December 21, 2006

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Welcome To Family Tymes!

With just a few days before Christmas, I want to take the time to say Merry Christmas to all my readers.  May your holiday be full of good cheer, family togetherness, and the blessings of God.

Remember...Jesus is the Reason for the Season! Let's live so that is evident to all.

Happy Parenting!




Easy Does It Christmas Recipes
By Monica Resinger

Since both my husband and I have family to see at Christmas time, we spend time with his family at our house on Christmas Eve and my family at their house on Christmas day. Since my mom always makes a big beautiful dinner and we have so much going on at the time, I usually make a snack buffet table for the
Christmas Eve celebration at our house.

It is very simple and helps keep my stress level down. I can make all of it ahead of time and just set the table up later. I don't get fancy with the table decorations, but do include a pretty poinsettia tablecloth and pretty holiday
paper plates and napkins. It's now a tradition that everyone looks forward to because it's easy and provides delicious snacks all day long. The best part is that by using paper plates, there are no dishes or pots and pans to wash!
The only clean up involved is putting away any leftovers, that is, if there is any!

Here are a few tips to plan your own snack buffet. When you have time, take out a piece of paper and start writing down some possibilities. Write down any recipes that come to mind as you read the following:

~ Trays of things to dip is always popular. I like to put out a veggie platter with ranch dip (I use the packet of `Uncle Dans' found in the grocery store to make the dip) and an assortment of crackers with my popular recipe 'clam dip'.

~ A tray of sandwich makings. I load a tray with deli meats and cheeses, and other sandwich makings such as onion, tomato, pickles, mayonnaise, and mustard. You might try a tray of club sandwich makings or Reuben sandwich makings. You can also experiment with different breads such as party rye or sourdough.

~ Cookies and Candies. Each year I make two or three of our family's favorite recipes which are included below. What's your family's favorite cookie and candy recipes?

~ Beverages. The Irish Cream recipe below served over ice is wonderful and a special treat. We also buy pop and beer and this seems to make everyone happy. You might have a favorite punch, eggnog or hot buttered rum recipe you'd like to serve.

~ Crunchy things. I always have the Chex mix out.

Don't forget that you can have family members or other guests contribute! This will give you more variety and less work! Just tell them to bring a snack type item.


Clam Dip

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (6-ounce) can minced clams, save juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste

Combine cream cheese and clams. Stir in just enough clam juice to make a nice
consistency for dipping. Add remaining ingredients and thoroughly combine.
Serve or cover and chill. Serve with crackers or chips.

Toffee Treats

1/4 Box Saltine Crackers
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Butter or Margarine
1 large bag Chocolate Chips
Chopped Walnuts-Opt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Grease with butter. Cover with saltine crackers. Bring 1 cup sugar and 1 cup
butter to a boil & continue to boil for 2 1/2 minutes. Pour over crackers &
spread fast. Bake 5-7 minutes. Spread a large bag of chocolate chips over, like
icing. Top with chopped walnuts if desired.

Irish Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 2/3 c. Whiskey
1 tsp. instant coffee
2 Tbsp. chocolate syrup
1 tsp Vanilla

Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix on high for 30 seconds.
Refrigerate. Shake well before serving over ice. Should keep for at least 2 months.

Peanut Butter Bon Bons

1 - 1 Lb Box Powdered Sugar
2 Cubes Margarine (1 cup)
1 Cup Peanut Butter
Chocolate Chips or Chocolate Almond Bark

Mix all ingredients except chocolate. Shape into round balls. Chill. Insert
toothpick & dip into melted chocolate. Chill until set.

I know the recipes aren't for the health conscious, but it's only once a
year. Here's to hoping you have an `easy does it' Christmas celebration this year.

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God sense vs Common Sense
By Sharon Jaynes

Key Verse: "The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple" (Psalm 19:7 NIV).


Sitting in my backyard, I love to listen to the sounds of all God's critters: birds, crickets, frogs, katydids, woodpeckers, and most of all - children. Framing our yard from every side children's giggles, chatter, and raucous play are a symphony of stringed instruments and percussions alike. There's the rhythmic thumping of a basketball bouncing on concrete, the squealing of little girls being chased by boys, the skidding of bicycles tires on asphalt, the popping of a cap gun, declarations of "you're it" and contentions of "you cheated." All blend together in a symphony of youth. Of course the orchestra would not be complete without the reprimanding of parents breaking up fights and reminds stubborn wills of house rules.

Rules, rules, rules. What a bother - especially when you are five-years-old. When I was five, I never understood why parents had to interfere and ruin al the fun with rules. I eventually decided it was just part of their job descript8ion. Paretns: law enforcement officer who patrols the neighborhood, runining all the fun for little girls and boys.

As a five-year-old Tom Boy, my favorite possession was a pink sparkly bicycle with a silver glittery banana seat and u-shaped handle bars. Streamers were attached to the ends of the handles and blew in the breeze as I peddled around the neighborhood at breakneck speed. I could leave skid marks as long as any old boy, balance without holding on the handlebars, and do "wheelies" with my front tire saluting the air. Oh how I loved to ride around the race track (otherwise known as Pine Haven Drive) feeling the wind whip through my ash blond streaked hair and brush past my bare shect. It was the "bare chest" part that was the problem.

"Sharon Ann Edwards," my mother would call from the front porch. "Get in the house this minute and put on a shirt!"

"I don't want to war a shirt," I whined. "Stewart doesn't have to wear a shirt. Shy do I?"

"Because you're a girl and because I said so. That's why."

My brother was five years my senior and he often romped around without a shirt. As far as I could tell, there wasn't any difference between him and me. So why did people snicker when I rode past them bare-chested? I just didn't get it. So begrudgingly, I'd knock down my kickstand, stomp through the house, and pull on a t-shirt, mumbling all the way.

This was not a one time incident and my mother tired of making me dress like a girl, or should I day, dress period. But then something amazing happed. I entered first grade. Suddenly something clicked and I noticed that boys and girls were indeed different. It all started with Isaac Thorp and his big blue eyes. Well, mom never had to tell me to keep my shirt on again.

Rules - what a bother. Rules - what a comfort. Eventually, I learned that even if I didn't completely understand one of my parents' mandates, it would usually make sense later on. And just like with my earthly parents, I learned that if I didn't understand one of my Heavenly Father's rules, it would usually make sense later. God's principles are not randomly contrives to ruin our fun. They are meticulously thought out and created to protect His children. God is a lot smarter than we are. Have you noticed that? If I question Him and He answers, "Because I said, so," well that's good enough for me, and hopefully I'll figure the reason out later - but I may not. If I don't, I just need to remember that Father knows best.


Dear Lord, Thank you that You do not set up rules for us to follow to ruin our fun or to cause us frustration, but for our protection. Help us to stay within the confines of the safe boundaries you have laid out for us in the Bible. Help us to obey even when we do not understand your holy logic.

In Jesus' name, Amen


Sharon Jaynes is an international conference speaker and author of ten books including Being a Great Mom-Raising Great Kids, Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, and Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God. For information about Sharon's books or speaking topics, visit



Celebrate Simply
By Nancy Twigg
Retail:  $10.99
Kregal Publications


Have you ever dreamed of simpler celebrations that leave you exhilarated rather than exhausted? Overjoyed instead of overwhelmed?

If so, stop dreaming. Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions is for you.

Author Nancy Twigg guides you on a journey to simpler celebrations expressive of your values and unique personality. With an emphasis on low cost but high value, Celebrate Simply illustrates how you can:

  • Give meaningful gifts that are within your means

  • Add spiritual significance to your celebrations

  • Undo a history of holiday and special occasion overspending

  • Extend hospitality without the stress of trying to impress guests

  • Give one of the most precious gifts ever—the gift of your time

Can celebrations be simple, yet significant? Certainly! And Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions shows you how.






If you want tips on how to simplify your Christmas, this book is a must-have.  Nancy gives you practical ideas for taking the stress and expense out of the holidays - not just Christmas, but all the holidays and special occasions you encounter throughout the year.  She gives tons of examples and tips on making simpler holidays a reality.

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