As Advent begins in our home for this season, so does the decorating. Today, we are hanging up decorations in my both my classroom and around the house. The goal is not to just decorate for the birth of Jesus and celebrate Him, but to also be together as a family.
We are cutting out 3-D stars to hang behind me in my classroom in Christmas paper. We have included a pattern to download above. 5 cutouts make one star. The solid lines are the cuts and the dotted lines are the folds.
We have found that HOT GLUE works best to hold these together. Be careful with those little fingers.
We chose to use a twine to tie around them to hang. You can hot glue a ribbon and make them into ornaments or you could make some and leave them in a bowl as a centerpiece.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls – These are a simple and easy dessert to take to a Christmas party. We normally make these and get them in the fridge and make cookies in the oven while these are chilling.
2 cups peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
3/4 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 package of Chocolate bark or 2 cups of chocolate chips (our preference)
Mix the peanut butter, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl. I use my kitchen aid mixer. 🙂 Mix well.
Add in the powdered sugar, a little at a time. You may need to add a bit more or a bit less powdered sugar. You have enough powdered sugar when the mixture holds together well in one giant ball in your mixing bowl.
Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or until th
ey firm up.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Cover and refrigerate again, for about 15 minutes.
Melt the chocolate according to the package directions.
Dip the peanut butter balls one at a time into the melted chocolate. Place the dipped peanut butter chocolate ball onto wax paper.
Let the chocolate harden.
If you are not serving right away, you can chill until ready to serve.
KrisandLarry.com presents 6 different Christmas cookies/desserts for your cookie exchanges – Chocolate topped Toffee
Another tasty treat in our house, Although we do not make it terribly often as it is very rich.
It is a GREAT gift wrapped up in a bag with a bow for a last minute gift for someone this Christmas.
1-1/4 Cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter
1-1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt (I use pink Himalayan)
2 Cups semisweet chocolate chips
Optional: 1 Cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans or peanuts (or a mixture – )
Pink Himalayan or Flaky sea salt, for garnish
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Do not skip this step or you will be stuck to everything!!!!
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Let butter melt and sugar dissolve and bring to a boil, then cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, so the butter and sugar don’t separate, until mixture turns a medium amber and is thick, 12 to 15 minutes.
Pour toffee mixture onto a prepared baking sheet and immediately top all over with chocolate chips. Let sit 2 minutes so chocolate begins to melt, then spread chocolate all over with a spatula to create a layer on top of toffee.
Sprinkle all over with almonds and pecans (use chopped crumbs too for nice texture!) and salt.
Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour, then cut or break into pieces and serve.
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.
1 (8oz) brick of cream cheese; room temperature
2 tbsp butter; room temperature
1 tsp peppermint extract
4 1/2 – 5 cups powdered sugar
Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. (Do as I say, not as I did… my bad.) Set aside.
Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, combine cream cheese and butter. Once well combined, add in peppermint extract.
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.
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.)
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.)
Place tray in freezer for 2 hours to allow the mints to firm up. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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.
In a large mixing bowl, combine milk powder, sugar, cocoa powder, and creamer. Stir till thoroughly combined.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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)
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.
We have an annual tradition in our family to do an activity every day of December for advent.
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.