27 December, 2014

Christmas 2014

Santa came!!!!  Santa filled their stocking and left a few other unwrapped  presents... my favorite being a puppet theater. Mae knew right away what to do and started sifting through her treasures. We had to point out the goodies in Ian and Jovie's stockings and even after that, they were just grabbing the items on the top. They finally got it and I know next year will be pros.

Then we dove into the wrapped presents. When Mae was little she would always get overwhelmed and open a couple and be content to just play with those. I remember having several gifts we kept for her to open a month or two later. (we also bought waaaay too much her first year)-- last year I saw the gift guide, something you wear. need. want. read. We have used this as a guide for the past two years... although want and need are both really just big and small wants, a book specific to what they like right now and Christmas eve pj's. With these gifts from us, Santa gifts, and family gifts to them, it is still extravagant really. But they are so fun to buy for and are tickled pink with anything and everything. It was so great watching them tear into their presents. And let me tell you, there was no one holding back... Ian saw Mae open her first gift and bolted to the first one available and started ripping the paper... "WAIT, hold on there, we have to see who it's to."  Needless to say we had a very memorable and exciting Christmas.

 Jovie loves babies right now so she got a little baby and a doggie to care for; she is the little nurturer.

All Mae kept saying was that she wanted a real unicorn... so we went with the closest thing we could find.

Ian got a big dump truck and my favorite of all is the scooters!  We will have lots of indoor fun with them this winter.

24 December, 2014

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve we make cookies for Santa. This year I looked for a kid-friendly recipe and loved this one by tatortots and jello because it used the rolling pin and a hammer. You just can't find many recipes out there just this fun. It was Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bark and it was just as fun to eat as it was to make.

I thought I'd include the recipe here for you, plus I'm planning on making it again, so it will be easy for me to find again too! 

Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bark (based on Betty Crocker’s recipe)

  • 1 pouch Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 bag (12 oz) white vanilla baking chips (2 cups) (note these are white vanilla, not white chocolate — but we tried some with milk chocolate chips melted on top, too!)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candy (the original recipe calls for crushing 14 miniature candy canes – you can use any peppermint candy, but the mini candy canes seem to have more red in them, so they’re prettier on the cookies.)

  • Heat oven to 375°F. Line large cookie sheet with foil. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms. Press dough into 12-inch square on cookie sheet.
  • Assign kids to crush candy canes. We used a marble rolling pin, and the kids crushed way more than we needed. Keep a close watch on the crushing process; you want them to be actual chunks of peppermint candy, not peppermint candy powder. This may take a lighter touch.
  • Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until light golden brown; let cool.
  • In microwavable bowl, microwave white vanilla baking chips uncovered on high 30 to 60 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until chips can be stirred smooth.
  • Pour and spread over cooled cookie base.
  • Immediately sprinkle with candy. (You want to move quickly so the peppermint candy embeds in the melted baking chips. We gently pressed the candy chunks into the melted baking chips to make sure they “stuck.”)
  • Let stand until set, about 30 minutes.
  • Gently break up cookie bark. (We used a butter knife in a few strategic places to assist our breaking up to avoid crumbling.)
  • Store tightly covered.
  •  Enjoy!

Read more at http://tatertotsandjello.com/2014/12/kid-friendly-recipe-peppermint-sugar-cookie-bark.html#mMEVdWgSsBb2Fdyz.99

We open one present on Christmas Eve... our "something you wear" Christmas pajamas. Then we put a special key outside for Santa, sprinkle our reindeer food, and put out our cookies and milk for the jolly man. 

22 December, 2014

Hope is Alive

Ellie Holcomb is one of my very favorites and she just wrote a new song for this season. I have listened to it countless times and I hope you enjoy it too.

20 December, 2014

Candycane legs

Our house is filled of Christmas music, giggling children full of wonder, sparkling lights, and little girls in adorable candy cane leggings.  I have gotten teary several times just knowing the hope that Jesus brings, our God with us! Oh Holy Night can almost always do that to me. Seeing my grandmother's decorations on our tree and family traditions that Ian and Jovie have yet to know. It's really amazing as I look back to last year, knowing so well what the waiting and wishing for Ian and Jovie felt like. And now just the sight of their names on their stockings can make me all misty. You all probably know I am a tad emotional, but wow, this year really is full of all things bright and wonderful. My heart is so full to be able to share all this with these precious children God has given to us. Merry Christmas friends!!

17 December, 2014

Mae's class party

 Mae's last day of school was the 16th and I came in with Ian and Jovie to be a part of it. I love opportunities that the babies get to see what the classroom looks like (and hopefully this will help them when it's their turn!). Every time I leave too, I am more impressed with teachers that can remain calm in the ciaos and know just the right words to say to the kids that are hyped up on all the sugar cookies. Mae was in heaven having us there and she was amazing at including her brother and sister into her little world.

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