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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cookies for Santa

Who can resist a taste??
very carefully squeezing the icing out

Not so carefully

It was kind of hard for little fingers to hold the top down

Ah, a thing of beauty, is it not?
(Yes, there is a cookie under there!)

All ready to set out with carrots for Santa and the reindeer!

I found a tube of icing for 1.00 so to save time and dishes, I just used that for the kids to decorate the gingerbread cookies for Santa. We only used it on those cookies (it wasn't safe for Jacob, unfortunately), I'm sure Santa appreciated their artistry with the cookies.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

'Twas the day before Christmas......

Baking gingerbread people
Justin made a snowman

My Christmas rolling pin! and gingerbread dough

preparing for our army of gingerpeople!

Timothy made a "wooden" soldier

hi . from leannaJacob glued stuff, mostly the table. But with such concentration!

Christmas crafts and baking gingerbread.....we did some dollar craft kits I bought at AC Moore on black Friday after we came home from Phoebe Home last Tuesday. We attended a Christmas party to help hand out presents. It was different.....we had to sit through a performance by a local middle school, which was very good, just waaaaay too long for Jacob to sit through. Justin wasn't doing so well with it either. Plus they had food out on the tables that I wasn't certain was safe for Jacob, so I couldn't let him have any. That was really hard! Leanna looked quite sour the whole time we were there, but when we left I asked her if she still wanted to come back every day (as she said beforehand) and she said yes, she still wanted to come back! We were supposed to go again this week but I ended up having to cancel because Justin had a slight cold and you just can't take any chances in a place like that. A little cold might kill someone with a compromised immune system.

Too True!

Claire told me this one (she's a fan):

When someone hands you a flyer, it's like they're saying here you throw this away. Mitch Hedberg

Do you have this skill?

It's genetic. I can't. My Mom can. Tom can. He said to me, sure you can! Just use the sides of your mouth to push your tongue in half! But I still can't, it just doesn't bend that way!! I can look really funny trying though! That explains how Tom can tie a cherry stem in a knot inside his mouth!!

Food for thought

I've been finding lots of food for thought at Empowered by Play a blog whose purpose is "Helping families and teachers protect and promote imaginative play in our way-too-busy, consumer-driven, media-filled world."

Basically there are a lot of subjects I've considered before: early sexualization of children-particularly girls, too much emphasis on academics for young-even preschool age!-children, the loss of play as a worthwhile and educational activity, and media's overwhelming influence on our children's lives.

Some interesting things:

I really like this short post about a teacher's observations of five year olds playing with Lego. An excellent passage to show why play is soooo good for kids!

From The Power of Play by David Elkind, Ph.D. The following passage comes from the chapter "Toys Aren't Us".
"The need for hands-on play is now recognized in higher education. In the school of architecture at Stanford University, students are required to play with erector sets as part of the curriculum. Too few students have had actual experience in building real things, which is essential before they begin designing them."

I also noticed a link for a book that looks interesting as well, Imagine This! The book is a collection of poems and illustrations that celebrate make-believe and daydreaming. It's written and illustrated by mother/daughter team Joanne Froh and Frances Plagens. Their website is

I found the blog through a link from large families to a link on a large homeschooling family, where she discusses young girls learning provocative behavior from peers and being in a culture where provocative clothing is offered to younger and younger girls as well. She links to an article in the Rethinking Schools journal entitled "Six, Going on Sixteen". It was written by a veteran elementary schoolteacher who currently teaches a combined K/1 class who commented on the post, and that's where I found the website! (the author didn't feel the problem should be combatted by homeschooling to keep your children away from these influences. I say you can both homeschool and fight to keep it out of ALL children's lives!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Also from last week......

We had a cowboy visiting us last week, complete with a rope and a bucket (for the well).

Even kid phones need to be charged!

I found Jacob's toy phone on the charger instead of our home phone the other day!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Earlier stuff-holiday pictures

earlier stuff-Brownie party

the new Try-Its she earned
Leanna with Santa and Marlena

She immediately announced to me that the Santa was a fake, just someone's Mom in a suit!

I made Tom take the camera to Leanna's Brownie party/court of awards ceremony since I couldn't come (no family car and too dark and cold to walk with the kids).

Posting earlier stuff-ornaments

Because I'm still exhausted and don't feel like cleaning the mess yet again-only to have it reappear in an hour or two-I'm posting today. These are a few pictures from the night we decorated our tree. I would like that to become a family traddition eventually as we hang the ornaments we remember and talk about where they came from and in some cases, why they were added. Justin's holding up the ornament for his first christmas and Timothy is pictured with the ornament that shows him at two weeks old (Probably my favorite ornament ever).

14 Days of Homeschool

Monday, December 21, 2009

Smoothie Smile

Grammy was kind enough to make the kids some smoothies on Sunday afternoon. Apparently Jacob really enjoyed his.

Cookie Making-Part Deux

One of my favorite cookie tins
A pretty cookie to make up for:

a cold blackened heart, LOL

By the end I was getting pretty tired, which for me generally equals silly as well. So I started writing on the cookies. And the kids started doing cookies which were nothing more than piles of icing on top of a cookie. Not even a pretense of decorating anymore!

Cookie-Making Part Deux

The actual decorating of the cookies

This year went much smoother than some other years......just more kids being old enough to handle it helps, and Jacob not being quite as needy. At the end I did have to take him over to Tom and have him hold Jacob. We'll see how next year goes! (I'm optimistic that it will be even better!)


I don't need this reminder, but I think often that others around me do.

Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Franz

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cookie making

I swear, Timothy has to smell EVERYTHING!
I let Jacob paint a few cookies for himself

At first it looked like a mermaid, then I realized it's an airplane, with another cookie (or at least a piece of dough) attached to the tip. Kind of looks like an exploding airplane!

Cookie making

"paint" for some cookies. Just egg yolks and dye. Leanna really liked that.

Two adults and a room full of people, and still Jacob managed to break into the sprinkles. Luckily he picked the one kind he's safe with!

Laura made the cookie iceing.

Cookie making

The apron Aunt Cindy made me looks better on Leanna
Santa Baby

A dirty job, but someone's gotta do it!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cool website about snowflakes

a website about snowflakes, I had no idea there were so many types!

Cookies and Allergies

Doh! All the nice sprinkle sets for the cookies have soybean oil!! I found only one kind of sprinkle that doesn't, and it cost more than the sets. So I'll have to keep a special tin of Jacob-safe cookies with those or no sprinkles.

I had to look up the Hershy Kisses website to check it poor Jacob could have one of those since he couldn't have Aunt Laura's peanut butter kisses cookies.

Luckily he could have a Hershy's Kiss (that particular kind!).

From their website:

We take food allergies very seriously at Hershey and have strict procedures in place to prevent crossover of allergens into other products that do not contain the allergen. In instances where we have a concern about possible crossover by an allergen we take the added precaution of including an allergy information statement on the label.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


This is my issue with facebook.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Q-Mart Trip

I had to get a picture of Maree with this Santa because I have a picture of her dancing with him from about two years ago (the last time she went to Q-Mart).

On Sunday we made a big trip to see Santa and go to Q-Mart. Though it didn't work out exactly as planned, the kids had a blast and were very happy with their visit with Nanny Sue and Pop-Pop. When I scan the pictures I'll add the visit with Santa pictures-Nanny Sue got a tip from a friend and we went to Country Junction which was beautiful!