Christmas Tree of Books

I found this idea on the internet. It is a Christmas tree made of books. It is pretty self explanatory by the picture. Christmas trees are expensive unless you can cut one down for free! I thought this would be a fun idea to do as a family.

When making my Christmas tree out of books, I found that it helped to organize the books by size and thickness before I started assembling the tree. There are a few places where I double stacked books to achieve the desired thickness. I love antiques so used many of my antique books but any book will do.

Another activity that we have done is make ornaments out of pine cones. We live in a place where we have a plethora of pine cones. We made families of pine cone people to hang on the tree. I have always wanted to make a pine cone wreath but I have not tried that yet.

Please share ideas that you have heard of or done to decorate for the Christmas season on a budget.


Dutch Baby Apple Pancakes

2 tbsp butter
3 medium apples (cored and chopped into 1/4-inch dice)
6 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425.
Melt butter in a cast iron skillet over a medium heat, then toss in chopped apples. Fry the apples in butter until they become tender when pierced by a fork, about 6-8 minutes.
Beat eggs and milk together in a separate bowl until smooth and uniform, then beat in flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Continue beating the batter for the Dutch baby until it is smooth with no lumps. The batter will be very liquid.
Remove the skillet from the heat, pour the Dutch baby batter over the cooked apples and bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for 35-45 minutes until puffed and golden.
Serve the Dutch baby pancake immediately.

My Thankful Wreath

IMAG2166For years I have thought it would be fun to have a Thanksgiving wreath. Remember, I am not the craftiest tool in the shed. I promised to make a wreath based on what I had in my house. We got together and made it as a family this evening. I am thankful for daughters and their creative, helpful hearts and minds. My boys had LONG thankful lists. I am thankful for their thankful lists. The wooden lists are double sided. They still could not fit all of the items on the thankful lists. I am so thankful for thankful children. I am glad we took the time to be still and count our blessings.

Omelet Muffins

I saw this on Facebook today.


Mix in options

– minced ham and cheese
– salsa and cheddar
– minced cooked chicken and salsa
– tomatoes and peppers
– onions and tomatoes
– ham, bell pepper and onion

The options are endless! Onions and peppers will be softer if you saute them in butter or oil first.
Oil your muffin tins, put in your desired omlet mix in meats, veggies or cheese. Pour beaten eggs or egg whites over the mix ins. Put in preheated 350 oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until set in the middle, remove and enjoy!

Can be stored in the fridge for up to one week or freeze and use later.

Making Peanut Butter

My husband and I served at the church peanut butter factory recently. It was really fun. The peanut butter factory is run assembly line style. I kept thinking of the I Love Lucy episode when Ethel and Lucy are working on the chocolate assembly line.
So there were a few things that I wanted to tell you. Each shift starts with a prayer. In the prayer they pray for the recipients of the food. Isn’t that a beautiful thought? Peter Pan peanut butter does not come with blessings like that!
Another fun thought is that I noticed that when the peanut butter is poured into the jars, that the surface of the peanut butter looks like a smiley face. It is a simple thing but I thought it was a nice touch!

At time to be grateful

When times are tough it can be hard to count your blessings.  I have a testimony that as you sit and count your blessings that they will multiply.  You will feel gratitude begin to bubble within your heart.

I have been thinking of making a gratitude wreath to put on our front door.  I am NOT crafty as you can tell by how cutesy this blog is. I do have a collection of craft items I have collected through the years thinking that I was going to develop a craft talent.   I am going to attempt to make a wreath of blessings that our family is thankful for.  I am not going to buy any new supplies.  I will just use up whatever I have!  I will report back with a picture. :)

What are you thankful for?  Can you create something that will help you to remember and list your blessings this month?  Let us try a little harder to be thankful in all things and have fun with it.

The Lord has said, Be not afraid for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you.

I am thankful for Him. When I am standing with Him, I have so much to be thankful for.


Raisin Bread

mmm.. I think you need some warm raisin toast!

Yield: 3 loaves

1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup warm water (must be between 110-115 degrees)
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
3 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup raisins
8 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted (approx.)

Warm the milk in a small sauce pan on the stove until it just starts to bubble, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat.

Let cool until lukewarm, about 120-125 degrees.

Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside until yeast is frothy, about 10 minutes or so (make sure your water is at the correct temperature or the yeast won’t activate.) Then mix in eggs, sugar, butter salt and raisins (stir in the cooled milk slowly so you don’t cook the eggs.) Add the flour gradually to make a stiff dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until smooth.

Place in a large, buttered, mixing bowl and turn to grease the surface of the dough.

Cover with a warm, damp cloth and let rise (I like to let my bread rise in the oven with the light on. It has just the right amount of heat and keeps the bread out of drafts.) Allow to rise until doubled, usually about 1 1/2 hours.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2 inch thick.

Moisten the dough with 2 tablespoons milk and rub all over the dough with your hands.

Mix together 1 cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons cinnamon and sprinkle mixture evenly on top of the moistened dough.

Roll up tightly (the long way).

The roll should be about 3 inches in diameter.

Cut into thirds, and tuck under ends and pinch bottom together.

Place loaves into well greased (you can use Crisco or butter for this) 9 x 5 inch pans and lightly grease tops of loaves.

Let rise in warm place, uncovered, again for about an hour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from oven and let cool on rack.

Take melted butter and spread over tops of loaves.

After about 20 minutes, lay loaves on their sides and remove from pans.

Allow to cool before slicing.