Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa Cookies

I wanted to share the Christmas cookie I bake each year without fail. It's a little work but worth it, because it's so cute! I got the idea from a Publix magazine a few years back.

In the magazine article they of course gave you a recipe to use, but basically it's a roll out sugar cookie recipe. I use my favorite. Let me know if you want my recipe.

I roll out the dough and cut out hearts. I have a box of heart cookie cutters from Valentine's Day that has several different sizes, so I cut out a few X-Large and then a bunch of normal size hearts.
Of course bake the hearts and then cool. Once they are completely cooled, then flip them over so that the pointy side is the top. This will become Santa's hat. Ice the top with a regular white icing, don't use whipped or anything else funny just regular white icing.
Sprinkle red sugar on them to make Santa's red hat. Then fill a piping bag with the rest of the white icing and use a star tip to make the trim on his hat, the ball on the tip of his hat, and his beard. Use a bit more as glue to secure the two chocolate chip eyes and one red m&m nose.

I'll have to do a posting on the piping process because it took me awhile to figure it out and it is really helpful with kid projects. So here is my army of Santa cookies.
I've had a lot of fun with these at cookie exchanges and school lunches! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Homemade Teacher Present

We gave this present to Big Sister's Kindergarten Intern teacher who just finished up her internship. I thought it would be really cute in her future classroom. I found it in my Family Fun magazine, you can see it here.

This is what we did. First I found an inexpensive frame at Target. I meant to get out to IKEA, but didn't have time. Take out the glass and fit a background paper in the frame.
We used old crayons, but now that we've done it I would use new crayons. Peel the paper off and break them until their the sizes you need. Make sure to use a variety of crayons (or maybe different shade of one hue).

Draw the first letter of your teacher's last name lightly with a pencil on your paper. Lay out the crayons before you glue them down. We used Elmer's School glue and it worked great. Leave a little space below your letter so you can write their name. I was a little worried about my handwriting, so I had Big Sister write it.

I left her name off, obviously, but then I also wrote a really cute card talking about how each child is very different, just like each of these crayons. The little nicks, rough edges and rounded ones need special care.

Now if you go to the link above from the Family Fun website, you'll see theirs is so much cuter. That's why I think if you start with new crayons it would work better.

File this one away for the end of year if you don't use it now!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Candy Cane Craft

In our effort to maximize Christ in Christmas, we did a Candy Cane craft and talked about how that Cane reminds us of a Shepherd's Crook. We read Luke 2 together. We talked about how the shepherds were in their field watching over their flock when an angel of the Lord appeared before them.

Shepherds Crook Brown
Here is our craft:
I got red and white pipe cleaners.
Each girl got one of each and then wrapped their choice of color around the other. Really easy, but Little Sister needed help. Big Sister had no problem.
After a little tweaking, we had our candy canes to put on our tree, packages, cookie plates, etc. We love those sugar free treats.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Paper Snowflakes

Ok, so we try and do a Christmas activity each day. Today we needed to make paper snowflakes. Here is my attempt...

1. Take a piece of construction paper.
2. Fold it in half, and then half again.
3. Cut some sort of jagged edge.
4. Open.

Big sister's remark, "That looks like a bowtie." Yep, it looked like a bowtie. We tried 4 times before I looked it up online. My trusty friend, Martha Stewart knows how to do it like a pro. Probably because she is a pro.

Here's her link that I used. Paper Snowflakes

Here are the ones we made after following directions.
Thanks Martha!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thankful Chain Part 2

Here is our finished product!

After taking time most evenings, and some mornings, talking about what we were thankful for that day, we finally assembled our chain. It's interesting to see daily what God provides and it's especially interesting to see what to be thankful for through the eyes of my children.

Most commonly we saw the girls thankful for things they did that day, but the best is when they are thankful for their relationship with other people. I love watching them say they are thankful for their family. I love these daily reminders of thankfulness.

Big Sister working hard.
Little Sister working really hard.

Thanks for letting us show you our Thankful Strips turned into our Christmas Garland. We hang it in the girls' room to remind us of how thankful we throughout Christmas.