I think the most frequently asked question for everyone during this week is “Are you ready for Christmas?” We’re as ready as we’ll ever be. The tree is up with at least a dozen ornaments that survived the elves not so gentle touch. We even have tree #2 up so it’s going to be hard to keep up with the Johnstons this year. It’s the 12 inch tree from Boston that stalled me in security while they made sure I wasn’t transporting a bomb; but none the less, Lydia’s room has her own bit of holiday flair.
In this month I’ve been off, we’ve made our own prune based Vegan gingerbread men with large amounts of festive sprinkles. If I didn’t tell you they were healthy you’d never know they lacked butter and sugar. Feel free to place your orders for your next holiday party.
Here’s the recipe in case you’re tempted as well:
- 9 prunes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted (such as Barlean’s)
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons molasses
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
- 1 heaping teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour (such as King Arthur Flour)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil two heavy-duty baking sheets with extra virgin coconut oil.
- Place the prunes in a medium sized microwave-safe bowl and add 1 cup of water. Place the prunes in the microwave and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove prunes from microwave and let sit 5 minutes. Drain water and set prunes aside.
- Place the melted oil, molasses, water, freshly grated ginger and softened prunes in a high speed blender. Process on high for 1 minute, or until all ingredients are well blended.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and sea salt. Add the wet ingredients in with the dry and knead with your hands to thoroughly combine (the dough will be thick and heavy.)
- Roll out the dough on lightly floured waxed paper or a nonstick mat. Cut gingerbread people with a floured cutter. Place cookie cutter on rolled dough and press down evenly. Pick up shapes with a metal spatula and transfer to baking sheets. Continue to knead dough scraps to roll and cut more cookies.
- Bake cookies for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and set on a wire rack to cool
We made an attempt to see Santa which was a grave disappointment as I would’ve had better luck getting Santa to hold the cats. They were all about the hype talking about how Santa says “Ho, Ho, Ho” and they were going to ask for a choo choo. Then the big jolly guy who I’m pretty sure was the real deal terrified them so much they couldn’t even look at him or give him a high five.
After the tears had dried, this was as close as we could get.
Wyatt was most excited about his double doughnut breakfast.
We also ventured down to see Rudy the Christmas train who shut off his Christmas lights at 7pm, exactly 1 minute after we had fed and loaded Wyatt, Ava and niece Amelia into the car to see him. So we ran around the Christmas tree at Union Station and drove by the Crown Center lights.
Ava talking to her manager before seeing the lights.
In keeping with the gift making spirit, we’ve made almond brittle that didn’t break and stuck to the foil, bubble bath that wouldn’t bubble and shampoo that barely lathered and really homely ginger prune men. If you don’t get a present, remember you were probably thought of and really it’s the thought that counts. As Clay and I have become professional disappointmentologists this past year, we’ve learned to keep all expectations pretty low. Fortunately 2 year olds just applaud the effort and appreciate the attempt of a Hallmark turned Dollar Store Christmas.
Lydia has been doing well at home and we finally have a 2 week clearance from bringing her back to Children’s Mercy. She has had a pesky GJ tube infection but we were able to treat it at home without IV antibiotics. Otherwise, she’s still weaning from her drugs and has been more alert and playful. We even brought her to the annual Parkville Seymour Holiday Open House.
Another successful attempt at capturing all the cousins in their holiday best.
And some random pics from the month. “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to dress real loud for all to hear.”
just in case you’re wondering who Wyatt’s favorite Muppet is.
decked out for another CMH outing
some holiday eyeliner to look extra fancy
this year Santa’s traveling by horse
a summary of attempting to photograph 3 festive toddlers
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