From my family to yours. May your holiday be full of fun, laughter, and love.
From my family to yours. May your holiday be full of fun, laughter, and love.
Well I am late in getting this post up!
It was 2 days before Christmas…and our sweet little neighbor’s birthday.
So what do you do in Arizona when the sun is shining and it is almost Christmas.
Turn on the pool heaters, get some snowmen snacks ready, wine for the adults, invite over all the neighbors over and let the fun begin.
I think we might of started a new holiday tradition!
As a little treat to take home…MB and I made reindeer food…and thanks for the cutest little free printable from TomKat they looked extra special.
All the little ones wanted to make sure that it was ok for the Reindeer to eat the glitter- good thing I used leftover holiday sprinkles so I could tell them it was all good!
We had snowman cupcakes..and for those of you that love cake frosting this would be your favorite! Though it might be just a little too much. We had one 2 year old that loved the frosting so much when his dad took it away from him he gave his dad a big bite on the inner leg…OUCH. He left shortly after that 🙂
My favorite was thanks to Chickabug she came through with the cutest Melted Snowman labels…I just loved the party facts! Aren’t these adorable???
3 hours of swimming in the pool. Followed by hot cocoa, popcorn and watching Frosty on the TV outside…then cupcakes (by the fire by some)…crazy to think this time last year we were in sub-zero temps!
So we are just pulling in from picking up MB from camp and me from my run.
We see our neighbors out on the skateboard and so MB runs out to say hi.
Not more than 10 min later we had 3 more neighbors join us and were having a regular block party play-date.
There were skateboards, scooters, hula hoops, jump ropes, double dutch, chalk bubbles…and even some gingerbread cookie decorating.
9 kids in total, 1 dad, 2-4 mom’s depending on who was taking a shower…..and a full 2 hours outside running out the rest of the sugar that was in their system.
I never grew up in a neighborhood like this.
While I have no complaints about my childhood…we had the beach instead of neighbors…I have gotten used to the ‘burbs and am enjoying it. Kids playing in the streets…having so many friends around as easy play-dates, really doesn’t get much better than this.
Oh but wait it does….as I sat outside I realized that this time last year I was rotating inside a mini-van while the kids sled in -10 degree weather. We wouldn’t be outside chilling like this.
So 2 points for the neighborhood and 2 points for warmer weather.
Now off to enjoy the zoo-lights without freezing my butt!
Well I had planned to get this up the next day but it didn’t work out that way.
We have been cooking up a storm in the kitchen preparing for a cookie exchange this weekend…trying lots of yummy new recipes and I have mastered peppermint bark. We also got a last minute black tie event tonight…looking forward to it but has been a scramble to get ready for a 40’s themed formal, thank goodness for the little black dress.
Now back to the cookie party.
I made the girls little aprons ($1 from Michaels and I did the iron-ons at home)
They didn’t turn out perfect, but the girls loved them. And helped keep their clothes from being covered in head to toe icing and paint.
Can’t you tell by the mess what fun they were having.
We forgot to get pictures of the ornament decorating….but we picked up the tablecloth and each girl got to paint 2 little ornaments that have spots for pictures…fun little gifts to give to their parents. After that the girls disappeared to MB’s room and played nicely, for 5 girls, that can sometimes be a challenge!
Now off to have a piece of peppermint bark (round 2)…the first round was a bust, but I have mastered it now!
Do you Elf on the Shelf?
We do and we love it.
Our elf’s name is Paparazzi.
We got her last year and like clockwork she showed up again this year right after Thanksgiving break.
Paparazzi is quite good at making sure we behave, sometimes we forget she is watching, but a quick reminder and all is back to normal.
Paparazzi hides in a different place every night, sometimes she is running a little late and has to make a last minute move in the morning while MB brushes her teeth, but 6 days of moving and no repeat locations…at least not yet.
This year Paparazzi and the North Pole stepped it up, videos were sent via you-tube of Paparazzi and her other elf friends preparing for the season with flight school lessons, a trip to the gym, and getting their hair all proper. It was pretty cute and MB told everyone about it the next day! Elf on the Shelf Training.
Oh I am so totally behind with everything…but we slowly are getting our Holiday selves in gear.
Lights and tree are up…now to get motivated on Christmas cards and cookie baking….but first I have a little neighborhood kid party on Wednesday.
Never a dull moment.
My brother and sister in law are in town for a visit so we are doing Thanksgiving a little early.
I love cooking and especially putting on the feast so I was happy to go to work.
Last night I made the cranberries and the pie shell.
First thing this morning it was the chocolate pie. This was a first and I am afraid while the meringue looks incredible not sure that the chocolate set…putting it in the fridge to hopefully help it along.
So as MB entertained the other adults with some playtime in her room I started preparing the turkey. All was going along well. I had all the pots going and the turkey in the over. The rest of the crew headed over to MB’s last soccer game. I must add that I was proud when I gave her the choice of stopping by her friends b-day party before her game or to hang out with her Aunt and Uncle without even a “mental debate” she quickly said she would pass on the party. Small moments like these make me proud.
Ok so back to the cooking.
Green beans, check. Turkey, smells good. Cranberries, taste test a success. Now on to the stuffing…whoops out of chicken broth. My neighbor T saves the day and we are back in business. Now comes peeling the potatoes. Got them all peeled and boiling and I start to turn on the garage disposal to clean out the sink.
This is where liquid plumber comes in.
Empty house but me. All the ovens and stove tops in use. Dishwasher full. Kitchen is in full swing. And now I have 2 backed up sinks. Water filling both halfway. Oh crap what do I do. I stink my hand down to see if there is anything stuck. Nope. I wait a bit, no draining. Ok Liquid Plumber in you go. After about 5min the sinks start gurgling I smile and turned around to look.
Oh no. The water is going the wrong direction…up not down. I watch speechless and unable of what to think to do. Then it stops and the water settles down.
Right now in my mind I am thinking what is going to happen if everyone comes home and instead of the yummy Thanksgiving smells all they smell is liquid plumber. Ok. That can’t be, what is next.
I go in for the plunger. I do the left sink first. OMG. It worked. I am feeling good. I start on the real sink the one with the garbage disposal and after about 10 plunges…trying to find the drain was part of the problem. Bingo. I got it.
Ahh. Now back to the good stuff.
Oh one more problem. My rolls needed more time to rise. Arizona sun saved the day. Stuck them in the sun and those babies doubled up just in time to be put in the oven. I love the sun even more now.
All was good. Bellies were full. The table looked good. The only down side was the chocolate pie- which didn’t set and wa runny. Though everyone said it tasted good. Now I am going to have to try that recipe again so I can make it right. My meringue of course was awesome and that was the part I was fretting about. Oh well.
Happy early Thanksgiving.
p.s. no one know about the liquid plumber, in fact TB was going to be learning of this by reading the post. However we spent a little bit of time in the hot tub after dinner and I spilled the beans 🙂
So today we decided it was time to do a little room clean up and organization. With MB’s birthday and Christmas coming seemed like a good time to go through her room and so some “spring cleaning”.
This year I enlisted her to work with me and I have to say she did awesome and it was fun. For a little over 2 hours went through bucket and bucket of stuff. We had a bag for trash and a bag to give to charity. I was surprised at what a good job she did of deciding things were better off for charity for other kids to play with more than she does.
At times things went a little slower than it would have been if it was just me but we learned a couple of things from this so I think it will be a twice a year cleaning we do together.
Here is the short list of what we learned:
– things she had looked for were in her room but in the wrong spot..she started to realize the reason you put things back in their right spot so it is easier to find in the future
– we put all the small things in little baggies (accessories) for the barbies etc but put them in the same bucket. She loved having everything in one spot so she can grab a basket and bring it out to the living room and she had all her stuff, plus she said it was easier to clean up that way
– Having her make the decisions on what to keep and what to giveaway wasn’t really as hard as I expected. She was able to reason that out and got really excited to be giving things to charity. Makes all the times I hear I want that I want that not so bad, she does understand giving back to others
– We managed to get 4 large paper grocery bags full of stuff to get rid of. We spent 2 hours together, she was entertained, I got the chore done…and rid of so much JUNK!!!!
– Later in the day when she wanted to color I was able to say remember where we put all your coloring stuff. And she was like, oh yeah! Hopefully this will mean she will start to know where her stuff is as well and save all the “helping”
The question I have is how long will the room stay this way!