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Decorating Your Home for the Holidays on a Budget by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

Wow, the holiday season is fast approaching! We’ve barely put away the dishes for Thanksgiving and it’s time to start thinking about Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza.  With these tough economic times anything we can do to save money is a bonus.  It is possible to decorate your home for the holidays on a budget while keeping the kids busy and enjoying a little family togetherness. That’s what the season is all about, celebrating with family and friends.

A pack of construction paper in different colors, some ribbon, scissors, and glue can go a long way in creating decorations for your home.  Old holiday cards can be recycled into decorations by cutting out pictures on the front of the cards and pasting them on a background of colored construction paper.  These can be used as decorations for your Christmas tree or placed on your mantel or walls to create some holiday spirit.

Your children’s wallet size school pictures or even 3 X 5 photos can be mounted on a piece of construction paper or placed in a frame of popsicle sticks with a ribbon attached—you can even add a handwritten message like Christmas 2009 at the bottom.  These are great for your home or even as a gift for family, especially grandparents. 

Snowflakes, draedels, menorahs, or Kwanza candelabras can be cut out of construction paper to decorate your home or windows.

Be creative!  These are simple ways to get the whole family involved, keep your kids busy, and get your house decorated without breaking the bank.

Good luck and Happy Holidays from Motherhood Incorporated!

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them! Should you have any questions about Motherhood Incorporated either as a client or as a mom looking for work, please email me directly at sandra@motherhoodincorporated.com or you can check us out at www.motherhoodincorporated.com and www.sandrabeck.com.

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Creating a Memorable Thanksgiving by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

Thanksgiving is a holiday with many family traditions ranging from Grandpa at the head of the table carving the turkey to Grandma’s famous pumpkin pie.  It is a time for family and friends to gather and give thanks for the many blessings they have had throughout the year.

You can start your own new traditions as well and involve your children in the preparations.  If you have an older child that is able to write, have them create placecards for everyone at the table.  They can decorate these as well.  Placemats can also be created for everyone as well and younger children can be involved in this craft as well. These can be simply a piece of construction paper with drawings by each of your children.  If you are feeling really creative have your children make a handprint with paint on each placemat to make the feathers of the turkey and then cut out construction paper in the shape of a bowling pin for the body of the turkey.  You can add googly eyes  etc. as you see fit.

You and your family can write down all of the things you are thankful for (little ones can dictate these to you).  Make a paper flower  for each of these things you are thankful for and attach it to wooden kabob sticks or popsicle sticks and place them in a vase for a simple yet meaningful centerpiece for the table.

By involving the whole family in creating these thanksgiving mementoes you are creating your own Thanksgiving memories as well.

We at Motherhood Incorporated wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving !

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them! Should you have any questions about Motherhood Incorporated either as a client or as a mom looking for work, please email me directly at sandra@motherhoodincorporated.com or you can check us out at www.motherhoodincorporated.com and www.sandrabeck.com.

It's in the Celebrations

By Shannon Penrod

Last week my son turned 6 years old.  We decided to throw him a dance party.  It didn’t seem at all odd to me, he loves to dance and I wanted to do something that wouldn’t revolve around food and wouldn’t cost a small fortune.  Solution: Dance Party!  IMG00270-20090605-2059We found a great warehouse space that comes with a trampoline, a bouncy house, a Wii and an Xbox 360 (both hooked up to big screen TVs) – the rent was ridiculously cheap and I bartered the services of a great DJ. 

I did this for a little boy who has worked so hard to overcome autism.  My mom and my husband and I watched him at the party, which my friend Therese called a six year old rave, and we couldn’t believe how social he was.

Just three and a half years ago we realized there was a problem when we went to a friend’s birthday party and our son sat in the corner by himself, humming as he played with a Buzz Lightyear toy, he never even noticed there were other children at the party.  Last week he was the belle of the ball, laughing and running from activity to activity, talking to his friends, answering when his friends called him, even cracking jokes.  It was a great night, and it was filled with family and friends who had shown up to celebrate with us.

Towards the end of the party I had a moment.  You know one of those rushes of feeling and clarity that kind of takes your breath away.  I looked at my mom and my son and was acutely aware of how quickly time passes and how precious every moment is.  There were several moments when I considered not having a birthday party for my son this year – In this economy…aren’t we all carefully considering every expenditure? 

But as I looked around that warehouse room and saw all the faces of people we love and that love us, I knew that this would be a night my family would always remember.  In ten years we aren’t going to remember all of the daily struggles to pay bills and buy biomeds and secure therapy hours, we’re going to remember the celebrations.  I thought about the last ten years and the weddings, graduations, births and home comings we’ve enjoyed, there have been hard times too and even a few funerals, but when all is said and done, it’s the celebrations we remember the most.  I’m awfully glad that we took the time to find the joy in life, now I know…it’s in the celebrations

On the Joys of the Office Family Party by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck

 

My sons think that their Uncle is very brave. He works with pirates, you see. They saw them with their own eyes at my office children’s party.

For one day, the office and the family called a truce.  For too long, ‘his Uncle’s work’ has been seen as a monolithic grey monster that inexorably and mysteriously swallows their uncle for sometimes months at a time. The party has given them some fantastical images about what happens between the times their uncle visits.sailboats

The corporate dining hall crackled with good tempered anarchy, The disheveled suits enjoyed the chance to be ‘humanised’ by their families. For that day only, their children became a great leveler. Parents of babies bonded over sleep loss; parents of toddlers bonded of shamefaced apologies for their little ones over enthusiastic participation.

My company had a family party too – but it was all women, great food,  and a lots of laughs. On the one hand, I’m regretful that my kids and I missed on a barrel full of laughs with my co-workers and their families.  However, I tremble at the prospect of showcasing the ineffectiveness of my legendary hard-nosed negotiating skills in the face of one of my son’s tantrums.

For a business, I think that inviting families into the office gives all the right signals and support to your staff. Too many social occasions focus around late nights and alcohol. These can be great fun for those who are able to give up an evening of their time, and able to enjoy the free flowing drinks. Too often, they will exclude responsible parents – whether its the father or uncle who is expected to look after the children at night, or the pregnant woman who abstains from alcohol. However, for a business, it is often the family minded employees who are the most motivated and settled. A family office party is a way of saying ‘thank you’ to them.

It is a lovely idea. The kids are left with magical memories. The adults feel appreciated and understood.

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

www.sandrabeck.com

 

Daymaker Challenge Day 27- Say Cheese by Deb Gillespie and Dahna Weber

You may not know this but….Polaroid is ceasing to sell the instant film real soon.  For fun and for posterity why not take your old one out to a party over the next few days and shoot some shots.  The idea is to take some great shots and pass them out the people you managed to capture.  There really is something retro about the Polaroid and fantastic about having real printed out picture.  How many people can you make say cheese and smile in one night?  by Deb Gillespie and Dahna Weber

Daymaker Challenge Day 25 Be a Secret Santa by Dahna Weber and Deb Gillespie

Haven’t you always wanted to be a secret santa? Here’s your chance and today’s daymaker challenge. This is something the kids might want to get in on, too. Pick up a little gift. Something small and inexpensive (under $5). Wrap it up. Take a little walk or drive in the car. And when no one is around and watching you, drop the gift in someone’s mailbox. It is better if you don’t know who lives at the house where you drop the gift. This way it is the ultimate in secret santa giving!

By Dahna Weber and Deb Gillespie

Daymaker Challenge Day 23 Make a Snowman By Deb Gillespie and Dahna Weber

Here’s a really fun challenge. Get outside and build a snowman or a snowlady for your neighborhood. You can build it in your yard, someone else’s or in the schoolyard or park. I don’t know about you, but whenever I drive by a snowman, it makes me smile! It brings me back to my childhood. The kids will have fun building with you. Get the neighborhood kids to join in. Rummage through the closets for an old hat to put on top and bring this baby to life!

By Deb Gillespie and Dahna Weber