A couple months back I shared a post on how I was lead to put my daughter's play kitchen in our kitchen area in hopes that she would play with it a little more.  I got this swell idea after swooning over the the Pottery Barn Kids magazine!  THANK YOU POTTERY BARN!  It continues to be a hit!  My girls play with it ALL the time and it took everything in me to wait to decorate the little kitchen area of Christmas!  I was so eager in fact that I admit..... I may have put up some decorations before Thanksgiving!!! (hehehe)

The day I was prepping pies for Thanksgiving, Audree spent most of the day preparing her "Thanksgiving dinner!" It was very nice to have a space where she could be in the kitchen with me but not necessarily WITH me... you get my drift! Yes, I love to let my kids help me cook, HOWEVER, baking is often therapeutic for me and somehow the "therapy" part gets thrown out the window when there are many little hands attempting to "help" me!! LOL 

So... here is the finished Kid's Christmas Kitchen!!!


To go along with the whole Christmas Kitchen theme, I made some homemade Christmas scented playdough and got out the Christmas cookie cutters!!!  We made Gingerbread and Peppermint "Frozen" playdough!  We added what was supposed to be a "little"glitter to the mint green playdough, but I should have known better, my girls have never gotten the concept of "a little glitter or sprinkles!!!!"  Here are the recipes for the playdough!!

GINGERBREAD PLAYDOUGH

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves (I dump I don't measure, but I would say at least a TBS of each fora  strong scent!)
1 cup water
2 TBS oil 

Mix dry ingredients in a saucepan, add water and oil and mix over medium heat keep mixing until mixture forms into a ball.  Remove from heat and dump playdough out and knead until the stickiness is gone and it is cooled down.  Store in a plastic container with a lid. 

FROZEN PEPPERMINT PLAYDOUGH

-Use the recipe from above but take out the spices and instead add about1 tsp of peppermint extract to the water OR about 5 drops of peppermint essential oil.  Also,we added about 2 drops of blue food coloring to make the light greenish blue color.  If you dare, you can add some glitter as well!! LOL

I hope these give you some fun ideas to try for the Christmas season with your younger kiddos!  My older kids love to play with the playdough as well.... and really..... to be honest... so do I!! LOL

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend 
Missy
 
 
IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!!!!!

YES!!  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration yesterday with Garrick's side of the family and today we head out to the tree farm in attempt to find the perfect tree!  We look for a tall slender fella that fits nicely in the corner of our family room!  

This has become one of my children's favorite family traditions!  

Do you have any family traditions you have made part of your family  legacy????  

I was very blessed to grow up in a family that held dear to many yearly holiday traditions!  My grandparents were  incredible at developing and carrying out these cherished traditions every year.  

Christmas was such an anticipated time of the year for me because of these traditions.  The weekend of Thanksgiving we would head out with Poppy to cut down a fresh Christmas tree!  We had a real tree every year.  Half the fun was watching the sometimes "frustrating" effort hauling the tree inside and getting it to stand straight in the stand!  

It also became a yearly tradition for someone to find their tree in the horizontal position when it was supposed to be vertical!!  LOL  My Poppy found a great solution to this and eventually started stringing fishing line from the trunk of the tree to the ceiling to keep it from collapsing! LOl 

We would decorate our tree listening to Christmas tunes and til this day I can still remember the peaceful feeling I had sitting in our family room next to the wood burner looking at the Christmas tree!  

 A yearly shopping trip with grandma also became a yearly tradition.  We would pick a Saturday and head out to the mall and literally shop ALL DAY!  As we got older, we would pick out our own Christmas presents as they were often clothes and then grandma would take them home and wrap them!  We would always have lunch, often at the Olive Garden and I would have a giant piece of New York cheesecake!!!  

Another tradition we had was when my Aunt and cousins would come to town a few days before Christmas.  We would always have a family lunch date at a tea room restaurant that I also happened to work in and then finish up last minute shopping. 

There are times I literally wish I could go back in time and experience the feelings as a child and teenager as we took part in these traditions.  I know I can't do this, so, I try to relive these same traditions with my own little family now.  We get a real tree every year and when we have even discussed possibly getting an artificial tree to save money and time our kids have a coronary!!  This has already become a tradition they cherish and I will not take it away from them.  

We also go to the Chicago area every year to celebrate Christmas with my family and this too has become a tradition they treasure.  There have been years it looked as if we would not be able to go and the kids were devastated as they look forward to this time with their cousins every year.  

Our family traditions become a part of who we are and very often we get the precious gift of passing these traditions down to our children.  And if we are really blessed we will get to witness them carrying on these traditions with their own families. 

What are your family traditions?  Do you have any that you treasure from your childhood?  If not, what are some traditions you would love to start with your family?  

Maybe start one this year!!  It is never too late!!!!  

Please share your traditions if you are willing!!!!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend 
Missy

 
 
The BICKERING!  Yes the BICKERING!

I have yet to speak with one parent in this universe that enjoys a good old bickering session between their children.  In fact, most parents state it truly about sends them over the edge, to the point they are willing to lock their children outside and give them both permission and their blessing to pommel one another!

And I am hear to tell ya.... there perhaps is nothing more irritating than the homeschool bickering!  

"Will you tell her to stop BREATHING!!!  I can hear her and I can't concentrate!!"  Truly.... it gets that ridiculous! 

Nothing is EVER their fault and if I even have the audacity to imply that it is..... I apparently have chosen my favorite child and made it obvious the one I would like to place up for adoption.  

If I had a dollar for every time I heard, "you ALWAYS take his/her side" I really could jump and plane and get away from the bicker!!

I have succumb to the fact that bickering is all part of the package.  I can't stop it.  I can't always prevent it.  And I sure as heck know I can't always escape it, though I give it a real college try!!

So.... YES.... every now and again..... a bickering session takes place that actually brings me JOY!!!  YES.... JOY!!!  Most of the time I want to pull my ears off the side of my head and bury them in the back yard, but, every now and again, God blesses me with a session of bicker that leaves me belly laughing and extremely grateful for my children and the joy they bring me.  

Yesterday..... I was giving God thanks for a "litter box,"

Yes... a stinky, plastic, unsightly litter box.  

Let me explain.  Both my son and my girls have a cat.  They are 100% responsible for their pets, that was the deal we made.  Ergo, they keep their cat's litter boxes, in corners of their bedrooms.  They have to keep them cleaned religiously and all signs of litter need to be thoroughly vacuumed.  I have definitely caught some resistance with these rules, but so far, they do pretty well.  

The problem is.... my girls cat, Kip, REALLY, REALLY prefers to not only eat my son's cats food, but he also prefers to poo in her littler box.  Now, I am not sure why.... both cats have the same darn litter box and litter, but for whatever reason, Kip has chosen his throne and it is NOT is own!

Well.... this REALLY ticks my son off because it not only stinks up his room but it also makes it so he is having to clean his litter box more often.  With just his his cat, he could usually go a couple days without cleaning it but now... he has to clean it almost daily in order to prevent his room smelling like an outhouse!

The children have bickered about this on numerous occasions but yesterday morning took the cake.  

My son came marching down from his room madder than a hornet!!  The conversation that took place left me belly laughing short of breath.  It went something like this....

My son: "That's it.... I am tired of Kip pooping in Bonnies' litter box!!  My whole room smells and I have to clean it almost ever day!! "



My daughter: "I can't help it, he just goes in there!"

My son; "Well then you are going to start cleaning out my littler box too!"

My daughter: "No I'm not!  That is your litter box, I clean out my own."

My son; "Yeah, but your cat is pooping in my litter box!"

My daughter; "SO... it's still your litter box!"

My son; "FINE... then I am going to scoop the poop out of my litter box and put it back in yours!"

My daughter; "That would be dumb!"

My son; "No it wouldn't it's YOUR CATS POOP!" 

Now... please keep in mind, my son was fuming I mean he was dead serious about how this poop problem was disrupting his life beyond his ability to handle it!  And my daughter really couldn't have cared less!

All I could do was bust out laughing! I mean... I could not believe this argument was even taking place!  I couldn't even get mad or irritated... in fact... I wanted it to keep going!!!  BAHAAAA!!

The awesome thing is.... my uncontrollable laughter aided in calming the situation and everyone started laughing!!!  

At that moment.... rather than being irritated about this session of bicker, I embraced it and cherished it, realizing that one day... when these two are all grown up and we are sitting around the Thanksgiving table with their spouses telling stories.... this story will bring everyone a well needed belly laugh!  

It will be a precious memory we will cherish.

Now, I wish we had way more of these types of quarrels at our house, but for today, I will be grateful and happy for the few that I get to tuck way in my memory to save for a later date!!

The next time your children are bickering... stop for a moment and listen..... is this a moment to remember?  Will this pointless argument... one day be a memory that wraps you in joy and comfort.  

I am so blessed with my children, I truly know this, however, some days it is easy to forget.  Parenting can be exhausting to say the least.  

I am extremely thankful for the days.... I can laugh and cherish the moments..... that will become the stories I tell my grandchildren, God willing!  

So parents... find a moment to laugh with your children today!  Who would have thought.... a littler box and some poo could bring such joy!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend
Missy