Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Recap

What a fabulous Christmas we had! I think two-and-a-half is an absolute perfect age to be at Christmastime, and so does Lana. She couldn't get enough of her Grandpa and Grandma and Uncle Kasey and Aunt Christina. More than the presents and the treats, this little girl knows she's loved because of the hugs, snuggles, kisses and tickles.
(click on the collage to see pictures larger) (Oh, and the pictures of the table setting and the napkin rings are purely for my sister's benefit (Hi Jen!) she thought I was crazy to make my own napkin rings, but I did it anyway and really, really like how it all turned out.)

We had a busy weekend with a family Reindeer Run 5K (Kasey won), sausage making (40 lbs worth), dinner preparations (prime rib, casserole, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables) and desserts galore (pumpkin pie, peanut butter pie, pumpkin roll, chocolate cake). Lana was a sheep in the children's nativity and she did a great job and was oh-so-very adorable.

Christmas morning brought stockings filled with goodies from Santa Claus and a shiny new bike! Lana had a great time pedaling around the house. She got a ton of other neat presents too. It was so fun to watch her open gifts because everything was the absolute coolest thing in the world. She was genuinely thrilled with every single gift she received. Thanks everyone for thoroughly spoiling our little girl.

Merry Christmas!
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"We make treats Mommy?"

Yup Lana, we made lots of treats.

For the past several years, I've made a selection of Christmas goodies and sent them off to friends and family in far-off locales. It was usually all done over the course of a long day or weekend, and while it was a fun activity for me and I loved that recipients enjoyed getting treats, it wasn't one of my very favorite things to do.

That all changed this year. Mostly because of this little chocolate-covered sprite:

Lana absolutely loved making treats with me. She would dump in pre-measured ingredients, tell me it was too loud when I turned the mixer on, patted balls of cookie dough, and decorated. Boy oh boy can this girl decorate her some treats!
(Here she was covering peppermint bark with tiny peppermint marshmallows and eating marshmallows by the fistfull.)

Lana had our treat-making routine down pat and when I told her we'd make more treats, she'd push over a chair to her work spot on the counter top and be ready for action. She'd vigorously and enthusiastically add sprinkles and sparkles to cookies and cake truffles or wait for a fudge-covered spoon to clean off with her tongue. No matter the task, she thoroughly enjoyed herself.
Of course, eating the fruits of her labor was the best part for Lana!

But the best part for me, the part I will remember the most, is the time the two of us spent together.
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gettin' Our Craft On!

Last weekend I was so happy I have a little girl. (That's not to say I'm not happy to have a little girl every single day, but last weekend was particularly special.) I had been looking forward to hosting a house full of little girls for quite some time, and last Saturday, I got my chance.

Dan and I scrubbed the house clean and set up tables and chairs. I baked cookies for decorating, set up craft supplies and ordered some craft projects. Dan vacuumed the carpet and left for the afternoon. And then the mayhem began. Little girls and their mothers arrived for our First Annual Mother-Daughter Christmas Craft Party. (Oh yeah, that's right. I just now decided to make this an annual event).

The girls (with the help of our most excellent volunteer helpers - thanks again ladies) made four different types of tree ornaments, a nativity scene, a really cool bird feeder and then they decorated all the cookies they could handle. I was impressed with their creativity and it appeared they all had a fun time. Surprisingly, my house did not end up covered in glitter and the only casualties were a few stray sequins - nothing out of the ordinary for our house.

If you want to make some of these neat Christmas crafts with your kiddos, let me know and I'll tell you where I got the supplies and what tricks I learned.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mother of the Year - 2011 Edition

I submitted a pretty detailed and thorough application to the Mother of the Year Award selection committee last year, but alas I was not the chosen winner.

However this year, I am confident that I've got the trophy in the bag.

And guess what, I'm not even going to write a big letter to plead my worth. Nope, this picture is more than enough application for me:

Yup, I sat my sweet Lana on the lap of a strange and hairy-armed Santa Claus in Wal-Mart and despite her passionate protests, insisted she stay there until a picture had been snapped. And I think it's awesome. Surely one of those two things makes me Mother of the Year.

Oh yeah.
Mother. Of. The. Year.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November was...

A successful hunting outing for Dan...

...while I spent the weekend crafting with friends.

Lana and I met up with friends for apple picking....

...and cider pressing. (Lana was more cute than helpful, but it was still a neat experience.)

Lana learned the pre-pre-school version of the first Thanksgiving and enjoyed the feathered headdresses of the Native Americans much more than the boring black hats of the Pilgrims.

And enjoying modern-day Thanksgiving with family.
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