Friday, December 30, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

I have so much to share with all of you. Christmas was very full of love, family and worship.
I will be back soon with pictures and stories, maybe even tonight still. I have been very busy with my kids and family, so I choose to not blog until at least New Years Eve.  I needed some time to just relax so the computer was not in use, at least not for blogging:)  I guess I'm a day early:) but I just had to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year!!

I will leave you with some exciting news from our home. This Christmas we found out we were expecting a new little blessing. I am over the moon in love with this baby already.

Yep... Sweetheart we are "Pregnant!"

My husband is so excited, he does not show many emotions but he did on this day!
My Children are so excited, and the looks on their faces were priceless.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Today we will start our Christmas Novena

I wanted to share the prayers we will share as a family starting today. We will pray a Novena for the next 9 days till Christmas. I am adding a couple of links that we have used in the past. We add what we want and take out what does not need to be said.

For the daily prayers you can visit any of the links below. The first two are Catholic websites and Wikipedia is a free online Encyclopedia. and Catholic

Wikipedia has a lot of good info on the O Antiphons

We will be saying these prayers in conjunction with the O Antiphons which start on December 17th.

Advent Blessings,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Impact of One Woman..

A woman has so much impact in her home. Here are some wonderful words of encouragement from Voddie Baucham.


A wise word for fathers..

It's just a little clip, but a big reminder for fathers. My husband and I just watched this, and he wanted me to share it with all of you.  A wonderful reminder from one of my favorite Pastors.

I have some other Voddie Baucham clips Here if you would like to hear more from Pastor Baucham

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas cookies...

Okay I'm back again with the rest of my baking list. It took some time to figure out just what I wanted to do this year, to many ideas. This is what the rest of Advent and Christmas baking will look like in our home.

December 5th ~ Christmas spelt muffins

December 6th ~ Chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies.

December 7th ~ Peanut Butter cup cookies and Honey cookies (Pierniki)

December 8th ~ Chocolate Gingerbread Cake with whip cream:)

December 9th ~ Mexican wedding cookies

December 10th ~ Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bar (Here's a link to the recipe)

December 11th ~ Sticky Pecan Mini-Buns (Here is the link to the recipe) GO PACKERS!

December 12th ~ Chocolate Chip Christmas cookies (Christmas M&M candy)

December 13th ~ Saint Lucia's Braided Bread (Today we will learn about Lucia of Sweden)

December 14th ~ Paula's Loaded Oatmeal Cookies minus the icing

December 15th ~ Russian Tea Cakes

December 16th ~ tonight we will make our Christmas Eve bread.

December 17th ~ Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars (Here's a link to the recipe).

December 18th ~ Gingerbread Houses, and a Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle the

December 19th ~ Pretzels dipped in chocolate, and garland for the Christmas tree

December 20th ~ Key lime Mousse Pie (Here's the link to the recipe) and Reindeer (daddy) chow.

December 21st ~ Nutty Orange Coffee cake (Here is the link to the recipe), and our Jesse Tea for Advent

December 22nd ~ Rice Crispy Crown/Wreaths (Thank you Jessica) and Peanut Blossoms

December 23rd ~ Spitz Cookies and our Jesus birthday cake

December 24th ~ Polish Star Cookies - Gwiazdiki z Nieba, and Starlight Cookies (to remember Mary and Joseph's very long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem).

December 25th ~ No baking have a very blessed Christmas.

December 26th ~ the Colonists Scripture Cake and I would also like to try today's Scripture Cake

(Many activities in the colonies were related to the Bible, these recipes for today are based on books of the bible).

December 27th ~ Hot-water Chocolate gingerbread cake as we remember

December 28th ~ Coconut Rice Pudding

December 29th ~ January nothing planned at this point, we will be doing lots of fun things for the Twelve days of Christmas, but not much baking.

January 5th ~ we will be making Gift of the Magi bread.

January 6th ~ the last day of Christmas Christmas is over and it is time to take down our tree and decorations.

Just a short song...

I was looking back through my blog and I ran across one of my favorite songs. I posted a Blog post about how God loves you just the way you are.  Every time I listen to this song I can't help but start singing along. I have 7 daughters that will need to hear these words from me over and over again. I need to hear this words over and over again myself because I to forget. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Celebrating Nicholas of Myra in a Reformed family

Yes we are reformed family! I still love many of our families Catholic traditions and I still love many things about the Catholic faith. We don't agree with many things the Catholic Church teaches, so my husband calls us reformed. I don't really need a Christian title to live by, Christ did not carry a faith title around him and neither do I.  Christ will save us from hell but only Christ, nothing you do here on earth will stop you from going to hell except following and excepting Jesus Christ as your savior. This is Reformed thinking, so I guess if I had to give myself a faith title which I hate I would lean more towards Reformed.

I was asked by a friend why I teach my family about Saints and do we pray to them.
Well the answer is no we don't pray to them ever! We pray to the one and only Jesus Christ and our father in heaven.
Patron saints are people who lived a life which is a worthy example of how to faithfully follow Jesus Christ.
In our family we don't ask Patron saints to intercede on our behalf and we never call upon them.
We do how ever want are girls to know about history, and we want them to know that they are not alone when it comes to fighting for Christ. Many great men and women have lived and died to fight for what is right.
So, today we remember Nicholas of Myra for all the wonderful things they say he did while he was alive. On earth he could have been a  saint for Christ just like us who follow and live for Christ. Did God make him a special saint in heaven I don't know; only the creator knows that. Some say most of the stories are true about Nicholas, others say they are made up.
We know he was a Bishop of Myra in the fourth century, and the Legends are many. Legend or not his stories show us many wonderful things that we can do as Christians.
We teach our family to give to others first, to help the poor the ones with less than we do. We want our girls to spread the love of Christ to all who will hear it.
Nicholas of Mayra we are told did just that.

We have kept the traditions that my husband grew up with. We leave our boots out on the night of December 5th for Nicholas, which mommy and daddy fill. We replace the boots/shoes with new slippers, books, candy, fruit and Chocolate coins.
We watch the movies on Nicholas and have yummy treats.
It's funny because we are a Reformed Christ centered family, and we still have Catholic traditions. Loved and well worth traditions for our family.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Cookies...

Every year I make Christmas cookies, like I'm sure many of you do. Today I am going to share with you some of the cookie recipes. I have so many of them that I have a hard time trying to figure out which ones to use. I start on December 3rd and normally bake each day until Christmas Eve. We all gain some winter weight and I must say it is so worth it. One thing I don't do around Christmas is watch my weight I have just given up on the whole idea. Here is part of our list for Advent and Christmas goodies for Christmas 2011.

Dec 3rd ~ Shortbread Cookies  (This Shortbread Cookie recipe can be found at the Food network website). I have never made anything from Ina Garten I did not like.

Our second batch for the day is from again Food Network, Paradise Macaroons this cookie looks so easy and so good. (Here is the Paradise Macaroons video on how to make these along with the recipe).
We are learning about Germany and Poland this week and how they celebrate Advent and Christmas. This would be a great recipe for this. In Germany they make Chocolate Macaroons.

Dec 4th ~ Schwarzwalder Apfelkuchen (Custard-Apple Torte). A nice treat in the evening after dinner.
I will also make Pfeffernusse (One of my favorite German cookies).

I will be back later  to put up the recipes for the Custard-apple Torte, and the Pfeffernusse. We are on our way to a Christmas craft fair and my girls are all waiting for me.

The Custard- Apple Torte was just awesome. Super simple and it had a cream filling throughout. I cooked mine a little to long since I became busy with other things. I found the Custard- apple Torte recipe in a book I read to my children each year now called Christmas in Today's Germany.  

The pfeffernusse is a great German cookie, one I grew up with each Christmas. You can find a recipe for this cookie in many places. It does take time to make but I think worth every hour, and it makes about 15 dozen cookies.

You will need the following to make these cookies

1/3 cup of Molasses

1 1/3 cups of Honey or Bandy

1/2 cup of organic butter

4 cups of flour

2 Tbsp of Dutch cocoa Powder

1 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp of ground cardamom

1/4 tsp of Nutmeg and ground cloves

1/2 tsp of all spice

Some fresh ground pepper (about 1/4 tsp)

Juice of 1 lemon and 1 tsp of lemon zest

1 large organic egg

1/4 tsp of anise extract

Last the powdered sugar to be used after the cookies cool

The first thing you will need to do is combine your Molasses, honey, and butter in a pot over low heat. After everything is combined you can let it sit and cool down.
Next sift together the flour and all the spices, salt and pepper in a large bowl and set aside.
Mix the egg, anise extract, and the lemon and lemon zest in a small bowl put aside.
Pour the egg mixture into the Molasses mixture and mix well.
Combine the dry and the Molasses mixture all together now.
The dough is going to be sticky so don't worry. Now wrap your dough up in plastic wrap or place in a bowl tightly sealed with Plastic wrap.
Place the cookie mix in the fridge for about 8 hrs or overnight. It really is worth it :)
Next day or 8 hrs later you are ready to start making your cookies. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line you’re baking sheets or grease up your cookie sheets with what you like to use.
Roll your cookies into a 1inch ball and place on you sheets. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, rotating the sheets a little while cooking. I normally will turn my sheets twice during the 10-15 minutes.
You will know they are done when you start to see small little cracks on the cookies. Sometimes the cracks won't happen and that’s fine. The cookies will look a little soft when you take them out and that's fine. These cookies harden as they cool and that's how it should be.
I let the Pfeffernusse cool just a few minutes, and then roll them in the powdered sugar. Put a nice layer on the cookie, the heat from the cookies will help the sugar stick to them better.
Store your cookies in a nice tin, or something with a nice lid on it. These cookies will taste better as they sit. I have made these in December and left them till January and they are even better then the first day. We normally eat them all month long because it makes so much.
Fröhliche Weihnachten!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent and Christmas Books

I am joining Jessica for her Advent and Christmas Book Link- up and it is so exciting because I love to read lot of books to our children. I love this time of year for so many reasons and no it is not because of the snow we get.  This time of year gives us a chance to snuggle up together and read books as a family. During the winter months we tend to stay indoors more due to the blowing snow and ice.  Some days we may read 3 or 4 books as a family and then camp out in our sleeping bags next to the Christmas tree. The memories you can build for your children through books is endless, and hearing your little one say “oh mommy I love that book” or “ I remember that book from last year it was one of my favorites” will just melt your heart.  For me reading to my family is also a way of relaxing, it forces me to stop all the things I feel I need to do during the day. As moms we tend to have lists longer then we can do in a single day. Reading with my girls, or listening to my husband read to our girls helps me stop and remember way I do everything I do. Families grow so fast so way not stop and enjoy them, spend extra time this Advent and Christmas building memories for your family through books you won’t be sorry you did.

Here are the books we will be reading this Advent and Christmas. We wrap up our family night time book of the day. Each night we will open another book as we make our way to Bethlehem, to praise the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The girls love this tradition and look forward to it each evening since they have no idea what the book will be. 
Advent Reading list
 November 27th   An Ellis Island Christmas

(This is a new book for us; the girls will receive this from Mom and dad for the feast of St. Nicholas).
Dec 6th The Secret of St. Nicholas

Dec 7th The Christmas Candle
(We will be reading this for the feast of St. Ambrose).

Dec 8th The Christmas Bird

Dec 9th The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story

Dec 10th The Three Gifts of Christmas: Book with Audio CD

Dec 11th An Orange for Frankie
(We normally eat chocolate covered orange peels or some type of orange cookie while listening to this story).

Dec 12th A Yuletide Ice Cube Fair

Dec 13th Hanna's Christmas
(What a wonderful book for the feast of St. Lucy).

Dec 14th God Gave Us Christmas

Dec 15th One Christmas Dawn

Dec 16th Night Tree

Dec 17th The Christmas Promise

Dec 18th Country Angel Christmas

Dec 19th Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect

Dec 20th Christmas in the Big Woods (Little House)

Dec 21st The Crippled Lamb

Dec 22nd Saint Francis and the Christmas Donkey

Dec 23rd Bethlehem

Dec 24th The Night before Christmas: Book & DVD
(Christmas Eve)

Merry Christmas

Dec 25th The Very First Christmas

Dec 26th Stephen's Feast
(For the Feast of St. Stephen).

Dec 27th Good King Wenceslas
(For the Feast of St. John the Apostle)
 (Feast of Epiphany)
We always read more than one book in a day, but I don't wrap them all. The next list is a list of all the other Christmas books we have on our home. We will be reading these along with the list above. 

The Legend of Saint Nicholas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (We will normally read the book in the morning and watch the movie in the evening. We let the girls hold our Manhattan Toy Dr. Seuss the Grinch while reading the book and watching the movie.
A Stable in Bethlehem
I Spy a Christmas tree
Touch and Feel Baby Jesus Is Born
Jingle Babies
Christmas in the Manger: A Pat-and-Peek Book
Mortimer's Christmas Manger
Angelina's Christmas
Angelina Ballerina's Christmas Crafts
Arthur's Christmas: An Arthur Adventure
The Twelve Days of Christmas
The Legend of the Candy Cane
A Christmas Star Called Hannah
Silent Night: Nativity Board Book
Merry Christmas, Strega Nona
Diego's Family Christmas
Touch and Feel Baby Jesus Is Born
The Mitten Board Book
The Night before Christmas Board Book
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
Merry Christmas, Mouse
Christmas in the Manger Board Book
The Story of Baby Jesus
Angels, Angels Everywhere
A Small Miracle
The Gift of the Christmas Cookie: Sharing the True Meaning of Jesus' Birth
Father and Son: A Nativity Story
The Night of Las Posadas
There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve
An Early American Christmas
The Littlest Angel
The Clown of God

Many Blessings to you and your family this Advent!