Red Velvet Fudge

This is a new family favorite as my daughter brought home some red velvet fudge she had found at a gas station. The challenge was on to adapt our recipe to include this new flavor and it’s been a hit so far.

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Is Santa Real? … That is the question

I saw this explanation in one of my Facebook groups and I love it…

For those of you questioning the way to tell your children about Santa Claus, here is a sweet story on combining that with training. Delete if inappropriate for this group.

I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit Grandma on the day my brother dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” he jeered. “Even dummies know that!”

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. “No Santa Claus?” she snorted, “Ridiculous! Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let’s go.”

“Go? Go where, Grandma?” I asked. I hadn’t even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. “Where” turned out to be Kirby’s General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. “Take this money,” she said, “and buy something for someone who needs it. I’ll wait for you in the car.” Then she turned and walked out of Kirby’s.

I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he didn’t have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

“Is this a Christmas present for someone?” the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. “Yes, ma’am,” I replied shyly. “It’s for Bobby.”

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, “To Bobby, From Santa Claus” on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa’s helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.”

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker’s bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were — ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

May you always have LOVE to share,

HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care…

And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

☆Copied and pasted from another page.

Life Update: January 3, 2020

Whew! What a time we’ve had over the past few weeks! I apologize for not getting to post anything on a regular basis. A lot of the recipes that have posted had been typed up prior to November, when my oldest daughter left for Kansas, and then scheduled to post later… good thing I did that or I wouldn’t have had the energy to do anything all month!

I’m having an OK morning so far so I wanted to go ahead and try to type up a quick post to fill everyone in on what has been going on around here! So just in case, you missed some of our most recent news, here is a quick update:

  • Mr. Awesome and I got married on Christmas Day with a surprise wedding!
  • We also officially announced that there will be a new addition to our family later this year!

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Life Update and A Quick House Tour

So I’ve been trying to get this quick video tour to upload but our internet has been so crappy… well you know how our internet it so it has taken me longer than expected to get this out to you. I’ve also been feeling a bit under the weather and had an ER visit on Sunday where I found out that my potassium was low… sigh… if it isn’t one thing it is another, right? The video tour will be down below but I’ll go ahead and give up a little update on the house since our last update. Continue reading “Life Update and A Quick House Tour”

Cocoa In A Crockpot

Just another recipe I found floating around in my Holiday Binder… we love to serve Hot Cocoa when we have a Polar Express Party and this is one of the recipes I have used in the past although we normally prefer to use our Hot Cocoa recipe. This one is super simple and delicious though.

Try serving it with some Chocolate-Dipped Goodies for an extra special treat!

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Santa’s Top 10 Favorite Cookies That Can Be Made Ahead of Time!

santas-top-10-pin.pngI don’t know if Santa will be visiting your house anytime soon but I think he just might stop here for a handful of cookies. My kiddos love the tradition of leaving cookies for Santa although I suspect that it may be because they get to help sample the cookies.

This year I was determined to have a little bit less stress around the holidays but sometimes life seems to just happen around you. Our new house has been one thing after another and I really wasn’t sure just what else might happen before Christmas so I really tried to get things prepped ahead of time.

One thing I did was to make a TON of freezer meals, 35+ Freezer Meals In One Day!, and I also worked on adding printable recipes to all of my existing recipes on the blog as well as to the new recipes I’ve been posting. I’ve also gotten all of my recipes from my recipe box scheduled to post and I will continue to work on some of the others I have scattered around and packed up just as soon as I can.

This is so much easier than trying to keep your screen open in the kitchen… I apologize that I didn’t do this earlier! I also went ahead and made a bunch of Freezer Cookies! (Working on that post too!) 

I’m not completely against using store-bought cookie dough but I feel that homemade is ALWAYS better if you can. With these recipes, you CANI normally like to roll most of my cookie dough into small balls and flash freeze to make it easier to only pull out what I need. You may want to experiment with these recipes or divide them into smaller batches before freezing. Check out this article HERE for more information about freezing different kinds of cookie dough!

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Potato Cakes

Need an idea to use up some of the leftovers after Thanksgiving? Have you ever tried potato cakes? These are a favorite in our house and we have them whenever we have a pile of leftover Mashed Potatoes. These can be adapted to incorporated a variety of leftovers so clean out that fridge and see what you can find to make up a batch of these.

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Spinach Dip

I love this stuff and when I was pregnant I would crave it… I always kept a batch made up. This is truly a recipe the kids can make by themselves!

This is super easy to make and tastes great with EVERYTHING! We have used it for veggies, chips, and crackers. You could probably add a bit of chopped red bell pepper to make it a little more festive. Continue reading “Spinach Dip”

Non-Toy Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids & Families

I know some of us aren’t really ready to talk about Christmas shopping yet but I wanted to throw a few ideas out there really quick. I’ve been getting lots of requests for sizes and likes for the kids so I know there are some busy little elves about. I’m so glad that I printed out this Free Printable Shopping Guide – Makes Christmas Shopping So Much Easier!I filled it out too which is always a good thing!

Katie over at Kids Cook Real Food has some great ideas for simple, inexpensive gifts that won’t clutter up your house. This is great for Mommas like me who HATE clutter… our house is so small that it doesn’t take long before things get cluttered in here and Christmas time is probably the hardest part of the year. Even though we’re hoping to be in our new house by Christmas I really don’t want to clutter everything up! Continue reading “Non-Toy Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids & Families”

Party Cheese Ball

This is the cheese ball recipe that I’ve been looking for… thankfully my Holiday Binder was still in the house and not packed away in the shed. My Holiday Binder has folders for every major holiday and party that we have celebrated and the recipes that we use for those events… such a timesaver! Kids can help with this too!

This can be made ahead of time and put in the freezer for up to a month. Just wrap the cheese ball tightly in plastic, before covering with nuts, and place in the freezer. Allow it to thaw completely in the fridge before covering with nuts and serving.

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Mama’s Best Dinner Rolls

These are not the easiest rolls to make but these are probably my favorite rolls by far. They remind me of when we would go the Ryan’s and eat many, many years ago. When you pair these with the Whipped Honey Butter and Cinnamon Butter you have a match made in heaven.

There have been many times in the past that I had requests from neighbors to make batches of these for their Thanksgiving dinners. I always tried to make more than enough but somehow we never end up with any leftover rolls.

I probably wouldn’t try this out for the first time if things are rushed because these take a bit of time to make but they are so worth it. I also use my stand mixer to make these but they would probably be just fine with a hand mixer or by hand. These could be made ahead of time and then frozen until ready to bake. Continue reading “Mama’s Best Dinner Rolls”

Pumpkin Roll

I finally found the recipe! My original is floating around somewhere but I found a copy of it in my Holiday Binder in the Thanksgiving folder… right where it should be! My oldest daughter and one of my sisters love to make these around the holidays and everyone looks forward to them!

You can also check out this neat idea I saw on Pinterest to make it a little bit more festive. If that link doesn’t work check out this one HERE.

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