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December 28, 2009

sledding siblings

Max Vivi Sledding

What a gorgeous photo of Max taking Vivienne down the hill on the toboggan thanks Paga! What a wonderful big brother he is, he was so focused and in control of the sled making sure they both were safe — meanwhile miss Vivienne squealed with delight and enjoyed every second of the thrill ride.

I wish I had time to post more...

December 27, 2009

snow bunny

Vivisledding

I hope to have time to format and upload more photos from our Christmas in Tahoe trip as there are some cute ones. The trip was fantastic. Snow is so fun and Miss Vivienne really enjoyed rolling in it and mostly she liked to eat it!

December 22, 2009

chocolate holiday cookies

For the holiday coming next — yes that'll be twenty ten, I'd like to make these two gorgeous chocolate cookie recipes found on the Thimble blog, so yummy:
Saltyshortbread
Salty Chocolate Shortbread
adapted from Essence of Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder1 teaspoon sea salt (I used coarse kosher salt and this seemed to work well also)12 tablespoons butter, room temperature1/2 cup granulated sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix together the flour and cocoa powder in a bowl and set aside.
In another bowl beat the butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes until light colored and fluffy. Add in the vanilla.
Slowly add half of the flour-chocolate mixture and mix on low speed. Add the rest of the flour and cocoa and mix until just combined. Stir in the salt. The batter should form a kind of doughy ball. If needed, at this point you can refrigerate the dough for up to a week, but no refrigeration is required.
Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters or a knife, cut the dough into whatever shape you want. I used a small glass to make circles. Sprinkle a few grains of coarse sea salt on top of the cookies for extra salty deliciousness.
Place the cut-out cookies onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes, rotating halfway. They should be slightly firm but not hard when done. Let cool on wire racks.
You can store these in an airtight container for up a week. They are nice warm and soft straight from the oven, but also develop a deeper
flavour and texture over a few days.

Snowcaps-2
Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps
from Martha Stewart

1/2 cup all-purpose flour1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder4 teaspoons instant espresso1 teaspoon baking powder1/8 teaspoon salt4 tablespoons unsalted butter2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar1 large egg4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled1 tablespoon milkConfectioners’ sugar, for coating
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, espresso, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well combined; mix in cooled chocolate. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat in milk until just combined. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Pour confectioners’ sugar (about 1/2 cup) into a medium bowl; working in batches, roll balls in sugar two times, letting them sit in sugar between coatings.
Place on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies have spread and coating is cracked, 12 to 14 minutes; cookies will still be soft to the touch. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
Makes 18

December 18, 2009

more follies

Fortunemax1
Folliescookies1
Fortunemax2
Fortunemax Steve
Fortunemax Bow

a few more images that include fortune cookie Maximillian taken by other parents. I love the bow perspective on the costume and that first one with the big happy smile while Zoe tries to look inside.

December 17, 2009

fortune follies

Fortune Max
Fortune Maxfriends
Max's school puts on an elaborate "follies" show every holiday season and performs it on stage at Herbst Theater. All the songs and short skits are written by the eight graders. Costumes are handmade by parents, while the staff helps pull together all the needed props.The dramatic arts teacher choreographs the dances and the music teacher performs all the music live. The entire performance is amazing, truly a feat and it's wildly entertaining and touchingly sweet too. I laughed, I cried, I gasped in amazement. We all were so impressed! Max performed in the TK cookie song along with his classmates. Each child was a unique cookie. As you can see, Max was a foam fortune cookie. His fortune said "Merry Christmas" thought up and hand written by him. His cookie was folded, cut and spray painted by mommy and daddy in the wee hours of the nights leading up to the follie festivities.
Cookiesleft
Cookiesright
I wish I could remember the darling lyrics, or get Max to recite them...but alas. All I can remember is "if you lookie lookie lookie you can find a little cookie like me."

December 16, 2009

artist in the house

Max Buggypainting
Max Butteryflydrawing
Max Selfportraitpencil

These are a few of Max's art pieces that are hanging in and around his classroom.

December 12, 2009

max wants more presents

Max Menorah
Dreidle-1
Max built a beautiful menorah from crayola model magic (his new favorite sculpting medium). The finished piece just barely balances and a few of the candle holding tips didn't dry together and later fell off. It's a bit of a work in progress. However, I was really impressed with his vision, dedication and intense need to complete this project. It took him a few hours to get through it and there were some tears in the beginning. He was struggling with what he envisioned and how the clay was not working in his hands. Right about now you might be wondering if we are Jewish? Nope closer to WASP but without the powerfully elite background and religious upbringing. Max's school has been teaching the students about the holiday of light and Max has been really interested. He even played dreidel and of course wants to win some chocolate "gelt" money. On the way home from school he said, "mommy did you know that during Hanukkah they get eight presents. Do we get eight presents at Christmas?"

December 10, 2009

green ribbon winner

Green Ribbon

Max has been taking lessons at La Petite Baleen and loving it. His teacher Rachel has got it going on and knows just what to do to keep him trying. Max has been doing really well and progressing quickly. He still complains a bit before we get there and asks when we can play hookie. He also likes me to tell Rachel that he feels nervous. Once we get those rituals out of the way he's in the water paddling and doing his balloon up faces and giving me thumbs up while I watch. This day he got his green ribbon! I'm a proud mama. We all can't wait to go back to the Melia in Mexico and swim to the pool's center island and then get a yabba dabba do from the bar.

December 4, 2009

tiny teeth cleaning

Vivibrushesmax
Max Dentistwaiting

Vivienne and Maximillian had a great time at the dentist. Leave it to these two kids to enjoy the journey — well we'll give some serious credit to this wonderful pediatric dentist office too! They really know how to make the kids comfortable. They allow the kids to touch everything which makes it fun for them to experience the water pick, tasty flavored gloves and "mr sucky" hose. Vivienne was happy with all the Hello Kitty gear. She calls Hello Kitty "jee-eyesh-boo boo" even if you get her to say the "hello" part she'll just add it on "hello jee-eyesh boo boo". It's so funny. We have no idea how that translation works but it's consistent each and every time. Both kids got a thumbs up on good oral hygene. Max has a couple of watch spots so we need to keep up the brushing. He also has a wobbly center bottom right tooth! It's been tightening up so we don't think it will fall out too soon. He's growing up too fast!

Vivi Dentistmirror
Vivi Hellokittymirror
Vivi Teethcleaning1