Archive | December 2011

Advent 2011

Dear friends and followers.  I regret that I was not able to keep up with my Advent 2011, I had a few setbacks.  My husband was in the hospital for 8 days,and is now home, praise God.  His doctors are working (along with the prayers of our friends and prayer partners, and our faith in God) to restore his health in every area.  He had made great improvements in most areas, with a slight setback in the healing of his leg, however we are not swayed or moved.  We know God has His hands upon him.

My computer sadly broke down right after my last post and needs to be replaced.  I’m using my daughter’s computer right now.  I can’t complain, my computer lasted for almost 7 years, and they say the average life span of a computer is 3-5 years.  The downside is that I do not have the funds to get a new one, so posting to my blog will be difficult until I get a new one.  Again, I give all praise and thanks to God, because while I cannot post to my blog, I also am not bound to the computer as I was.  I truly spent way too much time on the computer.

And, as usually happens, I allowed myself to get run down between being at the hospital, trying to volunteer at the law office and give my family a nice Christmas, so I ended up getting sick Christmas evening.  It could have been much worse, I am grateful that it was just cold/hot spells and muscle soreness.  The downside is the wonderful fever blister that is about to make its appearance just to let me know that I was in fact sick and I need to take better care of myself.

I pray that God blesses you abundantly with His peace, joy and health now and for the coming years.  Know that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.

Advent 2011 Day 20

With just 5 days until Christmas, many have finished their shopping, finished their wrapping, mailed their greeting cards and are done their baking.  I am not even close to being done any of it.

I know I need to get my cards in the mail, do some baking, plan Christmas dinner and get a few gifts, but for some reason that is not what is on my mind.  I’m thinking about the squirrels, rabbits and birds that hang in my yard and wondering what I can do for them.  I have no idea why – I mean they’re squirrels and rabbits and birds for goodness sake.  I’m sure they’ve laid up their food for the winter, but I can’t stop thinking about them.  Maybe it’s because I noticed the huge chunk missing out of one of the cushions on my lawn furniture.  Yes, I should have brought them in weeks ago, but it wasn’t a high priority – then… Or maybe it was the enormous cluster of bird feathers at the base of my spruce tree.  Or perhaps it was the 2 nests that I also found at the base of  my spruce tree. 

Whatever the reason, someone or something is trying to get my attention.  So, with that in mind, I’m pulling out the Girl Scout in me and I’m going to make some Pinecone Birdfeeders and save all the ends of my bread and put them out for the furry friends.

Don’t forget about your woodland friends this winter.  I will suggest however that you put your goodies far from the house to avoid having them become too comfortable or close to your entryways.  I opted to use directions from a website for the Pinecone Birdfeeders to save time.  Their directions and pictures are awesome.

Materials you will need for each pinecone feeder:

  • A large, open pinecone
  • Vegetable shortening, peanut butter, lard or suet
  • Oatmeal or corn meal – optional
  • Birdseed
  • A few feet of string, fishing line or twine
  • Mixing bowl
  • Butter knife
  • Spoon
  • Scissors
  • Pie tin, paper plate or cookie sheet
  • ½ cup measuring cup
  • Optional: High-energy bird foods such as dried fruit (cut in small pieces), chopped nuts, sunflower seeds or millet

Making a pinecone bird feeder:

STEP 1:

Assemble your materials.

STEP 2:

Tie a string around the wider, stem end of the pinecone.

STEP 3: – Only need to do this step if you opt to use oatmeal or corn meal

Mix ½ cup vegetable shortening (or alternative) with ½ cup oatmeal or corn meal in a mixing bowl until well blended. (This amount will cover one large pinecone or two or three smaller ones.)

Pinecone feeder ingredients

STEP 4:

Thoroughly spread the mixture over the pinecone with a butter knife or back side of a spoon.

Pinecone ingredients

STEP 5:

Pour the birdseed into a pie tin or on a paper plate or cookie sheet. If you choose, you can add any of the optional high-energy foods to the birdseed. Then roll the pinecone in the birdseed until well covered.

Birdseed in pan

STEP 6:

Suspend the feeder from a tree branch outside.
Completed Pinecone birdfeeder

Advent 2011 Day 19

Do you bake at Christmas time? Do you have anything special you make for the family or friends?  There was a time when I would bake for days at a time.  Cookies, cakes, pies and whatnot.

As the years have gone by, I have done less each year.  I can’t say why exactly, there are many reasons, but I must say I miss all the excitement of shopping for the ingredients, and getting flour everywhere, all the mmmm’s and oohhhs from the kids as they sampled the cookies and treats.

With all that’s going on in my life right now, I don’t have the time or energy this year, even though my mind and heart had plans of making all kids of goodies.  Even still, I thought today’s Advent could be about Christmas recipes.  Here are couple I found on the web that I thought were a bit different.  Feel free to share your favorite recipes in the comments section – I’d be happy to share with my readers.

Christmas Crescent Cookiescrescent

1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks)
2 c. flour
2 c. chopped pecans
5 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar; add vanilla and water. Sift flour and salt,
stir into mixture. Add pecans and mix well. Shape into size of 
walnut and shape into crescent. Bake slowly at 325 degrees about 
20 minutes. While warm, roll into powdered sugar. 

 

Christmas – Egg Nog Pie

4 3/4 ounce package vanilla pudding and pie filling mix  
eggnog pie2 cups eggnog 
1 1/4 cups milk 
1 tablespoon light rum 
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
9" graham cracker pie shell 
Whipped cream 
Nutmeg
	
Cook pudding mix for for pie filling using 2 cups eggnog and 
1 1/4 cups milk. Stir in rum and nutmeg; pour into crust. Cover 
surface with plastic wrap; chill several hours. Garnish with 
whipped cream and nutmeg.

Christmas Float

1 can coke or Dr Pepperrootbeer
3 scoops of ice cream - chocolate or vanilla
4 cherries
2 red and green gum drops
red and green M&M's
whipped cream topping
	
Put ice cream in cup. Pour soda on it, then add the whipped cream, 
cherries and candy.
 

Christmas Cranberry Punch

2 C Cranberry Juicecranberry

2 C Pineapple Juice

1 C Orange Juice

3/4 C Triple Sec (optional)

1 Pint Strawberries, sliced

1 Lime thinly sliced

4 C Ginger Ale – chilled

 

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.

In a large glass container, combine ingredients and chill thoroughly.  Just before serving, slowly stir in the ginger ale. Pour into a punch bowl or large jug and add ice cubes.

Advent 2011 Day 18

eggnog1Eggnog.  Either you LOVE it, or you HATE it.  I side with the latter.  I like eggs, but something about whipping it into something I drink just doesn’t do it for me.  I thought I’d get all historical and tell you the history of Eggnog and why we only drink it for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but there really isn’t anything conclusive that says why or when or how it became a holiday tradition.

It appears that it started in renaissance Europe.  It was not something for the poor, mainly an aristocratic treat since eggs and milk and alcohol were expensive.  They mainly used wine or ale to add to the mix and I’m thinking that since refrigeration was not around, adding the alcohol helped keep it around a bit longer.  eggnog

It seems to have been intended as a winter treat.  Something they would serve at parties and gatherings.  When it hit America around the 1600s, rum was used instead of wine and so that is where that tradition began. 

Today it comes in all varieties.  You can get it with or without alcohol, you can even get it with soy or organic milk. 

 

eggnog2eggnog7eggnog3eggnog6eggnog5eggnog4

There’s eggnog coffee, ice cream, cheesecake, cookies, pancakes, martini’s, and the list goes on wherever your imagination or taste buds take you.

Advent 2011 Day 17

Joy to the World, the Lord has come!  I’m not sure why that suddenly popped into my head, but I thought it the perfect message for today’s Advent.  This song, written by Isaac Watts, is based on Psalm 98 and was not originally meant to be a Christmas carol, but rather as a hymn giving glory to God.  Let it ring through our hearts at Christmas, and all year long. ~Briggie

 

Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love

Advent 2011 Day 16

I apologize for not posting this on day 16.  I have been preoccupied with my husband’s illness and did not have an opportunity to get to a computer.  I thought it would be nice to post some Christmas quotes for you so here goes…

 

merry christmas

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.  ~Roy L. Smith

 

Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year – and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority.  ~W.J. Cameron

 

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!  ~Author Unknown

 

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!  ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

 

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.  ~Norman Vincent Peale

Advent 2011 Day 15

I am having a hard time deciding on what to post for today’s Advent.  My husband has been in the hospital since Monday, and my mind just can’t seem to focus.  I jump from idea to idea but never get anything going.  It’s just 10 short days until Christmas and I am praying for a Christmas miracle, as I am sure many thousands, no – millions of others are.

Some are praying for financial help, some for a medical miracle, others for their soul mate.  So many are praying to find work, keep their homes, fix their cars, the list goes on and on and on…

I am praying for peace.  Peace over my finances.  Peace over my husbands health.  Peace over my children.  Peace over my employment.  Peace over my home.  Peace over my car.  Peace over my spirit.  Peace over my soul.

I feel that if I pray for peace, all the other things that I could, and should be praying for will work themselves out God’s way.  I’m giving him the reins over it all.  I truly feel it’s the only way I will make it though the day without losing what little control I have left.

So, my Advent for today is that you find peace.  His peace.  The peace that surpasses all understanding.  The peace that will calm any storm.  The peace that will give you rest and help you to breathe.

 

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Matthew 11:28-30  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 20:19  On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them,  “Peace be with you.”

Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.