Christmas Deployment Package

My husband is deployed. So, he didn't get too much for Christmas. We'll get him some things when he gets back, but I wasn't about to ship a bunch of stuff to him that he didn't need or couldn't use. So I decided to just send him some fun things this year.
For his Christmas package I did a "12 Days of Christmas". I scoured the internet for ideas, including lists of things people usually send to military members. Here is what I came up with.

1st day of Christmas -1 game of Battleship
2nd day of Christmas -2 cans of Pringles (he likes chips)
3rd day of Christmas -3 Fiber One bars (he is on some health kick)
4th day of Christmas -4 bags of combos
5th day of Christmas -5 hot chocolate accessory sets (marshmallow snowmen, peppermint sticks...)
6th day of Christmas - a card game of Fact or Crap (there were 48 cards, so '6' x8)
7th day of Christmas -7 small bags of candy (peppermints, candy coal, and orange jelly candies since we always get oranges in our stockings)
8th day of Christmas -8 bags of popcorn (4 different flavors)
9th day of Christmas -9 hot cocoa mixes (3 different flavors)
10th day of Christmas -a pair of Christmas-y socks, so he'll have 10 comfy toes.
11th day of Christmas -11 chocolate candy canes
12th day of Christmas -a tin with 12 gourmet butter cookies in it.

I had a little room left in the box, so I sent him some chocolate pudding, a travel sized nutella (comes with little bread sticks for dipping), and a back massager (it's plastic and looks like a hand). He says he'll put out a tip jar now and offer back rubs for his buddies.


Christmas Gifts 2012

Now that Christmas is over I can show you the things I made. I didn't do too many hand made gifts this year.
For one of my nephews I made a Bapron.

For my brother, a long time trekkie, I made a Star Trek apron. I even gave him the rank of Captain (hand embroidered).



For my older daughter I knitted a ballet sweater, since she often complains of being cold in her leotards.

My youngest got a marble maze toy. I don't think he has quite figured out what it's for though. But my other kids like it.

And for my younger daughter I made an art bag. She loves having her own colored pencils and coloring book.

I also made a bunk bed fort, so my kids don't have to use their blankets to make a fort every day (I didn't make windows or put words on mine). It went up that day and hasn't come down since. Sorry I don't have a photo.


Home Organization - Playroom

For this weeks organization challenge on A Bowl Full of Lemons we are doing the playroom. I do not have a separate play room. What I do have is a large family room where all the toys have an area. We don't yet have couches for our family room, so the play area is less contained than I'd like.

I admit that these are not current photos. They were taken in the summer. But things are pretty much still like this. Every few weeks things get really bad and the kids seem to dump out every toy they own. I gather them from all over the house (where they shouldn't really be). And then we sit in the middle and sort and put away.
I have gotten rid of a bunch of toys. Everything broken, or puzzles with more than 3 missing pieces got tossed. A whole slew of toys got donated. And things got put away up in boxes in the tops of the kids' closets to be rotated with the other toys later.
The bottom photo is how it's generally supposed to look. And they do look that way about once a week or so. But it never lasts. When my kids clean up their toys it's only about 2% cleaning and 98% playing with things they just found in the mess.

The train table is rarely used for train tracks, the floor just has so much more space to lay the tracks on. The drawers under the train table house the tracks and building blocks. The stuffed animals go in an old laundry basket. All the other toys are sorted into cloth bins. Each child has a color (purple, pink, blue or green) and has their toys in their bins. They have a matching bin with their other toys up in their closets. And some of the bigger toys go in the empty spaces of the shelf, or on top of it (or the train table apparently).
And please ignore the mess by the sewing machine...I haven't gotten to organizing my craft area :)