Gingerbread in a Box

My friend, Pam, is an extremely talented scrapbooker/card maker/paper crafter.  When she recently uploaded a few of her projects to Facebook, I knew I had to borrow one super awesome idea.  After several e-mails back and forth about how cute her “Cupcakes in a Box” project was and one order going in to CTMH for the boxes, I began work on “Gingerbread in a Box”…

These sweet kits are going to my boys’ preschool teachers for Christmas!  I love how they turned out.  Each kit contains a box of gingerbread mix (I didn’t cover and embellish my bread boxes like Pam did… ran out of time), white icing with tips, three containers of mini gumdrops and dot candies, a gingerbread man cookie cutter, and a mini rolling pin.  Cutie Pie added the adorable salt dough ornaments for his teacher and his teaching assistant.

I’m unsure of whether I should give one of these kits to Wildman’s teacher or not.  She specifically noted (several times) that she does not eat or want sweets on her Christmas gift questionnaire that went home to the students.  I’ve been working on batches and batches of homemade granola so I might give her that…  A post about that little project is coming soon!


Christmas Craft: Crystallized Snowflakes

I’m taking the boys to ICE at the Gaylord Palms hotel in Orlando tomorrow.  Melissa posted this super neat craft/science project that happens to tie in nicely with our upcoming visit to see a Winter Wonderland.  So, I knew we had to try it out!


  • 3 pipe cleaners
  • Borax
  • Boiling Water
  • Bowl

I shaped the pipe cleaners into a simple snowflake shape then called the boys in to help me do the rest.   The recipe is 3 tablespoons of Borax to 1 cup of hot water.  We used about 3 cups of water in our bowls to completely cover the snowflakes.  While the water was in the microwave, I let each boy measure out 9 tablespoons of Borax into a glass bowl.

They poured the water into the bowl and began stirring.

Once the Borax had dissolved we wedged the snowflake into the solution.  Our snowflakes were big enough to be supported by the edge of the bowl so no additional support was required to keep them up off the bottom.

We waited 24 hours and this is what we got:

How cool is that?!

Bethlehem Walk

Last Friday was another preschool field trip.  This time we journeyed to Bethlehem.

Or, at least, two blocks to a mini-Bethlehem exhibit outside of a local church…

We were told to meet at the church at 9 AM sharp.  The entire preschool- teachers, administrators, aides, parents, students and all- were there promptly at 9 AM.

Too bad the church staff was not prepared…

Our mob of eager preschoolers patiently waited in line for about 5 minutes.  Then the lure of the sandy field took over.  The bleachers at the baseball field next door beckoned to them.  The urge to run, jump and tackle each other was just too strong.  It was pretty much chaos.

I even let Cutie Pie pee in some bushes because there wasn’t a bathroom in sight…

The Roman guards in plastic helmets and bed-sheet-togas finally drew back their plastic spears at 9:45 AM.  The crowd of anxious preschoolers surged into the exhibit.

I have to admit that the church did a nice job trying to make a mini-Bethlehem scene as authentic as possible.

The children had to sign-in on a long scroll to show that they had paid their taxes.

We met all sorts of cool people in costumes like the ladies in the market place who gave the children raisins…

…the friendly basket weaver…

… and the ladies selling bread and giving away samples (just like Publix!)…

We spoke to a couple of shepherds who told us of the good news.  When we rounded the bend we spoke to the inn keeper who told us there was no room.  Then finally we came to the manger where we saw Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus!

We petted a few live goats and donkeys then headed toward the car.  The entire experience lasted about 15 minutes…

I can’t complain too much about the wait and the sneezing donkeys because the church volunteers did a great job and the everyone loved it!  If we go next year, I’ll know to take my time getting there.  Maybe we’ll swing by Starbucks for a latte and a couple of hot chocolates beforehand 🙂