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ONLY two more days!

The count-down is on. And the farm is buzzing with anticipation of the BIG day. Christmas!

Only two more days and my little minions need lots of distractions. For my sanity.

Here’s what we’ve been up to.

We’ve been reading lots and lots of Christmas books, including a new family favorite, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” We plan to finish this one tonight. And I’m sure it will conclude with as many giggles as the first several chapters have brought.

Last night there was a checkers tournament. Dad never won.

Dad vs. kids checker tournament

Dad vs. kids checker tournament

Some of the treats we’ve created so far include pretzels covered in almond bark (and buckets of green and red sprinkles), pretzels with Hershey’s kisses and Christmas colored-M&Ms and family-favorite Chex mix. I tried a new recipe for cinnamon rolls. (Recipes below or in picture caption.)

Pretzels + almond bark + LOTS of red and green sprinkles = Christmas fun!

Pretzels + almond bark + LOTS of red and green sprinkles = Christmas fun!

Pretzels + Hershey's kisses in 200 degree oven for five minutes followed by M&M gently pressed on top. Cool before packing away into air-tight container.

Pretzels + Hershey’s kisses in 200 degree oven for five minutes followed by M&M gently pressed on top. Cool before packing away into air-tight container.

Family-favorite Chex!

A blurry pic of our family-favorite Chex!

The girls made homemade hand scrubs for their grandmas.

Kadence with her hand scrub gift

Kadence with her hand scrub gift

Bella with her hand scrub gift.

Bella with her hand scrub gift.

Later today or tomorrow we are going to decorate cut-out cookies and make Grinch cookies (another Pinterest idea).

Masen lost a few teeth (and MORE are loose!)!

Masen the jack-o-lantern

Masen the jack-o-lantern

We set up a nativity (barn was made by my late Grandpa Clarence) and it took 35 seconds for somebody to steal the baby Jesus. I texted my mom that my house must be where nice, pretty, sentimental things go to die.

Bella and Masen pose with the nativity.

Bella and Masen pose with the nativity.

The final distraction I have planned is the annual reading of “The Night Before Christmas” by Matt while drinking a new recipe for yummy homemade hot cocoa, followed by many threats of not getting up at the crack of Christmas dawn (and I’m SURE they will obey this).

And I realize now that there isn’t even ONE photo of my second-born, Rylan. But, I assure you, he was here.

 

RECIPES

Family-favorite Chex

Combine 1 stick melted butter with 1/4 tsp. seasoned salt and 4-1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce. Pour over 8 cups Chex cereal and stir to coat evenly. Pour into casserole dish and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Store in air-tight container.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls from WomenLivingWell.org.
Dough:
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
6 Tbsp butter, melted
¾ cup buttermilk, room temperature {you can also use regular milk and add ½ tsp of vinegar OR lemon juice to your milk}
4 cups all-purpose flour,plus additional for dusting
1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2¼ teaspoons
1¼ teaspoons salt
Vegetable oil or cooking spray
Filling:
1 cup packed light brown sugar, approximately
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
1½ Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Icing:
¼ cup cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons milk
1½ cups powdered sugar
Instructions
For the dough: Beat together the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk.
Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; beat until moistened and combined.
Add all but ¾ cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes-you can do this with your hands or if you are using a stand up mixer, change to a dough hook.
Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds.
Lightly oil a large bowl.
Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2½ hours.
Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.
Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.
Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you.
Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle.
Brush the dough with the ¾-ounce of melted butter, leaving ½-inch border along the top edge.
Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a ¾-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough.
Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.
Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness.
Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1½-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.
Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off.
Fill a shallow pan or bowl ⅔-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes.
Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.
While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy.
Add the milk and whisk until combined.
Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth.
Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

Homemade hand scrub from isavea2z.com

Dawn Ultra Hand Renewal with Olay Beauty Scent dishwashing liquid
One container
Sugar
Labels or ribbon for decorating (optional)

Add sugar to your container, leaving some room at the top so you can stir it. Slowly add soap and stir.  Be careful not to add too much at a time.  Tthe consistency should be just like paste. Seal and then decorate.

Homemade hot cocoa from kitchme.com

13 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
34 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
13 cup boiling water
3 12 cup milk
34 tsp vanilla extract
12 cup half-and-half

Combine all ingredients in saucepan over medium heat until warm, stirring constantly.

 

 

 

Categories: Life on the farm

Tagged as:

Ginia

My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.

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