Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Season is Upon Us (with a Christmas Craft)

This will be my last post of the year and what a year it's been.  As with any year, there are ups and downs.  Looking back over it all is a bit overwhelming.  There have been projects, trainings, work, canning, growing, cooking, baking, laughter, hugs, kisses, joy, tears, fighting, frustration, pulling-out-of-hair, re-grouping, forgiving, and loving.  And that was just the month of September!  Okay, all kidding aside, we are so thankful to have had another year together to grow and learn and love.

Tuesday was our last day of school, so we are on Christmas break!  Here's a bit of what we've been up to in the past few days....

The baking has begun (and will end today).  While some of you may have gotten the impression that we make ALL our favorites every year, that is not the case.  This year we've made caramel popcorn and four kinds of cookies.  The end.  When done the week before Christmas, it feels like just enough.

 Caramel Popcorn (babies were once bathed in this tub)

Miriam helping me make my all time favorite cookie (also shown below).

Making Haman's Ears

One of my huge projects recently was to finish Miriam's Christmas stocking.  She's three and a half and the poor girl was afraid she'd have to go another year without her personalized stocking.  Note to young women and new moms:  Don't go overboard making all kinds of special things for your first child if you plan to have several more!  You may be plagued with guilt as you force yourself to do the same for your other children.  And, remember, by the time you're cross-stitching your third child's stocking (9 years later, for me), your eyes will not be so good and you'll have to use your son's reading lamp clipped to the frame to be able to see anything at all.  But it was a labor of frustration love, so it was worth it :-).

In case your kids get a little restless over their break, here is a fun, FREE, and time-consuming craft they might enjoy- Christmas Tree Catalogs.  These have been around for awhile and you may already make them, but our family joined in the fun for the first time this year (thanks, Carmen!).  And when you're done with them?  Just toss them back into recycling.  Seed catalogs and pharmacy journals are our favorite to use.

Only three folds are involved.  Starting with the cover, take the top right hand corner and fold the top edge of the page to meet the left side.

Next, bring the fold you just created also to the left side.

Now, fold up the bottom little tag/flag, so it's flush with the bottom of the catalog.

Turn the page you just folded to the left and start on the second page.  Repeat until you've done every page. Stand it up and then staple or tape the front and back covers together to help keep the tree spread out and open.

Merry Christmas, friends.  You are dear to me!


Loving God, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, 
that we may share in the song of the angels, 
the gladness of the shepherds, 
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world. 
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. 
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, 
forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

- Robert Louis Stevenson
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  1. God Bless you and your family, love your blog and your stocking are amazing. I know you put love in each stitch. I am a cross stitcher and we make things for the World of Cross Stitching for senior citizens and McDonald house. Enjoy this blessed time of the year.

  2. We made Haman's Ears yesterday and today we will attempt your recipe for caramel corn!

    Thanks for sharing your talents with us!

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Merry Christmas blog friend! May the peace of God be upon you and your house today and throughout the new year!

  4. Those hand stitched stockings are great! You are a loving mom!

  5. Very wise advice for new moms!! I'm on my 4th child, and still haven't finished her stocking! This will be her second Christmas, so I'm hoping she'll have it by her 3rd! Thanks for relieving some of my guilt- I'm not the only one! :) Merry Christmas!

  6. You have been working on this stocking ever since I've known you. So glad Miriam has her own handmade stocking to treasure. :)

  7. hello,I have been away a while Jerry has a lot of appt,I Wanted to tell you about a miracle we had,While at the VA hospital last week for one of Jerry's normal scans, he coded.They think it must have been the dye,but they worked on him for 7 min and brought him back to me,I know it is not good for me to feel such fear as I did that day but I love him so.Love your homemade stocking,have a very nice Chritmas

    1. Oh, Judy! I am so thankful that you have more time with him. Thank you for dropping in even though you're a busy, busy lady taking care of everyone:-). Merry, Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  8. I am new to your blog and feel so refreshed for being here. I have had a very discouraging week, and while we are only in our first year of homeschooling (kindergarten with my oldest), I felt defeated and discouraged. Godly friends around me have been registering their children for school and I've been praying for wisdom as I try to make our home a place that glorifies God and to cultivate their little hearts for Him. Peeking around the corners of your blog has given me an honest and refreshed encouragement to keep on in the calling I feel God has placed on our family. I have added you to my reader and look forward to carving out a little time to come back and read more :)

    1. Welcome, Vanessa! A homeschool post is on my list to be one of the first posts of the new year. It is perfectly normal to feel discouraged and defeated at times! There are so many ups and downs with homeschooling. I've always said that homeschooling is a perfect way to discover all your faults or be reminded of the ones you already knew you had:-). It is just like parenting- challenging to the core. Deep inside, you'll always know if it's for your family or not- just follow the Spirit's leading:-). Blessings to your sweet family and Merry Christmas!

  9. I baked the chewy chocolate cookies from the recipe you adapted from MS on your blog of 11-11-2009. However, it said 8 ounces of butter or one stick. Could this be an error as the recipe listed above that one called for 8 T of butter or stick. I don't know how to research this any other way than write you.

    Hope your Christmas is a happy one. Thank you for your hard work on your blog.

    1. That is a typo! It should read 8 tbsp. or 1 stick butter. I'll go back and make sure to fix it. Thanks and Merry Christmas to you, too!

  10. Glad to see that the Christmas Tree Catalogs are
    still around. we did this back in the 50's with
    sears and robuck catalogs, that sure kept us busy. Hope you had a blessed Christmas and a
    very happy new year!

  11. Oh your little girl is so precious but as a grandmother of 7 I couldn't help but shudder when I saw the picture of her pushing down on a glass to cut out cookies-accident waiting to happen if her little hand pushes too hard breaking the glass and cutting her hand. Please have her use a cookie cutter not glass to do this. And please accept my suggestion with the love that is intended.
    Love and prayers,
    Nanny to 7


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