This little piggy went to market…

With school out for winter break, it’s been great to have so many social activities for my boys to stay busy.

We went to a local market and got some fresh cranberries (with which I made homemade cranberry sauce). Look how they were displayed:

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A mini bog! So cool! I was so excited to see this. This sort of stuff makes me happy. It was neat to show Bigs how cranberries are harvested.

We went to my parents’ house this morning to drop off gifts and I got snap-happy with their tree. They have a real tree. I grew up with a real tree. Sadly (?) now, we have a fake tree. But maybe one day, I’ll get back to a real one. Anyways, the second you walk in the door, that fresh pine scent smacks you in the face, in the most wonderful way!

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We had another Christmas playdate today, this time through my church Mom group. We had a local kids’ singer come by and play his guitar and sing Christmas carols and the kids danced and had a blast! They played at the park…

Smalls

…where once again Smalls tried to keep up with the big kids.

And the kids decorated sugar cookies!

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Bigs was a little more conservative with his sprinkles this time.

And that’s okay…

We had a wonderful time. I kept snapping pictures of my boys. I am so blessed by them.

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My sweet Bigs, with his huge blue eyes, framed by long, dark lashes. His freckles, like a soft dusting of cinnamon across his nose and cheeks…his little cheek dimple that comes out when he offers up a saucy little smile.

I am so in love.

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And my precious, naughty Smalls…who is as crazy as his soft, bouncy, golden curls. He, too, has long lashes that frame his blue and yellow eyes. I adore his little dimpled chin and his little, teeny button nose.

How did I get so blessed?

Thank you God!

Last night, after dinner, we went to look at more Christmas lights (something we’ve done a gajillion times this season!) and saw a house that decked out their entire roof and lawn, in addition to their whole house!

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Isn’t that something? It was magical!

And dinner was pretty magical, if I can say so, as the cook.

I made a full ham for the first time in my life. Huge hams and turkeys were on sale at our Publix for a ridiculously cheap price. I got one of each. I wish they came with an extra freezer. But they didn’t, so we had the ham right away.

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I glazed it with cherry preserves.

I served it with sweet potato casserole (with marshmallows…the ONLY way to serve it), fresh green beans (blanched and then sautéed in sesame oil, a little olive oil, fresh garlic and maple syrup) and homemade cranberry sauce.

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It as all so good and festive! Everyone ate a ton. Smalls LOVED the green beans, who knew!!

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Leftover ham tonight. Ham sandwiches. Those are the best. With mayo.

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Also! [Can you maybe guess what I’m going to say next??]

Duncan was here!

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Sadly, he was sick one day. Poor thing.

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But he bounced back the next day and made s’mores with the boys’ nutcrackers!

What will he be doing tonight?!

No one (but me) knows…

Also, here’s a picture of Bigs and a huge nutcracker at Walgreens. I love how my boy loves Christmas so much!

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Have a wonderfully blessed night!

Kristin

Away in a Napkin

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First things first. Santa is going to come through for Bigs this Christmas. If you recall, all Bigs has asked for this year is a bouncy carrot. I don’t think he’ll notice, or even mind, that the carrot is a “stress toy” intended for overworked or overwhelmed carrot-loving adults. I think he’ll really think Ol’ Saint Nick was listening. And that warms my heart.

Yesterday, we had our usual Friday playdate. I am so grateful to be a part of such lovely Mom groups, where our kids can play and we can commiserate. Just kidding. Sort of. We went to a local park, where Smalls tried (and succeeded) to keep up with the older kids.

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He loves doing all things with Big Brother Bigs. The ONLY problem is that, as a teeny little 1 year old, he cannot possibly physically do some of the same things. I caught him almost stepping off an eight foot (okay, a five foot) drop, just “doo doo doooo”, not a second thought. Scary!

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I adore that he loves Bigs so much, though.

After playing on the park, we headed to a pavilion to decorate cards for Hospice patients. One of the moms in our group delivered them afterwards and told us how happy it made the facility!

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The kids did a wonderful and adorable job of decorating the cards.

Smalls sort of colored on one.

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He was more interested in our next activity, which was decorating, or in his case, EATING cookies.

And Bigs, my sweet Bigs, took his cookie decorating job VERY seriously.

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Some might call this a mishap, but it was intentional on his part. He’s not the son of “Sprinkles in my Lunchbox” for nothing!!

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The kids had a great time and so did us Mommies. Have I mentioned how thankful I am for them? I have found it to be life-changing to have a Mom support system.

Duncan was here again this morning. And guess what he was doing? He was having himself a little Italian picnic in our [kid-finger-proof] china cabinet. He was eating spaghetti and carrots, which is funny because that is what we had for dinner last night!

Elf on a Shelf Day 14

Bigs was blown away that Duncan was eating what we had for dinner. It was pure coincidence, of course that part of my miniature food collection matched what I served them, but it was really neat!

And I have to show you this…because that’s what I do here. I show you things.

Bigs made this in school and it is too cute for words. I hung it on the tree.

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It’s a candy cane turned over to be a “J” for “Jesus”. And this is what Bigs told me about it, “It’s Jesus in a napkin.” HAHAHAH I could still be laughing loudly about that.

Have a blessed day and may you feel the warm, loving embrace of…Jesus in a napkin. 🙂

Kristin

Reindeer Games

Do you know how hard it is to give your dog a bath while your 1 year old is in the bathroom with you? It’s so hard. Said 1 year old opens the toilet lid and throws stuff in (or places his arm, elbow deep, in the toilet hole and laughs hysterically), he pats the dog with her medicated (I have a very special dog with severe allergies that require both a shot and a medicated bath once a week) soap all over her. Did I mention that the dog’s a nervous sort that is prone to seizures if highly excited or overwhelmed? Anyways. I literally am “just sayin'”.

Christmas Pup

Duncan was here again this morning (surprise, surprise). He showed up in a cereal box, of all places.

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And while eating their cereal out of the bowls “Duncan” set out for them, the boys played peek-a-boo.

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You can see Smalls’ (right side) eye through the little bear mouth hole (LOL!).

So. The cupcakes I made for Bigs’ class yesterday were…mostly a hit. Something went a leeetle bit awry with the frosting (which ALWAYS works because it is a foolproof recipe…which really says something about ME!) and the vanilla wafers didn’t really stick nicely to it. So some of them slid during the transportation process and some of the reindeer looked a little wonky (that’s the last reindeer, Wonky – you didn’t know that did you?? 😉 ). I’m not sure how many of the 3 and 4 year olds noticed though.

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They looked alright right after I made them though, for the record. 🙂

I also decorated another dozen for the parents, teacher and whoever else needed a cupcake (which in my world, is everyone).

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These were decidedly less attractive, sort of haphazardly thrown together. Whatever. I honestly never even met one cupcake I didn’t eat.

The Christmas program was absolutely adorable. I couldn’t contain my smiles upon seeing my Bigs stand up on that stage, nervously looking at all the faces looking back at him. My husband (and obvi Smalls) came for the show, too. We were so very proud of our oldest, and all his wonderful classmates too!

After my hubby got of of work, we surprised the boys with taking them to see the area’s biggest showing of Christmas lights!

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It was simply amazing.

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I couldn’t even contain my own self when it started (fake) snowing! Simply magical.

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There was a nativity scene, about which Bigs has learned so much in school and church. He calls it an “actiwiwy” scene (like how he says ‘activity’). He’s perfect.

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Looking at lights, especially in this quantity, sure makes it feel so special.

Have a wonderfully blessed Friday,

Kristin

Peace n Blessins’

It’s been a strange (for some reasons), sad week (for other reasons)…and it’s not even over yet. But I am able to see the blessings mixed in. And I am so very grateful for them.

The second I saw Bigs when picking him up in his classroom on Tuesday, he excitedly told me he had something that he made and wanted me to see. Poor kid – I made him wait (not knowing what it was) until we were all buckled in the car, snacks distributed. I pulled out a Christmas card from a white envelope. When I opened it, it had  a typical holiday message inside, but lots and lots of pencil scribbles all over that message. Bigs had written me a Christmas card and said he did it because he really wanted to do something special for me. I was in tears!

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This is, by far, the most special Christmas card I’ll receive. Later on that night, while the house was quiet and both boys were snug in their beds, I listened to Bigs talk himself to sleep (on the monitor), which he does every nap and nighttime, for hours, and heard him telling his “friends” (stuffed animals) about this. He said, “I gave Mommy a Christmas card! I put lots of scribbles in it. It made her HAAAAPPPPPYYYY.” I just sat there, monitor up to my ear, thanking God for this precious boy who means so much to me and thanking God that I mean so much to him that he proudly tells his animals that he made me happy with this. I am so blessed.

And Smalls. This kid. While he has the energy of…what has a lot of energy that an average human cannot keep up with? Whatever that is, he is. Sure, he destroys my house and causes some headaches. But I love him so!

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My little climber hangs on everything. And jumps. And leaps. And balances. In these pictures, he is hanging from his high chair (which, incidentally, I have to use the straps to contain him while he’s eating…something I never had to do with Bigs. I even took the straps off when Bigs used it!) and is about to stand on the arm rest of a chair. He loves standing in that wingback to look out the window. Well. He did that yesterday and fell right off, but not before grabbing that curtain and clinging to it for dear life. That sucker pulled the curtain rod right out of the wall, drywall powder flying everywhere, my holiday swag (from atop the window) rushing down to the ground. Sigh. Once he was comforted and I was redecorating my house, he tried to do it again. He came back for seconds. I guess that goose egg on his forehead, a lesson did not teach!

But despite being such a rough-and-tumble little guy, he has the most sensitive heart when it comes to me. And I am so grateful. I must get hundreds of hugs from him throughout the day. He will just come up and put his head in my lap, say, “Awww!” and go about his bizniz. And he’s just started squeezing during hugs, with all his might, curling his little skinny arms and hands around my neck like he’s my scarf, and let me tell you, I feel the love pouring out of him and into me.

I am so blessed.

We met some friends at the local zoo this week for a playdate. While we were waiting on them to arrive, my boys and I watched the splash park area where we spent many of our summer days.

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Bigs watched longingly.

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And my sweet Smalls grabbed my hands and firmly planted them over his teeny face, not wanting to see the splashing water because it scared him. I adore that my boys trust me and that God has put them in MY trust.

I am so blessed.

For me, it’s the little things that make me happy.

A Christmas card from my son. I am going to frame that thing.

Tinsel on the diaper booty of my little son (as he’s touching the tree and every ornament on it within reach).

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I love that little diaper booty.

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My boys sharing a cup of eggnog. This is Bigs holding up the sippy to Smalls’ mouth. They fuss and fight and annoy each other, as siblings oft do, but they are the best of friends.

I am so blessed.

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And materialistically speaking, I got these pair of shoes (have I mentioned I “collect” shoes??) for…wait for it…$0.01 this week. AND they have ice cream on the part where you put your feet. How perfect. [I had a coupon for money off my whole purchase and the whole purchase was the amount of the GC, save for $0.01.] Deal of the century, which is needed because we are on a serious budget!

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I won (Sorry to my dear friend from whom I “stole this” and thank you my dear friend who brought this!) this sweet little gumdrop Christmas ornament for my Sweets Tree at my church group ornament exchange.

It’s the little things.

Our elf, Duncan, has been up to some things this week too!

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He “hung around” with a swing saying, “North Pole or bust!!”.

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He pulled some Christmas books off of the bookshelf and had a little reading sesh.

And I made some kid food and desserts.

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Today is Bigs’ last day of school for the year. And he has his Christmas program, at which, surely I’ll be shedding tears! I am so proud of him! Today, I made a Santa and stocking shaped PB&J (added the crusts back in but left them out of the picture, because…ew), he has corn, an applesauce squeezy fruit,some holiday-shaped Goldfish crackers, and for dessert a few holiday Goldfish cookies and Christmas M&M’s. It’s a special day. I put a close-up of the sandwiches to show detail – I used red, gold and green food-safe food spray and some food gel to make polka-dots on the stocking.

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And for the ornament exchange party last night, I made a healthy dessert dip! I made a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dip out of…chick peas!!

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/05/23/want-to-eat-an-entire-bowl-of-cookie-dough/

It’s the little things that count. And I feel so blessed. Some days I’m just thankful to get up in the mornings.

Today I get to make special treats for Bigs’ class to enjoy after their Christmas program. I can’t even wait.

Hope you have a peace n blessin’s filled day…remember that the little blessings count.

Kristin

Snowman’s Land

I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been on a roller coaster lately. Not the real sort, I actually am deathly afraid of those, but the mental sort. Loads of ups and downs lately. It is what it is. Well, anyways, yesterday I was using voice to text and saying something to a friend about how sad I was about how something turned out and when I got off, Bigs looks at me and says, in his infinite three-year-old wisdom, “Mommy, you don’t have to be sad. You have us. And you get to be with us.”. And then I turned into a puddle. Right there. I couldn’t believe the depth and love that little boy showed me in what he had to say. He’s absolutely right! THAT’S what is important.  I am so grateful for him and his knowing that I needed to hear that.

Today, for sweet Bigs’ lunch, I went with a snowman theme. I hope he loves it!

Snoman Themed Preschool Lunch

I made a snowman shaped PB&J and also did a little hat and holly leaf cutout, as well. I used my Food Writers to decorate and pretzel sticks for the arms. He also has corn and an applesauce squeezy fruit and for dessert, hot chocolate flavored Goldfish cookies, to which I also added a few mini-marshmallows. He’s going to love it. I just know it.

And Duncan was back again this morning! He’s celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.

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What a sweet elf.

Have a wonderfully blessed day,

Kristin

Boggin’ Around the Christmas Tree…

Counselor

Yesterday was a really wonderful Sunday for my family. We went to church and had a lovely service.

I love church and especially this time of year.

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I ADORE celebrating the true meaning of this season. I am so desperate for my boys to know Jesus in their hearts and to worship Him for who He is and what He’s done.

Come Let Us Adore Him

We also went to Target and I finished up some shopping and also got some necessities, like milk and Gingerbread Twix. My husband and Bigs got an inflatable Snoopy and Woodstock for the front yard from the hardware store. They put that up when we got home while I made a lasagna and dessert, all during which Smalls was balancing on a chair arm rest to boost himself up to catch a glimpse of them outside.

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The lasagna was…normal. Not fabulous. But not burned! So, I’d call that a success. Everyone ate it and seemed to enjoy it. Except Smalls, who only had one bite and spit it out saying, “Ewwwww!”. But I know he was just doing it for a laugh. I think.

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At least I fed them. They should be grateful.

For dessert, I made a Nigella Lawson recipe (TEAM NIGELLA!!!) – Cranberry Orange & Almond Pudding. And this happened….

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Nigella’s looked way better. But that’s okay. This was my fault. I used a dish way too small for the recipe. It still tasted wonderful!

Look at these fresh cranberries, soaking in a bathtub of butter and sugar…

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Isn’t their color just gorgeous? Shiny, firm and ruby red. I love when they heat up and start popping and letting go of their glorious crimson juices. I could eat them all day. I made a quick batter (the only change I made to the recipe was using orange extract versus orange oil, because that is all I had) and poured half of it into the dish, topped it off with the marvelous cranberries and then the remaining batter. A sprinkling of sliced almonds and granulated sugar finished the dish.

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Then THAT happened. I obviously expected it, placing my dish on a tin-covered pan before placing it in the oven. I just used the bubbled over goodness as a “taste test” for myself (Which I ate in hiding…I am very adept at that now.).

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Look at that splendid, crunchy, sugary crust. Truly delightful.

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It looks like a holiday-time dessert.

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Thank you Nigella. This was truly delicious. Recipe link below.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/cranberry-orange-and-almond-pudding-recipe/index.html

So…Gingerbread Twix. I wrote briefly about them recently. I finally got my hands on some from Target. Unfortunately, they still do not have Gingerbread Oreos. But I’ll keep trying…I’m nothing if not tenacious when it comes to getting my seasonal goods.

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They were delicious! I am so sad they are only a seasonal treat. The caramel was gingerbread flavored. And the crunch from the cookie really added a texture that resulted in a gingerbread cookie experience.

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Yum yum yum.

And Duncan is here again! This time, he is indulging in some coffee and donuts. I put him on a tea treats tray (mouthful!) with his goodies in my china cabinet (best place for the boys not to touch, since it’s enclosed in glass). Hopefully Bigs won’t notice all the tape keeping that donut in Duncan’s hand and his hand to his chest. Whatevs.

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An elf after my own heart!

Hope you all have a wonderfully sweet day!

Kristin

I did it all for the cookie(s)!

Santa and Cookies

I need an elf. Like a real, live, breathing, HELPING elf (Sorry Duncan! I still love you, but you are stuck in a Mason jar right now and obvi cannot help.). I need one that can follow simple instructions, like cleaning cookie sheets or rolling dough into balls and coating the with granulated sugar. Yesterday was Christmas Cookie Baking Saturday.

Christmas Cookies

And I was exhausted. I still sort of am. Yesterday yielded 225 cookies. The ones I chose to bake this year were White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal, Ultimate Ginger, and Eggnog Cookies. I really wanted to go with a theme – a classic Christmas flavor theme. I love a theme!

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My day started with getting the boys up (Just kidding. They woke me up with their “I’m-ready-to-get-up signaling noises”.) After breakfast, it was all about the cookies! I went through several pounds of butter. Isn’t it therapeutic to watch butter sticks melt? Oh. Just me?

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I love the smell of melting butter, too. It’s heavenly.

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My right-hand-helpers (no thanks to Duncan), my Kitchen Aid stand and hand-held mixers, were very busy, whirring and stirring for hours.

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I made the batter for the White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies first, as it had to sit in the fridge for two hours.

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/10/white-chocolate-cranberry-oatmeal-cookies-recipe.html

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When I finally did bake them, they came out perfectly – browned on the edges and bottoms (due to the one pound of butter in the doubled recipe), cranberries glistening, oatmeal giving off the perfect amount of chewiness, and the white chocolate offering up little pockets of creamy sweetness.

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The Eggnog Cookies were next. These were an easy-peasy recipe to use. I love how they turned out. They are very simple, letting the true flavor of eggnog shine through.

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Sprinkled with extra nutmeg, these little sweeties are sure to conjure up lovely holiday memories! My kids and I have gone through at least 2 gallons of eggnog this season so far. It’s so delicious. Bigs calls it “Santa Milk” since some of the jugs of it have Santa on them. I love how kids see things so differently from us old, haggard, jaded adults.

http://iwasborntocook.com/eggnog-cookies/

Next and lastly were my Ultimate Ginger Cookies. I love love ginger cookies. I think you know that, by now.

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This is the second year in a row I’ve done a variation on a ginger cookie. These came out delicious! I love Ina Garten’s addition of crystallized ginger.

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I love how rolling the dough balls in granulated sugar before baking returns a crunchy, but chewy and soft, cookie that looks like it’s been sprinkled with icy snow.

http://www.barefootcontessa.com/recipes.aspx?RecipeID=341&S=0

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All of them, together, in harmony, on a plate. The beautiful flavors that epitomize the season – eggnog, ginger, cranberry.

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These sure would have been a lot easier to make if that elf would have helped! And, sadly (but not really sadly, for this is the purpose!), for as much time as I put into them, these cookies got packaged up (neighbors, teacher, friends, church family, mom group) and doled out quicker than I could say “YULE LOG!!!”. All I’ve got left is crumbs. That’s okay. That’s what it’s all about. I’m sure we’ll receive lots and lots of cookies from other people…right?! Are you cookie-making friends listening?! 😉 I jest (sort of).

Speaking of that elf, he’s been in several different spots since we last spoke.

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He’s made a mess of toothpaste. Thanks for THAT, Dunc.

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He’s crammed himself into a mason-esque jar. It wouldn’t so creepy except that I had an almost-too-small jar and I had to sort of almost damage Duncan’s neck to get him in there. Oops.

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And he made coffee filter snowflakes! What a clever elf he is!

Well, we’ve been very busy in our house, not only baking cookies (me) and wrapping gifts (me), but indulging in the traditions of the holiday (all). Bigs watched “The Polar Express” last year, but didn’t care so much (or understand). At three and a half, he now gets it and LOVES it! I pulled out some old Christmas books I had as a kid (and saved…they are in muy delicado condition, I’d say!) and we’ve been reading those, too.

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If you haven’t seen or read The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg, you MUST. It was one of my favorite books as a child. It is adorable.

And Bigs now tells me that all he wants for Christmas is a new water bottle. Not a bouncy carrot. Great. Well, I’m sure he’ll forget he reneged on that and enjoy the dog toy shaped like a carrot that Santa is bringing him.

So, off to church – the second Sunday of Beautiful Advent. Have a very sweet, blessed Sunday.

In Christ,

Kristin

What a Hassle!

Since I’ve been on my gingerbread kick (which really isn’t so much of a “kick” as it is a “lifestyle” for me right now), I made Bigs’ lunch with a gingerbread theme.

Gingerbread Themed Preschool Lunch

His class also enjoyed the giant gingerbread cookie I made for them the day before. I think most everyone liked it! I was able to bring Smalls in with me and we enjoyed it with the class. Then Bigs’ sweet teacher told them the story of the Gingerbread Man. It was adorable. For this lunch, I cut out gingerbread boy shaped PB&J and used my Food Writers to draw on some faces and buttons. I gave him an applesauce squeezy fruit, some dried cranberries, some holiday shaped Goldfish crackers and a gingerbread boy Peep. And can I tell you how gingerbread-y that Peep tasted? I had to try one, natch. So good!

And our trusty scout elf, Duncan, came again. This time, he got himself into quite the pickle when playing with Bigs’ army men.

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Who even knows (Pinterest??!) what he’ll be up to next!!

I made Hasselback Potatoes for dinner last night. They looked nothing like the picture on the recipe website. Typical of my cooking.

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Whyyyy are they so blackey burned in some spots and not browned enough where it should be?

Hassel Potatoes

Once I brushed off most of the blackened bread crumb mixture, they looked better….so…they looked just okay.

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What a hassel

All in all, I’m okay with serving semi-burned food to my family. It isn’t so bad. I served those potatoes (which were more of a HASSLE than a Hassel) with some roasted red pepper & asiago chicken sausage and some fresh fruit.

Whatever. I can bake much better than cook. And if you’re interested in this Hasselback potato recipe, which if you are solely going based on these photos, you should have no interest AT ALL, here is that recipe.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/hasselback-potatoes/

Better luck to you.

So what if I used olive oil instead of butter and used the kind of grated Romano cheese that belongs on pizza instead of freshly grated. So what.

Have a wonderful Friday,

Kristin

Alexander the Not-So-Great

Have you ever read the book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? I loved that book growing up and still have the same book I owned and read when I was little.

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Today has been a day like Alexander’s. I mean, literally everything I’ve touched has gone terribly awry.

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I woke up before the alarm (and this happens most of the time). Automatic fail. I decided to start laundry early, since I was up. I do that often, but today I left some of the freshly dried piles in the basket. All wrinkled. Husband’s work clothes – totes wrinkled. And I’m not an ironer.  Gah! My little one, Smalls, likes to fight me during diaper changes. He writhes and wiggles and arches his back and tries to leap off of his diaper changing table (which he’s done). Anyways, I was so fed up with not being able to get his new diaper on, I just let him walk around without it, in protest. Big fat joke on me. What was I thinking?! He walked into the bathroom and peed all over it and the hallway. Puddles everywhere. It’s like he was saving it all for that one moment of diaper-freedom.  He also spit his already-been-chewed Raisin Bran breaky all over his highchair and put it on the floor. I also broke my green ceramic plate by dropping it in the sink. Shattered into a bajillion tiny pieces. At least it wasn’t on the floor. The boys played with their slime (a party favor from a birthday recently – made from glue and borax, etc.)…

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Smalls

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Bigs

…and it got all over my Christmas tablecloth and into Smalls’ hair. See that slime?

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I mean…it won’t come out. He’s going to live with slime in his hair forever. He probably doesn’t even care. I love that slime and the boys do too. It is really fun to play with and usually it is contained. But not today. Because nothing is easy today. I decided to make a giant gingerbread cookie for Bigs’ class tomorrow and the dough (used boxed mix) became so sticky that there almost wasn’t enough for the gingerbread pan. Most of it was on my hand because I had to wet them and pat down the dough to coax it to Gingy’s appendages. Appetizing.

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We lost a piece from the hat of Bigs and Smalls’ new nutcracker decoration and for sure my dog will eat it. Or Smalls will. And get sick. She (the dog) and he (the baby) alway finds the lost pieces of things…with her and his mouth. I also had the baby gate up to my room and rushed into there, thinking it wasn’t there and totally took a spill. Like, the hardest spill of my life. I just had to lay there in this awkward position I landed in for a few minutes after falling. I wasn’t even sure what to do with my broken self. It really stunned me. And it was so offensive. That dang gate. My outfit choice today (totally my fault) makes me look like an actual sumo wrestler. I walked out of the room for one teeny second and I came back in to see Smalls standing on the dining room table holding (and about to chuck!) one of my Christmas village houses that I have as a centerpiece.  I folded up my stroller and put it away in my trunk with a piece of pizza in the bottom of it (don’t even ask) and a lady yelled at me and tried to run me over with her motorized cart, while we were out and about. And I made chili and put it in the crock pot this morning and accidentally used the can of tomatoes and spicy green chilis so the entire thing was going to be spicy. The small hope I had that Bigs and Smalls would even eat this meal went right out the window! And not to mention, well, to mention, my husband’s new GI health issues cannot handle spice, as he used to be able to. So. It’s jus’ me and my HUGE pot of chili. Just the two of us. And Bigs has been telling me that ALL he wants for Christmas is a bouncy carrot toy. I have no idea what this is. Quite frankly, HE has no idea what that is. When I ask questions (do they have one of these and school or church or does a friend have one), I get no response. Santa??? Are you there? It’s me, Kristin. Help me help YOU help me!! What is this bouncy carrot? I need it. Today. Or at least before Christmas. But sooner would ease my anxiety.

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Bigs’ letter to Santa, asking for a bouncy carrot.

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Smalls’ letter to Santa, asking for… ?? 🙂

Today is of the hot mess sort. I’m what’s called “done” for today.

I’ll say it – it’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Things can only get better.  Right?? Right!!

My day did get better. Naps helped. I watched The Holiday while the boys slept and that ALWAYS puts me in a good mood. And I finished Bigs’ big gingerbread cookie. Here’s how he turned out. I think he’s pretty cute.

Gingerbread Boy Cookie

That is one big cookie! It’s a HUGE pan (larger than the standard cookie sheet). I’d say the gingy is about 12 inches or so. I hope they enjoy their surprise!

And Duncan was here again!

Elf on a Shelf Day 4

The little rascal is sitting in a bowl of mini marshmallows and is decorating my gumdrop tree and stringing up the marshmallows. Sweet-toofed elf.

Annnnnd, here’s the dumb chili that I’ll be the only one eating for eighty weeks. I browned ground beef with some celery, light salt, pepper, chili powder and onion powder (Out of actual onions…because even though I went to two different stores to get the supplies for this mess since I forgot all the supplies on my first trip, I didn’t get onions. Just because having them would make life too perfect.). I drained the beef and added a packet of no-salt (Hubs watches sodium intake) chili seasoning. I added a can of stewed tomatoes with green chili (unfortunately for my kids), a can of kidney beans and a can of northern beans (all drained). I dumped this all back into the crock pot and kept it on low all day. I served over brown rice. And for 75% of my family, I just served rice, no chili. :/

Chili

I realize my “problems” could be worse. And some days they are. I just needed to get my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day off my chest. Hoping for a much better day tomorrow.

Blessings,

Kristin

Ohhh Christmas Tree…

Vintage Pink Christmas

Ohhh Christmas tree, ohhh Christmas treeeee, how lovely are your branches?

Good morning and Happy Tuesday! Do you have your Christmas tree up yet?

Tree

I love seeing peoples’ Christmas trees. When we go on a walk, I love seeing the twinkling lights through the windows of the homes. Is that creepy?

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And I love that everyone’s Christmas tree is different. Some have only white lights, some have only colored lights. Some go with the red and gold theme. Some go with the gold and silver theme.

Beautiful Lit Tree

Mine’s a bit of a mish-mash. We have “vintage colored” lights and ornaments from all over – my childhood, places we’ve traveled, gifts. We also have silver tinsel all over it. The boys pick it off all the time, but it adds such an old-timey look to it.  I love it. I love the vintage tree look. I love tinsel trees. I love Christmas trees.

Today is a Christmas Tree themed preschool lunch for my sweet boy!

Christmas Tree Themed Preschool Lunch

I made three different Christmas tree shaped PB&J sandwiches and decorated them with my Food Writers and a few sprinkles. Bigs also has a clementine, which I arranged like a tree and put tree sprinkles on. He has unsweetened applesauce with different tree sprinkles, and lastly, for dessert, he has some red and green sprinkled Goldfish brand cookies and some dried cranberries. I hope he loves it as much as I loved making it!

And Duncan, our elf, came once again (you’ll be seeing this 21 more times HA!)! Silly guy was found in my china cabinet riding a reindeer.

Elf on a Shelf Day 3

Partridge in a Pear Tree

Think you’ll have “Partridge in a Pear Tree” in your head now? I do. I can’t ever seem to remember the whole song.

Have a sparkly, lovely day,

Kristin