Month: December 2016

One Last Week of Elf on the Shelf Antics

We decided to combine the antics from the last week of the elves being with our families.  Both elves had so much fun surprising the kids each morning.

On Monday, Blitz was hiding in between toilet paper rolls.  Sterling wouldn’t use that bathroom until elf was out of there.

On Tuesday, Mister Elf in ND stayed in the same spot from the day before – playing Xbox.  The kids seemed extremely disappointed.  They were reminded the elf doesn’t move when he doesn’t want to report their naughty shenanigans to Santa.

While Mister Elf was stuck playing Xbox, Blitz was busy in Virginia reading Christmas stories to his favorite friends.

On Wednesday, Mister Elf was just hanging out on the ceiling fan in the living room.  After their behavior the days before, he just wanted to make sure to keep a good eye on them.

While he was hanging out in ND, Blitz wanted to go to school on the VA kids’ last day.  Sterling did not like Elf sitting in her classroom.  We had a meltdown until I rescued elf and put him in a safe place.

The next day, Thursday, disappointment set in for the ND clan as they spotted Mister Elf still hanging on the fan.  Meanwhile, Blitz, in VA found a spot to keep a close eye on the kids as they’re playing in their room.

The ND kids were excited to find Mister Elf all wrapped up under the tree on Friday.  He found the wrapping paper that was left out since I was wrapping gifts Thursday evening.

At the same time, Blitz brought the kids’ favorite drink along with everything they need to enjoy it.

On Christmas Eve, we awoke to Mister Elf chillaxin’ in Talyn’s stocking.  Right before bed, each of the kids picked him up to hug him and kiss him goodbye.

Simultaneously, Blitz brought a new friend to VA, whom Xander named Dasher.  He also had pictures of himself sleeping with them and a goodbye letter.  Dasher and Blitz enjoyed seeing the kids’ favorite light displays as we drove around and snuggled up close as they fell asleep.  While the kids were sleeping Blitz and Dasher headed to the North Pole one last time.

Having our elves hang around this Christmas season was fun for the kids.  Did you have an elf?  Which was your kids’ favorite spotting?

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!  Who’s ready for Christmas?  With only two days left, and we’re nowhere near ready.  It happens every year.  We plan to get ahead, things come up, and we get further behind.  Who else does this happen to?  Please tell us we’re not alone!

We’re linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci for another week of Friday Favorites.

Who’s seen this message floating around social media this week?  This is perfection and torture (for the kids) all at the same time.  

Look at the drastic weather change in North Dakota.  We had a freezing spell over last weekend and a couple of days later it had warmed up 64 degrees!  It’s still been in the 20s/low 30s and we are preparing for a Christmas Day blizzard. The freezing cold is definitely not a favorite.

Growing up, Full House was a favorite of mine & Bridget’s.  My girls and I binge watched Season 2 of Fuller House on Saturday when it was too cold to really do much of anything else.  Loved it and it’s still a favorite!

My family volunteered at the Open Your Heart Campaign.  The organization is a leading Christmas charity in Bismarck, which provides food baskets to families in need in our community.  Volunteering our time made me realize that this should become a new tradition for us.

All the hype for This is Us was spot on.  I’m in love with it.  I had every episode DVR’d, but just never watched them.  Until yesterday.  Normally programs that show past and present throughout turn me away, but this tv show captured my attention.  It’s my new favorite and I can’t wait for the second season (and Stacy agrees!)

Xander and Sterling’s favorite thing to do is art, so we got them an easel.  They’re going to love it.  I bought this and a doll bed from Ikea and while painting the doll bed I was going back and forth if I wanted this painted.   For now, I decided to leave it alone and assemble it.

Christmas is going to be so good this year.  I love watching the kids get excited over everything.  There are still presents that need wrapping, gifts to assemble, cookies to make, lights to see and hot chocolate to drink.  It’s going to be a fun and festive weekend.

Merry Christmas!

Favorite Christmas Sweet Treats

With the holiday madness nearing the end, the baking has started.  One of our favorite Christmas traditions includes making our favorite sweet treats.  

The pretzel kisses started as a Christmas tradition, but Bridget takes them to the next level and makes them whenever M&Ms have coordinating holiday colors.  They’re too good to only have once a year!  There are varieties of ways to make these, we both make them different, but they are both delightful.

Another favorite for us both are the peanut butter temptations.  This year Bridget got smart and bought the 48 mini muffin tin to get them done in one batch.   Stacy likes the smooth edges of the cookie, while Bridget enjoys seeing the festive wrappers.  Another favorite of Stacy’s is when there’s extra dough and she can make herself just a few peanut butter cookies as well.  What’s your favorite way to make them?

A family favorite from our childhood is the Ritz Crackers Peanut Butter Cookies.  Is there a for real name for these?!  Whatever their name, they are an absolute must make at Christmas for Stacy.  For the past 10+ years, she used the Baker’s Chocolate Squares.  This year she swears they’re putting less and less chocolate in those little boxes.  Buying four semi-sweet and two white chocolate wasn’t enough for the recipe.  So she turned to the very handy & less expensive chocolate almond bark to finish dipping the remaining cracker cookies.  Pretty sure she’s on board the almond bark train now (the lighter cookie version)!  In the picture below, you can see the two varieties.

A new cookie recipe Stacy tried this year was a Chewy Gingerbread Cookie (top right cookie on cookie plate).  She discovered the recipe two years ago, right before delivering Maisyn.  This year these were a top priority for her to make.  If you love gingerbread men, but hate the hard, crumbly mess, then you need to make this recipe.  These cookies are the perfect amount of chewy and the flavor is ah-mazing.  Even picky kids enjoy them!  Now if only they turned out as pretty as Cassie’s cookies did! 😉

Another childhood favorite cookie of ours is definitely the classic cut-out sugar cookies.  We have so many memories of decorating the cookies with our siblings and hope our kids get just as much enjoyment as we did.  These cookies are a bit more time consuming.  As busy moms to multiple kids, we don’t always have time to make them before Christmas.  Bridget finishes hers on Christmas Eve, while Stacy will attempt to complete them over Christmas break.  Or maybe Valentine’s Day instead.  This year we will bake the cookies and give control of decorating to the kids.  What’s more fun than watching pure joy and happiness as they make a mess, but are making lifelong memories?

What are some of your favorite holiday sweet treats?  Share your ideas with us, we’d love to start a new tradition.

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