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In The Pipeline: December

Happy December Y’all! Already this week, we have put up our tree and covered it with new silver-spray painted salt dough ornaments. They are the easiest + happiest Christmas craft ever. Do it this weekend and you’ll have big smiles, I promise. Last night, I introduced 30 sweet gals to the joys (and the mess) of …

Happy Christmas

Hello friends! We’re excited to be wrapping up 2014 in Arkansas. Since I’ll be visiting with friends and family, the blog will be a bit quiet for the rest of December, but I wanted to take a minute to say thank you so much for reading and walking with me this year! I hope you …

12 Homemade Treats, Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking

Homemade Treats = Perfect Gifts

12 Homemade Treats for the Holidays! If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you might have heard me engaging in battle with my current nemesis, Tiny Oven. I have admitted Tiny Oven is suffering mostly in my eyes from an unfair comparison to Dream Oven, my industrial wonder from Christmas Past. One of the …

Jerusalem Greer, A Homemade Year, Christmas Gifts

A Homemade Year + Merry Christmas Giveaway

A dear friend of mine, Jerusalem Greer, wrote a book that was published last spring called A Homemade Year. It is a lovely book of of stories, photos, recipes and craft ideas for celebrating the Christian liturgical year. The recipes and crafts are wonderfully practical for giving your family ideas for celebrating some of these …

salt dough ornaments, silver spray paint, christmas crafts, christmas with children, handmade christmas ornaments

Salt Dough Ornaments

I made these ornaments as a child with my mother. I think we made 56 snowmen one year. I have been homebound with sick ones this week so instead of attending Christmas school parties we stayed in our pajamas for four days while sorting legos and making ornaments. And watching The Lord of the Rings. …

advent readings, preparing for christmas, christmas readings, december, preparing your heart for the holidays

Advent Readings

Are you looking for something to read this Christmas?  Here are my Advent Readings for this year. My six year old, Simon, is counting down the days until December 1st. He remembers fondly that even though there is currently no evidence of the coming season in our house, we usually start Christmas on December 1st …

Christmas Cookies

My kitchen is covered in cookies today. If you need a few all wrapped up for gifts, give me a holler. Or you could make some yourself!  They are so yummy and happy! Tomorrow I will be turning all my baking efforts solely to… the cupcakes! Over half of our cupcakes are already sold, so …

Shrimp Dip

I did a demonstration on Monday for an appetizer you can take to a holiday event that requires no cooking. Just chop and assemble.  So easy.  And it’s Christmas colors! Shrimp Dip Ingredients: 8 oz cream cheese, softened 10 oz shrimp cocktail sauce 6-8 oz already cooked salad shrimp ½ green bell pepper chopped 2-3 …

10 Ideas for Teacher Christmas Gifts

For our women’s event today at church, I am doing a demonstration on 10 ideas for Teacher Christmas Gifts. Of course, it goes without saying that these could also be neighbor gifts. Or gifts for friends.  Or gifts for the UPS man.  Whatever. I usually choose something every year that I make a LOT of …

Watch for The Light

I’m reading through this treasure of a book for Advent this year called Watch for the Light.  Already I have been so blessed by the musings of Kathleen Norris, Bernard of Clairvaux and Karl Rahner. Today’s reading opened with this poem by St Thomas Aquinas. Light of lights! All gloom dispelling, Thou didst come to …

handmade christmas

We are gearing up for a wonderful holiday season at the Chino House. I haven’t pulled the decorations out yet but I am doing a lot of preparing on paper and in my heart.  We’re so excited this year because our church theme for this Christmas is the Advent Conspiracy.  Since we already love an …

Inspired Christmas, Blurred Christmas Lights, Joy

JOY!

I have a little Merry Christmas Eve gift for ya! We participated in the Joy Project again this year, which made us laugh a lot throughout December. For me, the laughing and dancing together as a family is the value of getting out and bringing the joy! We surprised people with our joyful flash mob …

Candied Nuts

I made these on Sunday for our holiday shopping event at church and I sold them all. Honestly, I felt a little bad taking peoples’ money for something that is so insanely easy to make, but since all the money is going to buy flour, sugar, chocolate and lots and lots of butter for our …

Inspired Christmas, Blurred Christmas Lights, Joy

Inspired Christmas

I’ve been fighting the crazy Christmas machine this week.  Not the one that jumps out of advertisements.  The one that lives inside my head.  It tells me that I’ll never ever get away from being in bondage to the Christmas frenzy, no matter what I do. There are two current lines of thought in my …