Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Parry Family Gives Thanks

Our family kept up our Thankfulness Bowl tradition this year and I thought I'd share a selection from the bowl this year...

  • Basketballs (Ethan was thankful for basketballs 99% of the time)
  • Princesses
  • Home
  • The Washing Machine
  • Beautiful Autumn Leaves
  • The Fireplace
  • My Wife
  • Books
  • Trees
  • Oma
  • Peaches
  • Uncle B
  • Footballs (The one night that Ethan wasn't thankful for basketballs!)
  • The Beauty of Nature
  • Flowers
  • Playing Games on the Xbox with Friends
  • Dress Up Clothes

The Best Sugar Cookies EVER!

I promised I'd share my super sugar cookie recipe and here it is! These taste just like the yummy ones from Safeway. You know the ones I'm talking about. Thick, soft, chewy, and with that fantastic frosting! Now you can make your own at home and not spend $4.99 a dozen.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg lightly beaten
3 Tbsp cream (I've used both whole milk and coffee creamer as substitutes with no problem)
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Over large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Stir in lightly beaten egg, cream, and vanilla. Blend well and roll out to desired thickness. I like mine thick so I roll them out to about half an inch.

After you roll out your beautifully non-sticky dough you can use your chosen cookie cutters because unlike all the other sugar recipes I've tried these actually retain their shape. Such a far cry from last Christmas's amoeba-like blobs that originally started out as stars and angels. For this batch I tried to talk Grace into selecting fall leaves but she insisted on trying out the new princess crown cookie cutter I found in Ashland last summer. So princess crowns it is. If you know my daughter I'm sure you're not surprised.

Look at that beautiful cookie. Yum. After baking the cookies about 6-8 minutes (or 10-12 if you roll them thick like me) and letting them cool I had the kids help me decorate them. I cheated this time and used some Betty Crocker frosting in a can because I scored a bunch for practically free a few weeks ago. This is the first time I've bought it and this variety is cherry and tastes okay. I took on the frosting job and let the kids take turns decorating the cookies with sprinkles. Half the cookies have purple sprinkles because that was what Ethan chose every time. The boy likes purple.

Afterwards we all had a cookie. Well, the kids split one because they were pretty big and they'd already had a piece of candy after dinner. We're still working on Halloween candy and probably will be until after Christmas. Notice how Grace is very clean eating her cookie. She's my clean eater. She's also wearing a puple silk cape. They are princess cookies after all!

And here's Ethan. He's a little messier. I guess that goes with the territory when you're a little boy. He managed to wipe pink frosting all over the tablecloth as well. What you can't tell from this photo is that he's wearing underwear and no pants. He found the stash of underwear I have saved for him and pleaded to wear them. So we're attempting Potty Training Round One. He's pretty gung ho about wearing the underwear but hasn't figured out the potty quite yet. At least the desire is there so that's something to work with. I'm not pushing him real hard at this point because he's still pretty young. I'm definitely excited for the day Ethan is done with diapers, we have a No More Diapers party planned and everything!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Celebrating Friday the 13th with Halloween Photos

I finally got our Halloween photos off the camera yesterday and even edited a couple. I didn't realize until after looking at the photos that I have very few of Ethan in his costume so I may have to stage some pics of him on the next non-rainy day that I have free time. Surely he'll forgive me if that doesn't happen!

Anyways, here is Grace all dressed up for Dress Like A Bible Character night at AWANAS the week of Halloween. She originally wanted to be an angel (probably because she wanted to wear her pink fairy wings) but decided against it at the last minute because she wanted a girl costume and apparently angels aren't girly enough. So she settled on Mary since there is no doubt that she's a girl. I was all for the Mary idea since I could put that costume together easily and in a hurry. She's wearing her pink princess robe, a pink play silk with a soft pink headband holding it in place, and holding Baby Boy in the monkey receiving blanket my Mom made for Ethan. She was quite pleased with her costume. I thought the Pink Mary costume was pretty cute myself!

These are the sugar cookies I made for Halloween night. Aren't they cute? I'll share the recipe very soon. They are soooooooooooooooo good and taste just like the ones you buy at Safeway. They will be my undoing.

We carved our pumpkins Halloween afternoon and I think they turned out pretty good! Sorry the pic is a little blurry, I took it on the way out the door to go trick-or-treating and had to dodge trick-or-treaters descending upon our house. We were pretty popular this year, probably because I had a ton of candy so we didn't run out!

This is the fairy pumpkin I carved for Grace. She really wanted a fairy pumpkin and I had no idea where to start. I found the pattern for an undead girl online which I used as a template and then tried to make her less scary and more fairy. I added the wings which really did the trick. Grace was very happy with her fairy pumpkin!

Here's the kids before trick-or-treating. The girls look excited and the boys look confused. Don't worry, they caught on really quick! You'll notice that Grace is wearing a makeshift costume for trick-or-treating. I forgot how difficult it was to take off by herself to go potty and she had an accident at the church's Halloween Party earlier that afternoon. Luckily they had an extra costume on hand and Grace wasn't traumatized. Good thing we have MORE then enough costumes in the dress up box!

The two fairies, dragon, and frog hauling in the candy. Last year the boys only went up to one house. This year they RAN to keep up with the girls! What a difference a year makes.

Here's Grace in her pink fairy costume. The only thing we bought for it was the pink wings for $6 shipped off Ebay. The pink leotard is from gymnastics last year and I made the tutu a few years ago for her. The fairy tights match her very favorite pink fairy dress and the pink flower shoes I got for almost free off Ebay last summer. I used iridescent curly ribbon I raided from my bow/ribbon box in her hair. Super cheap costume equals Super Cute!

Ethan in his dragon costume. It was a little on the small side but it was the best looking one I found in my consignment store search the week before Halloween. I wanted a costume that involved a roar because his roar is absolutely adorable. He didn't like the hood up at first, but then he realized he got more candy when it was on so it stayed on through most of the trick-or-treating. He could have worn a paper sack and been happy. All he cared about was the "nandy!"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Photography & Apology

I can't believe it's November 12th and I just got around to getting the Halloween photos off my camera today. I haven't even opened them to begin editing them. I've been too busy lately and then this morning I got to practice photographing a newborn which was soooo much fun and of course I had to see how the photos turned out. You can see them here on my photography blog. So next up is the Halloween photos. And changing my blog layout to a non-Halloween theme.


I promise that soon enough I'll be back in the blogging swing of things and you'll be asking me to stop!