Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reindeers, Cookies and Cousin Fun.

Awww...it's the end of another busy holiday filled weekend.  There were some ups and downs through it but I'm gonna keep it shiny because it was mostly fantastic.  Every year for as long as I can remember we've done a cookie making party.  It's with my mom, grandma, aunt and sisters.  We gather at one of our homes, bake, eat and share our goodies.  The kiddos decorate cookies, there is lots of chaos in the kitchen and of course lots of laughs.  This year was extra special because now my little sister lives here so she was able to join us.  The festivities began with something new for the kiddos.  I wish I could claim this as my original, creative idea, but I can't.  I read about it on this blog, one of my favorites.  I set up a reindeer food buffet and then each kid got to fill a bag with all the goodies.  They take the bags home and then on Christmas Eve they have to sprinkle it on the driveway so the reindeer have something to munch on while Santa puts presents under the tree.  I love it.  I figure we have a couple more good years of playing Santa so I'm gonna take full advantage.  
Reindeer Buffet...



Filling up the bags...not too many chips, Blitzen gained a few pounds last year!

Extra Flying Powder for Layla...

Little Jacob filling his bag and eating the raisins.

The completed project...


After the reindeer buffet it was time to get decorating the cookies.  I like to make sugar cookies the night before so they are all ready for kids to go to town.  Then the adults can bake while the kids are occupied.  I usually make my old stand by maple sugar cookies, however decided to try a new recipe this year.  One I found on my beloved Pinterest.  Big mistake.  For the first time, Pinterest totally failed me.  The cookies crumbled, didn't cook well and the poor snowmen heads kept falling off.  They tasted good, but not soft and sweet like my others.  I was frustrated when baking them, but these things just don't matter to kids.  They had such fun decorating the ones that turned out and got creative with the pieces from the broken ones.  They used frosting to "glue" heads back on and turned the line into a scarf.  They took the bottoms of the snowmen, flipped them upside down and turned them into snow globes.  Gotta love their creativity and optimism.  Let's be honest, when you have cookies, frosting and a crazy amount of sprinkles no one cares what condition the cookies are in.




And, there was lots of baking going on in the kitchen...
My cutie pie niece

Merry Cherry Bars...these are a family favorite.  My mom has been making them since we were kids

These adorable Santa hats my sister found on Pinterest...

Candy Cane Kisses...

And so many more.  We all ended up with more cookies then we can eat.  It is perfect because I like to share them with neighbors and co-workers...spread the holiday cheer.

Today we had some secret holiday gift making activities for my parents.  I can share it here because neither of them read this so the secrets won't be given away.  (And, if anyone who talks to my folks reads this, please keep it quiet!!)  We had all the cousins together for the first time in a long time and it was awesome.  They range in age from 2 to 18.  There are five boys and four girls.  They are all fantastic.  There was a lot of playing and a lot of laughs and what is going to turn out to be a great gift.  A preview...










We make really stinkin cute kids.  It was a very fun day.
Have a jolly week...

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