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Showing posts from December, 2017

Most Popular Blog Posts of 2017

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This year was very good for me as a blogger.  I joined a bunch of blogging support groups, and learned lots about the business.  I hosted my first ever giveaway and have been researching self-hosting.  I've also been working with Safari Ltd on their "How I Safari" campaign.  Here are the highlights of the past year organized by readership.

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I'm slightly surprised that my blog post "Gifts for Campers and Glampers" got so much attention this year.  It was part of my "All Wrapped Up" gift guide series, where I challenged myself to post every day in November.  It was a fun way to begin the Christmas season and one that I plan on continuing next year.





The 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation happened on Oct. 31 of this year.  I wrote this blog post to help families find activities they could do with their families.  Although the memorable anniversary has passed, the post will be useful every year for Ref…

JOY the Elf 2017 (elf on the shelf)

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Week 1- Nutcracker
Dec 4- Arrival from "Russia"
Our elf returned with her passport and suitcase.  She had been in Russia learning the Nutcracker ballet and wanted to introduce it to us!  The kids loved her costume.


Dec 5- Dancing Snowflakes
When we woke up this morning, we found beautiful, intricate snowflake ballerinas.  The kids tried paper snowflakes for themselves but found them a bit difficult for their skill level.


Dec 6- Nutcracker Music
Joy spent time in the Christmas Tree.  Easy.  We watched sections of the Nutcracker on Youtube and were surprised to hear many musical pieces that we recognized.


Dec 7- Nutcracker and Nuts
I thought I had a Nutcracker doll in the house, but I think I gave it away (minimizing/organizing kick).  I was wanting to show the kids the difference between the two types of nutcrackers.  Joy brought us a modern nutcracker and a bowl of nuts.  The kids had never cracked nuts before and really enjoyed the activity.  Next time, I need to give them less…

Movie-Themed Foster-to-Adoption Parties

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We adopted 3 kids from foster care and know first-hand how difficult it can be to find party ideas for adoptions.  It's even more difficult to find ideas when you're not adopting a baby or an international child.  I started this list as a way to brainstorm fun ideas as we were planning for our own finalization dates.

I realize that not every party theme will be applicable for every family, and I have included themes that are not ones that I would have for myself.  My hope is that this list will stimulate discussion between yourself and your kids and aid in your party planning.


Martian Child (aliens/space)

Free Willy (whales/ocean)

Angels in the Outfield (baseball)

Anne of Green Gables (tea party/garden)


Elf (candy/Christmas)


Despicable Me (minions!)

Meet the Robinsons (robots/science)

The Blind Side (football)

Cinderella/Tangled (princess)

Kung Fu Panda (China/pandas)

Up (balloons, outdoors)

Lilo and Stitch (Hawaii/luau)

The Book Thief (bookworm)


Finding Nemo/Dory (reef)

When we adopted Ski…