Monday, December 17, 2012

Very Merry Christmas {with Frosted Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs}


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I am really loving how our Christmas card turned out this year. 
This was the best verticle photo (that I never showed you) 
from those chilly 15 minutes the other day. 

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This morning I delivered 3 dozen homemade, frosted sugar cookies just like these, to our school. I love that we can still bring in homemade treats. This is part of our PTA's "12 Days of Christmas Cookies" for our teachers and staff. We get to fill up their break rooms with homemade treats to brighten their day.
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I've definitely found something that I love to do. I can't wait to roll out the rest of the dough I've made, with my kiddos and let them go to town decorating too.

On some of the cookies there is actually more icing than there is cookie.
That's ok, right?
I should have brought gallons of milk too!

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In case you were interested in the recipes I use...
Cookie: {This} is the only one that keeps it's shape for me. I cool the dough for 2-3 hours and then let the tray of cut-outs sit in the freezer 5 minutes before baking.
Royal Icing: {This} is my favorite tasty recipe. I only add almond extract, but lots of it. I've also found that the more heavily colored your frosting is, the longer it takes to full dry (can be 2 days!). Look at {this post} or {this one} for the flooding technique.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Star of wonder...

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...guide us to thy perfect light.
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*That's the chalkboard over our couch in the living room.
I was inspired by this gorgeous print {here}. Love that she sells them!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland...


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We got a foot of the perfect, wet, snowman making snow on Sunday.

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Our niece and nephew enjoyed the day with us too.
While Aidan napped I took Bella out to join the big kids in all the fun.
She had been standing at the window looking longingly at them.
It was time to go outside.

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She enjoyed her first time sledding with her cousins and wasn't happy about going back inside 30 minutes later.
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Allison loved playing "big sister" to her cousin.
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Then she went down a couple of times by herself.
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This big boy sled the day away not stopping even when the others took a break.
He kept going and going and going and going...
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And this one made her own mini snowman that was super cute too.
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David helped them make a snow fort with our block makers.
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But Bella thought there should be a little chair right here.
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"Oh! Did I do that?"
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"Uncle David, can you fix that?"
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"I'll supervise."
 
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More sledding shinanagans.
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A crash landing.
 
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Falling off half-way down the hill.
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I love how perfect our yard is for this age. The hills are just the right size. 
And we are all happy to see a white Christmas this year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Forever Family TaDollie and her Sisters


Now that she has arrived (you can read about it here), I can share with you the other little treats I tucked inside Sunshine's box. ;)

That's right!  Her box had not just one, but three dollies in it for the soon to be three Cooper sisters. I keep thinking about how fun that must be for Jenn as she is one of three sisters and now she will have three daughters.

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Jenn knew that Sunshine's doll was coming. As soon as she announced that they were adopting again I told her that I wanted to make another one. When the time got closer, we planned it out a bit togehter. But she had no idea I was making her older daughters dolls too.

I knew right away I just had to do it. I kept thinking about how much fun it would be for all the girls to have similar dolls to play with together. My hope was that these dollies might play even a teeny tiny role in the excitement leading up to  a new sister and aid the three little ladies in their bonding together as sisters once she arrived.

So I got down to business and planned out all the little details. I have always loved the sweet bob haircut that Jenn's "Miss Middle" has sported for years. I think I first saw her in photos when she was two and that's how I'll always think of her. I know that Jenn adored that cut on her too. So even though she is growing her hair out I thought it would be fitting for her doll to have her "signature" look.

And if you know Jenn's girls, you know they can usually be seen with flowers in their hair so of course everyone got a sweet flower with vintage button embellishment. I love that along with the matching fabric to the quilt Jenn made, she also sent some vintage trim that I added to their bodices and Miss Middle's waist.  Aren't those little pink hearts just the sweetest? I was thrilled when I saw that my Moda Dream On fabrics would be the perfect addition to her vintage sheets for the knee socks and hood.

Anna has her own room with a growing pre-teen style all her own. And though I didn't own a single purple print, instead of going shopping I knew I could rock the aqua, lime and black just fine.  Check out her room {here}. I think her dollie will fit in perfectly, don't you? I also figured, with that growing style of hers, she might be a bit over the "ric rac" look. So when I added a little to the hem of her dollie's dress I made it as subtle as ric ras can be. You probably realize by now that I'm obsessed with the stuff and back in the day Jenn's clothing designs used her fair share of ric rac too. So I figured Jenn would enjoy seeing it on all of the dolls too.

I also added a felt embrodired sun to the bottom of Sunshine's dress but never did take a photo of it because I wanted to keep at least that much about her doll a surprise for Jenn since I was showing photos before she arrived. You can get a peek of it over {here} in Jenn's photos. Pinking shears made the cute little sunrays.

And yes, I even looked through photos on her blog to see what side her girls parted their hair on. Can you say OCD? As a mom of twins that's just something I think about. And wouldn't you know, just like my girls, hers part their hair on opposite sides from each other too...teehee...

I also enjoyed picking out different verses for each of their dolls. Jenn picked Sunshine's, but I got to pick the other two. I think these are verses that every young lady should have tucked inside her heart for life.


Anna's doll
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Philippians 4:8
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

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Julia's doll
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 Galatians 5:22
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

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And a great big shout out again to Nicole Owens for creating such a fun softie doll pattern that my dolls are based on. I've tweaked it a bit over the years but the bones are still hers. Without that pattern I don't think I would have been bitten by the dollie bug. Together Amy and I made a ton and at last count I've given away 20 of the some 60 that have been made. I love that I have been able to bless some 20 prescious children through my love of crafting.  A lot of joy comes from giving of your talents and these have been no exception.
Thank you Jenn for allowing me to be even a small part of your journey to your "Sunshine."
 
Matthew 25:40
"The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'"
 
Proverbs 31:13
"She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands."