Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

Cowboy Santa

Lots of places lack the climate for a dreamy Bing Crosby Christmas. But in Texas, people wax poetic about it.

I discovered this Texan twist on The Night Before Christmas story and love it. From feeling the sweet innocence of Meg Wohlberg’s 1950’s illustrations to the matter-of-fact drawl of Leon Harris’s text  — the book is a gem.

Want the full experience?  Try listening to Gene Autry sing it!

Twas the night before Christmas, in Texas, you know.

Way out on the prairie, without any snow.

Asleep in their cabin, were Buddy and Sue,

A dreamin’ of Christmas, like me and like you.

Not stockings, but boots, at the foot of their bed.

For this was in Texas, what more need be said.

When all of a sudden, from out of the still night,

There came such a ruckus, it gave me a fright.

And I saw ‘cross the prairie, like a shot from a gun,

A loaded up buckboard, come on at a run.

The driver was “Geein” and “Hawin” with a will,

The horses (not reindeer) he drove with such skill.

“Come on there Buck, Poncho, & Prince, to the right,

There’ll be plenty of travelin’ for you all tonight.”

The driver in Levi’s and a shirt that was red,

Had a ten-gallon Stetson on top of his head.

As he stepped from the buckboard, he was really a sight,

With his beard and moustache, so curly and white.

As he burst in the cabin, the children awoke,

And were so astonished, that neither one spoke.

And he filled up their boots with such presents galore,

That neither could think of a single thing more.

When Buddy recovered the use of his jaws,

He asked in a whisper, “Are you really Santa Claus?”

“Am I the real Santa? Well, what do you think?

And he smiled as he gave a mysterious wink.

Then he leaped in his buckboard, and called back in his drawl,

“To all the children in Texas, Merry Christmas, all y’all!”

And there’s still time to order this on Amazon before Christmas if you like it too!

Merry Texas Christmas You All

Posted in Holiday | 1 Comment

Easter in Texas Hill Country

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend! We had a wonderful day today in the beautiful Texas  Hill Country spending Easter with Mark’s parents.  Gran and Grandad put together a super sweet egg hunt for the girls in the woods on their property replete with hand-painted baskets from Gran. Matching dresses courtesy of their Bama in Colorado. They are part of a super cute western collection at Baby Gap.

The sugar crash this evening was rough – but worth it.  We’re filled with gratitude for the time spent connecting with our extended family whenever we can. Life is short.  And as you all know, these precious moments become memories in a flash.

Posted in Holiday | 1 Comment

Mama-Toddler Fun with Homemade Valentines!

I had so much fun making Valentines last year with my then 2 year-old daughter – I’m excited to pull out the supplies this weekend and do it again.  Sadie, now in her full-on”I-can-do-it, I-can-do-it, I-can-do-it, mama I-can-do-it” three-ness, will be fun to witness run wild with her artistic expression.  My prediction — A LOT of uniquely shaped pieces of paper from her “cutting work” as she likes to call it.  God Bless Montessori. Work is play; play is work.

Valentine 09

A box of recycled paper cards and envelopes, valentine/wedding pattern scrap book pages and several packages of heart-shaped stickers from Home Depot — I think we spent $20 or $25 on our supplies and have plenty left to use again this year.

Valentine Girls 09

I let Sadie be in charge of taping wallet-sized photos of herself and her little sis to the inside of the cards.  I’m not sure we’ll go to this effort this year — but it was a cute, inexpensive addition.

What do you like to do with your children for Valentine’s Day?

Posted in Holiday, Valentines | No Comments

The Big Deal About Holiday Sugar

Scroll down a bit and you’ll see my last post was a nostalgic celebration of my Grandma’s sugar cookie recipe.  Now, three days and 20 toddler tantrums later, I, for the first time, I’m choosing to really reflect on sugar and its impact on our family’s emotional and physical well-being, and how I might do things differently in the future.

I think I’m like most Moms when it comes to refined sugar.  I know that it isn’t good for you. Too much equals bad things like cavities, obesity, and mood swings.  And, I choose to allow it for birthdays and holidays. But really – it’s more than just allowing. I enable it, foster it, and encourage it by modeling eating sugar myself. There’s always an occasion that merits sugar.

What’s a birthday without cake or cupcakes?  What’s Halloween without candy?  What’s Christmas without a million sugary things?

Sugar is an enormous part of our culture, our family traditions, and our holidays.  So, what’s the big deal? I’ve generally answered this question like most people do:  “Everything in moderation.  A little celebratory sugar here and there is fine.”

And who wants to be the lame-ass mother that doesn’t let her child eat what the rest of the kids are eating at any given party?  I’ll never forget the Jehovah’s Witness kid growing up who could not participate in any of the holiday celebrations at school.  I remember him sitting alone at his empty desk watching the rest of us joyfully get jacked up on the sugar du jour. (more…)

Posted in AP & Self Care, Holiday | 7 Comments

Aunt Chick’s Vintage Cookie Cutters + My Grandma’s Recipe

Santa CookieA little slice of YUM and something easy and fun to do with toddlers on Christmas: making old-fashioned Christmas sugar cookies. This recipe has been passed down from my late Grandma, Betty Bay to my mom to me.

In one bowl blend together:

1 1/3 cup butter or alternative

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp almond extract

Add:  2 eggs, 2 tb + 2 tsp milk/milk alternative

In a separate bowl mix:

4 cups flour

1 tbs baking powder

pinch salt

Gradually add flour combo to the butter-sugar-yum with mixer.  Separate into 2 sections, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for an hour or longer.  Roll out and use cutters of choice.  And as my Mom kindly reminded me, “Remember to dip the cookie cutter in flour so the dough doesn’t stick!” I still managed to forget every fourth cookie or so.

Bake 8 minutes at 375° give or take a few minutes on either side depending on how brown you like your cookies.  For the Santa cookies, cut raisins in half for the eyes and put in prior to baking and sprinkle coconut on top of freshly frosted beard and stache. My Santy is a bit thin on decor as I had a toddler wanting to help and needed to call it done, but you can imagine white frosted eyebrows and mustache and rosy cheeks.

Not that anyone will be shopping for Christmas cookie cutters on December 24, but if you’d like to know where to get the modern replicas of the original Aunt Chick cutters that first came out in 1948 and bookmark the site for next year — you can find them at: Gramma’s

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Posted in Holiday | 2 Comments


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