Tag Archives: Advent 2010

Advent 2010 Third Week

I can’t believe we are approaching the 3rd week of Advent.  Sadly, though, Satan has thrown our whole calendar out of whack.  We will be playing catch up with the crafts again this weekend.  OH BOY!  Hopefully, God can clear out a day or two for us!!  Ahem.. perhaps, I need to learn the word, “No.”

The third week of Advent is all about sharing!  God is the ultimate giver!  He shared Jesus with us and continues to do so even today.  God specifically asks us to ask and we shall receive.  We may not like or even feel disappointed with what we received…nonetheless we did receive what God feels is right.  Can I hear an Amen??

Third Sunday At-Home Candle Ceremony

  • Light the first candle:  We light this candle to remind us that God planned for Christ to enter this world. And with Jesus brings peace.
  • Light the second candle: We light this candle to remind us that God prepared us for Christ.  He showed us that Christ heals the sick and that one day there will be no more suffering.
  • Light the third candle:  We are lighting this candle to remind us that God shares Jesus with us.  Because He shares we must live patient, sharing lives.
  • Bible reading:  James 5:7-10
  • Discussion around James 5:7-10: having patience at Christmas time.  How should we treat each other?  What does sharing have to do with patience?
  • Prayer
  • Sing “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”

Third Monday

Bible ReadingRomans 12:13

Discussion:  What does it mean to practice hospitality?  This week you will be making goodies for your basket and you will end up sharing them.

Activity:  Making Candy Wrappers


Here’s all you need:

100_1560 Cut the wax paper into squares big enough to wrap around your candy.

100_1562 Draw cute Christmas-like pictures along two sides of the square.

100_1565 Now put those wrappers up in a safe place.. we will use them tomorrow.

Third Tuesday

Bible Reading: Hebrews 13:16

Discussion:  Why is it we tend to think of ourselves and what WE want for Christmas?  We must remember that God loves a giving heart.  He wants us to give not just at Christmas and for other holidays but everyday!

Activity: Making and Wrapping Candy

Here’s a cool recipe that I think the kids will enjoy doing!!  Back in the days of old Molasses was the sweetener of choice.  It was inexpensive and full of iron.  Sadly after WWI refined sugar took the place of Molasses.  Refined sugar costs less and is in almost everything we consume today.  We are learning the dangers of refined sugar so why not try an old-fashioned candy made with molasses????  I use “raw” sugar granulates.

Molasses Taffy


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsulfured molasses
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Lightly oil the entire surface of a jellyroll pan with canola oil. Lightly oil a pair of scissors. Stir sugar, molasses, and water together in a medium size deep saucepan. Cook over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until it reaches 260 degrees. Be careful it doesn’t boil over. Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla and baking soda.
  2. Immediately scrape mixture onto prepared jellyroll pan and let cool for about 20 minutes. During this time, occasionally scrape the edges up and fold to the middle. You want to move it around and release any heat from underneath.
  3. When cool enough to handle, lightly oil your hands, and start pulling the taffy. Gather it together and pull. Keep pulling for about 5 minutes. Pull taffy into ropes about 1/2 inch wide and cut 1 inch lengths with the scissors. Place pieces back on pan and cool completely. Wrap individually when cooled.

**When pulling.. make it a family affair!!

Wrapping the candy

Place your candy in the center and wrap.

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Twist the ends and TA-DA!!


How fun is that???

Third Wednesday

Bible Reading2 Cor 9:6-7

Discussion:  What does the verse mean about a cheerful giver?  Talk about reaping what you sow..in a positive manner, of course.  What are the benefits of giving?

Activity:  Making Pecan Pralines

Yummy!  Can’t  you just taste them right now???  Did you know that a gentleman named, J.F Ingalls, had a “Home Magazine” in the 1800′s?  In his magazine, he talked about the importance of good homemaking and had patterns for splashers (to hang around your washing tub to keep the area dry and to preventing mildew), tidies (coverings for backs of chairs), aprons, and household linens.  Sounds like my kind of magazine!!  He also included recipes.  I found one for pralines that dates at 1879.  Can’t wait to try them!!

Pecan Pralines


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 cups broken pecan pieces ( can use halves )
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Place sugars and water in large heavy pot. Bring to boil. When sugars dissolve, add pecans. Turn heat down and allow mixture to gently simmer uncovered stirring occasionally. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Stir until it appears to granulate and stick to spoon. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Allow to cool before removing.

** line last week’s repainted tins with wax paper and fill with cool pralines.

Third Thursday

Bible ReadingProverbs 22:9

Discussion:  Talk about being generous.  How is God generous?  Why should we give to the poor?

Activity:  Blessings

Today, take your wrapped molasses taffy and put some in each of the biscuit boxes  you made last week.  Arrange everything in your basket and gather the family around them.  Bless the gifts and the person (s) receiving them.

Third Friday

Bible ReadingMatthew 6: 3-4

Discussion:  What do the verses tell us how to behave?  Why do you think we should not be proud when giving?  How can you make sure you don’t get in the way of your giving?

Activity:  Deliver your baskets… anonymously.

Third Saturday

Bible Reading: 2 Cor 8:2-5

Discussion:  What does it mean to sacrifice for someone else?  Why are the poor rewarded in the verses?

Activity:  Go to the nearest Christmas tree farm. Pay for someone’s Christmas tree…

Hope you are gearing up for one more week’s worth of Advent activities!!  God Bless..

Advent 2010: Week 2

Can you believe it??  The second week of Advent is almost here!!  I hate to admit this but Satan has gotten a hold of our calendar.  Apparently, as soon as we began Advent, Satan decided it was time to fill up our calendar with activities, places to go, things to do, projects for school, and other ways to take our focus off of Christ.  Well, no matter what we are going to put Christ first!  We have had to rearrange our Advent activities and we are finding the time to do it regardless!  Back off, Bucko!

Today, I will spare you of the endless ramblings from yesterday…Thank God today is a new day!  I hope you enjoy your week’s worth of Advent!!

Second Week

Just a reminder, the second week of Advent is known as the week of preparation.  The second candle is called the “Bethlehem Candle.”  God prepared the scene for the birth of Christ.  He had developed the plan and now he had to prepare the world.  He had the census happening and the star.  It was the perfect clear night!  And now this week’s activities will help you and your basket recipient prepare for Christmas!

Second Sunday At-Home Candle Lighting

Bible ReadingPsalm 72:1-7

Prayer:  Thank you God, for sending Jesus to us and to those in need.  Jesus healed the sick, comforted those in mourning and loved everyone.

Lighting:  As we light this candle, we know that in heaven and on the new earth, there will be no sickness, pain, poverty, and suffering.  Thank you Jesus for preparing the way for us.

SingIt Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Second Monday

Bible VersePsalms 62:8

Discussion:  Focus on the part saying, “Pour out your heart before God.”  Talk about how many cultures have tea time.  Discuss how tea time with God is important..confessing, praying, listening…

Activity:  Tea Sachets/Tea Bags

Tea bags have only been around for a hundred years.    But, can you imagine drinking tea with tea leaves floating around in your cup?  Strainers were used to filter out as much of those tea leaves as possible.  Early tea bags were made of cheese cloth or muslin.  And they were reused by refilling the bags with fresh ground tea leaves.

I found a blog site that has instructions on making two different bags! You can use the “Pour out your heart before God” verse on the card.  What a neat way of sharing God’s warmth after a good prayer time!!

Put the tea bags in the basket!

Second Tuesday

Bible VersePhilippians 4:4

Discussion:  What does it mean to rejoice?  Why do we celebrate Christmas?  Why does God want us to rejoice?

Activity:  Homemade Party Cracker

The party cracker was created in the 1840′s.  It was inspired by the French who placed small toys in a cylinder wrap.  English Crackers were created in Britain as a means to celebrate Christmas and New Years.  The Crackers are filled with trinkets of love, small toys, paper hats, and candy.  Two people pull apart the cracker to get the goodies inside.  There is a “snap” or a “cracking” sound with pulled apart from the ends.

I found a blog site with instructions for making one.  You should make yours with Christmas in mind or the person it will be given to…add today’s Bible verse inside as a “fortune” message or written on the tube!  Have fun!! Be sure to add your cracker into your baskets.

Second Wednesday

Bible VerseJames 1:17 ESV

Discussion:  What is a stocking?  Why are they hung for Christmas?  What was put in them long time ago?  Did  you know that all gifts come from God?  Do you know the one special gift God gave us for Christmas?

Activity:  Making a Stocking

Be sure to put your stocking into your baskets!  You might want to make smaller ones!!  Have fun!!

Second Thursday

Bible ReadingMatthew 2: 1-12

Discussion:  The Magi and their gifts.  Why was it important for the Magi to give Jesus gifts?  What were the gifts?  Why do we give gifts?

Activity:  Biscuit Box

We are making a card stock biscuit box.  Decorate it as you like!  You can add Philippians 4:4 or John 3:16 to your box.  We will be making goodies for the boxes next week! Put it in your baskets for safe keeping!!

Second Friday

Bible Verse: Mark 16:15

Discussion:  We are told to go and tell the world the good news.  What does it mean good news?  Talk about why we send Christmas cards.  Explain that Christmas cards can be a tool to use to spread the good news about Jesus Christ and Salvation.

Activity:  Making Christmas Cards

There are endless possibilities for making Christmas cards.  Be sure to add scripture to your cards!  Here’s some examples I found on the internet!


For the expert..

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Don’t you just love felt creations?


Sponge paint!  Oh doesn’t that sound like fun!!


Use up last year’s ribbon!


Look at all these great ideas!!!  Aren’t you ready to make your own.  If you have time, make a bundle of the cards to go into your basket.  They can share your love with others!  Ahem.. spreading the good news!!!

Second Saturday

Bible Verse1 Corinthians 14:12

Discussion:  God has given each of a special gift, or talent, if you will.  Some people are talented in art.  Some in sewing, baking, making toys, and building things.  Others help friends and neighbors.  There are all kinds of talents in the world.  What is your talent?

What does it mean to “build up the church”?  How can we use Christmas as a way to build up the church?

Activity:  Recycling Cookie Tins

I bet if you look around you will find dozens of cookie tins or candy tins in your Christmas stash.  Why don’t you recycle them this year by spray painting at adding Christmas embellishments?  Here’s a link to show you how.

Next week we will fill them with goodies!!  YUMMY!!

May God bless your second week of Advent!!

Christmas Time is Here!

Oh Boy! Oh Boy!! Oh Boy!!  Christmas time is here!!  Christmas music playing and filling the air!  Christmas cheer spreading across everyone’s faces!  I love it when I see red and green every where!!  Christmas makes me feel good allllll over!!!

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, my family and I created our Advent wreath!  It really turned out beautiful!  The beeswax Advent candle kit arrived and was easy to make.  The kids really got into it.  Mark even enjoyed making a candle!!  This may be an annual thing at the Dettra house!

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Beeswax has been the source of candle making since the Egyptians.  They burn without any black smoke or soot.  They are natural and odorless.  Did you know that the early church only allowed beeswax candles burned in the building? The wax had to be 100% virgin beeswax (no additives).  One reason is because it represented Christ being born of a virgin and the other reason, the soot from other candles covered the paintings and other church artifacts.  Neat little tidbit of information, huh?

Before we began our Advent wreath making, I collected pieces of holly.  We have two holly trees on our property.  One is just outside my bedroom window.  Holly is a natural habitat for birds.  The thorny leaves add protection and they love to eat the berries.  Needless to say, I love to be in my room with the window open so I can hear the birds.  Ahhhhh such a heavenly sound!!  Holly is the traditional wreath materials.  It has the symbols of thorns, evergreen, and red..ring any bells???  Also, holly is a symbol of truth!  100_1533

Do you feel like you are in history class??

I also collected cedar clippings.  I love the smell and of course cedar is an evergreen.  Evergreens are used to symbolize the eternal life  Christ gives us.  Cool, huh?

Okay, so we began to assemble our wreath.  Mark made the base for me.  He is so handy!  The kids had a blast! And I believe it turned out great!!

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I supervised!


Isn’t it absolutely beautiful??


We celebrated our first candle lighting and we felt so blessed.  It is really neat to see everyone get into the spirit of Christmas!!

Enjoy your Monday!  God bless..

Advent 2010 Week 1

Oh, I had such a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Got to spend time with family and friends I haven’t seen in.. well. a whole year!!!  Isn’t it sad how we let life get in the way of spending time together???  I must say, I feel a new year’s resolution coming forth on that idea!!  Needless to say, the food was absolutely delicious and I literally stuffed myself!!  I refrained from eating turkey and ham; but, my aunt’s dressing is a whole other story!! It is to die for!!

Now onward to why you are really here!!

Now remember, in the Dettra household we are creating a “Pioneer” themed Advent.  Everything we are doing has been founded in the pioneer days of American history.  I will give you a history of where and why certain activities were done.  I hope you enjoy these activities and trust we, Dettras, are doing them right along with you.  I will post pictures to show you our progress.  I hope you will do the same!  I would love to see what you are doing!!

Let’s begin!!

In the pioneer days, gifts were obviously homemade but also had a purpose.  Our ancestors used materials they already possessed or from God’s natural bounty.  Purchases like oranges were bought in well advance and shipped from coastal states..and I know you are thinking..like today.  But, there wasn’t a local Wal-Mart on every corner back then and most families sacrificed just to have a single orange.

The whole Christmas gift-giving took off in the mid 1800′s for America.  The movement “out west” brought Christmas to the prairie lands and further westward.  Many American’s from the German decent brought along the Christmas tree tradition.  Nuts and dried fruits were hung on the tree.  Gingerbread cookies were also baked, decorated and adorned on the trees.  Glass ornaments were made popular in the 1920′s thru the 1940′s.

Okay, so are you ready to really begin???

I have collected Christmas baskets from yard sales and thrift stores for quite some time now.  Each of us will pick out two baskets to fill for someone special.  The various gifts we will be making will be placed into the basket and by Christmas, it will be filled and given.  Doing this will keep the spirit of giving from the heart close to mind.


Bible Verse: Matthew 24:44

Discussion: God prepared for Christ’s birth.  Now it is our turn to prepare for Jesus’ second coming.  Discuss the importance of salvation and being God’s witness to others.

Activity: From an assortment of baskets each person will pick at least one.  Make a gift tag from brown paper bags or card stock and place it on the handle.  Explain we will be filling the basket with unique homemade gifts. End with a blessing over each basket and for each recipient.


Bible VerseMatthew 13:1-15

Discussion:  Talk about the seeds and the farmers.  How different was their planting techniques?  Which one is the best way to plant?  Why did Jesus talk about seeds and farmers?


1.  Make your own suet bird feeder. Instructions are found here.  OR

2.  Make bird seed sachets…like for a wedding…

3.  Add a card with Matthew 13:1-15 printed on it… or simply say, “Plant God’s seeds:  Matthew 13:1-15″ on it.

4.  End in prayer. Place in basket.


Bible VersePsalm 122:6-8

Discussion:  What if you replaced the “Jerusalem” with your basket recipient’s name and “home” for “citadels” in Psalm 122:6-8?  What would that mean for your special someone?

Activity:  Write a Christmas blessing or letter  for your special someone using Psalm 122:6-8. End in Prayer. Place letter in basket.


Bible VerseLuke 3:22, Gen. 8:6-17

Discussion:  The dove represents the Holy Spirit in Luke 3:22.  It also symbolizes peace in Gen 8:6-17.

Activity:  Make fabric or felt dove ornaments.  End in Prayer.  Place ornament in basket.


Bible VersePsalm 37:4

Discussion:  If we enjoy God, He will bless us.  Let’s remind others to enjoy God more than gifts this Christmas. In what ways can we show God we enjoy Him?

Activity:  Make paper heart decorations.  On the strips write Psalm 37:4. End in prayer and place in basket.


Bible VerseLuke 1:26-33

Discussion:  The Angel visits Mary.  Why is the angel important to the Bible story?

Activity:  Make a clothespin angel.   End in prayer and put in basket.

Each Thursday, I will post the following week’s Advent activities!  Enjoy your weekend!  God bless…

Pioneer Advent Week 1

This year, Advent begins on November 28.  The at-home candle ceremony brings Advent out of the walls of a church building and within your home bringing along the opportunity to talk about its meaning and significance.  The church ceremony may not truly explain in detail the why’s many young children need.  Plus, when you practice the Advent ceremony at home you are starting a tradition of bringing Christ into your Christmas season.

The first week of Advent focuses on God’s preparation for the birth of Christ as well as the second coming.  God used prophets to tell about Christ’s birth.  He hand picked parents for Jesus.  He planned the place, the time, and shining of a star.  He has also taken the time to plan the second coming of Jesus.  Just open the book of Revelation and you will find his plan for the second coming.

The First Sunday Advent Ceremony

At our house, we gather around the table prior to dinner.  The ending prayer will also bless the meal…

1.  Isaiah:  who was he?  what is the significance of the Book of Isaiah?

2.  Read Isaiah 2:1-5

3.  Discuss the passage.  What does it mean?

4.  Light the first candle.

5.  Sing a hymn.  May I suggest “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”

6.  Prayer

I am so sorry this post is so late…I was in the middle when my dear friend called.  Her mother just passed away.  I left to be by her side.  Today is bitter sweet.. her father passed a year ago and today was their wedding anniversary.  Don’t you know that he welcomed his bride into heaven saying, “Happy Anniversary, Dear.”  God is so good!  Please keep my friend in your prayers.

I will post the full week’s Advent activities on Friday.  I’ll see you then… God bless!