Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our 3rd Annual Cookie Swap - 2011

The draft for this post was originally started over a week ago...I am finally forgoing the somewhat perfection of a recap and going with it for the simple fact that I have to wake up to get on an airplane in less than 3 1/2 hours, and even spending this much time on it is ridiculous at this point (well, at least that's what dear hubby who just crawled into bed said).
Though I have literally scheduled "down time" in our family's weekly schedule for the past several weeks, things have been picking up speed around here lately...hence the lack of posts. I do have a lot to share and hope that over the next several weeks to catch up. But in the meantime, enjoy this holiday season with friends and family. ;)

This past weekend we hosted our Sunday School class for our 3rd Annual Cookie Swap/potluck. My cookie choice this year: Gingerbread. Super cute and Super Yum....and Super time-intensive. Quite possibly the last time I do these for a cookie swap..we'll see. After 3 evenings and 1 morning of working on these sweet little men for a number of hours, I placed them in their decorative packaging and happily moved on to other notions. I am quite excited to share this delicious recipe with you though. It is being added to my personal cookbook of cookie favorites. :)

In the past, I failed miserably at my gingerbread cookie attempt. The cookies were tasteless and too hard. This year, I did my research and found the perfect recipe for what I was going for. I will share it soon!

Pumpkin Bread and Strawberry Loaf loaded up in a basket to share with our Sunday School friends.

We are never short on food when this group gets together...
(this picture was taken minus 4-5 dishes.)

Several of the kids made their own Reindeer Cookies; such a simple and fun Christmas treat that kids can make themselves! (recipe will be shared soon!)

Cookies galore...We had a variety that included Andes Mint Cookies, Gingerbread, Sugar cookies, Chocolate Covered Ritz with Peanut Butter, Russian Tea Cakes, Peppermint Melt-aways, Fudge, Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Covered Grahams, Peanut Butter Oatmeal Butterscotch...the cookie table is always overflowing!

The girls...

...and the handsome guys

And this was the best attempt of a group shot of (most) of the kids. Cooper was long-gone passed out by this point in the evening. ;)

As tradition goes, I took pictures of each of the couples in front of the tree (I was sad that I did miss getting a few people in the end, but I think 12 of the 14 couples is pretty good considering the chaotic and busy evening.)

I am not going to post each and every one of the couple's shots up here this year, but I am going to post my favorite couple's shot of the evening...Ryan and Lindy. Hilarious. They know how to shake the formal pictures up a bit. Love these guys so much. Lindy is expecting their first baby in March..yeah!..so excited for them!

It seems like more time has passed since our original Cookie Swap in 2009. Here's a look at 2010 (at least it didn't take me a whole 2 months to get this one posted! ha!) Back then, we still felt so new to this area and were fairly new to our Sunday School Class. We were soooo hoping to make some more good friends here in Minnesota. The cool thing is that the original five have made it to the cookie swap each year since that first year. And now, look at how the fellowship has grown!! Clay and I feel so thankful and so blessed to have the amazing friends that we do.

Simple facts about 2011 Cookie Swap:

One thousand one hundred seventy-six cookies
14 couples
8 kids (I think)
12 different types of cookies
7 hours of fun from start to finish
3 nights in the kitchen prior to the party working on my little gingerbread men...and the morning of
1 forgotten dish to return to owner
and a LOT of laughter and good memories made.

Thanks again to each of you for coming out! The cookies and appetizers were absolutely delicious. Looking forward to seeing the cookie choices next year...and in capturing ALL of you next to the Christmas tree for our "couple pictures!" :) Thank you for being such amazing friends and such a blessing to our family. We love each of you.


valerie said...

What fun!!!! I am curious about your friends -- are most of them originally from the St. Paul/Minneapolis area? Are many (or any) of them "transplants" like you & Clay?

carrie said...

Most are from the area but there are a couple of transplants!!

Susie Wuollett said...

I love that pic of Ryan and Lindy :-) Thanks for hosting the cookie swap. Your ginger bread cookies were amazing, but don't spend three days making cookies next year!

Also...Wow! note to self: that puffy vest i like to wear indeed is quite puffy and adds 30lbs in photos! LOL...