Wednesday, December 26, 2012


If you're thinking, Whoa, wait. What? Christmas? It's mid February you crazy, that's because you're right. I am posting about Christmas on February 17th to be exact. Only I'm back dating to December to make myself feel better. Ha. I have a few loose ends to wrap up before Baby #3 arrives, and this is one of them. So deal with it :)

We had a very nice, laid back Christmas this year, and couldn't be happier about it. We scaled back the holiday, sought out more time at home, and focused on our own little traditions. It was great.

Our festivities began with Christmas Eve brunch at my mom's house.


 What could it be?! (a pillow pet!)

 Auntie Angie and her crew got Dude this awesome fedora hat. He loved it!

Showing his monkey face!
We had the whole afternoon and evening at home which was a huge change for us this year. It gave us the time to carry out lots of our own little family's traditions, like...
Making a yummy dinner.

Finishing up our cookies for Santa.

Sprinkling reindeer food on the front lawn. They like oatmeal, raisins, and glitter, in case you wanted to know :)

Getting ready for bed wearing our new Christmas jammies.

Reading The Night Before Christmas.

And dreaming while visions of sugar plums danced in our heads. (I am almost 100% positive I took a pic of Dude sleeping on this night too, and I can't find it anywhere! Sorry buddy. I'm sure you looked adorable)

We woke on Christmas morning excited to see if Santa had come, and sure enough, he did!

We peeked in our stockings first, and found lots of snacks and goodies!

Dude was all about the snacks, and could have cared less about presents. He just wanted to eat!

Nugget asked Santa for this pink sparkly treasure chest she spied at Target, and he remembered!
Doodey asked for a race track for his cars, and it ended up being fun for all!
He also got some big boy undies, which made him super happy.
 Showing us his muscles.
And saying 'Ta da' for getting all the undies pulled up on his legs :)
One of my favorite things is that the kids exchange presents with each other. This is a sweet tradition that I hope we continue for many years. Just one small thing, picked specially for the other. Sister gave Dude a hand carved, wooden tractor, and Dude gave his Sissy face paint pencils.

Nugget was also proud to give us this bell she made for us at school.
Nick and I exchanged a few, small gifts as well. This sweatshirt is so soft.
We spent the rest of the morning lounging around home, playing with new toys, and making this birthday cake for Jesus. Okay, I can't take any credit for the cake, that goes all to Nick and Nugget. But it was tiramisu and every bit delicious.
After nap time we headed to my Grandpa and Grandma Bowen's house for some extended family time and yummy food.
 Cousin Cara and Nugget
Merry Christmas from our family to yours! Hope yours was just as happy and blessed as ours!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Can you believe Christmas is in 5 days? At least that's what Nugget informed me tonight after counting the mittens left on her advent calendar. I'm ready. Are you? Well, I do have to mail one last package tomorrow and pick up a gift card for our mail man, but other than that, we're good to go.

As I sit here and write this, I can only think of all the things about the holiday season I want to blog but haven't done so yet. Going to the Parade of Lights, cutting down our Christmas tree, and just general goodness that we've been up to. But I'll start with the present, and work my way backwards as time permits. I hope.


If your children are giddy over the holiday season, give them some self adhesive googly eyes. It will only make them sillier.

This weekend we got to check off one of my favorite holiday traditions with our little family, going to visit Santa Land: A Day in the Life of an Elf at the downtown Macy's. It's pure magic for littles.

The Elves sleeping quarters

Elf School

Reindeer Stable

The Sweets Shop, surely where I would work if I was an elf :)

The candy cane machine

This girl is getting harder and harder to take pictures of...

And these two are just so studly in their matching hats.

And the last of my holiday cheer for now...Nugget had her holiday concert at preschool yesterday. Nick and I were both excited to see this "performance" that she's been talking about for weeks. We've heard the songs and caught a few of the actions at home, and I had my fingers crossed that she would follow through with it at school, because Sister can get funky like that.

She was all smiles to see me at first, then almost instantly started to cry and ran over to me. I felt awful, and was so disappointed that she wasn't going to let her little self shine! But after watching her friends perform the first song, she was ready to rejoin her group.

Naturally, there was a little hesitation, but it didn't last long before Sister was bopping her feet to the beat.

It warmed my heart to see. I love her preschool. I love that she loves her preschool.

And Dude, well, he loves that he's included in snack time when we visit :)

And that's all she wrote for this edition of Holiday Cheer. Wishing you a splendid and stress free week before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Is it just my kids or could yours snack all day long? It seems like my kids are always hungry. Nugget can finish a great meal and twenty minutes later be asking for a snack. Dude hears that magic word and he comes running too. I'm sure like many of you, I hate buying packaged snacks for my kids, because 1) it can get spendy and 2) its really just a lot of junk disguised in fancy wrapping.

Last week a fellow Mama brought these homemade granola bars of sorts to our ECFE class, and even had the recipe printed off for all of us. Score! Both my kids got to try them, loved them, and were asking for more! They are super easy, so I whipped up a batch at the same time I was preparing dinner tonight. The kids couldn't wait to get their paws on them, so I served them as dessert, ha!

I ate one too, and agree that they are scrumptious. During a season of sugar and cookies galore, its nice to have a home baked treat that is actually healthy and tastes good too.

So, do yourself and your kids a favor and go make these!

Squirrel Tails (I really have no clue why they are named this!)

1 ripe banana
1/2 Cup applesauce
1 Cup oats
Cinnamon to taste

*If you really wanna step up the health meter, use organic ingredients!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Thoroughly mash 1 banana in a medium mixing bowl.
3. Mix in 1/2 Cup applesauce (*note: If you reduce the amount of applesauce used the amount of oats will need to be reduced as well.)
4. Mix in 1 Cup oats (the mixture should become sticky and hold together well, not runny. If it appears too runny mix in more oats.)
5. Add cinnamon and mix well.
6. Using a 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop mixture out and form into bar shape on cookie sheet. They can be close together since the bars do not rise or expand during baking.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-21 minutes, they are done when they come off cookie sheet.
8. Let cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


We had ourselves a pretty good weekend around here. Minus my new pregnancy induced insomnia. If only I didn't have to use the bathroom so many blasted times, I'd be sleeping like a rock. Or so I'd like to think.

Any who, I rallied with the troops and we had a memorable weekend. One that we are walking away from with full hearts. And little ones asking to go to bed at 6pm on a Sunday night. Snow can wear a sister out apparently. Amen for that. We needed fresh air.

Saturday we did a little impromptu baking. Would you believe that I had all the supplies on hand to make peanut butter blossoms? Me neither. But we did, and it was awesome.

The little ones helped me, but mostly just begged and pleaded for licks of the batter. Can you blame 'em? Oh yes, and please remember that Nugget hates to wear clothes. It's a battle we long ago lost.

Our finished product looked a little something like this:

We ate them still warm from the oven, and washed them down with cold milk. Dude managed to get chocolate everywhere. But there are memories to be made by eating freshly baked, still warm cookies, so I didn't much mind when there were only about half left to tuck away into tupperware.

Sunday promised to be a good day with our annual Breakfast with Santa and our good friends, the Bahn's. We'd already put our kids through the traumatizing Santa experience earlier this week, so we didn't push it today. We let them watch from afar and accept a candy cane from the jolly ol' man, but they wanted no part in a photo op. We enjoyed the company of our friends, and a continued play date at our home afterwards.

We watched out our windows all day as this gorgeous snow fell in fluffy flakes. After the kids' nap, we bundled up and headed out for a romp.

Sister was all about it, and even made a new friend.

Dude wasn't so sure. Maybe it was the fact that his boots I bought on clearance last year are a size to small, so he had to wear sister's old pink ones. That and he already lost a mitten for the season, so he had to wear gloves that matched his boots. Poor guy.

Doesn't he look like a little baby owlet here? Feed me Mama. I love him.
He eased up a little when we went sledding across the road, although he still was unsure of how to walk in all his gear. He just kept saying 'Mama' and would wait for us to come rescue him.

The kids took a few runs together, but the snow was so dense that it worked best flying solo.

Do you see it coming?

Wham. Poor guy.

All better.
Signing and asking for "Mo". See, he really did like it :)

Once I got tuckered out from climbing up and running down the hill, I took a few moments to capture the beauty that is the first snowfall of the season.

Then back to my family, only to be attacked by snowballs.

Dark was setting in, so we headed back to the warmth of our home, peeled out of wet clothes, and spoiled our dinner with cookies and milk (again).
Loved this day. Loved this weekend. Love my little family. Hope you had a good weekend too.