Tuesday, December 26, 2017

๐ŸŽถIf You Just Believe๐ŸŽถ

When my mom taught preschool, she always did a little Polar Express activity every year with the students. Since she retired from teaching last year, I decided to continue the tradition ourselves and just do it with the girls. 

I made them some little nightgowns and forced them to wear them even after Norah complained about them looking ugly. ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ™„ haha I wasn't about to let all that sewing go to waste. So on Christmas Eve, we heated up some hot chocolate, topped it with whipped cream and let them go to town.

I initially was going to let them drink their hot cocoa while I read the book, but it was a little too distracting and there were spills all over the place. 

Jane spilled all down the front of her nightgown and pretty soon Norah and Lucy followed because they kept trying to lick off all the whipped cream.

Jane's little pigtails were completely killing me and Ryan. It was the first time I've ever done pig tails in her hair and she looked so old! 

Haha Norah's mustache! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Ryan was right there to wipe up any spills.

Once they finally finished their hot cocoa, we began reading together. Jane lost interest pretty quickly and just starting running around the chairs, trying to annoy Lucy and get her to run around too.

Norah was really into the book though. She kept making the funniest faces.

I love how Norah was so absorbed in the book, it made it more fun! Lucy was pretty good and probably would have listened the whole time if Jane hadn't been poking her and running around. I'm sure next year Jane will like it more!

As I got toward the end of the book, I realized that I forgot to get little bells for each of them haha, but luckily I spotted a bell hanging on the Christmas tree and just had Ryan shake it so they could hear it ring. 

These three girlies are so fun to have around during the holidays!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

First Annual Candlelit Christmas Feast

Last December was a really hard month for me for a lot of reasons, and so this year I really wanted to make better memories and start new traditions with the girls. I decided that I wanted to do a fancy dinner one evening and all sit down together.

We normally eat on old plastic halloween plates or something similar haha, so I decided to get a few fancy things and make it really elegant! I pulled out some crystal glasses my mom gave us that we've never used and found a few festive things at target, and voila! I wanted to get a shot of the whole table from above, but my lens wasn't quite wide enough. I kept thinking how perfect it would all look if I just had some greenery and kept debating if I should find a pine tree to snip off a few branches (ha!), but decided against it. Then Ryan walked in with a big surprise bouquet of flowers and what do you know, there were two big pretty branches I could use. Perfect! ๐Ÿ’‍♀️

The girls loved that we all had our own personalized stocking. I meant to put some treats in the stockings, but completely forgot. oops! 

I spent a good portion of the day on Saturday making food, but I actually enjoyed it and it all turned out so yummy!

The turkey was really yummy, but next time I am going to try and brine it beforehand. I've only ever cooked a turkey by myself once before, and it was four years ago, so I made it up as I went haha. 

We turned out all the lights and Ryan lit the candles. 

We clinked our glasses and the girls slurped down their hot cocoa and sparkling cider as fast as they could.

We went around and each took a turn saying some of our favorite things that happened during the year and what goals we have for next year. 

Jane kept trying to blow out the candles from where she was sitting. haha

I loved spending such a special moment with just my little family and now I want to do something similar for Easter too! It's been a wonderful year and we are excited for the changes and memories that will be coming to our family soon! 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Gingerbread Cookies Round Two!

Since we were sort of rushed to decorate cookies the other night with Brooklyn and Matt because it was getting past their bedtime, we decided to do it properly the next afternoon. We had plenty of candy to go around, and the girls went to town with the frosting. 

I had a goal to get in the frame more often with the girls, so I set up the tripod and snapped a few of us decorating together. Like I said, the girls were loving the frosting, and Jane decided to just cut out the work and put it straight into her mouth. 

They tried to pack as many candies on their cookie as they could, and I kept thinking how glad I was that I decided to go with the smaller cookie cutters instead of making big ones haha. 

It was time to clean up, so naturally Jane thought it would be a good idea to dump sprinkles all over the table. ๐Ÿ™ˆ haha at least sprinkles are a little easier to clean up than powdered sugar like last time

She's just so stinking cute, I couldn't be mad at her. 

It was really fun and much easier to decorate together than to make dough together. So if I want to start up the tradition of decorating every day in the month of December, we will just have to start out making a giant batch of dough to begin with haha. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Gingerbread Cookies!

Who wants to make cookies? They were quite enthusiastic about waking up from naps to make gingerbread cookies. Jane would have joined in, but she was a little distracted with her cup of milk. haha

Since our last cookie making session was quite a disaster, I decided to set everything up on our table instead this time and keep the powdered sugar out of reach. ๐Ÿ˜†

We all took turns dumping in ingredients and mixing it together. 
Jane mixed a little too vigorously here.

Ugh. These two girls are just too cute. I can't remember what Norah whispered to Jane, but it sure made her laugh. 

Norah and Lucy ran for cover when Jane took a turn with the beaters. ๐Ÿ˜‚ look closely and you can see the butter and sugar flying everywhere.

The molasses especially very enthralling and the girls couldn't help but sneak their fingers into the path of the falling syrup for a taste.

As a child, I was caught more than once covered in sticky dark molasses with a big bucket of it sitting between my legs. Now my girls have discovered that, they too, love molasses just as much as I did. Fortunately, however, I haven't caught them opening jars of it on their own. ;)

The dough began to take shape and we were getting excited about decorating. We planned to have Brooklyn and Matt over for dinner and cookie decorating, but upon looking at the recipe directions I realized that we had to refrigerate the dough for much longer than I thought. This seems to be a recurring theme. haha 

The girls were slightly distraught that we weren't baking and decorating right that second. But they each got a taste of the dough and it seemed to appease them. 

When we were finally able to all sit down and decorate, I was pretty worn out from so much baking and cooking. So we had the girls do their cookies first before bedtime and then the adults would do it after the kids were put down for the night.

Jane sucked all of the frosting off of her cookie, then when she went to take a bite, she bit off a big piece of her napkin. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Once we finally got them all in bed, we were all too tired to actually decorate cookies, so we just ate candy, felt sick, and ended our night with a Christmas movie. :)