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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.

Advent 2011 Day 14

 

The Story of the Nativity – Luke 2:1-21wisemen

 

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

mary5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.shepards

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

jesus16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

21And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

candle