Monday, December 26, 2011
Everyone arrived...for Grandma's famous croissants. The Christmas miracle is always if they make it to the dinner table without being eaten.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Hayden attacked the Swedish meatballs, while Bayley was all about the refrigerator rolls. Grace was more adventurous and went after Uncle Jim's rice pudding and Aunt Mary's jello salad (two helpings of each!).
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Grandma Bobbie rushed down to help with the kids for the first few days, and Grammo & PopPop arrived as reinforcements. The activities in the Santa advent calendar had to be paused...and rethought.
Cookie day didn't have to mean baking, it could mean eating cookies. Walking through Zoolights could be driving through Winter Wonderland.
It was wonderful to have so many friends visit me in the hospital, but as lovely as the distraction was, I missed my kiddos painfully. So much so that I talked my way out of my festively decorated hospital room in time for the first night of Hanukkah.
I have to take it slow and not fall into doing all I normally would, and follow a bizarre diet, but being with my babes is worth the effort.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Once the tree fell, it was up to Daddy and his soon-to-be boy scout to carry it back to the truck. When we thought about a tall tree, we never considered how heavy it would be. They did a great job, save one point where Bayley fell and the tree did a head stand.
The tree got hoisted onto the roof, and the boys got in some play time while Grace opted to warm up in the truck with a graham cracker. They're not usually into having their pictures taken - OK so Bayley hates it - but they were all about posing for some reason.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
When I came to get them, they asked if they could both choose a tag this year...and since they already had, plus we've been truly blessed this year, I agreed. The tags they selected were for little boys who'd asked for shoes, which the boys found sad. Some of the other tags were for a kareoke machine and toys, but the boys thought the kids who asked for shoes probably needed a gift more than the other kids.
They wanted to give some of their toys to the boys, but the gifts had to be new. We decided to pass on the toys instead.
Last holiday season Grandma & Grandpa gavet he boys each $20 to spend on charity. I've suggested things throughout the year, but nothing motivated them to give, until the giving tree. They wanted to spend their $20 on a fun gift for their boys, while Mom & Dad sprang for the shoes. Deal.
We're so proud of our boys for thinking of others. They truly have the holiday spirit.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
The boys really enjoyed the giant bounce house and slide. Grace wanted to enjoy it, she was quite excited to look at it, but the idea of going in plain freaked her out. Even Ava and her friend Adilyne from school couldn't coax her in.
Once the gingerbread man decorating station opened, she had something to do. Get sticky. I got the kids cocoa, but Grace was only interested in licking the whipped cream from the top. Hayden declared the cocoa undrinkable, and Bayley thought it was watered down. That's what I get for making Swiss Miss with milk instead of water - cocoa snobs!
Grace was exited to see Santa, not so excited about getting close to the big guy. Bayley decided he's too old to sit on Santa's lap, but he wanted to be sure to get his wish list passed on. I hope I'll get a good shot of all three of them at Breakfast With Santa next weekend.
Friday, December 09, 2011
Most of the snapshots were too blurry to make much out, but these are the few that came through. Now that I know he'll use it, I'll send him with a better one. I gave him the camera Hayden uses in case it didn't make it back with him. And it almost didn't.
They get project jackets whenever they go to site builds, so he and his project manager had matching jackets. They didn't come home with their own. Luckily, all was resolved at work the next day.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
I'm excited for Write the holiday letter and Mail holiday cards. Not sure the boys are though!
Monday, December 05, 2011
He only really mentions it for two things - Fruit Punch Kool-Aid and red velvet cake. Not a lot I can do about either, being red is part of their schtick. Except I got to thinking...what if there were a natural way to color the cake?
I found lots of recipes online, with lots of different results. I combined a few in what I hoped would give me the reddest cake. The cake...is reddish brown. BUT it tastes like red velvet cake. That dense, rich with hint of cocoa flavor. I suppose it's not the best recipe for Valentine's Day, but I think the tall boy appreciated the effort.
1 ¼ cup - sugar
1 cup - (1 stick) butter, softened
3 - eggs
2 cup - cake flour
½ cup - unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp. - baking powder
½ tsp. - baking soda
1 tsp. - salt
1 cup - buttermilk
2 tsp. - balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. - vanilla extract
1 can shoestring beets, pureed
Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs. Sift the flour and dry ingredients. Add the beets to the butter mixture, then half the flour, then the buttermilk, vanilla, and vinegar, then the rest of the flour. Bake as you'd like to serve, we tend to bake in 13x 9 pans (45 minutes).
I frosted it with my go-to cream cheese frosting. 1 brick of cream cheese, 1/2 a stick of butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 t vanilla.