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.

Monday, December 18, 2017

SNOW in San Antonio!

For the first time since 1985 - it snowed in San Antonio, TX.  I guess we do have the knack of bringing the snow wherever we go :-)

It was big, wet flakes and we loved every minute!  It coated everything and the next morning we woke up to our own winter wonderland.

Best of all, it was gone by noon the next day - all the fun, none of the pain!  This is how I do winter...

I was excited to see this on my weather app!

Then, it started to snow!

The next morning:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

More Music Man...

I think this is my favorite show!  Both because 4 children were in it, and because it was filled with fun music and dancing.  Thank you STAGE Theater for making awesome memories for us!

Mr. Shapoopy...  

Making her debut as a "Pick a Little Lady"

My dancer takes the stage again - this time as a Grecian Urn!

You can talk...

She really can do a southern accent!

Marcellus and Harold Hill

Even better with friends!

The trouble-maker boyfriend...

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Music Man

4 of my kids were in the SAME show!  What a fun experience for each of them.   They were part of The Music Man, Jr.  - we have not singing the songs...

More posts will follow,  I just had to share these cast pics!

Friday, December 1, 2017


One of our favorite Christmas activities is going to see The Nutcracker (or dance in it..)

This year, the girls and I decided we did NOT need any male input, and had a girls date.  How nice to just enjoy the performance with no rude comments!

It was beautiful - as usual!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

A favorite family tradition  - our Thankful Tree!   We start in early November, adding leaves with things we are thankful for.  

We are blessed - we pray you are too!