Thursday, December 29, 2016

12 Days Of Christmas - Day 9 - Decorating Day & Christmas with Papa & Grandma Martin!

On Day 9 Kim and the kids came over to decorate cookies. First we organized Legos and talked while the kids played, then we had lunch and then we decorated cookies. 

The kids all ready to decorate! Since each kiddo got 5 cookies I went around and had them each pick one and then I went around and around until they all had 5. The only exception to that was I get the girls their butterfly and two hearts right away. 

This year instead of using frosting I decided to make icing. Kim and I piped the icing on the cookies and then the kids added the decorations! 

Andrew being very careful to not get too many sprinkles! 

Caitlynn got one cookie decorated and then just starting eating. She wasn't worried about decorating the other ones right away. 

Owen made his present look like it had striped wrapping paper! 

Josiah getting some icing on his cookies! 

Jackson put a red cinnamon candy on Rudolph's nose! 

Kim brought the sprinkles and it was so nice that she had some white and chocolate sprinkles that Ella could use since she can't use the colored ones. 

Zeke's decorated cookies! 

All of Owen's decorated cookies! 

Ella's pretty cookies! 

Jackson's cookies minus the two I let them each eat! 

Later that night Papa & Grandma Martin came over to celebrate Christmas with us. I made dinner for us and then the kids watched a movie so we could visit. Michael's mom is getting more and more frail...she fell a week or so ago and almost fractured her pelvic bone. It's hard for her to get around, but Papa is taking such good care of her. 

Papa with his the kiddos! 

Papa got the boys a gift to share! 

It's a hunting game with an infrared gun. Michael got it all set up, but for some reason it wasn't working. After Christmas I'm going to call the company and talk with them. It has a 90 day warranty so I'm sure they'll help us out. The kids are super excited to play with it. 

Papa wasn't sure how I would feel about his gift to Ella so he did warn us that we might not approve! 

Frozen nail polish! Ella loves nail polish so this gift was spot on! 

We got Papa & Grandma a calendar like we always do. This year I decided to go through Shutterfly instead of Costco and I'm never going back to using Costco. The quality is SO much better and there are SO many more choices. It really ended up looking like a scrapbooked the whole thing. Loved it! 

Papa also got Michael a cool emergency kit for his car and he got me a photo book. 

It was so nice to get to spend that time with him and mom.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

12 Days Of Christmas - Day 8 - Baking & Christmas Lights!

Day 8 was our day to bake cut-out sugar cookies. We always have a fun decorating day with Kim and her kids so we were making these to use the next day. 

All of the kids got to help mix! 

I'm seriously amazed at how well it has gone this year in regards to having the kids help me in the kitchen. It really has been so much fun and a true joy!

Stir, stir, stir! 

Almost there! I had to finish up the stirring since the dough was getting harder to stir. 

I have never actually made cut-out cookies with my kids. I know that's weird, but it's so much easier to just do the drop cookies. 

Jackson was the one that got all the cookie cutters out so we could see the selection. I actually had quite a few. 

I let each of the kids cut out one cookie and then they got to come back and do another one. 

We just kept going around and around like that until the dough had to be rolled out again and then I pretty much finished out the cookies.  

We had enough cookies for 4 cookie sheets! 

We had presents, candy canes, Rudolph, snowmen, hearts, trees, stars, butterflies and penguins which I'm now pretty sure were just chicks. 

When I went to take Ella's picture she was holding the tray up like it was sign. I about freaked out since I was sure the cookies were going to come sliding down! 

Love having my sweet helpers! 

Jack and I wanted to figure out how many cookies each kid would get so we wrote it out. Kim has 3 kids and we have 4 so there were 7 kids total and 38 cookies. At first I wrote it out like I would have done when I was growing up, but I figured we should try use one of the methods that Jack has learned in school. We drew circles to represent people and then just went from person to person adding a tally mark. We ended up with each kid getting 5 cookies and then there were 3 cookies left. I know some people are super against Common Core, but I love it. I love how it gives the kids several different ways to get to the same answer! 

Watching the cookies bake! 

Ella decided all on her own to write this letter. She only needed help with the words Pa, Ga-Ga, Family, Aunt Stephie and Uncle Ry. So proud of my girl! 

Cookies done and cooling off! 

After the cookies were done I decided we should bring down all the Legos and have fun building some of our sets. Every year at this time I have this desire to build with Legos. I think it's because the kids are home and the weather outside isn't very nice. While we were building we were able to watch all 3 Santa Clause movies. 

After dinner I made hot chocolate and we headed out to a neighborhood we always go to every year to look at lights. I had found these cool Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt pages on Facebook and printed them out. This is probably our 5th year going and this year we finally remembered that they have a bin for a food drive and we brought some canned food! 


The scavenger pages really made the whole experiences that much better. The kids were really on the lookout for things on our list! 

There were quite a few houses in the neighborhood that weren't lite up. One of my favorites from years past was completely dark. They always decorated their entire house and property in white lights and it was always so gorgeous! I'm not sure if they moved or if they just decided not to do it this year, but it was sad! 

There were still a lot of houses that really were all decked out and looked gorgeous though! 

My sweet family! 

When we were all done there were only 4 things we weren't able to find.....The Grinch, the word Noel, a house with 5 reindeer and a camel! 

Warming up with our hot chocolate! 

Time to head home! 

Once we got home we got back to working on Legos and Charlie wanted to be right in the middle of all the fun! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

12 Days Of Christmas - Day 7 - Work Party & Wrapping!

Day 7 of our 12 Days Of Christmas adventure was filled with attending Michael's work Christmas party. Of course I completely forgot to take any pictures. This was the first time all the kids had been able to attend in quite a few years. Normally the party is on a day where the kids are still in school. This year it just worked out! Of course everyone was so shocked at how big all the kids had gotten. 

After we got home and the kids all changed out of their nice clothes I decided it would be fun for them to wrap the present that they bought for their sibling. I had all the kids go upstairs and then I got out all the presents in the garage and pulled the kids down one at a time. 

The kids are getting so big and are capable of doing so much more. In past this would have been more me just wrapping the presents and them watching, but they were so helpful and it was a lot of fun giving them lessons on how to wrap gifts. 

I thought about using different paper, but in the end I just had them use the same paper I used for each of their presents. Jackson drew Ella's name so we wrapped hers in her Santa & Penguin paper. 

Owen drew Zeke's name.

He was very insistent on having more than one sticker on Zeke's package. The one he's pointing at says...Do not open until Dec 25th! 

Ella looking for the perfect sticker for Owen's present! 

Using her amazing writing skills! 

Zeke got Jack Frosted Flakes! No....he didn't, but this box was perfect for wrapping his present in and I think Jack will get a hoot out of it! 

Zeke even wrote Jack and his name on the tag....this boy is ready for school! 

One step closer to Christmas!!!