Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nativity Advent Calendar Idea for kids

(image from about.com)

Hi friends! Hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous!

I'm excited to share a fun and simple idea! At church they gave each family a Nativity Advent or countdown calendar complete with 25 vinyl images that when put together, construct the nativity scene.  Each day, our family is supposed to read a few designated verses from the Bible and put one of the stickers on our poster that helps construct the nativity scene.  It is a fun way to countdown to Christmas while focusing a little each day on the birth of Christ.

I wanted to share this idea with you, but I know many of us don't have a vinyl cutting machine.  So I have found a plan B and it only requires a printer and basic supplies you probably have on hand!  I want to be clear, this is not my idea. I found this article by Rachel Bruner on about.com  Rachel's article includes some simple printable nativity illustrations so that you can make your own calendar. I am just sharing the link to her illustrations and sharing the scripture passages that coincide.

Print and cutout the nativity images from Rachel Bruner's article from about.com (click here to print colored illustrations, or click here for the black and white illustrations). Beginning on December 1, read the designated passage from the Bible and cut out and attach one the designated nativity images to magnet or poster board or even a big piece of paper.

Here is an example of how to run your advent calendar,  though you could change it your liking:

Dec. 1 - Read Luke 1:26-27  put up the stable 3 pieces: 2 sides 1 support beam)
Dec. 2. - Read Luke 1:28-29 ,then put up the stable roof ( two pieces)
Dec. 3 - Read Luke 1:30-31 then put up a palm tree
Dec. 4 - Read Luke 1: 32-33 then put up am palm tree
Dec. 5 - Read Luke 1: 34-35 then put up a bird
Dec. 6 - Read Matthew 1: 18-19 then put up a bird
Dec. 7 - Read Matthew 1: 20-21 then put up the nest
Dec. 8 - Read Matthew 1: 22-23 then put up the sheep
Dec. 9 - Read Matthew 1: 24 then put up a lamb
Dec. 10 - Read Luke 2: 1-2 then put up a lamb
Dec. 11 - Read Luke 2: 3-4 then put up the donkey
Dec. 12 - Read Luke 2: 5-6 then put up Joseph
Dec. 13 - Read Luke 2: 7-8 then put up Mary
Dec. 14 - Read Luke 2: 8-9 then put up the manger
Dec. 15- Read Luke 2: 10-11 then put up an angel
Dec. 16 - Read Luke 2: 12-13 then put up an angel
Dec. 17 - Read Luke 2: 14-15 then put up the star
Dec. 18 - Read Luke 2: 16-17 then put up the big shepherd
Dec. 19- Read Luke 2: 18-19 then put up the shepherd girl
Dec. 20 - Read Matthew 2: 1-2 then put up the shepherd boy
Dec. 21 - Read Matthew 2: 3-4 then put up the camel
Dec. 22 - Read Matthew 2: 5-6 then put up a wise man
Dec. 23 - Read Matthew 2: 7-8 then put up a wise man
Dec. 24 - Read Matthew 2: 9-14 then put up a wise man
*Optional- Also put up baby Jesus on Christmas Eve or put him up on Christmas Day

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fabulous and Simple Thanksgiving Stuffing (with secret ingredients)

Image from the Graphics Fairy  

Friends, I don't often share recipes because, quite honestly, the food that I make is not often something one would want to repeat.  However, this recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing is fabulous with a few unique ingredients that make it great.  It is simple to  make- it may be the only recipe I haven't ever destroyed.  While it's not my own recipe, it's pretty exciting to have people ask for it becasue, as you can imagine, this is rare for me.

My mom acquired this recipe from a local cooking show in the 80s or 90s and it is a Thanksgiving staple in our family.  There is no other dressing in our minds.  So I thought I would share in case you feel like giving it a try for the holiday- you won't be sorry.  It is easy to make and fairly fool-proof.

Fabulous and Simple Thanksgiving Dressing
Serves 6-9

1/2 cup (1 cube) butter

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 cups of chopped celery

1 can chicken broth

1 cup milk

1/2 chub 
Jimmy Dean Sage sausage
1/2 chub 
Jimmy Dean Maple sausage
2 cans of sliced water chestnuts

2 cans of sliced mushrooms 

1-2 cups of Craisins or any brand of dried cranberries
1 box of 
Mrs. Cubbison's brand herb flavored stuffing (here's a photo of the box so you what you are looking for)

*I have heard roasted walnuts and apple chunks are also good additions to the dressing but I haven't tried that yet.


  • Saute celery and onion in butter in a big pot
  • Stir milk and broth into to the pot of sauteed vegetables and cook on low/med heat on the stove until the mixture is warm
  • Brown sausage
  • Mix sausage, dry stuffing, mushrooms, water chestnuts and cranberries in a big bowl
  • Pour warmed liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until the dressing is moistened and all ingredients are mixed
  • Pour dressing into a baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  • Thank me later ;)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Current Obsession: Pinhole Press

Hi friend!  I just finished my sister's wedding invitations and feel like I can come up for air again! Christmas cards are on my mind now  (though I've yet to take any photos to fill said greeting cards).  I am currently obsessed with Pinhole Press.  They are an online boutique offering many pretty personalized gifts from Christmas cards to photo books to personalized stationary- all customizable and all with a clean simple look that is oh so eye-catching.  I love their designs because they allow your photos to take center stage. The patterned envelopes they sell with their Christmas cards are about the merriest thing a person could hope to pull out of their mail box.

Here are a few fast favorites from their site.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Printables

The last few weeks have been a bit crazy.  I guess one good thing about crazy or difficult times, is that they help you realize how wonderful the quiet times and the simple things really are. I am grateful that I have a little time to catch my breath and reflect on this fabulous time of year.

I whipped up a few fall printables for the season that I have/am printing and framing in my house.  You can print them for personal use if you like.

Have a good day, friend!