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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Things

This is a recipe that has been in our family for a long time.  I remember making these as a kid, and now my kids love to make them too.   We are making them for Christmas again this year, but they are a good any-time-of-year candy!

Peanut Butter Things:

1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1tsp vanilla
4-5 cups cheerios

Combine sugar & syrup in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, add peanut butter and cereal.  Stir until evenly coated.  Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.  Allow to cool completely. 

Memorable Christmas Presents

A couple of days ago, my sweet friend Relyn started blogging some of her Christmas memories.  Her blog, Come Sit By My Fire, is so inspiring to me in so many ways!  I loved her story about the Junior Mint Christmas, and it inspired me to write about one Christmas gift my dad gave my mom that really sticks out in my mind.  Where her story is very sweet, mine is sweet, but funny. 

Mom had asked for a turntable for Christmas.  She loved those wooden lazy suzan turntables that people put in the middle of their kitchen table with the salt, pepper, and napkins on them...  Dad was an amazing carpenter, so she figured it would be a piece of cake for him to make one.  About a week before Christmas this ENORMOUS package appeared beside the tree.  It would never fit under the tree, I remember thinking it was about half the size of our tree. It was the biggest Christmas present I had ever seen.  Mom asked who it was for, and Dad said "It's yours."   She was so confused... all she had asked for was a turntable for the kitchen table.  She could not imagine what he had bought her.  It was really heavy, so we knew he had not done the "wrap a box inside a box inside a box" trick.  When Christmas morning finally came around I remember wanting to know what mom's present was as much as my own.   When she finally started opening it, she was shocked.   It was a giant entertainment center - two tape decks, a 6-disc CD changer (CD's were new at the time), and record player... the whole enchilada!   Mom was certainly surprised, and I think it showed, because dad finally asked "Isn't that what you wanted?  They don't sell record players by themselves anymore." 
Apparently the word "TURNTABLE" has a different definition to a man than it does a woman....

Just as a side note, mom never got a lazy susan, and she still has the record player.  :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Paper Peppermint Ornaments

The annual Christian Paper Artists Ornament Swap has transpired once again.  This year I made paper peppermint ornaments.  Simple and sweet, I thought they turned out really cute!  This project is also a great way to use up some scraps from your stash.  :)


1. Cut circles from white paper 
and patterned red paper.   
Snip the red patterned circles 
into triangles. (Imagine slicing a pizza.)  

Keep in mind you will need 2 
white circles for each ornament.

 2.   Arrange 
the red triangles 
on the white circles
as desired & glue.


3.  Decorate your peppermints 
as desired.  I used clear and red 
stickles (glitter glue) on mine.

4.  Cut small tissue paper strips and accordion fold.

 5.  Attach tissue and a loop of twine to the back side of one white circle.   I ran these through my Xyron so the back was completely covered in adhesive. 

6.  When you have the tissue arranged the way you like it, attach another peppermint on top.   Now they are ready to hang!

Ornaments Everywhere!!

WOW!  We have been so busy around here, we just got the Christmas tree up.  This is only about 3 weeks later than normal for us... we are traditionally Thanksgiving Weekend Tree-Decorators.  I decided I didn't want to deal with the headache of a full-blown decorating scheme this year, so we decided to go simple.  I have to say, I have NOT regretted it in the least!!  You know the stress of making the house & the tree & everything look "perfect" every year?  I decided to scrap "perfect" and go for "simple" and "fun".   Guess what??? IT IS PERFECT!!!!!!!!   I know, the irony kills me. 

Instead of dragging all the boxes of decorations & ornaments out of the attic this year, we got out the tree and a few of our favorite things, and called it good.   We made home made salt-dough ornaments for the tree instead of spending hours unboxing & unwrapping all the regular ornaments.  Here's the recipe we used:

Salt Dough Ornaments

4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp. vegetable oil

Mix all ingredients.  Knead well.  Roll out & cut with cookie cutters.  Bake at 300° for 25-30 minutes.

I used a straw to poke holes in the ornaments before we baked them.  The kids had fun making & painting them. Even Gramma, Aunt Jenn & Uncle Eric came over to help. :)

Some of them we painted, some we used glitter glue to decorate, some we used both!   All told, we had close to 75 ornaments out of that one recipe.  

We ended up with two tree toppers on our tree, because each of the boys had made one at church last weekend. and of course you can't choose one and not the other... :)