Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Eve. Christmas Day. The Day After. Sorry about all the pictures...but not really.


Christmas Eve - Dad and mom's house.
Christmas Day- Our house. {this year}
The Day After- Home!










My mother is the reason Gymboree stays in business.
Every year all the grand kids get a new pair of pajamas to wear home.



Sleep won.
We opened his pj's and changed his clothes....all while he slept.
What a fun surprise to wake up in "Weeooo truck" jammies.


Christmas morning...before the sun was awake, my children were.
This is one of the things I miss most when they are all grown up and gone.

I love the night before.....when everyone is asleep and Jeff and I put all the presents out.
I love all the excitement when they first wake up.
I love that they can't wait to give their gifts to each other.



My cooking partner...I think he made more of Christmas dinner than I did! Best carrots ever by Jeff.
He's seriously awesome in the kitchen. ..and in the living room. ..and in the be...okay, I'll stop!
All I'm trying to say is Jeff is a really good cook. ;)




Our traditional Christmas Eve French toast breakfast... two days late.
Christmas falling on the weekend made for a busy holiday..
...and Monday morning worked out better for our family breakfast.





It's that time between Christmas and New Year's..
...that relaxing- blurry-  wanting to take the tree down but not wanting to take down the tree-
trying not to eat sugar but sugar is staring you in the face so you eat sugar-
staying up late- waking up late- kids have a free{-er} schedule- sad that Christmas is over-
but looking forward to the new and fresh calendar- sort of week.

Hope you're enjoying your's.
XxOo

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The lady was right about the cake.


{.....he was mesmerized. Ha! Love this crazy husband of mine.}

Do you have seasonal drinks you like?
Mint green tea in the summer? Strawberry lemonade in the spring?
Well...all winter long whenever I go to Starbucks for a fancy drink,
I usually order a Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

So...you have NO idea how excited I was to find this cake!

The lady on the blog where I found this said....
"If you're going to make only one cake this season, make this one."
I'm so glad I did...or not, because I can't stop eating it. Ha!






1. My cake is not as pretty as the Sommer's....I was in a hurry and frosted fast.
BUT! The frosting was very easy to work with {I love you Mascarpone!}

2. I won't type out the recipe...Just follow this link to the recipe.

I did switch up 2 things....
A. I like a heavy and dense cake...so I used all purpose flour as opposed to cake flour.
B. I substituted buttermilk for whole milk.


Now go make this cake! and Enjoy.
XxOo

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Five and Under Boys Club.


Tonight I'm finally going through all of my Christmas pictures.
I'm a little behind in pretty much everything this year...Christmas cards included.

My friend told me today I need to lower my standards....after our chat I realized I already have! Ha!
It's much more relaxing when you take the pressure off of yourself.
...and honestly, most of the pressure is really us, putting it onto ourselves anyway.

I mean, does anyone care that the bread is homemade? or the presents have pretty ribbon?

Wrapping is one of my favorite parts of Christmas..well, not the actual wrapping,
but the decorating after the wrapping.
...the bow tying and the greenery adding and the glitter and the pine cones....etc.

...but this year, I ended buying the cheap, plastic bows with the peel-y stickers on the bottom.
My girls think they're the greatest. and boy are they easy!

(I did make all the bread homemade this year..but don't check your mailbox for our card ;)






These pictures are from Christmas Eve...we tried to get all the little boy cousins together.
Aren't they just the cutest?!

One day they will all sit still and smile...but for now I love all their busy little boy-ness.

Merry {day after} Christmas.
XxOo

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Tragic times during a happy season.


The week of Christmas ...a week that is filled with excitement and traditions.
The week where everyone is baking cookies and shopping and wrapping and watching Christmas movies and celebrating.

It's one of the most joyful times of the year.

But this week as everyone is going about their fun... our dear friend's hearts are breaking.
They could be losing their little girl.

Last Thursday she was a perfect, happy, healthy 11 year old...
....this Thursday doctors are saying she may not make it.

Click here to read her story of Facebook.

Her name is Faith. and she really, really, really could use our prayers right now.
There is nothing more the doctors can do at this point. It's going to take a miracle to save her.

Her parents are Kyle and Michelle. I can't imagine what they are going through.
Faith also has two younger brothers and a new baby sister.









Today my heart is heavy. Everything I'm doing seems trivial...right down to my stupid coffee.
I've been trying to make the most of every moment.....
.....I keep looking at my kids and appreciating all that they are doing today...even blinking!

It's times like this that remind us of our finite life. of how fast it goes. of what matters most.
It's times like this I feel so small.

We need God! Without Him we are nothing. Without Him there is no hope.
Without Him there is no purpose beyond this life.

There is so much more...and when tragedy strikes...then we are reminded.
Then we fall humbly to our knees.

I keep thinking...here we are smiling and baking cookies...
...and our friends are in the hospital with their daughter who may not be here on Christmas.





{I stole this photo from their FB page...}
Please pray for our friends. Pray for a miracle for little Faith.
They need it right now.
XxOo

Friday, December 16, 2016

Hey! Are you baking cookies this weekend and a whole week of blogging wrapped up in wrapping up the week.

With Christmas music playing on the radio....our ride home from ice skating this afternoon...
...so beautiful.
.....so winter.
...so Christmas.
...so peaceful. {once we arrived home that is...wink}

If you know me, you know I HATE! driving in the snow.
One flake and I stay home. Thankfully it didn't start until we were close-ish to our town.





The cutest little ice skates I ever did see.



He has great uncles....they pushed him around on a small chair when he was too afraid to skate.
The first child in our family afraid of the ice..what in the world!
I'm sure by the end of winter he'll be a pro...but not today. Today was not a "pro" day.


We don't have the actual "Elf on the Shelf"...for the past few years we've been using this little guy.
I think he came off of my grandparent's tree...I remember him from somewhere in my childhood. Ha!

Anyway...it's fun having teenage boys who help out with all the fun during the holiday season.
Sam has been moving the elf each night.




Last weekend {after years of wanting to try...} we made our own sprinkling sugar!
Quick and simple to do... and I love the way the colors turned out when we used Turbinado sugar.


Step 1. Find a very handsome man to help out.
Step 2. Add 3 drops of food coloring to 1/4 cup of sugar.
Step 3. Mix well...add more drops if you want a darker color.
Step 4. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Step 5. Let the sugar cool.
Step 6. Break apart any clumping.
Step 7. Sprinkle onto cookies!






Happy last weekend before Christmas!
XxOo

Monday, December 12, 2016

Snow, a book, and a link...nothing too exciting. Except the link..I'd check out the Jotham's Journey link...and then I'd buy a book. You won't regret it!


If there is one thing that can put a person into a Christmas mood..it's snow!
Outside is a winter wonderland...we love it.

It snowed almost the entire weekend.
Church was cancelled yesterday and we had a quiet morning at home...
...sour dough French toast in the morning and sugar cookies all afternoon.

I know many of your read the Arnold Ytreeide books....
....this year we are reading Ishtar's Odyssey again.

If you don't read these books I would really encourage you to check them out!
They are really good books. We have been reading them since our boys were little.

Go to the website Jothams' Journey.
Scroll down and choose a book title....click on a book.
Now look under the book and you will find "Special Feautures".
Click on it. Your kids will love it...very interesting and informative.

I want to go to Israel when I see all the photos! How fun that would be? 


{Two hours before the big snow began....}



This little guy would live outside if we let him.
He loves the snow....just like everyone else in our house.






This week is busy..filled with basketball games and
finishing up some things for school before Christmas break.

We don't have a heavy workload during the month of December...  {I wrote about it here last year}
...so today we will be making more snowflakes and reading about Helen Keller.
{the girls have been reading about her this month} 


Off to start a whole lot of laundry...
HaPpY Monday to you.
XxOo