12.16.2014

Crying Kids with Santa is my Favorite

Not many things bring me more joy than crying kids with Santa (or the Easter Bunny)
I love it even more when it's my own kids.
#meanmom
 2007
Kate was 11 months old and wasn't quite sure what to think. Didn't smile, but didn't cry.
 2008
Claire's 1st Christmas {3 months}, Kate {23 months}

2009
Claire {15 months}, Kate {2.5 years old}

2010
Kate {3.5 years old} & Claire {2 years old}
2011
Kate {4.5 years old} & Claire {3 years old}

 In 2011, they both smiled.  The streak was over. But in 2011, I had just found out I was pregnant with Luke, so I was hoping for another Santa screamer ;)
2012
Luke was just 4 months old and he LOVED Santa. I thought my crying Santa streak was really over.
2013
YES!!! Turns out Luke is a crier with Santa!
 And, even better....my nephew Jack also cried. Double the fun.
 
What would Luke do this year? Would he cry? (Fingers crossed......)
And, JACKPOT! Luke is still not a fan.
Love it :)
Don't worry, Luke was only on Santa's lap for about 30 seconds & then I rescued him.
I love our Santa, he is FREE! You get to take your own photos!
And, he spends time with the kids & doesn't rush them (even though there is a long line)
He asked the girls if they had been good.
Claire said yes. Then he said,  "Claire...what about your room? Have you been keeping it clean?"
My jaw dropped....Claire's room is a DISASTER. Claire was like a deer in headlights. I had no idea how he knew. Then he said, "Claire, Do you have an Elf on the Shelf?" Claire said "That's how you knew about my room!"
Her face was priceless.
Then he asked Kate if she had been eating her vegetables (Again, I have no idea how he knew that Kate has been trying to be better about eating her veggies)
Our jaws dropped again.
I believe! Seriously....Santa is real!!! ;)
When he asked them what they wanted, they both said Christmas Dresses for their American Girl Dolls (of course one of them is sold out, don't know how I am going to pull that one off! This is the first I have heard them wanting these dressses)
It was just an awesome experience. 
First, Luke cried and then Santa asked the girls the most perfect questions.
I absolutely love these magical holiday moments with my kids.
And, I absolutely love crying kids on Santa's lap.
My girls love looking back on their crying Santa photos.
I hope Luke does too!

12.12.2014

Peanut Butter Blossoms Cookies

I am so excited to share one of my favorite recipes with you today!
You may remember when I posted about my Grammy's 103rd birthday {HERE} and I got to bring home Grammy's recipes & cookbooks. I am excited to share one of those recipes. 
Believe it or not, I have never made these cookies. I have eaten them since I was a kid, but I have never made them myself!
But, now I have the recipe....and I am sharing it with you! 
The recipe is for a peanut butter cookie from one of Grammy's cookbooks from 1942. They are amazing Peanut Butter Cookies, and because I love peanut butter blossom cookies, I added the Hershey Kiss to them.
Here is what you need:
 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter (I use Skippy Natural)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar (for dipping)
 Directions:
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter in bowl.
Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add egg, vanilla and salt; continue beating until well mixed.
Add flour and baking soda; beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls If dough is too soft, refrigerate 30-60 minutes.
I use a cookie scoop & then roll with my hands.
Roll balls in 1/4 cup sugar.
Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until very lightly golden brown.
(If you just wanted amazing & soft peanut butter cookies, you could just leave them like this and not add the kiss.)
Immediately press chocolate kiss in center of each cookie.
Remove to cooling racks & then ENJOY!
They are so soft & delicious.

 Last weekend our court had a 49ers vs Raiders Football watching party (most of our court cheers for the 49ers, but we have a few Raiders fans) I brought these cookies to the party and they were a big hit!
I will be sharing a few more of Grammy's recipes this month....next up will be fudge!
Want more Cookie recipes? Just click on the Recipe Box Tab {HERE} at the top of my blog.
Tons of Cookies & Bars to choose from.
These Candy Cane Kisses are my favorite to make during December:
Recipe {HERE}
Happy Friday & I hope you enjoy these cookies!

Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger

Disclosure: This post was written as part of my participation in the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. While Hormel Foods provides me material and necessary resources to complete various activities, the thoughts and statements in this post are my own.

12.11.2014

10 on 10 :: December 2014

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month!
{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!}
ten on ten button

Can you believe it? December 10th.....that means it is the last 10 on 10 of 2014.
The 10th fell on a Wednesday. Wednesdays are our crazy day. 
It is Wacky Wednesday for my school and also the girls school. 
They get out early on Wednesdays, I get out late.
 
On the way out the door....loving all the fall leaves in my front yard. 
Here was my outfit for the day (you will be seeing it again for January Pin-Spired...we skipped December because of the holidays!)
These are my favorite, favorite, favorite boots.  They are 20% off right now!I got them last Fall and I wear them 3-4 times a week. 
My shirt arrived in yesterday's Stitch Fix! Seriously love Stitch Fix!
 
At school, I was working on grading & passing back my students Bargain Hunting Project.
This was a fun project. I gave them a "budget" of $150 and they had to "buy" 5 different gifts for 5 family members or friends. They had 5 "coupons" to use 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% off. They had to look on the internet and find the gifts, print out the photos, use the coupons and add in the tax. Their total had to be between $140 and $150 without going over (or under). They also had to write a paragraph  about their gifts, why they chose them and why the used specific coupons. It was a really fun project!
Wednesdays are block days at my school so I see half my classes for 1.5 hours each. I always try and do a fun activity on these days and of course, I give out candy as prizes. 7th graders love candy :)
 After school, I picked up Claire & Luke from my in laws. Luke is OBSESSED with trains (which is why I threw him a Choo Choo Luke is Two Birthday Party {HERE}. My mother in law said he played with their Christmas train almost all morning.
Kate has been begging to take chess class. They offer it at her school for after school enrichment. She has been asking for almost a year, so we finally signed her up. This was her first time. She loved it. Love my little nerd :)
 Getting gas on the way home....gas is under $3 in California!!!!! It's a Christmas miracle!!

 When we got home, it was homework time, but first the girls wanted to play with Kate's Arcade Game. This was part of her homework this past week. Her class watched this video on You Tube called "Caine's Arcade" Have you heard of it? I encourage you to watch it, it is so awesome.
Website {HERE} Video {HERE}
 Kate & all of her classmates watched this video and they all decided they wanted to make a cardboard arcade just like Caine. Kate's game is called "Pluck the Duck" She thought of it all on her own & Kevin helped her build it. Her class is  going to have a cardboard arcade at their school after the New Year to help raise money for inner city schools. Love it!

 Keeping an eye on the storm clouds.....apparently the Storm of the Century is hitting us today in California. I think the media is over hyping it, but I am so thankful we are getting a lot of rain. We have been in a drought for 3 years & need rain desperately!
Everynight we read the girls one of their books from their Christmas Book Advent. On nights that I read to them, we read them on the couch next to the Christmas tree & then we snuggle.  The girls fell asleep cuddled up with me last night. Love.
 We usually have white outdoor lights, but the girls begged us for colored lights this year :)
So, there you have it! Our 10th of December in pictures!
Hope you had a great 10th & fellow Californians...stay safe out there!!!

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