Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Morning Chores and Pink Boots!

Yesterday I thought I would bundle up the youngest two littles and take them out with me for chores.  It wasn't a typical, snot freezing cold January day, and I figured the fresh air would do them some good.  Besides, my sister gave Squeakers this adorable pair of pink cowgirl boots, and I was looking for an excuse for her to wear them.  Outside.


Then I had the bright idea to take both dogs with me.  I figured they needed to go out anyway, and I didn't want to make two trips to the house.  Bad idea.  

While the kids followed me to every chore station, the dogs did not.  I called and called, and the dogs didn't come back.  I already had hay out for the horses, and they weren't going to wait while I rounded up the dogs, so I went about the chores like I normally would.

Squeakers LOVED the horses!  She squealed and pointed.


Her older brother was so cute in holding her hand and saying, "C'mon, we have to go feed the chickens now." He walked her along behind me, telling her what we were doing, all the while she was hanging on to her Minnie Mouse sippy cup, emitting squeals of delight and talking in her baby gibberish.  
They followed me into the chicken pen, squealing and laughing as the chickens gobbled up their breakfast while I collected the eggs.

The dogs, on the other hand, were another story.

 Zoe had run down into the woods...and found, of all things, a deer carcass.  Where it came from, I've no clue, but it was fairly decomposed and she pulled it up into my yard. Best I could determine, someone didn't find their kill during deer season. Josie then decided to "help" Zoe and ran over, grabbed a leg, and trotted back to me all proud.

"Drop it!"  I yelled.  She dropped it, looked at me like I had six heads, and walked away. 

I decided it would have been better if I had left either the dogs or the kids in the house, or even both.  I couldn't leave the Littles in the yard, unsupervised, while I chased down the unruly pup who hadn't learned farm rules yet.   I scooped up Squeakers, grabbed my basket of eggs, and to my son said, "Let's go watch Mickey Mouse."  He bounded to the house in glee. I set the eggs on the counter and then settled my son to watch t.v. and put Squeakers down for a nap. 

I hurried back outside to round up Josie and get her in the house. Zoe knew she'd "done a bad thing" and was waiting at the back door.  Josie, on the other hand, darted for the fence that marks where our property ends and the neighbors begin. This means tripping through tall grasses and tree roots.  She must have realized I meant business, because at this point she lays down, rolls to her back, and acts completely submissive.  I grabbed her collar and said "Let's go."  Go she did!  She went to the right, when I went left, around a tree, and down I went.

Josie sat infront of me, mocking me. 

Thankfully, I think she got the picture that I was not amused, and she walked nicely to the house without further incident.

Squeakers was sound asleep at this point, exhausted after her morning adventure of "assisting" with the chores and my son was engrossed in Mickey Mouse, so I hurriedly went back out, fed the last two pens, and cleaned up the deer carcass.

The lesson is, toddlers and dogs and chores are not a good combination. At least, not all at the same time.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Employment Status?

Apparantly some special kind of germ jumped in my body.  It's been over a week, and I'm still sick. Oh the cold chills, cold to the bone, achy feeling is all gone....but for the last several days, almost a week now, it's been a sore throat, with swelling on the left side.

Yesterday I called in for an appointment to our family doc, so they scheduled me for 9 am today.  Except last night I felt like the swelling was getting worse, and I felt like my airway was closing off.  So my DH's friend K came up to sit with the kids while DH rushed me to the ER.  Before we left, K asked if he could pray for me, and I was more than happy to have prayers!

We weren't that long in the ER, a swab that came back negative and one prescription later, and we were on our way home.  My BP was slightly elevated, and the nurse was a little freaked out by it, but the ER doc told her it was most likely my anxiety making it high, due to my fear of suffocating on my own swollen neck.  I was advised to keep my morning appointment, which  I did.

Normally I don't look forward to going to the doctor's office, but today's visit, well, I wouldn't have cared if it had taken up 2 hours!!   Today, I had to fill out "new patient" paperwork, even though I wasn't "technically" a new patient.  I never go to our Family Practictioner unless something is wrong.  Which translates to "tried home remedies for a week, nothing worked".   So, it had been so long since my last visit, that they'd put away my file.  Filed in - who knows where - so a new file was created.  All the filling out of name, birthday, spouse, contact in case of emergency, medical history...and Employer. 

Employer.  I always write in self employed, and hope no one asks what I do.  Today, I wasn't so lucky.  She asked me.  Almost right away, and then she validated me.  When she asked me what I do,  I replied, "I raise chickens and goats and bees" and I was cringing,  because here I am telling a professional, who works a "real job" that I'm just a "farmer".  I followed with "we don't make alot of money, but it's enough to get by on, and it feeds us."   I waited for her to give me the "you need to get a job" speech that I get from some people, the ones who think we need more money than we have, because we have six kids...the ones who think we are just sitting here, sucking up welfare, and not doing anything. (To those people, and I think you know who you are, I say come help shovel out the manure piling up in the barn.  Come sling the axe to chop some wood, help repair fence, etc. Please, come spend a week here...I'll show you what sitting around and doing nothing is...)

She replied, "I have goats, chickens, and bees, too. I think you're doing things right." 


She followed that up with, "Don't ever let anyone make you think you're lazy. Farming is not lazy."

I told her I chose to do the farm thing, because I was selfish and wanted to be with my kids. She replied that she didn't think that was selfish at all.

Who would ever have thought that a trip to the doctor for a swollen throat would turn into 45 minutes of farm discussion, sharing of ideas, and passing of farm related information?  She didn't bat an eye, or even lecture me, when I said I was raising LaMancha's for milk.  Raw milk, I told her.  She nodded her head in agreement and said "I have nigi dwarves."

She also has bees, and a flock of buff orpingtons!  

We had a short conversation on how awesome your own raw, fresh honey is.  She also told me about beek'ing classes that will be starting up soon.  She gave me a few FB links to look up, and told me about some meetings that will be starting up soon for local farmers. 

Then she finally gets around to checking out my throat, asking what the ER doc prescribed, decided she didn't like what he had prescribed, and changed my meds and dosage.  THANK YOU!  12 hours, 2 dosages, 2 ibuprofen, 2 showers, and a soak in the tub, later and I am already feeling TONS better!

As I was leaving with my new prescription clutched in my hand, she said to me, "Don't worry about those people who only think of money.  We'll see how they are when that money isn't worth anything, and eggs are the new currency!"  

My follow up appointment is on Monday.  I cannot wait!

Monday, January 7, 2013


Today, I got brave.

Today, I said, "I'm going to do it!  Even if it kills me!"  (it nearly did)

Today, I said, "Whoohoo! One whole hour of MOMMY time!"

and with that thought, I dashed off to Zumba.   Zumba went something like this:

5:30 pm Everyone is smiling and chatting, dropping their bags, setting out their bottles of water. Pay their fee.

5:45 pm  Instructor starts the music.  We start moving, kicking our feet.  This isn't so bad. Our instructor has a great smile!!

5:50 pm  It's getting faster, now we're "pushing the air" out of our way, before we step to the side 3 times while throwing our hip out...oh yea, it sure felt like I threw my hip out!!

5:55 pm Bouncing on heals, here we go. Step over cross, bounce 3 times, now the other way step over cross bounce three our Instructor can really bounce!  Thinking I can't wait until I have her energy

6:00 pm  Our instructor says it's going to get faster.  Oh man, she's not lying....why is she still smiling?!  My toes are going numb....and my calves are on fire!

We get a five minute break....oh thank goodness sweet mother of god!!  Suck down half a bottle of water, gauge how far the exit is, wondering if I can make a break for it...The instructor says "ok, time to get moving, girls!  Don't want you to cool down too much!" 

6:05 pm we're back to dancing, kicking our leg out, punching out with the opposite arm. My arms and legs are so numb, doesn't even feel like they're attached to my body anymore.

6:15 pm  My side is cramping, I think I'm having an asthma attack,  and my face is red as a beat.  We're jumping in the air, pounding the "air" with our fists, 4 times on each bladder nearly bounced right out...rushed to the bathroom.

6:20 pm  The smile is getting to me. No one , no normal, sane  being, can smile through all this bouncing, jumping, kicking....what is wrong with her?  I want to punch that smile right off her face.

6:30 pm  Instructor says we're done.  I'm numb.  We have to stretch before we can leave. Stretch? stretch what?  I can't even feel my toes at this point!  My brain is numb as well.

6:45 pm I made it to the car! The cold air feels amazing!! I'm so pumped!! 

Seriously can't wait for the next class...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Joys of Raising Boys

Have I mentioned that I have four boys?   Well, just incase I haven't, here it is - I have four boys.  One on the cusp of becoming a teen, and one that I can't wait until he starts kindergarden, with 2 sandwiched between them.

They are all 100% BOY.

Boys don't come with manuals.  No one tells you that they will at some point do things like try on mom's makeup.  Wear high heals.   Dress in drag.   All before they reach that ripe old age of 2.

Then potty training.

No matter what advice anyone gives you, nothing can prepare you for potty training each individual boy.  They all learn it differently.  At their own pace.  My boys were all between the ages of 2.5 and 3 before they potty trained, with just the occassional accident at night.  My oldest son wanted to "pee just like Daddy does" and he literally trained himself over night.   The next son didn't "train" until he began pre-school, and saw how other kids went.  That really helped him.  The third just didn't want to, but we finally made him, and the fourth we used M&M ultimatums, which almost backfired.

Boys are loud, destructive, rambunctious, and wrestle by instincts even if they've never seen one single episode of that fake wrestling garbage. 

This morning, my boys started the day off in rare form. 

First, I took an rc track car from my oldest son.  I had spent 3 days telling him to NOT run it on my cracking linoleum in the kitchen, to keep it on the track.  Today, the conversation went like this:

Me:  What are you doing?
Him: Running my car on the linoleum
Me: and what did I tell you?
Him: Not to.
Me: Give me the car.
Him: But the box said I could drive it on the track OR a hard floor.
Me:  The box is not your mother.

Roughly 20 minutes after this, my third son comes running out and said that my second and fourth son are wishing him dead.  Wait, what?!   This is how THAT conversation went:

Me: What did they say?
Son 3:  L said he hoped he got a pet crocodile and that it would come out and eat me.  (Ok, so maybe less Jake and the Neverland Pirates is needed...) and then E said 'thanks for saying that'.  
Me: Ok, go tell them I want to talk to them.

The other two boys come out, and I ask for their side of things.  It turns out, Son #3 had been antagonizing them with his new Buzz Lightyear he had been given for Christmas.  So the crocodile comments were in retaliation. 

But it gets better.

What son 3 had failed to tell me, other than that he was antagonizing them to start, is what he said to Son 2 after the Son 4 wished for a pet croc.

Son 3 to Son 2:  I'm going to pee and make you lick it up.


Omg REALLY?!  REALLY?!   Do you know how hard it was for me to keep a straight face?  After somehow administering appropriate discipline, I ordered them to go play nicely, and then I fell on the floor laughing.

Seriously, where do these boys get this stuff?   And furthermore, I don't believe Son 3 will make anyone do anything, because he is absolutely my laziest child.  He has a hard time even getting himself dressed in the moring, the idea that he's going to "make" anyone else do anything is flipping crazy.  This is the child that is the last one dressed for school. Every. Morning.  When you ask him why, his reply is "No one will help me get my clothes".   You know, because he can't lift his arms over his head to take his own shirt and pants out of the closet.    When he doesn't have socks on, and you ask him why, his reply is always "no one got me any".  My reply is always the same, too, "Go get them yourself."  

So with the ridiculousness of the morning and these boys,  I decided it was a good "cleaning of their room" day. 

Who know that attempting to scrub down barely year old wooden bunkbeds could reduce you to tears?  It shouldn't, but it did.  There I was, with my big blue mop bucket hosting a mix of murphy's oil and soap and water, neon green cleaning gloves, and black magic marker on wood.   It didn't come off.  

I asked a few trusty friends for their suggestions, which I haven't tried yet but will on the morrow, when the majority of my boys are in school cracking open books and portraying themselves as perfect angels to their teachers.  Yes, their teachers believe this about them.  I've asked them if the boys do this or that at school. The answer is always, "no, they've never. They're one of the best behaved kids I have."  I think everyone of those teachers could star on Pretty Little Liars.

After the storm had passed, and I dumped my dirty bucket of water and stripped off my gloves, my DH suggested some shopping therapy.  I was quick to accept!!  Came home with a new white bookcase for Squeakers baskets of toys and stuffed animals,  and feeling much more relaxed.   We picked up pizza from Pizza Hut for dinner, and the kids wholeheartedly approved when their dad suggested it.  

Now our day is drawing to a close, and I'm ready for the morrow so I can see what other shenanagins we can get into around here. 

Note: No matter how crazy it gets around here, no matter what new stunts my kids come up with, no matter what they break, nor what they write/draw on, tear up, or unappreciate, I wouldn't change it and I'm thankful.  There are parents today who, not only would they happily welcome the chance to correct their child, they are still grieving the loss of their child.  It is not far from my mind that my Son 3 is around the age of the Sandy Hook students who lost their lives last month.  I do not take these crazy antics for granted, and even though they may be frustrating, trying, and frazzling to my mommy brain, I embrace it, welcome it, and so thankful that we are living it.  Be thankful for every small thing your child adds to your life, even the frustrations, for we know not what tomorrow brings, and today's misbehavior may turn into fond memories.  Treasure them.  Hold them close.  Love them.  Hug them.  Correct them when necessary, vent to friends when you feel it's more than you can bear, but also, appreciate this crazy moment. It's a blink. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

We Don't All Fart Rainbows and Poop Glitter

*Disclaimer - I've been in a foul mood, one of my worst moods, all day...and yes, it has spilled over into my blog. If you don't want to read my attitude, stop now.  I'm serious, I'm snarky, I'm not nice, and at this very moment, I don't care. I'm fed up, tired of holding my tongue, and frankly, don't give a crap if you see my true temper.  We all have emotions, we all get mad, and today I just decided not to hold back my frustration. Tomorrow I'll try to find the rainbow farts and glitter, but today, be happy I didn't cuss.*

Today was not one of my better days. A Saturday that felt like a Monday. Except the kids didn't have school, so it's not just A Monday, but a Manic Monday.  On a Saturday.  While there are some bloggers out there who only post about the perfect parts of their self absorbed lives and how wonderful they are because they can poop glitter, I'm here to tell you - they are lying.

This craptastic day started around 7 am with the first craptastic moment of the day.

Before I get to that, I would like to point out that I have been sick for three days. Sick, right down to my bones, and I suspect I had/have some strain of the flu or some other bug.  It's kicking my butt. No glitter or rainbows anywhere in sight.  Believe me, it didn't remotely resemble either.   I tasted some cottage cheese yesterday, and it tasted as if it was soured.  It was new, just purchased, not even close to the expiration date.  Tasted nasty.  DH ate it and said it tasted fine.

Great, so it's just MY taste buds.

I cooked up pork loin tonight.  I couldn't eat it.  It tasted like raw fish.  Nasty. DH said it tasted fine to him.

I've been struggling to swallow anything that's not in liquid form for 3 days.  This morning was the first time I've really even had an appetite.

On the upside, I think I maybe lost 10 starvation pounds.  Not really a good way to do it, but I'll take it.

So the first nastiness of the day, I discovered someone had hacked my debit card.  They better hope I never learn their identity, because I can tell you in no uncertain terms that not only did my bank get an earful, but so did the company that the transaction was pending to, and the tirade they were forced to endure is nothing compared to what I will force YOU to endure. You better hope I don't ever learn your identity. Ever.  I have six kids.  You don't touch my money.  It's for them, got that? For my kids. Only them. Touch it again, I'll bust your fingers with my non-rainbow farts and unglittery - well, you fill in the blank! 

The bank lady was "impressed" with how much research I had already gleaned for them, to help them pin down the culprit who dared to even attempt to touch my money - money that was returned to me thank you very much you thieving scurvy pirate!!  Other pre-cautions have been put into place, and believe you me, you'll rue the day if you ever ever ever ever EVER even THINK about touching ANYTHING that remotely belongs to me or my kids EVER again.  EVER. 

The day moves on.  The boys decide they are all bored with their toys, and a scuffle ensues.  I found myself envying my husband, who got to escape the confines of the house and snow by going on a hunt with his buddy.  Figuring they might be hungry, since it had been a few hours since their breakfast, I sat them down to pb&j, and turned on The Green Lantern for them.

I wanted a bath. I figured sandwiches and a movie would keep them occupied long enough for me to escape to a world of Calgon and a book.....but it was not so.  I heard bickering and yelling, so I hurried my bath, dried off, and rushed the living room.

My youngest son had ripped open two packets of hot chocolate mix and effectively created "mud" with it.  Smeared it everywhere.   Even on his baby sister.  My oldest two, the ones who should KNOW better, one of which is a teen, determined that there had not been enough peanut butter on their sandwiches.  So they had whipped out butter knives and decided to eat their "share" of peanut butter straight from the jar.  With butter knives.

Why didn't they just make another sandwich?! 

But, no, apparantly it's much more satisfying, and death defying? to eat it straight from the jar.  With a butter knife.

I shut off their movie and assigned them to random chores.  Dishes, laundry to put away, cleaning their rooms, and picking up their bathroom.  

At some point my oldest points out that there is a blue truck that she doesn't know in our driveway. I glance out the window, and I don't know the truck, either, but DH is out there with his buddy Ken, so I leave him to handle it.  After the truck leaves, DH comes in to "tell me about the earful" he just got.  It was an aquaintance, named T, whom we haven't seen in a few years.  He rumbles, "Well, moving up in the world, huh?  You built a garage? Must have come into some money."   DH mentioned something about our recent trip, and T grumbled, "I wish I had the money to take a trip. Must be nice."

Cue snarky ecard.

First of all, the garage was built a year ago.
Secondly, how on God's green earth is our money (the having of or the lack of) anyone else's business?  IT'S NOT.   Had he not pulled up my driveway, he wouldn't have even known we had built the garage, so why the snark?  Yes, I had posted pics of the garage during build on FB, but that was at the request of the contractor, who wanted his wife to copy the pics for his portfolio. Once they notified me that they had what they wanted, those photos were removed/hidden. 

Secondly, we worked our butts off to be able to take that trip!  I wasn't handed a "free trip" and no, I don't need to rationalize or explain it to anyone.  If I can work for it and earn the money for a trip I wanted, anyone can.  Suck it up, shut up, earn it.  

I'm over people's petty jealousy. It seems like if we have nothing, people are genuinely pleased that we don't have "more than them". As soon as we're able to do/improve/get something, it's automatically assumed we "didn't work for it, earn it, and we should be ashamed."  

Um, no. YOU should be ashamed, for allowing petty jealousy to cloud and shut out your abilities to be genuinely happy for other people when they achieve something in their life. What others do, have, or acquire isn't the problem, but rather your perception of why and how they have what they have is the problem. 

As if that wasn't enough to frustrate me to the point of screaming like a banshee, my computer virus protection expired.  Today.  I somehow failed to notice that important information, until Norton started flashing blaring on my screen, and I can't pull up any websites because suddenly 2 seconds after it expires I have like forty million viruses in my computer?! 

Ok, not really that many, more like 20, but to get even that many that fast....almost makes one think it's a conspiracy.   

No worries, it was an easy fix, albeit it didn't improve my disposition at all.  Just one more craptastic thing to go wrong today. That's all.

So this is why I say we don't all fart rainbows and poop glitter.  I cannot pretend that everything is OK and all sparkly all the time, because it's not.  Know what?  It's OK though, because tomorrow is another day, and today will be wrote off as a bad day.  An off day.  Not a normal day for us, but everyone has a non-rainbow, unglittery day at some point - no matter what they say.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Beach

I know there are several beaches around the world, some more exotic than others, and I believe for those of us whom have ever been to any beaches, we each have our favorite.

Mine is found in Alabama.  Gulf Shores Beaches to be exact.  It is not because it's exotic, it's not because it's the most beautiful beach to be found in any corner of this round earth.

No, it's because I have one memory from my childhood. A happy memory of my dad, and a joke about sharks bumping the legs.   Wearing my sister's pink bikini and feeling self conscious about it. Playing in the sand with siblings, splashing in the waters edge, wading out to a sandbar.

Also, it was the first beach I had ever seen.

I was nine years old, and my first breath taking view of any beach wasn't even a view of the open ocean like one might find on the Eastern shore, but of the Gulf of Mexico.  Still, to my 9 year old mind it was an expanse of ocean, far larger than I could have ever imagined. 

The day after Christmas, we took our children to Gulf Shores.  Even my husband had commented that we weren't driving that far South for a Holiday and leaving without visiting the beach, even if it was cold and we needed our jackets.

 My children thoroughly enjoyed combing the beach for shells, and there was a brief moment of excited babbling when they unearthed a crab claw.  They were thrilled.
Even the smallest of the Littles enjoyed her brief walk on the beach (until a wave crashed over her feet, soaking her pant legs).


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

North Pole Party

A few months ago, like back in October, while looking for pumpkin carving party ideas, I stumbled across this little gem of a blog titled Enjoying the Small Things.  I started reading it, and I was completely swept away into the magic of this woman's world, the superb photography (amazing what quality camera's and just the right angle can do now days), and I remember thinking, "No one really lives like this. Do they?"  It struck me odd that almost every photograph, every event, every precise moment captured in her blog looks like it leaped from the pages of a magazine.  You know the kind of magazines I'm talking about...the ones where the kids are "oh so perfectly clean" and not a speck of dust or clutter can be found - the ones where the living rooms and kitchens and dining rooms in the back ground of the photos don't look like they could possibly be lived in. 

Yea, that.

Regardless, I do enjoy her blog.  Kelle Hampton has some really neat ideas for "enjoying the small things" in life and with her children.  Some of those idea's I've tried to copy.

Like the Party at the North Pole she planned for her children and friends.  I was absolutely thrilled with this idea, and decided to re-create it this past Christmas.  It was a huge hit with the kids, and since we were spending Christmas in Alabama, my sister and I put the party together for the eleven cousins on Christmas Eve. 

The kids had a fantabulous time.

My sister made one comment in regards to the original bloggers party, she wished she had posted more of a tutorial regarding what she did to create the party environment. So that is what I am going to try to do, but the idea for the party did not originate with me.

Reindeer Food Bar
I loved how the reindeer food bar turned out!  My sister found these ice cream bowls with spoons at the Dollar Tree, packs of 2 for $1!  What a great deal!  It was perfect for our bread crumbs, oats, flying power, cocoa, and crushed chips. (we chose not to use raisins for the reindeer food.)  The little jars the kids filled are the small jelly canning jars (which I kept to be re-used next year.)  The blue table cloth also came from the Dollar Tree, and was actually part of a bigger table cloth that we cut down to fit the two smaller areas we need table cloths for.   The glitter and penquin center piece were found at Walmart.
The Table Setting

Again, the table cloth came from the Dollar Tree, as did the ribbon down the center of the table.  Snowman plates, napkins, placemats, and the penquin were found at Walmart. Over sized candy canes came from the Dollar General store up the road from my sister's house. The back side of the place mats had Christmas scenes for the kids to color.

Milk and Cookies

We had to make cookies to leave out for Santa anyway, so we served both chocolate chip and sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles.

The bottles of milk were my absolute favorite part!!  The green and red crazy straws were found at Walmart, and fit perfectly in the bottles.   The bottles!  I didn't think to "google" or look up how to make your own milk bottles for a party, but I did look on eBay and google where to buy milk bottles.  The prices were a little ridiculous, really.  I kept going back to Kelle's blog and just studied and studied her North Pole Milk, and I had this AHA moment....really, it was quite silly how long it took for that light bulb to click on. 

Folks, I give you Milk bottles, made from recycle Starbucks Frappaccino bottles!  How awesome is that?!
We picked up bottles of Frappacchino's the day before the party, and we will not discuss how many the 4 adults drank down, considering they were $5.99 per 4 pack and we had to have 9 bottles emptied and cleaned by the next day - and since my sister totally shot down my idea of just pouring them down the drain - we sucked those things down.  In a day.  Four adults, 9 frappaccinos....we were up late....
The labels peeled off real easy, and an SOS pad took care of the extra stickiness and even removed the date stamp.   Awesome.  



Over all, the party was a huge success, the kids opened their new pj's pre-party so they could wear them during.  They had fun mixing up their reindeer food, and then pouring it out for Santa's reindeer to eat.  They colored their pictures for Santa, which were placed in a circle around the plate of cookies and mug of milk.   They rushed off to bed right after,  too excited to sleep but knowing that if they didn't sleep "Santa wouldn't come". 

I really cannot wait for next year.  When we get to do it all again.

Hot Cocoa

We love hot chocolate around here.  Especially on snot freezing cold days, when the snow is up to your waist, and especially when you have cutie patootie cups to serve it in.

These are actually espresso cups, found at the Dollar Store of all places, and are exactly the right size for little hands!

 The matching tray is perfect for holding 6 of the cups!  No cup of cocoa is complete without lots of marshmellows!  I also dropped a hershey kiss into each cup, and the soft peppermint sticks, which melted into the cocoa and was delicious!

And it's not a complete set for snacks without the matching plates, which are the perfect size for a grilled cheese sandwich!

These were some thrilled kids! 

Happy New Year everyone!