Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Way Little Boys Play

As a mother of four sons, I thought I would impart some of my hard won wisdom about the world. Boys do not play like girls (I have addressed this in an earlier post but today's antics brought the point anew to my mind).
For Christmas my 11 y/o received an airsoft gun, a bow and arrow set, a survival knife, and a guitar. The first thing that boy did was to go out into the front yard and use all the ammunition he had to shoot many tiny holes into the guitar box. Then, he took his bow and arrows outside to shoot them as well (Yes, his first few shots were at the box but then testosterone took over, warping his brain, and he shot an arrow directly above himself into the sky...and watched it coming back to his general direction. Yes, I opened the window and informed him that that was perhaps the most foolish thing I had ever seen and that if he did it again that I would be forced to confiscate the weaponry.). The knife was examined carefully, used on some branches, and now clings, proudly, to the side of his jeans. After all of this the boy finally sat down to play his guitar. He loves his guitar but he needed to get out the destructive, or protective, or whatever you call it, done with before he could sit down and be creative and quiet.

The incident that was the impetus for this post happened this morning. I had locked myself in the bathroom so that I could have a mostly uninterrupted conversation with my husband on the phone (Listen, it is the only room in the house with a lock on the door and 2 y/o will not leave me alone on the phone. He yells into the receiver the whole time about wanting to talk.). All mothers know that when you are on the phone is when the real ruckus begins. There was hooting and hollering, crashing and banging, caterwauling and wild rumpuses. In the midst of the chaos, while also listening as attentively as I could to my husband, I heard my 6 y/o yell out to my 9 y/o, "Get on the ground with your hands behind your back!" We have obviously been watching too much Cops. I told my husband who laughed the proud dad laugh. And, then I had yet another thing to add to my list of things that my sons do that I never did and never thought of doing.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Feeling Isolated During the Holidays

I hate the generic term "holidays". It is like someone has stolen something from the joy of a special day. The only reason I use it here is because I think I feel isolated on more than one holiday, not just Christmas. I want Christmas (or Easter, or New Years Eve, etc.) to be wonderful, joyous, free from strife.
I have childhood memories of things being wonderful. Perhaps, I viewed things through the rosy lenses of innocence. Perhaps things were actually better. I know one thing for sure, more of my family got together when I was younger than now. Also, being married and around someone else's family with their "normal" is also hard to adjust to, especially for a gal like me who doesn't appreciate change.
I hear people talk about plans to go to different family members homes for party's (most of them grumble when they talk about it) and my heart leaps. It wants to yell, "I want to go to house after house, laughing, playing games, and talking!!" I control myself and try to gently remind people that being busy during this season is not a bad thing, it means you are loved.
But, I must pull on my big girl panties and make this Christmas the most wonderful and joyous for my sweet boys. I will make cookies, play games, get them a present with purpose--something just for them, for who they are, not just some piece of junk to be broken and thrown out. I will make loads of delicious foods with my own two hands. I will sing with them. I will take them to church. We will worship together. I will not tell them that I am grouchy because I don't have what I want. I will not be grouchy. (I have to write this to remind myself. )
Maybe when they are older, I can be the fun one who invites the whole family over. Until then, I will content myself to my portion.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Cookies-The Perfect Sugar Cookie with Shiny Glaze

So, with the first cookies (these trees above), I decided to go with more traditional decorating. But, with the later cookies I decided to use marbling for the decoration (which, I must add, I love marbling).
I got the outstanding, delicious, perfect recipe for the sugar cookies at Here is the link to the recipe:

Here is the link to the fantastic icing:

Note: The icing is a bit thick when made to exact specifications of the recipe but just add milk alternated with corn syrup, a bit at a time, until you get it right where you want it.

I doubled the recipe to make enough icing to do all the cookies made from the sugar cookie recipe. It was plenty. I divided the icing into 4 cups so that I could do different colors. To get the marbled effect, I put the base color on first (using the back of a spoon to "paint" it on), and then I dribbled small circles or lines (depending on what I was doing) and then I used a toothpick which I pulled through the colors. It was super fun.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sock Owl

Sock monkeys are my latest craft obsession. I was nearly out of sock monkey stuff when I found that I could make a sock owl out of the leftovers. Isn't he cute?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sock Monkey

It has been entirely too long since my last blog post (as Chelsea tells me every time we speak). So, I decided to post some pictures of my lasted excursion into the world of crafting: sock monkeys!
This is Benaiah's Christmas sock monkey. A friend gave me a pair of these red-heeled socks that she found at a yard sale after I told her that I wanted to make a sock monkey. It was harder than I first thought (mostly because I was frequently interrupted by some cheeky homeschooled boys). As you can see I also made the monkey a crocheted scarf, knitted hat with a pompom, and a vest with pockets. The only thing I got right the first time was the scarf which was just a chain of 80 stitches and then double crocheted for 2 rows. The hat, O the hat! The hat took me 3 tries. It is 40 cast on stitches which was then knitted for about 7 rows and then decreased twice. The vest also took me 3 attempts.
But, doesn't he just look like he needs a big kiss? I brought him to see some of my friends and one of my friends' daughter reached out for him and gave him a big squeeze. It made my heart melt. I think he needs a crocheted banana, don't you?