You might rememeber on Abby's Christmas list to Santa she wanted a Christmas Tree for her doll house. I honestly looked in about 15+ stores for a darn small doll house sized tree. I even pleaded with my friends on Facebook for suggestions. Finally I found this little number at Michaels. I thought it lacked a little pizzaz alone so I made the small presents.
My 5 minute directions for making teeny tiny presents!
1. First eat your weight watchers meal so you can use the cardboard box. I cut one small square from the cardboard and used it as my templete for all the squares. See layout below.
2. Cut out your box pattern. Fold on the lines to form your box. And use lots of tape!
3. Look- tiny mac and cheese boxes!
4. Wrap and decorate. Ta da! I think she will like it.
Sunday was a busy day. Daddy took the girls out for a little Christmas shopping for me and I had some time to catch up on a few things I have been meaning to do for weeks now.
The first was cleaning out our coat closet.
Yeah, that's a lot of coats. Some were from when we were in college!! Needless to say between men's, women's and children's coats and snow suits we made a nice donation to our local women's shelter.
Second was a trip to the local Toys for Tot drop off. Still a few more days left to get your donation in!
And lastly for our day of giving -I made our annual donation to our "Family chosen" charity at http://www.crudem.org/. Each year in lieu of gifts my husband's family picks an organization and we donate money. This year Hopital Sacre Coeur in Haiti was a wonderful choice especially in light of the recent cholera epidemic.
We have about 50+ Christmas books in our house. Some were mine as a child, some are hand me downs from my sister with three kids that have out grown them, some are gifts from grandparents and of course- I love buying books too. I could spend $1,000 in 2 min in a children's book store!
Depsite have a large variety to choose from these are the few that we seem to read over and over and over........
These two by Karma Wilson. The whole Bear series is very cute!
By Margie Palatini
These two books by Caralyn Buehner. On each page there are hidden pictures for the kids to find. Fun for them, somewhat painful for the adults.
This whole series by David Shannon is a big hit in our house-despite the sometimes disgusting illustrations.
Yes, we have the Elf on the Shelf. Yes, some people find her a little creepy-like Lelan over at Good Gravy. But so far she has not turned into any Chucky type killer doll and the kids have fun finding her new hiding spot every morning. Oh and I have used the "Penelope the elf is watching you-I sure hope she does not report (insert bad annoying behavior here) to Santa" Hmmm, maybe it makes it less creepy when the Elf is a girl. Don't ask me where that name came from, but Abby named her last year.
Here she is last year hiding in the ceiling before it was fixed (burst water pipes!). Oh how I miss those holes-they made such great hiding places........... NOT!
I have to thank my sister in law for this little reminder. Oranges cut into smiles. I remember these as a kid when my mom used to do this for us. The girls thought it was a lot of fun and with perfect timing since a box of grapefruits and oranges arrived from Florida sent by the Nana elf.
Here is a good choice- Hershey Kisses Candy Cane Blossoms. Recipe-right off the back of the bag! Also a fun baking project for the kids to help with (with clean hands of course!).
The girls unwrapped EVERY single Hersey kiss for me. I think they only ate one or two???
We also made them in our pajamas. The best way to make cookies! This was their other main contribution-the rolling of cookie balls in the red and green sugar.
Just before baking
Cooling on the rack with the kisses placed gently on top. I started out letting the girls help with this part, but quickly took this project back as the cookies became a smashed gooey mess. Mostly the 2 year old is the one who does not know what GENTLY means.....
KISSES Candy Cane Blossoms
48 HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Candy Cane Mint Candies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
Red or green sugar crystals, granulated sugar or powdered sugar
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Remove wrappers from candies.
2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternately with milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in red sugar, granulated sugar, powdered sugar or a combination of any of the sugars. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookie is set. Remove from oven; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Press a candy piece into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.
Christmas lists were written this past weekend. Abby wrote them herself (with some help on the spelling of course) and also volunteered to write Olivia's for her while she dictated. There were no suggestions from either my husband or myself-they really came up with these all on their own!
Here is Abby's:
Here, let me translate. Felt food (Auntie K-need some help here!), chapstick, a snow flake ornament, a boquet and a Christmas tree for her doll house.
This is Olivia's. I had tears running down my face from laughter. I will keep this note forever.
It says: Kitty. (then to the side you see) Real Kitty (daddy don't be pulling a fast one on me by golly!)
Present and Peanut butter.
You may notice that some of the words are spelled backwards. Completely normal for a Kindergartner I am told by Abby's teacher. She even insisted on putting "snow" in HER proper order!
The other day I blogged about the install of our new fireplace. Well it is finally up and running- the home insurance company came and gave us the ok. So to all the folks out there that normally come visit us during the cold weather (you know who you are-some are even related) who wear many extra layers and complain about being cold and ask to borrow another blanket at night, just in case............. The proof is in the pudding. Or in the Plumpy as it may be............
and gosh dang it IF you are still cold the kids will give you an extra paper towel to bundle up with!
Guess all our human guests had the real blankets and the girls had to improvise.
We had turkey for Thanksgiving, turkey sandwiches, turkey soup and now this will use up the LAST of the turkey........ phew. I ate this with a side of squash and a side of Above the Dam Jam -Cranberry Jam. Yes, jam. Not cranberry sauce. Nice sugary jam! It was good. And this recipe for turkey/chix pie is so yummy and super easy!
Adapted from Majorie Standish -Cooking Downeast
Filling for the pie-mix together (make sure the filling is warm):
Cooked Chicken or Turkey (2-3 cups?)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup.
1 cup+ of steam veggies- any kind. They sell a steam bag of veggies with peas, corn, beans, and asparagus-very yummy!
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup milk
Mix dry ingredients together. Using a pastry blender or two knives-work the butter into the flour mixtue till dry and crumbly. Add egg and milk and stir with fork and use hands to form a ball of dough. Split dough in half to make top and bottom crust. Roll out with flour. Place one crust on the bottom and fill with chix or turkey filling. Place crust on top and flute edges. Cut 3 slits into top. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 mins. It comes out so nice and fluffy!
I am not one to spend a lot of money on Christmas decorations. Don't get me wrong- we decorate- I just prefer to find free things in nature!
Making swags is easy. Wire, boughs, outdoor red bows and woods (or neighbors property when they are not home during the day- ahhh the benefits of being a stay at home mom!)
We put the same snowman flag up each year. Kids still think it great. I also stuff the little sleigh and flower pot with white pine, holly & other types of pine I find around the outside of the house. I am lucky we have a giant holly bush!
My daughter’s names are Abby and Olivia and together you get Ablivia. And trust me most days I wonder how they really can be so oblivious! I am starting this blog b/c my friends thought I should and I thought it would be a great way to share ideas, fun websites and pictures! Nobody really cares what I am doing on a day to day basis (heck I bore myself), well maybe my mom will at least read.