Tag Archives: Christmas

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 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.”

Christmas traditions – Rosette cookies

imageEvery year, we have little Christmas traditions that we, as a family, have during the season.  One of them like many other families is making Christmas cookies. With so many kids in the family, cookies don’t last  too long. We love making rosette cookies. We have several rosette irons, 2 of which are antiques that we picked up from yard sales.  And since my Larry is a cookie moster, these are a hit at our house. 

Here is the recipe that we use… Yes you can substitute  goat’s milk and white rice flour. 

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • sifted confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Combine eggs, sugar and salt; beat well. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. I do this with a whisk.
  2. Heat a rosette iron in deep, hot oil (375 degrees) for 2 minutes.
  3. Drain excess oil from iron. Dip in batter to 1/4 inch from the top of the iron, then dip iron immediately into hot oil (375 degrees).
  4. Fry rosette until golden, about 30 seconds. Lift out; tip upside down to drain. 
  5. Reheat iron 1 minutein oil; make next rosette.
  6. Sprinkle rosettes with powdered sugar.

 

December 2010 Advent – December 24th – T'was the Night before – snowflake dipped oreos

This is such a fast and easy treat. We took a box of sandwich cookies and dipped them in almond bark (I added peppermint flavor to it too). I used my Pampered Chef Double boiler to melt down the bricks of Almond Bark.

We let them dry on wax paper.

Then after those were cooled and “dry” the girls started decorating with frosting making snowflakes and trees.

Both Shelby and El had so much fun. I picked up the Pampered Chef easy decorators for them to use.

What are your plans for Christmas Eve? I have a few pies to make  – a Cherry and a Pumpkin. We are going to go to the Heights Church Service and have our annual Eve Lasagna. (Jen is making white Chicken and mom is making red ). The kids will get to open one present – Clean new PJs. 🙂 And I am sure that it will be a chore to get all of them to go to bed after reading the Nativity Story and the Night before Christmas.

Luke 2:14 – Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

December 2010 Advent – December 23rd – In Search for a Leg Lamp

Tonight we had a blast… everyone in the car in their PJs, a pillow, a blanket and the doggies and off to drive around our town in search for a LEG LAMP.

We had a few desires tonight.We wanted to see a house decorated entirely in white, we wanted to see a lit Nativity and we wanted to find a Leg Lamp.

We found everything that we wanted to see while singing Christmas Carols at the top of our lungs.

Take time with your kids to sing songs of the word of God. Observe the lights that represent the birth of our savior.

Luke 2:16, 21 – So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger… he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

December 2010 Advent – December 22nd – Make yourself another Nativity

I believe that you can never have too many Nativity Scenes up for Christmas time. I have started adding a new one every year to our “collection”. This year, I made one and was inspired by one I saw at my mom’s group, Vital Moms at the Height Church. I was sad to not know WHO made the one there to give proper credit to my MUSE. 🙂 (If it is you, let me know!!)

These are fun to make and do not take up a TON of time… although you can get lost in detail.

You will need:

  • 2 small clay or wooden pots,
  • 2 large wooden balls for the “heads”,
  • a clay or wooden plaque,
  • scrap felt in white and 2 other colors,
  • brown paint,
  • flesh paint
  • white paint,
  • raffia,
  • hot glue gun.
  • Optional: gold paint, crackle paint, black marker to draw on faces, fake snow paint, wooden star and staff.
  1. Paint the balls flesh and the pots a brown color(I also “crackled” the bodies with my crackle paint). Hot glue together. Add the colored scraps on to make clothing and ties with a piece of raffia each, Mary around her neck and Joseph around the head.
  2. Paint the disk white (or brown) and add the “people” to it.
  3. Create a “bunching” of raffia to make the hay manger and hot glue to the base.
  4. Swaddle the white cloth to make a “baby”. Glue to the hay manger.
  5. Optional: add texture snow around the base – This MUST dry overnight!!

Here is the sample that inspired me:

And here is my finished nativity:

Luke 2:8 – And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.