Sunday, February 22, 2009

Meringue Bones

Check out these fun Halloween decorations! So easy to make!

Meringue Bones


3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. salt
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 200F. Line cookie sheet with brown paper bag or parchment.
In a medium sized bowl at high speed, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt till fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar. If the kids are helping, they don't really know what 'gradually beat in the sugar means'. Add vanilla. Place in pastry bag fitted with a medium plain piping tip. If you don't have one of those nifty bags, a plastic zipper bag will do. Just snip off a tiny part of a corner. Pipe 3″ bone shapes onto parchment or brown paper bag. Bake 1 hour until set. Turn off oven, dry in oven 1 hour. Be sure to store in airtight containers or they will become soggy. Yep, they do get soggy...and gross. Makes 4 to 5 dozen small finger-sized bones.

Making a Jack-O-Lantern

What are your favorite Halloween memories from your childhood? Did your family have any traditions? Trick or treating was a must, right? But did your dad let YOU carve the pumpkin, or did he do it? Was it a family event? If not, this is just for you and your kids!
Making a Jack-O-Lantern is a traditional yet low cost way to bond with your family while being creative. You can start your own family tradition of carving the perfect pumpkin. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, it is something that the whole family can do, and it’s a nice outdoor activity too! Be sure to allot enough time for this Family Project, as it can be a half or whole day job. You’ll start with the pumpkin shopping, move on to cleaning pumpkins, and end with decorating. Make sure you take a break in the middle to snack on some fun Halloween treats.
So, let’s get started on the perfect Jack-O-Lantern.
Select a fresh pumpkin in a shape that pleases you and your kids. Some folks prefer their pumpkins low and round, while others like them tall and oval-shaped. Think about the face you’ll make and where you’ll put the finished pumpkins when you are picking them. Also, if you have wee ones, they should pair up with an adult for their pumpkin(but let the little one pick the pumpkin.)
Draw a circle or hexagon on top of the pumpkin in preparation for making an opening large enough for your hand to reach through.
(This is an adult step.) Cut through the stem end of the pumpkin along your outline with a sharp knife or pumpkin-carving tool. Use a back-and-forth slicing motion to cut through the thick, tough skin. Be sure to make a "notch" mark, so you'll know which way the lid goes.
Remove the stem end, which will act as a cap, making sure you scrape off any seeds or pulp.
(This is a great kid step!) Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp from inside the pumpkin. TIP: Hold the spoon by its bowl to get extra leverage while scooping. Littler kids use a littler spoon while bigger kids get a bigger spoon.
Draw a pattern for the face on the clean pumpkin with a Sharpie. Be sure to make the eyes, nose and mouth large enough; you’ll have a hard time cutting out tiny features when you’re using a big knife blade to saw through tough pumpkin skin. This is a great time to let the kids decide!
(Adult step) Follow your pattern as you cut all the way through the pumpkin.
(Kid step) Push the cut-out features gently from the inside of the pumpkin and discard the pieces.
Place a votive candle inside the pumpkin to create an eerie glow.
Make sure you shop around for the best pumpkin prices too! Some of the large discount stores have great deals, but local farmers often beat their prices. And also keep in mind that if you pair up, you can afford to do more pumpkins. Now, get to work!

Creepy Witch Fingers


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon almond extract)
Almond slices
Red decorating gel

Preheat oven to 325° F. Combine dry ingredients. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla, beat in dry ingredients. Cover and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. Thirty minutes is a long time in kid-world, so you might want to work on some Halloween crafts right now.
Working with one-quarter of the dough at a time and keeping remaining dough refrigerated, roll heaping teaspoons full of dough into finger shape for each cookie. (Tip: Long and skinny fingers look way spookier than short and fat fingers!) Press an almond firmly into one end for nail. Squeeze in center to create a knuckle shape and use a paring knife to make slashes in several places to form knuckle.
Place cookies on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until pale golden. Let cool for three minutes. If desired, lift up almond and squeeze red decorator gel onto nail bed and press almond back in place so gel oozes out from underneath. This step is cool and gross but not necessary!
Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
Yields 3-4 dozen.
Creepy notes:You can paint the nails by using some red food coloring that’s been diluted with water and brushing it on. Or, you can color frosting red and dilute it with water, then dip the bottom of the finger in it. You can also use green frosting and make “Frankenstein Fingers”.

Homemade Halloween Costumes

Holy Ghosts and Goblins!

Halloween is just around the corner, and you and your kids have nothing to wear for that party you’ve been invited to. And what about trick or treating? What will you do? We are all on tighter budgets, and we sure could use some great and simple homemade costume ideas this year. So, grab a pen, and write down what you have and what you need for these easy to make costumes.
Housewife Ghost
Use the same old white sheet, cut out holes for the eyes and a small slit for the mouth. Then dress it up a little. Put eye shadow and lashes around the eyes. Lipstick for the mouth. Put a little color on the cheeks. How about earrings and a necklace? And don’t forget to carry a frying pan!!!!
Wear an over-sized flannel shirt, faded blue jeans with patches, use rope for a belt and to tie at the cuffs of the jeans and sleeves. Stuff the shirt and jeans with plastic grocery bags, or newspaper to make you look like a real scarecrow, and add a little bit of straw to hang out of jeans and shirt. Add some make-up like long black eyelashes, and you are ready.
Bill Gates (Who knew that being a “computer whiz-nerdy” type would make a great career and costume?
Slick back the hair, grab some pants that are too short(or roll up regular pants), white button down shirt, white socks, penny loafers, or lace up oxfords, pocket protector, with lots of pens, dark rim glasses (don’t forget to tape the corner, or at least paper clip it) briefcase, or backpack for treat bag.
Japanese Doll
Paint your face white or use lots of white powder, add red rosy cheeeks shaped in a circle and red lips shaped in a heart, put your hair in a bun, wear socks and thong sandals, and a kimono. If you don’t have anything like a kimono, try a silky or polyester robe.
Static Cling
Wear anything in a solid color, all black works the best. With safetypins pin anything to yourself that clings: socks, underwear, fabric softener sheets, etc. You can also spray your hair straight up in the air.
Dust Bunny
Black sweats with white batting pinned to it, adding ears and a cotton tail and make up whiskers
Devil in a Blue Dress
Wear a blue dress, and add devil’s horns, a tail, and a pitchfork
Wear dark jeans with a striped top(preferably red and white or blue and white). Tie a bandana around your head, wear an eye patch, carry an empty bottle marked XXX (for the “rum”) To make the “wooden leg”, wrap brown felt around the bottom half of one leg!!!!

Sweatsuit ideas:

Each costume will use some form of face make-up. Simple make-up kits can be bought for under 4.00. Hat/headbands ideas follow.
Cow-white with brown or black spots made of felt or paper(floppy ears)
Dalmation-white with circle spots of felt or paper(floppy ears)
Pig-pink, with a lighter pink oval as the belly, and a curly tail made from pipe-cleaner(felt nose can be tied on with ribbon)(Pointy ears)
Spider-black with black pantyhose stuffed and attached to the back with pins(big eyes)
Flower-green with an overly decorated floral hat as the bloom
Tree-brown with a green hat/headpiece for the leaves
Bunny-brown, with a pink oval as the tummy and cotton as the tail(make the ears stand up using pipe-cleaners)
Ladybug-black sweats with a “painted” posterboard for the wings(antennae and/or bug eyes)
Bee-Black with yellowish striped tape for the stripes(antennae or bugeyes)
Ghoul-Black or white sweats, matching gloves, and a matching knit hat. The make-up makes this cool.
Eyeball-white pants with XXL sweatshirt. Paint the shirt like a bloodshot eye, then stuff the shirt with crumpled paper to make it look round
Pumpkin-orange XXL sweatshirt using black felt cutouts for the face, then stuff with paper to shape it. Add a green headband for the “stem”.
Skeleton-black sweatsuit with white felt bones pinned on(or buy a paper skeleton, cut out the bones, then glue them onto the sweatsuit)
Deviled Egg”-white sweats, yellow circle pinned to your shirt, devil’s horns, tail, and a pitchfork

For the headbands, use a storebought headband(they cost a dollar) or you can use wide ribbon. Then use felt to make your ears, bug eyes, etc
The next list is costumes made from boxes. To avoid irritation, I suggest cutting the top of the box off and making some sort of suspenders across the opening to hold the costume up! You can use, elastic, ribbon, etc.
Box Costumes:
Dice-Paint white with black dots
Cereal Killer-paint like a box of any cereal, then carry a weapon(knife, sword, gun, etc) from the toy box
Rubik’s Cube-self-explanatory, right?
TV set- paint a “movie” inside of a tv screen on the front, and add rabbit ears to the top section
Already in your house costumes:
Let your kids dress in any of their uniforms:
Football(with a black eye)
Soccer(black out a tooth or with a black eye)
Halloween costumes do not need to break the budget, as long as we all use some creativity. Now, get to work.

Pumpkin Seed Art

This week’s craft is super cheap, super fun, and limited only by your children’s imaginations. It is super for ALL ages, and you may want in on the action too.
Pumpkins seeds(that are already dried out)
White glue
Aluminum foil
Paint Paper
First, you’ll have to draw your design on a sheet of paper. Be sure that the chosen image will “fit” the seeds; you don’t want any teensy details.
Next, paint your seeds(front and back) the colors you’ll need for your art work. If you do a pumpkin, you’ll need orange, green, black, etc. As you paint your seeds, place them on the foil to dry. They won’t stick to the foil.
While you are waiting for your seeds to dry, go have a fun Halloween snack!
Next, glue your seeds to your paper and let dry! It’s as easy as that.
And remember that you can be as artistic as you like.

Boogers on a Stick (Ewwwwwwwww)

This week’s “fun food” might be the easiest one yet. And the best thing is that your kids can do almost all of it!
Pretzels sticks(can be with thin or thick pretzels)
White melting chocolate
Green food coloring(or blue and yellow mixed)
Place chocolate disks in a microwave safe bowl. In thirty second intervals, stir the chocolate until it is completely melted.
Stir in enough green food coloring to make the chocolate green.
Dip 1/8 to 1/4 of the pretzel into the chocolate.
Place pretzels on wax paper to cool.
Serve your Boogers on a Stick!

Having a safe Halloween

Hmmm. Let’s see…We’ve got the homemade costumes. We’ve carved and painted the pumpkins. We’ve decorated the outside of our houses. We’ve bought the candy treats to hand out.
Now, many of us will be trick-or-treating this week, so let us go over some very important safety tips.
First, and most important, be sure your child is dressed safely. If his mask covers his face, ditch it to be sure he can see. Face make-up is safer. If the mask must stay, make certain it is secure and that the little ghoul can adequately see out of it. Check the length of all costumes. If your princess has a long skirt, be sure it does not touch the ground. Tripping leads to many Halloween injuries. Also be aware of Jack O’ Lanterns as long costumes can catch fire.
Be sure to feed your kids an early big dinner before they even get into their costumes. This will lessen the candy requests along the trick-or-treat route. And in case you haven’t heard, there is a major problem with a certain candy this year. Sherwood brand Pirate’s Gold Milk Chocolate coins are being recalled due to the fact that they contain Melamine, the ingredient in milk products that has caused many infant deaths in China. These candies are sold at Costco, as well as many bulk and dollar stores. Please make sure to check your children’s Halloween candy and throw out any Pirate Candy Coins (you know the ones wrapped in the shiny gold foil) and please let other parents know about this! Another good tip is to tuck a piece or two of candy in your pocket, and let them have that instead of what they get in their pumpkins.
Go with your kids up to every door they knock on. Yes, I know it is tedious. But this is the only way to be certain they are safe. Possible dangers include candles in decorations, angry dogs, and psycho-crazies who think it’s funny to scare your little kids. So, go to every door!
The Candy Check:
When you get home from your fun night out, let your kids spread out their candy on the table (or floor) and check it for safety WITH you. Tell them the things to look for: opened candy, unwrapped treats, or fruit.
And my last tip is a great little secret. The Tooth Fairy’s cousin, The Candy Fairy, will leave your kids a five dollar bill (or whatever your Candy Fairy can afford) overnight if they are willing to part with all but 5 pieces.

Relaxing your rigid schedules

To schedule or not to schedule?
How much of your life is scheduled? Do you spend time making sure that everyone is where they are supposed to be all the time? Does your husband work a set schedule, always having to get up at a certain time and be out the door before the kids get moving? Sometimes, do you get the feeling that your family is “over scheduled”? We spend so much time trying to make sure that everyone is happy, enriched, and involved, that we can easily forget that spending real time with our families is the best give that we can give our children.
As mothers, we are the keepers of the family. Sometimes, we just have to say “no” to one more kid’s birthday party on the weekend, and take that time to bond with our husbands and children. And you should feel good about doing it too. We must teach our kids that family comes first. This will ensure that they grow up valuing their families as well as their parents.
This week is a good time to practice slowing down. Check your calendar ahead of time to make sure that you aren’t supposed to be at Aunt Mary and Uncle Tommy’s 50th Anniversary party, then go off the radar! Forget about the things you ’should’ do, and reconnect with your family. Don’t answer your phones(let them leave a voicemail-and they will if it is an emergency), and keep the TV off unless your whole family agrees to a movie. If that is the case, pop some corn, get some blankets and snuggle up on the couch watching movies together.
The weather is getting crisp which makes being outside more enjoyable for the whole family. Is there anything that you love to do but don’t ever seem to have the time for it? In our house, the males love to ride their 4-wheelers, but we never seem to find an open weekend. What does your family like to do? If you can’t think of anything this week you can always use items from the Fall Fun 50 List(each family member should get to look over the list), and then choose an activity that you are all interested in.
Don’t think of this as “spending” time with your family but as “investing” time in your family. The dividends will amaze you!

Candy Corn Turkeys

Sugar cookie or Ritz cracker
Candy Corn
M&Ms for eyes
Use the frosting as the “glue” and line up the candy corn on the top half of your cookie to make the feathers. Use frosting to “glue” the M&Ms in the place of the eyes. Then pipe frosting to make the beak and the feet.

Leaf Stamping

This project can be used to make place mats, greeting cards, place cards, and other paper-based projects. They make a wonderful Fall project.
Materials:• 3 or more leaves that have not yet fallen from your trees• One heavy, thick book• Construction paper, any color• Hot glue• Paint brush• Acrylic paint in yellow, tan, orange, and red(and any colors you like)• White paper or construction paper
1. The best leaves for this project are still attached to the tree. Find leaves that are turning colors but aren’t completely dried out. If the leaf cracks when you fold it, it is too dry. You need one leaf for each color you will paint.2. Press the leaves in the pages of a heavy book. Leave overnight. This will teach your little ones about “delayed gratification”. They can also go take a peek to see how they look as they press.3. Remove leaves from the book. Look at the underside of the leaf. Brush off any debris, pollen or dust that may have gathered there. it’s fun to use a small, dry paint brush for this.4. Fold a piece of construction paper in half.5. “Mom job” Hot glue the front side of the leaf to the construction paper so that the underside is facing up. The underside has the veins and lines of the leaf, the front side is smooth.6. Using a paint brush, paint the underside of the leaf with a generous amount of paint. Be careful to paint only the leaf and not the construction paper it is glued to. (If your toddlers and pre-k kids gets it on the paper, nothing terrible will happen!)7. Using the leaf as a stamp, press it down carefully onto the white paper. Hold it in place and gently rub the construction paper so that all areas hit the white paper. **It’s a good idea to do a few practice stamps on scrap paper to get the feel for the amount of paint you’ll need.8. Carefully remove the stamp and repeat this process with your other leaves and colors.9. Allow to dry completely.

Sharing Holiday Meals

I suppose as some point in our lives, the inevitable happens. You see, it all starts the same for us. We are born. Then a holiday meal comes, and we go into a high-chair. We stay in the high-chair, especially at holiday meals, until we are capable of sitting in a chair without tumbling out. Let’s be honest; no one wants to have babies tumbling out everywhere. It just wouldn’t look good with a big ole turkey on the table and a toddler on the floor.
Then at roughly three or four years old, we move to the “Kids Table”. Ok, first, who thought that idea up? I mean really. Are children second class citizens? Are children so intolerable that we have to banish them to a different part of the house, or the “other side of the diningroom”, at the very least? Did someone decide that it was easier to hide the kids away than it was to teach them proper table manners and good conversation skills? Frankly, aren’t we supposed to be raising future adults?
And second, why are any of us perpetuating the very existence of the darned kids table??? Didn’t you just hate being tucked away from your parents? Didn’t you and your cousins long to sit near your grandma in the hopes she would sneak you her dessert? Or maybe you wanted to sit next to grandpa to score some pocket change. It really is ok for us to stop this generations old tradition now.
There’s really no reason for our children to be seated apart from us. Surely we eat with our immediate families everynight. Those are the times when our children are watching us, as we model appropriate dinner table behavior. A holiday dinner should be a joyous time for the entire extended family to share in love, family, and food. And if seating is the issue, simply split adults with children at each table. But the ideal scenario is to have everyone at one long table, even if it is a little cramped. Remember that the holiday meals are going to be remembered. No one cares if they have to squeeze around the table; people want to be with their loved ones-children included.
And for the those of us who simply must continue this way of dining, I do hope you’ll consider keeping the little ones as close to you as possible. They are learning how to treat their own children by watching their parents.

Tasty Leaf Pockets

1 egg
1 tsp water
1 prepared pie crust
Pocket filling- chocolate chips, cream cheese, jams, peanutbutter ships, etc.
Pre-heat oven to 375Whisk egg and water, set aside.On a floured area, roll out your prepared pie crust to 1/8 inch thick.Use a large leaf-shaped cookie cutter(about 4 inches wide) to amke as many dough pairs as you can.For each leaf pocket, spread over the bottom leaf, leaving a 1/2 margin at the edge.Brush egg wash onto the edge, place a second leaf on top, and press the edges to seal.Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle it with sugar. Bake the leaf pockets on a parchment-covered cookie sheet until their edges are just beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Let them rest on the sheet a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack

Create you own Native American Beadwork

This week in our art/craft we will pay special attention to the Native Americans who taught the Pilgrims so very much in the 1500’s. This project can be as detailed or as simple as your kid’s ages dictate.
Beadworking wire OR PipecleanersAny sort of beads at all, but natural materials are best
Using your wire or pipecleaner, create a necklace using patterns with your beads. Make sure your necklace is long enough to fit over your head.

Letter Writing

For us, this time of year is warm and loving, as we are surrounded by our families and friends.For our military members serving worldwide, it is just another work day away from family and friends.
Have your entire family sit together and each of you write a warm letter of Thanksgiving to a military member serving overseas right now. Mail is like gold to our troops. They will appreciate it more than you know.
Go to WWW.ANYSOLDIER.COM to get info on who and where to send your letters as well as tips on what to write.

Turkey Apples

This week, we honor the Turkey!!!To make this silly fun food, you’ll need:
1 red apple
1 large stuffed olive
a small bag of raisins or craisins
5 small marshmallows
6 wooden toothpicks
Place your apple on its side, and insert 5 toothpicks along the larger bottom of the apples. This will be the feather spray. Squeeze craisins(or raisins) on to the toothpicks until you have just enough room for one marshmallow. For the head and neck, place craisins halfway up the toothpick on the skinnier top of the apple. Then pull the pimento part of the way out of the olive, and stick the olive onto the end of the “neck” toothpick. For eyes, you can either use cloves(not us!) or you can cut an “x” with a sharp knife for each eye. Now, enjoy you turkey!

Children's Homemade Log Cabin

One cardboard milk carton, washed and rinsed(the base)
Straight pretzel sticks(the logs)
Peanut Butter or Chocolate frosting(the glue)
1 Square graham cracker(the door and window)
1 Large marshmallow
Hot glue or tape
How to make it:
Cut the top flap of the milk carton off and tape or hot glue it closed to form the roof. The milk carton should now look like a cabin.
Spread chocolate frosting or peanut butter on one side of milk carton then cover with pretzels.
Repeat this step all over the milk carton until log cabin is complete. You may need to break the tips off of some of the pretzels to make then fit up the sides.
Break a square cracker in half, then break one of the halves in half. Spread some frosting or peanut butter on the back of the first half. “Glue” it to the front of the cabin as the door. Repeat this step with a smaller broken piece for the window.
Spread some frosting or peanut butter to the bottom of the marshmallow and stick to the roof.

Making Traditions

When your grandchildren come to visit you in forty years, what holiday memories will they want to talk about most? What stories will they want to share with their own new families? Traditions are a vital part of childhood, and they can be as easy or as elaborate as you’d like. Do you have traditions that are helping you make memories with your family?
What does a tradition have to entail to be a ‘keeper’? Well, for starters, it helps if it is enjoyable! No one wants there to be a tradition based on “wedgies”. Your new tradition must include the whole family in attendance…well, except for your crazy drunk uncle who is drooling on your husband’s new leather recliner. And the last important detail is that you repeat your tradition every year.
You can start simple. Do something that feels fun and easy this year. Each person can tell a joke at the dinner table. A meaningful, yet simple tradition is to go around the table during dinner having each person share what they are thankful for in this holiday season. Maybe your family can play a game while you all enjoy coffee and dessert. If you are the “keepsake” type, you can make something each year. That is one of my family’s favorite holiday traditions. Each Thanksgiving, we have a homemade ornament-making session. My sister and I choose a specific idea and get all of the materials ready to go. Then after dinner, we all come together to make an ornament. Most of the time we can’t convince the men to join in…football and naps, you know?
Remember that your “new” tradition has to repeat each year. An easy way to get that started is to write down what you do and tuck it away in a safe holiday place; sticking ideas with your decorations or favorite holiday recipes is a great tip. You can also write down ideas that you’d like to try next year.
Making new traditions for your family is a simple way to bring you all together to create “shared memories”. Those will be the stories your kids and grandkids will tell over and over.


Beginner's Clothespin Ornament

Making Christmas ornaments is one of my family’s favorite traditions. This year we are making a variety of old fashioned clothespin ornaments including Snowmen, Santa and the Mrs., the Little Drummer Boy, Reindeer, and more.
This week’s craft is an easy introduction into clothespin ornament making. After you master this project, your should branch out and try to do a different one.
Materials:(needed for each Reindeer)
1 round-top clothespin
2 googley eyes
1 brown pipe cleaner
1 red sequin
Wrap the pipe cleaner around the head of the clothespin to form the antlers. Bend until you like the shape. Glue on the googley eyes and the sequin nose. Yep. That’s it! You’re done!

Pilgrim Hat Snacks

Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies
Large Marshmallows covered in melting chocolate or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups(small or large)
Chocolate frosting(for glue)
1 orange or yellow M&M (hat buckle) or
Yellow frosting
Turn your cookie upside down, and slather on the chocolate frosting.
Place a chocolate covered marshmallow or Peanut Butter Cup in the center of the cookie. Then use frosting to glue the M&M where the buckle should go.(Or use yellow frosting to draw the buckle.)
The kids will love making these as much as they enjoy eating them! And don't forget to share these with an elderly neighbor or friend.

Winter Time Fun 50 List

Winter Fun 50
1. ice skating2. indoor snowball fight w/ crumpled paper3. sledding4. make a snowman5. indoor fort slumber party6. make hot cocoa7. outdoor snowball fights8. make a newspaper hut(indoors)9. make snow icecream10. horse sleigh rides11. walking deer trails12. snow shoveling competitions13. cutting your own Christmas tree/or choosing your already cut tree14. puzzle night15. game night16. movies and “bad for you” snacks night17. by the fireplace, read a long book with the whole family18. make homemade icebox cookies & decorate with leftover Christmas candy19. go snow-tubing20. have a Monopoly tournament21. go hunting/shooting22. catch snowflakes on your tongue23. go bowling(or do homemade bowling)24. make and hang pinecone birdfeeders25. have a holiday movie night w/ popcorn26. make smores27. make homemade marshmallows28. make holiday ornaments(check the Parenting Page for ideas)29. donate toys to Toys For Tots and other causes30. Go for a drive to see Christmas Lights and bring hot cocoa31. Attend a community Christmas Tree lighting32. bring food to a food bank33. decorate Christmas sugar cookies34. make a gingerbread house(or a graham cracker house)35. skiing36. snow mobile-ing37. snow shoe-ing38. make snow angels39. go ice fishing40. make a list for Santa41. go Christmas caroling42. go to the Christmas parade43. go see Santa44. as a family, decorate the tree and sing/play carols45. as a family, decorate the house (outside)46. do an Advent calendar47. make a link chain to countdown till Christmas(or other holiday)using the colors that are significant48. bake and bring cookies to any elderly, shut-ins, lonely folks, and your kid’s school office staff49. make Christmas(or other holiday cards) cards50. take Christmas pictures

Chanukah Dreidel Cookies

1/2 c. butter or shortening
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. grated orange peel
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 c. ground Brazil nuts
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. almond flavoring
Cream together butter or shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, orange peel, orange juice and Brazil nuts.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Stir in almond flavoring. Chill several hours.
Roll out dough 1/8 in. thick on a lightly floured board. Cut into dreidel shapes. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets in a moderate oven, 375 degrees for 8 to 10 mins. Use icing to decorate as desired. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Doctor's Office Snowman craft

Have you ever been left waiting in the little exam room of your doctor’s office and wondered what to do? It is possible that I may have taken a few tongue depressors once or twice while really bored. Turns out, there’s a great Winter craft that you can use them for!!!
7 Tongue Depressors(or jumbo craft sticks)
Craft paint in black and white
Googley eyes(or black markers)
5 rocks, raisins, etc for mouth(balled up black paper works too)
2 five inch pieces of ribbon(or construction paper and string)
Card stock or cardboard(about 3 3/4 inch x 5 inches)-a cereal box works great for this
Orange construction paper for nose(or orange felt)
Start by painting 6 sticks 3/4 white and 1/4 black. Paint the last stick black.
Once the sticks are dry, glue them to the card stock(card board) side by side, then lay the black stick across the top. It should look like a top hat. Then glue a piece of your ribbon across the hat. Next, glue your eyes, nose and mouth on. Last, hot glue the other piece of ribbon to the back of the snowman, so he can hang.

Being Gracious

We’ve all seen it. You’ve shopped for days on end trying to find the perfect gift for your brother’s daughter. You gingerly wrap it, making it look just right. You lovingly present it to her waiting to see the joy on her face… She opens the gift, mumbles a “thanks” while looking at her next gift and moves on. Or even worse, what about the time your nephew proclaimed that the gift you’d chosen for him was lame and boring? Or Heaven forbid, your own child tells someone he doesn’t want clothes for a gift, he wants toys!
Once our babies are past the age of four, they are old enough to learn to be gracious. It is our duty to teach this. We help our children, our family, and our many communities by instilling the values of kindness and gratitude in our children. To be gracious is to be courteous and generous of spirit. This is as important as anything your sons and daughters will ever know.
The holidays are about faith, love, and family-whatever that might mean to you and yours. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hannukah or believe in anything outside of the religious, no celebration should be made important based on receiving gifts. We must teach this by example and focus on our faith at this time of year…and all year long. Gifts come and go, they break and get lost, they don’t fit or get too small. Faith, family, and love are forever in our hearts.
Please teach your children what your holiday is really about. And then teach them to be gracious to others always and especially when others give them a gift. Remember that the true gift is that someone thought of them. The actual gift is not what is to be appreciated as much as the love and thought that went into the gift.
And if Aunt Franny gives you yet another fruit cake, do NOT make jokes in front of the kiddies as soon as you get in the car to go home. Be gracious and teach gracious.

Let's Make Reindeer Cookies

Since we are getting closer to Christmas, let’s do a super easy and fast snack that we can squeeze into our busy days!
Chocolate chip cookie dough(store bought or homemade)
Twisty pretzels
M&M’s or small kisses or hard candies
Shape cookie dough into ovals, NOT circles!Smoosh pretzels into top of cookies to make antlers.Smoosh candies into place to make eyes and nose. Use red to make Rudolph’s nose and dark brown for his reindeer friends.Bake and eat!

Advanced Clothespin Ornaments

You’ll need:
Wooden Peg Ornaments(not the spring kind)
Small craft sticks(popsicle sticks)
Pipe Cleaners(arms, scarf, hats,
Ribbon(scarf for Snowman and skier, ribbons to hang ornaments from tree)
Acrylic paints(hair, clothes, cheeks)
Black Sharpie(eyes, nose, smile)
Hot glue gun
Any additional needs for your particular craft like:
small pom-poms(snowman, hat pompoms for Santa)
sequins(bottom of ski poles, soldier uniforms, Elvis)
fuzzy hair(angel, Santa beard, Elvis’ chesthair)
small glass beads(jewels)
long glass beads(drumsticks)
wooden spools(drum)
Helpful tips:
Paint everything first to let it dry.
Paint everything before hot glueing anything.
Craft sticks cut easily to make arms.
Cut out felt into shapes.
Santa’s Hat: Cut a cone, hot glue it, then glue a pom-pom
Snowman Hat: A large circle(silver dollar) and a small circle(dime) with a rectangle make Snowman hats.
Pipe cleaners make good hats
Always glue your ribbon on first, then your arms if they are pipecleaners, THEN the felt.
Use Sharpie for eyes instead of googleys. Sharpie doesn’t fall off.
Little Drummer Boys drum should be glued to his body, then glue ribbon(straps) to the drum.
Please feel free to post any questions on the forums or to email me at NinaQ@HappyHousewivesClub.Com if you have any trouble.
And don’t forget to send me your pictures!!!


Let's eat a Christmas Tree

sugar cones or waffle cones
butter knife
cake frosting dyed green(mix a little food coloring into your icing)
small candies like Skittles, M&Ms, mini M7Ms
colored sprinkles
coloring sugar
Twizzlers (optional)
Each child puts a cone upside down on a paper plate. Then they paint the cone green with the frosting being careful not to break the tree. Next, use the Twizzlers to make garland around the tree. Red works the best, but any color will do. Next, use the round candies(m&ms, etc) to make the lights. And last, add sprinkles and colored sugar for ornaments.After eating this snack, I do suggest a long walk outside to burn off some of that sugar!

How to make a snowless Snowman?

Materials(which should be in your house already):
one bar of white soap
cheese grater
small amount of water
food coloring
1) Put a piece of wax paper down for a work surface. Then, help your kids grate the soap using a cheese grater(graters are sharp).2) Put your grated soap into a bowl.3) Add a small amount of water, a teaspoon at a time and mix with a spoon. The soap will start to stick back together.4) Take the soap out of the bowl, and make 3 piles(small, medium, and large). Roll each stack into a ball, and stack the balls to form a snowman. If necessary, rub a little water on the soap where you are joining the pieces to help them stick together.5) Smoosh your largest ball flat at the bottom, so your snowman can stand up straight.6) Using a tooth pick, paint a face and buttons on your snowman.7) Use a small piece of ribbon to tie a scarf.

Cookie Decorating Party

This weeks Family Fun is mighty tasty, so you’ll want to get the whole family involved.
In fact, this is something that you can plan ahead for and have the whole family do on Christmas Day.
Start by pre-making a a few dozen sugar cookies ahead of time. You can find a few great recipes on Robyn’s Cooking page. If you have extra time, let the kiddos help with baking the cookies.
Now, the family fun part.
Stock up on frosting and icing, or you can always make your own. Then load up on toppings, sprinkles, candies, etc.
Spread a washable tablecloth across your diningroom table, and set up stations all the way down. Each place should have its own icings, toppings, and tools such as spoons, butterknives, napkins.When you start to decorate your cookies, remember that you are making memories and NOT entering a baking contest. So, let your kids go wild and decorate however they like. And let your husband eat as many as he wants!

Yummy Colorful Icecream Floats

3 scoops of vanilla ice cream
1 can of Coke
4 cherries
red and green M&Ms (for color-optional)
2 red and green gumdrops (for color-optional)
Adults put 2 scoops of icecream into the cups. Then let the kiddos pour the soda over it. Scoop the last scoop of icecream on top. And let the little ones add the candies. Enjoy

"Green" Christmas Ornaments

This week’s craft is just for the ladies who are all about “going green.” We’ll be using resources that we have around the house.
Materials:Any craft paint and brushesAny surface that can be painted like seashells, wood pieces, roofing slates, etc
Directions:Draw a design on scratch paper to get an idea of what you’d like to paint. Then let your kids paint away.You’ll end up with one-of-a-kind ornaments that cost little to nothing and they reuse materials that you have around the house.

Oooh, our own Time Capsule?

Have you ever looked for buried treasure? Do your children like to dig for ancient secrets? This New Year’s, let’s make a “Time Capsule” for our families. This is a low cost and simple way to honor the past year and look forward to 2009.
First thing you’ll need is an empty tennis ball container. If you don’t have one, call the local tennis club(or country club with tennis courts) and ask for a few of them. They are a sturdy plastic, a good size for a time capsule, and cheap enough that you can make as many time capsules as kids are in your family. Or of course, you can make one family time capsule.
Once you have your tennis ball containers cleaned of labels and such, begin filling them. (You can let the kids decorate the containers before filling them to teach them about decomposition!) You should include one photo per person or photos that include multiple family members, hand-written messages from each person about important personal happenings in 2008, any important news stories from the past twelve months and any small mementos that will fit. Little bitties will want to put a toy or two in there, so make sure it isn’t a super special toy first! The last thing you’ll want to include is what you are thankful for in 2008 and what you’d like to improve about yourselves in 2009. Put all of these on one sheet of paper to represent the solidarity of your family.
Now, the burying.
You’ll need a family cartographer, a hole digger, a capsule placer, a hole coverer, and any other jobs you’ll need to cover all of your kids. Draw a detailed map of exactly where you’ll be placing your capsule to guarantee that you can find it next year. Include cardinal directions, number of paces from your backdoor, identifying landmarks in your backyard, etc. Be sure your children(and you and your husband) take turns in the burying of your capsule.
And finally, snap a lot of photos of this activity. It will be a special memory for your entire family.


Let's Make Confetti Balls

This is a fun and colorful snack for your family celebration.
4 cups popcorn, popped
1 cup multicolored gumdrops, chopped
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
3 tbsp margarine
3 cups miniature marshmallows
Cooking spray
Wash everyone’s hands thoroughly. Spray a large bowl with the cooking spray. Combine the popcorn, gumdrops, and peanuts in the bowl. In a lareg saucepan, melt the butter and marshmallows over medium heat, stirring continuously. When the marshmallow mixture is smoothe, pour it over the popcorn mixture and toss until the popcorn is coated. With buttered hands, shape the mixture into balls. You have to work fast, so let each child do one, and you do the rest. Wash everyone’s hands reeeeally thoroughly…again. Allow the Confetti Balls to set until you serve them.

Homemade Noisemakers!

Pretty Pot BangersPaint a wooden kitchen spoon(not your favorite seasoned spoon tho) half blue and half silver. Let dry. Tie 4 blue or silver(or black or white) curling ribbons-each about 18 inches-to the top of the spoon by the big, round part. Tie some jingle bells to one or two of the ribbons and them curl all available ribbon. Hot glue the ribbon into place. Now your kids have a Pretty Potbanger to ring in 2009.
Homemade TambourinePunch holes evenly spaced around the outer edge of a paper plate. Push the base of a jingle bell thru each hole. From the back of the plate, feed a piece of yarn or strong thread thru the back loop of each bell and tie it off. This keeps the bells on. Then decorate with curling ribbons, markers, crayons, etc.
Confetti Bottle Noise MakerPut dry beans in an old, dry water bottle. Glue the cap shut. Using 1/2 water and 1/2 craft glue(any kid’s glue should work), “paint” strips of torn white tissue paper all over the bottle, covering it 2-3 times. Then apply small torn bits of colored tissue paper(looks like confetti) to the bottle using the glue mixture. Let dry. Then tie curling ribbon around the neck of the bottle, and curl as many as you like.

Mom, Can we have a Campfire?

I have a challenge for you and your family. Let’s see if you are up to it. We are looking for new ways to have fun by a fire. You can build a small fire in your backyard firepit, you might like to camp and get to build a big fire, if you live in a rural area you may have a large fire pit, or you can just use an idoor fireplace. But the idea here is to get your family together away from the convenience of modern life(tv, videogames, computers, etc) and just enjoy a fire together.
You can make dinner:We get everything ready for a hotdog dinner except the weiners, then we each roast out own, and finish making our hotdogs.
You can make dessert:We bring the paper plates, graham crackers, the chocolate bars, and the marshmallows outside and build our smores by the fire.
You can make snacks:is there anything easier or more fun for the whole family than roasting marshmallows?
So, get to making your family with your family and let us know what new ideas you’ve come up with.

Let's Make S'mores, Mom!

This camprfire favorite is an easy and fun treat for all ages! Even the little ones can get involved as long as they have an adult helping.
Graham crackers
large marshmallows
chocolate bars
Directions:Put a piece of chocolate on a graham cracker. Roast a marshmallow. Place the marshmallow between a “clean” graham cracker and the chocolatey graham cracker. Enjoy!

S'more Craft

This is a cute keepsake that can be kept as is or made into a magnet.
cardboard(thicker than a cereal box, but that’ll do in a pinch)
dark brown felt, craft foam, or anything material in a pinch
cotton balls
Cut the cardboard into the graham cracker shape that your kids choose(small or larger).
Cut the dark brown fabric to be a quarter inch smaller, so the “cracker” shows all the way around.
Glue together. End by glueing your marshmallows(cottonballs) on top.
Your kids can make a whole bunch to put on a tray for a cute table centerpiece!

Take a Hike!

When was the last time you just enjoyed being outside? Do you stop and smell the pinecones? Is life spinning by in a hurry of planning and cleaning, volunteering and organizing?
If you are one of those moms who wants to have a perfect house, I challenge you to consider the memories you are building for your children. Will they remember the sparkle on the diningroom floors, or will they laugh about the times you all went hiking and stepped in deer poop?
This past weekend I was really sick. But our family time was going to be a hike. We’ve done it before, and it is always a hit. We’ve even gotten to the point that we take our out of town company on our hikes too! Oh, and in case the word “hike” is intimidating, taking a “nature walk” is just as cool for kids! In fact, as long as you call it a “hike”, they’ll love it.
So, here’s what to do:Call your local tourism bureau and get a listing of any hiking trails in your immediate area. Pack a snack, some water, and a change of clothes(just in case) to leave in the car. Then dress in layers, throw on your “play shoes”, toss the camera in your car, and GO! Be sure to plan a good solid hour for the actual walk. It doesn’t really matter how far you go as long as you take your time. The beauty of a hike is slowing down and showing each other all the cool things you find, not how much ground you walk.

And if you and your family are already into hiking, how about stepping it up a notch and making a scavenger hunt list of items for each of you to find. Just bring some disposable grocery bags, and you can compare treasures as you find them!Remember that this time you have with your family is NOW. You cannot get it back. The house can wait, your children can’t.


Homemade Trail Mix made by your kids!

This is the perfect snack to take with you on a nature walk or a hike. Let the kiddos choose what they want to put in it(give them options), and then let them do all of the measuring and pouring. Finally, let them mix it together and scoop it into snackbags for the hike.
Ingredient options:
1/4 cup of any of their favorite nuts(or 2 nuts if they like)-unsalted peanuts-unpeeled, shelled amonds-pecans-walnut
1/4 cup of 2 different dried fruits(or 3 if they like)-dried cranberries-chopped and pitted dates-dried apricots-banana chips-dried apple chips
Combine and stir in a bowl.

Let's Make a Nature Collage

This is the perfect craft to go with any sort of nature walk or hike.Before the walk, be sure you have clear contact paper and hard white stock or posterboard.
During your hike/walk, collect any treasures you find.
When you get home, spread everything out on a white bedsheet(makes it easier to see the treasures), and choose what each person would like in their collage. Then cut your white stock and your clear contact paper in your desired shape. A big leaf shape would look cool, but squares and rectangles also look great hanging on the wall. Next, peel off your contact paper backing and place something heavy on each corner to hold the paper down. Now arrange your collection of leaves, sticks, moss, etc on your contact paper. Now put your white paper on the back of it. Last, punch a hole in the top and put a ribbon thru it to hang.
Ok, ladies, I know it is pretty darned cold out there. In fact we recently lived thru the worst icestorm in the history of our new small town. But can you remember when you were little…with your little face pressed up against the window staring out at the beautiful snow, as it called to you to come out and play…and mama said, “No.” She thought it was too cold, too messy, and she had too many things to do. “But mom” you’d plead, “can we please just make one snowman?” Let’s face it. As children, we idolize our parents. We really only want their approval. The very notion of spending some fun time outside in the snow playing with our moms and dads is enough to make any little one clean their room and eat all of their veggies.
So, I propose that we all bundle up in layers(lots of layers too), and head on outside with our kids to make a snowman, a snowllama, a snowcat, a snowfort, or any of a million ideas that you and your family will come up with. I know its cold…but you aren’t just building a snowman; you’re building memories for your family.

Family Hide-n-Seek

Ok, ok, I get it now. At first, I thought 40 degrees was cold. Then I moved a bit north and started to think maybe I could handle the cold, right? HA! So, now I see that single digits and even colder are just plain cruel for us mamas with little kids. They can go play in sunny winter weather in safe temps, but -10 is still -10 no matter how brightly the sun shines. And let’s face it; we love the little darlings, but we need a break when we are all cooped up trying to survive till the Spring arrives. Yes, I am counting the days till then. It’s March 20th in case you wondered.
So, what to do? We have kids who are bored and restless. They need an activity, and we need some time to ourselves. How about an old-fashioned game of “Hide-and-Seek”? Yes, I am serious. If you have ever truly needed a break from the neediness that may come with children, you know that even 5 and 10 minute spurts of alone time can be a refreshing recharge.
So, set some guidelines and rules.
1. Set boundaries. No one is allowed outside or int he garage.
2. Each person has to rotate being the seeker.
3. The game can become how long it takes to find the whole family. Use a timer.

And in case you didn’t think of this, kids won’t catch on to you and your hubby “hiding together” for about 8 rounds of “Hide-and-Seek!

Who wants a Pig in a Blanket???

This is the perfect snack for a cold day. The little pigs that hide inside the blanket are warm and cozy and taste yummy for your kiddos.
If you are looking for a fun way for the kids to make their own snack or lunch, this is a great idea.

Small sausages
Refridgerated biscuits or crescent rolls
Place their ingredients on a tray, then let them watch you make one Pig in a Blanket.
Then, let the kids do the rest of the “food preparation”.
Bake as directed and enjoy.

Let's make a secret message...

So, do you want to be a spy? How about a secret admirer? The choice is yours with this cool way to send “secret messages”.
White paper
White crayon
Water color paints(or homemade fingerpaint)
Paint brush or Q-tip

On the white paper, use the white crayon to write any message you want. It can be a long note, a silly joke, or a clue to your favorite hiding place. The recipient of the secret message must “paint” the note to be able to read it! You can do these with your kids and your hubby! And of course, you should do one for each person in the family.

How to make a Homemade Valentine

-one photo per child
-one red or white pipe-cleaner or piece of ribbon
-A variety of heart shaped papers in different sizes
*construction paper
*printer paper that’s been colored
*aluminum foil

Once you have about 6-8 different sizes of heart varying from large to small, let your little ones use them anyway they want to “create” their own Valentine. Once they are finished with all of their hearts, glue their photo somewhere on the hearts. Finally, attach the pipe-cleaner or ribbon to the top, so it will hang from a doorknob or the Christmas Tree(I LOVE making seasonal ornaments). Don’t forget the year! You’ll want to remember how old they were when they made these.

Fruit Kabobs made by your kids

This week’s easy kid snack is perfect for all ages and all kids (even the picky ones).

cubed cheese
any fruit cut into cubes
any small round fruit like berries and grapes
any other small foods-mini Nilla wafers, pretzel twists, Triscuits, etc
Wood skewers(which can be washed and re-used)

Give your kids a butter knife and let them cut the cheese and fruit into pieces. For little bitties, cut the pieces for them and let them build the kabobs. To make the kabobs, teach them how to hold their hands to avoid stabbing themselves! Let them make only as many as your family will eat because you don’t want browning fruit later. Put the leftovers in sealable containers to make again tomorrow. Bon Appetit!

We are making Homemade Beignets...Yummy!

This is a derivative of a French pastry/treat that is super easy for the kids and budget-friendly for the moms. Its a great snack for a cold, snowy day.

vegetable oil for frying
one can of low-cost regular biscuits
powdered sugar

Directions:Fill a pot halfway with oil, bring to medium-high heat. Or, you can use an electric frier like a “Fry Daddy”. Let the kids open the biscuits, then separate each biscuit and cut in half(or quarters). They can use a butterknife to do this. After cutting your biscuits, have the kids flatten them with the heel of the hand. This step is necessary or the biscuits won’t “flip” in the oil. Next, gently place the biscuits in the oil. Only put as many as will fit when they float up. Watch the edges of the biscuits to see when they begin to brown. It takes just a few minutes if the grease is the right temperature. Flip them when they turn a nice golden brown(see photos). Let the other side fry, then take them out and drain on newspaper. I do all frying and flipping, but the kids can do everything else. Finally, put the warm beignets into a paperbag or sealable container(not a plastic bag), pour some powdered sugar in, and shake. When the beignets are covered, they are ready to eat.Enjoy!


Painting with salt???

Salt Painting

Yes, you read that right. In this craft, we learn to “salt paint” which is a cool medium for art. And hopefully, you’ll have everything you need right in your house. I did, and I surely don't win a prize for "Best Stocked Pantry", I promise ya that.

Salt(table salt is what we used b/c we didn't have fancy salt)
Paint brushes(artist, not home improvement, altho I suppose you could try that)
1 cup of boiling water-not microwaved (no short cuts here)
1 ceramic coffee mug
dark cardstock(construction paper works but not as well) in black, or other deep colors like red, navy or purple

1. Boil water.
2. Pour boiling water into mug.
3. Add 1 tsp of salt at a time, stirring well to mix using a paintbrush(Sam did this).
4. When the salt no longer mixes into the boiling water, begin painting.(This took us about 7-9 tsp)
5. To paint, dip the paintbrush into the salt water for each stroke to ensure there are salt crystals on the brush. YES, you have to constantly re-dip your brush. It's worth it.
6. Let dry overnight(or blowdry if you too are impatient-like Sam). As the water dries, it leaves the salt behind to create the art.
Tip: If you don’t have dark cardstock, add a couple of drops of dark food color to the saltwater.

How about a Love Snack?

These "Love Snacks" are fun to make and fun to eat!
Brownies(already made)
Small, metal heart-shaped cookie cutter(got ours at Hobby Lobby for 33 cents)
Large, flat spatula
Chopping board(or any flat surface)

Bake brownies as usual(let the kiddos help).Then use a small, metal heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the pretty heart-shaped brownies. When you are finished, you should have a bunch of chopped up pieces of leftover brownie. NOW its time for the kids to 'play'.On a large cutting board, put all of the extra brownie stuff together in a pile. Give the kids a large, smooth spatula. Let them smoosh it into a pile. Then, they can cut out their own heart shapes!

For the strawberries, simply cut the stems off, then slice them across the heart shape to get a bunch of strawberry hearts!

Making Paper Plate Faces

Paper Plate Faces
This craft is an easy and fun way to express yourself without spending too much money!
And you can either use it as a work of art, a decoration, or as a dress-up mask.

Materials needed:
regular paperplates(not styrofoam or the hard ones)
googley eyes(optional)
a variety of colored construction paper
markers or crayons

Start with cutting some random shapes. Small triangles make good eyes and noses. Large triangles make cool hats. Circles make cute noses or mouths or cheeks and can be used for hat decorations. Strips of paper make good hair, eyebrows, etc. If you have younger kids, give them a “kit” of things already pre-cut and instruct them on what face parts they must include using those pieces.
If you have older kids, give them a list of what they should include on their face.


Simply use glue to attach all of your pieces and parts to create a unique face mask!
An extra idea: If your child is going thru something tough and is having difficulty talking about it with you, give them a paperplate and a marker. Tell them to “draw” how they are feeling. Use that as a stepping off point to open dialogue.

Let's Make a Pizza Face!

Homemade Pizza Face
Ready made crust-or make your own
tomato sauce
mozzarella cheese
pineapple chunks
sun-dried tomatoes
tomato slices
ham chunks
jalepeno slices
or anything your kids would like to eat on a pizza

Let the kids lay out the crust and scoop on the sauce. Drop the sauce in the center of the crust, then make circle-swirls to spread it out. This keeps them for putting too much sauce. Then give them free reign to make any face they want…but remind them that they have to EAT their creation for dinner. That’ll stop the little funny-guy in the family from putting too many jalepenos on it!

Bake according to crust directions(usually 400 degrees for 8-11 minutes).