruit were well cooked, this was really just to warm everything up to the same temperature and to mix in the flavor from the chicken stock along with some spices.  I added a smidgen of curry, but mostly cinnamon and ginger.

soup 2

Then I pour the whole pot of apple, pumpkin and squash, along with some whole milk (we were out of heavy cream) into the blender until it was nice and creamy soup.

Apple Pumpkin Squash Soup is super yummy!

Apple Pumpkin Squash Soup

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