The night my car imploded, we were returning home from a rare night out over at a friend’s house.  We (4 adults and 6 children) had dinner, we played Wrestle (because who doesn’t), we talked cell phone coverage (because who doesn’t), and we decorated cookies.

Should you ever find yourself outnumbered by children, I highly recommend pulling out a container of plain sugar cookies and 3 bowls of icing, sprinkles, and marshmallows and yelling “Get after it!”  Pure genius. Best evening-with-company activity ever.  Children: happy while destroying while decorating while eating.  Parents: talking while supervising while eating.  Brilliant.

Even better genius if you use Shanda’s recipe.  I actually stopped mid-cookie, mouth-full to ask, “Um… what kind of sugar cookie is this?”  They are unbelievable. Seriously.

Shanda’s Frosting Cookies

Cream 1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg.

Add 2 Tablespoons of milk, 1 Tablespoon of orange rind, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 cups of flour.

Chill.  Roll out.  Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes.

It’s the orange rind.  It will change your world, my hand to heaven.

We’ve started a new tradition here in the Mulder household.  Once a week, I make dinner, feed the kids, we play with the kids, we put the kids in bed, and then Curt and I eat AFTER.  Like, at 8:30pm.  Alone.  It’s our at-home date night.  We were finding, like everyone else with jobs and kids and commutes and chores, that we were really tired at the end of the day and sometimes could barely work in 5 minutes of actual non-kid or household-related conversation.  We do have babysitters out here, and we use them… but it’s not something we do every week. This gives us a *free* night at home.  No one stealing my pop, no food flying off the high chair, no convincing anyone to eat 2 more bites.  Just adults.  It’s pretty rad.

Do you have a standing weekly or monthly date night pact?

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About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

10 responses to “

  • shanda

    It was a fun night for sure (aside from the car thing). Thanks for coming lady! You are welcome here to decorate cookies anytime. I love your date idea. We’ve already decided to do that once the grill is back in action. We have us some sweet muddy bravo steaks in our freezer. Also, we are going to begin doing a Bible Study together once a week. It is a follow-up from our new small group thing at church. And we are kissing more often.

    Also, the orange rind isn’t fresh: it’s dried. From the spice aisle at Meijer. Or wherever you go.

  • Cathy

    We do a date night, not often though. We go to eat dinner around 9-10 p.m. and then go to Wal Mart and walk around to wear off what we’ve eaten so we’re not going to bed on a full stomach. But, it’s a fun night.

  • Amy L

    We made a pact to have regular date nights once the adults were out numbered. The goal is to have date night once a month and always involving food ’cause then I don’t have to cook or clean! There may be a month when we miss but not too often.

  • Marcia Mulder

    Love your date night idea. Might even work for 58 year-olds. Especially love the family picture. Can you email me that pic?

  • mc

    Look at that Gus! He’s getting so big!
    I also love your *free* date night idea! In fact, I’m totally going to start doing that! Maybe twice a week, even. Lately I’ve been having this dilemma because Harper eats before us and then is exhausted, so does Brian put her to bed while I finish making our dinner, or do we keep her up until we’re finished, all the while, chasing her around with mouths full? She’s been getting good at looking at books in her high chair while we eat, though.

  • Kim Aguilar

    Love the late dinner idea. We’ll have to give that a go. We really committed to each other to have weekly date nights when we got married, and for the most part, we’ve been pretty successful at that. Has a lot to do with the fact that for about 2 years of the 5.5 we’ve been married, we’ve had relatives living with us, so we haven’t had to pay a sitter (around here they charge $5 an hour!) very often. Still, our standard date is the dollar theater, that way we can afford the sitter when we leave. It’s hard to date on the cheap!

  • Kelly B

    At home date night. Brilliant. Love it.

  • beckyswann

    That sounds like a good plan and those cookies sound yummy too, We have a hard time being very routine about anything except naptime and bedtime around here, but every once in awhile we do the same thing and eat after e goes to bed and it is nice!

  • esteph

    absolutely! we do exactly that…but perhaps twice a week. we get little Ike fed and in bed, and then sit down to a dinner just the two of us. so nice.

  • Rebecca

    We do! Every Sunday night! We eat the same thing every week too. I look forward to it so much. We make it a special night for the kids too. It is their movie night, with a fun dinner on fun plates and popcorn. Sunday nights are highly anticipated in our house by every member of our family. But only for the fun, certainly not because it also marks the end of the weekend. But I think we have figured out a great way to bring it to a close.

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