December 15, 2013

A Fun New Twist on an Old Kids Party Game

I randomly saw a picture of this online and decided that I had to try it when the time was right. Well, with all this Christmas partying going on, I found the opportunity and I just can't wait!

A dear friend helped me put it together and purchase all the goodies. Here's how we did it:

We used one entire roll of Scotch brand packing tape, 38.2 yards to be exact, and started taping the toys and candy together to form this giant ball:

We included prizes that wouldn't be ruined when ripping off the tape:

  • Toy trucks, cars, and tractors
  • Hair accessories
  • Candy Canes
  • Erasers
  • Sunglasses
  • Magic Washcloths
  • Jumping Frogs
  • Play-Doh
  • Stacking Crayons (with plastic shell)
  • Necklaces
  • Festive Flexible Straws
  • Flashlights
  • Toy boats
  • Rubber Duckies
  • Wacky Balls
  • Glow Sticks
  • Wind-up Toys
  • Candy on a Ring 
  • And in the center: Silly String! 

 How to Play:

You'll need music (several songs).
Have the kids sit in a circle.
When the music is playing, the kids should pass the ball around.
When the music stops, whoever has the ball may unravel as many prizes as he or she can!
When the music starts, have an adult nearby to cut the tape, fold the end (so the next kid can find it), and discard the trash.
Keep going until the ball is gone!

What I love about this is that the kids can see all the prizes, but they can't tell which ones they'll be able to get. It makes me want to be a kid again. :-)

If you try it sometime, come back and tell me how it went. Thanks!

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies

My mom has made these cookies every year at Christmas for as long as I can remember and I can't tell you how fun it is to make them for my family now. They are so soft and sweet and delicious!


1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 heaping teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon cream of tartar


1. Mix sugar, butter, egg and vanilla.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients.
3. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
5. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. (photos below)
6. Flatten each ball with the bottom of a glass dipped in granulated sugar. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes (I bake mine for about 7 minutes).

 The dough should be firm when you take it out of the refrigerator.

 The bottom of the glass is dipped in sugar.

 Press gently, not too hard.

 We like to add festive and colorful sugars, too. :-)
 When they look like this, take them out of the oven and place on a cooling rack. They are fragile, so be careful not to let them crumble as you take them off the cookie sheet.

And enjoy!
Merry Christmas!

December 9, 2013

God, Give Me Patience With This Child

It started last week, suddenly. At first I thought it was cute, but soon it started to be just plain scary.

My little boy has discovered his ability to destroy things and is fully enjoying it. I didn't really think anything of him crushing his goldfish crackers to dust between his thumb and index finger. I mean, it's harmless, right? Well, then he cracked the screen on my computer. Then the found out how to climb up on the counter tops. Then he smashed a rather large flowerpot to smithereens. Then he discovered where we keep the silverware. Then he shoved my phone into the sub-woofer. Thank goodness it's wasn't dead! I got it out after removing just a few screws. It's gone on like this for the past few days.

I get no rest when he's awake because I'm terrified that he's going to get into something dangerous and hurt himself. Suddenly he's gone from reading books and building towers to searching for breakable things to destroy. To be honest, I've been at my wit's end over the past few days. Stressed. I've raised my voice. I've tried so speak reason to a baby...he responded by looking at me and giggling like I was funny. I've felt like I've lost my mind.

Well, after he smashed my pretty flowerpot this morning, I had had enough! It was time to get out of the house and let him expend some of his energy elsewhere. I just couldn't take any more destruction! So we loaded into the car and I turned on my favorite Christian radio station...and what do you know...the most perfect verse came over the airwaves:

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2

I just love those little moments when God puts things right in front of my face so that I can't possibly miss what He's trying to get me to see. Patience. Gentleness. Patience. Humility. Patience. Love. Patience. Bearing with one another. Patience. 

After all, as I sit here typing with this cracked screen, I've realized that it's just a screen. It can be replaced. I can replace the flower pot. I was able to find my phone. I can lock the silverware drawer. It's going to be okay. My precious boy, whom I love with all my heart and soul, is just learning boundaries and his new found strength. I can...and I must teach him those boundaries without getting so stressed out. I must set an example of humility, gentleness, patience and love even in the hard times.

Thank you, Lord, for this verse today, for putting my day in perspective, and for teaching me how to be a better mommy. And please help me remember it tomorrow.