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Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday, B!!

I know it sounds cliche, but it's hard to believe that you are nine today!  Those first 6 months seemed like they were going to last forever!;)B, I am so proud of the young lady you are becoming.  You are smart, funny, caring, and tender hearted.




  You still refuse to wear pink (unless it's Nike or Under Armour. Ha!) and prefer to wear camo any day of the week and your hair must always be in a pony tail!





You definitely have a love for life and I look forward to the next year.  It's your last year in single digits!!  Happy Birthday, B!!!
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cookie Day. A Family Tradition...

I'm a sucker for traditions.  We've already started some in our little family.  Some small.  Some not so small, but in the end I hope they are traditions that the girls will continue with their families someday.  
Cookie Day is a tradition in Brad's family that has been happening every year for 35 years.  Brad's mom was pregnant with him the first year they held the infamous Cookie Day.  They used to do the baking marathon at our house, which I find difficult to imagine considering how many cookies they make.  My mother and father-in-law now host Cookie Day and it seems that every surface imaginable is covered in cookies!  

Each year the same varieties are made.  Chocolate Puffs...

 Mel, anxiously waiting for a taste;)...
 Thumbprints...
 Peanut Butter Kisses...
 and Mexican Wedding Cakes which I failed to get a picture of.

Mel is such a good help when it comes to Cookie Day.  She loves to bake and cook...much like me, so this is a day she definitely looks forward to!  She likes it so much she requested that her picture be taken with every single cookie variety!  And yes, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.  She has a blue streak in her hair.  She wanted it and I gave in!  I think it fits her personality to a T.



B, on the other hand, isn't in any of the pictures because baking isn't "her thing."  In fact, the other day she told me, "I think I might just live at home forever because I'm afraid I won't be able to cook like you, Mom."  While I took that as a compliment, I think we may need to work on her cooking skills.;)  The guys have their own tradition of shooting clay pigeons while the women cook, so B joined them and absolutely loved it!

 Of course, just like any other time the family all gets together there is plenty of laughter!

 During Cookie Day 2014 we made about 1660 cookies!  All of them are divided up between family members and some are given as gifts.  I still remember being told at my first Cookie Day 12 years ago, "If you don't help, you don't get any cookies.";)

Be sure to check out the recipe below for Chocolate Puffs...





Chocolate Puffs

Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup shortening
  • 1 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces Baker's unsweetened chocolate bars, melted
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 Cup milk
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  2. Cream together shortening, sugar and vanilla.
  3. Beat in eggs and chocolate.
  4. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to creamed mixture until combined.
  5. Form into 1" balls. Roll in powdered sugar.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Melted Crayon Ornaments...

 B had some friends over this past weekend for her birthday.  At her request, we made a craft.  While perusing the wonderful world of Pinterest trying to find a craft that was age appropriate for 8-9 year old girls (some stuff is for babies you know) I found the idea for melted crayon ornaments.  Everyone has broken, old crayons lying around the house so this is a great way to recycle them!  I went to our local craft store and bought the glass ornaments and in a few minutes, we made these pretty things...
You will need:
crayons
hair dryer
oven mitt or glove

Begin by tearing the paper off the crayons.  I found that if you slit the paper with a knife, it peels off much easier.  Mel has loved peeling paper off crayons since she was two.  She used to request that all her crayons be "naked.";)
 Then break them in to pieces that are about a 1/2 inch long...
 Remove the top of the ornament and place the broken crayons inside.    We used about 4 pieces per ornament.  Place the top back on the ornament...
 And just a pic of Jo because she always has to be in on the action too and wants to have her picture taken whenever she sees the camera!
 Put on the oven mitt or glove because the ornament will get hot!  Trust me!  Turn on the hair dryer and allow the crayons to melt while slowly rotating the ball...
 Once you achieve the desired look, you can carefully remove the top of the ornament and try to gently tap the remaining crayons out, but we tried and were unsuccessful, so they are still in there, but you can't tell!

This one is mine...
 Mel's...

 Mel's on the right and B's on the right...


Easy and inexpensive to make and they look cool too!


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Monday, December 15, 2014

DIY Snowglobes...

 When my girls were babies, my grandma gave them each a snowglobe.  I know.  It sounds like an accident waiting to happen when you give a one year old a snow globe, but it is a special little keepsake that they enjoy every year at Christmas.
I saw these cute snow globes on Pinterest last year and decided to make them with the girls this year.  They were pretty simple to make and probably only took about 10 minutes to make from start to finish!
What you will need:

Canning jars and lids
trees , wagons, reindeer , etc. (I found the wagons at a local craft store.  Fairy garden supplies are perfect for this!)
hot glue

Begin by hot gluing the tree to the lid.  If you are adding other items, you may want to place it to the side a bit to allow more space, just make sure it doesn't go past the rubber edge.
Next, add the reindeer.  We hot glued him into the tree, probably about an inch above the lid.  He looks like he is flying right now, but once you add the glitter, it will be fine.  Allow the glue to dry for a bit.
While the glue is drying, add the glitter to the jar.  We place about a 1/4 of a cup in the wide mouth jars and a bit less in the regular mouth jars.  It's kind of trial and error to see what will work.
I also bought somewhite trees ...
brushed them with Elmer's glue and added gold glitter ...
then added a reindeer and some gold glitter to his antlers....

And Voila!...
That might be my favorite one!

Once the glue is dry, you can attach the lid and turn the jar upside down and you have a snow globe!


I am in love with how these turned out!  These would make perfect gifts for family, friends, teachers and caregivers!



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