Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The 11th and 12th Days of Christmas

Christmas Eve
Dinner at a cousins house and fun on the trampoline.

 Candlelight Christmas Eve Service
Christmas dresses and matching red glitter shoes, carols and candlelight
and children falling asleep in the pews

Christmas Day
stockings, phone calls, ichats, cookies for breakfast
Favorite gifts

Jack is happy with the little things - Mario shirt, shades and cream soda.

 Poppy shows off his yo-yo skills
 snow ball makers turned reindeer team
 Tinkerbell Beauty
Peanut hanging out by the stove 

It was a good day.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


The 10th Day of Christmas
The Food
I'm sadly lacking great photos for this post because my hands were covered in too much flour, butter and sprinkles over the past few days to pick up my camera.  There has been lots of good kitchen action going on here.  By the time anyone reads this however, most of the goodies will have been devoured or we will be so full of said goodies that we will be regretting our Christmas kitchen ambitions.  

The cookie list:
jam thumbprint
cut outs covered in a mass of sprinkles
gingerbread men
candy cane cookies
almond paste pine nut cookies
chocolate biscotti
chocolate nut fingers (which have not been made yet but are definitely required)

also a chocolate pecan pie (my personal favorite)
and a coconut cream pie rounding out the sweets list

On the savory side we have had several batches of Chex mix in the oven.  Also three loaves of my Aunt Judy's famous sourdough bread.

An entire day was spent on a delicious secret recipe (secret because no one can really remember where it came from, what exactaly is supposed to be in it, or what the real name is)  but my husband's family calls minulatti.  Sounds Italian doesn't it?  
On the kitchen staff, there is an expert dough roller, several taste testers, and lots of opinions on the correct fillings and the order in which the fillings are placed, also on the correct rolling and dough tucking techniques.  There are also specific rules about when you can eat the minulatti - only on Christmas Eve after midnight according to my father in law.  But those rules we blatantly broke because they are SO GOOD fresh from the oven.
The finished product, which I do not have a picture of because I was one of the rule breakers eating the minulatti instead of taking pictures, is like an antipasti roll.  Pizza dough filled with ground beef and onions, salami, olives, roasted red peppers, and capicalla.

And then of course there are the menus:

Christmas Eve
shrimp cocktail
cheese and crackers
beef tenderloin
twice baked potatoes
green salad
jello salad
chocolate pecan pie

Christmas Morning
sausage egg souffle 
cooked cinnamon apples
toasted panettone bread
assorted hot drinks

Christmas Dinner
ham with pineapple chutney
scalloped potatoes
green beans almondine
coconut cream pie

So my kitchen is a mess, my jeans are getting tight, my children are eating their weight in cookies...
but its Christmas and its all good.

 Happy Eating!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


The 9th Day of Christmas
We have not had any snow in the foothills this season so we headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park to find some.
We had a wonderful afternoon of sledding fun.
We had a fancy wooden sled, 2 plastic saucers, and a long 3 seater.  We flew down the hill on our knees, our bottoms, and our stomachs, sideways, backwards and in pairs.  We had wipeouts both accidental and intentional.
Here are some of my favorite one-liners from the day.

"I think I broke my but."
"Abandon ship!"
"I'm having major steering issues."
"This is AWESOME!"
"Again, again!"

We had a blast and here are the photos to prove it.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Monday, December 20, 2010


The 8th Day of Christmas

It has been a while since I listed my gifts here.  Not because I have stopped noticing them, but because they come flowing so abundantly - gifts both small and large, gifts wrapped in beautiful packages and in plain paper bags, gifts from God delivered by loved ones and strangers alike.  Received in small daily moments and in big events.

441.  the Christmas season
442.  colored lights
443.  Christmas tea
444.  chocolate with tea
445.  while wrapping presents by the fire
446.  new best friends
447.  BFF twin lockets
448.  finding a friend when you need one
449.  ice skating shows
450.  beautiful costumes
451.  disco balls 
452.  a grandmother who can name all the jumps and spins
453.  homemade wrapping paper with children's handprints, stamps and crayon pictures
454.  gorgeous foil papers and satin ribbons
455.  silly dog  paper picked out by my 4 year old
456.  knowing that no matter how it was wrapped,  it was given in love
457.  volunteering at the school Christmas shop
458.  seeing what 1st - 5th graders will pick out for their families
459.  hearing the excitement when they describe their purchases
460.  helping them wrap their gifts
461.  new Christmas dresses
462.  smocking
463.  red sparkle shoes 
464.  a sermon about your gift to God
465.  hearing your child sing out Joy To the World 
466.  great big breakfasts with fried potatoes, and bacon
467.  asking the Wal-Mart cashier how her day is and listening to her Christmas plans
468.  the generosity of parents
469.  a great gift
470.  the joy and surprise on the recipient's face
471.  the feeling you get when someone really loves what you give them
472.  school parties
473.  reading  a silly Christmas story to a roomful of 2nd graders wearing pajamas
474.  sitting by the fire and the Christmas tree in the early morning quiet contemplating gifts
475.  the indescribable Gift
476.  the gift of Christ without whom all other gifts would be meaningless
477.  the fact that LOVE came down at Christmas to live among us
478.  Mary who "treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart"  (Luke 2:19)

Lord, this season may we be like Mary and treasure up all these things.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


The 6th and 7th Days Of Christmas

Christmas Math Lesson 

4 parties + 3 classes x 2 days = 1 tired mama

Christmas Creative Writing Assignment

 School Party Poem

Red and green paper chains,
Christmas toe-sock gift exchange.
Moms marching in with cookies galore,
Teachers, smiling and running out the door.
Bingo, stories, and crafts with glitter glue,
cookie decorating and a movie too!

Tonight, children nestled all snug in their beds,
while mamas soak in the tub to soothe their throbbing heads.

Christmas Science Experiment

For this experiment you will need:
3 flavors of ice cream, 13 different candy toppings, 9 varieties of sprinkles, 4 types of chocolate sauce, whip cream and 2 jars of cherries
Hypothesis:  Offering the 5th grade class a serve yourself, all you can eat, ice cream sundae bar will make them very happy.


We are now officially on Christmas Break.
Ya- Hoo!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The 5th Day of Christmas
Welcome to the first Christmas in our new home.  
It's fun to pull out boxes and remember Christmases past.
Here are a few of our favorite things.
and homemade.
These nativity hurricane lamps I bought last year and I love how they glow.
These photos are out all year but I love them at Christmas time.
The one on the left is my husband and his cousins in a very 1970's Christmas shot.
The photo on the right is a very similar 70's Christmas shot of my childhood.
Then there is the red ribbon box that holds special Christmas cards I have saved over the years.
It is fun to go back and read the personal notes and look at the wonderful photos of loved ones.
Someday my children may discover the notes they wrote to Santa that are buried on the bottom.
My dining room is in the middle of a makeover which I hope to have finished by Christmas dinner.
I like simple, natural decorations on the table.
But there is a little glitz hanging from the chandelier.
And then there are the Christmas dishes.
I LOVE traditional transferware.  I use these as often as I can throughout the season and into January.

The shopping list has been checked off, the house is decorated, next week begins the best part - the baking!