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

All posts in Christmas

 

A very merry Christmas from our house to yours!  ♥

 

 

Penny and I have been enjoying trying our hand at making gingerbread houses this year.  A new experience for me.  Thanks to Google, we found a good recipe and set to work mixing ingredients, kneading lots of flour into the dough to make it very stiff, and then rolling it out to cut into shapes to create our little houses.

 

 

I am thankful to have found the tip saying to hot glue the house together, rather than relying on just frosting, and it sounded like a good step to make things simpler.  So that’s what I did, with no regrets, though it would not be purely edible.  I wasn’t planning on these getting eaten.

 

 

You can see here that I drew lines on the roof with a pencil for the “shingle” pattern.  Penny and her pets wanted to run in and out to explore the cute little house.

 

 

Another tip I learned was to make the candies available in a muffin tray.  Good idea!  We had red and green M&Ms, white chocolate wafers, gummy candies, little cinnamon drops, pretzels, pecans, and dates.  And of course, candy canes.  Go easy on the sampling here!!

 

 

And now for the little people to begin.  I made royal frosting from egg whites and confectionery sugar that is meant to dry quickly.  I gave the workers each a sandwich bag with the tip cut off so they could pipe it on as they wished.  Here the pencil lines are roughly followed with frosting and M&Ms applied with little fingers.

 

 

This is a busy gingerbread house construction site with kids very intent on their labors.  So cute!

 

 

Someone got carried away with candy cane ridgepoles here, but no fear, there is nothing that a little more frosting can’t fix!  How do you like it now, Penny?

 

 

First we decorated the fronts, then the sides got candy accessories too – bright little Christmas bushes and white chocolate wafers.

 

 

Oh, here is a good idea, a pretzel log sidewalk to the front door.

 

 

I added frosting to the roof edges and some dripping icicles to complete this masterpiece.

 

 

This home belongs to the gummy snowmen who wonder if you won’t step inside and join them for a cup of cocoa?

 

 

After a busy day, here is Penny posing by the finished houses.  A big one for the children to take home, and a littler one for their Grandma.  Merry Christmas one and all!

In the background is the recently made Christmas banner celebrating “God with us”.

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”    Matthew 1:23

And that’s why we celebrate Christmas!!

 


 

We have taken part in the Samaritan’s Purse ministry Operation Christmas Child the last few years.  What fun it is to pack a box of special items to gift to a needy child in another land.

 

 

Here is the website all about Operation Christmas Child.

 

 

Our church ordered these festive printed boxes and this flier explained what to include while putting together your shoebox gifts.

 

 

Penny had a lot of fun trying out some of the items, like riding this toy jeep.  Whee!!

 

 

Imagine the fun some little boy will have with this harmonica, making music wherever he goes.

 

 

I love the warmth of handmade items, so Penny and I found a way to personalize the little 4 X 6 inch sketchbook with colorful washi tape and fun animal stamps decorating some of the pages here and there.

 

 

Here is the scrapsheet displaying the variety of critters now decorating the inside of the sketchbook: monkeys and hippos, giraffes and alligators.  I hope they will delight some little fellow who receives this.  He can fill out the rest of the pages as he wishes with the box of crayons we included.

 

 

Another homemade gift is a drawstring bag we called a “Possible Bag” as kids.  It can hold anything possible, and be a great place to store treasures.

 

 

Penny inspects the final stitches to be sure they are even and strong to hold up to lots of use.

 

 

Admiring the finished product.  This bright blue print is cheery.  I wonder what it will hold in its lifetime?

 

 

And now to try to fit it all in the shoebox!  The sketchbook, a yo-yo, a toothbrush, a new plaid shirt, sunglasses… a nerf football too!  How can we make it all fit?

 

 

We did it!!  The possible bag is tucked on top, then with a caring prayer that God’s love will bless whomever this will eventually belong to, Penny must sit fiercely on the lid while I wrap the bulging box with a couple of rubber bands.

 

 

Next, it gets a green label for a BOY, and we check the box for a child 5-9 years old.

 

 

And now it is ready to send!!

 

 

Violet is interested in seeing where the shoeboxes go from here, so we send her off to find out….

First it goes to our church where they collected a total of 138 boxes.  My friend, Cindy, from church helps at our town’s drop off location where all the area shoeboxes are collected, then packed into big brown boxes to be trucked out to a processing center.  There are 8 processing centers in the United States.

 

 

 

Violet will go along with Cindy as she and her husband volunteer at the Processing Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Stay tuned for her report on what happens there!

 

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Grandma’s Glasses

A little boy said to a playmate, “Do you know what I want for Christmas?  I want  glasses just like Grandma wears. She must have a special kind because she can see much more than most people.

“She can see when folks are hungry or tired or sorry, and she can even see what’ll make them feel better. She can see how to fix a lot of things to have fun with, and she can see what a feller meant to do, even if he didn’t do it right. She can see when a feller is about to cry and she can see what to do to make him feel better.

“I asked her one day how she could see so good, and she said it was the way she learned to look at things as she got older. So I want a pair of glasses just like Grandma’s so I can see good, too.”

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I love nativity scenes ~ the stable, the critters, and the dear people that were chosen to welcome the Christ child.

 

 

 

Our Christmas tree holds a collection of warm family memories from years gone by and many treasured handmade ornaments.

 

 

 

A beautiful variety of Christmas cards from family and friends is another of my favorite Christmas treasures.  This following picture reminds me of our farm.

 

 

Christmas is a time when we feel so loved, and it is a special time to pass that love around to others.

 

Penny, waiting by her Christmas mailbox.  Is the mailman coming yet?

 

Merry Christmas to you!

 

 

 

 


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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?

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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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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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