Christmas Spirit

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while but it feels like this Christams season seems to have snuck up on me and has flown by.  I’m usually done shopping by early December but I didn’t finish it until just last week.  So I thought…I also have to make a run to the store today for a mom-didn’t-wrap-the-same-number-of-presents present!  Totally my fault but I was not in the mood to shop today.

We have all our regular decorations up that brighten the house up:

The card holder with all the beautiful families that I love seeing grow every year.  I love them so much I make a scrapbook out of them.  I also decided to wrap my picture frames this year to brighten things up even more.

My new shelves worked well to hang candy canes.  Then you can also see our stocking holder.

Santa is helping us count down the days.

 The Christmas tree did make it up the day after Thanksgiving just like always.  This year I let the kids decorate the tree.  I helped them get it set up and then sat down and handed them ornaments to decorate.  They did a great job!  We had to help get things to the top of the tree but otherwise it was all them!  I love seeing it all lit up and overflowing with presents.

We are all set for Santa to come!  I’m not sure how much longer we have with two kids that believe in Santa but so far we have two believers.  I’ve seen more than one post on Facebook by people saying they are ready to give up the facade but I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to give that up.  I think it gives Christmas a whole other level of magic!  There have been lots of questions about how Santa does this or that and we just do our best to answer and anything we can’t is just ‘MAGIC’!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all!  I hope it is the best Christmas you’ve ever celebrated!


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HOW TO: Sugar Cookie Decorating

As promised in this post I am back with a how-to of decorating sugar cookies.  After you have baked the cookies and cooled them you are ready to frost!  Here is the recipe I use for my frosting:


4 c. powdered sugar

3 T meringue powder

6 T warm water

 Place powdered sugar and meringue powder in the mixer and combine.  Add water a little at a time.  Sometimes I don’t add all the water because it gets too runny…you want a slightly thick consistency.

1.  Get a piping bag with a tip and fill with Royal Icing.  I use a #3 Wilton tip to outline the cookie as seen here.

2.  Once you have outlined all the cookies you need to thin the frosting.  Use water to do it.  I make it a thin consistency that so that it spreads out when it is piped on the cookie.  I make it thin enough so that it molds back into itself when poured off a spoon.  Then use the #3 tip again and fill it up but not completely because you then spread it with a knife to fill in the empty spots.

3.  They will look like this when it is all spread out.  Let them dry until they are dry to the touch.  It will take several hours.

4.  Once they are completely dry you can do the detailing on the cookies.  I used to use my Wilton tips to do the detailing until I discovered they make edible markers!  That is what I used on these cookies.  SO much easier than using frosting to detail.

There you have it…super easy!  Now get to decorating those Christmas cookies!


For those of you who don’t know what lefse is here is the definition according to WikipediaLefse is a traditional soft, Norwegian flatbread. Lefse is made out of potato, milk or cream (or sometimes lard) and flour, and cooked on a griddle.

Since my grandfather is 100% Norweigian this has always been a staple at our Christmas table.  If you have not had it, it is delicious!  We prepare it with butter and sugar but there are several ways to eat it…none of which I have tried.  I don’t mess with a good thing:)

Anywooo…last weekend I took my second attempt at making homemade lefse with my grandma.  She has made it with her church for years and has all the equipment so I thought it was time I learn.  Now I just need a lefse grill.  Here are some pictures from the event:

Here are the lefse balls all rolled and ready.  See that circular board and stick in the background…the board is a special mat used for rolling out dough and the stick will be used to transfer the lefse dough to the grill.

This is the special lefse grill that is getting heated up and ready to go!

That is my grandma and my aunt rolling the dough out.

After rolling the lefse dough out you roll it onto a lefse stick.

 Then you roll the dough out onto the grill.

Here’s the dough grilling the first side.

The finished poduct.

So delicious.  If you’ve never tried it you should soon!


Our female lab, Abbi, has been limping for a little over a month now.  Mike took her in at the beginning of November because we thought she re-injured her knee that she had surgery on two years ago.  The vet thought she had a small fracture in her hip.  Gave her some anit-inflammatory meds and told him to bring her back if she was still limping in a month.  So it’s a month later and she is not walking on her back leg at all.  Mike made an appointment for her to go to the vet today.  Vet did another hip xray and saw something that didn’t look right on it.  He then did a body xray and noticed a couple other spots.  The vet is 95% sure that she has bone cancer.  He said that the spots he is seeing are not in the usual spots that it occurs.  We have to decide if we want a biopsy of it to be sure.

This hit me harder than I thought it would.  I wasn’t really prepared for them to give her the C-word diagnosis.  I was expecting to hear she needed a cast on her him or surgery again on her knee.  I was not ready for this.  She is only 8 years old and I have a feeling that we are going to lose both our labs in 2012 because Hunter is not doing well either.  It could be a rough year ahead of us.

RECIPES: Sugar Cookies

As many of you know I previously had two baking businesses.  In doing so much baking for others I kind of lost the passion I had when I started out.  SO I have walked away from both of them and am … Continue reading

DIY Pirate Party Banner Tutorial

My poor neglected blog.  I have been so busy with LIFE since Avery’s surgery.  I am so sorry my readers:)  But I have some exciting things coming I promise!  Here is the first…

I had a pirate themed birthday party for Avery’s 6th birthday.  After Blake’s party I had some experience under my belt.  I did more things than I normally do for their parties but I figure why not go all out!  So here is my tutorial for a banner:

I printed out the letters for “Happy Birthday Avery” using the Rapscallion font.  Took a couple tries to get them the right size.

Once I had them printed I used a cup and drew circles around them and cut them out.  Not all of them were perfectly centered but you get the idea!

Then in order to dress them up a little I used my trusty little red Sharpie marker to draw a red edge on the circle.

The you need to get the triangles made.  I used 12 x 12 scrapbook paper to make them.  I got three out of each one.  Each triangle was 8″ long and 5 3/4″ wide.

Next I used my handy glue stick to put the letters on each triangle.

Once I had the letters glued on I punched two holes on either side of the circle to put the ribbon through.

Then I just strung the ribbon (I just used plain old ribbon you can buy at Michaels or Hobby Lobby) through each of the letters.

Apparently I forgot to take a picture of the full banner hanging but you get the gist!  I had a hard time keeping it up with the weight of the paper but I’m sure if I had been more creative it would have been no problem!  You certainly could make smaller triangles and it wouldn’t be so heavy.

I’ll be back with more Pirate Party ideas soon!