Wednesday, January 17, 2018

NYE - 2018

I'm a tad behind... here's our New Year's Eve 2018!

We celebrated with dear friends - chili, games, and the much requested "NYE Bags!"

The bags are filled with small treats - candy, glow sticks, beads, noisemakers (note to self... make those later in the evening!), and sparklers.

They are each labeled with a time - and they get to open them throughout the night.  We did every 1/2 hour this year.

 Gotta save these glasses... these are our 2018 Seniors!

Friday, January 12, 2018

UFO - 2017

My sweet daughter has inspired me to finally complete those UFO's (unfinished objects!)  that have been in my quilting stash... 

Last year - I finished a quilt for our bed - a Irish colorwash, which we have LOVED!  And, we did a "home quilt makeover" for my hubby's quilt.

This year - the Double wedding ring table runner is done! 

And, I even completed a Christmas table runner too :-)  But, I forgot to snap a picture before it got put away. 

I love that girl's ideas...

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A New Year

Happy New Year

This is actually our Christmas Eve picture.  I love this one!  It captures us perfectly.  It's our last picture before we started the cancer journey...again.  Matt's Dr. discovered a tumor the Friday before Christmas.  This picture was during the "waiting" to find out what we were facing...  

I love these people.  God is good, all the time!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Christmas Memories - 2017

One of my favorite family traditions is our Christmas gift name exchange.

We draw names on the first day of Advent.  However, instead of just buying a gift, all the gifts have to be hand made, and under $10.   My girls love it, my boys get a bit stretched :-)

Everyone loves their gifts - and they are blessed in the process of making them too!

Here's a recap of this year:

Chloe to Lydia - Succulents in Goodwill teacups, so adorable for our resident botanist.

Essie to Selah - an adorable painted animal and a pretty new headband.

Luke to Sam - A canvas with his favorite missionary quotes in a collage.

Sam to Essie - a BIG E - she loves it!

Matt to Chloe - he made a  mini covered wagon,  I sorta was in the moment and missed the pic ;-)

Selah to Noah - a jar of "Elf Snot" slime with a candy surprise inside.

Josh to Matt - floss wrapped pens in all the MN team colors and Soduku book. 

Noah to Luke - the "tradition" continued with a candy-scavenger hunt.  The clues all had a rhyming broadway theme.  So fun!!

Since I'm the camera girl - no one took a picture of mine.

Selah to Mom - a quilted "correcting" kit - complete with red pens, supplies and my favorite candies!  I love it!!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Elf Louise

One of our favorite traditions in SA is wrapping gifts with Elf Louise.  This organization provides gift to needy children each year.

My kiddos love getting to pick and wrap, and they pray over each family.  I pray their Christmas is as blessed as ours.

It's truly humbling to see all these gifts, wrapped and ready for families who need them...

The Honor Society kids!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas Stollen - a family tradition!

Merry Christmas Friends!

The Bentz Bunch is full of food traditions...  I have one to share with you.  We have this each year with our Christmas morning Fruit Soup and Christmas Stollen. (can you tell we're Germans?)

German Stollen

1 package of active dry yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup milk, scalded
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
4-3/4 to 5 cups sifted enriched flour
1 egg
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup chopped mixed candied fruits
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
Soften active yeast in 1/4 cup warm water or compressed yeast in 1/4 cup of lukewarm water.

 Melt butter in hot milk; add sugar, salt and cardamom; cool to lukewarm. Stir in 2 cups flour. Add egg and beat well. Stir in softened yeast, fruits, peels, and nuts. Add remaining flour to make soft dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface.

Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Knead 5 to 8 minutes or till smooth and satiny. Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. 

Cover; let rise in warm place till double, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down; turn out on lightly floured surface and divide in 3 equal parts. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.

Roll each part into a 12X7 inch rectangle. without stretching dough, fold long side over to within 1 inch of opposite side to make typical stollen shape; seal edges. 

Place on greased baking sheets. Cover, let rise till almost double, about 30-45 minutes.

Bake in moderate oven (375) 20 to 25 minutes, or till golden brown.

While warm, brush with butter; sift confectioners' sugar over; or glaze as below.
 Makes 3 loaves. 

To glaze stollen use about 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, add 1/4 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon butter. (I put almond flavoring in my glaze)

It looks like a lot of work...but it's so worth it!!  Family traditions are our way of saying - "I love you" - Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Magic Stix - A Mom of Many Review

I just have to introduce you to my newest must-have!  

They are Magic Stix - washable markers that DON'T DRY OUT!  Yes, even with the cap off for 7 days, the markers are just a fresh as when you took them out of the box. 

Do you know what this means?  You won't need to keep buying markers every time your sweet-but-forgetful children use them :-)

They come in 12 and 24 packs - you can get them here.

Here's a couple of other facts - they are odorless, washable and completely non-toxic.

We love the bold colors, sharp tips, and the smooth feel. 

These are perfect for stocking stuffers - go get yours!

I was given a free sample in exchange for my honest opinion of the product.  I did not receive any compensation, and the opinion is completely my own.