2016 December Advent, Day 7 – Mint Candies and Family Bonding

I love December because I seem to spend more time with my children in the kitchen. And now that they are bigger. I get to watch while they are cooking, cutting, dicing or icing. 

Last year we came across this AWESOME mint candy recipe online at  http://tatertotsandjello.com/2014/12/happy-holidays-cream-cheese-mints.html

Here is a exact copy of the recipe from the tatertotsandjello.com website…. But as you can see by my photo, I didn’t break out my icing tips. I just used a ziplock bag and clipped the corner. 

img_20161207_152811881Ingredients:

  • 1 (8oz) brick of cream cheese; room temperature
  • 2 tbsp butter; room temperature
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 4 1/2 – 5 cups powdered sugar
  • food coloring

 

Directions:

  1. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. (Do as I say, not as I did… my bad.) Set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, combine cream cheese and butter. Once well combined, add in peppermint extract.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until thick. The mixture should be stiff enough to hold a peak and not wilt when the mixer is off. This is normally in the 4 1/2 to 5 cups of powdered sugar range.
  4. Add food coloring to cream cheese mixture until desired color is reached. If doing multiple colors, divide cream cheese and then dye. (My mints required 1 drop of red and 3 drops of green.)
  5. Put cream cheese mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium star tip and drop nickel sized amounts on lined baking sheet. (To make the “kiss” shape, hold tip 1/2-inch above the baking sheet, squeeze bag until circumference is about that of a nickel, and then pull up quickly.)
  6. Place tray in freezer for 2 hours to allow the mints to firm up. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Luke 1:37 -For nothing is impossible with God.

2016 December Advent, Day 6 – Hot Cocoa

 

December 6th

Nothing shows me more of the Christmas season than hot cocoa, snuggling on the couch, spending time with the ones that I love while worshiping Jesus for his birthday.  Every year, we make several “big” batches of homemade hot cocoa mix to use during the cold weather. 

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine milk powder, sugar, cocoa powder, and creamer. Stir till thoroughly combined.
  2. Store cocoa mixture in an airtight container. Makes about 15 cups mix (about 45 servings)

To serve, place 1/3 cup cocoa mixture in a coffee cup or mug, and add 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir until dissolve. 

Top with whipped cream, chocolate syrup – you can even seep the boiling water with peppermint leaves before mixing with cocoa mix to make a peppermint flavored cocoa. 

Luke 1:33 -And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

2016 December Advent, Day 5 – 4 gift Christmas

December 5th

We have started a tradition in our house… Christmas became so commercialized. And we fell into that habit years ago when Shelby and Griffen were little. Once we started adding kid after kid into the household, it began to look like monster of paper and toys vomited all over the floor and took over on Christmas morning.  Larry and I started looking into what others did, especially larger families. 

We found a website that talked all about worshiping Jesus more and focusing less on the commercial. What a great feeling it has been too! (http://www.hpumc.org/about-us/stories/what-your-kids-need-you-to-do-this-christmas/)

So, each child in our home receives 4 gifts – a WANT, a NEED,  a WEAR and a READ. 

We made some tags to print up. (2 sets per sheet)

Click the button to download a PDF. 

wantneedwearread-tags

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gift #1: SOMETHING THEY WANT
Bible Verse: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

Gift #2: SOMETHING THEY NEED
Bible Verse: And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Gift #3: SOMETHING TO WEAR
Bible Verse: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12

Gift #4: SOMETHING TO READ
Bible Verse: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

Luke 1:32 -He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,

2016 December Advent, Day 4 – Making an Advent Calendar

 

December 4th

There are so many things that are important to me – God, my family, my friends, my health, my happiness.

Here are some FRUGAL ways to create your own advent calendar for the holidays.

For about $40 you can purchase one from a store like Costco or Target that you can use over and over and over again. We bought one about 10 years ago at Costco and it lasted until our move, 4 years later. One of the doors is off and I have to figure out a way to fix it.So we are doing the next best thing. We are making our own today.
T0 make your own Advent calendar, you are going to need the following:

  • about 18 sheets of scrapbook paper (I used 16 sheets of Christmas printed cardstock and 4 sheets of plain Bazzil that matched)
  • adhesive
  • cutter or scissors
  • To hang this you will need clothes pins, string and some of those 3M Command hooks that you can remove after the season is over.

I purchased a set of paper from my local craft store. It is a pack of 54 sheets of cardstock 12×12 patterned paper. I cut my patterned paper with my paper cutter into strips – 6 – 6×12, 22-4×12, 4 3×12 and 16 2×12 (these numbers can differ for your needs and you may have left over paper). I then glued a smaller strip on a larger one (see the photo)

Once you are done with the gluing on the patterned paper, it is time to fold. You are making a folded “card”. I actually made 2 folds on each card to have a closure. I used my score pal to score the cards, you do not need to use anything. I clipped together the cards, folded with clothes pins.

Once you have gotten each of the 24 cards folded,  you will need to cut out and glue numbers to the front of them. I am using my Cricut, but you can use rubber stamps or foam stamps and paint. I switched up the size of the font on them.

Next, you will want to add inside of them a daily activity or scripture. We have added BOTH. I used WackyTac to add removable notes so that I can use my advent next year as well.

 

Luke 1:31 -You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.

2016 December Advent, Day 3 – Coloring Nativities

We have an annual tradition in our family to do an activity every day of December for advent.

img_20161203_134119362_hdrDecember 3rd

We love having settled down time in the afternoon. Many times the kids will refer to it as “brain resting”. Coloring is a favorite in our household. We have boxes and boxes of colored pencils and crayons. 

I was just reading an article online at https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/11/3-reasons-adult-coloring-can-actually-relax-brain/ that talks about how coloring relaxes our brains. 

I love that Oriental Trading Company has FREE Christmas coloring pages online to download. Click this link to visit their site at http://www.freefunchristmas.com/christmas-coloring-pages/

Every year, we take at least one day in December to sit and color Nativities to hang on our fridge. 

Luke 1:30 -But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.

2016 December Advent, Day 2 – family game night

We have an annual tradition in our family to do an activity every day of December for advent.

img_20161202_201848003December 2nd

 

Take time out to spend it as a family. Turn off the TV and your cell phone. Pick a game that you all can play together and play Christmas Carols.

Our choice tonight is “Disney, I Found It!” Later, the bigger kids will be playing another round of Munchkin or Ticket to ride. 

We make it a point to have family game night every week throughout the year. It allows us to regroup as a family.  

Luke 1:28 – The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

2016 December Advent, Day 1 – Try a new baking recipe today

We have a tradition in our family to do an activity every day of December for advent.

December 1st

Try a new baking recipe today. This could be bread or cookies. And of course, bake it together.  Let the kids measure! Share that time together. After all, they are only little for a little while. 

I was blessed by a friend to share a homemade roll recipe last week for Thanksgiving. We have made it 3 times in the past 10 days. The kids gobble it down. 

Homemade yeast dinner rolls

– makes 24 rolls – 

  • img_20161127_1722586563 Tbsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 cup water (for a total of 3)
  • 7 cups flour (the original recipe called for 6 cups of flour, but I found it a bit sticky too – however we are at over a mile up)
  1. Put yeast and some of the sugar in a bowl, add warm water to activate yeast – Let sit for 3-5 minutes until the yeast water becomes frothy.
  2. Add remaining ingredients
  3. Mix with large spoon then turn out on floured surface. Knead 5-8 minutes.
  4. Put in a Greased bowl and cover with kitchen towel. Let rise 20 minutes.
  5. Make into rolls (little bigger than golf ball size) and add into two greased 9×13 pans. Makes 24 rolls. 
  6. Let rise 30 minutes.
  7. Bake 20 minutes at 400- Don’t over bake.

Matthew 1:23 – “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”

Basic rules for home food storage

GREAT website full of information – www.pssurvival.com

Basic rules for home storage:

Rule 1: Store what you eat, and eat what you store. It would be too bad to have a supply of food you would only eat with the greatest reluctance. Also, you can spend a lot of money on a supply of food and other provisions now, but after 15 or 20 years it won’t be much good anymore. Which brings us to the second rule.

Rule #2: Rotate your food supply. Eat the old and replace with new food. It’s great on the pocket book. Large amounts can be purchased when they are on sale, then used when they are not. This may also require you to change your eating habits just a bit – like eating more whole grain and legume foods that are inexpensive but nutritious. But whatever you choose to store, be sure it’s something you can eat or it will never get rotated.

Rule #3: Whatever you store, insure it is as nutritious as possible with the 50 essential elements required for good health. You should also consider storing a good mineral/vitamin supplement.

Rule #4: Special care should be taken in preserving your emergency supply, especially if you plan on storing it for several years. Generally, if you plan on using it up within a year it should be safe to store your dry grains and beans in the paper or plastic bags it came in. But if you do this, be sure you have a cool, dry place to keep it. Bugs are always a serious concern. If you haven’t bug proofed your food you need to check it every few weeks to insure it stays insect free. Aside from packing up your own dry goods, you can also…

Can your garden produce in bottles. This works best for fresh vegetables and fruits, and even meat if it is done correctly. However, know that after two years, wet packed foods in cans or bottles lose much of their nutritional value. Rotation is the key!

Dehydrate your own foods. Some foods that lend themselves well to this kind of food preservation are potatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, and all kinds of fruits. After dehydration, be sure to store them in air tight bags or containers. It would also be a good idea to throw in a couple of oxygen absorber packets.

Whatever method you use to preserve your food, Store it in a cool, dry, dark place.

Rule 5: Learn to grow a garden now before any hard times come. This way you will get the trial and error out of the way before you really need to eat off your garden. For someone who has never grown

a garden before, it is not as easy as it may seem. There is a real art to growing a great garden and this knowledge doesn’t come all at once. Become proficient at it now, and learn now how to preserve

what you grow. I store 18 months worth of home canned most years

tenzicut – who is starting from scratch

http://pssurvival.com/PS/Food_Storage/Basic_Rules_For_Home_Storage_2004.txt

 

 

HOW MUCH TO STORE?

The experts at the FDA have said that the average adult will consume the following amounts of fresh food per year.

 

Meat – 150 to 200 pounds per year

Flour – 200 to 300 pounds

Sugar or honey – 60 pounds

 Fats or Oils – 60 pounds

Salt – 5 pounds

Powdered Milk – 75 pounds

Vegetables and Fruits – 600 to 700 pounds

Water – 375 gallons

(I would also suggest storing items like vinegar and herbs)

The figures above are nice guidelines, but they need to be considered from the technical angle of preserved foods rather than fresh foods.

 

Meat: Under adverse conditions, people can easily get by with less protein than 150 pounds of fresh meat per year, as that averages to almost a half pound per day! A canned, cooked one pound ham, for example, would be a real treat once a week, and easily feed a family of four. For weekday meals for a family of four, a 5 ounce can of tuna, canned chicken, 12 ounce can of luncheon meat, or 12 ounce can of corned beef can be used in a casserole (or whatever) and provide the required protein.

 Flour: The listed amount of 200 to 300 pounds of flour per year is fairly realistic, as in catastrophic conditions people would be making their own bread and pasta, for example. Using a hand cranked mill to produce flour from whole wheat is a sure way to limit the amount of flour required, as it is hard work!

Sugar or honey: The recommended 60 pounds is the absolute minimum needed, in reality far below the actual amount desired, as sweeteners are the carbohydrates needed for energy, and survival is hard work. The 60 pounds listed by the FDA does not take into account home canning, for example, and people will need to make jellies and jams and can fruits, all of which require a considerable amount of sugar or honey.

Fats or oils: Again, this is an absolute minimum amount needed, as 60 pounds of fats or oils does not go far when used in baking, frying, and other uses. In hard times, people actually require fat in their diet in order to do hard work. In every country in which food is rationed, cooking oils are one of the first items of scarcity. Indeed, in Russia last fall cooking oils were almost impossible to find, even though not specifically rationed. Corn oil stores for years, and so does plain, inexpensive hydrogenated lard.

Salt: Whoever at the FDA dreamed this up must have been a nutrition Nazi. Five pounds of iodized table salt would be the recommended minimum per person per year, but what about making kraut, salt preserving meat, or preserving fish in a barrel of salt? For those needs, a family should have at least 50 pounds of fine grade, non iodized salt, available for less then $5.00 from a feed and seed store. Salt is essential to life! Remember the salt caravans from the old days in Africa and the middle East? Salt was worth more than gold!

Powdered milk: The 75 pounds recommended per person is fine, but for cooking needs a couple of cases (48 cans) of canned, condensed milk is an absolute necessity.

Vegetables and fruits: In hard times, greens and fruits can indeed be a vital food item, as they provide the vitamins and minerals our bodies require to remain healthy. Storing vegetables and fruits is where a food dehydrator really shines. Combine the dried veggies with fresh greens from a garden and canned fruit juices and sauces, and the 600 pound per year amount becomes far more attainable.

http://pssurvival.com/PS/Food_Storage/How_Much_Food_To_Store_2000.PDF

 What to buy on a weekly basis to build up your food storage over the year

 

Week 1 Nuts–get them on sale after Christmas. Drug stores are often a good source. Dry roasted keep best. Freeze bagged ones. 21 lbs. per person  Week 2 Detergents, Bleaches, Cleansers. Bleach 1 gal per person, Laundry soap, 20 lbs per person.  Week 3 Medicine Chest: feminine products, Pepto bismol, cough syrup, Tylenol, Calamine lotion, Kaopectate, Ipecac, sun screen, etc. Dispose of all outdated medications  Week 4 Canned meats: Tuna, Spam, Dried Beef  Week 5 First Aid supplies: Band aids, antibiotic ointment, Ace bandages, steri-strips, etc.  Week 6 Fill your water jugs  Week 7 Peanut butter 10 lbs per person  Week 8 Solid vegetable shortening lbs. per person  Week 9 Juices. Avoid watered products. Get 100% juice.  Week 10 Toothpaste, floss, razors, shaving cream  Week 11 Mixes, cake, pancake, muffin, etc. Purchase or make your own. counts for part of grain requirement. you need an annual total of 300 lbs of grain products per person.  Week 12 Spices and herbs—look for bargains at health food stores or ethnic food stores.  Week 13 Rice buy 10, 15, or 20 pounds. Counts toward grain total  Week 14 More First Aid: gauze patches, swabs. cotton balls, tape, etc.  Week 15 Pasta. Select a variety. Counts toward grain total  Week 16 Dry Milk. 100 lbs per person per year  Week 17 – Assemble emergency sewing kit: thread, pins, needles, buttons, snaps, zippers, tape measure, scissors.  Week 18 – Flour. Consider your families needs. 50 lbs per person? counts toward grain  Week 19 – Dry or canned soup  Week 20 – Gelatin or Pudding mixes  Week 21 – Buy garden seeds locally, if you haven’t mail ordered them. Get only what you will plant and eat. Also consider what you can preserve and eat.  Week 22 – More Flour! 50 lbs per person total.. counts toward grains  Week 23 – Cord, twine or light rope. Flashlights and batteries.  Week 24 – Freeze cheese. Grate and freeze for casseroles or soups.  Week 25 – Paper towels, aluminum foil, garbage bags. freezer bags, etc.  Week 26 – Vinegars: If you make pickles, have several gallons on hand  Week 27 – Condiments: mustard, mayo, relish, Worcestershire  Week 28 – Jams and jellies. Buy what you will not make yourself.  Week 29 – Canned goods. Buy what you eat. veggies: lbs. per person, fruits,: 80 quarts per person  Week 30 – Canned milk Check Dec 1989 Ensign for use Ideas  Week 31 – Back to school supplies and office supplies  Week 32 – Baking powder, soda, cornstarch. Baking soda 2 lbs per person, soda lbs per  Week 33 – Tomatoes juice, sauce, whole or paste. Buy it or make it. part of veggies  Week 34 – Canned Fruit, buy or can 80 quarts per person  Week 35 – More canned fruits and veggies 150 total per person per year  Week 36 – Buy an extra 25 pounds of sugar 100lbs per person total  Week 37 – Can or freeze veggies from garden or fresh purchased, or buy more canned 150 lbs per person per year  Week 38 – Dried beans, peas. 100 lbs per person  Week 39 – Sweeteners. Honey, Molasses, etc. counts toward sugars  Week 40 – Iodized Salt. Ten or more containers. For canning use, get canning salt.  Week 41 – Personal products: soap, deodorant, toilet paper, shampoo, etc. Hand soap, 15 per person, TP: one roll per week  Week 42 – Canned soups: counts toward veggies  Week 43 – Can something with apples.  Week 44 – Hard candy for Halloween. Leftovers will make a good addition to your 72 hour emergency kit.  Week 45 – Vitamins. Get some extra C and Calcium. 365 vitamins per person.  Week 46 – Treats for baking: Cocoa, coconut, nuts, chocolate chips, etc  Week 47 – Rolled oats, corn meal, cream of wheat…Part of grains  Week 48 – Sugars, brown, white, powdered. counts toward 100lbs per person total  Week 49 – Vegetable and olive oils. Get a good quality. 12 lbs. per person  Week 50 – Candles and matches. Put in a cool place and in a sturdy box (preferably fireproof) that you can locate in the dark.  Week 51 – Popcorn. Go for the big bags. Counts toward grains  Week 52 – Merry Christmas. Give yourself a great gift–security for an extended period. 

 

http://pssurvival.com/PS/Food_Storage/What_To_Buy_On_A_Weekly_Basis_For_Food_Storage_2004.txt

 

 

Oathkeepers – How to Use Medicinal Herbs

http://www.yourbodycanheal.com/medicinal-herbs.html

How to Use Medicinal Herbs

So you’ve decided you want to incorporate herbal remedies into your health regimen. Congratulations! You’re embarking on a journey that will help your body heal itself from the inside out in a way that is much more natural, safe and gentle than conventional medicine.

It’s also a journey that can be a little confusing. There are many different types of herbal remedies out there. Sometimes you will find the same herb sold in many different preparations. What do all those different terms mean? Here’s a rundown of some of the most common ways medicinal herbs are sold and used.

Tablets and Capsules: Like conventional drugs, herbs are often packaged and sold in tablet and capsule form. Tablets involve compressing an herb into a round or cylindrical shape, usually with some sort of binder, colorant, flavorings and coating that prevents them from breaking down in the body too quickly. Capsules are usually made of gelatin and the herb is placed inside the shell. Other ingredients can also be mixed in to make the herb taste better or to prevent it from being digested too quickly. Vegetarians can find capsules made of vegetable cellulose, but check the label to make sure you know you’re not getting any animal products.

Extracts: Herbal extracts may be sold as tablets, capsules orliquid herbal extracts; the herbs contained in an extract are far more concentrated than those in a standard pill. Extracts are made by soaking the herbs in alcohol or water (or a combination) and filtering and drying the herb at low heat. Much like culinary herbs become stronger when dried, herbal extracts are highly concentrated remedies, allowing you to take many fewer pills to get a large dose. Continue reading Oathkeepers – How to Use Medicinal Herbs

For Sale – Declan, a Nubian Purebred Registered Buck

img_20160919_112535439 img_20160919_112546301We are rearranging our herd again and adding new bloodlines so our beloved Declan gets to find a new herd of gorgeous girls to breed with.

He is a 1-1/2 year old, proven and registered purebred moonspotted Nubian Buck. He is from a closed clean herd and has given us many, many beautiful babies last season and will again this season. (several of our girls have been bred with him this season already).

He does throw spotted babies and we are keeping both a male and a female off of him for our own herd.

We raise Nubian goats, kunekune pigs, yorkshire meat pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, heritage breed turkeys, coturnix quail and rabbits. Visit our homepage at www.krisandlarry.com.