Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

WALLET-blog

 

We’re giving away a mountain of Wallets this week! To enter, post a NEW photo of your crappy, velcro-stricken, genuine “leather”, held-together-with-bubble-gum wallet and use #TakeMyCrappyWallet on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. 30 of our favorite entries will be chosen to exchange their crappy, velcro-stricken, etc., etc., wallet for a rugged slab of full grain bovine beauty. Their poor taste in wallets forgiven, five of those 30 winners will also receive a $100 Saddleback Gift Certificate!

You’ll also want to keep tabs (get it?) on our social channels for a thorough review from Dave on these shameful currency carriers.

 

 

Recap:
  • Must be a NEW post on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. (Don’t have an account on Instagram or Twitter? Sign up!)
  • Use #TakeMyCrappyWallet in your post
  • 30 winners get to exchange their wallet for one of ours*. Of those, five winners also get a $100 Saddleback Gift Certificate!
  • Dave and Joe are shooting a video, so stay tuned
  • Post as many times as you want
  • We’ll pick winners one week from today
  • Talk to us on our social channels if you have questions
  • Bonus points for making us laugh

*doesn’t include the Big Wallet or the Long Trifold Wallet

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Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

Blog-2

 

By Herndon Hasty (Digital Performance Manager)

Depending on what part of the world you’re in, this has largely either been an exceedingly mild or cold winter. You’re either knee-deep in the cold and snow, or still have it coming to you.

This is a guide for those who still have it coming to you. The lucky suckers who’ve made it through so far without Jack Frost socking you in the jaw…yet.

As a survivor of many a Midwest winter war, and the annual ice storms that make their way through Texas (we do get snow and ice here…don’t let anyone tell you any different), let me share a couple of tips and tricks for getting through the snow and ice, and ensuring your survival through baseball season.

Amazon and online stores are your friend. The answer to beating tough winter weather is to be prepared well ahead of storms. Of course, as soon as bad weather starts up, the first thing everyone does is dash out to the Home Depots and Targets of the world for winter gear and implements. Pretty quickly, they’re out, and you’re out of luck. Even when there aren’t storms on their way, the important stuff can wind up picked over.

If you have enough time to see a storm coming, and especially if you’re an Amazon Prime member and can get two-day shipping for free, you can get everything from gloves to snow shovels in ready supply. Speaking of…

Don’t skimp on the ice scraper. In cold-weather states, they practically hand out massive ice scrapers with your driver’s license or a gallon of milk. The big two-foot long suckers. They’re everywhere, and they’re all you can get. But venture much further outside of the danger zone, and the palm-sized ones are all you can find. It’ll fit in a glove compartment, but isn’t good for much more than a light frost.

Of course, if your only other option would be a credit card, the little guy is a thousand times better, and leave you able to pay for your lunch. But – the lack of reach and torque comes at a price: You’ll be scraping twice as long as you need to, throwing yourself over your hood for that bit in the middle, and giving your hand a massive cramp for the effort.

Find space for the big guy in your trunk or back seat, and come the blizzard you’ll get your car cleaner, faster, still have use of your hands afterwards.

Blog-1


Bag up your feet.
The only thing worse than cold toes when you’re trying to walk to work or scrape your sidewalk are cold and wet toes. Cold is bad, but when the mercury drops, wetness is your enemy. At best it makes you approximately six times more miserable than you might otherwise be, and at worst it’s hypothermia’s express lane. Rain, snow and sweat are all coming for you, and they have to be stopped.

To stop the first two in their tracks, take that layering you’re supposed to do in cold weather to a new level. You know that wad of plastic grocery bags you keep under the sink for something someday? Now’s their chance to shine. Put on your first pair of socks. Then wrap foot in one of those plastic bags. Seal it up with another pair of socks over top. That adds enough warmth to beat the cold, and the plastic bags will keep moisture out of the clothing against your skin.

If pride will permit, top your shoes off with those bags, too. You’ll feel like something out of your grandparents’ up-a-hill-both-ways stories about surviving cold weather in the good ‘ol days, but they were on to something. Keeping your shoes dry not only ensures that your socks stay dry, but helps preserve them against the water, salt and sand that they’ll be up against.

If Saddleback made shoes, this wouldn’t be a problem – bring on that weathering and toughness. But for the moments your footwear says something closer to Cole Haan than Timberland or Justin, you’re better off trying to shield them, and sometimes you just don’t have one of those nifty little sheaths (or a spare shower cap) nearby. In those moments, naming them Walgreens or Piggly Wiggly may be the better part of valor.

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Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

Blog

 

By Herndon Hasty (Digital Performance Manager)

I stepped out of the plane into London Gatwick airport. Jet lag already beginning to set in, I reached for my passport and official-sounding-but-not-actually-crucial Letter of Introduction, letting the friendly customs agent know that I was entering the UK as a student, that my school vouched for me, and for international border purposes I was totally cool.

This was me, 20 years old, headed towards a semester in London as an intern at a small travel-focused PR agency and part-time student. It was going to be my first time out of the half-step into adulthood known as a dorm, where after a long day’s work and walk to and from the office, I’d need to rustle up a dinner on about a £1.50 per day budget (approximately $0.00 USD, depending on the conversion rate). Needless to say I was destined for about a 30-pound weight loss.

But I was also headed for adventure. Learning. Travel. I had rough sketches of how to potentially get from remote Scotland to Israel over the course of three months, and the willingness to starve in order to see as much of it as I could.

A coffee and express train later I was queued up for a taxi – one of the last I’d be able to afford – to get me to the classroom space my classmates and I would be staying in. We’d all met a few times at orientation meetings, but outside of a few pockets of friends travelling together, we were largely strangers to one another.

I arrived, two blocks from the British Museum, and checked in with the school. I started hauling 50 pounds of clothes and necessities on the 10-minute walk to our apartments, crossing small private parks, Charles Dickenson’s house, and old med school buildings as the already cooling late August air added even more of a spring to my walk. There was a lot to anticipate, both what I could see coming and what I couldn’t.

One of those things I couldn’t see coming was waiting at the end of that walk.

Standing on the stoop of our flats, with her roommate – a fellow marching bandmate of mine from TCU – was a girl.

The girl.

Light, freckled Irish skin, dark hair at her shoulders, leather jacket, dazzling smile.

A lot of people will tell you the lightning bolt doesn’t exist. For the most part, I’d probably tell you the same, even after 15 years of being together and benefitting greatly from it. It’s not how life works. It can’t be. No science or logic to it.

But as I walked up to the stoop, ready to learn that her name was Kristi, I was struck as struck could be. I found myself needing to remind myself to breathe, while my mind only permitted one thought, two little syllables, until she said hello:

Uh oh.

A few moments later we knew each other’s names. A week later we’d already travelled together. A month later we were dating, and a decade and a half later we’re still strong. No telling what landmarks we’ll be able to point to another 15 years from now, but they all started with that moment, that thought, those words.

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Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

Herndon-Book-blog

 

By Herndon Hasty (Digital Performance Manager)

Winston Churchill is a truly larger than life figure. Convinced from a young age of his own destiny to be the savior of England, the British Empire, and the world, Churchill was a war hero before he was a war hero, a politician who flourished on both sides of the aisle, and to paraphrase the greatest biography of the man available, lived a baroque lifestyle long after such a thing was fashionable, let alone possible.

He gave us the security of the Western world and democracy at a time when it was assumed we would have to choose between Facist and Communist dictatorships. He left some of the greatest oration – and biting and/or profane comebacks – the modern world has ever seen. And he was a leader and leading figure throughout 90 years of the most profound change the world had seen up to that point.

Spanning 2,900 pages (minus references, which in books of these size can get enormous), William Manchester’s The Last Lion – a three-book biography of one of the titans of the 20th century – is the greatest expression available of who he was, what he accomplished, and what he faced. It does credit to it’s subject, if nothing else than for its prolific nature and command of the English language.

The volumes were published over the course of 30 years, beginning in 1984. By the time the third book was published, Manchester had been dead for nearly a decade, having entrusted his notes and a significant part of the manuscript to journalist Paul Reid. So, the next time you’re tempted to complain that, say, George RR Martin is taking too long in getting his next book out, bear in mind that he’s practically cranking them out in comparison.

Coming from a journalistic background, like Churchill, Manchester does not waste words. It is as dense a read as you will find outside of academia, and effectively paints a picture of Churchill, his people and companions, and his times.

And while getting through all three tomes is something that takes time and commitment – a 300-page but similar book by Manchester took a very smart friend of mine the better part of 6 months – it is worth it. Aside from the great rise-and-fall-and-rise-again story of a soldier, journalist, statesman, firebrand, polarizing figure and out-and-out megalomaniac, there’s an intense amount of contextual information to be learned.

If you aren’t familiar with the operations and extent of the British Empire at the peak of its reach, Visions of Glory (book 1) has much to teach.

The early chapters of his second book, Alone, which covers Churchill’s wilderness years between his fall from power in the late 20’s through his rise to Prime Minister, are as effective a history of Germany’s state between the World Wars as can be found anywhere.

And how close they came to needing those Keep Calm And Carry On signs – originally designed for use during a German invasion of the UK, today just a charming expression of the British stiff upper lift – is vividly apparent in Defender of the Empire, the third and final volume.

While it’s clearly a sequential book set, Manchester’s command of the facts makes it easy to step in at any point. I first read the 2nd volume, followed by the first, and then a long wait for the third. Depending on where your interests lie historywise, a similarly winding path may even work best for you.

For the man, reader, or Anglophile in your life, The Last Lion series is a great library checkout, gift, or carrying item for your Saddleback Book Bag.

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Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

Blog

 

By Herndon Hasty (Digital Performance Manager)

Even though my previous musical posts don’t reflect it, I grew up on rock and alternative, and while I’ve grown to really enjoy rootsier stuff, I hadn’t really meant to drift away from it as much as I have. While there are still bands out there that hit my sweet spot of musicality, honesty, and just plain rock, the genre has moved and fragmented away from this kind of sound.

Lissie is one of those sounds. Rich sounds without overproduction, heartfelt without being emo, authentic but still catchy and pop-worthy. Down to earth – a unique sound, but not trying-too-hard high-concept.

It’s such a retro concept, it’s almost fitting that her voice has an air of Stevie Nicks about it, and the first two tracks of her most recent album Back To Forever could pass as a cover from Fleetwood Mac’s heydey: The opening guitar riffs, the synth, the beat, the dusky voice.

Her sweet spot is on this faster end of the scale: The upbeat (When I’m Alone, Sleepwalking), the longing (In Sleep, I Bet On You), and the outright poppy (Cukoo). Lissie does well with a driving beat, no matter the tone or instrumentation.

It’s not her limit, though, by any means. She pulls back a few gears extremely well, whether it’s in a nostalgic mood (Back To Forever, Oh Mississippi) or the still rocking slow beat (Cold Fish), and the oddly protesty (Mountaintop Removal). She even uses her standout vocals to great effect on a cover of Danzig’s Mother, stripped down and with a clearly feminine voice but lacking none of the intensity of the original. See also covers of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters, and of course Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way.

If you haven’t heard of her, though she’s a product of the US (hailing from Illinois by way of California) and her albums recorded in Nashville and LA, she has largely been an export: Her hits have all been on the UK and European charts, and while she has collaborated with standouts like Lenny Kravitz and even DJ Morgan Page, some of her most high-profile placements include tour work with Ellie Goulding before she became a crossover hit in the US, and an opener for a Joshua Radin UK stint.

But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

With two studio albums since 2010 and another three EPs, there’s plenty of variety to enjoy. Her most complete work is on 2013’s Back To Forever, but there’s a lot to be said for her original full album Catching A Tiger from 2010 as well. Her EPs are heavy on covers, including those mentioned above, but also include further reaches like Kid Cudi’s Pursuit of Happiness and even Lady Gaga.

With a new album coming out in early 2016 and plenty to enjoy in the meantime, she’s worth a listen this week, and worth watching in the near future.

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Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

Blog-1

 

By Herndon Hasty (Digital Performance Manager)

My short time with Saddleback so far has been my first time working from home long-term. Prior to this, my main exposure to it has been being blocked in for a few days during the ice storms that hit Texas a time or two every year.

Yes, by the way, we do get ice storms this far south. And in defense of Texas against those who are snickering at the thought of a little ice shutting things down, the only difference in response between here and colder climes that have to deal with it more regularly is a couple of plows and sand/salt trucks. You either have them, or you don’t.

Moving to a home office situation has been a wonderful change for me and my family, and for anyone who gets an opportunity to do so, it’s absolutely worth exploring.

Here’s a few things I’ve learned making the leap.

It’s not an anti-social hermitage, or at least it doesn’t have to be

My biggest concern in moving to a home office was human contact. I had previously been in office with more than 100 people. We were connected to other US offices with hundreds more where those came from, and a constant flow of clients, vendors, and interviewees coming through the door. Cutting all of that down to just myself and the dog was intimidating.

It shouldn’t have been.

If you’re part of a wider company and working from home, you’ll still be in constant contact with the rest of your team. If you’re not, you’re still working with or for someone, be it clients, vendors or partners.

To make sure you make full use of your network, get in the habit of substituting phone calls for some things you might email about, and where possible in-person meetings for phone calls.

You still have to eat lunch from time to time, and so do your friends and former colleagues – lunches and coffees can still keep you in touch with the wider world. Planned well, it doesn’t even have to cost you restaurant-level money. Try meeting at parks and public places to share the same leftovers or quick take-out you were planning on eating anyway, but with company and away from your desk.

You’re not nearly as crunched for time as you think

When I started working from home, I added things to my schedule that I always felt like I didn’t have time for when I worked at an office: Morning reading and devotionals, workouts, lunchtime activities, stuff that isn’t big in of itself, but seems enormous when you’ve got the pressure of work in front of you.

I’m putting in even more hours now than I did at my last job, and that’s not for lack of trying before I got here. And yet that extra time is not because of or exacerbated by the new things that I’ve added to my schedule. They are not stressors or causes of time crunches, they are happy new additions that keep me motivated and happy for even longer stretches.

But we build things like workouts, learning, prayer and personal reflection up in our minds as one more thing that we have to do when we’re already crunched for time. And because we only emphasize the downside of the loss of a little extra sleep, getting a few more things knocked out for work, or ‘me time’ (which in a lot of cases is just trying to find the final boss of the internet), we miss out on true personal growth and enjoyment opportunities.

Walls are the devil

No matter how much equipment and decoration I’ve pulled into my new office space, I still have one giant wall that I can’t figure out what to do with besides my all-important whiteboard. It probably mostly springs from the room I took over than anything – an extra space built more as a bedroom than an office. There’s a lot more space than you might normally have to deal with for decorating an office for one.

One way or another, blank walls are the worst, and I’ve got a huge one I’m still trying to figure out. Any favorite moves or tips you have for taking up a pretty sizable one are hugely appreciated in the comments.

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Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

Blog-1

 

by Nick Bridwell (Customer Service)

I’ve been thinking about ways to improve my New Year and to make 2016 one for the records. I came up with a few rules for myself. I thought I might share them with you guys, because I like you and you are awesome. Here they are:

 

  1. Don’t Dream, Do. – “Do or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda

 

Allow me to explain the difference between a Dream and a Vision.

 

A man walks out on his back porch and stares at the fence lining the perimeter of his backyard. He comes to the realization that a good 3/4ths of the fence is painted a nice eggshell. It’s exactly how he wants it. He’s elated at the very thought of his beautifully painted fence. But, then he looks around and notices that the other 1/4th of the fence is not looking too good. There are holes in the fence, rotted boards, and the paint has withered away. To top it off, his neighbor replaced some of the boards and they just don’t fit. There are two ways to handle this situation:

 

The Dreamer thinks, “Wouldn’t it just be so amazing if that fence was perfect the entire way around? Wouldn’t it be nice if every board was that eggshell color and perfectly similar and strong?” And then he goes back inside and waits for the fence to repair itself. He might even pray about it.

 

The Visionary goes out, speaks to professionals, procures the right tools, the right lumber, gets opinions on exactly how to repair the fence in the best way possible. If he needs help, he’ll turn to a neighbor. And then he does it. And the fence is repaired. For the time being, it’s looking pretty good. And he didn’t even have to pick up the check. You see, God already signed the check in the Blood of Christ and on the Memo line, he wrote “Free Will”. When we pray for outcomes to goals, we have to also pray for the will to complete our goals. Many a good idea has been lost due to “wishful thinking”.

 

If there is something you want to accomplish, set clear goals and milestones so that your dreams can turn into a vision, and that vision can turn into a reality. Reality is cool if you build your own reality!

 

  1. Solve the mystery behind the mystery.

 

New Years is a time when a lot of promises are made about big life changes. We’ve already talked about how to tell the difference in a dream and a vision. Now, let’s talk about getting to the bottom of the mystery of your resolution.

What is your goal? I’ll take a pretty common one (and one I should probably get to work on soon): weight loss. Let’s say you want to cut 25 lbs. With the proper vision, you can make this happen. BUT, without solving the mystery behind the mystery, you may soon find you are right back where you started. You see, losing weight has nothing to do with cutting down on some fat for the time being. It should be all about altering your lifestyle so that the weight will never come back again. So, then, the mystery is really not “How do I lose the weight?”, but “How can I become more healthy on a longterm basis?”. Solve the mystery behind the mystery and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy change.

You can apply this to a lot of other resolutions. Need to save money? Don’t think about just that first $1,000 emergency fund, think about ways to improve your income so that you are being paid what you deserve and aren’t so strapped for cash. Need to spend more time socializing? That might mean it’s time to talk to your spouse about taking the kids for a night so you can go out with the ladies/guys. There’s always a reason behind a problems. Once you find that reason it’s a lot easier to deal with.

 

  1. Have the right bag of tricks.

 

My dad always taught me that you can’t do a job right without the proper tools. Later, when I got married, I heard my father-in-law tell my wife the exact same thing. Both of them are wise men (most of the time…I could tell you some stories).

 

It’s super important that you have the tools to accomplish your goals. If you want to run a marathon, you’ll need shoes and a running path to practice on. Don’t even start getting down to the nitty gritty until you have at least the basic level of items to solve your problems. Of course, don’t let this be an excuse either. You can start recording an album by working on some lyrics while you gather up that cash for the guitar. BUT, eventually, you’re going to need that guitar.

 

This also goes for creating a consistent workspace or workflow. If, like this here humble blogger, you are a writer, I’ve always found it crucial to have a place to write that is comfortable and has all of the tools handy for my craft. If you’re an artist, you need to probably have a studio, but you can also just create a go-to-bag for painting outdoors, etc.

 

This is a pretty easy concept. If you want to get healthy, buy veggies and a steamer. If you want to be a Jedi next year, then go out, find yourself the necessary components to construct a lightsaber, and make that happen, friend!

 

  1. Know your enemy (even if it’s just a cheeseburger or a needy neighbor).

 

Once you have created clear goals and milestones for the changes you want to see in your life, and you have identified the mystery of why you want these changes, and you have gathered the appropriate tools to facilitate those changes, then the only thing left to do is to act! As anyone who has ever tried to swim the English Channel, scale Everest, write a Pulitzer winning Novel, etc. etc., will tell you, there are always obstacles. Key in accomplishing your New Year’s resolution is identifying enemies and obstacles.

 

Let’s say you want to write a novel. I’ve done this so I have a little insight here. Writing is an enormous effort and more often than not the enemy is time. If you are serious about completing a big project, then make the time and be consistent. This will mean less time for entertainment (sorry Netflix!), getting up earlier in the morning (because most highly accomplished people only get about 4-6 hours of sleep per night anyway), and creating boundaries for the people in your life that matter. My wife knows that if I’m in writing mode, that’s not the time to come to me with the news about Cousin A’s recent date with Y or Uncle Q’s dinner plans for January the whatevereth. I also know not to take on a lot of other distracting projects outside of whatever I’m working on. If you want to create or accomplish something serious, you must take your work seriously and demand that it be taken seriously by others. That being said, try to have a little fun.

 

 

These are just a few simple ways that I plan to make my goals for 2016 a reality. I hope they help you!

 

Happy New Year,

 

Nick

 

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Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

In this twenty-third episode of the Not Dead Yet Show:

Sexy from afar but really just a creepy Mexican gas station attendant. The NDYS 2015 Christmas Edition.

 

 

 

Come see the rest of the Not Dead Yet Series

Subscribe to the Not Dead Yet Show newsletter right now or else be prepared to face the consequences of missing the greatest show ever produced about the Munsons living in tents.

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Posted by & filed under Christmas, The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

Blog-1

 

By Liz James (Customer Service)

Christmases were always special when I was growing up.  My parents had three kids, of which I was the youngest.  Which meant I was the first one to put an ornament on, and then my brothers.  It also meant that I was the first to open my presents when it was just us, but I’m getting ahead of myself…

You see, what made Christmas morning really special in our house, aside from, you know, the whole gifts thing, was breakfast and our stockings.  My family has never been big breakfast eaters.  Our breakfast menu tended to consist of cereal, oatmeal, and maybe the occasional yogurt.  In other words, minimal effort so as to get us out the door quicker.  But on Christmas morning, Dad would make French Toast.  It was pretty much the only time we ever had French Toast, unless we went to IHOP or something.  Even then, we tended to shy away from ordering French Toast.  It was our Christmas morning breakfast, and to have it at some other time seemed… wrong.

After a breakfast of the said French Toast, sausage, orange juice, and coffee for my parents, my Dad would read the Christmas story from the Bible.  In days past, we used to have to scramble to find a Bible, if it wasn’t already near the table, but these days, he tends to reach for a tablet or phone.

Then my parents would bring in our stockings, and we would open our stocking presents at the table.  The night before Christmas, we would lay out these long, special stockings.  These stockings were handmade, and each of us tended to have a special one just for us.  Mine tended to be the one with white sheep over them.  There was one black sheep on there, which I’m sure my parents meant ironically, since I was the youngest and the only girl.  Maybe not.  Anywho, it was pretty obvious to all three of us that the stocking gifts were NOT from Santa.  Mom and Dad would fill our stockings with mostly hygiene items.  Shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and even socks.  Oh, there were some neat smaller gifts, like some toys and candies.  But whenever we opened a hygiene item, we would all yell “hint, hint” at each other.  Perhaps when it came to my older brothers, we’d be a bit more sincere in our yelling, but I digress.  When it came to the last few gifts, we evened it out, some opening two at once, so that in the end, we all only had one wrapped gift left.  Then we’d tear into it in an unwrapping frenzy.

Following the stashing of our goods and the cleaning up of the wrapping paper (or as some would call it, recycling plastic grocery bags), we’d head to the tree.  Overnight, the tree seemed to have been visited by Santa, who may or may not have been kissing my Mom last night.  Then, one after another starting with the youngest, we’d repeat the pattern of opening gifts until we all had one left to unwrap in a frenzy.

We’re all older now, and we haven’t had a Christmas like that in a while.  I guess that’s the price for growing up.  Some habits remain, of course… I still don’t tend to order French Toast when I’m out.  In my mind, that’s always something only for Christmas mornings.

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Posted by & filed under Christmas, The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

Blog

By Samantha Retzlaff (Customer Service)

More Christmas crafts my family has enjoyed over the years.  We hope your family will enjoy them too. Merry Christmas!

 

Christmas Stable Ornament

My son made an ornament like this when he was in daycare and I loved the idea and the simplicity of the craft.  It gave all of the children a chance to learn more about the birth of Jesus and where he was born.

You will need:

8 popsicle sticks or crafts sticks

wooden star

string or twine

wood glue or hot glue

paint (optional)

 

  1. Glue the walls of the stable to the floor. If they don’t line up the way you want them to, you may want to cut the outer walls a little shorter. Start with the outer walls, then the middle, and then add the other two middle sticks. Once this step is complete, this will be the back of your stable so you don’t see the curved ends of the sticks.
  2. Turn your stable around and glue on your roof.
  3. Glue your star in place.
  4. Glue a piece of of string to the back of the ornament for hanging
  5. Let your kids color the stable to make it more colorful so you’ll have an ornament to dress your tree for years to come. Below is a picture I found on the internet of an unpainted Stable Ornament to give you an idea of what the finished product looks like.

 

Handprint Wreath

This wreath is a fun way to display your child’s crafty work and their unique hand print all through the holiday season.

What you will need:

  • Paper Plate
  • Construction Paper – Use any colors you like, but we like green, red, and white
  • Crayons, Markers or Paint
  • Ribbon
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch

Instructions:

  1. Cut the center out of the paper plate to form a wreath shape.
  2. Trace anywhere from 15-20 hand prints onto the different colors of construction paper.
  3. Glue the hands onto the paper plate overlapping them some until the paper plate can no longer be seen.
  4. Optional – let your child decorate the wreath with crayons, marker, paint, or even other fun craft items
  5. Punch a hole into the top of the wreath and tie the ribbon through the hole making a bow or cut out a construction paper bow and glue to the wreath.

 

Handprint Reindeer Ornament

Here’s another fun craft you can make using your child’s handprint.

 

What you will need:

  • White construction paper or cardstock
  • Brown tempura paint
  • Ribbon
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Pair of googly eyes
  • Red craft pom or a small circle cut out of red construction paper

Instructions:

  1. Place your child’s hand in brown paint, then place the hand down onto the white paper leaving a brown hand print on the paper.
  2. Let the hand print dry and then cut the hand print out of the paper.
  3. Glue your pair of googly eyes to the top palm section of the hand print
  4. Glue the red pom or red circle construction paper under the eyes to make a nose
  5. punch a hole into the top portion of the paper and tie a ribbon through the hole so you can hang the ornament on the tree.    

 

Cookies for Santa

And lastly, as many families do, we make cookies for Santa every Christmas Eve and each child decorates a few to eat, a few to share, and one special one for Santa.  We usually cook sugar cookies using our favorite family recipe but we also bake Oatmeal Raisin cookies too because we know for a fact that Santa LOVES them! 

 

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