Dec 30, 2016

Brooke's Birthday Celebration

Brooke's birthday is on December 24th.  Yes, she was born on Christmas Eve.
The story goes something like this.  The hubs and I sat down and discussed when we wanted to have a baby.  We both agreed we didn't want a baby born in December or January so we decided we'd shoot for February.  I'd place my birth control pills on top of the dresser and my neat freak husband would put them in the drawer.  Out of sight out of!  I was pregnant and her due date was December 18th.  But she held out for December 24th.  Christmas Eve!!!  Poor Tiffani!  Not only did she get a sister instead of the brother she wanted, she also had to wait 3 days to celebrate Christmas.

From the day Brooke was born, we made a promise that she would have a birthday party and her gifts would be wrapped in birthday paper.  I can honestly say we have held true to that promise.  I'm sure there were some years we over compensated with a couple of birthday parties.  One at Thanksgiving in Lake Charles, one at the babysitter and one party at home.  She certainly hasn't been shortchanged.

We typically celebrate her birthday on Christmas Eve with the meal of her choice.  She usually chooses gumbo but this year she chose spaghetti.   After cake (yellow butter cake mix and milk chocolate icing) and presents, we open Christmas presents.  After presents, we go to church.  :)  It is quite a full day.  This year she realized Brad was going to be working on Christmas Eve so she switched it to the Thursday before Christmas so he could be here to celebrate with her.  We all liked celebrating it on a different day than Christmas Eve so we may stick with that in the future.

I made sure we had Crackers.  We love going around the table reading our jokes or riddles to one another.  This year we had really fun prizes.


I totally cheated and used a topper I had for her a few years back.  She is a huge fan of Tinkerbell.

I bought two dozen roses, one white and one red to place on the table.  I think fresh flowers really dress up the table (for only $20) and I get to enjoy them for a week.

This year I decided to embrace the season and put together a hot chocolate bar.  There were four toppings to choose from miniature snickers, chocolate covered cherries, Bob's peppermints and chocolate sprinkles.


I also had miniature marshmallows and Reddi Whip.


The hot chocolate was delicious!!!  OMG!!!  It was the first time I had ever made it in the crockpot and it won't be the last.  I got the recipe from Mix & Match Mama.

This makes enough to serve a crowd!  Depending on how big your mugs are, depends on how much this yields.  You will use a gallon of milk for this recipe…so you should have plenty for a party!  This recipe is simple to divide as well, so you can make half as much if you’re only serving your family.

Shopping List
2 (14 oz) cans of sweetened condensed milk
2 (12 oz) bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 gallon of milk (I used 2%)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Marshmallows and candy canes to garnish, optional

For easy clean up, use a slow cooker liner.  
In your slow cooker, layer in your sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. Turn slow cooker to high and stir every 15 minutes for the first 30 minutes (this will help it melt faster).  Once your chocolate chips have melted, whisk in your milk and vanilla.  Cover and continue to cook on high as you serve this cocoa for the next 3 to 4 hours.  Continue to stir periodically.  Garnish with marshmallows and candy canes if you like.
That’s it!  Keep it cooking on high so that it stays warm as guests enjoy it.

Sweet P made sure her place setting had the cracker she wanted.  She is so funny!

After dinner we played Smart Ass (grandkids think it was Smart Ace) and Uno.  We had a lot of fun.

I hope you are slowing down and enjoying this time of the year even if you are working.  The hubs is on vacation this week so we have been running errands and taking care of odds-n-ends.

Do you have any special plans for New Year's Eve?  If the weather permits, we will be getting together to celebrate Ms. A's birthday (her birthday is New Year's Day) with fireworks and roasting marshmallows.  She wants to go to the shooting range on Sunday.  Should be a lot of fun!

Take care,



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