Dec 31, 2008

Party Pooped!!!

What a holiday season! This was the year of the party.
We started with pajama day in J-Man's classroom and the arrival of The Polar Express. Do you see the children sitting on the train? Their second grade book buddies joined us for the party.
After Ms. Corrigan read The Polar Express to the class, the teachers served a hot cocoa bar with fresh whipped cream, mini marshmellows, crushed peppermint, and colored sprinkles.
One second greader declared it "the best hot chocolate" he had ever tasted! Thanks, Buddy!
After hot cocoa, we got a call from the office that a very cold package had arrived from the North Pole. Our jingle bell necklaces had been shipped via magic straight to our school. They were still cold even!

Next was D's holiday party at school, in which all I had to do was send in a couple of boxes of graham crackers. Whew!

Check out this cute kiddo in the Santa hat.

Next was J-Man's school party. We decorated the teachers,decorated cookies for our snack,played a little bingo and M&M straw grab,made reindeer food to leave out for Rudolph on Christmas Eve,and made adorable snowman pins out of buttons (sorry no close up photo), and jingle bell door hangers.Somewhere in those days, we even managed to decorate gingerbread houses at homeand our family Christmas tree.

There was also a grown- up dinner party complete with leg of lamb, cocktails, and peppermint ice cream cake somewhere in the mix. How did I miss getting photos of that? Hmmmm......

We then celebrated Christmas with The Man's fam.

Complete with cul-de-sac football.
What a grab!
One of my favorite parties of the year is our annual Happy Birthday Jesus Party. Our craft this year was a terra cotta nativity.
The Force was with D-Man's Mary and Joseph. I did not, however, allow him to glue them there like he wanted.
We read the Christmas Story and decorated our small tree with nativity ornaments,
and we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus (even though I am pretty sure D thinks we are singing to him here).
Finally, two days before Christmas. we had our home Polar Express party with the Sanfords.
Popcorn and cocoa...
and Jaxon's constant reminders that the movie is about a train!

Wow! What a fun and exciting holiday season, and all of this took place before Christmas day!!! I'm settling down for a long winters nap!!!
...and to all a Good Night!

Dec 17, 2008

I Corinthians 13- Christmas Style

I usually think these kinds of things are pretty cheesy- and they are- but I really liked this one, and I wanted to share it with you.

Corinthians 13 Christmas Version
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, Strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, But do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, Preparing gourmet meals And arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, But do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home And give all that I have to charity, But do not show love to my family, It profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, Attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, But do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, But is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, But rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, Hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, Golf clubs will rust&But giving the gift of love will endure. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.
I'm posting this as my Works for Me Wednesday as a reminder to all of us-ahem, I mean myself- that my Christmas focus should not be on the hustle and bustle, but on HIM and others around us! Head on over to Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW tips.
In joy, Troye

Dec 15, 2008

Open House

BooMamaChristmasTourIt's BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes, so I want to take you on a very short tour of my Christmas Decor. Come on in the front door (complete with fingerprints because I want you to have the full effect)...

Say hello to Santa and Mrs. Claus. They welcome you to our home where they sit atop the piano and cheer for our Dawgs (next season). Ahem!!!

Stop by the kitchen table for a snack.The Man is making Stadler Christmas Candies in the kitchen (recipe below).

Or enjoy some Ranger Cookies (recipe below) or Muffins as you gaze upon our Christmas Tree in the Morning Room.

Don't forget to check out the boys' homemade nativities from last year's Happy Birthday Jesus Party. And visit us next week to see this year's homemade nativity.

Take a glance at our Christmas cards on the basement door that is covered in wrapping paper, and then...

...have a seat in front of the fire place and enjoy some homemade hot cocoa (recipe below).

Here are the recipes:

Stadler Christmas Candies:

1 stick butter, softened

4 cups confectioners sugar

1 cup coconut flakes

1 qt nuts, chopped

1 small can sweetened condensed milk

2 bags semisweet chocolate chips

Mix ingredients together, excluding chocolate. Make into 1 in. balls. Melt chocolate in microwave and dip balls into chocolate thoroughly coating each candy. You may add parafin wax to your chips help the chocolate adhere to the candies. Dry on wax paper.

Ranger Cookies:
1 cup (2 sticks) Butter
1 cup Sucanat w/ Honey
1 cup Sucanat
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 ½ cups Soft Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups Rolled Oats
½ cup Shredded Coconut
½ cup Chopped Nuts
Preheat oven to 350.
Cream butter, sucanat w/ honey, and sucanat until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; mix well. Stir in rolled oats, coconut and nuts; mix well.
Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
Makes 2 dozen large cookies.

Stovetop Hot Cocoa

Mix 1/2 cup sugar (I use sucanot a brown sugar equivalent), 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa, and a dash of salt in saucepan. Add 1/3 cup water and heat over medium until mixture boils for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Then add 4 cups whole milk and heat until almost boiling. Remove from heat and add 1tsp vanilla.

Serve with cinnamon sticks, peppermint sticks, marshmellows or whipped cream and sprinkles. Caramel makes this an extra special treat as well. See previous post for salted caramel hot chocolate recipe.

Merry Christmas!
In joy, Troye

Dec 12, 2008

Mood Music

Jonah at the dinner table:

"We wish you a Merry August, We wish you a Merry August..."

And, yes, we allow singing at the table. I never understood why that was considered rude. ?

Merry August Everyone!!!!!

In joy, Troye

Dec 10, 2008

Wish Books Work For Me

Last year for the boys' Christmas wish lists, we got them each a poster board to glue cut out pictures of what they wanted for Christmas to. It worked well, but they were rather large and bulky (just in case you hadn't noticed that about poster board).
This year The Man came up with the great idea to change our format to a composition notebook so that they could carry it around. Because I told them they could not start their wish lists until after Halloween, on November 1, I wrapped two composition in wrapping paper and then wrapped clear contact paper around that. This has been a sufficient covering for J-Man, my oldest.
I will upload a photo after they wake up because they sleep with these books. My youngest carries his with him everywhere! Therefore I have had to re-tape his a couple of times.
They know that the Sunday paper contains the wish papers, and they destroy my house every Sunday cutting out pictures of things to go in their wish book.
And, poor D-Man has things in his wish book like Cheetos, Pop Tarts, and Chips Ahoy. Sad, deprived little child gets homemade treats, and he wants the store bought stuff.
So, that Works For Me. I hope you get some use out of it too. Head on over to Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer and check out some other Works For Me Wednesday tips.

Dec 8, 2008

Life with Boys

Getting ready for bed...
J-Man is jumping on his bed- it is such a calming process- and yelling "Poop" into our faces.
Over and Over Again.
J-Man: "Poop! Poop! Poop!"
The Man: "If you say poop one more time, I'm going to spank you!"
J-Man: "Pee!"

I betcha that doesn't happen in houses with all girls.

In joy, Troye!

Dec 7, 2008

D preformed for the group during his holiday luncheon.

In joy, Troye!

Highly Recommended

If you live within driving distance of Stone Mountain, their Christmas celebration should be top on your list of things to do this holiday season. It's not cheap, but even The Man said it was worth the money!!!!! For those of you who do not know my man, that is saying a lot.
Sorry, Baby. You're not "cheap" you're just money wise. :)
Here we are looking all cute and warm. A photo of us? What is that doing in here?

All bundled up for the train ride. When you take the train around the base of the mountain, you see a light show, and the train stops for telling of the real Christmas story. They even talk about the angels and baby Jesus. I was blown away.

J-Man on top of the mountain. They rode the cable car up to the very cold mountain top. Brrrrrr..........

For indoor fun, there is a super cool play area complete with foam ball guns and three story twisty slides. And, yes, that is the technical term.

The evening began with a small parade where Mr and Mrs Clause were introduced.
And, we ended the evening by visiting Santa to tell him about our list. J-Man wants a Transformer and a kid sized ping pong table- this was news to me. And, D wants a "big bus." No surprises there.

There is also a Polar Express 4D experience and the laser show is presented several times throughout the night. If that is not enough excitement there is also miniature golf.
And, this is what your children look like on the way home from Stone Mountain Christmas!

In joy, Troye!

On the Second Day of Christmas

Friday, the boys gave each of their teachers a pair of gloves for the second day of Christmas give-a-thon. An extra pair of gloves for them to keep at school so that they always have a pair for the playground is always a fun gift. It doesn't make for a very exciting blog post though. Sorry!

In joy, Troye!

Dec 4, 2008

On the First Day of Christmas

I have always wanted to participate in 12 Days of Christmas for the boys' teachers. Thanks to some encouragement from my friend, Kimberly, and some help from my friend, Amy, I am going for it this year.
Because there are only 12 school day left before the Christmas break, our 12 days begin today.
Day 1: Candied CranberriesThese are so stinking yummy if you enjoy cranberries, and they have a really pretty presentation. I will be making these for holiday parties this season.
Here is the recipe if you would like to make them as well...
Candied Cranberries
Bring 2 cups of water and two cups of sugar to simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat (do not boil because cranberries will pop). Remove simple syrup from heat and stir 2 cups of cranberries into the liquid. Pour into a bowl, and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours). Drain cranberries, reserving liquid, and roll them in 3/4 cup of superfine sugar. If you cannot find superfine sugar, just put your sugar in the food processor for a minute or two. Spread into a single layer on a cookie sheet and let dry for 1 hour.

Important: Use the reserved liquid for a fun Holiday cocktail and garnish with your candied cranberries.

Merry Christmas!

In joy, Troye!

Dec 1, 2008

WARNING! This post is Rated M for mature!

Update: I've been censored!
Cover your children's eyes.

My boys are early risers. They come by it honestly. I haven't slept past 8am since college, and I really can't even remember when the last time was that I even slept until 8am.

But, the rule in our house is that they cannot come out of their bedroom until 7am.

No matter what time they wake up.

Today, they were up at 5:45. Fortunately, that is early even for them.

That means they had a lot of time to their own devices in their bedroom.

This is what I found at 7am...

I didn't ask any questions, and neither should you.

It's just another day in the life.

In joy, Troye!

Gift Card Giveaway!

Wouldn't a $500 Wal-Mart gift card come in handy this time of year?
I thought so.
Head on over here and enter to win... Just leave a comment to enter.