Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Blogmas 2018 - Day 12 - TAG Questions???

Tamy's List of Ideas for Blogmas 2018

In following Tamy's lead today, here are my answers to her Winter TAG Questions...
     ⛄ Top 2 Winter Beauty Essentials? 
     - Chapstick for the lips
     - Curel for everything else
      ⛄ Top 2 Winter Fashion Essentials?
     - I'm not much into fashion, but, around the house, warm socks are a must
     - As is my long, burgandy sweater
      ⛄ Favorite Winter Accessory?
     - My double-thick winter hat with ear-flaps, long braids, and a pom-pom on top     
      ⛄ Favorite Winter Nail Polish?
     - I don't wear nail polish too often anymore, but I do like something in burgundy with sparkles at Christmastime
      ⛄ Hot Cocoa or Apple Cider?
     - Definitely hot cocoa (with marshmallows)
     ⛄ Favorite Winter Candle?
     - Fresh Balsam Fir
      ⛄ Does it snow where you live?
     - Yes! 💗
      ⛄ Have you ever made a snowman?
     - Yes! 💗
      ⛄ What is Your Favorite Holiday Movie?
     - Scrooge with Alistair Sim
      ⛄ What's your favorite holiday drink?
     - Hot tea (forever and always...every day...year-round)
     - Hot Cocoa
     - Wassail
     - Eggnog (Anderson-Erickson or homemade ONLY)
      ⛄ Candy cane or Gingerbread men?
     - Gingerbread men 
      ⛄ What's your favorite holiday/Christmas song?
     -  That's a tough one, because I like 'em all...everything from Silent Night to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to Jingle Bell Rock.  
      ⛄ What is most important to you about the holidays?
     - Spending time with family and friends, while keeping our focus on Jesus and His birth. For, without His birth, there would be no shedding of Blood on the cross, no resurrection, no way to bridge the gap between us and the Father, and no gift of eternal life. Jesus truly is "the reason for the season" and what a marvelous gift we have been given! 
Until next time...

*Joining in with Jean over at So Not Organized and linking up with Tamy over at Chasing My Life for Blogmas 2018

Recent and related posts that you might enjoy reading...

Blogmas 2018 - Day 11 - Christmas Cards

Happy Homemaker Monday - December 10, 2018

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Blogmas 2018 - Day 11 - Christmas Cards

Christmas cards! I love sending them and I love receiving them!
Christmas Card
I can remember, as a child, how excited I would get when a Christmas card would arrive in my parent's mailbox. My mother would always have a special place for them. Some years they would sit in a bright red, folding, wooden sleigh; other years she would create some special crafty thing made especially for them to be displayed upon or in. 

Vintage Wooden Folding Sleigh
Photo Credit
No matter how she displayed them, I was always fascinated by them. The crazy part is, I'm still pretty much the same way today! 

I LOVE it when Christmas cards arrive and I've saved nearly every one we've ever received! I have piles of them! 😲 doing a little research for this post...I just now figured out how what I'm going to do with them, but I can't say what it is because THAT will be a surprise for later on! 😉

When Christmas cards arrive now, I simply hang them on a length of red or green yarn that has been stretched across the wall or along the edge of a ledge or something. The Christmas cards become part of our decorating scheme!

Christmas Cards about you? Do you send Christmas cards? Enjoy receiving them? How do you display them? What do you do with them after Christmas? Do you throw them away? Save them? Recycle them? I'd love to hear your ideas! 😃

Until next time...

*Joining in with Jean over at So Not Organized and linking up with Tamy over at Chasing My Life for Blogmas 2018

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Happy Homemaker Monday - December 10, 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018

Blogmas 2018 - Day 10 - Homemade or ???

When it comes to gift-giving I tend to be a bit eclectic. 

I love giving and receiving homemade gifts, but, in the past, it's always been feast or famine. If the mood strikes, I come up with a homemade gift idea and craft like mad to get them all done before Christmas. 

A few years ago I crocheted stocking for the grandchildren. Each child
in each family received a different color from all the others.

If the mood does't strike, I settle for purchasing whatever I end up getting. 

This year, my daughter, Amanda, and I made fairy jars
for each of her siblings and their families.

My husband and I always save back enough homemade jellies and jams
to be given as gifts throughout the year and at Christmastime.
And, no matter what else is given...homemade or otherwise...we give each family the upcoming year's Natural Events Calendar from the Missouri Department of Conservation. 

2019 Natural Events Calendar

On each page there is a beautiful picture that has been taken somewhere within our great state and on most every day there is an entry that tells something that is taking place within the natural world at that particular time of the year.

For are this week's entries...

* Monday, December 10 - "Male black bears are in their winter dens." 
* Tuesday, December 11 - "Eastern cottontails use abandoned dens during heavy snow." 
* Wednesday, December 12 - "Bald eagles arrive in southern Missouri."
* Thursday, December 13 - "Geminid meteor shower peaks."
* Friday, December 14 - BLANK
* Saturday, December 15 - Skunks sleep when the temperature drops to 15 F or colder."
* Sunday, December 16 - "The leaves of Christmas ferns are green on wooded slopes."

This is a fun way to keep up with what's happening in the natural world and it's an annual gift that most everyone in the family looks forward to. We've been purchasing these calendars and giving them as gifts since we first started homeschooling back in 1989. 

When it comes to gift-giving that's a little bit of what we've done in the past. In 2019 I hope to be a bit more crafty and I hope to start early (like in January!).

What about your? Homemade or ???

Until next time...

*Joining in with Jean over at So Not Organized and linking up with Tamy over at Chasing My Life for Blogmas 2018

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Happy Homemaker Monday - December 10, 2018

Happy Homemaker Monday - December 10, 2018

Good Monday morning, Sweet Ladies!

December is in full swing and there's a lot of holiday happenings going on! 🎄 How was your week and weekend?

Our week and weekend was GREAT here! Most of the week was spent preparing for our family Christmas get-together over the weekend...doing laundry, washing bedding, straightening, organizing, cooking, and cleaning. I only worked a little over a half a day on Friday at the park, and took Saturday off, to spend the day visiting with our children and their families.

Our youngest daughter, Amanda, and her husband, Phillip, arrived Friday evening and spent the night at our house. Friday night we drove around and looked at Christmas lights, then enjoyed a late supper. Saturday morning our oldest son and his wife (and our neighbor lady) came over to visit for a bit before the big evening shindig. 

In the afternoon, we loaded everything up and headed over to our daughter, Amber, and son-in-law, Patrick's, house where the family Christmas get-together was to be held. A total of 32 people (John and I, our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren) gathered together this year for an evening of food, fellowship, games, and gifts. It was a lot of fun! 

Granddaughter Esther Watching Out The Window Waiting
For Company To Arrive Before The Get-Together

There's a lot more I could share, but let's get right into this week's post...shall we?

Today I am joining Sandra and the other ladies over at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday. Please be sure to go over and check it out! 💗
 Right now I am...

... listening to Celtic Christmas music while I work on this post.

Am thinking...

... about what a beautiful family we have. You matter what trials we may be going through in our individual households...we are so incredibly blessed...all the way around! 

Thank You, God, for the family that You've blessed us with.  We are eternally grateful for Your presence in our lives and for the daily blessings that you bestow upon all of us. We praise You, Father, and lift Your name on high. In Jesus' name...amen! 💗

On the breakfast plate...

... this morning I had a slice of leftover pizza and a cup of Twining's Irish Breakfast tea

The weather...

... Sunny, but cold this morning (19 degrees when I got up), but we're supposed to reach a high of 43 degrees this afternoon. The rest of the week promises to be in the 40's and 50's with cloudiness and slight chances of rain toward the end of the week. All the way around, not too bad.

On my reading pile...

I am reading The Great Buffalo Hunt by Wayne Gard, Dear Kitchen Saints - Letters from an Iowa Housewife by Connie Hultquist

On the menu this week...

Monday - ham and beans with cornbread
Tuesday - Turkey Pasta Skillet with green beans
Wednesday - turkey bacon and cheese omelets with toast
Thursday - 
bison and noodles
Friday - broiled salmon and baked potatoes with peas and carrots
Saturday - turkey burgers and oven fries
Sunday - leftovers

On my 'to-do' list...

Monday - Plan the week ahead, weekly "home blessing"laundry,
Tuesday - Take friend to her hair appointment
Wednesday - Take granddaughter, Mary, out to lunch for her birthday
Thursday - Work and attend work Christmas party
Friday - Celebrate dh's 65th birthday
Saturday - Work (A Very Prairie Christmas homeschool programs...two of them)
Sunday - Church

In the craft basket...

I had a couple of pieces of Christmas fabric that I used to use as table coverings at the old house. Since I no longer have a need for them in that capacity I am turning them into cloth Christmas napkins. I am hand-stitching the borders with a simple running stitch and, thus far, have complete eleven of the twelve napkins cut.

Christmas Napkins
I also remembered to get pictures of the Christmas stars that we will be making at my upcoming "A Very Prairie Christmas" homeschool and library programs. Here they are...

Prairie Christmas Stars Made From Big Bluestem and Indian Grasses
Lashed Together With Red and Green Embroidery Thread

Looking forward to this week...

Celebrating birthdays and the "A Very Prairie Christmas" programs at work

Something interesting I watched this week...

This piece on the life of President George H. W. Bush and all the coverage after his death. What a great man of faith and family values!

From the camera...

Granddaughters Elizabeth, Hannah, Audrey, Abby, and Gianna

This picture was taken by our youngest son at the get-together over the weekend
and it is one of my favorites. Look at all those beautiful giggling granddaughters!
Scripture passage...

Well, Ladies, that's it for this week! I pray that each and every one of you have a blessed and beautiful week ahead, and I'll see you next week! Blessings!

Until next time,

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Blogmas 2018 - Day 9 - Chocolate Pretzel Snowman Craft

A few years ago my husband and I made about 40 of these Chocolate Pretzel Snowmen to share at one of our family Christmas get-togethers. They were fun to make, quite tasty (sweet and salty), and the children really enjoyed them! ⛄

Chocolate Pretzel Snowmen
For recipe visit Beth at Hungry Happenings by clicking HERE.

Until next time...

*Joining in with Jean over at So Not Organized and linking up with Tamy over at Chasing My Life for Blogmas 2018

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Blogmas 2018 - Day 8 - Recipe: Brigadeiros

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Blogmas 2018 - Day 8 - Recipe: Brigadeiros

I made a double batch of brigadeiros to share at our family Christmas get-together this evening.

Brigadeiros are a traditional Brazilian dessert that we were first introduced to at a work Christmas party a couple of years ago and they immediately became one of our favorite treats. 

My Friend, Natalia
Before returning to her native, Brazil, my sweet friend, Natalia, was kind enough to share her recipe with me and, with her permission, I am sharing it here. 


1 can Nestle's La Lechera sweetened condensed milk (must be this brand...otherwise it doesn't turn out as well)
2 T. butter
4 T. cocoa

Put all ingredients in a pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until you can see the bottom of the pan between swipes across middle (about 15 to 20 minutes); continue to cook until almost solid (about another 5 minutes). 
Finished Candy Cooling on Plates
Pour mixture into buttered plates to cool. Using buttered hands, pull away pieces of the candy and roll into balls. Roll each ball in candy sprinkles of choice to complete.

For a different flavor, try using Nesquik chocolate or strawberry flavored drink mix. There are lots of ways to make brigadeiros! 

Until next time...

*Joining in with Jean over at So Not Organized and linking up with Tamy over at Chasing My Life for Blogmas 2018

Recent and related posts that you might enjoy reading...

Blogmas 2018 - Day 7 - Recipe: Christmas Reindeer Crack

Blogmas - Day 6 - My Favorite Christmas Videos

Friday, December 7, 2018

Blogmas 2018 - Day 7 - Recipe: Christmas Reindeer Crack

Christmas Reindeer Crack

I made this recipe for our family Christmas get-together 
a couple of years ago and it was a huge hit! 

Get the recipe HERE

Until next time...

*Joining in with Jean over at So Not Organized and linking up with Tamy over at Chasing My Life for Blogmas 2018

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Blogmas - Day 6 - My Favorite Christmas Videos

Today, I've decided to share my two favorite on-line Christmas videos. 

The first one is the Christmas story as told by the children of St. Paul's Church in Aukland, New Zealand.  It is my number one on-line video of all-time. I watch it several times a year and I never ever get tired of it. 💗

The second one was posted on Youtube by the Southland Christian Church. You'll just have to watch it. 😆

I hope you enjoy these two videos as much as I do! 

Until next time...

*Joining in with Jean over at So Not Organized and linking up with Tamy over at Chasing My Life for Blogmas 2018

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2018 - Day 5 - For the Love of Peppermint

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Blogmas 2018 - Day 5 - For the Love of Peppermint

Fresh Peppermint From Our Garden
Growing up I wasn't a great fan of peppermint. My dad loved peppermint tea, but, as a child, I didn't even care for candy canes! 😲 All that's changed, now, though. Today, I love peppermint!

I like having peppermint candy around at Christmastime to share with visitors and to have with hot cocoa. One year I dipped the bowl-end of plastic spoons in melted chocolate, sprinkled them with crushed up candy canes, and laid them on wax paper to harden. After the chocolate solidified, I, individually, wrapped each spoon in clear cellophane paper, and tied tightly with a pretty ribbon around the spoon's neck. These were given as gifts in hot cocoa mugs, along with individual packages of hot cocoa mix. York Peppermint Patty is my favorite candy bar. I love the cool, minty freshness of it!

I think my love of peppermint started when my husband introduced me to the "original", "celebrated", and "curiously strong" peppermint-flavored Altoids. They are made with real peppermint oil and they are STOUT! At first they burned my mouth, but, eventually, they grew on me. Now, I actually enjoy having one on occasion (especially if I've got gas on my stomach...the peppermint releases it).
I find that the older I get the more I appreciate, not only the taste of peppermint, but the clean and refreshing aroma of it, as well.

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Multi-Surface Cleaner, Hand Soap, and Dish Soap
In fact, as if I wasn't already totally and completely crazy about Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day cleaning products (and I'm not an affiliate, so I don't get paid to say that), but I had to place an order for her limited edition, aroma-therapeutic, special seasonal scented products in peppermint just to try them out...and I'm so glad I did! What a joy it is to clean my home with them and everything smells soooo good! Thanks, Mrs. Meyers! I really do love and appreciate you! 💗

A gift idea...

How about trying your hand at making some peppermint-scented play dough for the children on your Christmas gift list? I found this great do-it-yourself recipe on Becky Mansfield's Your Modern Family website! Check it out!

A simple craft idea...

Use candy canes as dinner place card holders.

Yes, for not caring about peppermint as a child, I've sure come a long way! 

How about you? Do you like peppermint? If so, what's your favorite way to enjoy the flavor (or smell) of it?

Until next time,

*Joining in with Jean over at So Not Organized and linking up with Tamy over at Chasing My Life for Blogmas 2018

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Blogmas 2018 - Day 4 - Favorite Christmas Movies