Monday, February 27, 2017

Cookie Baking Night 02/27/17

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Emily, Allison, Rylar, and Enzo. Tonight we made s'mores.

S'mores in the oven couldn't be easier, and they're just as tasty as the kind made over the campfire. 
First, you line up your graham crackers on a baking sheet. Then distribute mini marshmallows on top of the crackers. 

Then you place the pan in the oven under the broiler for approximately two minutes, just till the marshmallows are brown and toasty.

Then you place the chocolate bars on top of the toasted marshmallows and back into the oven for about 2 seconds (literally only 2 seconds) to get the chocolate a little more melty. 

Then you put the final cracker on top. 

Sometimes you stop to make a puzzle out of your graham crackers (and chocolate bars) along the way, but that is optional. 

And voila! S'mores.

Cookie Baking Night 101. As usual, a fun time was had by all. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Cookie Baking Night 02/13/17

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan, Carissa, Allison, Rylar, and Enzo. Since it was the day before Valentine's Day, it seemed only right to have a heart-shaped theme to our cookies. We decorated heart-shaped sugar cookies with red and white frosting and pink and red sprinkles.

For our Bible time tonight, we read from God's Names by Sally Michael. Tonight we learned the name Jehovah-Jireh meaning "The LORD will provide". We talked about all the ways that God has provided for us in our lives, and how most importantly he provided us with a way to know Him and be in relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. He is so good!

At the end of the evening, we played a new game called "Hedbanz". The kids loved it! Ethan and Carissa had played it before, so they were able to teach us about the game. The gist of it is: Each player is given a plastic headband to wear (that was great fun for the kids right there). Then everyone is given a card to put on the headband that they can't see but everyone else can see. Then the players take turns asking the other players questions about the object on their card until they guess it. It was a good time!

Another Cookie Baking Night has come and gone and, as usual, a fun time was had by all. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cookie Baking Night 01/30/17

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night: In attendance this evening: Emily, Allison, Rylar, and Enzo. Tonight we made chocolate covered marshmallows.

I know, kind of makes you wish you were here doesen't it?

Emily had the day off of school today, so she came over early. While, I was at work, she made supper for us, and she organized a craft. The craft hanging on the wall has the Bible verse John 15:12 on it. "This is my commandment that you love one another". She cut out heart shapes in pink, red, and white, and the rest of the kids colored them or wrote the words from the verse on them. 

Allison was able to write out every word, and she loved it. Rylar lasted through three hearts, and Enzo made it through one. But everyone got a ribbon on it, so they can hang it on the wall. 

For our Bible time tonight, we talked about the gospel since last time we talked about the law (10 Commandments). After we learned the bad news about what sin is and how it separates us from God, we learned the good news of who Jesus is and about how he came to earth, lived a sinless life, and died as the punishment for our sins, so that we can be in relationship with God once again (the way He intended it at the beginning of time). 

Clara recited John 3:16-17 for us: 

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

Another Cookie Baking Night has come and gone, and it was a lively one. As usual, a fun time was had by all. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Cookie Baking Night 01/16/17

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Emily, Ethan, Carissa, Allison, Rylar, and Enzo. Tonight was Ethan's Birthday choice and his actual birthday (14 years old today, and measuring in at 6 feet 2 inches tall, he looks like he's 19 or so). Ethan's choice for supper tonight was pizza ("any kind"--he wanted me to choose--we went with cheese and sausage and mushroom). For his cookie, he made the choice to go with a classic "Chocolate Chip Cookies".

For our Bible lesson tonight, I took a cue from the conversation happening around me. There was a lot of discussion about the picture hanging above the mantel in the living room--the picture of the 10 Commandments. The older kids and I have had many discussions about the 10 commandments over the years, but not so much with the little ones. Rylar showed a keen interest in knowing what "the words on the picture meant", so tonight we read the lesson out of Leading Little Ones to God titled "How God Gave Us His Law". We read through each commandment and talked about what they mean. We also read it from the Bible (Exodus 20). It was a fun discussion, as there was a lot of interest in it. At the end of our lesson, Emily said, "That was a nice organic lesson. The discussion grew naturally out of what we were talking about."  Hmm .... the teenagers these days. 
I'm very grateful to have our nieces and nephews in our home for Cookie Baking Nights and that the tradition has continued these many years. I'm also grateful for God's Word and how it reaches the 3 year olds to the 16 year olds and everyone in between. God is brilliant!

Another Cookie Baking Night has come and again. Another birthday choice has been made (Happy Birthday, Ethan!) And .... as usual... a fun time was had by all. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Niece and Nephew Christmas Party 2016

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night, and it was our 13th annual Niece and Nephew Christmas party. In attendance this evening: Emily, Carissa, Allison, Rylar, and Enzo. We handled the party a little differently this year in that it was held on a regular Cookie Baking Monday night instead of on a weekend, and we opted out of any outside activities this year and stayed at our house for the whole party.

Every Niece and Nephew Christmas Party contains four main elements, and this one was no exception. They are:

1. A meal. Tonight we had macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, tator tots, and strawberry milk.

2. We decorate a gingerbread house cookie. Always a favorite part of the party. This is where you see individual personalities emerge. 

Aunt Katrina & Carissa 

Allison & Emily 


Enzo & Uncle Greg 




After the newbie settled down a bit and the initial excitement wore off, he and Uncle Greg (and Clara) worked together to make a pretty good looking cookie. 


3. A Bible lesson. Tonight our lesson centered around Luke chapter 2. We talked about how Jesus laid aside his kingly rights in heaven for a time to come to this earth and be born as a human, how he lived a sinless life, and then willingly died a death on a cross as punishment for our sins. It's amazing every time we hear it. 

4. The dice game. We roll two dice and every time someone gets doubles, they get to choose a prize from a prize bin. We keep taking turns until all the prizes have been handed out. Everyone gets a bag with their name on it to take home their prizes. 

Another full year of Cookie Baking Nights has passed, and another Niece and Nephew Christmas Party has come and gone. And, as usual, a fun time was had by all.