Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas All Through the House

December is my favorite month of the year because it means we get to decorate for Christmas! We actually started in the last few days of November getting our halls thoroughly decked. Jake & Mal helped Daddy line our driveway & front door with lights.

The finished product
The kids loved wearing their Christmas t-shirts throughout the season. Jake is a jingle bell rocker.Mal is good all year (just ask Santa).J always makes fun of the number of trees in our house, but I just can't help myself! Here's the "show tree," on which everything matches, in the living room.
At the top of our front staircase is my Gone With the Wind tree, full of Scarlett in all of her beautiful gowns from the movie.
The den upstairs is home to my Barbie tree, which Mal oohed over repeatedly. Maybe one day it will get to be in her room.
And the tree in our room has a miscellaneous collection of all of our family ornaments. Jake & Mal made several additions to it during the month with ornaments they made.
I always have a hard time figuring out what to do with Christmas cards, so this year I tried something new. The kids had so much fun standing in our front hall looking at pictures of our family & friends.I'm sad that it's already time to start taking it all down!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

25 Days of Christmas: 21-25

Day 21 - Starlight Santa craft

Day 22 - Tissue paper snowmen(which ended up looking more like snow owls!)Day 23 - Erwin family Christmas, which included lots of fun new toys! More on that later.

Day 24 - Putting out the reindeer food they made at the holiday breakfast...

setting out a snack of cookies & popcorn for Santa...
& opening one gift! They exchanged the ones they'd picked out for each other & were so sweet handing them to each other & saying, "Merry Christmas!"
Day 25 - Christmas morning!
They must have been very good this year to get such great treats from Santa!

We hope your family had a very merry Christmas as well!

Friday, December 24, 2010

School Pictures

These were taken at the kids' preschool back in October, & I got the prints a few weeks ago. Some of the expressions in the proofs cracked me up! I love these sweet, smiling faces.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

25 Days of Christmas: 16-20

Day 16 - Christmas party at the kids' preschool. My co-room mom & I planned all kinds of fun, like decorating gingerbread cookies... (love this pic of the little girl who got just a few too many sprinkles)

enjoying their creations, along with some apple cider...
pin the nose on Frosty...
& reading a Christmas story.
They also filled glass ornaments with tinsel, but I didn't get a picture of those. Our attempt at a class picture was even less successful than at our last party. Maybe by Valentine's Day, everyone won't be so disrupted by having moms in the room.
Day 17 - Hand & footprint reindeer ornaments
Day 18 - Ho Ho Ho Holiday Breakfast at church. We chowed down on some muffins & powdered sugar donuts,

listened to Mrs. Claus read a story,
made reindeer food to sprinkle on the lawn on Christmas Eve

& made some jingle bell ornaments! When I asked the kids if they wanted to sit in Santa's lap or not, Jake replied, "I not." We decided not to push it & ended our morning on a good note.
Day 19 - Watch email messages from Santa at his Portable North Pole. If you haven't done this for your kids, Google it & set one up. Jake & Mal seem to remember that Santa told them to work on not throwing fits far better than they retain that message from Mommy & Daddy.
He's watching you!
Day 20 - Make white chocolate popcorn. I had to work fast to get the chocolate on it before these little chefs ate all the popcorn!
They especially liked trying the white chocolate chips.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yummy to My Tummy: Rolled Ginger Cookies

This recipe, shared with me by my friend Kathy, is an oldie but goodie from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. Paired with Anna's icing, they're simply irresistible!

Rolled Ginger Cookies

1 C shortening
1 C sugar
1 egg
1 C molasses
2 T vinegar
5 C sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves

Cream shortening & sugar. Beat in egg, molasses & vinegar. Sift together dry ingredients; blend in. Chill 3 hours. Roll dough to desired thickness on lightly floured surface. Cut into shapes. Place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet & bake 5-6 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool slightly, remove to rack. Makes about 5 dozen.

Merry Christmas from the Chamblees!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

25 Days of Christmas: 11-15

Day 11 - Make candy canes out of pipe cleaners & tri-beads. I remember making plenty of these as as kid, so I was excited to try them with Jake & Mal. The beads were surprisingly hard to find, but I finally tracked them down at Michael's. This was a good Saturday craft since it required quite a bit of help for their little fingers, but they loved doing it.
Love that concentration face!
Admiring their work
Day 12 - Learn about Jesus' birth in Sunday school. I have no pictures to go with this day since it wasn't actually an activity that I planned. The kids took a three hour nap that afternoon, so there just wasn't time for an activity at home.

Day 13 - Christmas stickers! Who knew that a tree scribbled onto construction paper by Mommy could be so exciting? They love stickers!
Do we see a few personality differences in their artwork?
Day 14 - Shop for gifts for each other. The four of us trooped to Target Tuesday evening to let Jake & Mal each pick out a toy for each other. I helped Mal shop, & she ended up with these trains for Jake. It's a good thing that Mommy has inside info on Christmas presents & knows they'll come in handy.
Jake & Daddy found a Mrs. Potato Head for Mal. He proudly told me, right in front of Mal, what they bought. We're still working on the concept of presents being a secret until they're given.
Day 15 - Eating custard (an Erwin family tradition)...

& reading about Jesus' birth in small group & making angels out of muffin cups & cotton balls. Here's my little class from Wednesday night, minus Emmie who was too young to care too much about her angel.

Lots more fun on the way!