This year Thanksgiving really felt like an event. I actually prepped, prepared and shopped for everything on my own. PHEW. It was fun! I must admit though, I NEVER have enough of time to make everything. I think if we ever have a huge gathering I'll be prepping ALL WEEK! Of course the fact that I have been sick for 2 weeks on and off and had 6K I was running Thanksgiving morning during my usual pie-making time...well that didn't help. :)
This year I did something new for my allergic child and it was a delicious success! I made her a gingerbread ice cream pie. I used Vanilla Soy Ice cream and made homemade allergen free gingerbread cookies which I turned into a gingerbread crust.
I sprinkled some of them on the top of it and added some red/green sprinkles to make it festive.
The cookie dough I used for the crust I spread into an 8 inch pan and cooked until it was a bit crisper and then crumbled it up with 2 tablespoons of melted Smart Balance. I pressed the soggy cookie crumbles into a pie pan and then used paper towels to absorb the grease from some of the smart balance. I baked it again until it browned and let it cool. Then I took the softened (but not melted) ice cream and scooped it into the pie crust, spread it out evenly and topped it with crumbled cookie bits and a bit of extra cinnamon. I sprinkled the sprinkles, put it into the freezer for a few hours...and Ta da! Allergen-free ice cream pie with a bit of seasonal flair!
Of course my favorite time of year is also now HERE! Advent! I was affectionately named "Advent Girl" by a friend of mine today...I must say it does fit me well. I do love Advent! I've included more pics than normal so be patient with this "Advent Girl". :)
Here are some of the changes I made to our Advent decor and routine:
We have a lovely purple ribbon and purple tree skirt that we found at SEARS. I couldn't believe it! My MIL and I looked at this stuff thinking...SEARS...neither one of believed that they would have this perfect colored ribbon and skirt. But they did! We have been looking for a while for a good purple one for Advent.
I'm using a ribbon we found there too...the one on my Advent wreath from the past was always leftover from Lent so it was nice to find something a bit more appropriate given the season. This one is velvety with gold trim. I like the way it seems almost regal!
I used this same ribbon for my door wreath and just kept it simple this year. I might try and do different ornaments on the front door with the 4 Advent themes next year (Hope, Peace, Joy, Love).
And (drumroll please) last but not least...
This is the new fun thing for the kiddos! Advent placemats! They are awesome! I love how my 4-year-old is learning about it while he eats. :)
We are doing Advent Adventures again this year through Holyheroes.com and loving it! They've added a video about the new mass parts and it's nice to have that included with all the other great stuff! I'm a bit sad we don't have to make our Jesse Tree Ornaments anymore...but I love the idea of making them again one year and having more than one so both the kids can hang them instead of taking turns.
We are still doing our hay in Baby Jesus' bed activity so whenever the kids do something kind or extraordinary for the family or one another they get to soften the bed for Jesus. I have started promising them a piece for behaving at Daily Mass. It has helped...or at least it helps me be specific about what I expect from them! :)
I pray your Advent is BLESSED and filled with EXPECTANT LOVE!!!! Jesus is coming! How GOD LOVES US to send us His only Son!