My Thoughts

Top Ten Christmas Decorations From My Childhood

This is what greeted the kids Christmas morning last year. 

When I think about Christmas decorations from my childhood, certain images are recalled almost immediately. Today, I want to take you down memory lane.

1) Pipe Cleaner Candy Canes

We made pipe cleaner candy canes by twisting a red and a while pipe cleaner together. Then we curved a hook in it and hung it on the tree. Sometimes we took one pipe cleaner and made a candy cane using Tri beads in Christmas colors (that would be red, green, and white for us).

2) Paper Snowflakes

Paper snowflakes have more to do with winter than Christmas, but we always ended up making them on our Christmas holidays. These would hang in the windows until the moisture from the windows would make them all soggy and they would start falling apart (Don’t tell me that didn’t happen to your snowflakes.)

3) Paper Chains

Bright and colorful paper chains often wrapped around the whole tree. You know the ones made with construction paper and a stapler? Do you know how much paper (and how many staples) it takes to make a paper chain that goes all the way around a huge Christmas tree? (Neither do I.)

4) Popcorn Chain

What do you get when you mix a giant bowl of popcorn (this time without butter) with a long thread and a sharp needle? A popcorn chain for the Christmas tree and sore fingers. We only did this once and I am pretty sure I know why.

5) Fancy Baubles

When I was little most of the shiny decorations were breakable and our tree was full of them. I love all the Christmas baubles on fancy trees, I just don’t like cleaning up the splinters of glass when the balls fall on the floor and I step on them. I am so thankful for the invention of “shatterproof” baubles made of plastic. In my mind they look just the same and they are safer to have when the kids take the ornaments on and off the tree all day long for the whole month of December.

6) Garland

I can’t tell you if we have had garland on any of our family trees since we started our own family, we might have, I just don’t remember. I do remember always having garland wrap around our family Christmas tree growing up.

7) Tinsel

I also remember hanging tinsel on after the garland (as long as we didn’t have any pets at the time – You do know that tinsel is bad for cats and dogs and other small animals allowed to be loose in the house, right?) because the tinsel always came after the garland. And after the tinsel always came…

8) The Star or The Angel

Growing up we have always had a star or angel adorn the top of our Christmas tree. It was always put on last. There were a few times when it was too heavy for that skinny top branch and it would sag, but most of the time it fit just right. I heard from a reliable source that my sister tied a Ken doll, dressed in a suit, on top of her Christmas tree this year and they are planning to get him some angel wings (it is so hard to find man angels these days!).

9) Stockings

We had a variety of different stockings growing up. I am not sure why we never had the same ones, but my guess is that it was probably because the stockings were packed in a box somewhere and we couldn’t find them. I have made stockings a few times now for my kids, so I understand this crazy phenomenon of losing those “TWO” boxes that you only use once a year. I am guessing that is why they have started making those bright red and green buckets. We have those now and we love them. This year I found 2 complete sets of stockings.

Last, but definitely not least, was the…

10) Nativity

We always had some form of nativity on display at Christmas time. One nativity was ceramic and painstakingly hand painted by my aunt (my dad’s brother’s wife). The other nativity that stands out in my mind was probably purchased at a local department store, but we were allowed to touch it. It had a wooden stable with that funky moss all over it and the little resin nativity characters. I have fond memories of playing out the Christmas story with those characters.

What are your fondest memories of Christmas Decorations from your childhood? 

I am linking up to Top Ten Tuesday and the Hip Homeschool Hop.

Check out all the rest of my posts and our Christmas Link Up.

I am also linking up with some fabulous bloggers to bring you some amazing Christmas posts. Please take a few moments and visit the other mamas on this list and check out what they are writing today.

A Slob Comes Clean – Getting Your Home Company Ready
Feels Like Home – Christmas Traditions
Somewhat Crunchy – Christmas with Dairy Allergies
Spell Outloud – Children’s Books
Mama’s Learning Corner – Children’s Crafts
Many Little Blessings – Edible Gifts
An Oregon Cottage – Christmas Cookies
Catholic Icing – Wishing Jesus Happy Birthday
The Traveling Praters – Traveling
The Homeschool Classroom – Gifts Kids Can Make
Mama’s Laundry Talk – Laundry Gifts

*special thanks to Angie for making the graphic button for our series.

The Quest For Eggless Muffins

I am supposed to make muffins for breakfast this morning – according to my new menu plan – and I don’t have a suitable recipe. I have a great recipe for muffins which don’t have any eggs or dairy, but they have flax (which I am out of). So, I set out again in search of recipes for eggless muffins.

When I have searched for recipes before without any egg or dairy (Hosanna’s allergies), I have  looked for vegan recipes. Sometimes vegan recipes use weird ingredients (no offense to any vegans reading), so today, I decided to search for eggless muffins and just replace any milk (if I need to). I really miss eggs.

I found this Vegan Blueberry Muffin recipe that looks promising.

They replace the egg with vinegar. I haven’t heard of this before. I have lots of vinegar (and it’s cheap).

The recipe calls for milk and I happen to have a bit of soy milk in the fridge. I would have used water or water mixed with the leftover jam from the bottom of the almost empty jar in the fridge.

It calls for lemon zest, but I don’t have any lemons to zest. I do have oranges that I could zest.

Let me tell you a funny story about my oranges. We did our major grocery shop on Friday and I bought three bags of oranges. Only one made it into the fridge and the other two went missing. We looked high and low for them. We looked in my sister’s van (she drove me), we looked all over the house. We could not find these oranges. Well, I opened the deep freeze to pull out something and there, in the deep freezer, sitting nicely on top, were the two bags of oranges. The oranges were completely frozen.  I didn’t know what else to do, so I shoved the oranges into the fridge in hopes that they thaw and are edible. I’ll let you know how it goes. (They zested well, but my husband says that the innards taste like watered down orange juice).

The recipe calls for blueberries and I think the berries in my freezer are blackberries and not blueberries. Yup, they were. They were really sour too, so I went with the full amount of sugar.

In the interest of getting breakfast on the table and not making everyone wait even longer, I am going to attempt this recipe and see what happens. Normally, I would search out a few (or a few dozen) and pick the one I liked best.

I made a double batch of the recipe (doubling everything). The batter tasted good (which is usually a good sign). I only have a jumbo six pan (I really need to get some new muffin tins) and the first pan is in the oven.

I wanted to get some nice pictures of the muffins when they came out of the oven, but everyone gobbled them up so quickly I didn’t get a chance.

The recipe made 15 jumbo muffins and fed 7 hungry bears.

The muffins were delicious and this recipe is definitely a keeper.

What is your favorite muffin recipe?

Signs Of Spring

In a recent post, I mentioned that the weather has been simply beautiful.

Earlier this week we went for a walk around our neighborhood looking for signs of spring. Check out what we found.

Blossoms…

Blossoms…

Blossoms…

Blossoms…

Blossoms…

Blossoms…

Blossoms…

Blossoms…

Blossoms…

and more blossoms.

Zion and Hosanna enjoying snacks as we go on our walk to look for signs of spring.

Malachi looking cool in his sunglasses. All the boys love these glasses.

Smiling Moses in the wind.

Elisha ready for our walk.

Elisha and Malachi playing in the grass.

Moses, Elisha, and Malachi playing at the park.

Zion and Hosanna watching the big kids play at the park. Gearing up for nap time.

Flowers…

Flowers…

Flowers…

Flowers…

and more flowers.

Moses posing at the park.

It seems to me that spring is here early. What do you think?

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