Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advent: Day 4

We have several *stations* set up at our house this holiday season. This display is on one of our two seasonal tables. It is a piece of a Christmas tree we obtained last year, where the owner of a tree lot allowed us to take as many of the sawed off discs as we wanted for a crafting day with homeschooling friends. We surrounded it with moss and a large quartz crystal to represent the mineral kingdom. We will light a beeswax candle in the center on Christmas Eve.

Today, we made Snickerdoodle cookies. My plan is to make a batch of cookies each day of the week to freeze and then give cookie plates to our dearest friends and family. Most of them will be flown to Chicago for a final Christmas party held at my Gran's old home as we celebrate her life on Christmas Eve, which would have been her 92nd birthday.

So here is the recipe for the cookies (we make ours without dairy products or eggs, but I will list my recipes with traditional ingredients - feel free to substitute as needed):

Snickerdoodle Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Mix together the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla and then add the dry ingredients and mix well. Chill the dough for 3 hours. Then shape it into walnut-sized balls and roll in the cinnamon/sugar coating. Bake at 400 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet for approximately 8-10 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen.

The girls loved them and were sneaking dough as often as they could, so I think we're going to have to make another batch lest these all disappear before our cookie gifting!

For our Advent reading, we are enjoying stories from this lovely collection called, "Christmas Roses: Legends for Advent". I so wish the matching Advent calendar wasn't out of print, but alas it is (if anyone knows where I can find one, please do let me know in the comments section).

Last night, I read "Why God Created Man" by Dan Lindholm.

This morning, the girls opened the next window in their Advent calendar, moved the angel down a star on the ladder (post with pictures about this soon)! And I read the next story in the anthology which is by Jeanna Oterdahl, called "The Troll Who Wanted to be Human".

It is a lovely tale of learning what it takes to be a true human being as the troll learns to think of others first and helps them in their endeavors, all the while, slowly losing his ugly troll qualities and becoming a human being. He is welcomed into the community on Christmas Eve with the help of a loving young girl who has opened her heart to the real meaning of unconditionally loving others.

Incidentally, the book has been rewritten by Thomas Berger with lovely illustrations and is being put out by Floris Books here. We will be reading Mr. Berger's version tonight before bed and this is sure to become an annual favorite in our home.

And I am going to be listing some other classics as we read them by the fire in the evenings. Does anyone remember this sweet old book, "Santa Mouse"? Oh my gosh, it was one of my favorites growing up. Not a complicated book, but sweet and simple with adorable illustrations of the cutest little mouse. Young children will adore it! Barnes and Noble has republished it and sells the hardcover for a very nice price...

I should mention that we had little white mice as children and of course, my baby brother John named his mouse, "Santa Mouse" after this cute book!

During the day, we worked on our verse books after listening to the Dec 2nd story by Christine Natale, "Bishop Nicholas" in preparation for St. Nick's Day.

Tonight, we'll also be telling a story from the Johanson book, "Stories for the Festivals of the Year" entitled: "The Promise to the Little Ox". I haven't needle felted the girls Oxen yet, so I have to get on that right now - lol! Pictures to follow soon, I hope! :D

1 comment:

  1. Jen, more wonderful cookies. We would need two or three batches - they would be all eaten up in a flash here. Last year, I made an ox for our nativity scene. Goodness, I had such trouble getting him looking like an ox! So many wonderful books mentioned. Your girls are lucky to be enjoying such a magical Advent season.