Monday, December 15, 2014

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Our Christmas tree growing up was full of handmade ornaments from my brothers and myself as well as the assorted collection of ornaments we received each year in our stocking. The tree in our home now holds my collection of ornaments, Nate's ornaments and ornaments that we have collected together.  BG gets a new ornament every year in his stocking that Nate picks out and BG and I make one together as well.  I've made it a tradition to give our parents and backdoor neighbors the handmade ornament from BG as part of our gift to them.

For his first Christmas in 2012 he was just a few weeks old so I decided to make salt dough ornaments.  The dough was a simple mixture of salt, flour and water that I cut out with my biscuit cutters, pressed his hands and feet into (he was so tiny!) and then poked the edges all the way around with a toothpick for a little extra flair.  After baking for hours at a very low temp I was able to write his name and the date on the back before giving them to our parents/neighbors.


Last year we made cinnamon applesauce ornaments.  These not only look cute but they smell divine for years on our Christmas trees!  The recipe that I used is the same one that we used when I was in fourth grade. I can still remember mixing bowl after bowl with Mr. S and then smelling them as they laid to dry all around our classroom.  I continued that tradition each year with my own students and I always looked forward to the natural seasonal scent that it gave our classroom for the month of December!  When I made these with BG I was able to bake them slowly since there were just a few versus an entire classes worth. Once they cooled I just traced it with red puffy paint for a little extra pizazz! The back has his name and the date as well.
This year I was torn between two designs - I guess I know what we'll do next year! I already had clear ornaments and I knew that it may be the last year that he would let me be in charge of the painting.  While my mom was here I had her help by painting his entire hand white and then printed each of the clear bulbs.  I had seen the idea before several times but always on a colored bulb so I worried these may not turn out as boldly in the end.  Thankfully, once I added the colorful scarves, faces and hats I realized the clear bulbs worked just fine!  His little hand is just so precious to me and I love that we have commemorated it again this year.  I added his initials and the date on the palm of his handprint as well.  I hope the recipients love them as much as I do!
Now to get some more bulbs at the end of the season so we're ready for 2015's ornament!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Saint Nick

When Nate was young his family celebrated Saint Nicholas' Day which is December 6th.  BG was born on Saint Nick's day so it's already overload for presents but Nate really wanted to celebrate in this way as well. 
It's boy boy boy around here these trucks trucks and more trucks from good ol' Saint Nick!

BG running for his shoes in the morning sporting jammies that Faith made for him.
It was such a simple treat and nothing makes us happier than seeing our sweet boy happy!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

THE Cake

This year for BG's birthday I knew that I wanted to make a very special cake for him.  Last year he wouldn't touch his cake but this year I knew his sweet tooth would take over no matter what it looked like.  Nate and I talked about many many designs that we thought fit BG's likes these days and ultimately ended up choosing a construction site theme. 
I made a classic double layered chocolate cake because our boy loves him some chocolate! I carved out one side of it to create a ravine then frosted the whole cake.  After the frosting set I took the excess carved cake and pulsed it in the food processor to create "dirt" crumbs for the hill.  My mom found chocolate rocks at a grocery store in Cincinnati and they were the perfect addition to the cake. 
Just before the party Nate helped me place the construction site trucks perfectly around the cake and created the perfect little rock pile for the bulldozer to push.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


We had a wonderful time celebrating BG's second birthday this weekend.  I'm not quite sure where the time has gone but POOF just like that he turned two.  We kept things simple just like last year and had our neighbors over for dinner and dessert on his actual birthday.  We were "this" close to having a big party with all of his friends from playgroup, etc. but in the end we just thought BG might love a quiet dinner with his neighbor buddies just as much.  He thinks the two boys that live on either side of us hung the moon, so whenever they're around he's thrilled!  Nate's parents and my mom were here to celebrate as well so we had a looooong packed table full o' love for our sweet boy.

We had dinner catered from BG's favorite BBQ place just like last year.  It's so nice to not have to cook and really focus on celebrating this sweet boy with our neighbors.  Plus, he eats it like a champ so no need to worry about him filling his tummy with all of the distractions! He ate off of his red plate that our neighbors gave him for his first birthday.  I had never heard of this plate before but I can already tell it's going to be a special piece in our house!
A little playtime before dessert did all three boys some good!
We're so lucky to be his parents...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Ho! Ho! Ho!

We took BG to see the man in red today. He wore an outfit that Nate bought for him. He was so excited and kept saying "Santa!" over and over.

When it came time for his turn he immediately blushed and fell silent as Santa asked for a hug. He then sat on his lap and didn't stop blabbing about "ki-kiss-mas tees" and "no-crackers" except to smile for a picture.
We just love our sweet baby boy...even if he is getting older against our best attempts to freeze time!