Why Mrs. Clause fell asleep at 8:00 on Christmas....


I hope everyone is recovered from all the christmas festivities. I still feel wiped out, working until midnight last night did not help.

We had a wonderful christmas. There was plenty of eating, yummy crab legs and clam sauce; prime rib and roasted veggies and lots and lots of cookies and candy. We are blessed to have family near and visits from those not so close. Maddie had so much fun at her Papa and Gia Gia's that she wanted to stay there on Charistmas eve.
Santa delieverd on the princess calendar and vacuum and Baby Joey was under the tree. They have been enjoying doing puzzles, playing Cranium games-Hullabaloo and Cariboo. I love these games. My favorite part of christmas was watching how excited Annie was to give gifts and not just to receive. She stopped her gift opening to give me my gifts and was thrilled to give the grandma's their handmade goodies. Which I have no picture of, sorry.

It appears that the girls were very good this year because Santa left this in our playroom.

Putting on a show

Click here to see more.

They have definitly been enjoying the Two Sisters Theatre. We have been treated to many shows already. Annie goes right into character when she puts on her dresses and her cousin Ty even joined in on Christmas night.

the show

Santa also brought a nice little handmade stable and fence set.

handmade stable

Nice job Santa.

I need to get back to organizing toys and catching up on laundry... See ya in the new year.

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas....


Lots of holiday activity around here, including my christmas cold.
We've been


Making Kolachkey's DSC04273
Here's a yummy recipe:

Kolacky Dambrowski

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature 2 teaspoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 sticks (2 cups) butter, room temperature 3 cups flour Confectioners' sugar Preparation time: 45 minutes Chilling time: 4 hours Baking time: 10 minutes per batch Yield: 5 dozen Antonette Clark, who won first prize for these traditional favorites from her grandmother Veronica Dambrowski, says she enjoys keeping a variety of fillings on hand during the holiday season. (The recipe below calls for cream cheese filling.) Other kolacky fillings can be found in the baking aisle at major supermarkets, but any type of preserves also will work well. 1. For cream cheese filling, stir together 1/2 package (4 ounces) of the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a small bowl; set aside. 2. Beat together butter and remaining cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, until well combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each third in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. 3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove 1 dough packet from refrigerator; roll to 1/8-inch thickness on a floured work surface. Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares with a pizza cutter or knife. Fill each with about 1/2 teaspoon of the filling; fold two opposite corners of the dough over filling to almost meet in center. Place on greased cookie sheets. 4. Bake until golden, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer to flattened brown paper bags, which will absorb excess fat; cool completely. Repeat with remaining refrigerated dough in 2 more batches. Sprinkle cookies with confectioners' sugar.


Christmas bag gifts

Gifts for all my nieces. Little bags filled with peg doll pal kits and goodie bags. They were handed out on Sunday and quite loved.



Gift of the music and stories we love for all our friends.



Always good to get the foot in there for help.



I tried to replicate my favorite Choxie Bar- Milk Chocolate with caramel and pretzel... not quite the same.



Not getting very far on that one. The light was all wrong and the girls were not into it.


DSC04263 DSC04311

What's Christmas without a taste or two from the wooden spoon? I hope you all get a few tastes of something yummy and lots of tastes of things that make the holiday season the delightful time it is.

I'm off for more crafting and some resting.....

Advent Garland


We always had advent calendars as kids. I remember picking them up at Alton's Drug Store in the card aisle. They never had candy or treats just a little paper door that opened to reveal a picture or quote. Opening those doors always seemed to make the wait for christmas more tolerable.
Last year someone told me about making an advent garland. We cut 24 pieces of paper and write a special treat for each day on the inside. Annie and Maddie helped me write out the treats. Some say "read a christmas story" or "have hot cocoa by the fire" special days are for a trip to Starbucks, the library or baking cookies. My favorite are the ones Annie chose, "help a friend" and "yodel" and "act like a butterfly" not sure what yodelling and acting like a butterfly have to do with christmas but I'm game.
The best part of this is that the girls can't read yet so I get to mix them up at will. Gotta love being the parent.
Here are some other nifty little advent ideas.

From the fun site Kiddley:

This and This

From Soulemama

From Family Fun:

This and This

From Martha Stewart

More Here and Here

Not sure where I found this but would make a nice advent calendar too.

cute craft

I also thought you could make a nice one with a board some nails and the metal framed hanging tags. Other ideas are little gifts each day or a box of envelopes that have notes or treats. Last one is for the adults in your life HERE.

Only 12 days to go.

boots and tutu's


This is a picture of Annie on her way to ballet class. I love the contrast of the boots and the tutu. Annie really struggles at being a little girl who often enjoys not so little girl things. She didn't know who a princess was until starting preschool.
I try to avoid too many characters in their clothing, books, etc. but at the same time they love the Cinderella movie and want what their friends have. And as Annie pointed out to me during a discussion about how mommy would prefer that we don't do characters for Halloween (hoping to avoid a Cinderella dress) "but mommy Alice from our book Alice in Wonderland is a character, right?" Um, yep you are right dear.
It appears peer pressure and my daughter being smarter than me is coming much sooner than the teen years. I have decided that if I let the girls wear whatever they want (taking weather into consideration) than they will feel confident in their own fashion choices and less apt to fall victim to the pressure that is put on girls.
Who knows if it will work, but it's worth a shot and I rather enjoy seeing Maddie in flower girl dress and jeans and tutus definitely look better with motorcycle boots.

Snow in/Snow Out and Walnut Head


Last week we got our first snow. It is still blanketing everything and has been much fun. My very kind neighbors came and helped me shovel the driveway and the girls have been having lots of snowy fun, both outside and inside.

playing in the snow snow fun

snowing inside

Nothing like bringing in a big bowl of snow to keep the girls entertained for a long while and make a big mess. I gave them spray bottles full of colored water, cups, muffin tins etc. As you can rain boots are a must.

We also spent Sunday putting up our tree. Each year Dan has given me an ornament for Christmas and we always bought one on vacation. Now the girls each get one from Santa and we make one for Dan so the tree is finally starting to fill up. I love taking each one out and remembering where we bought it or the Christmas that I received it.

The first Christmas Dan and I set up a tree we had no ornaments and even less money, so I made all the ornaments and decorations for the tree. The garland was grapevine from the back yard, I hiked through the woods and cut sumac, found bark and milkweed pods and turned all of these into ornaments. We still have some of them, Styrofoam balls covered in pine cones, bark with sumac berries. It was really very lovely and it always makes me smile to think about that Christmas. We were also without an angel for the top (must be an angel). I saw this lovely little folk art angel in a magazine that was made from vintage lac scraps, felt and a walnut for the head. It was $150.00 so way out of the budget. Off I went to Joann's for felt and some lace. I sewed her up, and added the walnut head. I was so proud of her. This was one of my first sewing adventures. I think Dan was a bit worried about what he'd gotten himself into with me. Well, walnut head (as she is affectionately know) is still around(13 years later), her milkweed fluff halo is gone and she could use a bit of fixing but every year she goes up on the tree.


At some point I am sure the girls will beg me for something new, and maybe we will make one together but for now she always represents Christmas to me. Each year one of the girls will finish off the tree by placing her on top and I will remember that first Christmas and how I made her out of love. The simplicity of her materials always reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas. She was the start of our Christmases together and is tucked away each year with anticipation for the Christmases to come.

Happy 10Th Birthday to Teresa my god daughter who has grown to be such an extraordinary young lady.

shopping shopping shopping


I get a wee bit crazy during the holiday season. I spend hours oogling all the lovely toys online that I would love to buy for the girls only to decide that it's too much money and leave all the goodies abandoned in the cyber cart. Well last night I did order a few nice little things from Amazon.com and did a bit more oogling.
The christmas lists are a bit thin and that is making things hard:

1. a Princess calendar
2. a Princess vacuum cleaner

1. a Horse calendar
2. a baby Joey aka Baby Huggums
3. a Zoe doll from Sesame street

That's it and mmm there is no such thing as a princess vacuum cleaner (and Annie hates to clean so I have no idea what prompted this). Problem 2 is that I really try to avoid the whole character thing in general and the princesses and barbie are my two least favorite. So what's a mommy to do? Here I am drooling over the likes of

and my child wants

When I suggested we ask for books or puzzles or games Annie said we could ask for those next year. Ya gotta love that she is not greedy.
When I suggested that maybe one of these would be nice she said "We can make one of those mommy!" It appears all our little projects are starting to have an effect.

Happy shopping.