Recent Posts

Thursday, December 30, 2010

If Only I Could Write Lyrics....

Every now and then I hear a song at just the right moment--a song that I can literally feel searing into my heart. It's almost as if someone leans close and whispers, "Listen." Do you ever get that? You try to play it off as coincidence, but every time you get into a car, it's on the radio. When you walk into a store, it's playing. When you stand in line at Target, the chick next to you is humming it.

And you concede, finally, that for some reason, you are supposed to hear it. Really hear it.

That is this song for me. I can't remember where I heard it the first time, but it has relentlessly pursued me. It plays over and over in my head, night and day. The lyrics (oh if only I could write lyrics like this) have spoken to my heart like nothing else could. It leaves me in tears almost consistently.

I. Love. This. Song.

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire
Cause I just want
Something beautiful to touch me
I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees

And waiting for
Something beautiful

Do you ever get that? A song you feel that, at least for a moment, was written just for you?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


We have a little problem at our house.

If Jeb makes it in the house before anyone else, he locks us all out.

Go ahead. Laugh if you will. But you try standing outside. In a cold garage. Weighted down with grocery bags. Screaming for a giggling two-year-old to let you in. It can get frustrating.

Yesterday Matt was the last one in the house. I knew what Jeb was thinking, so I grabbed my phone to catch it on video. But the poor little guy ended up needing just a little help.... I was happy to oblige.

Did you see how scared he was at the threat of a spanking? Oh the horror in his eyes.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Morning Torture with a Train Table

All my boy baby asked for from Santa for Christmas was "twains." That's it. Nothing more. Just "twains."

If you've ever been in the Fayetteville Barnes and Noble you may have noticed the train table in the kids' reading area. Jeb loves that train table... so much so that it's hard to get him to leave. Ok, that's not true. He never actually leaves of his own volition. The leaving is forced. And there's screaming. And kicking. And tears. And begging. "My TWAINS!! Pwease Mama... My TWAINS!" It's just ugly.

So imagine how happy that little boy was when he opened up his very own train table at Gigi's house on Christmas day. The only problem was... it was still in the box. Obviously, we had to wait until we got it home to get it out and ready for him. I think he sort of understood the explanation.

So he found a nice comfy spot in front of the box, parked himself, and stared. No whining or speaking or crying. Just silent staring.

Later that day, his daddy set everything up in his room, and we haven't seen him since.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

My very own lightening bugs in a jar

Wow. Another Christmas in the books. This past week has been a whirlwind of events and places and people, and I'm grateful for all of it. This year was extraordinarily special. I hope to talk about that soon. Stay tuned....

The Slaughter kids were overwhelmed with gifts, and I have tons of pictures of their happy little faces as they tear into packages. But I wanted to share one of my favorite gifts.

This may just be the most thoughtful gift Matt Slaughter has ever given me. I love it so much I can't even begin to explain.

A jar filled with lightening bugs that light up and flicker.

I get how that may not seem so fabulous. But it is.

There is a scene in my book. (You know... the book that isn't published. Yeah, that's the one.) The scene is one of my favorites and one that was probably the hardest to write. I finally had to make myself put it down because I don't think I could ever feel that it's perfect.

In the scene, one of the main characters, Malcolm, is trying to let go and say goodbye. He ends up getting a little help in the most unlikely of places in the most unlikely of ways by the most unlikely of people. I'll share a little below.

He fell upon his knees at the stone bearing her image, lowered his face to the ground, and sobbed as he had the day he left her there. Beulah Two was careful not to frighten him. She placed her hand on his back as gently as she could. He raised his bloodshot eyes to her and leaned his back against the stone. Slowly, the little girl extended the jar toward him. Malcolm watched the tiny insect crawl along glass bottom, searching for a way out of its prison. Suddenly its body illuminated with a beautiful green glow, and it flew to the top of the jar, only to be met by the metal lid. Malcolm reached out and took it in his blistered hand.

“Remember the story?” Beulah Two asked him. “The one you told me about Anna and the lightenin’ bugs?”

Malcolm nodded. “I remember.”

“You said Ms. Anna was sad when she seen all the lightenin’ bugs you put in the jars. You said you and Ms. Anna opened up all the lids and let ‘em go.”

“Every single one.”

“You said that when they flew out they looked just like stars dancin’ above your heads, like stars you just set free, and they flew up to the sky and found the place they belonged.”

Malcolm’s bottom lip quivered. The lightening bug was climbing up the glass again. Beulah Two knelt down beside him. “Do you remember?”

“I remember.”

She took his right hand and placed in onto the jar’s lid. “Set her free. That’s what Ms. Anna would want. Let her fly right on up to the sky so she can be beautiful again.”

Malcolm’s hands shook. He stared into Beulah Two’s small face, so innocent and bold. Her hand was frozen still on top of his as she waited for him to make a move. Her dark eyes gazed into his, imploring his. He looked out over the cemetery again. So many other lights, so many lives. His vision blurred with tears. He blinked them away and noticed a single light float toward the sky. He watched it rise higher and higher above the graves, flashing its green radiance, until it disappeared from sight.

Thank you, Matt. If everyone knew how amazing you are, there wouldn't be enough of you to go around.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My favorite Christmas Candy

Each year before Christmas the girls in our family get together to make Christmas candies/goodies. Yesterday was the day, and as always, we ended the day with tons of sugary treats. I wish I could share all the recipes, but I will share my favorite.

For two years now, I have made a recipe I found called Almond Joy candy. I can't even remember where I found it, but it is really really good. If you like Almond Joy candy bars, you'll die for this.

Almond Joy Candy

3/4 cup (or 1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pound (5 1/3 cups) sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups toasted almonds, chopped
2 cups (12-ounces) milk or semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

Line a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with lightly buttered waxed paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.Melt butter in large saucepan, add milk and vanilla, mixing well. Stir in coconut and almonds and mix well. Press into prepared pan and refrigerate until firm.Invert pan, peel off paper and cut candy into small squares. Melt chocolate and shortening in double boiler over simmering water; dip candy pieces in chocolate. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets and allow to dry at room temperature. Store tightly covered at room temperature. Makes about 4 pounds candy.

I have not mastered the art of dipping them properly into the chocolate. I usually put the pieces down on wax paper and spread the melted chocolate on top. They aren't the prettiest thing to look at, but the taste is amazing.

Happy Christmas candy making!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Who knew she could ball?

This is me eating my words.

I'm sorry I ever doubted you, Honey. I'm sorry I ever once entertained the thought that you were more dancer/cheer material. Because you ARE a great dancer and cheerleader, but... also got some KILLER basketball skills. Your mommy is CRAZY proud of you. The video is only 2 of like 14 points you scored on Saturday. High five, Boo! (We won't talk about all the trips down court that you skipped so your pigtails could bounce just right or the cartwheels you turned when the coaches weren't looking.) Shhhhhhh.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Caramel Pecan Popcorn

I want to share the caramel corn recipe today. It really is incredibly good. My only hang-up with it is that you really do have to use an air popper. I can't think of a way around it and do not think this recipe will work if you use any oil to pop the corn. I, personally, do not own an air popper, but thankfully, Matt's mom has THREE!! If you don't have one, it's worth borrowing or hunting one down.

Here is Matt's mom (aka Gigi) Not-So-Secret Recipe....

Caramel Pecan PopCorn

3/4 cup unpopped popcorn
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups of brown sugar
2 sticks butter
1 bag raw peanuts or 3-4 cups pecans
1 tsp of vanilla
½ tsp of baking soda

Pop popcorn* and remove unpopped kernels and place in a large roasting pan. Combine the nuts, butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and soda. Pour over the popcorn and stir well to coat. Bake for one hour at 250, stirring every fifteen minutes. Pour out and let cool on waxed paper or the counter top. Break apart, cool, and store in air-tight container.

*An air popcorn popper works best because you don’t want any oil or butter on the popcorn.

After we added the vanilla and soda. Big transformation.

Pouring over the popcorn.

Into the oven.

We use the countertop to spread it out. This is what one batch looks like. We usually do at least two.

And let me say, if Gigi and I accomplished this from start to finish with THIS MUCH "help".... can do it, too.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fun, Yummy Homemade Gifts

Today and tomorrow I am handing out Christmas gifts to the kids' teachers and a few of Matt's co-workers.

I think my favorite gifts we're giving are bottles of homemade chocolate sauce and caramel sauce. It looks so cute, and of course, it's crazy yummy.

If you don't have any favorite homemade recipes for the sauces, I totally would keep it between us if you opened up some store-bought and dumped it right in the cute little bottles. No. one. would. ever. know. (Except Jesus.) P.S. The bottles are half off at Hobby Lobby right now for less than a $1.

Also, Matt's mom (aka Gigi) helped me make her amazing caramel pecan popcorn to use as gifts. You might think you have a good caramel popcorn recipe, but I promise.... it's not as good as this one. Sorry if that hurts. Facts are facts.

I'll share the recipe tomorrow. Did you make any homemade goodies this year?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Oreo Pops

Are you needing a quick, cute snack project for your child's class Christmas party? Jeb and I made these yesterday, and I think they might just fit the bill.

I didn't take step-by-step pictures due to all the extra "help" I had (aka the 2-year-old-who-thinks-he-needs-to-do-everything-by-himself), but who needs pictures, right?

I used a bag of the peppermint flavored Oreos and broke them open so that all the filling stayed on one side. Then I melted a little white chocolate and put a touch in the center of a cookie on top of the filling, then pushed a sucker stick on top of the melted chocolate and put the other half of the cookie on top. After this sets up, your sucker stick is 'fastened' in place.

After, I just dipped the Oreos (holding the stick) into more melted white chocolate. I dipped others in red-colored melting chocolate I purchased from Hobby Lobby in the candy aisle, along with the sucker sticks. I only used red and white, but you could go with any color you like.

Then I just drizzled with more melted chocolate, and on a few, I sprinkled some red sprinkles and/or peppermint Hershey's kisses shavings.

I bagged them up, tied on a bow, and that was it. I gave them a 'test run' using my kids and niece and nephew as test subjects. They passed with flying colors.

Here is another great idea from the Idea Room using Oreos to make little snowmen.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Don't Eat the Popcorn

One of my good friends was one of many children in her family. One of my favorite stories she ever told me was about how with so many kids, when food came out, they jumped on it. Food didn't last long, so they grabbed whatever they could as fast as they could.

One day the family had just shared a big bowl of popcorn, and as usual, it was gone in seconds with no one feeling they had enough. Then my friend looked down and spotted a piece of fluffy white popcorn on the floor. Without even a thought, she snatched it up and popped it into her mouth... only to discover it wasn't a piece of popcorn at all, but a rolled-up ball of deodorant that had fallen from someone's armpit.

Gag. Gag. Gag.

But I LOVE that story. Every time I think of it, I think about how many times I have jumped into a decision without thinking (or praying) the way I should have... and ended up suffering the consequences. Even times when things fell magically into place and couldn't have appeared to be more perfect, when I stilled myself and listened, God was saying, "No. That's not what I have for you now. Be patient."

I don't know why I felt prompted to share that today, but I did. If you're facing a big decision, find a quiet place away from all the fluffy white popcorn-ness and noise, and listen to what He has to say. The last thing you want to do is end up stuck with a mouthful of deodorant, pretending everything is fine.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just Bump the Bunny

You may have heard me talk about the Danger Ranger from time to time. For those who may not know, the Danger Ranger is how we referred to Matt's vehicle. I'm not certain on the year, but I'm guessing it was an early 80's model Ford Ranger. It was his primary mode of transportation for more than four years.

No heat. No air. Interior falling apart. Oil guzzler. Required much coaxing to start from time to time. He drove it to work every single day and didn't complain not once. Not ONCE.

When we lived in Siloam and he drove Belle to school in the winter, I had to tuck her under several blankets, and Matt said her teeth chattered all the way through town every morning. In the summer, I would put her hair in a tight ponytail so the open windows wouldn't blow it into a mess.

When Estella Dru became old enough to go to school, they decided they were embarrassed to ride with Daddy and begged for him to get a new car. Matt just laughed and told them they should be proud of the Danger Ranger.

But it was time.... Time for something new. Something safer for the kids. And warmer.

This weekend we were blessed to get into a new car. A used Toyota Camry. One with heat. And air. And enough room for all my kids to ride in their car seats safely.

I thought my girls would be ecstatic. Instead, when we went to leave the Danger Ranger for good, they ran out and begged us not to go without it. It had to be below 30 degrees, and before I knew it, they ran outside without their coats, and held on to that stupid truck for dear life.

Somewhere in their sweet little minds, they knew it had served them well.

The new car, though, is a bit bigger than the Danger Ranger, and Matt was concerned I might not be able to park it safely in the garage next to the 4-Runner. When I opened the garage door, this is what I saw.

When I looked at him, he said, "Just bump the bunny, Ang. All you gotta do is bump the bunny."

I know. It's mortifying. And creepy. But actually quite useful. Here is a quick demo.

I won't lie. I do not miss that Danger Ranger. I am grateful for it. So grateful. It saved us when we had nothing, but I am SO relieved to finally be in something new. And grateful for a selfless husband who never wants for himself.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Homemade Doughnut Snowmen

Last night, the girls and I were home alone and decided to make doughnuts... the old-fashion, how-Grandma-did-it, insanely unhealthy way. We popped open a can of biscuits, cut out holes in the middle, dropped them in hot oil, and rolled in powered sugar. And icing. And cinnamon and sugar.

We needed a little variety, ok??!

As I was rolling the last ones in powdered sugar, Estella Dru said, "Mama, these look just like snowballs." Ding! Ding! Ding! I had an idea. I remembered this post about little powered sugar doughnut snowmen and thought, "I bet we can make our own."

So I made some big "snowballs" by rolling several biscuits together and dropping them into the oil, then rolling them in the "snow" (aka powdered sugar).

We made some little hats out of black construction paper and scarfs out of an old dishtowel I had that had seen better days. The eyes are rolled up Tootsie Roll balls stuck on with a toothpick, and we fashioned the carrot nose out of a red Now and Later (all left over Halloween candy, by the way). We built a stand for our snowmen by covering a piece of cardboard with green construction paper, then made it snow by covering that with fiberfil or "stuffing." We then stuck three skewers into the cardboard with a little hot glue to make sure they stayed and built our snowmen by pushing the snowballs onto the skewers. Oh! And as you can tell, their little arms are broken pretzels.

Our little snowmen turned out cute and were a big hit with the Slaughter kids. After this, maybe they won't ask to do a gingerbread house.

Yeah, right.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Clothes Quilt

I love homemade Christmas gifts. I love getting and I love giving.

A year after Grandma died, I knew I wanted to give special gifts to my aunt and mom that would remind them of her. I remembered that we had boxed up all Grandma's clothes after the funeral (all the ones we didn't give away), and they were just sitting in Grandpa's shed. So I gathered up every piece of her clothing that she had worn a lot, stuff that was easily identifiable as hers, and began working to make two small quilts out of her clothes.

It felt so weird cutting them up. I kept thinking about her sitting beside me saying, "Now that's what I wore to so-and-so's wedding" and, "Oh---, I had that for years." It was hard working with them. Until you've lost someone close to you, you just can't understand how a familiar smell or sight can affect you. Most of the pieces still smelled like her perfume, and I wasn't about to wash it out.

I had never made a quilt before, and the finished products wouldn't win any blue ribbons for craftsmanship, but they were special. Wherever I could, I left a button or a pocket, and every single quilt square has a memory.

The brown squares... those were a pair of polyester pants she had for years and years. The light pink squares with squiggly lines, those were a shirt she got back when I was in elementary and was still wearing in 2005. The light blue squares with white checks was one of her favorite dresses she wore to church all the time. And the light yellow ones with the blue lines... that was just a wear-around-the-house shirt that was a definite staple.

You may see an ugly quilt. I see her.

What about you? Do you have a favorite homemade gift that you received or gave away?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Card Time.... AGAIN.

The time has come for me to decide.

Christmas cards? Or no Christmas cards?

Here's the thing. I LOVE getting Christmas cards at Christmas time. Christmas cards with pictures of family and friends make me happy, and I smile every time I tear into one. For that simple reason, I should not even question whether or not to send cards. But I am.

This year I am even a step ahead. I already have a family picture that I love. That's the hard part, finding a decent picture. And it's done thanks to ever-so-talened Rachel Blackwell.

But now I'm contemplating the address finding. And envelope addressing. And stamp licking. And, if I'm being honest, mainly, I'm dreading the cost. I don't think you could call me "cheap," but we are always tight. And at Christmas... well, even tighter. Can I get an amen?

So, I'm still contemplating. And wondering why the cost of stamps keeps rising.

I've posted these pictures on my blog before, but they are so worth repeating. This is my all-time, favorite Slaughter Christmas card attempt, captured on film.

We were still at John Brown, living in Siloam Springs (pre-Jeb) and decided to take our Christmas card picture in front of the fire with a camera mounted on a tripod in the middle of the living room floor. Everything was going fine until Faulkner, who was just a kitten at the time, became curious about the fire, and before we knew it, leaped into the flames.

Here you can see the curiosity setting in....

And there he is... actually IN the fire with Matt and I yelling at him.

I so wish we had the shot of the cat realizing what he had done and tearing out of there (just a bit singed). If memory serves, someone knocked over the tripod, and I got several great shots of my ceiling.

So what are your thoughts on Christmas cards? Are you doing them or not doing them? Or do you have a crazy good suggestion about getting through the process? Love to hear.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Redneck Retro

Since our very first Christmas together, my husband has asked--no, my husband has begged--to decorate the house with colored lights.

I put my foot down every year. No colored lights. It's tacky. And sort of redneck. No! I was not having it. And we haven't.

Until this year. This year, somehow, he managed to coerce my children into believing that only cool people have colored lights. Since the summer, every time Christmas has been brought up in conversation, they have whined like babies (Matt not being excluded) for colored Christmas lights. Within the last few weeks, the whining and begging intensified and grew intolerable. If it was a strategy, it was a good one. Wear down the opposition. I need to remember that.

Finally I had heard enough. I gave in. I was mad. I threw up my hands and said, "Fine! Be tacky if you want!" Matt relished in his victory but knew if Mommy isn't happy, it's just not gonna be good for anyone in the long run. (Such a smart boy.) So in an effort to smooth things over, he and the kids went out and bought me a light up flamingo.

Yes, you heard right. A three-foot, light up flamingo, complete with Santa hat and scarf, to go in the yard. You know... beneath the colored lights.

Ok, so yeah... I love flamingos. I get a flamingo ornament every year. The girls and I pose with flamingos at the zoo. I just bought a flamingo Christmas platter. I love flamingos. But as you can imagine, the flamingo did not help the redneck situation in my yard.

But wait... it gets better... or worse.

Having heard about the flamingo, Matt's mom and dad found a palm tree that they thought would go perfectly next to the flamingo. And bought it. And gave it to us. And the crazy thing... it already CAME with big, colored lights. No need to add lights. They came standard.

As Matt was outside working his magic on Saturday, I was in the house wringing my hands. What will the neighbors think? Can I ever show my face again? When he came in to say, "It's ready," I wasn't sure I could even look. But I'm so glad I did.

I love it, y'all. It's so ridiculous, it's awesome.

I like to call it redneck retro. He even made my flamingo appear to be standing in water beneath the palm tree. So perfect. I can't help but smile every time I see it.

The only problem was, my traditional Christmas wreath totally clashed with the redneck retro motif. It had to go. Two boas, 3 wooden letters, and an old wreath base later, I came up with this little flamingo-esque number. No more clashing. Don't laugh. You know you're jealous.

The only thing upsetting to me now is that I waited this long to give in. We have had so much fun with these decorations. Much more than the traditional white lights and outside decor of years past. And who was I kidding? We are SO redneck retro. It's good to finally come out of our Christmas closet.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pregnant Brain

My friend, Melissa, had the funniest blog post today. She is pregnant and talking about what I refer to as "pregnant brain."

If you've ever been pregnant, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's inexplicable. It's mind baffling. It's beyond the realm of what medical science can cure. Pregnant women do and say things that they would NEVER do or say when they are not growing another human.

I have thrown away keys. I have tried to pay with my driver's license. I have walked into walls that were always there. I have called people I've known for years by the wrong name. I have worn two different shoes. I have left the house and realized I forgot to put on make up. Pregnant brain is real, Girls. It's real.

But by far the worst pregnant brain episode I ever had occurred when I was carrying Belle in 2003. Matt and I lived a few streets behind Whatta Burger in Russellville. (All my Hog fans out there know Whatta Burger.) And if you've frequented it for long, you might remember the GIGANTIC drink cups they used to have.

Well, one day, Matt came home from work and brought me an extra large diet coke in one of the mammoth cups. (I know. You're not supposed to drink caffeine when you're pregnant. Mind your own business.) I was sitting on my couch, watching tv, holding my drink when I realized my head was itching. So, I raised my hand to scratch it--the hand that was holding my drink--and proceeded to pour the entire diet coke directly on top of my head.

Poor Matt just stared at me, not knowing whether to laugh, cry, or call someone to take me to a padded room.

Pregnant brain is real, Girls. It's real.

What's your pregnant brain story? You know you have one!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"I really want a sock monkey."

The conversation went something like this....

Belle: (quite thoughtfully) Mom, I've been thinkin'. I really want a sock monkey.

Me: Are you being serious right now?

Belle: (very serious) Yes.

Me: That's a little weird to me, but ok.

Belle: Why's it weird?

Me: Because it's a sock monkey.

Belle: (thinking) Ok. But I still want one.

We went our separate ways, not knowing that Matt had overheard from the next room.

A few minutes later, I hear him urgently calling for me in a whisper. When I turn to look, he is covertly peeking his head out from the kitchen like 007 and motions for me to come there. When I get there, he's laughing. Like, doubled-over, quiet laughing so no one can hear.

And then I see the sharpie in his hand. And the extra gym socks lying on the counter.

Yes. My husband decided to make Belle a sock monkey. Take a deep breath and prepare yourself for the picture. Although, I'm pretty sure nothing can prepare you.

I'll admit it. I laughed with him. A lot. And then we called Belle in to show her her very own, brand new sock monkey. Her reaction was priceless. At first she laughed and said, "Daddy! That's not what I meant!" But the next thing I know, she is doing this....

She loved him. And named him! And then Estella Dru actually starts CRYING because she didn't have one. No more laughing for me. I was baffled.

So Matt went back to work with his socks and sharpies and produced this one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

They slept with them last night. E Dru had breakfast with Matt the Sock Monkey this morning AND took him to school. But don't worry. He was dressed and ready to go... along with KC the Sock Monkey, who, by the way, is a girl if you couldn't tell. Here they are side-by-side.

I honestly just don't know what else to say.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reindeer Pops

I really wish I was creative enough to come up with this stuff on my own. But I'm not. Once again... I'm a pirate.

I found this super cute idea here. Reindeer Pops.

The kids and I did everything as instructed in the link above with a few exceptions. First of all, separating the Nutter Butters can be tricky. The first ones we did broke into several pieces. I decided to take over that job, and I used a butter knife to carefully separate them before adding more peanut butter on BOTH sides. Then the kids put the popsicle stick inside and closed the cookies tight. (You can find the popsicle sticks in the craft department of Wal-Mart.)

After we dipped our cookies in melted chocolate bark, we had to work fast to assemble the little reindeer face before it hardened. So sorry for the lack of pictures. We were really movin'.

We added our M&M nose, then the white chocolate chips with the tips cut off for the eyes. Next we sprinkled on a few sprinkles on the reindeer's cheeks, and last.... the antlers.

I found the best way for us to do the antlers was to stick them INTO the sides of the cookie, INTO the peanut butter. It worked great for us. (Keep that in mind when you're adding your peanut butter.)

And lastly, I put a little extra melted chocolate bark into a baggie and cut a tiny hole in the corner to make the little 'dots' of the reindeer eyes.

To be completely honest, there were several steps to these that Mommy had to do simply because of the hot chocolate and little hands. But the things the kids really enjoyed doing (even Jeb) was adding the extra peanut butter to the cookie halves, putting in the popsicle sticks and smushing everything back together, counting out (and eating) the M&Ms and chocolate chips, and breaking (and eating) the pretzels.

After everything had hardened, we bagged them up into these cute bags I had left over from doing our caramel apples. I found them in the wedding accessories aisle in Wal-Mart. We just slipped them on and tied on some ribbon.

Don't tell, but I slipped one into Estella Dru's lunch box today. I have a feeling she's going to be one happy little kindergartner.

These were super fun to do. The girls worked great together... see yesterday's post... so that was a win all by itself. And Jeb... well, I can't even begin to count the number of cookies he broke, but it didn't matter. They had a ball. And in Matt's words, "For something so froofy, they really do taste good."

Coming from Matt, Mr. Picky himself, that is huge.