I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas break. Of course I love that my kids are home from school but because it is winter time (and cold and snowy) the kids have limited time they can spend outside and therefore they get pent up energy. A week in and they all want to pummel each other and I start eating all their Christmas candy out of self preservation.
This year Shane was given the week after Christmas off from work which has NEVER happened and it was a life saver. We were able to do things as a family and take turns doing things with the kids to let the other one have a break. We did things like sledding, going to the movie theater, we went out to eat at a restaurant (which we pretty much never do), did crafts, had sleepovers in the family room, had a reading day, and made gingerbread houses!
When they were not arguing over who had a longer turn and tattling about who licked the frosting bag, it was actually really fun. Someone mentioned the word crisscross (referring to the design on the roof) and Shane and I simultaneously busted out singing “Jump” by Kris Kross which of course led to a full on 90’s hip hop dance party.
The kids loved making it snow on the houses when we were done.
I used a new recipe this year that I really loved. I found it on the Food Network’s site. I made snow flake shaped cookies as part of the goodies for neighbors this year and they really held their shape! When I doubled it for the gingerbread houses I messed up on the amount of corn syrup and they spread a tiny bit more than before. Any one else stink at doubling recipes?
- 1/2 cup butter (one stick)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (I used light and it was fine)
- 1/4 cup light molasses or dark corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- Cream the butter, sugar, molasses, and spices together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degree F.
Since I messed up slightly on the dough and it spread a bit, as soon as I pulled them out of the oven I cut them again with the cookie cutter. They will be soft right out of the oven but then will harden when they cool so make sure you do it when they are still warm. The kids snitched some of the scraps and the rest we added to vanilla ice cream for gingerbread shakes.
I have done the whole “trace the paper” thing in the past and to be honest it was a pain in the rear. This year I caved and bought cookies cutters. Best $10 I ever spent :)
Things have been pretty good this past little bit. Shane loves his job. We both try to deal with the long commute as best we can. I’m not going to lie, I complain quite a bit and I shouldn’t. I know very well what it’s like to not have a job at all so I try to remind myself to be thankful.
My kids are getting so big! It makes me sad some days. My oldest has handled the teenage years pretty well so far. My second oldest is struggling with enjoying school this year and we have had many chats on getting along with those who are hard to get along with and about having a good attitude. The youngest ones bicker and bicker and I have to remind myself that the oldest two use to do that and are best buds now. While I cried for the first couple of weeks when my youngest went to kindergarten, I have come to terms with it and have made the most out of the two hours he’s gone every day. And by made the most of it I mean sometimes I nap :)
I have been going around telling everyone I am 37 for months and just realized I am really 36. I tell you that is better than finding a $20 in your jeans pocket! I am not making resolutions this year (not that I really ever do) but I just want to try to be better today than I was yesterday. Most days that seems doable. Thanks for sticking around as I stumble through life and blogging. I may not be the epitome of consistency but I sure love what I do and love that I can share it with you.
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