Sunday, December 27, 2009

AND, Another Christmas to Remember


Capturing each moment at my parents for the holidays...




The house is dressed in holiday glam



Christmas Eve always has a buffet of holiday cookies.


We recite Luke 2 and sing carols on the Night before Christmas.
My brother and my Dad play a little "Joy to the World" duet
(in a very cute beginner-y type of way!) ;)


The first gift unwrapped is on Christmas Eve,
and it's always a pair of jammies.
This year a little stuffed animal was tucked into the box as well.

Skyler reads a Christmas story to his brothers
before the LONG night starts
.
(My little boys are just SO darn cute!) :D

My parents have a tradition of
hiding a stuffed animal in the boys' sleeping bags
every Christmas Eve!


An array of shiny packages and bows awaits the morning hours.
The elves arrange them all under the tree upstairs while the boys try to sleep downstairs.










And it's finally Christmas morning!
Titus is searching for a present with his name on it...



Sooo excited!


Santa brought a new electric guitar!



Breaking for a hot breakfast of
homemade sweet rolls
with a candy and gingerbread table.

You can click photo to enlarge.
(and yes, a WHITE Christmas!)


And the table transforms a bit
for Christmas Prime Rib Dinner...


My Mom's whimsical little centerpiece.

Christmas bows are on more than just packages.




Happy Sweet Christmas!

This post is linked to: Blackberry Vine Pretty Packages Party, Tablescape Thursday, It's So Very Cheri, DIY Showoff, Tip Junkie, , Show and Tell
DIY Day, Today's Creative Blog , Works for Me Wednesday

Thursday, December 24, 2009

May your Days be Merry and Bright...

The Presents sit undisturbed under our tree for a
few more hours....




24 days have been checked off our December calender...

The Christmas Song

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping on your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.


They know that Santa's on his way;
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.
And every mother's child is going to spy,
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although its been said many times, many ways,
A very Merry Christmas to you




This little JOYful message is my absolute favorite holiday message I've ever seen!
So simple, but the words just tug at me and make me smile.
I bought it at Target and love, love it!

A joyful heart is the BEST gift,

so reach for it,
grab tightly
and hang on to JOY.



Image courtesy of Google image search

Happy Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kids in the Gingerbread Kitchen

All ready for a day in the Gingerbread Kitchen with my boys!

Me in my {brand new} early Christmas gift
from my dear Grandma,
an adorable apron!

I always go ALL gingerbread men and candy in my kitchen during the holidays.
Buttermilk Cinnamon Toast and Eggs taste much better on Gingerbread dishes!

My gingerbread tree is looped with twine bows on the branches,
lined with gingerbread garland, and topped with a little man.

I made this gingerbread man out of a paper bag when I was 9 years old
at my creative next door neighbor's house.

And more books of course...
this book, Gingerbread Baby is one of my boys' favorites!

So the scene is set.
Now I just need busy little
hands to help me with some December creations!



First we start with the simple basics.
I love me some Betty Crocker.
(For kitchen projects involving more than 1 child, I highly recommend the already prepared stuff.)

Mix, mix with those wide eyes and little hands...
take turns too!
We completely overcooked the cookies,
but maybe this will prevent them from breaking as we assemble all the cut sugar cookie stars into a big tree.

The gumdrops were the exciting part...





Ta da!
Sugar Cookie Star Christmas Tree

Please don't fall, please don't fall.


Waiting at my Mom's every year are the classic gingerbread men!
The boys always look forward to it.
It looks like my Dad helped decorate these this year
(just a guess as I notice some men in cool shades...)

And another fun treat for the boys at my parent's house is my Dad's vintage car and airplane tree. It's topped with an old toy plane and tied with racing checks ribbon and a racing checks tree skirt. He's an avid collector of vintage cars and airplanes so this tree fits him perfectly. The boys have SO enjoyed finding all the "cool" cars on it!

And our last little project for the holidays...
At Kotah's School Party his teacher taught the kids to make cinnamon applesauce dough in class! He was able to take the dough home to make sweet-smelling tree ornaments. We used cookie cutters and made a ribbon garland with ours. It's so adorable! :)
A big THANK YOU to his teacher for teaching us this.





Here's my Curious Little Questions for you!

Do you theme out your kitchen?
If so, what do you do?
Do you decorate your kitchen the same or different every year?
What's your FAVORITE activity to do with your kids in December?

Don't forget to check out this post I have here on making the holidays easier and {almost} stress free!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cookies and Christmas Books: A Celebration of December

Two big Holiday Traditions in our home are
COOKIES and Christmas books.



Each year, we get the boys a new Christmas book.
I so adore every one!


Christmas stories always set the scene
and create many, many memories.

We read The Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve.



I place Christmas books all throughout our home during the season
to encourage READING
and to encourage the magic of Christmas!


This wordless book keeps us all spellbound every year...
Align Center


This Curious George book
is a favorite with my curious boys!
PS...a little off topic, but remember my Ugg fascination I talked about here...
and that incredible pillow on my wish list?
Well, it now snuggles on my couch instead of on a catalog page! ;)



This year I combined our 2 big traditions of cookies and stories with the PERFECT book...

2009 BOOK IS:

Christmas Cookies, Bite-Size Holiday Lessons

This book is just precious.
It teaches valuable character qualities
and is super cute!
I always write a little note in the front cover for them. This year it read,

"To my precious boys.
I hope you always learn to keep your hearts
as sweet and as good as cookies."


It's SO imperative to train our young, growing children at this impressible age
that a strong, solid character will be one of their greatest assets in life.



The boys love to listen to Skyler read to them...
and Momma likes to watch.

And of course a tray of traditional cookies is the perfect touch.
I make these cookies every single year!

They are just plain good...
yummy for little {or not so little} tummies.


Traditional Sugars with Cream Cheese Frosting


Maple Frosties
Chocolate Crinkles

Just add a glass of milk...

For More Cookie ideas,
see some new cookies
I made this season HERE!



~~

What is your all time favorite Christmas book?
Do you collect Christmas stories?
What's your favorite holiday cookie?

This post is linked to Bake at 350, Today's Creative Blog, Show and Tell, Holly Bash, DIY Showoff, So Very Cheri, DIY Day, Works for Me Wednesday

Don't forget to check out this post I have here on making the holidays easier and {almost} stress free!