Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Highlights

 Brady was asking to serve a meal on Christmas Eve somewhere or feed the homeless...but we couldn't find anywhere for him to do that.  So, we came up with the idea of handing out goodie bags.  We filled bags with cookies, candy, crackers, etc.  We spent about 2 hrs. driving around...and when we saw someone that needed some Christmas spirit, Brady would jump out of the van and say "Merry Christmas!" and give them a bag.  After handing out the first few bags he said to us, "this feels pretty good!"  I must admit that beforehand, Eric and I were less than thrilled to be doing this.  I mean, Christmas Eve is our time.  How selfish is that of us?  But, because Brady was so persistant, we gave in.  And, we are so glad we did!  It was amazing to see the faces of kids and grown ups light up because of a simple act of kindness.  Brady passed out all the bags himself.  I only got out of the van once to go into a restaurant with him where we saw two kids sitting.  Eric and I talked later and we both felt that we were lead to just the right people...people that could use a small blessing late that afternoon.
 I have a feeling Brady will want to do this again next year.  

These are a few of Brady's favorite gifts....

We had a great Christmas.  Brady told his cousins that he's glad he's an "only" child because you get more stuff for Christmas.  I was embarrassed he said that. 
I'm always a little down after Christmas...I guess because of all the excitement and anticipation...and then it's all over in one day.  I do however need to find some motivation to get our cluttered house back in order!  Eric has been sick since Christmas afternoon...poor guy has been in the bathroom for three days now!  We were hoping to do a couple of fun things this week while he and Brady are home....so, he needs to hurry up and get better! 

I hope you're having a good week...and enjoying a little down time.
We certainly can use it after the holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Santa, Printables, Christmas Eve & Merry Christmas!

I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve!
It doesn't really feel like it around here.
Last night Eric and Brady played tennis for 2 hrs. at the
 outside courts in town.  Not something they can 
usually do this time of year...without their ears falling off! 

Oh, who am I kidding?!  They play at the courts even when
it is cold out.  As long as it's over 35 degrees...they're there playing
under the lights.

Last Sunday we had our Santa evening with friends.
You can read about that tradition HERE if you want.

Last year I was so emotional thinking it would probably be Brady's last year of "believing."  But boy was I wrong!  He just keeps right on believing and doesn't question anything!  I think we are in over our heads with this whole Santa thing we have created.  Eric said he thinks we should tell him sometime after Christmas.  I said NO WAY!  If he is still believing come middle school...then maybe we will fill him in. ;)

Here are a few things he has said:
Santa knows me so well...
How much older is Jesus than Santa?
Can you believe I'm the only one in my class that believes in Santa?
Santa gave me this watch because he knows my other one was cheap and it broke.
I wonder if Santa made my watch or the elves?
Santa asked me if I could get him tickets to the U.S Open...do you think he'll wear his suit when he goes...cause it's hot in August?

I found  THIS  website that's pretty cool.  You upload a picture of your livingroom onto their site, pick out a Santa and they place him in your picture....for free.  Then you can print it and show the kids you saw Santa.  I told Brady I was going to try and "sneak" a picture of Santa on Christmas Eve and he got mad at me and said NO...I could not do that.  Santa would be upset and it would ruin it for other kids...and it's about believing and the spirit of Christmas.  Oh my...like I said, we are in over our heads.  Poor Brady.

Here's a picture of the kids from Sunday...
not a great picture, but I get one every year.

Here's the same group of kids...just last year. :)

(okay...not last year...but it seems like it.)

Aren't these cute tags?!
You can print them HERE.

Christmas Eve has always been special for my husband and I.
When I was pregnant with Brady, Eric made me promise that Christmas Eve would still continue to be "our" evening.  It's not that we do anything spectacular...it's just something we both look forward to.  When Brady goes to bed, we finish wrapping anything that hasn't been done yet.  We usually have champagne and appetizers and talk about life, our future, and how Christmas always makes us wish we had another child.  (Christmas can do that to you.)  We also talk about how lucky we are that God blessed us with the child we have, the one all snuggled up and sound asleep in his bed because he cannot wait for  Christmas morning.   So, with the busy-ness of the season and sharing our time with others over the holiday, I just want my husband to know that Christmas Eve is one of the days I look forward to the most each and every year.

If you're still with me on this long post...I'm signing off now!
I probably won't be back on until after Christmas.

I wish all of you a very blessed Christmas!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

If You Don't Have Time To Make Cookies...You Might Have Time To Make These!

These cookies only call for 3 ingredients!

Sugar cookies
1 1/4 cup caramels
1 Tbs. water

Put a small amount of cookie dough into mini muffin tins.
Bake cookie.  Do not over bake- cookies in the tube tend to get over done quickly.  I used the bottom of a wooden spoon to hollow
out the center of the cookie after you take them out of the oven.

Melt caramels and water in microwave.
Pour caramels into center of cookie.
Cover with plastic wrap until caramels have set.

I sprinkled sea salt on them too.
These are so easy and so good...and so addicting.
Definitely my favorite cookie I made this Christmas!

(If the cookie gets hard after a few days, pop them into the micowave for a few seconds...
the caramel gets all melty...and....I think I need to go have one...right...now!

Oh how I love caramel...and sugar and cookies. 
I have thrown in the towel.
I will start my diet on Jan.2nd like all the other
sugar craving people out there!


PS.  If you make these, I'd love to know what you think of them!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gifts From The Heart

Brady and I made a batch of oreo cookies truffles (his favorite) and then Brady asked if he could make the next batch all by himself from start to finish.  He crushed the cookies, mixed in the cream cheese, rolled all the balls, melted the chocolate and dipped a good amount of balls before letting me finish the rest.  I could tell he was proud of himself.  Baking in the kitchen with Brady is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays.  Some years he's more attentive than others...and this just happened to be one of those years.  Very enjoyable.

Brady also made pot holders to give to my mom and sisters.

The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.
~Pierre Corneille

I still haven't received the Christmas cards I ordered. :(
They were shipped on Dec. 13...but no one seems to know where they are.
I called Snapfish today and they refunded my money.  Even if they come next week,
I'm still going to send them out late.  People will just think I'm not "on the ball"...but
that's okay.  I'm actually not that upset about it...I think I am mellowing out in my older age!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reindeer Treats

I made these when Brady was in kindergarten for
his class Christmas party.  They were easy,
 but a little time consuming...
worth every minute when I saw how excited the kids were.

Chocolate rice krispie treats
icing for the eyes and to glue the bow tie & nose
fruit rollups
m & m's
pretzels and melted chocolate

Brady's last day of school is this Friday...and I haven't heard anything about a class party.
  Looks like 3rd grade isn't having one. 
 It makes me a little sad...but also a little relieved. 
 I tend to go overboard with those things and at least
 I don't have to worry about that on this already busy week!

My son's teacher from last year invited me to be room mom
 in her class again this year.  Ok, that's a little weird. 
She must think I'm desperate or something! 

If your child is having a Christmas party at school...
I hope you help to make it fun. 
Those little class parties only last for a few short years!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Naughty or Nice?

I saw this fun idea over at eighteen25 and thought I would give it a try!  Black rice krispie treats that look like lumps of coal.  This was so easy.  One tip though...it requires about a container and a half of Wilton food coloring to get it to go from gray to black. 

Then, you just drop the lumps onto wax paper.  I let mine sit overnight to dry.

Here they are all ready to go.  We're off to our annual Santa dinner with friends this evening.  I thought I would take them along...one for each family to take home.

You can get the recipe and the tag HERE.

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time....Of The Year

That Christmas song sure puts a lot of pressure on us!  I have my "lists" all over the house trying to make sure I don't forget anything...or anyone.  I thought I was ahead of the game this Christmas but the two weeks before the big day always seem to be a little out of control.  It would be wonderful if we could just focus on Christmas and family...but life goes on with work and other daily duties and obligations.  And, the Christmas cards that I ordered still have not come in the mail yet!

This is mine and Brady's favorite Christmas song.   We have listened and sang very loudly to it at least 50 times since Thanksgiving!

I made these Tuesday morning.  A really easy dessert especially if you need a large amount.

Pound cake from the freezer section.
cherry pie filling
instant vanilla pudding mix with 1/2 cups cold milk & 1 cup sour cream.
cool whip
Layer everything.  Add a candy cane to the top or whatever you like!

Well, that's all I have for now.  I need to get my butt moving and get as  much checked off my list as I can today.  I am determined to sit and relax and watch a Christmas movie (Brady is going to let us know whether it's Polar Express or Christmas Story) with my family tonight.  

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brady's Bedroom


To see how Brady's room was decorated before,  you can go HERE and HERE.  I have already talked and reminisced about that bedroom long enough...so now we're moving on!

I really wish you could see the actual color of the walls.
I love the color...I'm just not happy with the way my camera captures it.  Or, maybe it's not the camera, maybe it's me!
Someday when I get a new camera, I will retake the pictures.

Paint color- Monroe Bisque by Benjamin Moore
Wall decal from Etsy.
Bedding- Bed Bath and Beyond

  I wanted to post pictures of Brady's room last week...but as you know this time of year is so crazy busy.  Sorry I haven't been around to comment on your blogs the last couple of days.   I am hoping to catch up with everyone soon.  But not tonight!  I have 40 desserts to make for a friend for her employee party at work tomorrow...so, I better get busy!


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