Tuesday, December 27, 2011

gingerbread houses and gingerbread men!

A couple of weeks ago before school got out the kids both had parties in their classroom on the same day! Austin's class was making gingerbread houses and Mikayla was having her Kindergarten holiday party. I really wanted to do both and thank goodness Ms. Michelle planned to do the gingerbread houses right away which meant I could buzz over to Mikayla's school in time for her party! I have the pleasure of being the Room Coordinator for Mikayla's classroom so I knew it was important for me to be there to help direct the moms in where and what they needed to help out with.

Austin & his Gingerbread House!

It was so sweet to watch him have so much concentration and careful planning of where he wanted the candies to go. Maybe that's why he was one of the last ones to be finished!

For Mikayla's class party, we had decided on a Gingerbread Man theme...

The next day, Mikayla's class got to have a PJ day and watch a movie. I just so happened to be volunteering that morning and had grabbed my camera on the way out the door!

Mikayla and her "twin" Hannah...
they both got a kick out of showing up in matching PJs!

Mrs. Derry & Mikayla

{sweet faces}

{silly faces}

I am really enjoying not having to do drop off or pick up during this 2-week vacation from school. Oh, and did I mention the sleeping in part? Such bliss!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Countdown 2011 - Day 15

Christmas is over, but there is still so much to share! I guess you could say I got a little behind in posting my 25 Days to Christmas activities...let's make Christmas last a little longer!! ;)

Day 14 - Plans got changed! In their place, a fun visit with out of town friends! No pictures...what was I thinking?! :(

Day 15 - Reindeer Fun with Friends

My good friend Sarah and I decided to get together for a fun afternoon with the kids and make our time together reindeer themed!! Little did we know just how "fun" it would be...with me forgetting half of the supplies for the craft, Austin being afraid of their cat, Jilian using her outside voice inside, and Mikayla wanting to just play with the bunny all afternoon. It truly was a comedy of errors, but a great memory was made! Next time we really should take a picture of each other to show off the frazzled mess we were! ;)

Let's make clothespin reindeer ornaments!

As we soon discovered, a craft suited best for older children...

Mikayla & Jilian
Austin giving me the "just one more picture, Mom" look!
Isn't he cute?!
And, aren't they even cuter?!

Let's whip up some reindeer food for Christmas Eve night!

A little oatmeal and sprinkles...

Stir it up...

Reindeer food!!

And, finally...

Let's make reindeer brownies!
(inspired by Pinterest, of course!)

Such a crazy, but FUN afternoon!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Countdown 2011 - Day 13

Day 13 - Hanging out with Papa & Grammy

My husband and I celebrated our 8th anniversary on December 13th, so later in the afternoon I took the kids to my parents' house so we could go on a date that night! I wasn't quite ready for the activity for Day 13, so I asked my mom to take a couple of pictures of things that they did at their house. The kids didn't really know any different that this really wasn't the intended activity! ;)

They decorated gingerbread men...

Dressed up in Papa's boots...

...and went to cousin Hunter's Christmas program.

They love spending time at Papa & Grammy's house...
no matter what they do!

Christmas Countdown 2011 - Day 12

Day 12 - Christmas Books by the Fire

Day 12 found the kids relaxing by the fire in their pajamas and snuggled in their sleeping bags ready to read some Christmas books. Each year we have decided to buy each of the kids a Christmas book, so this night was the big reveal! We have a box of Christmas books we pull out each Christmas and leave by the fire and the kids are welcome to read them as much as they want...as long as they put them back in the box! ;)

My Christmas Cuties!

Book #1 - "Santa's Favorite Story"

The next book we had them close their eyes for and then open!

Book #2 - "It's Christmas, David!"

They were both so excited for their books!

And we had a great time reading them...

Christmas Countdown 2011 - Day 11

Day 11 - Family Dinner & Pretzel Kisses

Ever since my parents came "home", the family tries to get together once a week for a family dinner...usually on Sundays. On Day 11 we headed out to my parents' house to eat some yummy taco soup with my sister and brother and their families, as well as my parents. We always enjoy being able to be together and the kids LOVE being with their cousins! For dessert, we enjoyed some pretzel kisses and as part of our Day 11 activity the cousins helped make them!

{The Girl Cousins}
(you can't see her very well, but cousin Hannah is in the background on the right)

{The Boy Cousins}
(minus cousin Jacob who must have been distracted by his book..hee! hee!)

* Pretzel Kisses *

Lay pretzels on baking sheet.
(I've also seen these using star pretzels or round pretzels...too cute!)
Place your choice of Hershey's Kisses (I used "Hugs") on top of each pretzel.

{the little helpers}
Place in the oven at 225 degrees for 3-5 minutes until soft.
(FYI: the "Hugs" melt faster than the milk chocolate Kisses)

Place an M & M on top of each Hershey Kisses and push down.

Each of the cousins enjoyed a treat!

Mikayla - 5 1/2 years

Austin - 4 years
Hunter - 4 years
I tried to snap a picture of cousin Hannah (20 months),
but she wouldn't let me!

Jacob - 11 years
Noah - 6 years
Hailey - 3 1/2 years
Then the treats were passed out to all the adults. Noah was so funny...he would make sure that everyone knew that they could only have TWO.

Fun times with family!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Countdown 2011 - Day 10

Day 10 - Game Night with Daddy

We had a super busy day last Saturday for Day 10 and I happened to be gone for the evening, so the kids got to hang out with daddy. He was so good about doing something fun with them...setting up a game and each of them got a cookie (that we had made earlier in the week) and some milk for dessert! He even snapped a couple of pictures for me!

Christmas Countdown 2011 - Day 9

Day 9 - Watch America's Funniest Videos
"Christmas Spectacular"

One of our favorite shows to watch together as a family is America's Funniest Videos. This is something I grew up on and Mikayla has fallen in love with the laughter that comes from watching this show! It brings back so many memories of my childhood! For Day 9, we all cuddled up with a tasty treat ("Monkey Munch") and watched the Christmas Spectacular version of the show. It was such a blast and I haven't laughed that hard in so long!! There were a couple of times that Austin would look at me (after I was hysterically laughing) and said, "Mom, it's not that funny." I suppose he doesn't have his momma's sense of humor!

All cuddled up and ready to watch the show!

Best "family photo" we could get!

Let the show begin!

Monkey Munch for a snack!
(with some red & green M & M's to make it more festive)

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