Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The week in review: when things don't go as planned...

This past week seemed at times to be quite the comedy of Christmas errors (including my intention to get this post up last Friday!).

All mostly went as planned Monday when we made it to the Christmas tree farm and cut down our tree just before the rain began. Then our tree sat naked in the corner for three days before we got any more than the lights in it.

I manage to make merengue cookies with the kids, but part way through my chocolate shavings began to get stuck in the piping tube because I hadn't chopped them small enough! (What a mess!) we had to make multiple trips to the grocery store for the necessary gingerbread cookie ingredients. And while the gingerbread decorating went well, every time I turned my back some little munchkin was shoveling handfuls if sprinkles in their mouth. Whew!

We managed to get the tree decorated (my candles are still sitting in a box next to my vacuum) and the wreath on the door (though the wreath kept sticking in the "Happy thanksgiving" window clings for several days before we got them down!)

As so many of my best laid plans and intentions fell crashing out of my hands this week I had a choice...to despair, through a pity party, and complain, or to realize that things don't have to go perfectly to be meaningful.

Our kids have had a blast helping decorate, make cookies, and take part in our disjointed advent activities. We've read the Christmas story from Luke and they are excited to celebrate the birth of Jesus. They don't need a thousands activities to make Christmas special, they need Mom and Dad to point them to what is most important, even when the tyranny of the urgent and less significant tries to take over.

I hope you are enjoying making memories with your family this Christmas season, and that you can be encouraged that things don't have to go as planned to be meaningful and significant.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The week in review: tis the season to be busy!

Our December is shaping up to be jam packed already. I love having special activities to do with our kids (and we make a point to do those with our advent calendar) and we were blessed this past week to enjoy time with family.

We visited a somewhat local train garden that Grandpa has taken us to the last 3 years.
It is fabulous!

We had silly fun together at home, singing songs and reading lots of books. Some favorites lately have been The Nutcracker by Alison Jay, Snow by Uri Shulevitz, and Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry.

I love how much fun and joy these two are!
Then we spent a few days in Williamsburg using a Groupon we purchased several months ago.

My family did many trips to Williamsburg when I was little for homeschool field trips, by I had never been to see it decorated for Christmas...beautiful!

Then we enjoyed ourselves at Great Wolf Lodge and wore our kiddos out playing in the waterpark. The Christmas decorations were beautiful here too, including an indoor snow!
I finally got my first batch of Christmas cookies baked! I feel quite behind on baking; it's one if my favorite things to do and I have so many memories of baking cookies at Christmas with my sisters. I had some fantastic helpers too.

Here's a look at some of my favorite cookie recipes as well.
Candy Cane Cookies
Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti
Candy Cane Biscotti
Molasses Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Crinkles
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