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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My Best Day This Year

I must say, I have some pretty thoughtful kids. They all made Saturday possible, and especially the oldest daughter, Erin, who planned the event.

What did she do? Wellllll she managed to get everybody to schedule a busy Saturday in December to do a special thing for this silly grandma. Erin loaded up all seven grandchildren, yes 7! and brought them 70+ miles to my house. It had to be done early in the morning to get here because of other commitments in the afternoon from some of the families. That meant getting up and hitting the road by 6 a.m. Picking up grandchildren along the way.

During their 70+ mile journey here, the oldest grandson, nine year old Jameson, kept us apprised of their location via text on his Auntie's cell phone. We knew just when they were ready to come tumbling in the door!!!  They were due to arrive by 8 a.m. So we had to get prepared!

Grandpa had been busy cooking up sausages and special snowman shaped pancakes. That was his good contribution to the special day.

I had everything set and ready with 32 dozen sugar cut-out cookies that I baked earlier in the week. I used up three and a half bags of powdered sugar to make enough fresh frosting in the morning. I had to split it up into separate bowls to add food coloring.

I had a wide assortment of decorations and sprinkles. We used parmesan cheese shakers to put the sprinkles in to help control the mess. As opposed to just wide open store containers with kids dipping in with their fingers...lol lol!

I already had three little baking aprons, because usually the grandkids are only here two at a time to help me cook or bake. So earlier in the week I made up five more aprons, including a little tiny one for baby Claire who is only one year old. They were reversible Christmas prints so each child could choose which way they wanted to wear it.

The dining room table was covered in vinyl and ready for the little stinkers to start getting creative. I figured the fun was well worth the memories and the mess.

As soon as breakfast was done, Grandpa took care of all the clean up while Erin and I wrangled all the little helpers around the dining room table. All of them put on their aprons and posed for a pic.

I even managed to get in a pic with most of them....

We had Christmas music playing, including my favorite childhood album Gene Autry's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The kids told stories and laughed and giggled throughout the morning. I would spread on the frosting and hand them over to the kiddos to decorate. I was going as fast as I could and barely kept up with them.

Even little Whitney was decorating and she is only 2 years old!

Erin was also keeping Claire, the youngest, busy while we worked on cookies. 

Tray by tray of cookies were transferred back into the kitchen and laid out on the island to get the frosting to harden up a bit. Then they could be stacked into large containers so every family got about 8 dozen cookies to go home with.

Shortly, the cookies were being stacked along the counter tops 
and in staggered trays on top of the stove.

I was amazed, but the last kid to hold out and continue decorating and not take a break was Mason! He is a five year old that seems to really have developed a long attention span. Unusual at that age, especially for a boy!

The others took breaks here and there
 but came back again and again to help finish up.

There was some finger-licking going on, as well as some snitching of chocolate chips. We did an "Eat A Cookie Break" about halfway through and everybody could choose their favorite.

Amazingly we finished up all 32 dozen cookies.
 I didn't expect to get them all done.

Then we had some time for each grandchild to write a letter to Santa. They were then mailed out that afternoon to the Chilton post office, where they will be delivered to the North Pole and be promptly answered by return mail.

It turns out we had almost an hour for playtime before they had to bundle up and hit the road. For some silly reason, the kids started a Christmas conga line. I have absolutely no idea why? Maybe it will become a new family tradition?

The two littlest ones wanted to join in on all the fun. We sang Christmas carols and we made sure the little ones got to be part of the joy. The sugar high had kicked in by now so they were pretty antsy. Although I love them dearly, they really needed to get outside and run around more than anything to burn off some of that sugar!!!!

We carefully packaged up the cookies, along with some Pecan Mexican Wedding cookies I had made the week before.

I got lots of hugs and cuddles and happy times with these grandchildren. My heart was overflowing with joy, and I even get tears in my eyes right now as I write this. What a special day.

That brave daughter of mine loaded up 7 sugar-laden children back into her vehicle to head north.

And there they gooooo

She had to drop two kids off in Green Bay on the east side and then bring two others to meet with our other daughter on the west side... and have lunch with them all in a restaurant. I can't imagine the Sugar High Kids sat well in the restaurant, but what do I know? They are all used to eating out and they know how to behave. Then Erin had to take her three children all afternoon to a crazy wild birthday party at a gymnasium party place. At least her kids could bounce off all of that energy on the trampolines. lol

Honestly, there was a lot less decorations on the floor than I had originally expected to see:

We let the dogs lick up a few decorations for a while, off the floor, but then we put them away in a bedroom behind a shut door so they wouldn't get sick.

Grandpa and I heaved a big sigh, and started cleaning up all of the little decorations. The vacuum cleaner did a great job as well as a Swiffer Wet Jet. In no time at all the house was back in shipshape and you would never have known we had been descended upon by 7 adorable sugar-laden grandchildren.

It seemed it was over way too soon----

But I have lots of smiles in my heart of the wonderful day.

Plus I have this video from the camera I had set up for about the first hour and a half before it ran out of memory. (it may not work right away because it is still uploading, but you might have to come back and click it again)

Now do you think we sat down and took a break or took a nap? Ohhhh nooooo, not us.

We donned our painting clothes, took out all of our painting supplies, and put a fresh coat of paint on the walls and ceiling in the bathroom. We wanted to do that before installing the wooden stained beadboard below on the lower portions of the walls.

After a quick supper, then I went down into the basement and finished staining the last of the upper cap trim. Now all of the wood was completely stained and polyurethaned and ready to be cut and installed in the bathroom.

More on that in the next blog.

***A special huge thank you to our daughter Erin and son-in-law Waylen for arranging this day.
***A very heartfelt thank you to our daughter Heather and son-in-law Jesse for letting their children come for the day and meeting up in Green Bay afterwards to pick them up.
***And a appreciative thank you to our son Dan and daughter-in-law Heather for letting their kids come in the morning, even though they had a Christmas celebration in the afternoon to attend far away, and then an evening dance recital for another relative.

It was a very long day for everyone, and I appreciated the effort that went into arranging it just for me to have cookie decorating at my house.

I am truly blessed and grateful.

My heart is full of Grandmotherly Love.


  1. Ah, Karen, I am always saying to my husband, "You won't believe what Karen in the Woods is doing, now!" It doesn't surprise me that you jumped into painting clothes as soon as the cookie baking day was over. You just amaze me.

  2. Such an amazing day. Those kids will have great memories. It was fun to read the details

  3. Those special Decorating Days. They are so very Heart Warming. What's a little clean up when you have those Wonderful Memories.
    We usually worked on Gingerbread Houses but more of a One on One.
    Be safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. Sure looked like you had a great day alright and that table with all the brightly colored cookies on it would have made a great quilt pattern I'm thinking. Merry Christmas and all the best to you folks:))

  5. What fun! Making Memories is what it's all about! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  6. What a wonderful Memory Day for all your grandchildren!

  7. Now that looks like great fun, I don't know where you two get your energy. The kids will have wonderful memories of Christmas cookie decorating with Grandma and Grandpa.

  8. How wonderful for you and them to be together for cookie decorating day. You're making memories. I tried it with my kids but they always wandered off, bored, after a couple dozen cookies were decorated & then I was stuck doing the rest. :) My grandchildren are 22, 19, 14 and 4. The difference in ages has never let it work out. Our loss, I guess. Merry Christmas to you and your family and may you have a Sparkly, Bright New Year!


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