Monday, December 17, 2012

25 Days of Christmas: Day 17--Genealogy of Christ

Good morning readers! I'm excited about today's post, and I hope you will take the time to read and enjoy it as well.  I've invited my long time friend and fellow-blogger, Nicole, from A Living Sacrifice to share one of her posts from the series Christmas Character Spotlights that she is running on her blog.  In this series, Nicole invites us to put aside our holiday hustle and bustle and take time to reflect on the characters involved in the Christmas story. This is what Christmas is all about, folks.

So, take a couple of minutes, grab a cup of coffee, and sit down to relax and take in these thoughts.  Thank you, Nicole, for being with us today!

Character Spotlight: Genealogy of Christ

genealogyI know what you are thinking. Genealogy?? Are you for real? It is Christmas, and you want to talk about Genealogies?? ‘Fraid so. But this isn’t just any genealogy. It is the genealogy of Christ. And He is the One this season is centered around, right? Over the last few weeks I’ve been taking a look into the details of various characters from the Christmas story. And I nearly forgot to include the lives of 5 of the most unique characters that are included in this story. And that is where the genealogy comes in. You’ll find this genealogy in Matthew 1. Woven into this long list of names no one can pronounce are the lives of 5 women that God saw fit to include in Christ’s lineage. 5 women that would never have been looked at as worthy of this honor. 5 women who’s lives may not look so different from yours or mine. Lets take a quick look at them. First, we find Thamar in verse 3, which is another spelling for the name Tamar, found in Genesis 38.  She was the daughter-in-law of Judah, brother of Joseph and the man from which came the tribe of Judah. Her story is not a very pretty one. The despicable and degrading story told in this chapter reveals the sin in Tamar’s life, who was willing to sell her body to get what was rightfully hers. Nothing good is ever said about Tamar, no blessing was promised to her during her life, and we likely would never have heard of her, had God not seen fit to use her to fulfill the promise of the Messiah. The second lady worth of mention in Matthew 1 is Rachab, or Rahab as we know her in the Old Testament. Her story is found in Joshua 2 and 6, intermingled with the popular “wall of Jericho” story. Rahab is known throughout scripture for one thing: being a harlot. Not the legacy you’d like to be known for, is it? Up until this time in Joshua 2, there is no indication that she had left her sinful lifestyle. But after the spies came, and she, by faith, trusted Christ to save her and her family, her life was different. She was accepted by the Israelites into their communities and lifestyle. She left her old life, and was given a new one by God’s grace. Not only does she appear in the line of Christ, but also in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11:31. Next we have Ruth, whom I am sure is no stranger to any of you. With a whole book dedicated to her story, she is perhaps the most well-known of them all. But she was still an unlikely candidate for being in the Messianic line. She was not an Israelite, not one of God’s chosen people. She grew up practicing idol worship and other abominable acts. Her mother-in-law Naomi gave Ruth her first glimpse of the God of the Israelites, even though Naomi was a bitter woman. Yet despite this, Ruth left her pagan religion and chose to follow Christ by faith, little knowing that by doing so she was placing herself in his Kingly line. The fourth lady is not mentioned by name in Matthew 1, but simply known as David’s wife, “her that had been the wife of Urias.” This is speaking of Bathsheba, who was taken by David in a moment of sin and weakness, and then widowed by that same man. (II Samuel 11 tells the story.) I am sure hers was a life of tears and sorrow at that point! I can not imagine the deep trials she had to endure, little knowing that it served a purpose in bringing the Saviour of the world to earth in human flesh. If Bathsheba could but have seen the future, I am sure she would have gloried in her tribulations! Lastly, Mary is mentioned in verse 18. I’ve already spent time talking about her, and certainly her story is well known, especially at this time of year. But of all women to be most unlikely, this poor, humble, virgin girl was not looking for the public attention nor for the years of honor this event would bring her. She was nothing...but she was willing to be used by God, and that made all the difference. Each of these women was an unlikely candidate for the royal line. Yet God saw fit to take them out of their lives of sin, despair, and lowliness, and give them this place in a Godly heritage. None were suspecting of it, none knew it at the time, but each was still used. Why? Because God chooses the humble, willing people to accomplish His will. He is not asking for us to be rich, famous, or even “best in show”...He uses the willing. And if we would submit ourselves to His will and simply be willing, we too could see our lives used to accomplish great things. No matter where we’ve been, or what we’ve done; no matter our station or position (or lack of!); no matter how many times we’ve failed or fallen short, God is willing to use us if we’ll let Him.

Nicole is an avid reader and coffee drinker, who loves her Saviour, her sewing machine, and fleece sheets. She blogs at A Living Sacrifice and runs a small online shop. Between sewing and blogging she can be found playing the piano, reading a good book, or chatting with friends.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Giveaway Results

Congratulations on the winners of today's Christmas Giveaway!!!

The winner from my blog's entries is: Kristy Legg!  
Congratulations Kristy on winning this warm, winter headband:

The winner from A Living Sacrifice's blog entries is: Rita Chamberlain!
Congratulations Rita on winning this cute, toddler hat:

Winners were chosen randomly by  If you are a winner, please contact me with your mailing address!

Thank you to all of you who participated! If you didn't win, but you would like to order one of these items, please contact me!  You can also visit my etsy shop to check out some of the other things I have for sale.


Yikes! One more hour to enter my Christmas giveaway!! Head on over here to enter, or visit A Living Sacrifice! Be sure to come back later today to find out who has won!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

25 Days of Christmas: Day 12--A Pinterest Christmas

Only 13 more days until Christmas!!!!!

Now that I have that off my chest, check out my top ten favorite Christmas Pinterest findings so far:

1. Adorable Snowman Pillow

8. Fragrant Cinnamon Stick Candles

And there you have it! Lots of inspiration here.  

What are some of your favorite Christmas ideas from Pinterest?

Don't forget!! If you haven't entered my giveaway yet, you should head on over and do it!!  Two winners will be awarded on Friday.  Find details and information about entering here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

25 Days of Christmas: Day 11--GIVEAWAY!

Well, I am happy to say I'm back in the land of the living.  This weekend was a little crazy, and needless to say I did not follow through on my posts each day.  But I am back with new and exciting news today!!

This Friday--December 14th, I am going to be giving away two items from my etsy shop here on my blog and over at A Living Sacrifice!

Check out the goods:

The first item is a toddler size girl's hat.  This beanie is crocheted from warm, soft yarn in white, teal, and gray.  It features a contrasting band with a flower applique.

The second item is a teen/woman's size ear warmer headband.  This item is also crocheted from warm, soft yarn in clear blue.  The headband features a colonial blue flower.  It is approximately 4-5 inches wide and made to stretch for a snug, comfortable fit.

Either of these items can be personalized with a hand-stitched name.  

Who can enter this giveaway?
Anyone! Yes--that means you!

How does this giveaway work?
Beginning RIGHT NOW and ending Friday at 3 p.m. EST, you can enter to win!  On Friday, two winners will be chosen to receive the prizes listed above.  If you are a winner, the item will be shipped to you free of cost.  

How do I enter this giveaway?
Simple! You can enter up to three times here on my blog by doing these things:
  1. Comment on this blog post telling me which item you like the most and include your e-mail address (mandatory).
  2. Like my facebook page...and then leave a separate comment on this blog post letting me know that you've done it. (If you have already liked my facebook page in the past--it counts! Comment and let me know)
  3. Add my etsy shop to your favorites...and then leave a separate comment on this blog post letting me know that you've done it.
But wait...there's more!
You can enter this giveaway three more times if you head on over to A Living Sacrifice!  My friend has kindly agreed to host my giveaway on her blog as well.  You should check it out!

I can't wait to hear from all of you!  Happy entering :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

25 Days of Christmas: Day 7--Homemade Christmas Things

So I previously told you that when I attended the ladies cookie exchange on Tuesday, one of them had brought something special for each one of us.  Today I'm going to show you what it was.

Isn't it gorgeous!?!?! Here are some more shots:

I am so intrigued by the intricate details of this lovely quilted coaster.  This lady was so thoughtful to make one for EACH of the ladies that were present (approximately 12 or 13)!  I'm in love with all of the different Christmas fabrics that she used, and I can only imagine how much time she put into planning the design and sewing the final products.  I don't believe I have the kind of patience for this type of project!

I am currently displaying this beauty on our dining room table under one of our Christmas candles.

The reason I wanted to share this with you is because the work and thoughtfulness that went into this handmade gift inspired me.  Oftentimes, a handmade gift can mean more to someone than anything bought at a store.  

I'm currently working on a few handmade Christmas presents of my own :)  Of course I can't share those with you, because chances may be one of the recipients! 

Do you have any ideas for handmade Christmas presents? Have you received something handmade that is special to you? 

25 Days of Christmas: Day 6--White Chocolate Peanut Butter Bon Bons

Well, I am a day late with this post. Yesterday ended up being unexpectedly busy, and by the time I had some time to work on my blog, I was tired and out of creative energy. So today, I will be posting twice (days 6 and 7).

 A couple of days ago, I saw this recipe for Peanut Butter Bon-Bons on Money Saving Mom.

Don't they look to die for? That's what I thought too! A quick inspection of my cupboards revealed that I had all of the ingredients on hand for making these.  I made a couple of changes to the recipe since my husband does not like chocolate---I know! Weird and unusual right?

Here is the Kati-fied version of the recipe.  I'm calling them White Chocolate Peanut Butter Bon Bons :).


1 c. peanut butter
4 T. butter
1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. Rice Krispies 
2 c. powdered sugar
12 oz. white chocolate chips
1 T. vegetable oil


Melt peanut butter and butter in microwave on high.  Stir together and add vanilla.  Add rice cereal and powdered sugar and mix.  Mixture will seem dry at first, but the more you mix the better it will hold together.  (I ended up just using my hands as it was easier).  Form into 1" balls, pressed firmly.  Place on cookie sheet and chill in the freezer until firm (15-20 min.).  

Place white chocolate and oil in microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in increments of 15-30 seconds, stirring in between.  Stop when chocolate is smooth and runny.  Using a toothpick, dip peanut butter balls in chocolate.  Place back on cookie sheet.  Cool in refrigerator.

Makes 2-3 doz--depending on the size you make them :)

These bon bons are seriously so yummy! The inside ends up pleasingly and deliciously crunchy! The batch I made was for us to sample, but I may end up making more to give away as gifts this Christmas.  

What kind of candy to you make at Christmas time? 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

25 Days of Christmas: Day 5--Christmas Cookie Exchange

I made those chocolate cherry cookies I shared with you yesterday for a specific purpose.  Last night at my church's ladies Bible study, we had a Christmas cookie exchange.  It was really fun!  The "rules" for the cookie exchange were as follows:
  • Bring 4 dozen of one kind of cookie
  • Cookies must be homemade or bought at a bakery (no oreos or other packaged cookies allowed)
  • Bring copies of your recipe
  • Bring an empty container
This week's Bible study was held at Devin's uncle and aunt's house.  Sheryl has her house so beautifully decorated for Christmas, and everything was laid out perfectly.  There was a large table in the dining room to display all of the cookies on, and a long table was set up with pretty place settings for all of us ladies to sit at and enjoy some soup & bread before studying God's Word.  

One of the ladies brought something special to give to each one of us...but I'm going to be showing you that tomorrow :).

After the time of fellowship and Bible study was over, we got down to the business of exchanging cookies.  It was fun to see all of the different kinds of cookies that people brought.  I took pictures of the table before we attacked it to show you the abundance there was!

There were eleven ladies present at the cookie exchange.  So in order to distribute them evenly, we had everyone go around the table with their empty containers and take four of each kind of cookie.  Then we could go back and take any other four that we wanted.  The idea was that we brought 48 cookies and left with 48 cookies.  We also picked up copies of everyone's recipes.  I'm definitely looking forward to sampling all of these cookies!!

Word of advice: I like to store each type of cookie in its own individual baggie; I hate it when you keep different kinds of cookies in one container together and they all end up tasting like each other--gross!

This is a fun Christmas activity that you could do with the ladies from your church, or even with just a group of friends!

Have you ever done a Christmas cookie exchange? What Christmas activities do you do with friends or ladies from your church?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

25 Days of Christmas: Day 4--Cherry Chocolate Cookies

Today I'm going to share my recipe for Cherry Chocolate Cookies with you! These are kind of special, because I've made them every year for Christmas since I was about 8 years old.  I don't remember how it got started, but whenever Christmas baking time rolled around, it was tradition for me to pull out this recipe! It was always especially fun to make these because my dad loves them so much.  Isn't it great to cook for people who enjoy eating what you make? 

If you like chocolate and cherries, you will love these too!


1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
48 maraschino cherries, blotted dry (reserve some of the cherry juice)

1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
1-3 t. cherry juice

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients and gradually add to creamed mixture.  Shape into 1" balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Push one cherry halfway into each ball.  For frosting, melt chocolate chips in milk over low heat; add cherry juice; stir until smooth.  Spoon 1 t. of frosting over each cherry.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 min.

Word of advice: I would suggest assembling the cookies before making the frosting; it tends to harden up a little as it sits, making it harder to coat the cherries.


How about you? Do you have any special cookies or other Christmas goodies that are a tradition in your family? Link up or share them in a comment below!

International Delight Creamer Deal

There is an awesome deal that you can get on International Delight Creamer this week at Weis.  I was able to buy all three in the picture below for just $0.97!

The deal this week at Weis is 3/$4.  
You have to buy 3 in order to get the sale price, and they have to be the 16 oz size.
There is a facebook coupon for $1/1 International Delight Product  .
There doesn't seem to be a limit on how many of these coupons you can print, since I printed off three.  I did use a different email address each time, which may have made a difference.
So by getting the sale price on three creamers and pairing it with 3 $1/1 coupons, you only pay $0.97!  This is a great deal since you are getting 48 oz of creamer.  Normally, we pay over $3 for just 32 oz!

Monday, December 3, 2012

25 Days of Christmas: Day 3--DIY Christmas Card Holder

I've been itching to make something cute and Christmasy that I could hang on the wall to display Christmas cards people send us this year. I saw some really neat ideas on Pinterest, but I never seemed to have the perfect materials on hand to recreate any of them.

Then, I saw an ugly gold picture frame propped up against my bedroom wall. I got this frame for free and had been saving it for some creative idea to come to my mind. Well it came! And turns out, it's kind of a conglomeration of some of the ideas from Pinterest that I like.

 First, that ugly gold had to go!

I had some tealish acrylic paint left over from this project, so I used it to paint the ugly gold frame.

Ahhhh! Much better!

I let the paint go on kind of streaky to give it a "distressed" look.

Since I like subway art, I chose this free Christmas printable  from Eighteen 25 to print and put in my frame.  I was pleased with how well it matched the frame as well!

Now I know you're thinking this looks great, but I said I was going to make a Christmas card holder...right? So here goes the next part.  Using the same color paint, I prettied up some regular old clothespins.

I then glued these around the edges of the frame as clips for my cards.  I love the finished product! Since I had all of the materials on hand, the entire project ended up being FREE. I think its interesting, and it provides some cheerful decor while being useful as well! I can't wait to get Christmas cards already!!

Have you been working on any Christmas crafts yourself recently? How do you display Christmas cards during the Holidays from friends and family? Link up or share your ideas in a comment below!