Thursday, January 22, 2015

Albert's Birthday Party

We had a party to celebrate Albert's birthday.  We waited until the weekend afterward so that my parents could be there to celebrate with us. cupcakes.
Lick, lick, lick.
Well, he enjoyed the frosting at least.
Frosting face picture with Momma.
Too much cuteness!!!
 Opening one last present from Grandpa and Grandma B.
Oh look, that truck has lights!
So exciting!!!

Christmas Decor

As one of our Advent activities, we dipped some spoons in chocolate for hot chocolate.
Then we took our chocolate dipped spoons and added more chocolate, marshmallows, and toffee pieces.  The kids enjoyed playing with the melted chocolate and sneaking some of the toppings too.
I realize this post is about a month late, but here's a picture of our finished Christmas tree.
Here is one of the gingerbread men ornaments.
And here is a melted peppermint candy snowman.  That was another one of our advent activities.  We also made a star, Christmas tree, and snowflake.
 Here's Elias' section of the popcorn and cranberry garland.
I also made a garland with still more gingerbread men and dried orange slices.
That project was kind of fun but SUPER messy.

And I may have hung yet another stick in our house.  I really miss having a chandelier in our dining room if only to have a place to hang all the paper garlands I've made.  But you've got to have a paper garland for your birthday, right (even if it is Christmas themed)?
And here is our Advent calendar (on Albert's birthday).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

More Advent Activities

Our first step in decorating our tree was the cranberry and popcorn garland.  I was surprised how well this went.  We did this for the first time last year and they seemed to really enjoy doing it again.  Here are the boys' with their contributions.  Elias apparently really liked the cranberries.
Concentrating so hard!
Here is the finished garland draped on the tree.  This was the first step in our decorating process.
Tyler decorated the outside of our house with lights too.  This is the first time we've ever gotten to do this so he was pretty excited.  You'll have to ask Tyler sometime how he got that strand way up on the top peak.
The next step in tree decorating is making the gingerbread men.
My gingerbread recipe makes a ton so we also made some cookies for the neighbors (as well as a gingerbread men garland).
The kids took turns picking the shapes and cutting them out.
One of our other activities was making cinnamon snowflakes.
They were super simple and super tasty.  Cut some pieces out of a tortilla, spread it with butter, sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar and bake it for a few minutes.  Voila!
Enjoying the fruits of her labor (although the rest of us enjoyed her fruits as well; we're such freeloaders!).
On another night, we decorated our gingerbread.
Spread, spread. Sprinkle, sprinkle.
They could have kept on decorating all night! Each of the bigger three were so into decorating; it was fun to watch.
A bucket of our finished masterpieces. In hindsight, offering the black sprinkles was probably not seasonally appropriate.  They seemed to be the favorite though. We'll chalk it up to artistic vision and general creativity.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Getting a Christmas Tree

One of our advent activities was going to cut down a Christmas tree. The day we decided to go was pretty chilly; we had a bundle up.
They weren't a ton of options really close but there were a few a little over an hour from us.  We decided to try out Clark's Christmas Conifers.  Here's the shed at Clark's.
Tromping out to pick out our tree.
Albert and I brought up the rear.
Which one, which one? 
Sizing this one up.  I think it's too tall for our living room.
We were a happy crew, even in all the cold and wind.
We have a winner!!
Sorry bird's nest, this is the end of the road for you.
Cut, cut, cut.
Follow that tree!
Shaking out the tree.  We have to make sure there are no loose needles (or squirrels).
The boys thought the shaking tree was HILARIOUS!
Tying it up.
A tied up nicely and ready for the long ride home.
Time for the traditional cookie on the way home.  All-in-all, it was a happy and successful outing.