Pour yourself a cup of coffee and if you're like me, by the time it's cool enough to drink, you'll be finished with this post.
It's a doozy. You've been warned.
We had our Building Better Moms Christmas Fellowship the morning of our big snow. So, I bundled up the little punks and off we went. Here they are, miserable, from the cold. And, to that, I say.....snap out of it! We lived in Colorado for most of both of your lives and you survived!
After the Moms' meeting and cookie exchange, we headed down to see the kids' Christmas program.
But, while we are talking cookies, here is the recipe for some yummy Pay Day Bars I scored. Looks easy enough:
1 (16 ounce) jar dry roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons margarine
1 bag peanut butter chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1. Grease 9x13 pan.
2. Pour 1/2 peanuts on bottom of pan.
3. Melt margarine and chips in microwave.
4. Add milk and then marshmallows (do not melt marshmallows) to the margarine and chip mixture. Stir all together.
5. Pour over peanuts, pat down.
6. Put rest of peanuts in and pat down.
Back to the program.....Lainey tried to work the jingle bells.
And, then eventually, she tried to teach instead. Nice.
Jack joined right in....as he always does.....such a team player....
Oh, who am I kidding? There he is in green on the right - the closest he got to the group. I give up.
Carter's program is this Wednesday evening and I'm already praying Jack and Lainey behave. No nursery for this service.
I broke out the light up reindeer noses and they're a hit like last year.
Sometimes, it's just too easy. Caroline bought these for the kids last season at Holiday in the Park. We'll enjoy them for years!
Her smile cracks me up here.......so dorky.
Sweet weirdo Jack.
It never gets old!
They're multi-purpose, too. Meaning, dolls and toys can wear them. We should all be as content as toddlers.
Stefan is getting braver and braver these days.
And, Jack is getting more and more creative. He called me in to see him this morning....a muffled and secretive voice......giggly and so proudly of himself......"Mama, come see."
"Jack in da box!" I can't make this stuff up, people.
I asked the little ones to help wrap some presents. And, since sticky tape is fresh on their minds (thank you, episode 2,349 of Dora the Explorer), they were thrilled to accept such a responsibility.
The punks like to be helpful.
I haven't stepped foot in a mall this year. It's true, Ceason. Most of my shopping was done before the season started and otherwise, I've relied on the Internet or small mom & pop shops like this one in Parkville:
We plan to go sometime this week for the obligatory Santa picture, but, otherwise, I don't need much. Blake and I are doing a $20 Christmas this year......we can't spend above $20 total on each other. I'm sure he'll come up with something fabulous and I'm still at a loss. Need to get busy!
Our card wreath is already busting at the seams and it makes me so happy each year to see it. Friends and family from near and far.....happy to hear from you! It's a mess here, because Carter has been hanging cards, but I love it anyway.
If you like this wreath, check out last year's post here on how to make it. You won't believe the cost.
And, if you're still reading, here's a little glimpse into holiday decor at the Casa de Starnes. My newest love....vintage Christmas cards...
Caroline got me two old school pop up cards last year......here is one of them....
Some favorite ornaments that do not make it onto the tree.....because I want to see them year to year.....and anything on the tree is fair game for the kids. On the left, a Santa house from The North Pole in Cascade, Colorado. On the right, two figures from Akumal.
My favorite treasure from Spaghetti Western......these darling ornaments....tied together with twine.
My table runner and the sleigh holds a Santa puzzle we've had for years. And, if you try to put it together, you will be there for a while.
Just ask Blake.
One of my all time favorites.....the manger set my grandmother gave me a year or so before she died. I let the children play with it, but only when supervised. I cherish this....and want to keep it in tact so that I can pass it on eventually.
(And, in the back is the darling birdcage candle holder Sass got me!)
Finally......drum roll, please......the snowman potty cover!
And, you thought tacky Santa was as far as I'd go?
No, indeed, not.
Caroline gave us this little gem a few years ago and I've loved it ever since. Yes, it's user friendly. Yes, we wash it. Yes, you wish you had one. It's a Miles Kimball original.
And, no, you cannot borrow it.
Ok, enough excitement for the day. I don't want to show you anything else, anyway, because your day is already going to be busy enough trying to find a snowman potty cover.
In between google searches and desperate phone calls requesting this gem, head on over to Shannon's blog. She included some blog tips.....and a little story about a girl who was computer-illiterate and then started a blog. Who didn't know what an Instant Message was before she began. Who ever could this be about?