a slightly less elegant version…

i found these yummy-looking shortbread bites on my cousin’s pinterest board


i thought it would be a fun Christmas baking project with the kids (which, i might add, is not normally something high on my ocd list of Fun Things to Do with Small Children).


instead of kneading the sprinkles in, i gave them each their own plate with dough, sprinkled it with the Christmas sprinkles they chose, and let them roll it around. like play-doh. but tastier.


and the oven fixed the ugliness. so, while ours aren’t as pretty as the ones in the picture, they could have looked alot worse if the oven hadn’t softened and melted them a little.

*note, i made the first batch according to the instructions and a second batch from namaste’s perfect flour blend  because we are wanting to cut out as much sugar and wheat from our diet as is possible for us right now (i know, fantastic time of year to be implementing that change, well played, parents!). they came out tasting good (or as good as something without wheat flour can taste, right?), but they seemed to melt a little more than the wheat flour ones. so if you are wanting them to look like the ones in the recipe picture, you might need to do a little messing around with the measurements to get it firmer…or, i guess, not let little hands roll them and melt the butter.  i also added a few drops of peppermint oil to that batch, which i would highly recommend!


feeling crafty

clothes pin bag

clothes pin bag, at last!


sweet p’s pinafore


ring sling and burp cloth

stockings by the fire

stockings by the fire

do you know how awful it is to try and get a picture of your own head with an ipad?

do you know how awful it is to try and get a picture of your own head with an ipad?

after months of not doing much, november – december was crazy productive! i was thinking of all the things i had been doing, was amazed at myself and felt the need to share, of course. so let’s start at the top, shall we?

clothes pin bag  my grandma always had a clothes pin bag and i wanted one when we started hanging our clothes, but couldn’t find one. i ended up finding this one. i did not download the template, i just eye-balled it because i am impatient and didn’t want to take the time. also, the fabric i used isn’t really fabric, it is some weird non-plastic, table cloth-like stuff i inherited through the years, so the “neck” does not lay flat, but for a 20-minute, pattern-free project, i am pleased! and think of my grandma every time i use it.

pinafore  my cousin texted me a picture of her daughter in this super cute pinafore and promised it was crazy easy-peasy. and basically…she was so right! let me be clear about my actual sewing abilities: i have never (never) completed a pattern without handing it mangled and still in pieces to my mom for her to fix and finish for me. until this one. and i made it, from download/print-out/cut-out to sewing complete, minus buttonholes, in one nap time. seriously. and i did another one for our oldest daughter after the kids were in bed. (we had a play day the next day that i wanted them to wear them to, so i was a little motivated)

ring sling and burp cloth  this is more my kind of sewing. like curtains, there are just lots of straight lines and no fancy work. super easy to make and make a few bucks on the side. actually, this the reason my fantastic husband made my dream laundry/sewing room for me, to make a little side money while taking care of the kids. so, yes, the sling is for sale!

stockings by the fire  justice, our newest addition, went last Christmas without a stocking. but as she was only a week and a half old, i am fairly certain she was ok with it. however, this year she will need one, so i am furiously knitting when i have the time to sit (and am not blogging). in the back is mercy’s, what the finished product will look like. i went ahead and added it in because by the time it is done, i will have done all these projects in under a month. (i am not gloating) (well, maybe a little)

flowered cloche  ok, not big on the selfies, but it didn’t look like anything lying on the arm of the couch and i wasn’t thinking jimmy would want to model it for me, so there it is. i have a really fantastic scarf from gap that used to have a matching hat (but not gloves because i was too cheap to buy them and i have regretted it ever since) but one of my roommates from the past had a friend who was going someplace cold and i let her borrow it and have never seen it again (or the friend, come to think of it, although, randomly, she and her now husband and children have moved next door to some friends of mine who live an hour away. yeah, weird. so…) i crocheted this one to go with it and now i don’t have to be bitter anymore.

fruition at last

(insert evil laugh)

i have been more excited about this Thanksgiving than any i can remember for a long time. and i have loved the planning of it, even if getting everyone on board was a bit stressful at times and i had to walk a fine line to see it through. to set the stage, my husband planned a family reunion at the beginning of November, and seriously, is it necessary to get everyone together twice in one month, especially with Christmas and New Year’s coming up? I won’t go through the timeline of events for the planning because i wouldn’t want to throw anyone under the bus with me, but let’s just say my sister- and both brothers-in-law are on board. which leaves my husband and in-laws. and actually, as long as my father-in-law gets to make a turkey (of which we all get to sample the leftovers, except, if there was never actually a meal, are there really leftovers?) then he is good with whatever. and let’s be honest, this has been my secret plan for years, the time has finally come for it to be implemented.

so, here is the day:
:: wake up to breakfast cooked by husband (except that part is scrapped because he is out taking care of a deer he shot last night)
:: take kids to Fort Christmas Park to play on what we have heard is an awesome playground
:: head to Cracker Barrel to meet the in-laws for turkey lunch (admittedly, CB is not a place i normally ask to go to, but it was an important part of ensuring the buy-in of my husband and his mom)
:: come home and let kids nap
:: leftover pie party and bonfire at our house with coffee and friends…two of my favorite things, they go together like peanut butter and chocolate

i will let you know how it goes. maybe we will have a new tradition.

all is calm, all is bright

so this certainly isn’t the best picture ever taken, or even a good picture, but it is our christmas tree and i walked out to the living room and it was beautiful. (too much eggnog?) anyway, hope your christmas is merry and your dreams are bright. thank you, Jesus, for coming for me.

I’m here with the others
Who saw the Heavens testify
Now I hang back in the shadows
I wanna come close, I wanna know
She sees me shiverin’ here
She smiles and with a nod
I walk through the mud and straw
To the newborn son of God

He raises a wrinkled hand
With the dust and the flies
Wrapped in rags like we are
And with barely open eyes
He takes my finger
And He won’t let go and He won’t let go
It’s nothin’ like I knew before
And it’s all I need to know

Come, let us adore Him
He has come down to this barren land
Where we live
And all I have to give Him is adoration

Come, let us adore Him
He has come down to the world we live in
And all I have to give Him is adoration

Oh come let us adore Him
Oh come let us adore Him
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Is with us here and He won’t let go

-adoration, newsboys

since i gave up hope i feel alot better

that is actually the title of a cynical steve taylor song. well, that wasn’t very descriptive, i guess, as most of his songs are quite cynical…but i digress.

this is me filling in the blank: since i ____________ , i feel alot better

:: quit trying try to keep up with my fantasy football team at the beginning of this season, i feel alot better…and i’m actually winning again. go figure

:: gave up trying to get christmas pictures done in time for christmas and settled on “new year’s cards,” i feel so much better…everyone was sick and snotty for so long there was no point in trying to get a decent picture.

:: put up the christmas tree and decorations – well, i may not feel better, but i sure do smile every time i glance over at any of them

:: went to yoga this morning for the first time in forever, i feel alot better. but don’t ask me tomorrow, i may not be able to move

:: decided to just laugh and clean up this mess…(that’s five decks of cards, by the way)

schedules and Christmas lights

yesterday was as sunny and breezy as today is dark and rainy. jameson and i went for a walk down the driveway and it was completely gorgeous! even he felt the need to fall down in the grass and look up at the fluffy clouds and roll around. he would run ahead, only to “trip” in front of me so i could fall on him to tickle him. what a sweet, cuddly little boy he is! i think, with regret, that the schedule i have put him (and the regretful part – myself) on is doing it’s work. just like the book said. and  i hate schedules. but i can’t deny it’s what my boisterous and sometimes unruly little boy seems to need. i might be a little more reconciled to it if he didn’t like to wake up before 8:00 am. i’m sure in some small way i, too, need the schedule, but boy, do i know how to rail against what is good for me.

that is all that is current in the hester home. we decorated for Christmas earlier in the week and i love the house in Christmas lights! i cannot wait for dusk so i can go around plugging them in, then sit on the couch with jameson to read a book with their twinkling lights reflecting off the pages. i love to see his face when he wakes up from a nap and he catches a glimpse of the lighted tree. even mercy isn’t immune to it and gurgles and reaches for the lights on the small tree i’ve put in their room. somehow in the lights of the tree, the rest of the day fades away as we prepare dinner and get ready for Dadda to come home. it’s sweet and homey, and makes me realize how much i love our home and our little family.

jameson loves his santa hat, even wearing it to story time yesterday at the library