Canadian Geese and Christmas Crafts

Tonight my oldest two kids had their very first band concert, and they did a fantastic job!  My oldest daughter plays the flute, and her twin brother plays the trumpet.  As they are beginners, they don’t sound “perfect” yet, but for beginning fifth graders, they did such a good job, and I wore out my camera battery filming them.

Mr eHarmony and I had a few good laughs while we were listening to them, as one of the clarinet players had a bad reed,and kept squeaking during the concert.  We were laughing as quietly as we could though, because it sounded like a Canadian Goose snuck in the gym and tried to harmonize with the band.

Tonight was one of those nights I wish my husband could have experienced, because he is missing out on some of the most important milestones in our children’s lives.  He would have been so proud of them tonight, as every night.  I kind of took him with me though, he was around my neck in my blown glass pendant.  I’ll probably land up doing this for other important events; it makes me feel better to be honest, having a little piece of him with us still.

In other news, this is the first year in three that we have had a “normal” Christmas.  2008 was our last Christmas with Barry, and the last year that I really baked too.  I am really looking forward to baking this year, and doing some more crafts with the kids.  Here is a taste of what we have done so far:

To make these, melt the candy canes together on a greased cookie sheet at 350F for about 2 minutes till they JUST start to melt. Let the candy harden again for a few minutes until cool to the touch.

Then add melted chocolate and crushed candy canes as garnish, and let cool.

The inspiration for these came from Organized Christmas, one of my long time favorite Christmas sites. I made them for the kids’ teachers, and bus driver.

The Beginning Of Christmas

Today the kids and I made cinnamon applesauce ornaments, which I have tried to do every year since who knows when.  I have missed years, and especially the last two years as they have been especially chaotic for us.

I forgot how difficult these are to make.  The dough is extremely wet and needs copious amounts of cinnamon to hold it together, as well as a lot of tacky glue.  I probably used almost 3 cups of cinnamon for 1.5 cups of applesauce.  What really matters though, is that we had fun, and we made some great ornaments.  Now, we just have to hope they stay together and don’t fall apart!

This is the recipe I used, and basically I started with 1.5 cups each of cinnamon and applesauce.  Lots of glue too!  It just takes time to get the right balance, but eventually you will have a good sticky dough that holds its shape.

Here are the ornaments the kids and I made:

Make sure you use a toothpick or a small straw to poke a hole into the top of each ornament so that you can hang it by a ribbon when it is dry.   I think our next project might be to make salt dough ornaments, the ones that I made years ago are falling apart, and the dough is a lot more manageable than the cinnamon ones.  Plus, the kids get to paint those when they are dry.

We’ll also be decorating 2-3 gingerbread houses this year! That’s definitely a yearly tradition for us, and we look forward to it every December.