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Decorating Christmas Cookies with the Kids

I’ve been missing around here for the past couple of weeks! The holiday season has gotten so busy and that leaves little time to blog. After Christmas, I hope to be back here a bit more. And I will FINALLY be taking the time to write out the much requested post about how we manage financially on one income. I will admit that I’ve been avoiding that post just because I feel like there’s so much to say and my brain has a hard time processing things during pregnancy. But I know I need to get it done so I’ll just have to get over that.

Anyway, cookies! That’s what we’re going to focus on today. Last week we busted out our matching pajamas again and baked some Christmas cookies. It is definitely one of our favorite traditions, even though I spend hours prepping and cleaning up afterwards. It’s so worth it for the joy that it brings and the memories we make.

One of my favorite things this year is the fact that Desmond is old enough to participate. I was gushing over every single thing he did because he just looked so adorable. You could tell he was proud to be up there and doing everything with his big siblings. And the Santa hat made everything that much cuter!

It gets tricky to document while we’re making the cookies because we also want to be present and doing things along with them. But I also love to capture the memories on camera. So Don and I switch off with the camera a bit. And he has his GoPro out to record. But we do set the cameras down for a huge chunk to just help and enjoy our time together.

For the 2nd or 3rd year in a row, I ended up buying store bought cookie dough. With how much time and effort goes into all the other parts of making cookies, this pregnant mama has no desire to make homemade cookie dough! Especially since I don’t even really like sugar cookies and my kids don’t care because they will devour anything with sugar. We may eventually go back to making homemade dough when the kids are older. But for now, I’m aiming for less work and more fun.

In the past years, we’ve always put our icing into ziplock bags with a decorator’s tip. This usually resulted in exploding bags and icing messes all over our table and hands. I had been looking for these condiment dispensers for the past couple of years but could never find them at our dollar store. I finally found some at Walmart for 97 cents and they were worth every penny! I just mixed together powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract until I got the right consistency (start with a small amount of milk and work your way up!) Then I divided up the icing into bowls to mix in the colors and used a funnel to fill all of the bottles.

The bottles were so much easier for the kids to use! Even Desmond was able to decorate on his own (he is 2.5 years old.) My only two complaints are the little caps that are attached (which we’ll probably cut off next year because they tended to drag through the parts that had already been iced) and the fact that they were more work to clean (as opposed to just throwing away the ziplock bags.) But even still, it was so worth it because they were much easier to use and less of a mess!

Clementine woke up from her nap as they were icing the cookies. She got one without icing and gave her approval.

And about the time that Desmond started dumping out sprinkles just so he could eat handfuls, we decided he should probably be done decorating.

They finished up and I asked if I could get a picture of all of them with the cookies. These pictures are probably my favorite of the bunch because of everyone’s personalities shining through. Without prompting, Desmond threw his arms around his brothers for the pictures–which was pretty much the sweetest thing ever.

Don tried to sneak Clementine into the picture. But she had eyes only for the cookies in front of her.

And of course their favorite part of the day–picking out which cookie they’re going to eat first!

And I’m ending with Desmond’s messy face because this picture makes me smile. Decorating cookies with kids is a lot of work. But it’s one of those things that I love to do every year because the kids enjoy it so much! And their joy brings me joy!

Our cookie decorating vlog will be published this Friday so I’ll update with a link to that then! I hope you’re having the best Christmas season!!

To see our cookie decorating from year’s past and to see all those adorable baby faces, you can see them here– 2016, 2015, and 2014!

Blog, christmas, Family, holidays, Vlog

Christmas Cheer

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It’s that time again!! One of my favorite times of the year. Decorating the Christmas tree with my family in matching pajamas! This is our 3rd year doing it and I don’t see us stopping any time soon. Well, hopefully not. Teenagers still like to match their entire family and pose for pictures with them, right? Someone tell me that they do! For now, I will cherish these moments while they are still young enough to not only match us, but to actually love matching us! My pregnant self actually just teared up a little bit thinking of how fleeting these moments are. But I know we still have a few years so I’m going to enjoy it while I can!

This year we got these new pajamas! We had been wearing the same elf sets for the past 2 years so it was time for a change..especially since some of the kids’ pants had holes in the knees from wearing them so much. This year I decided to go with something a little less Christmas-y so we could rock them all year round. Not that we didn’t already do that with the elf jammies. But now I could actually photograph them all year without looking out of place. And can we talk about how much my husband enjoys it too? Because I know there are some husbands out there who would be totally opposed to the matching jammie thing. But Don is completely on board.

Before setting up our tree, I asked the kids if we could snap a few family photos. The focus and coloring is off on pretty much every picture but I still absolutely love them! My favorite part is seeing everyone’s personalities shining through. (Except sweet Clementine who would have rather not been in the pictures with us. I suppose she’s already embarrassed haha.)

While I was setting up the camera and testing out the camera remote, I happened to snap this adorable picture. Desmond’s smile melts me every time I look at it!

All of these pictures were taken the week before getting our new camera a lens so now we’re going to have to retake them to get better quality 😉 Anyway, after we were done taking pictures, we drug all our Christmas decorations out and started putting up the Christmas tree!

I didn’t start taking pictures until they were probably halfway done because I was helping them put hooks on the ornaments. But I did get a few photos!

And of course by the time I pulled out my camera, Desmond was pretty much done. I managed to find one picture on my camera to document the fact that he helped 😉

I love these pictures of the boys reaching up to hang the ornaments as high as they can. It won’t be long until they won’t need to find things to stand on.

When we decorate, I let the kids put up all the ornaments on their own. It ends up looking like colorful chaos. It’s beautiful because it’s their creativity shining through. But I’ll be honest, I want my tree to look nice too! So after they are done decorating and have moved on to other things, I go back and rearrange it how I like it!

The past couple of years they didn’t really care. This year I could tell they were kind of wanting to keep it the way it was. I mentioned buying them a clearanced tree after Christmas to put upstairs so that they could decorate however they wanted. They were so excited! They love the rainbow tree that we ended up with. But I know they’d also love to have a bit more control with creativity. So I’m excited that we found a solution that everyone is happy with!

Clementine had been napping up until this point. When she came out, she had so much fun playing with all of the ornaments. It made me very nervous that we’d spend the whole Christmas season redirecting her. But thankfully it hasn’t become too much of an issue. It’s kind of funny that I prepare myself every year to have a toddler destroying our tree and then they barely notice its existence.

I love our bright, cheery rainbow tree during the day. And also the cozy, magical vibes it gives off at night. I saw Don playing around with the camera by the tree so that made ME want to do it. I always love the glow it casts on everyone’s faces.

And this itty bitty Clemmie hand reaching for an ornament!

Also, this super grainy, but super adorable picture of the kids. They all kept lining up on the window sill and asking me to take pictures. The way Desmond is looking at his big brother is just the sweetest so I had to include it in this post!!

Before you go, make sure you watch the vlog from our Christmas tree decorating!!

And if you want to see our tree decorating from years past and see how much everybody has grown, you can click HERE for last year’s and HERE  for two years ago! Have a happy weekend!