Friday, December 19, 2008

Lazy Mom's Gingerbread Houses

The boys and I threw together a little party for some of our friends last week to make "gingerbread houses".

**WAIT** Scared of a mess? Object to children on sugar highs? **LOOK NO FURTHER.***

If game, you'll need:

12x12 piece of cardboard (or thereabouts) wrapped in foil

graham crackers (as if I would go to the trouble of carving perfectly shaped gingerbread pieces for 10 kids)

royal icing ( I use Martha Stewart's recipe from an old holiday book I have but couldn't find a link on the net.)

candy, candy, candy

did I mention candy?

oh, good because you'll need lots of candy.

Prep work: Start by carefully breaking the grahams in half (squares). Did you chip a corner, don't toss it, eat it! I pre-made the royal icing and divvied it into baggies. Each mom brought a favorite candy and the kids were excited.

If your kiddos are smaller, they'll need your help assembling. Once that is done, step out of the way, cuz the sugar high will set in about now and gum drops will fly.

Just cut a small hole in the corner of baggie and ice a square on the foil. Set-up two sides and ice together the corners. Build the other two sides. Now you can either use a flat top or an "A" frame roof. You might need to hold the "A" in place for a few secs until it will hold by itself.

Squirt a bit of icing here and there to mimic snow settling on the surfaces of the house and the ground. Sprinkle or place candy here, there and everywhere.

Here's how a few of the houses at our party turned out. I think there may be a few budding architects in the group.

Can you guess which two belong to my kids? I did help RePete with the structure. And Pete? Loves candy.




We found out that three marshmallows was too many for a snowman, especially with a hat!



Poor Frosty was caught in a snow storm.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Globes

We made our using these items:


You'll end up with this:


Are you still there? Here's how to do it.

  • Thoroughly clean and dry the baby food jar.

  • Hot glue the little figure to the lid.

  • Fill the jar with distilled water.

  • Sprinkle in the glitter - the more the merrier.

  • Apply a silicone adhesive to the outer rim of lid.

  • Screw that baby on tight!

To finish it off, hot glue ribbon around the lid. My boys loved these!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Well, crap, time flies

when I am having fun.

Movie update. Slept until the mean vampires tried to snatch Bella. I mean how many times can you watch those two stare at each other or better (worse) yet, watch Bella flutter her eyelashes in confusion. Books? Much better. In fact I find myself thinking about reading and then remember, I'm done with them and slump my shoulders a bit. Oh well, good thing I have other things to occupy my time.

Like Cinnamon-Applesauce Ornaments.

Here's the cast of characters: (including my helper Repete)


Mix 1 cup applesauce with 8 oz cinnamon in a bowl until combined. I also add a few pinches of clove. I like mine extra smelly. Mmmm.


It'll look a bit like this...poop-ish...


Form into a ball for rolling and then roll to 1/4 inch in thickness.


Have your best helper ever cut out little gingerbread men or stars or trees or fish or whatever...


Then have him cut holes for the ribbon using a straw...


You can air dry these in place for 1-2 days or pop them in the oven on 250 degrees for a bit. (10-15 minutes) Just check them for dryness because I don't watch the clock. Oh and be careful when you open the oven door. The poof of cinnamon smell will just about knock you over. No lie.

Once dry, hang them on your tree for cinnamon-y goodness all season long or share them with friends. I also use non-Christmas shapes and my friends hang them in the kitchen for good smells all year long. After a few years, rub them with a bit of clove oil to "freshen" them right back up.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Today is the day!

Now I've pulled two moms over to the dark side. We'll be going to see the movie tonight. Can't wait.


Speaking of that, I was in Wally with my boys and Pete was flipping through the posters. I thought nothing of that because I've looked through them in the past and it's nothing but Spiderman, Harry Potter, Hannah Montana and such. This day I did see Edward on the end. hahahaha

Anyhoo, Pete is really concentrating on a few of them so I walk over and see women in their underwear. (I won't even go into a rant about that.)

R: Pete, c'mon, let's go.

Pete: Mom, those ladies are HOT!

R: Do you mean they are only wearing their underwear because they are too hot to wear their clothes? *snicker*

Pete: No, I mean they are nice looking. (said while doing the multiple eyebrow raising thing)



It's also my birthday. My mailbox is full of birthday wishes which is so nice. What is weird is all the forums and websites that I have accounts with also sent birthday greetings. Such a strange thing to do.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day today.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ignoring my family... BN's fault.

Remember this post about the book?


I searched the Wally in my little town to no avail. The drugstores didn't have them either. Let me rephrase that. They all had the book, they just didn't have the sequels. Then I thought to myself since I, like so many others, totally ignore my family and friends, shirk all responsibilities and become almost trance like when I sit down with a good book, I am going to put off buying them until Sunday. BN leaves for a snowboarding trip with the guys on Sunday and won't be back until Wednesday.

So let's see..."New Moon" on Sunday, "Eclipse" on Monday and "Breaking Dawn" on Tuesday. I'll only read them at night after the kids have settled down, BN won't be here, perfection. What can I say, I read fast and it was a great plan.


BN saw how distraught I was when I came home empty handed that week after not finding the books here in hillbilly hell. So on Sunday, when I was leaving him and the boys for a few hours to run errands and I mentioned to him that I was also going to pick up the rest of the books he got all panicky and told me I couldn't buy them. Of course, I laughed in his face at the mere suggestion. He then told me that he ordered the rest of the books for me and they should arrive on Wednesday, maybe Tuesday.


Well, it's Tuesday and it's 8:20 pm and I am patiently (no make that impatiently) waiting for 9 o'clock to roll around so I can tuck the brats in bed and settle in for a little Edward and Bella time.


That means Wednesday and Thursday I plan to ignore my family.


I suckered another mother of young boys into reading the book and of course she is ignoring her family (her hubby is on the same trip as BN) and we are going to watch a teeny bop movie on Thursday seeing it's my birthday and all.

Can't wait.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Meme

The darling Ami of Ami.Mental tagged me for this and I'm glad she did. I love this one because I love Christmas. "It's the most wonderful time of the year"...ahem, where was I?

Oh, yes she tagged me for this and here goes. Not tagging everyone on my reader, but if you decide to play along, I'll see it!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Both! Depends on the gift. I like making my own wrapping paper but that becomes a full-time job this time of year so I save those papers for birthdays.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
We’re tree huggers so artificial, of course. We had live trees growing up and I hated the pine needles (I was the official vacuumer). Quick story. My first job, back when I had to support my habit, was at a drugstore. After Christmas, the price on artificial trees dropped so much that with my added employee discount, I bought a 6 ft tree for $9.99. I was only 17 but stored it away at my Mom’s until I moved out and had a house of my own. BN and I used that tree for the first 15 years of our marriage.

3. When do you put up the tree?
The day after Thanksgiving unless we are out of town and then immediately upon arriving home.

4. When do you take the tree down?
New Year’s Day. It’s such a boring day – what else am I gonna do?

5. Do you like eggnog?

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I loved everything I received but a vanity and the Barbie airplane stand out. I also loved the wicker Barbie furniture my Grandma sent me the year before my parents divorced. What really amazes me about my Christmases past was that my Mom only spent about $100 on both me and my sister. Both of us! Is there anything out there today that costs less than $100?

7. Hardest person to buy for?
In-laws. Actually all adults are hard for me. We have everything and none of us are fond of gadgety things or gag gifts. Wasteful.

8. Easiest person to buy for?
My kids and my husband. Although, all three of them are very expensive to buy for. See #6.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, a tiny one my Mom gave me.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Always mail cards. I use them to send a new family picture and pics of the boys. I’m sure everyone is thrilled. hahaha

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
None comes to mind.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Miracle on 34th Street.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Late! I love shopping in the hustle and bustle. Call me CRAZY!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
No. Buuut, I do have a stash of unused presents that I thought about re-gifting or donating.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Anything that is not traditional. I’m making lasagna this year.

16. What decorations are on your tree?
Things I’ve made, things the boys have made, things my Mom made. I found some pretty glass balls with birds on them two years ago. I love glass ornaments but never bought them because of the kids, but two years ago, Sushi told me about her family and how they all exchange ornaments for Christmas instead of other gifts (fab idea) and I started buying ornaments at the Garden store she pointed out. Beautiful things there. This year I risked putting them up. So far, so good.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
Um, all of them. The local radio stations start playing continuous Christmas music from Thanksgiving day until New Year’s and satellite tv radio has an all Christmas station. I am partial to the Mariah Carey Christmas cd. She funks it up a bit.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home?
Both. My family rotates houses for the big production. We usually go to the in-laws, but they have come here a few times too. Christmas Day is at home with BN and the boys. I always hated as a kid waking up, opening presents, then rushing off to visit family. My sister and I decided many years ago that we would stay home on Christmas. BN’s family doesn’t follow that rule so sometimes show up on that day at our house, but at least we aren't dragging our boys away from home and all their goodies.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
"Now there's Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all….Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"…oopsie, caught me singing again.

20. Angel on top of tree or star?
I posted about my Angel on a Fun Monday last year. She turns 40 this year. She was my Moms first Angel and when I moved out, she was my first Angel. I guess that means I’ll have to give it to Pete for his first Christmas…I think that is going to be hard to do…I really love that angel…for cripes sake woman, give it up…moving on...

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
We always opened ONE present on the Eve but BN’s family opened all on the Day. I’ve relented to his tradition except this year. BN and I always buy a “family gift” and this year I bought the Wii. I am letting the boys open it on the EVE. I can’t wait.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
Hyping up a toy and only having two in stock. The Christmas spirit is lost on the merchandisers. Of course, it’s lost on a lot of us, but I do love the commercial spirit.

23 What theme or color are you using when you decorate?
I’m a red and green kind of girl. Nothing says Christmas like red and green to me.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Again, nothing traditional. We don’t eat pig or cow and turkey for Thanksgiving is enough turkey for one year. I’m making lasagna.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
Wonderful memories with my loved ones and friends. I truly just love the craziness in the air and that people are generally nicer to one another. I prefer no gifts, but BN will buy me loads as usual.