Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas morning

Sydney tried to get us up at 3:30, oh yes but I talked her into snuggling til 5:30!
Griffin emptying his stocking
golf club pen Sydney bought for Bill
movies from Grammie and Grandpa
fireman Griffin!
Sydney making badges, very fun
dino puzzle
 a few videos
Our Christmas was wonderful, we hope yours was too!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Eve

Since the kids were dressed up for church I tried to get a few pictures ....
a bit cheesy
so Griffin
sweet girl
Bill and I toasty to a wonderful Christmas
Bill being well Bill
My girl and I
silly man
kids sprinkling reindeer food (Griffin still has his tag from the church nursery on his back)
ready to open a Christmas eve gift
new Christmas pjs
sleeping together in sissy's bed
great times as a family

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snack Necklaces

My sister Ashley, told me about making these necklaces with my niece and I thought it was such a neat idea.   I gave the kids fruit loops, pretzels (true confession I had bought chocolate covered pretzels but ate them one night before this project) and gummy life savers, plus yarn.
They threaded the snacks on the yarn.
Griffin needed a bit of help.

Then we took a few pictures and watched a movie, eating our snacks off the yarn.  So fun and good fine motor skill practice.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Griffin Singing

He just melts my heart, I love his little voice and I love that he sings while he plays. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Griffin and daddy

Bill and Griffin have a special bond.  I guess it is the typical little boy and dad bond but to me it seems so special.  There are things that only daddy does, that even if I try I cannot seem to do the right way.  Special versions of songs, ways to snuggle and play.  I love hearing Griffin say that he wants his dad.  I love seeing my boys snuggled together watching tv or playing legos. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Deluxe Sugar Cookies and Frosting

We love to make sugar cookies for various holiday and the kids (and adults) enjoy decorating.  I use Betty Crocker's deluxe sugar cookie recipe.

1 cup butter softened
1.5 cups confectioner's sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

Mix thoroughly butter, confectioners sugar, egg, vanilla and almond extract.  Blend in flour, soda and cream of tartar,  Cover and chill 2-3 hours.  Heat over to 375, divide dough in half.  Roll each half 3/16 inch thick on a lightly floured surface.  Cut into desired shapes, place on lightly greased baking sheet (I use a pampered chef stone).  Bake 7-8 minutes or until lightly golden on edges.  Makes about 5 dozen 2-2.5 in cookies.

Cream cheese frosting

3 ounces cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat)
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
2.5 cups confectioner's sugar

Blend cream cheese, milk, vanilla and salt, add sugar and blend until smooth.  If necessary add 1 tsp of milk at a time to get the right consistency for spreading on cookies.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Meet our elf Relf!

My mom bought elf's for all of us girls and our kids are enjoying them to the max. We named our elf Relf.   Every morning the kids run downstairs to see where Relf is hiding and what he has gotten in to during the night.  Here are a few pictures.... 

he typed a letter to Santa about the kids behavior

so fun!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

puzzle man

Since a recent visit from Grammie and a new box of puzzles Griffin has become a puzzle man.  He has worked his puzzles and is now doing Sydney's old puzzles.  He is putting 35 piece puzzles together without any help.  He likes to sit on top of the sit and spin and he is very patient.  I love that he loves puzzles and I do believe he will be getting a few new ones for Christmas.  Our favorite brand is Ravensburger.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sydney's Christmas performance

All the kindergarten classes sang a few songs at the PTO meeting.  I only recorded Sydney's group.  She did a great job and we were so proud of her.  She is right in the middle, second row from the bottom.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

simple ways to make the holidays special without big spending

This is such a special time of year and yet so many people are stressed out and too busy to enjoy themselves.  I think keeping things simple and spending within your means is a way to make sure you enjoy this season more!  We try hard not to get caught up in all the craziness and try to keep things simple yet so wonderful.  I love all the little traditions that we keep, a particular Christmas morning meal, Christmas eve church service, reading Christmas books all month, our advent calendar.  Here are a few ideas for you...

1.  surround yourself with people you love, just keep it simple, Christmas music, a few snacks, maybe a board game

2.  enjoy making a few holiday treats, I certainly have a few things that I only bake at Christmas time, so bake, maybe share and ENJOY

3. have a family popcorn party and watch a Christmas movie

4.  drive around after dark and look at Christmas lights

5. spend an evening thinking about and sharing all the things you do have to be thankful for (even if you feel bummed out that you do not have extra money this season)

6.  If you must exchange gifts, keep it small and set an affordable limit, at least you will have one thing to open

7.  if you live where you have snow- get outside and go sledding, make snow angels or a snowman

8. snuggle with a loved one by the fireplace

9.  sing Christmas songs

10.  Remember this is a season to celebrate the birth of Christ