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Chocolate Turtles

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This was going to be on my “Christmas Craft/Recipes” list if I wasn’t shlacking so much! Anyway, it does earn the right to be on my Christmas Craft/Recipe list because I only make this once a year. For starters it is DE-LISH!! I could eat all of it in one sitting. It also makes superb Christmas gifts! This recipe made about 40 turtles and then I also had enough caramel left over to fill a 9×11 pan 1/2 thick. I would love to take credit for this recipe myself, but alas, I cannot. I must give credit where credit is due. When I got married, my mom gave me a recipe book from a flea market she picked up with all kind of old-fashioned, honest to goodness down home recipes. It has been my favorite and most well-loved book by far. So, here it is:

For the caramel:

2 cp sugar

2cp light corn syrup

2 sticks butter or margarine (NOT OIL SPREAD)

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Cook sugar, syrup and butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat to a full rolling boil. Slowly add condensed milk, stirring constantly until it reaches 242 degrees F.

Lightly grease cookie sheet and cover with pecans. Drop caramel by spoonfuls over nuts while still warm. Let stand until set. Melt chocolate chips or wafers in double boiler (or if you are like me I learned from my mom to use a small sauce pan and boil water in it with a metal bowl on top and melt the chocolate on there). Dip caramels in the chocolate and let set until firm.

Lastly, enjoy and try to share them! Wrap and give away with love. ❤

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Twenty Five Days of Christmas Crafts: Day One-Advent Calender

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I L-O-V-E Christmas! It always seems to go so fast, though. I look forward to it months in advance. I start my Christmas shopping in May, and still, it comes and goes in a blink of an eye! I always try to prolong it as much as I can. I am the person who has to make a conscious effort not to play Christmas music by October. Yep. I am THAT person. So this year, I wanted to take the whole month of December to try to share with you some of my Christmas craftiness. I am also the kind of person who is super, duper cheap and like to make a lot of my presents. This month, for the next 25 days am going to be showing you things I made to decorate the house, my favorite Christmas recipes that also make superb presents, some gifts I am making, and also an awesome Christmas sweater I plan to wear for a festive Christmas party. Soooooooo…..stay tuned!

But for day one, I am going to show you a really simple advent calender I made. It is so super simple. As most great ideas are formed, I totally cheated and found similar ideas all over Pinterest. Just search “advent calenders” and a plethora of ideas of wonder will pop up on your screen. My favorite ones, though, were the ones that had ideas for things to do each day leading up to Christmas. This is my version of that.

First, I went to Walmart and found super cheap scrapbook paper. It was only $3 for a mini book. Score, right?! I found some that I thought would be nice and festive for my calender, purchased it and brought it home. I also bought a thin, green ribbon that was 48 cents that I thought would look nice for stringing. Now, this next part is incredibly scientific, so pay close attention. I found something round in my house, a candle holder, that I thought would be the right size for what I wanted. I cut out 24 circles (four from six different types of paper) and wrote the numbers 1-24 of the back of each, being sure to stagger them in a proper pattern.

Then, the fun part happened. I went to work putting on the back some traditions we have done in the past as a family along with some new ones. I got out our calender first to look at the dates to see what was feasible to do for those days depending on what we already had planned. Also, for each day, we will be reading a Chapter from Luke, beginning to end. It has exactly 24 chapters in it, and the Christmas story is so much more than just the birth of Christ.  Christ came to this earth, born in a stable to ultimately die 33 years later to save us from our sins. It starts with the manger, but ends with the resurrection of Christ. We wanted to make sure our children understood the full Christmas story. Anyway, here are a few ideas that we put down:

1.Decorate the tree (duh!)

2.Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn and hot chocolate

3.Drive around to see Christmas lights (I LOVE this idea about doing it like the Polar Express and putting tickets under their pillow. Such a cute and genius idea!!)

4.Make caramel corn

5.Write a letter and send a small gift to Ermionne, our sponsor child

6.Sing Christmas carols in front of the fire with hot chocolate

7.Make paper snowflakes and hang them in windows

8.Make cookies for the neighbors

9.Make a meal for a needy family

10.Go shopping for Daddy

I think I tripled or even quadrupled #2. 🙂

After I had written all of those out, I punched holes in the top, then strung them on my ribbon, being sure they were in numeric order. After I would put one on, I would tie a knot about it so that it wouldn’t slip. I also want to add that I made the ribbon as long as my banister is since this was where I planned to hang it when it was all done.

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And that is it! Once they were all on, the girls helped me hang it on the banister. Pretty simple, huh? I thought it was pretty, too.

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I would LOVE to hear any traditions you might have! Maybe next year I can add them to my calender, or who knows? Maybe sneak ’em in this year.