35 In Life

Our Christmas & Salt Dough from my Inbox

We had a wonderful and very low-key Christmas at home this year and I have just a handful of pictures to share. We stayed put this Christmas, celebrating at home with our little family and joining Justin’s family late on Christmas Day to eat Christmas dinner and exchange gifts, which is always a big production in and of itself: lots of kids + lots of adults + lots of presents. Thankfully chillier weather {even a few snow flakes!} came inΒ  before Christmas allowing us to keep a fire going in the fireplace almost every day for a week. The several days pre-Christmas were spent in the kitchen making & baking, which is always fun and so very Christmas-y to me! We’ve watched lots of movies, completed puzzles {usually missing one piece because a rover lives here}, we’ve cleaned up and thrown out, making room for new stuff & attempting to start off 2011 on the right foot. The Christmas decorations came down early and like I assumed, wrapping every branch of the tree in lights makes for a very well-lit tree but will make you question your sanity when taking down.Β  And… I’m still giving myself pep talks that it’s ok that Christmas isΒ  already down! The one decoration that will remain for at least another month or two is our collection of Christmas cards… I love them and each year it usually takes lots of persuasion from Justin before they come down, in his defense, I think it was almost March last year before they came down!

The children loved all of their gifts and when asked last night what their favorite was this is what they each said:
Morgan: pocket knife & bird feeder {she said she couldn’t pick one}
Paige: tool bag
Rover: choo-choo’s {We bought the Walmart wooden trains & tracks and he had a few Thomas trains tucked in his stocking! And the table is being borrowed from a friend… score!}

While our Christmas was cozy and wonderful at home, I will admit it’s always hard to be so far away from my side of the family at Christmas time! We are hoping to see them soon to celebrate together!









I must say it’s been such a treat to see the pictures you all have shared of your own salt-dough ornaments and hearing the stories that go along with! Here are a few pictures from blogland & my inbox…

My friend Katie {<– where Santa bought the completely recycled float plane airplane!} her daughters & nieces {in Honey Bee Tees :)} making cinnamon salt-dough ornaments…



I love that Mr. & Mrs. Loerke got in on the action… even with FTOW-inspired ornaments {an airstream, camera, & duct tape to keep Rover’s clothes on!}

group 52

I’d have to say that Dawn’s story was probably the most touching & ambitious when she took on salt-dough ornaments with 6 little ones {her daughter, granddaughter, & nieces} and while the ornaments baked she loaded up the girls to see a life-size nativity scene and explained to them the very reason we celebrate Christmas!!



And Hilary sent me these… all “jazzed” up {no pun intended} with glitter & shimmer!!


And sweet little Chase looks like he had fun in the kitchen with his mommy…


And the same goes for Ashley & her girls…

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2010 Dec 166

And last but not least… Tara and her little ones with their colorful Christmas trees…

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Thanks to all of you who took time to send in pictures!

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  • MJ
    December 30, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Looks like you and all of your cookie friends had a wonderful Christmas!! I have the recipe stored away to save and bake with my own little ones one day.

  • Nelle
    December 30, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I made the cinnamon honey butter for friends and family and it was a HUGE hit on Christmas morning! Thanks so much Darby and Happy New Year! I love your Christmas card display. I too love to keep our cards out for days and days. Looks like you all had a wonderful morning. Blessings to you all!!!

  • Amy
    December 30, 2010 at 10:24 am

    So sweet Darby! I am glad you all had such a wonderful Christmas. Happy 2011 to all of you!

  • Melissa (melissab74)
    December 30, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Looks like a wonderful Christmas! I’m all about low-key and not rushing here and there. My mom comes and spends the night with us on Christmas Eve, then Tracy’s parents come over for lunch on Christmas Day….one of the benefits of both of us being only children! We do go over to Tracy’s grandmother’s house on Christmas night, but for the most part, we are HOME on Christmas. Happy New Year!

  • Sarah
    December 30, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I took our tree down on Moday. Love Christmas. Love when it’s over. Bring on 2011 I’m ready for you and all you hold. Happy New Year to your beautiful family:)

  • Brooke G
    December 30, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Looks like a wonderful Holiday! I love the marshmellow antlers that Rover was working on. And I am so glad we aren’t the only house who ALWAYS has missing puzzle pieces – grr!
    Happy New Year πŸ˜€

  • erika
    December 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    my tray of heart shaped salt dough ornaments didn’t make the cut? πŸ™
    i thought you loved me!??

  • Kate from Party Resources
    December 30, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I love it – especially the reindeer with the marshamellows! Happy New Year!

  • Mandy
    December 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    So sweet. Glad y’all had a good Christmas. We didn’t get around to making salt dough ornaments so I thought I might make stars with cinnamon and hang them like a garland above my sink, on ribbon for the winter months or above the fireplace? I even considered wiring them to a wreath made of some sort and hanging on a cabinet? Will send pictures your way when we get it done! Happy New Year!

  • Snekcip
    December 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Well this just made my year complete! We made the FTOW blog! Thank you again for sharing your family and all your wonderful ideas with us! It has truly been a pleasure and I can’t wait to see what FTOW has in store for us in 2011!!

    PS That reindeer w/the marshmellows was downright hilarious!!

  • Katie
    December 30, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I’m sure it is so nice to see others’ take on your creativity. Looks like y’all had a Merry Christmas! Happy new year!

  • Laurie B
    December 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Hey Darby,

    Can you remind me again where you got that big bulletin board that you have hanging in your hallway? Teacher supply store?



  • Debbie
    December 30, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    love the reindeer with marshmallows

  • Ashley
    December 30, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    I’m totally with you on the Christmas cards! They’re such a fun punch of color to our home! πŸ™‚
    And yes, where was your bulletin board from again?

  • alli
    December 30, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    LOVE Rovers marshmellow pictures. adorable.
    have a happy new year!

  • Today's Letters
    December 30, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    a pocket knife and tool bag? be still my heart! bonus points for raising girls who will know the difference between a flat head and a phillips.

  • Taylor@WiseFamilyLiving
    December 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    My aunt takes her tree down Christmas Day before she and her daughter travel to our house to spend the night. It is on the curb Christmas Day so they don’t have to do it all three days later when they return home. Great bulletin board full of Christmas cards…

  • Michelle
    December 30, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I’m glad you all had a great Christmas at home! I love all the salk ornament pictures! Can we get this recipe for the sea salt caramels?? PLEASE!!

  • Ashley
    December 30, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Looks like yall had a great Christmas! What a nice surprise to see our salt dough ornaments!;) We had so many left over too, they are all wrapped up and will be ready to hang next year! Thanks again…and Happy New Year!

  • Lynn Campbell
    December 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Rudolph the marshmallow nose reindeer – verrrry interesting!! : ) I just love all the ornaments you shared from other readers. Next year I am going to try making some. Just couldn’t fit it in this year.

    Happy New Year friends!
    P.S. Could you believe – snow flurries in Dothan for Christmas?? What a year it has been!

  • heather
    December 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Darby, Thanks for your great christmas ideas. My kids loved the salt ornaments and making the cocoa for gifts! Happy New Year!

  • annek
    December 30, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    All the ornaments look great… they’re on my list for next year at storytime……
    I am one of those people that keep the cards and the tree up…not until March though…just a couple more weeks. I hate to see them go!

  • Barb Chrisman
    December 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I LOVE reading your blog :0)
    And I am with Michelle … could we get the carmel recipe ???? They look wonderful :0)
    Happy, Happy New Year !!!!

  • Sasha
    December 30, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Girl…really? Posting the pic without the recipe for those super yummy looking caramels…my mouth is watering. I love caramels and those look perfect and the sea salt part is very intriguing.

    Please share when you get a chance. πŸ™‚

    Happy New Year!

  • Nancy McPherson
    December 30, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Hi! Just wanted to thanks for the inspiration … made the cookie and whip cream cake – lovely! My kids and I made the butter and delivered to all of our neighbors who were truly touched! We enjoyed our last little jar tonight at dinner and I could just take a bath in that yummy stuff!!!

  • HannahJ
    December 30, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    That float plane that Santa brought looks fabulous! and the caramels look too delicious! How cool that so many people have been inspired by your posts- I love to see so many people working in the kitchen with little ones-wonderfully inspiring as usual!

  • taraf
    December 30, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Merrrrry Christmas and Happy New Year! I enjoyed making the honey butter as gifts and my children made the salt dough ornaments as gifts this year! Thank you so much for sharing. Rover’s little reindeer reminds us of how we find the joy in everything this time of year. The caramels look killer….please share…please.

  • rindy
    December 31, 2010 at 3:04 am

    Nice holiday pix, I would like to know what kind of hardwood floor you have. I’m looking for new floors and like yours in these pixs. Too bad you couldn’t come to S.Illinois for Christmas, we had a very pretty snow, the kids would of loved it.

  • Michelle V.
    December 31, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Christmas card idea!!!!!!
    A friend of mine did this and I am going to try it this year. Her family would take a card a week or every few days and pray every night for that family. She said it was such a neat way for her family to learn to pray for others specifically. We are going to give it a whirl!!!
    ***This is my first time commenting on here, I think, and I love when you have a new post. You, me and my coffee!!! And WAR EAGLE!!! Headed to Glendale next Friday!!!****

  • Erin
    December 31, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Darby! The picture that Dawn sent with the little girl visiting Baby Jesus made tears well up in my eyes. That is the sweetest, most wonderful picture. Wow!

    I recently heard the idea to keep Christmas cards and pray for a different family throughout the year. Maybe you can take them down (for Justin’s sake) and put them in a special basket next to your Bible and choose one each day or two to commit to praying for. That’s what I’m doing because I LOVE my cards as well!

  • Jennifer
    December 31, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful Christmas! I’ve taken down decorations as well (although I’ve left up my wreath; it’s a good punch of color!) Love all of the salt dough ornaments; I had a “sick” December, so that will be on the docket for next year!
    Have a Blessed New Year Darby!

  • Marianne
    December 31, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Love Rover and that reindeer. Adorable! Happy New Year Darby! Wishing you nothing but the best in 2011!

  • Nicole
    December 31, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    What a great tradition to start by making homemade ornaments. When I start my family this will definently be a part of our Christmas. Thank you for all the great posts throughout the year. I really enjoy your blog. I wish you a happy and blessed New Year!

  • kristen
    January 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Darby- I love your site!! I haven’t commented until now but I love taking a peek into your life and seeing all of the wonderful things that you do with your kiddos. The recipes are super yummy too- I have tired so many that have been added to our list of favorites πŸ™‚

    Can you tell me where you got your cork board? I absolutely LOVE it and have been scouring the internet to find one similar since seeing it. I would love to hang one in our kitchen so that I can showcase some of my sons art (when he gets a bit older) and to hang cards, etc on.

    Thanks so much for the honesty and the precious glimpse of what really matters. Happy New Year!

  • domain
    October 17, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Now I am going away to do my breakfast, when having my
    breakfast coming again to read further news.