Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve Morning at Memere & Pepere's House: Part 1

Dr. Grace Leger examining cousin Rose!

Fireman Jack to the rescue!

Sweet cousin Kimberlee

Cousin Rose admiring her new American Girl doll

Auntie Allison and Eve

Silly Uncle Steve!


Jack and Rose working together on a fun new puzzle!

More pictures to come...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our Special Spot in the Woods

We went for a walk in the woods directly behind our house yesterday afternoon. We found a beautiful spot near our home where we spent time skating, locating animal tracks, gathering sticks to make fairy houses, examining snowflakes, making snow angels on the ice and admiring the beauty that surrounded us.

I took Grace, Jack and Eve back to our special spot in the woods again today. We spent most of our morning there constructing a "house" that we started to make out of sticks and pine branches along several patches of ice. We are so excited to continue to build our forest house there throughout the winter months.

I remember as a little girl creating a fort that my brother and I built in the brush alongside the dirt road where we lived. Adam and I would spend many of our summer days there playing and imagining together. A neighbors dog would often join us in our adventures (remember Oreo, Adam?!!!). I hope that my own children will create their own special childhood memories in their spot in the woods, just as I did with my brother.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day

Our Christmas day was spent snowshoeing, playing in the snow, making snow angels, skating on nature made ice rinks, walking through the woods, wagon rides in the snow, searching for animal tracks and warming up by our bonfire. Simply perfect.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Christmas...

The children were nestled all snug in their beds...

...while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Making Gingerbread Cookies!

Happy first day of winter!

We made gingerbread cookies this morning. I tried to find a relatively "healthy" recipe for our gingerbread boys, girls and babies. The recipe that we used is shown below. We made the dough yesterday afternoon and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. Grace and Jack made the gingerbread cookies while Eve was taking her morning nap (since the dough had raw egg in it I did not have Eve help this morning). However, Eve did a great job helping to make the dough yesterday. Eve especially loved the smell and a little taste of the ginger -- she's a little spice girl!

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup oil (we used olive oil)
1 cup sugar (we used much less)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup molasses (We used Blackstrap molasses since it is healthier than light or dark molasses. Blackstrap is an excellent source of iron, calcium, vitamin B and E and manganese.)

1. Whisk whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a large bowl. Beat butter, oil and sugar in another large bowl with a mixer until creamy. Add egg, molasses and vinegar; beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine. The dough will be very soft. Divide the dough into four equal portions, wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least two hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover several baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. Working with one portion of dough at a time, on a floured surface, roll the dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookies using cookie cutters. Gather scraps and reroll. Using a spatula, place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough.

4. Bake the cookies, one batch at a time, until puffed but still soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Grace and Jack were very excited to put a lucky gingerbread boy and girl into their beautiful gingerbread houses that they made and decorated over the weekend! :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Making Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments

2 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
1 cup of warm water =
Lots of fun!

Got Gracie, Jack & Eve?