Christmas Snow (and Christmas Morning Part II)

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Christmas Morning

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What a joy it was to watch as Grace and Jackson discovered the suprises left by Santa; a tea set for Grace, a new baby for Jackson, and a huge crate full of dress up clothes for both. After checking to make sure Santa ate the cookies (which he did, and he even left a note), we turned on the Christmas music and reveled in our two children delighting in their new treasures. A memory I won't soon forget.


Our Own Little Christmas

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Some highlights from our little family Christmas...
- Our fajita dinner
- Jackson's dramatic elated reaction when opening a gift
- Giving them their gifts... especially the one I made
- Watching Grace's excitement while giving Ryan his gift... "mini napkins" that she made herself
- Playing with the new (much talked about) Jack-in-the-box
- Writing a letter to Santa
- Starting our new tradition of Ryan reading "The Night Before Christmas"


Four...(again, and officially)!

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Today Grace sat down at the table (for birthday pancakes and pumpkin muffins) and smiled, "everything is different now that I'm four".


OUT to Dinner

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I think it was a hit. Friends, family, pizza and treats. What could be better for a four year old. We tried to keep everything simple, just a few friends, a simple art project, and create your own pizza. All the little ones seemed to really enjoy themselves. And Grace especially did. That last picture is her looking around at everyone singing her happy birthday. When we went to bed that night she told me that was her favorite part. So sweet. I of course still can't believe she is four. Too fast it goes.


Fairy Doll

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So I really wanted to get Grace a fairy family for her birthday, however none of our favorite places sold anything like what I was looking for. Sooooo, I decided to make what I wanted. I had every intentions of making an entire family but with everything going on I had to let go of that and just focus on one little fairy. But I do love the way she turned out.


Cupcakes and Birthday Busy-ness

Birthday invitations made and sent... Check.
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Birthday sign painted... Check.
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And hung... Check.
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Getting the art project ready... Check.
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We have been working hard all week to slowly get everything ready for Grace's party. Everyone has been helping. Tonight I made the cupcakes, which we will frost tomorrow. And I must say... they are so good.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare cupcake tins as directed as directed in the recipe you are following.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

3. In a separate, larger bowl, cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat well after each addition.

5. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla.

6. To the butter mixture, add about one quarter of the flour mixture and mix well. Add about one quarter of the milk mixture and mix well. Continue alternating the flour mixture and milk mixture, beating after each addition until smooth.

7. Pour the batter into the cupcake tins. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched.

PS.. camera fixed!


Where We've Been All Week

My camera broke (well kind of, actually the camera still works but transferring them to the computer is not working right now) and so I'm stuck with old trusty. And quite frankly, that leaves me feeling a little uninspired. But, here and there, I have still been taking some pictures. So here we go, what we've been up to...

Eating these by the crate-load
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Playing in the snow
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Wearing cozy sweaters
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Mailing Christmas Cards
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Making (and eating) a lot of soup
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Working on puzzles under the tree
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Watching the sunset
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Some of the pictures are a little blurry but I had to post them anyway. My life has seemed a little overwhelming (mostly in a good, exciting, fun way) this week. It is nice to take a few minutes to reflect on the peaceful moments.


Mr. Clean... The Super Cleaning Man

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So this guy appeared here the other day. He wears underwear on his head and only one shoe... but he loves to clean. Sometimes with two brooms at once. Very helpful. I could really use him more often.