Flour, Sugar, Butter, and Pure Laughter

Last night my son’s weren’t too happy about the lack in after school snack upon their pick up from school. You see, my sons get out of school ready to eat their arm off because they are just so hungry. I usually grab something quick and this particular afternoon, I used some change to grab them each 2 munchkins from Dunkin Donuts. Wrong choice. Total meltdown over not wanting such a treat. I was in shock, figured they would have been excited to have a random small treat. Nope. They were upset, but using my Mom skills they finally accepted the treats and rode home with little issues. Upon arrival to our driveway the little one says “let’s make cookies”, I was all for this idea but uncertain what ingredients I had in my kitchen. Then it was realized, we can make sugar cookies. That’s when the plan unfolded.

Making Sugar Cookies

First step was to ensure neither boy had any homework or papers for me to sign in their backpacks. Next, Mama had to get that mess of a kitchen cleaned up just so we could make another mess of the kitchen. The boys played cheerfully on the Playstation 3 Demo of Minecraft. No fighting. I was in shock. I had the music on low and was washing dishes and setting up the bowls for our sugar cookie experience. I haven’t ever made sugar cookies with just my sons, and honestly I was shocked to find out that Aj actually wanted to join us. You see, Aj is now off medications. As of Monday, he has not had a mg of any medication, sadly he came down with a bug for the past few days, but today, he was back on track with no sickies. Aj was having his first real evening without medication and it was such a lovely evening to boot!

The boys had a blast measuring and mixing, K-man has helped in the kitchen quite often in years past so he knows his way around the kitchen but Aj hasn’t helped in the kitchen in many years, so this was fun to watch him learn how to measure things and to really have fun helping put sugar, butter and vanilla extract into his bowl. K-man had the job of whisking the flour and baking soda together, wrong kid for the job but hey he had a blast! Then, it happened, K-man started realizing how much of a cool mess he could make with flour and started tossing it around, hands flying, his face full of smiles and pure laughter. Aj grumbled a little because he didn’t want any on him but I assured Aj that when we bake, we make a mess and it’s FUN!

Sugar, Flour and Pure Laughter

What happened next I never could have imagined wouldn’t have created a throw down match between my sons, but … it didn’t. My youngest decided it would be cool to toss flour at his brother. OMG, I shuddered. I cringed. I watched careful, on guard ready to protect K-man from the normal wrath of a ticked off Aj when …. Aj started laughing! A full blown laughter fit. K-man was laughing, Aj was laughing and I too joined in. I was so happy in that moment, a moment I will forever remember. Could this be because he isn’t on medications anymore? Could it be that my ‘real son’ is shining through after so many years of being on various medications? I don’t care what it is, all I know is I am so happy to have witnessed and been part of this lovely evening with my sons.

Pure laughter. Nothing more, nothing less. Later that night, as I sung the boys to sleep and tucked them in, a tear fell down my face. I felt so much love and happiness, I felt at peace, for the first time in a long time and that made me realize that maybe, just maybe …. my sweet Aj may be better off without those high risk medications after all. Maybe. It was one day, and I will take it. Keeping Faith there are many more of these days to follow.

A Christmas Cookie Tradition with a Twist

In these times of prepared foods and mini-marts, it’s understandable that many folks forego baking and decorating Christmas cookies and settle for store-bought instead. It’s the patient home cook who bakes dozens of cookies, one sheet at a time, in a traditional radiant heat oven. And really, how many Santas, stars and trees can you slather with icing and spot with sprinkles before your eyes glaze over?

Rather than let the cookie cutters gather dust in the pantry this holiday season, try holding a Christmas cookie decorating contest. By injecting a little friendly competition into your cookie decorating process, you can create an activity that brings your entire family together or adds some merriment to your cookie party. And with advances in cooking technology — such as convection ovens — the home cook can bake multiple sheets of cookies, all at the same time, with the confidence that each cookie will be come out of the oven evenly browned.

The rules for our Christmas cookie decorating contest are simple and forgiving:

  1. Anyone of any age can participate.
  2.  Each competitor can decorate as many cookies as he or she likes.
  3. Competitors must decorate the cookie so that the finished product differs from the cookie cutter’s intended shape. In other words, a Santa-shaped cookie can’t be decorated as a Santa — the finished product must be something else, say, a boy in a canoe; a Christmas tree shape could become a colorful fish; a gingerbread man turned upside down, an insect’s face.
  4. Breaking off parts of the cookie to alter its shape is discouraged.
  5. This should be a fun activity. Good-natured ribbing or boasting is allowed.

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