Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

We celebrated the last day of 2009 by having a fondue dinner. Grace didn't care for the beef tenderloin, chicken breast, scallops or the handmade sauces but when it came to dessert she couldn't get enough of the angel food cake dipped in chocolate!

Have a wonderful evening - see you in 2010!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Our little family is ready to let the magic begin....

We wish you a Christmas filled with joy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Visit With Santa

Grace finally had the opportunity to visit with Santa Claus. When speaking with him she requested four items - a flashlight, pair of earmuffs, a fan that folds and a dinosaur egg. Everyone seems to get a chuckle out of her wish list, Santa included!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday's Holiday Happenings

Our day was filled to the brim with holiday fun:

We started our holiday baking by making brownie bites - Dean and Grace were the official Hershey Kiss unwrappers.

Crafts were made (along with treats for our backyard friends) at the library.

Lastly, after dinner we headed to St. Armand's Circle to see the holiday lights.

Grace didn't get a chance to Santa, one of the things we hoped to accomplish, so that's first on the list for Monday.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sugar Plum Pudding....Our Way

Grace had been rather insistent on making sugar plum pudding this holiday season. I'm not quite sure where she got the idea but after reading through numerous recipes I knew none of us would eat it. So.... I came up with another idea. I found a recipe for brown sugar pudding (here) - it contained the words sugar and pudding so that counted right?

After a bit of persuading Grace became content with idea of making a pudding sans plums (she dislikes them anyway). We made it today - what a delicious evening treat it was!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Crafting

Grace and I have been crafting like crazy for the holidays. Here's a couple of the projects we finished last week...

We made place mats and napkins using the technique (here). This was a project that Grace started with Brandon at the cookie bake, then we finished them at home.

Then we made little ovens for the Crafty Crow ornament exchange. The ornaments were inspired by the book, "Gingerbread Baby" by Jan Brett. Grace came up with the idea on her own - she sketched an oven (this was my "pattern") and found a recipe for cinnamon "cookies" in an issue of "High Five" magazine. As you can see from the photo, the gingerbread baby is tucked behind the oven door. If you open the door too soon... he'll escape and run away as fast as he can.

Now Grace is making frequent trips to the mailbox to see if she's received any ornaments from her exchange partners. Oh how she loves to receive mail!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Sweet House

I remember being in awe every year as I would thumb through my mom's December issue of "Good Housekeeping" magazine - it always contained the gingerbread house contest winners. A couple of years back I started a tradition with Grace of making our own gingerbread creation at the holidays. Our houses are nothing like the amazing ones highlighted in the magazine, but they're special to us just the same.

We always use the cast iron mold in the photo above, which I received as a gift from my parents, to create the pieces for the house. After baking, we leave the pieces on the counter for a couple of days to get crisp.

Then it's time for the assembly. After much effort to get the house to stand, Grace got busy decorating. She used a variety of candies that she'd selected from the bulk candy bins at Super Target. Of course while decorating she needed to "have a little sample" of each kind of candy.... covered in frosting.

Here's the finished product. The sweet house is now adorning our mantle - I just hope we're not singing "the ants come marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah" come morning!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Sorry for the lack of posting this week, there just hasn't been enough time left at the end of the day to be at the computer. I suspect this will continue to be the case until after Christmas is over but I'll do my best to post here several times a week.

One of the highlights to our week was Grace's holiday school performance. For the first part of the program she was an elf, then she joined her dance class for a rendition of the "Penguin Dance" (photo above). She'll be an elf again tomorrow when her class performs at a local nursing home. She's looking forward to it since she'll be riding on a "big yellow bus" for the first time - exciting times I tell you.

In addition to singing and dancing, Grace has been in the holiday art and craft mode. I finally got around to changing the header on the blog to highlight one of the many Christmas pictures that she's drawn this week. It's a sketch of how she would like to decorate the gingerbread house we're making - check back this weekend to see the finished product!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Dean's and my birthday happen to be a week apart. Neither one of us are big birthday celebrators so we usually keep things simple - exchanging cards and eating a piece of yummy cake works for us.

Speaking of yummy cake, Meme made a delicious apple cake with a caramel topping for my birthday (I celebrated with my parents while we were at their house last weekend).

And for Dean.... of course his cake had to be chocolate. Grace and I made it for him this morning. Just in case you were wondering, I often half the recipe for desserts but in this case was a bit of a necessity since I was a bit low on cocoa powder. Thankfully, Dean didn't seem to mind that half his cake was missing.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekend Trip

We're just getting home from our weekend trip to see Dean's family. It was a bit chilly but we had so much fun...

We saw a hint of fall color - a bit exciting I must say.

Fields were run in and animals were fed.

An evening holiday parade was attended, with Santa being the highlight.

Many presents were opened - yes, that doggy is larger than Grace.

But most importantly, time was spent with family!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Cards

Much to my relief, our Christmas cards have been mailed. In keeping with our goal of a handmade holiday Grace and I made the cards. We went along with a snow/snowman theme - Grace actually came up with the idea after seeing a similar project in a craft book. We spent many wonderful afternoons together at the kitchen table painting, cutting, gluing and stamping.

We hope our snowman cards will bring holiday smiles to those who receive them!

I'm off to pack for our trip to see Dean's family. Have a wonderful weekend!