Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Tornado Hit our Barn ~

~ our gingerbread barn that is. Some of you may remember our cute little gingerbread houses the kids and I made last year. You can read all about how I had to let go of my OCD tendencies and let the kids have fun in this blog post from last year. Well, old habits die hard and this year was no different than last. I always go into a project with visions of perfection...

So far so good right? Wrong.

The gingerbread pieces were too soft and kept cracking. We tried to "glue" them together with the icing, but there was no saving the barn.

Once the roof collapsed, we decided there was no turning back...we had to just go with it.

Isn't this just pitiful?

This picture makes me wonder about what could have been...

All I know is we had alot of fun with this mess. The kids were laughing and eating the candy (2 things they're really good at) and I was snapping pictures (one of my favorite things.) I'm pretty sure we will always remember the gingerbread barn the tornado hit...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Teacher Gifts ~

One day last week my friend Audrey and I got together to make teacher gifts for our kiddo's teachers. Several weeks ago we met at one of the local antique stores and came home with lots of fun stuff. I found the cutest antique saucers...I'm sure they have a name, but I don't know what it is. :) I knew as soon as I laid eyes on them that they would be the inspiration for my teacher gifts this year.

Audrey came across a recipe for chewy gingersnaps that sounded yummy. Not only are they very yummy, they remind me of Snicker doodles ~ my favorite cookie! You can find the recipe here.

Yes, they taste as good as they look.

Every year since R was in Kinder, my mom has made crocheted pot holders for the teachers for Christmas. I thought it would be really pretty to place a saucer on one of the handmade pot holders. Along with the cookies, I added a couple of Teeccino herbal coffee bags (my favorite is the hazelnut flavor ~ it's heavenly,) a cute little tin of cocoa and last but not least...a Starbucks card. I mean what gift would be complete without a Starbucks card? That's my opinion anyway.

I wrapped it all up in cellophane and tied it with a pretty ribbon. I created the recipe card using Photoshop and a free digi kit I found here.
All the teachers loved their gifts. R's homeroom teacher let out a holler when she discovered the Starbucks card...she's my kinda gal. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

While My Heart Listens ~

Every year for Christmas my Mom gets me and my sister a little Christmas book. Some are books of poetry, some may have Christmas short stories and others are cute recipe books. I love to cuddle up on the couch with these books; every year they seem new to me. The other day, while waiting for the kids to get out of school, I realized K had several of these books in the car. Thankfully, I found them before they were destroyed by little feet with muddy shoes. While sitting at school I came across this precious little poem that describes the desires of my heart at Christmastime. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ~

While My Heart Listens
by: Mary C. Adams

My eyes delight in every dear familiar touch
Of Christmas in the house ~ the pine, the silver bells,
And all the rest. But let them not rejoice in these too much

Lest they miss seeing angels in their chorus swells
In adoration of the Child whose house was bare
Except that love beyond all other love was there.

Let me not fret for baubles lacking for the tree,
At cookies to be baked and bundles left untied;
Nor mind the cluttered rooms, but sweep my spirit free
Of any pettiness, so He may come inside.

Let me forget all small and unimportant things
While my heart listens for the sound of angel wings.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A cute little gift ~

My friend Audrey and I decided we would get together and make these cute little Christmas gifts as a "Thank you" to all the teachers at our kids' schools. My mom is an avid collector of "things" because "you never know when you might need them." I'm so glad she decided to start collecting these cute little Starbucks jars. I've been on a recycling kick lately which drives my husband crazy, but it makes my heart sing to re-purpose what might end up in the land fill or at the bottom of our incinerator.

Can you imagine throwing all these cute little bottles in the trash? I can't!
Thanks Mom for saving these for us!

I'm sure there are recipes for Spiced Tea floating around all over the place,
but here's the recipe that's written down in my Gooseberry Patch "My Favorite Recipes" book:

2 Cups Tang
1 Cup Instant Tea
1 Cup Powdered Lemonade
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cloves
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

I'm telling you, if you haven't ever mixed up four batches of spiced tea, you should try it sometime. Everything in my kitchen was covered in a fine layer of spiced tea dust. The room smelled wonderful ~ that might have been the dust up my nose, but whatever, it sure smelled yummy and oh so Christmas~y. :)

Oh, and on a side note ~ I called Audrey to tell her it was going to cost a small fortune to fill all these jars and I didn't think I had bought enough ingredients to make all I needed and I wanted to make sure she had enough made up to fill all her jars. The first batch had only filled four jars; at this rate I would have to make about 8 batches just for my jars. So, we start comparing our recipes and half-way down the ingredient list I gasp...and she says, "You didn't put the sugar in did you." She knows me well ~ and let me tell you 1 1/2 cups of sugar makes a big difference in this recipe. I'm so glad we discovered my mess-up. How embarrassing would that have been!

Dun Da Da....and here's the finished product. I think they turned out really cute! It was totally a team effort and we had so much fun visiting and crafting. We put alot of love (and sugar) in these little jars ~ I hope the teachers know how much we appreciate all they do!


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