Friday, December 24, 2010

Warmest wishes to you for a very happy holiday!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Gingerbread Party

The Gingerbread Party was super fun!   This was the longest time I've had anybody sit and decorate a house, these guys were into it!  Magnolia sat quietly and went to work.
Lilah had a plan.  
Margaret just sat there and grinned ear to ear with a pile of Hershey bars.
Nana said "This is so much fun!"
Magnolia applied Hershey kisses all over her roof and declared that they were "shooters" to shoot blood at the bad people who will come to her house.  Therapy needed or just a good imagination?  Still deciding...
Sophia didn't ask for any help.  She worked very hard and quietly ate candy along the way.
This may be my favorite photo of the night.  
I mean, seriously, that graham cracker on the roof makes me laugh out loud.

Lots of laughs, lots of sugar, lots of running in circles around the house, it was a blast!
Thanks family for coming and humoring me in one of my favorite holiday activities!

For those who asked for the recipe...

Hot Gingerbread Punch
8 servings
Dec. 2010 Bon Appetit

3 cups water
2 12 oz. bottles Guinness stout
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh ginger
12 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
3 whole cardamon pods, cracked
1 orange
1 1/2 c. dark rum
Lightly sweetened  whipped cream
ground cinnamon

Combine first 7 ingredients in large saucepan.  Using vegetable peeler, remove peel from orange in strips (orange part only) and add to stout mixture.  Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Simmer over medium-low heat 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes.  Strain liquid into bowl; discard solids in strainer.  Cover and refrigerate punch at least 8 hours or overnight.  Combine chilled punch and rum in large saucepan and bring to simmer over medium-low heat.  Pour hot punch into small teacups.  Top with whipped cream and cinnamon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Getting Out of the House

We had some seriously cold days this week.  I was actually starting to feel cabin fever which put me in a panic because winter has only just begun.  We decided to go and check out the nature center just a few miles up the road from us along Lake Michigan.  I quickly signed us up to be members and then we headed out for a VERY short walk.  It was perfect.  We all got red cheeks and felt a little exhilarated by the freezing temps.  
Nani was with us and was a great spotter of many animal tracks in the snow.
Magnolia made tracks of her own.
Magnolia has a sudden interest in wearing scarves.  I wasn't too excited by any in the stores so Nani suggested we make some from recycled wool.  Great idea.  I made Magnolia's and she made George's.  

Don't you just love those fire engines???
I was feeling like there was no way I could pull off a gingerbread house decorating party this year but I just couldn't let it go.  After all, I made 8 houses last year with an 8 month old.  Today I made 5 houses, called my parents and sister and asked them to come over and join in the fun this weekend.   I'm going to make punch for the first time and a hot gingerbread drink made from Guinness, dark rum, lots of spices, and topped with whipped cream.  Doesn't that sound good?
last year's lineup...just look at that little guy!

Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

All is Well

Nani is visiting and brought these two matching sweaters, so cute!
On Saturday we had breakfast with Santa at the old Pfister Hotel downtown.  It was the first time Magnolia sat on Santa's lap.  She drew him a picture of a rocking horse that she wants and a fire engine for George.  George wanted nothing to do with any of it.  He did eat one heck of a breakfast though!  We got our first snowfall that morning.  Tonight we got a fresh coat.  I took the kids out to play.  For the first time Magnolia loves the snow and doesn't want to come in.   Here's Magnolia helping me shovel.  She filled a bowl and we brought it in to drizzle maple syrup on top, they loved it!
Six years ago today our three girls were born.  I look at my life now that I love and cherish so much and thank them for it.  It wouldn't be the way it is if it weren't for them.  We had Magnolia's Echo Cardiogram on Tuesday.  Everything appears to be fine.  We hugged her tight as we left the Children's Hospital and told her that was the best Christmas present ever.  I have to believe Joy, Madeline, and Anne are true angels watching over us!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Best Time of the Year

To kick off the holiday season we hit the ground running.  George and I put up our outdoor decorations the day after Thanksgiving.  (That was after I returned from early morning Black Friday shopping with my sister and parents...what a blast!!!)  That night we went to our downtown holiday parade in freezing cold temperatures.  The kiddos were bundled and nestled in the Burley with a thick wool blanket over them...they loved it!  On Saturday we hosted a birthday party for my sister, Mary.  The smell of ham cooking, drinks like spiked eggnog and hot buttered rum, Christmas music playing and a roaring fire, it was a great way to kick off the holiday season.  

The only picture I captured of these two at the party and it's blurry!
We cut these two saplings when we were up north.  We put lights and shatterproof ornaments on them, they really shine at night! 

 Nani bought this carousel for us one Christmas.  They loved it last Christmas but this year it's near obsession.  They will sit and watch it forever.  I finally put it on the kitchen table so they can eat and watch it at the same time.  
This is the best time of the year!