Christmas 2016

Saturday, January 28, 2017

After living in Thailand for five years and having a hot Christmas, a warm Christmas in Chile seemed normal.  We are used to making it feel like Christmas in the States.  And to be honest, this is fully for my benefit because my kids only think of Christmas as a warm holiday.  I need to change my idea of Christmas.  Instead of boots and snowsuits, we have flip flips and swim suits.  What will be really confusing is when we have the 4th of July in the winter time! Here is how we spent the Christmas season.

Just like he has done for the past 8 years, Stinky Piper showed up the day after Thanksgiving to kick of the holiday season.  We had a fun Christmas themed breakfast.

He also brought some fun candy cane cookies for the boys to make.  This was a super special surprise because you cannot find these cookies in Chile!

We also started our new advent calendar.  I love this Eric Carle Advent calendar.  It was a nice change from calendars we have done in the past.  The boys enjoyed seeing what ornament they would get to add to the tree each day. 

 We found a huge Christmas tree at our local shopping center.  I loved how so many places were decorated for Christmas around our area.  We even had a Santa sighting, but none of the boys wanted to visit with him.

 We made the house feel a little more wintry by adding lots of coffee filter snowflakes.  

 Our Christmas read alouds this year were The Worst Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson and The Family Under the Bridge by  Natalie Savage Carlson.  We read the Halloween book by Barbara Robinson, so we were prepared for the trouble caused by the Herdman family, but I loved how this turned out to be a really sweet story.  I really enjoyed seeing the changes the Herdmans went through in this book.  We also really enjoyed The Family Under the Bridge.  It was a tough one to get through, but really heart warming.

 A couple new handmade ornaments for the tree.  A sled and a snowman.  

 A couple of my very favorite Thai ornaments, a tuk tuk and a Thai Elephant.

 This is Christmas in Chile. 

 Stinky Piper even brought some M & M's that cannot be found in Chile all the way here.  He was full of surprises this year!!

 And it wouldn't be Christmas with out cut out cookies.

We celebrated our Christmas Eve on the 23rd this year.  We had friends coming in Christmas morning, so we pushed everything forward by a day.  We had Christmas Eve Dinner and then went out for a walk to enjoy the beautiful sunset.

 Then back home for hot chocolate and Christmas cookies.  

 I received my copy of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas when I was pregnant with Greyson for my baby shower.  I have read it to them every year and it has become something the boys ask for.

And before they went to sleep cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. 

Every year since Lincoln was 2, Mrs. Claus has brought the boys a cake for Christmas.  When Lincoln was two the only thing he asked for was a cake and every year she makes a cake with a theme the boys are interested in.  This year she brought a cake with cards on it because the boys are really into magic and card tricks.  

Sitting by the fire, waiting to go through their stockings.  

The end of a really great Christmas!  And it wasn't even finished yet because on Christmas day we had visitors coming for a week and we would get to start exploring Chile!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends.

 photo signature_zpsda663a8a.png

Thanksgiving 2016

Thursday, January 26, 2017

We started out our Thanksgiving season with a Thankful Board. You can get the printable {HERE} Every day during the month of November we wrote something we were thankful for.  I really would like to extend this throughout the year instead of just November.  It's a nice reminder of why we should be thankful everyday.

We made our very favorite pumpkin cookies.  Honestly, they are amazing.  I usually only make one batch of these a year because they are very  "sinful", but this year I made two batches and  took some to a party.  I kept getting requests for the recipe.  I tried to find it online again, but cannot find the original.  I even have the website I got it from, but it wasn't on there anymore.  I decided to type it up so I don't ever lose it.  Here is the recipe.  Try it next year!!  They are amazing.

The Best Pumpkin Cookies
Makes: about 5 dozen
·         2 cups sugar
·         2 cups shortening
·         2 cups pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
·         2 eggs
·         2 tsp. vanilla
·         5 cups flour
·         4 tsp. baking powder
·         1 tsp. salt
·         2 tsp. cinnamon
·         2 tsp. baking soda
·         2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice ( if you don’t have just add some ginger & allspice.)
·         2 tsp. nutmeg
·         3/4 tsp. cloves
·         Preheat oven to to 350 F
·         Mix shortening and sugar until blended
·         Add pumpkin
·         Add one egg at a time, mix
·         Add vanilla
·         In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients
·         Add to wet ingredients
·         Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
·         4 ½ cups powdered sugar
·         1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
·         1 tsp. vanilla
·         ¼ half & half (I have used milk or whipping cream)

·         Add a little orange food coloring for festive touch.  

We learned what life would have been like for Native American children.  This is a great book to give you a peek at their daily lives.  We made dream catchers after this story.  Two of my boys were sure that their dream catchers were really working.  Dreamcatchers {HERE}

We read our very favorite Thanksgiving book.  If you are a Five in a Row fan , I am sure you hold Cranberry Thanksgiving in a special spot in your heart.  We read this every year.

Our seasons are opposite of the United States.  Usually, we would have a pumpkin and apple pie for Thanksgiving.  This year we made a strawberry pie and the boys made it, crust and all, by themselves.

I learned that I never want my kids to cook a turkey for me.   Printable {HERE}

Some of our art work.  They learned about the Mayflower and drew the ship. Directions {HERE}

They drew turkeys. {HERE}

 The boys added thankful leaves to their Thankful tree each day. 

A couple more books we read to get us prepared for Thanksgiving. 

While we lived in Thailand we always celebrated Thanksgiving on the following Saturday because Ben always had to work on that Thursday.  I was planning on doing the same thing here, but found out  a couple of days before that Ben actually got half a day off on Thanksgiving!!  That was pretty exciting for us.  We started off our morning watching the Macy's Day Parade from 2015.  Always a year behind.  

We finished off our Thanksgiving day decorating for Christmas.  It was a wonderful day of food and family.  

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us!

 photo signature_zpsda663a8a.png
Pinterest Thanksgiving Boards
-Cranberry Thanksgiving

Past Thanksgivings and Ideas
-Thanksgiving 2011
-Thanksgiving 2013
-Thanksgiving 2015
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...