Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best Coffee Cake!

Emily made us the most amazing coffee cake.
It was so light and fluffy and had cranberry sauce 
as the filling.


All gluten and dairy free and yummy as can be!
I wanted a second slice but declined.
I'm hoping to find less of me this time next year :)

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Sculpture and Some Projects

Jonathan had some free time outside on Saturday so
he rolled the base and middle of the "snow mouse".

The little ones finished it off complete with whiskers
and a cute nose.  It was actually pretty dark when this 
picture was taken.  I'm just loving the new camera!
Our old one never could have done this.


Benjamin and Helena worked together on this 
year's Christmas puzzle.


Helena worked on making and glazing some
clay charms from a kit she got for Christmas.


She's a very "crafty" person unlike her mommy.


If you ever see any crafts on our blog, they're bound
to have made by anyone other than me.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Fun Post-Christmas Activities

We try to make sugar cookies every year with a cookie
press that was given to us almost twenty years ago.
This year it didn't happen till after Christmas, but it
was still fun and they were still delicious!

Helena got to try the first one.


She quickly found out you need muscles to make this happen.


Now it was James's turn.


Success!


They look so pretty when you do it right.


Now it's time for the sprinkles.
Helena chose two colors and was very careful putting
on the first color.


James was also careful, but continually asked his sisters,
"Can I just dump it?"


Now for the second color.


Okay, James, now you can "dump" it.


All done and ready for baking!


Later in the afternoon, Emily and Kristin surprised
Helena by taking her to see a movie for the first time.
She was so excited!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas with Family and Friends

Christmas Day dawned quite snowy and we plowed
our way to church to celebrate our Savior's Birth.


Grandma attended church with us and joined us at
home afterward.


We enjoyed having a fun couple join us for Christmas
Day as well.  
They received some fun books for reading to their 
baby when he/she arrives very soon.


It's always great fun to have extra help in the kitchen!


Helena enjoyed having some little girl playmates
for the afternoon.


There was the obligatory snowball fight...


...and more time to play inside.


Then we ate, drank, and were merry!
(Some of us were very serious.)


After dessert we enjoyed playing games....


...which seems to always involve Dutch Blitz.


It was a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Pics

We managed a few nice pictures before church.
James, Benjamin, and Christopher


Emily and Helena


Bob and I


Christopher, Kristin, James, and Emily


Andrew and Matthew


Benjamin and Jonathan


and drum roll please, Bob with the new camera!!!


We're really excited about having some much better
pictures in the future.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!
Matthew gave the Christmas salute

and Kristin gave the flurries a snuggle


We had a fantastic Christmas with Grandma, our pastor and his
family, and a wonderful couple from church who are
great friends and great fun.
I took, (I think), some great pictures too with our new camera.
I will try to post some tomorrow after I figure out how to
download them :)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fun but Time Consuming Extras

One of the draw-backs to having your holiday meal made
in advance is that you then feel like there is plenty of 
time to make some extra things.
Sometimes this is great and sometimes well.....


today it was marshmallows to go on the sweet potatoes.
A very small stream is poured into the bowl.  
This is very important.


This is done while your mixer is on high and mixing 
away at ear splitting volume.  All in the vicinity need
ear plugs, but it's probably just best to vacate.


Setting up in the pan. 
It is VERY important to well-grease the foil because...


...it's a little sticky.  Need I say more?


It also stretches!


Cut into strips...


Boing, boing


Then dip each piece into powdered sugar.
Now they're not sticky, just yummy!

Now, for the next time-consuming project for the day.
Christmas Day Doughnuts!


Making the dough is just the beginning.
Next comes the tedious part...frying.
Since we don't have a fryer, this takes a really
long time.  No, we're not considering buying one
either.  We do this maybe once a year, but only when
we think we have lots of extra time :))


Christopher was the doughnut helper today and 
dipped all the hot doughnuts in powdered sugar.
What a sacrifice!


Yum!


What a team!
Thankfully, despite making the extras, we made it
to church with time to spare.  Good thing, too, since
Kristin was the organist tonight!
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Snow and More Snow

I just love this picture!  
It's so neat to see the light reflecting off the snow.
Speaking of snow, that seems to be what we
do this winter.  It is snowing a little almost 
every day.  We haven't had any really big storms, just
a couple more inches here and there.


We've been having a good time playing in it!


Helena likes sliding down the mounds.


We may not have tons of snow yet, but it certainly does look like
Christmas!  While we don't have a lot of snow, we do have the
cold.  It was 25 below 0 this morning when we got up.
Brrrr!!!!