Thursday, December 30, 2010

winter wonderland

what do you do when it's 70 degrees at the end of december? you go OUTSIDE!!
it's been a rough couple of weeks with no school, holidays without family and lots and lots of waiting for our new arrival. today was an unexpected gift of sunshine and activity.

Monday, December 20, 2010

easy peasy treats

aren't these cute? the best part is they're even yummier and easier than they are festive. if you need a last minute gift or treat to bring to a party i guarantee these will be a hit.

Start by lining a cookie sheet with wax paper, then fill the sheet completely with square pretzels. Top each pretzel with a peppermint Hershey Kiss. Heat your oven to about 170 degrees and WATCHING CLOSELY warm them for 5 to 6 minutes. You want to soften the Kiss, not melt it (or it turns into a big mess)! When it's soft, you can press an M&M on top. Chill for 5 to 10 minutes to set, wrap in a cello bag with ribbon or put on a pretty plate (you want the plate to be pretty cuz the treats will be gone so quickly all people will see is your plate)

for those weird, um, i mean few people who don't like peppermint, or just for a taste reminiscent of a turtle you can follow the same instructions but use Rolos with pecans. yum!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

a good, clean gift

i love to make my own laundry soap. the first time i heard about it, though, i was intimidated. there were ingredients i didn't know how to acquire, there were quantities that meant i would be committed to this venture more than once, and the whole process just required a bit of initiative that made the bottle of tide on the shelf look really good.
thankfully, i did overcome this and now make my own detergent regularly. when i mention it many of my friends say "i want to try that!", but i think they face the same obstacles i did. i decided for a gift this year i would take away all the reasons not to do it and let them try and see if this is something that works for them.
i gathered the ingredients, grated and measured them into convenient little pouches. see? very un-scary.
then i got a bucket (big enough to make your batch in), printed off the instructions and tossed everything in. i also included a link to the tutorial i always use that has pictures and makes the whole process a lot less intimidating (thanks, jeana!)
then i used my cricut to cut out these letters to cuten up the whole thing a bit and i was done! all my friends need now it a little time and a lot of water and they're on their way to earth-friendly, 1 cent a load, clean smelling laundry!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

special delivery

i captured one of our covert operations on video. most of the time we got away undetected and the few that "caught" us were gracious enough to pretend they didn't see us:)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

sinterklaas day 2010

the boys with their "stocking stuffers"
skittles sent all the way from michigan

opening more gifts sent from family in michigan
i was very surprised to find my shoe overflowing so much that it needed it's own space on the floor!
junior mints, york peppermint patties, and andes mints....does my husband know me or what?
sonny got "a christmas story" on dvd
the after math
a good time was had by all

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


our mantel between thanksgiving and sinterklaas day

the real story of "santa". if you'd like to read more see this post from our archives.
our "stockings"
in st. nicholas' time people would leave their socks and shoes by the fire to dry at night and when st. nicholas would drop coins down the chimney to hide his identity they would land in the inhabitants "stockings". if we lived in the netherlands, wooden shoes would be our footwear of choice. we'll need to make a trek to holland, michigan this summer to have one carved and personalized for judah:)

Monday, December 6, 2010

not just for the ballet

our nutcracker collection
notice the new addition on the right. yes, it truly is a sinterklaas nutcracker! my mom got up early on black friday to snatch this guy for us and he's perfect! he's got his bishop's hat, cape, and staff as well as his dangling pair of wooden shoes. happy sinterklaas day! (more pics of the fun yet to be had will be featured soon:)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

advent wreath

the advent wreath or "crown" is designed to help commemorate the time of waiting, anticipation, expectancy of the first arrival of Jesus on Christmas day. each week another candle is added to the lit ones and the accumulation of light is an expression of the growing anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ, the light of the world.
the boys got to make one for our family this year last sunday (the first day of advent).