Sunday, December 12, 2010

Two Special Visitors

The kids got to see two very special people this weekend, Santa and my older sister, Ann. Ann and her husband, Blake, came out for a weekend visit from Wisconsin. They narrowly missed blizzard weather to spend some time with us. It's been bitterly cold and crazy windy all weekend, but I suppose that's still better than a blizzard!

We take the kids to visit Santa in his little glass house in the park every year. Sean rushed right in to go first and just loved on Santa!

Aidan went next, and I caught this coy smile when Santa said, "Have you been a little naughty this year?"

Ella wasn't willing to snuggle up to a stranger, so she let Daddy sit near him. :)

We drove halfway to my parents house to meet up with the family. I thought a lunch together and some playtime at the mall would give us a chance to catch up, but the mall was busy and the two littles took off in opposite directions every second they could. Did get to take a few pics while waiting for our food.

Mom (aka Nana) and her first-born, Ann.

Ann with Aidan and cousin Adam (my sister, Tanya's son.)

And then Sean took this one of Ann, too cute!

I wish we could get out to Wisconsin to visit them sometime, but not in the winter! :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Salt Dough Ornaments

I decided it might be best this year to make a toddler-friendly tree in hopes of avoiding broken glass ornaments. The kids and I spent a couple of days working on a batch of Salt Dough Ornaments to use this year. I wanted to venture from the usual ribbons and orbs, and instead bought inexpensive strands of beads and some glittery snowflakes to accent our homemade treasures. The kids really loved each step of the process.

Cutting out the dough

Painting the ornaments

Decorating the tree

And enjoying the finished result!

Classic Salt Dough Ornament Recipe

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water

1. Mix salt and flour.
2. Add in half the water, then gradually add the remaining water.
3. Knead until the dough is smooth, this can take up to 10 minutes.
4. For flat dough ornaments roll out the dough on baking paper
Or be creative and make odd shapes and wreaths (takes longer to bake)

Use cookie cutters, cut-out templates, or just use your hands.
Dust dough with flour and begin to add details to the ornaments with a toothpick, popsicle stick, and knife.

Don't Forget:
Use a straw to make a hole so you can hang the ornament.

Baking: Time varies based on thickness of ornament
Temperature: 325 degrees
Time: 1 1/2 hours - or until dry

Decorate: Let cool before you begin
Paint with acrylic paints
Glue on beads, buttons, or any fun accessory

Preservation: Making them last a long time
Coat with acrylic varnish when everything is dry

*** Color Variations ***
- Substitute coffee for water - great for gingerbread people
- Add food coloring to make dough a unique color - white, blue, red, etc...