Category Archives: Holiday

Easter Cookies!

To be told and baked the night before EasterHappy Easter-pexels-photo-953075

Photo by Alena Koval

Ingredients:

1 cup pecan or walnut halves, to be broken          

Pinch of salt

1 tsp. vinegar                                                            

1 cup sugar

3 egg whites                                                               

½ tsp cream of tartar                                               

Adhesive tape

1 Bible

 Wash and dry hands. Gather above ingredients. Preheat oven to 350o and lightly grease two cookie sheets (or cover with baking parchment).

Place nuts in a re-sealable bag. Give participants wooden spoons (or a rubber mallet) and let them pound the nuts into small pieces. Set aside. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by soldiers. (Read John 19:1-3)

Let each helper smell the vinegar. Then measure 1 teaspoon into the mixing bowl. Explain that while dying on the cross, Jesus was thirsty and soldiers gave Him vinegar to drink. (Read John 19:28-30)

Separate the eggs. Add the whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. (Read John 10:10-11, 28)

Sprinkle a little salt into each person’s palm, and let each one brush it off into the mixture. Then they can taste their salty palms. This reminds us of salty tears shed by those saddened by Jesus’ death. (Read Luke 23:27)

So far, the ingredients aren’t very appetizing, but now sugar and cream of tartar are added, and you must trust that these will produce a pleasant result. Explain that the sweetest part of this story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He makes it possible to know Him and belong to Him. (Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16)

Beat with electric mixer on high speed for 10 to 20 minutes or until stiff, glossy peaks form. Point out the pearly white color, the color of purity in God’s eyes for those who have been cleansed from sin by Jesus’ death. (Read Isa. 1:18 and 1 John 3:1-3)

Fold in nuts. Drop rounded teaspoons of the mixture on the cookie sheet. Explain that each mound resembles a rocky tomb like the one in which Jesus’ body was placed. (Read Matt. 27:57- 60)

Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven, close the door, and turn the oven completely OFF. Hand each participant a piece of tape to secure the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. (Read Matt. 27:65-66)

Time for bed! Explain that we may feel sad and disappointed to leave the cookies in the oven with the door closed. Jesus’ death seemed final to His followers, and they were in despair when the tomb was sealed. (Read John 16:20 – 22)

On Easter morning, open the oven door and give everyone a cookie. Point out the cracked surface of the cookies, and then take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter morning, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find His tomb opened and empty. He had risen! (Read Matt. 28:1-9)

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Easter Story Cookies!

Easter Story Cookies

With Bible story – to be baked and read the night before Easter

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 Ingredients:

1 cup pecan or walnut halves, to be broken          

Pinch of salt

1 tsp. vinegar                                                            

1 cup sugar

3 egg whites                                                               

½ tsp cream of tartar                                               

Adhesive tape

1 Bible

 Wash and dry hands. Gather above ingredients. Preheat oven to 350o and lightly grease two cookie sheets (or cover with baking parchment).

Place nuts in a re-sealable bag. Give participants wooden spoons (or a rubber mallet) and let them pound the nuts into small pieces. Set aside. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by soldiers. (Read John 19:1-3)

Let each helper smell the vinegar. Then measure 1 teaspoon into the mixing bowl. Explain that while dying on the cross, Jesus was thirsty and soldiers gave Him vinegar to drink. (Read John 19:28-30)

Separate the eggs. Add the whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. (Read John 10:10-11, 28)

Sprinkle a little salt into each person’s palm, and let each one brush it off into the mixture. Then they can taste their salty palms. This reminds us of salty tears shed by those saddened by Jesus’ death. (Read Luke 23:27)

So far, the ingredients aren’t very appetizing, but now sugar and cream of tartar are added, and you must trust that these will produce a pleasant result. Explain that the sweetest part of this story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He makes it possible to know Him and belong to Him. (Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16)

Beat with electric mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff, glossy peaks form. Point out the pearly white color, the color of purity in God’s eyes for those who have been cleansed from sin by Jesus’ death. (Read Isa. 1:18 and 1 John 3:1-3)

Fold in nuts. Drop rounded teaspoons of the mixture on the cookie sheet. Explain that each mound resembles a rocky tomb like the one in which Jesus’ body was placed. (Read Matt. 27:57- 60)

Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven, close the door, and turn the oven completely OFF. Hand each participant a piece of tape to secure the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. (Read Matt. 27:65-66)

Time for bed! Explain that we may feel sad and disappointed to leave the cookies in the oven with the door closed. Jesus’ death seemed final to His followers, and they were in despair when the tomb was sealed. (Read John 16:20 – 22)

On Easter morning, open the oven door and give everyone a cookie. Point out the cracked surface of the cookies, and then take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter morning, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find His tomb opened and empty. He had risen! (Read Matt. 28:1-9)

 

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Time to Banish Your Christmas Cactus to the Garage!

Do you have a Christmas Cactus that never blooms at Christmas? Here’s the secret to GORGEOUS Christmas blooms:Flowers 010
This Christmas Cactus is the daughter of my mom’s plant – which is older than I am! She (the plant, not my mom) had a habit of blooming every few years or so in odd times like July. I’d read they need to be ignored in an attic or cellar to prompt blooming, but I never had the heart to force mine into dormancy until a few years ago. I did a little research, gave her a shot of Miracle Gro on the day after Thanksgiving, and banished her to my garage for the month of December, watering only a little bit once or twice a week. Voila! Buds started to form. I brought her back in and gave her nice, warm sunshine – and the buds did nothing. Back to the garage! This time the buds grew. I didn’t bring her back in until the first flower bloomed.

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Now she’s happy as a clam and blooms away every Christmas! It turns out Christmas Cacti need 13 hours of darkness at temps between 50 and 70 degrees F to be prompted into blooming.

 

 

 

Go figure. If you did that to me, well, let’s just say blooming’s the last thing I’d think of doing.

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After the blooms drop off, I give her a pruning haircut to stimulate thicker growth and more blooms for next year, and I’ll send her to the garage again next Thanksgiving!

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I Will Give Thanks!

Lord, let me never forget to give thanks for all Your kindness! I don’t deserve it, yet You’ve blessed me with fabulous family and friends, a wonderful church, and especially the gift of salvation through Your Son’s sacrifice on my behalf. Let me never forget to honor You!

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“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, His love endures forever!” – 1 Chronicles 16:34

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 “In everything give thanks!” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
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 “Give thanks to the God of heaven.” – Psalm 136:26
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“Give thanks to the Lord of lords, His love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:3

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“Enter hHs gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to
 Him and praise His name!” – Psalm 100:4IMG_8095

“Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains.” – Genesis 49:26 IMG_8089

 “I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” – 1 Corinthians 9:23IMG_8049“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” – Colossians 4:2

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Great Irish Sayings & Blessings!

Irish Eye

Who doesn’t love a great Irish saying? Here are a few of my favorites:

Blessing Every Action quote Irish Eyes Irish Woman Live as if.. May you have.. Roof Blessing Seriously

Please share, and visit my Pinterest page for more great Irish sayings!  Blessings to you.

Mary Elizabeth

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Christmas in South Carolina

written by my daughter, Karen E. Hall

Christmas in the post-War United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

’Twas the night before Christmas; ’twas 70 degrees,
And people went round in short sleeves and capris.
Though decked all in holly and bright ribbons fair,
The windows were open to let in the air.
Downtown in shops was sold candy molasses,
To shoppers in flip-flops, wearing sunglasses.
At home in the neighborhood kids were at play,
In air that felt like Midsummer’s Day

Around the bright tree Christmas gifts lay by,
But the fireplace lay empty; the A/C was on high.
If not for the Christmas songs one well remembered,
One might have thought it was sometime in September.
Then Christmas Eve came, and a cool night it was,
But no one believed for one minute it’d snow.
The kids were snuggled all cozy in bed,
While visions of X-Box games danced in their heads.
Some dreamed of Barbies, and others of guns,
Anxiously awaiting the rising of the sun.
Then up came the sun and not a moment too soon:
Not a kid was in bed any later than noon.
They rushed down the stairs with a bump and a clatter.
Their parents knew exactly what was the matter.
The room was a mess, of course, in due time,
But the children’s glee was perfectly sublime.
Gift-wrappings, ribbons, paper, and bows,
Littered the floor like Siberian snow.
Outside the window the landscape was gray,
But no one quite noticed; they were used to it that way.
The turkey was cooked and the table was set
As the sun shone through the wide-open dining room windows.
There may be snow in those far northern states,
But we Carolinians are proud of our state.
We know it ain’t Christmas to some without snow,
But mark us, we’ll get some, by and by low.
We may have warm winters, brown trees, and clear skies,
But we’ve got warm hearts and streets safe to drive.
So when the weather gets cooler than sixty-and-two,
We’ll wish a Merry S.C. Christmas to you!

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Hope for Poinsettia Killers!

POINSETTIAS

If you’re like me and LOVE beautiful, red-flowered poinsettia plants at Christmas but avoid taking them in because they unfailingly die slow, painful looking deaths in your house after the holidays are over, here’s some helpful info from:http://www.helpfulgardener.com/container/2003/poinsettia.html:

REBLOOMING AND CARING FOR YOUR POINSETTIA

Poinsettias are a widespread Christmas tradition both for gift-giving and holiday decorating. Yet many of these lovely plants end up in the trash once the holidays are over. Your poinsettia will not only make a beautiful indoor plant all year long, but can also be coaxed to bloom again each year in time for Christmas.

Poinsettia Legend and History

Poinsettias (euphorbia pulcherrima) are native to Mexico and Central America. The Aztecs called it cuetlaxochitl. Poinsettias were introduced in the United States in 1825 by Joel Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, and quickly caught on as a popular Christmas plant.

Joel Roberts Poinsett, U.S. Secretary of War, ...

Poinsettias have thin, pale green leaves. When in bloom, they display brightly colored bracts (red, pink, or white) on the top of each stem. Although many mistakenly think that these bracts are flower petals, the actual flowers are the tiny yellow clusters found at the center of the bracts (Bract are simply leaves masquerading as petals). Another common misconception is that the plant is poisonous. Like most euphorbias, the sap is a little caustic and may cause skin irritation, and certainly indigestion if digested, but if you’re going to knock the hubby off for the insurance money (there’s a cheery holiday thought…), find another plant.


Forcing Poinsettias to Bloom

Poinsettias bloom in response to shortening daylight hours. If you wish to coax your poinsettia to bloom in time for the holidays, you will need to put the plant in total darkness for at least twelve hours (fourteen is better) each night for approximately ten weeks (this also applies to forcing Christmas Cacti to bloom). Late September or early October is a good time to begin this regimen. You can place your plant inside a box, a cupboard, or a closet to achieve complete darkness. Be sure to bring your plant out during the day and place it in a bright, sunny spot. After it flowers, gradually decrease the water until the bracts all drop, then allow the plant to dry out completely (like many of the euphorbias, this is a desert plant). Store in a place with cooler temperatures (50 degrees);  remember we are trying to recreate a Mexican Winter, so a 50 degree basement or garage makes a fine location.

When it really begins to warm up again (Late May for us, but just so long as you’re around 50 degree evenings), repot your mummy in the same pot with fresh soil and start to water again (we stopped gradually and that’s a good way to start) and fertilize (also gradually). Around August, cut the plant back by a third and make a decision. Do we want bushy with small flowers or shrubby with big flowers (my pick)? If we choose the latter we cut the plant back to three to five stems and grow it out (remember         gloves if you have sensitive skin). A poinsettia can look quite lovely when planted with foliage plants with contrasting leaf color, shape, and/or size. Don’t prune your plant any later than September, however,         if you wish to force it to bloom for Christmas.

Poinsettia Care

Poinsettias like lots of bright, indirect sunlight and prefer humid conditions (so you may want to mist your plant if your home is very dry due to heating or climate). As for watering, let the soil dry out between         watering. The soil should be dry to the touch. Also, be sure not to let  the plants pot stand in water at the plants base or saucer(A layer of pebbles in the bottom of the tray keeps the plant out of the water and         increases the humidity around the plant). Poinsettias are sensitive to extreme temperature, so don’t place your plant next to a heater or near a drafty window or doorway. A daytime temp of around 65 degrees         and nights around 60 degrees will provide perfect conditions for your  poinsettia. Whitefly can sometimes be a pest for this plant; check your purchase closely. If you pick it up, and things fly, and they’re white,         well, there it is. Pretty easily taken care of with insecticidial soap or my favorite indoor pesticide, pyrethrine (made of daisies; it’s organic and safe if you don’t drink it).Poinsettias

Poinsettias are a beautiful holiday tradition, but your enjoyment of these charming plants does not have to end when the Christmas tree comes down. With just a little effort, you can derive pleasure from your poinsettia all year long and bring it to bloom for many holiday seasons to come.

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