Christmas Collage: Three Ideas to Brighten your Holiday Season

The best part of Christmas is the TRADITIONS! Here are three simple ideas that brighten our season:

-Christmas Cards

-An old Christmas story

-Cinnamon Roll Wreaths (See the traditional roll dough recipe below.)

I hope this collage of ideas makes your season a little bit BRIGHTER and SMOOTHER.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

Traditional Roll Dough (From my mom! I usually quadruple this recipe to make two full sheets of rolls, or four wreaths.)

1 TB yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup shortening or butter

1 tsp salt

3 1/2 cups flour

1 egg

-Soften yeast in warm water.

-Combine milk, sugar, shortening and salt in a saucepan over medium heat while milk scalds. Cool to lukewarm.

-Pour into mixing bowl.

-Add 1 1/2 cups flour and beat well.

-Beat in yeast and egg.

-Gradually add remaining flour to form a soft dough, beating well.

Place in greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise till double. Shape as desired. Cover and let rise till double on greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes. Makes 2 dozen rolls.

For Cinnamon Roll Wreaths:

Roll dough to 16×8 inch rectangle. Combine 1/4 c sugar, 2 TBS melted butter, and 1 tsp ground cinnamon; spread over dough. Sprinkle with raisins or craisins.

Roll as for jelly roll.

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Place on greased baking sheet in circle/wreath shape.

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Cut rolls nearly through dough and twist out. Let rise rill double. Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes. Glaze with mixture of powdered sugar and milk.

Add a festive bow and enjoy!

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Homemade Hungarian Christmas Ornaments

My daughter is in Hungary this December, and she sent me a photo of a traditional simple ornament she found at the local Christmas market in Budapest.

I decided to make one myself…using ONLY what I had on hand. No shopping!

The ornaments turned out beautifully and they SMELL SO GOOD. Just like Christmas!

Chicken Pot Pie – Simple and Yummy

Remember how I said we eat pie EVERY DAY during the autumn time? Well, that’s pretty close to the truth! I often make an ENTIRE MEAL out of two pies: chicken pot pie for the main dish, and a fruit pie for dessert.

One of my favorite things about pie is that kids can help, too! Join me, Naomi, and Eli as we quickly make our favorite yummy chicken pot pie.

Pear Pie – Easy and Delicious!

Our neighbor gave us several buckets of green pears. What to do?

We discovered Pear Pie! It’s delicious and simple to make, especially with Pillsbury pre-made crusts! Enjoy pear pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s easy and fast!

The Journal Jar

Journaling! Where do we start? Where do we end? How much do we record about our lives? And our children’s lives???

Keeping record of special happenings can feel overwhelming, especially if you are also in charge of little people.

Thanks to my college professor, George Durrant, I learned a simple trick that has helped me not to feel TOO OVERWHELMED when I journal.

I’ve passed this tip on to my kids, AND I have a weekly incentive for them to write in their journals each Sunday. My secret? The Journal Jar. Here’s how it works:

CURSIVE CANDY: Worth the Bribe!

CURSIVE handwriting is becoming a lost art in our society, and that makes me sad! I remember my elementary teachers’ careful instruction on writing in beautiful cursive. They taught me that writing well was a sign of maturity and skill.

Our older children attended a private school in Las Vegas, Nevada and cursive was required in their school work. However, our younger children now attend public schools in Utah. Cursive is barely introduced and rarely required.

So…I decided to take matters into my own hands, literally! During the summer I ask my kids to do one written sheet of cursive each day. Then, during the school year, I offer CANDY for CURSIVE!

If my kids show me their daily school planner and work written in cursive they get a small treat. Each day! This bribe is totally worth it to me. Most of my kids can now write and read cursive, and they are finding that writing cursive is faster than printing. Hooray!

Bribes are necessary sometimes in parenting, and I believe that cursive is one of those emergency situations! Try CANDY for CURSIVE!

Fair Fun – The perfect end to summer

Hey! The end of summer is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with the County Fair?

Think, what have your kids made? At Scout camp? Art class? On long lazy afternoons with Legos? I’m positive you have some treasures tucked into corners of your house.

Submitting items for the fair is a SIMPLE way to finish off summer and…kids LOVE it!

Home Organization – with Rachel!

I have ten children and I CANNOT function without cleanliness and order! 🙂

My friend, Rachel, is a professional home organizer. She has wonderful tips to maintaining a household that is beautiful, functional, and brings us peace.

Today Rachel and I specifically discuss ideas for kitchen and pantry organization:

  1. Take Everything OUT
  2. PUT like things together
  3. ORGANIZE into bins, drawers, and shelves (She has great tips for where to find good containers!)
  4. MAINTAIN

I especially love Rachel’s power phrase: HONOR YOUR SPACE. Caring for our homes brings us peace and joy. I hope you enjoy this ten-minute tip to make your motherhood BRIGHTER and SMOOTHER! Thanks, Rachel. 🙂

 

Simple Summer

Summertime is busy, especially with kids home all day!

For me the toughest part of summertime is the FOOD! I have to fix more meals more times everyday to feed the masses.

Here are three simple tricks I use to keep our mealtimes easy, fast, and uncomplicated.