Sunday, December 25, 2016

Boy or Girl?

On Christmas Eve we had a fun surprise for the kids and our extended family who came over for the evening before we all headed to Midnight Mass! Last Wednesday afternoon I called the doctors office for the results on some blood work they did a couple weeks ago, including the answer to whether the baby is a boy or a girl... The nurse asked me what I thought it was, and then told me I WAS RIGHT!!!  Sean went down to the store and had a bunch of color coded balloons filled with helium to wrap up in a large box. (He actually had a whole bag filled, not realizing I just wanted one for each kid, but it was a hit and definitely made a statement!) My sister JoAnn videoed the exciting moment and I'll share that over on Instagram. I won't make you all wait any longer... It's time to OPEN THE BOX!

It's a... WAIT... the blue paper is just a decoy...


The moment it sunk in that our new baby is NOT a boy... 

We are very grateful for a healthy baby, that we've made it through the first trimester, and that I haven't had any (serious) complications with this pregnancy yet.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers! 

Merry Christmas! 

Merry Christmas

... from our family to yours! 

Boy or girl? I've had a little secret for the past few days and the answer is in the box! 💙💗 #whatisyourguess

I'll share the rest of the pictures of the box getting opened as soon as we have a chance to tell my husband's parents the news. I hope you all have a very blessed and joyous Christmas! 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Snow White and Rose Red Birthday Party

Today our baby girl turned 7 years old! She is growing up so very fast. This year she choose a Snow-White and Rose-Red birthday party. Such a fun and perfect theme for our little "Christmas Rose!"

From Instagram this morning: I have a helper at the office this morning! Can't believe our baby girl is 7 years old today! We stopped at the mall last night so she could "pleaassseee, pick out an outfit to match" her birthday theme.  (60% off clearance!) I was up extra early to finish decorating her cake, and she was up early getting all dressed up! ❤️❄🌹️🎉 #happybirthday #mylittlechristmasrose

We didn't plan on having a big party, but after getting off work I called my parents and sent text messages to all my siblings that are currently in the area (four brothers and one sister, plus sister-in-law and two nieces) and EVERYONE was able to come over for dinner and cake!  The birthday girl was very excited.

.: Snow White & Rose Red Birthday Cake :. 

There was once a poor widow who lived in a little cottage with her two children, Snow White and Rose Red. They were so named because they were like the flowers on the two rosebushes which grew in front of the cottage... Snow White and Rose Red by Brothers Grimm

...The rose bushes by the cottage were replanted in front of the palace. Every year they brought forth beautiful red and white roses in honor of Snow-White and Rose-Red. - Snow White and Rose Red by Brothers Grimm

.: Enchanted Forest :. 

After we got home again from the office (and getting her birthday smoothie from Dutch Bros!) she played Enchanted Forest while I got busy working on the rest of the preparations for the party.

.: Piñata & Pop-Ups :. 

Though the two girls often roamed about the woods searching for berries and wild mushrooms, no wild beast ever harmed them.
- Rose Red & Snow White retold by Ruth Sanderson

A couple years ago I purchased a red & white mushroom piñata (similar to this one) for her 4th birthday, but we ended up not using it for some reason.  It tied in beautifully to this year's theme so I pulled it out of my closet and filled it with candy I picked up for a steal right after Halloween. It's not the best time of year for piñatas, but thankfully we had a little break in the rain this afternoon! 

She also loved this Snow White Pop-up (purchased used) I had set up with her gifts and piñata. 

.: Bear Paws :.

One evening, when snowflakes were falling, there was a knock at the door. Rose-Red drew the bolt and a great bear poked his head in!
Snow White and Rose Red by Brothers Grimm

  • 1 box Milk Chocolate Brownie Mix
  • ¼ cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 60 peanuts split into halves (about ⅓ cup peanuts) or almond slices
  • 30 chocolate candy kisses
Tip: Have chocolate kisses already unwrapped and peanut halves at hand when you roll the dough into balls; this will help you decorate the cookies quickly and easily. If you wait very long to decorate the dough balls, their surfaces will begin to dry out and the peanut "claws" may not stick as well after baking.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine brownie mix, water, butter, and egg; stir with a fork to combine into a stiff dough. Dough will seem dry, but will completely moisten as you stir. (Knead briefly by hand, in the bowl, if preferred)
  3. Working with 1 even tbsp. of dough at a time, roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets about 2" apart. Cover the remaining dough in-between batches to prevent drying.
  4. Press candy pieces, points down and flat surfaces up, into the center of the uncooked cookies. Press four peanut halves, split sides up, into the edge of each cookie to form claws.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 11 minutes or just until the edges are set. The cookies may appear slightly under cooked, but do not over bake. Cool 1 minute on pans. Transfer to wire racks with a thin metal spatula and cool completely.
Variation: Use any flavor chocolate candy kisses you like, or a mix of flavors.

.: Snow White & Rose Red Wild Berry Tea Sandwiches :.

Often the children would run deep in the forest to gather berries...
- Snow White and Rose Red by Brothers Grimm

.: Chili for a Crowd & Veggies :.

In the winter, Rose Red lit the fire and put on the iron kettle.  
Rose Red & Snow White retold by Ruth Sanderson

.: Make Your Own Trail Mix :. 

Fish Crackers (Smore's Goldfish)
Snow White's Snow Balls (Trader Joe's Mini Marshmallows)
Fish Crackers (Chocolate Mint & Pretzel Goldfish)
Eagle Talons (Cashews)
Rose Red & Snow White Chocolate (Peppermint Little Secrets)
Bear Claws (Dry Roasted Peanuts)
Bear Cookies (Chocolate Teddy Grahams)
Snipped Off Ends of Dwarf's Beard (Coconut Flakes)
Rose Red's Wild Berries (Freeze Dried Raspberries)

I also had some of the wicked dwarf's stolen treasures:

.: Creamy Snow White Punch :. 

.: Piñata Time :. 

It took some extra duct tape, but everyone got a turn, even all the big kids... and Dad & Grandpa too!

.: Birthday Gifts :. 

The birthday girl received so many thoughtful gifts! The first she opened was the hand painted dolls (Snow White, Rose Red, and the Dwarf) that three of her siblings painted for her. 

Next it was a beautiful journal, little lantern and some chocolates from Aunt Mary. When Aunt Mary was seven, she and her twin were flower girls in our wedding... Now she's 24!

Grandpa and Grandma surprised her with Snow White (DVD) and Uncle Brian & Aunt Meagan gave her all sorts of fun accessories.  She also received a lovely card/gift from her other grandparents.

Her final gift was from us. We gave her a Fairy Tale Cottage along with some figures, dwarves, and animals to go with it. Her older sisters share their dollhouses with her, but this is her very own.

.: Seven Candles :. 

Happy 7th birthday to our beautiful little "Rose!"