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Christmas Cookie exchange cookies 2017

Last weekend, we enjoyed our annual Christmas cookie exchange.  It was a good time to invite everyone that you might only see a couple of times a year or just in passing.  This year was great because we had such a variety of women from all over our area–each one has made a positive impact in our lives in some shape or form.

I had everyone bring 5 dozen of the same cookies.  We ended up with 20 women so we each got to take home 3 of each kind.  This gave us a great variety when we were finished.

I also had everyone bring an appetizer and we enjoyed a nice afternoon lunch.

We played a couple of games.

  1. Clothespin game—gave each lady 5 clothespins when they first arrived.  If you heard someone say “cookie” or “Christmas” you got to take their clothespin.  The person who had the most received a prize.
  2. The best Christmas tree–I gave each woman a piece of green construction paper and some foil stars.  They had to put it behind their backs and tear a Christmas tree and decorate with the stars. We then voted on which one was the best.
  3. We also placed various number of jingle bells in 3 identical boxes.  They had to guess which box had the least, the next, and the most.
  4. We then wrapped gifts up multiple times.  We added layers of paper, placed them in boxes, used lots of tape, etc.  I gave a couple ladies oven mitts to wear and then we gave them the presents.  The person next to them had a pie tin with a pair of dice.  The person with the mitts on had to start unwrapping the present until the person rolled doubles.  Then they passed the present to them and the person who had the dice got to unwrap and the person next to them got the dice.  We continued around the circle until they were all opened.

I also had some questions printed off like…if you had unlimited funds, who would you give a present to and what?  If you could only play one christmas song for 24 hours which one would it be?  Questions like that.  This was our ice breaker and how we introduced everyone to each other.

Here is another game called “pick a side” that is fun to play.

Download (PDF, 395KB)

Then it was time for cookies:

Jadyn made our peanut butter cookies.  These are super simple and I made them back when I took home economics in 6th grade!2013-10-25_00046Brooklyn made molasses cookies.  These are always a great treat to make and eat with a nice cup of coffee.

I made a batch of whoopie pies and failed on them—the first time around.  They were too flat.  So we turned them into a dessert. My girls layered the pancakes cookies with cool whip and that was a treat!

Then I got them right the second time around.  I haven’t made these in years.  They are like a Suzy Q treat—remember those?  You can click here for the recipe. 

You have to wrap them all individually so they don’t stick.  Then you can put them in the freezer and eat whenever.  They are delicious and once you make them, you have tons:)  I got the recipe from some Mennonite friends years ago back in Michigan and I was reminded about them from a new Mennonite friend here in North Carolina –thanks Karen:)

This was one of the only photos I got of the ladies. There were more  people elsewhere in the house—but it was busy—so no photos:) 

This was what my tray of cookies looked like when I received them.  They are all so yummy!

Holiday Treats

Hope your all having a wonderful day today!  We have been ending our week, finishing up making some treats for Christmas, playing at the park, and watching some Christmas movies.

You can watch us here in the video…..or scroll down for a blog post:)



One new treat we made this year were turtles.  If I was looking at it from a “perfection” standpoint…these would be a FAIL.  But, from a tasting standpoint, these were delicious.  I got a little lazy because I was not about to stack a bunch of pecans….so I opted to make them in a cake pan.  Way easier.  Click here to see the recipe.

We then dipped some vanilla wafers and…

some Oreo can’t go wrong with that!

This was a version of my yummy chocolate treat balls...I just shaped them into balls this year.  Really good.     We then made some church windows.…a nostalgia from my childhood.

I also made our million dollar fudge. My first time making it and it is soooooo good!  Super easy to make.

We had a great day, chocolate and these kind of treats get made quickly so it took us a couple of hours in the afternoon.

We also did some chocolate dipped pretzels, no bake cookies, and rice krispy treats.  All of the recipes are ones that we have made over the years and are all on this blog.

It was a fun day with my kiddos.  The countdown continues….we are almost there Momma’s:)

Homemade DIY Christmas Treats

This month my girls and I have been baking and making all sorts of different holiday treats to share.  One of the things we made up were large batches of homemade hot cocoa, chai tea, and friendship tea.  We then packaged them up in holiday ziploc bags and  gave them away as gifts to friends.  These are super easy to mix up and hardly cost much—compared to store bought versions.

My absolute favorite this year was homemade chai tea. I forgot how yummy this tasted.  It is something I will be having on hand throughout the year for myself.  Click here for the recipe.

Another drink we mixed up was called Friendship tea or Russian tea.  This was something given to me by my pastors’ wife a couple of years ago and it was my favorite–now chai is my favorite:)  A wonderful drink for a cold night.

What is Christmas without some homemade hot cocoa mix??  This was the other one we made.  I had a little leftover vanilla flavored coffee creamer and added that to my mix.  When I placed it in the bags, I added some peppermint marshmallows.  We make this as a staple in our pantry, so we know it is good:)

I keep this bin in my pantry full of these drink mixes and when I think about someone that I want to give something to…I grab a few of these.  Or whenever I would like a nice warm drink…I can have one myself:)

Another wonderful treat that we made this year was cinnamon bread.  My girlfriend was telling me about Dollywood cinnamon bread….well I made a version myself but it wasn’t as sugary gooey as this was.

Click here for my version…

It is a  good tasting bread, but this was a great bread to make as gifts. Lauren made these for all of her clients and it was delicious! You can click here for hers.  Her’s is much easier because you use frozen bread dough so that takes the bulk of your time and they look so pretty.  Click here for recipe.

Hope you enjoy these and maybe make a couple of these up for last minute gifts!  Enjoy your day!

Practical Homeschooling Reader Awards Nominee!!!

We’re excited ! Our Home Economics Curriculum has been nominated for the Practical Homeschooling Reader Awards! Why is this exciting?

Since we don’t worry about trying to gain money by ads or annoying pop ups…….one way to get out all about what we do here is by gaining more views.

We want to show people that there are places to homeschool your children for free.  That is what we are all about.  Sharing with others, the gifts that we have.

If you would like to cast your votes for the homeschooling products—-hopefully ours—click here.

Last year, we were awarded the yellow ribbon.   Which was great because it was our first nominee.  If anyone has used our kitchen skills or household and personal management and would like to help spread the word, please visit the above link.

Be blessed and have a wonderful week!



What we do for science

Hey everyone…weekend post because I just got it finished:)

I had a request from a reader as to what we do for our science….here is a video explaining what it is we do.

Have a wonderfully blessed weekend!