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Monday, December 17, 2018

Cookie Day - My Most Favorite Day of the Year~

I was so excited for Saturday to come around. It is truly my most favorite day of the year! On Friday I got all prepared..... hauling out all of my baking supplies. I did up a triple batch of cut-out sugar Christmas cookies.

While I baked, I had a smile on my face as I opened up Mom's old red Betty Crocker cookbook for the recipe.  I recalled many childhood times of baking cookies and decorating with my own brothers and sister.  I rolled out hunks of dough, baked on my parchment lined cookie sheets (the BEST way to bake cookies!) I ended up with 18 dozen cookies and only one broken one. Steve took care of that one, even without any frosting on it.

Saturday morning, I was up early and "de-kidderized" the house. I remove all of my sharp scissors, needles and fiber tools and put them out of reach of the wee ones.  Most of the knickknacks are pretty kid-proof and I encourage them to look and explore.  I just don't want anyone to get hurt.

I think what I like best about this day is that I get all seven grandkids ALL TO MYSELF!  That sounds kinda selfish, I know. But I don't have to share them like at Xmas the competition of Christmas presents, or with other grandparents, or the ex's, or even their friends at their birthday parties.  I get all of their attention at my own home stomping grounds. It's a day for me to watch, interact, relate and enjoy each of them as they play together, help me, or just hang out.

I flustered and blustered around the house getting ready for this Big Day.  I prepared in advance by buying a whole bunch of funny shaped Christmas holiday mugs and lined them up on the buffet in the dining room...

Added to each mug is a little mini wire whisk. I have laughingly renamed these "The Best Little Invention in the World". I have a few in the house and the camper that I have used with the grandkids. They are just the right size for whisking up hot cocoa mix in a cup. This year, I ordered a batch of a dozen online so each grandkid could go home with one of their own with their mugs.

Of course, once the hot cocoa mix with marshmallows is all mixed up, you need a stir stick. What's better than a peppermint candy cane as a stir stick?

Everything was set by 9 a.m.  We told the dogs "The childrenz are coming, the childrenz are coming"  (kinda like the Paul Revere alert about the Red Coats).  The dogs were waiting at the window to watch for the big surprise.

Binney still gets a little shy when there are so many grandkids at once. She's better with only one or two kids at a time. When we first got her, she used to hide in the bedroom closet or a corner, but has gotten better over the years.  Finnegan was eager because he knows that when the grandkids come, that means spilled food on the floor. That's a delight for any dog, especially when it's multiplied times seven grandchildren coming at once!


They trooped on into the house and shed their winter jackets, hats, mittens and boots. It was time for this Grandmother to have some fun.

Here is the cast of characters:

These are the three boys. Left to right they are Jameson age 10, Mason age 6, and Clayton age 6. They all play together so well as cousins.  I love it that they play on the staircase in the sunshine and rainbows from the leaded glass windows.  They had matchbox cars, trucks and building blocks all over the place.

Next in the cast of characters are the two oldest girls: This is Chelsea and Allegra. Chelsea is 8, and Allegra just turned 9.  Chelsea will catch up to her early in January in age. They are best buddies and do sleepovers at each other's houses. I can always count on them to help out or get creative with craft projects and be my buddies.

Here are the two smallest ones, the littlest girls Claire and Whitney. Claire is 2 and Whitney is 3. They are learning to play together well and share (sometimes) and socialize.

As soon as little Claire got here, she made a beeline for the toy closet under the stairs. She knew right where the little Fisher-Price farm & silo were. She grabbed both in her tiny arms and waddled on over into the living room to plunk them down and start to play.

All of the grandchildren have played lovingly with this Fisher-Price farm over the years. It is from my own Grandma Kafehl. That would make her their great great grandmother. I know she's smiling down from Heaven to see her great-great-grandchildren all together, and playing with this toy that she's so lovingly kept all of those years. We played with it as kids in the 1960's. My kids played with it when we would visit in the 1980's.  When she passed away in 1996, I was the lucky one to inherit it and it is one of my prized possessions. Some things are more valuable than diamonds, emeralds, rubies and pearls. The look on that little face says it all!

Once everyone was here, we had a quick little breakfast of fruit and those little boxes of cereal. I always have those on hand for the grandkids, just like Grandma Kafehl had for us when we were kids.  We needed to fill their bellies with good stuff because once they started decorating I knew how many would be sneaking bits of frosting, snacking on the decorations, and even eating a cookie or two along the way.


(we were so anxious to get started,
we forgot to put on our Xmas Aprons from last year!)

I had pre-made up tubs of colorful frosting and I was in charge of getting the frosting spread on each cookie. From there we passed them around the table on paper plates to be decorated by the waiting kids.  I had assorted sprinkles, sugars and chocolate chips to adorn as they pleased.

The mommies and Grandpa helped to decorate and also to take all the finished cookies back into the kitchen a tray full at a time to lay them out on the island and countertops to dry.

We had Christmas music playing on the stereo, and there was a lot of laughter and silliness going on. The kids especially loved hearing stories about their own parents when they were little. Sometimes it's the littlest things that can emit gales of laughter.

This is known as a "Party Cookie" by the kids. Erin invented the name last year. It's when they have so many decorations on their little paper plate, they just take a frosted cookie and flip it over upside down to absorb the leftovers.

This little lady definitely got into the cookie decorating, especially the blue frosting. Can't you tell? Her mommy had to remove the shirt before it got ruined by all of the blue food coloring.  I was told she "ate a Smurf"  Ack!

Here is a You Tube video clip we made
from a few of the segments taken during the morning,
along with a photo montage at the end of all the pics.

Once all of the cookies were decorated and everything was cleaned up, the mommies took a break in the living room by the tree. This is our daughter Erin on the left (with goofy Claire on her lap) and our daughter Heather on the right. Our daughter-in-law Heather had to work for the day so Erin brought those kids along to take part with all of the others.

Grandpa had cleaned up the kitchen for me and put away everything that was not needed, and he washed up all of the breakfast dishes as well. It was time for him to take a little break too.

I chased the kids around the house and got some activities going. The two littlest girls adore playing "Tea Party" so we set up the small white table and brought out Grandma's tea set. The older kids were involved in a very active game of hide-and-seek, as well as some kind of ghost hunting where they were taking photo images with a camera of the supposed spirits that they were doing paranormal research on.  It was fun to listen to them make up scenarios, and work with their imaginations to create some fun topics to play together.  I love the inventiveness and talent they have to share, make up and create.

Now it was getting close to lunchtime, so I enlisted the help of all of the munchkin kids to cooperate in preparing our lunch. We took 3 packs of hot dogs and cut each of them into thirds. Then we took a big pack of raw spaghetti noodles and put the kids to work.  They stuck about 8, sometimes 9, sometimes 10, sometimes 6, who knows how many, noodles lengthwise through the raw hot dogs. I had a big pot of water boiling in the kitchen to submerge them into. (the process is on the You Tube video clip that I posted above)

Once the noodles were cooked up, 
the bundles were carefully removed from the hot pot. 
then cut each of the 1/3 hot dogs into half.

 From just one hot dog, 
you can get six little octopuses!!!
We made 72 little octopus? octopii?

Wow, talk about lunchtime fun!
They could eat them with their fingers,
dip them into ketchup,
and play with their food.

Imagine that, Grandma's house has NO rules about playing with their food?? 

The silliness and laughter continues, 
even with something as simple as a grandchildren lunch party.

We added trays of fresh vegetables and dip along with an ample supply of pickles and olives to go along with our meal. These kids absolutely love olives and pickles, including the oldest granddaughter Allegra craves black olives.  Also the oldest grandson Jameson enjoys sweet gherkins. Have to have a bunch on hand when they come.  He even brought the rest of the jar home with him as a special treat.   I remember my Grandma Kafehl who always had spaghettios in the large cans on hand for when we came over, and always sent us home with boxes of our most favorite breakfast cereals.

It warms my heart to see all of the grandkids around my dining room table. When I bought this table 6 years ago I had no idea there would be this many sweet little grandchildren gathered around it. These are the things that I live for.

Also around the diningroom are plate rails that encircle the room. Instead of plates I have many photo frames of all the different photos of the grandkids throughout the years. They really like seeing their images and how they change. I tell them when they are not here, Grandpa and I sit here and gaze upon all of their faces and remember them and love them and miss them so much.

Once the lunch was done, 
again Grandpa took care of the kitchen cleanup
and all of the dishes.

I appreciate that so I can spend more time with the grandkids.

Then this grandma headed up our yearly tradition 
of writing letters to Santa Claus!

We also took out the Christmas mugs and little world's best little invention and packets of hot cocoa with marshmallows. What a wonderful thing to sip on their cocoa while they work on their Christmas letters to Santa.

I love seeing how much the children change every year in their abilities to write and spell and use larger and larger words in their letters. It was so cute to see them help each other and give each other ideas of things to ask from Santa. I even wrote a letter myself telling Santa that I've been a good grandma I think and that all I want for Christmas is "Good Grandkids" ! (I think I already got that wish)  The kids take turns reading their letters also in the YouTube clip I posted above.

I took about a zillion pictures and Steve took a probably a zillion more. These are two of my favorites. Daughter Erin is helping her son Clayton (a first grader) while he uses some really huge words like "electric", and littlest granddaughter Claire is giving Finnegan a wonderful hug in the rays of afternoon sunshine.

Before the kids are ready to head out, I tried, and failed, to get all seven of them to sit around the tree and face forward. It really doesn't work. I don't know how my friend Sarah does it at her photography studio. Maybe someday that will work. I don't know. So finally, since none of them were having it, I told them all to pick their noses! That got their attention. But there was still a couple grumps in the group. Yep, a typical family photo of my grandchildren.

I can't wait to see them all again at our Family Christmas Celebration together in two weeks!!!



  1. Another wonderful day of Fun and Memories at the Pfundtner house that everyone will look back on with smiles on their faces and a glimmer in their hearts that will last a lifetime and a Tradition they might just carry on as well.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. You have such wonderful ideas and best of all to have the kids pick their nose to get a picture. Won't that be a hoot 10-15 years from now! Look forward to each post Karen. THey always make me smile!


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