Archive | December, 2010

Success! (And holiday ideas, part 2)

20 Dec

Ok, I apologize for slacking a bit on blog posts during the past couple weeks. I was trying to finish up final projects for the semester, so I got a little distracted. In any case, I’m on break now, and I’m eager to catch everyone up on all the excitement of my parent/student life! What excitement? First of all, Sean and I made it to our holiday break without any major disasters. Hooray! Oh, and the other part of the excitement is confirming that being a successful student and parent simultaneously is possible indeed! Why? Because Sean and I just got our grades back, and both of us have straight A’s! Not only did we survive, but we excelled! Of course, we probably wouldn’t have done this well if we hadn’t had help from our family, so we’re both very thankful to all who helped us with Hannah (special shout out to Nana and Grandma Jan!).

And now, to continue with my previous blog post, I have a few more ideas to add to the list of inexpensive ways to celebrate the holidays. For starters, last week we took Hannah to see Santa at Chandler Fashion Center. Yes, the pictures are pretty pricey (we didn’t buy any this year, so I’ve included one Sean took instead), but a short visit with Mr. Claus is free. He also handed out little books to the kids, and elves were standing around reading to the children while they waited in line. Hannah was a bit nervous around Santa, even though she talks about him nonstop. I think she’s in “stranger danger” mode right now, which probably isn’t such a bad thing!

We’re also planning to take Hannah to see the huge Christmas tree at the Outlets at Anthem. I’ve read that it’s the tallest in Arizona, but I’ve also read it’s the tallest in the nation. I guess I need to do a little more research on that part. In any case, it may cost a few dollars in gas to drive to Anthem (assuming you live in the Phoenix area and not another state), but there is no cost to see the tree and walk around the shops. Whether or not you decide to actually shop is another story…

Another idea: baking. Tomorrow we’re taking Hannah to my sister’s house to decorate Christmas cookies. Holiday treats can be pretty expensive, but buying the ingredients and making them yourself is usually not as damaging to your wallet–and it’s a lot more fun. As I mentioned in my last post, is a great place to find fun projects, but I’ve actually found some great recipes on, too. I’ve also learned through the years that frosting can easily be made from powdered sugar, milk, butter and vanilla rather than investing in the expensive cans of it. Then you can just add food coloring, and you have a bunch of different colors from just one box of powdered sugar. And the nice thing is, a little goes a long way.┬áCan you tell I’ve done this before? I’m kind of a fan of do-it-yourself baked goods.

If you do nothing else, go check out the holiday lights in your neighborhood! Walking around the block is free, and you might see some cool displays. Hannah just loves to see all the houses lit up, and frankly, so do I! We (finally) put ours on the house yesterday, and she was eager to watch–and help.

I hope some of those ideas are helpful! Now, back to enjoying some family time while I still can!