Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

All posts in In the Family

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Blessings to you, dear Reader, this Christmas, from Penny and I.

What a season full of blessings!  The blessing of God Himself coming down to where we are, to give us hope and salvation from the mess our world becomes without Him.  We celebrate this season because of Him.  And also we celebrate the blessing of family and the giving of gifts.  What a privilege to bless others.

 

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I enjoy stamping Christmas cards to give to friends.

A hedgehog snowman is rather a prickly friend, with a warm heart, of course!

We also bake lots of cookies to give to anyone who comes by.

 

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Penny enjoys exploring and sampling flavors amid the busyness of sticky counters.

 

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Penny likes to play in the pretty Christmas sprinkles.  The peppermint bits were tasty in chocolate cookies, a new combination we invented this year.

Penny would like to share with you a special recipe of ours:

Scandinavian Almond Bars

Beat:    1/2 cup softened butter
         1 cup sugar
Add:     1 egg
         1/2 tsp. almond extract
Stir in: 1 3/4 cup flour
         2 tsp. baking powder
         1/4 tsp. salt

Divide the dough into 4 balls.  Shape each into a 12" long roll. 
Place 2 rolls on an ungreased cookie sheet, flatten to 3" wide.
Brush with milk, then sprinkle with slivered almonds.
Bake at 325° for 12-15 minutes.
Allow to cool, then drizzle frosting over and slice diagonally.
(And we added Penny's Christmas sprinkles.)

 

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The almond cookies are a favorite of mine, but how can I favor any one cookie when they are all such yummy treats?  I must admit that the cookies I’ve been snitching the most lately are the turtle cookies.

What cookies did you like best Penny?

 

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Fudge!  And who has been snitching here?

*****

One of the special things about decorating for Christmas is the effect of lights.  We hope that you enjoy the glimpses of our Christmas lights below as much as we do each evening.

 

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Penny’s own Christmas tree.

 

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Silent night, Holy night,
All is calm, all is bright,
‘Round yon virgin mother and Child,
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

 

 

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Merry Christmas!!

 

 

 


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Welcome to our kitchen!  Would you like to join us in baking some chocolate chip cookies this afternoon?  Notice our faded old recipe card, all worn and hard to read.  We use the classic Nestles recipe.  First we will gather all our ingredients, and as a special treat, we will include some walnuts this time.

(These photos are actually from last year, but the recipe remains a favorite.)

Step One:  3/4 cup of each white sugar and brown sugar.

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Step 2:  cut in  1 cup butter

Penny is unwrapping a roll of homemade butter, made fresh here on the farm from our cow’s thick cream.  It is not yellow now as it is in the summer when the cow is out on grass.  Each ball is 1/2 cup.

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We often use this antique fork for mixing our cookie dough.  Electa was a great-great-grandmother in our family tree.  The long tines are useful for blending our ingredients.  It is special to hold a little bit of history in your hand.

 

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Step Three:  We will add 1/2 tsp. of vanilla to the mixed sugar and butter.

 

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Step Four:  2 beaten eggs.  Fresh brown eggs, of course.

Uh, oh, do I see a fragment of a shell in there?  Fetch it out, Penny!

 

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Step Five:  1 1/4 cup of white flour

1 1/4 cup of wheat flour  (we grind our own in the electric mill)

and 1 tsp. baking soda.

 

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Step Six:  1 cup chocolate chips

 

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Always be on guard when other persons are wandering about waiting for this step to produce snitching opportunities! Hands out of the Nestles bag!!

 

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Step Seven:  Drop by spoonful onto the cookie sheet.  Then bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes.

 

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Never mind about the mess, this project is worth it!

 

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As we smell the cookies baking, let us fetch some fresh cow milk from the frig.

 

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Then let us invite over a few friends from the kitchen shelf.

 

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“Come join us for a sample cookie and a tall glass of cold milk.” (Served on an upside-down bread pan.)

 

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For those of you who wish to see the recipe in its entirety, it will be rather challenging.

 

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We even saved a few cookies for the rest of the family,  with love!  ♥

 

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Merry Christmas, Friends!

 

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We enjoy the holiday season and the decorating we get to do.

Penny and her little kitty helped to shape the grapevine wreaths, and then to wrap on the evergreen branches and crabapple berries from our yard.

 

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 A festive place for viewing a beautiful day.

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We celebrate Nativity, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ as God became man to live among us, and make it possible so we could come live with Him.

Mom was recently remembering this song from her college days…

HE’S EVERYTHING TO ME

In the stars His handiwork I see,

On the wind He speaks with majesty,

Tho He ruleth over land and sea,

What is that to me?

I will celebrate Nativity,

for it has a place in history

Sure, He came to set His people free

What is that to me?

Till by faith I met Him face to face

and I felt the wonder of his grace

Then I knew that He was more

than just a God who didn’t care

That lived a way out there

And now He walks beside

me day by day,

Ever watching o’r me lest I stray,

Helping me to find that narrow way

He’s Everything To Me.

Words and music by Ralph Carmichael

 

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“From the fullness of His grace, we have all received one blessing after another.”

John 1:16

 

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I was up early this morning, watching the sun rise from my porch.  There is such a beauty about the freshness of the morning, and the dewy grass, and the sound of busy birds saying good-morning to the world, robins and hummingbirds were active nearest to me.  Though this picture above (taken by Dad and Mom when camping on Lake Ontario) is not the view I was seeing, it does portray some essence of the peacefulness I felt.  I was reading the passage for the day from Streams in the Desert, and really loved the comfort of this poem, and felt His nearness.

“I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the ’God of all comfort’ was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.
 
“As the earth needs the clouds and sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.
 
“When he leads thro’ some valley of trouble
His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us,
Are part of His lessons in grace.
 
“Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Husbandman knows
That the deeper the cutting and paring,
The richer the cluster that grows.
 
“Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
’Hereafter Thou ’lt know what I do.’
 
“As we travel thro’ life’s shadow’d valley,
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses,
Are blessings just sent in disguise.
 
“So we’ll follow wherever He leadeth,
Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we’ve proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night.”
 
~ taken from Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman – August 9

 
 
 
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June gives us such a flush of the most beautiful flowers, Penny and I thought we’d go into the yard and capture some in photos for your viewing pleasure.

 

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The mock orange bush fills our yard with the most heavenly aroma.

I think of these flowers as bridal flowers because we picked huge bunches of them for my brother’s wedding.  Congratulations on 7 years of marriage, Tim and Jessica!

 

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And now for a cheery chat with a smiling pansy.

 

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Bleeding heart, it sounds so sad, but is such an elegant flower.

 

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Peek-a-boo, I see you!!

 

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A bouquet of my favorite poppies.

 

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Our garden would not be complete without the whizzing little hummingbirds that zoom in and out and chatter and squeak.  They don’t seem to mind who is nearby.  I am glad that Mom has so many feeders, and places them right outside our windows so we can see the activity so close up.

 

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Chives and pink columbine.  I didn’t realize that so many of my pictures were pink.  I wish I had captured some more of the blues and purples for this “visual bouquet.”

 

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Peonies are so gorgeous!

 

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An explosion of soft pedals.

 

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You may not recognize this unusual flower.

 

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That is the blossom of a tulip poplar tree.  Quite a work of art, isn’t it?

Next is the beauty of the draping wisteria on our arbor.  Another very fragrant place!

 

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So much life and beauty.

 

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All creation has a language,

Words to say what must be said.

All day long the heavens whisper,

Signing word in scarlet red,

Amber rays and crimson rainbows,

Twinkling stars and flashing light,

Punctuate the heavens’ statement:

“God is glorious, perfect, right,

God is glorious, perfect, right”

 
 

All day long the sun proclaims it,

Like a Bridegroom dressed in white,

Coming from His tent to greet them,

All His guest feel His delight.

Words of love and warmth He whispers,

Warning all who hear His voice,

“Oh, be glad and share My table

Dance and celebrate . . . rejoice!

Dance and celebrate . . . rejoice!”

 
 

All creation sings His praises,

Earth and heaven praise His name,

All who live come join the chorus,

Find the words His love proclaim.

the song “Anthem” by Steve Green.     Words and music by Gloria Gaither and Michael W. Smith.

 

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