Home Sweet Home

The best thing about this Christmas season so far has been our success at surprising the kids.

And having them all home without homework needing to be done or places to go.

The fourth day of Christmas was book day and each one was met with much happiness.

Claire really loved a series that her teacher started reading to her class last year. I think I want to read them too.

Each year we try to get Emily some kind of sheet music. Last year I think it was music inspired by Pride and Prejudice. This year it’s music from the Harry Potter movie series.

Abigail also received a piano book this year as a way of us telling her that she will begin lessons next Wednesday. She is so excited and I think she will do well with our friend who will be teaching her. We got Sam a really big book about tips and tricks for building Lego’s. He’s a little skeptical since he prefers going “off book” as he puts it, when he is creating. But it must have some interesting and helpful information because I keep seeing him looking through it and studying it.

Sarah had actually mentioned her book to me a while back and was thrilled to get a copy. If you know her at all you know she is a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn so this book was perfect for her. Written by her children, it’s a cross between a cook book and a biography.

Sarah made the from scratch chocolate cake recipe for us last night. It was tasty and she learned that there is a significant difference between baking chocolate and a candy bar.

She was pretty excited when it flipped out beautifully. We were also pretty happy when we realized the recipe doesn’t call for flour so Sam could enjoy it with us.

She topped it with homemade whipped topping and it was delicious.

And such was our fourth day of Christmas.

The Second Day of Christmas

For our family the Christmas season is just getting started. We’ll celebrate for a full twelve days, until Epiphany, with small gifts or special activities. We have two families that also mark the season the same way and it’s always fun to plan stuff together.

This year we did a gingerbread house decorating contest and oh, my the sugar and creativity flowed freely!

Some of us made our ginger bread from scratch and some of us (me!) used the store bought kits. But we all had to have some gingerbread people to complete our cookie scene.

Fruit roll ups make for excellent roofing trim!

The ginger bread train was loaded with gumdrops and other candies!

The final houses…

It was a fun afternoon with dear friends and a possible new tradition for our annual celebration.

DPP ~ Day 21

The first day of Christmas break means sleeping in and enjoying a cup of coffee while checking out instagram. The girls use my account almost as much as I do so we have #momsinstagram so people know when it’s a teenage girl posting and not a forty something mama…I find these distinctions are important to my dignity 😉

Else you all might think I wear mismatched socks on a regular basis.

However, I would gladly claim this fun and sweet picture she took of her sisters but then I’d be telling stories and that would be no good.

It was a rainy but good quiet day around our house. I think everyone is just happy to be home.

DPP ~ Day 20

Annnnnnnnnd the three is up!

Not very big but it’s cute. And the best part is that finally, after several years of longing for a genuine real life popcorn and cranberry garland, we successfully made one this afternoon. After asking around and getting a few pointers from a friend we managed to avoid some mistakes and string up some homemade old fashioned pretty for the tree.

popcorn_cranberry_garland_tree_Christmas

Sam was busy making his New Year’s Eve play list (DJ Hadding is in the house, Mom) so the girls sat at the table and did the work.

I way over made popcorn yesterday so if you have need for some stale popcorn let me know. (Photo Cred ~ Abby)

The upcoming week is supposed to be warm and wet but with the tree decorated I wouldn’t be surprised to find the a/c turned down and the sparkle lights turned on.

DPP~ Day18

Finally!

It’s been rainy and muggy and just all around gross weather wise here lately but tonight it is cold enough to enjoy our first fire of the season.

Not going to concern myself with the fact that Christmas day is going to be up in the 70’s. Nope, not at all…I’m going to enjoy this fire and pretend that Christmas will be the same 🙂

DPP ~ Day 17

I’ve been on pinterest for several years now. I have accumulated over seven thousand pins and made over one hundred boards. Obviously I haven’t cooked every recipe or done every diy project that I’ve saved but I enjoy having it all organized and in one place. And sometimes I do cook a recipe or try a project and when it’s a success I do a little happy dance.

Tonight I was waltzing around the kitchen because the Christmas gifts for my kiddos teachers turned out so stinkin’ cute. I was sad to be finished making them because they were just so pretty and smelled so good that I wanted to keep making them.
Little cute jars and easy assembly and hopefully a gift idea that the teachers will all enjoy…it was a total win. The funny thing is that one of my more popular blog posts is a quickie version that I made and blogged a couple of years ago. I just never thought to bottle it up and gift it.
I  mashed this pin with this pin and came up with our version of the potpourri. The bagged one was really cute but I have a thing about glass jars and putting stuff in them and I love how they turned out.
(My printer is running low on ink so the only thing I didn’t like was how the tags printed…more pink and blue than red and green.)

With the mix of mulling spices, lemon and orange and that touch of rosemary I am not kidding when I tell you it smelled marvelous in my house when these were done. I even had stuff left over and will be simmering a pot on my stove tomorrow.