In October, I agreed to be the Party Mom for Mack's 4th grade class. How ridiculous is that? That is so far from the way I think anymore, it's not even funny, which is probably a lot of the reason I left the details of this party till the very last minute. There are six 4th grade classes, each with their own party mom, and at this school, they form a Party Team and make all the parties for the grade level totally identical. We have a lead Party Mom, but I'm not sure which one she is, who called a meeting early in November to get ideas for the Christmas party. I missed that meeting. I received email after email with details and suggestions, some of which seemed way too much for me to handle, so I just volunteered to make the treat for all the classes. They had decided on a snowman theme, so I remembered a cute Melted Snowman cookie that last year's Party Mom used in June's class, and thought I could just re-create that. Sugar cookies are my thing. I can make them in my sleep. So I knew that mass producing snowmen cookies would be much easier than planning a game or a craft. I wasn't intimidated at all by 132 cookies.
And then yesterday I started making them...
It wasn't difficult. It just took A LOT longer than I expected.
This is the sugar cookie recipe I have used since the Scout Master and I got married. It is the BEST ever.
I made four batches and stopped counting cookies after I got to 100 because there were clearly more than enough.
I frosted them with royal icing...my super favorite thing on the planet for decorating sugar cookies. It's just egg whites and powdered sugar and it sets SO fast. This was the fun part for me...because as it turns out, I'm much better at mass production than I am at the precision work.
I frosted 8 cookies at a time, and let them sit on a wire rack while I partially melted large marshmallows to look like snowman heads.
It was a little tricky to get just the right number of marshmallows and just the right time. If you leave them too long in the microwave they double in size and are way too big to be proportionate to the rest of the cookie body. And they're too melty to pick up. (Don't forget to spray the plate with cooking spray because they definitely are sticky!)
I attached the melty marshmallows to the still sticky icing and then threw on three mini chocolate chips to look like buttons that had randomly melted off.
After the icing was completely set (a couple of hours) I enlisted the help of some daughters to draw faces and pipe scarves on them. (I did a batch or two BEFORE I figured out that the chocolate chips go on so much easier while the icing is still wet.)
I kept repeating all of that stuff up there until it was time to make dinner. Then I started again until it was time to leave for Spell Girl's bass recital. And then I started again after all the kids went to bed. It was a long and tedious night. By midnight, this entire table was covered with snowmen. And by 12:30, I could no longer think, or see, or detail anymore little melty snowmen, so I opted for sleep.
I was nervous this morning when I woke up, and I fully expected to have to RUSH to finish all the details I had left last night. Before I even walked into the kitchen at 6:00am, I said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to make up whatever difference there was left. I said, "Here's what I have... these messy-looking cookies, these good intentions, and this desire for my son to remember that his mom was involved in his 4th grade life. Please make it enough." When I finally mustered up enough courage to get off my knees and venture into the kitchen, I saw these adorable little faces. It was like a fleet of little snowmen waiting to greet me and get started with the day. They were so much cuter than when I left them the night before.
I divided them up into six trays, one for each 4th grade class.
And then I stacked the trays into my favorite dessert carrier.
And by 7:00am, my little fleet was ready to go to the elementary school and have a Christmas party!
It's such a small thing to be grateful for, but my little snowman fleet made me so happy this morning. I needed extra help today. I needed to know when to stop, what was good enough, and how to find joy in the things that mattered. The cookies were important, but there were other more important things. I'm grateful that even though the cookies didn't change overnight, my perspective did. I'm grateful that it felt like I had extra hours in my day today. And I'm grateful that even without the Diet DP that I desperately wanted, I still had plenty of energy to pull off a party for 17 fourth graders. It was a good day.