Mmmm…. Cookies and Poppy Seed Loaves

We’ve really enjoyed making Christmas cookies ahead this year. Usually we’ve waited until Christmas Day to make one kind of cookie for our police officers. Not only does that introduce a tighter schedule for the day but it also doesn’t leave any variety. In addition, we wanted to bless our trash pickup guys. Those plates were delivered last week, and the police force’s basket is ready for them this week!

Then, last Friday afternoon, Poppy Seed Bread needed to be baked for caroling. I think bread is the wrong word for these flavor-packed loaves. Probably Poppy Seed Cake is more accurate. Whatever the case, it’s our go-to treat to give out on caroling night as it’s pretty simple to make. Need the recipe again? See the end of the post.

More Christmas posts coming your way soon.

Love,
Sarah

Abby helped Mary and Anna with cookies for the trash guys' plates.
Abby helped Mary and Anna with cookies for the trash guys’ plates.
Happy girls.
Happy girls.
Mary and Anna made cards to go with the plates.
Mary and Anna made cards to go with the plates.

Now switching gears to the Poppy Seed Loaves.

Anna and Bethany hard at work.
Anna and Bethany hard at work.
Abby and Mary worked together on the cards.
Abby and Mary worked together on the cards.
Anna Marie, Bethany, and Anna
Anna Marie, Bethany, and Anna
Since Anna Marie helped, the girls wanted to bless her and they assembled her Christmas letters!
Since Anna Marie helped, the girls wanted to bless her and they assembled her Christmas letters!
Talk about an efficient team.
Talk about an efficient team.
The helpers!
The helpers!
Even cutting ribbon and tying the cards onto 40 loaves takes awhile ;). Here Mary and I are working.
Even cutting ribbon and tying the cards onto 40 loaves takes awhile ;). Here Mary and I are working.

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Poppy Seed Loaves

3 cups flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/8 cups oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring

Mix all ingredients for 1-2 minutes. Pour into 2 large lightly greased loaf pans (in our case, we bought foil pans from the store and divided each batch into three loaves). Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees or until toothpick comes out clean.

Glaze
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

Cool cake 5 minutes. Then, pour glaze over cake. After they’ve cooled, we cover in plastic wrap.

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
my soul shall be joyful in my God;
for he hath clothed me with the
garments of salvation …”
Isaiah 61:10

Don’t Forget the 12 Voices of Christmas

Can you believe Christmas is already this week? Wow. Watch for more blog posts on Christmas at the Maxwells. We caroled last night to many homes, and I can’t wait to share pictures.

But, I wanted to take a moment to remind you about the 12 Voices of Christmas audio drama presentation. It’s such a special way to set your heart on the Lord’s coming to earth many years ago and all that surrounded it. We’re planning for an evening out tomorrow evening, and you can be sure we’ll be listening to it!

Make time and start a special family tradition by listening to the 12 Voices of Christmas. For those who have been introduced to it through Titus2, I’d love to hear about it.

Sarah

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“For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”
Luke 2:30-32

Christmas with Friends

Recently we had a sweet Christmas gathering with our elderly friends. It was a small crowd due to traveling and illness, but we had a great time! We sang Christmas carols, Joshua recited Scripture, Abby played her ukulele, and Christopher shared about Jesus’ lineage.

Love,
Sarah

Joshua and Ruthanne are an adorable pair.
Joshua and Ruthanne are an adorable pair.
Abby.
Abby.

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“… Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing
which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”
Luke 2:15

On a Cozy December Day

I’m still exploring a small town. I had a delightful time today talking with a store owner and other helpful people. I’m so grateful for people willing to help me out with my project.

It’s really fun to dream up a new setting and character!

Love,
Sarah

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“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,
but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it
may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Ephesians 4:29

Handling Life, Pregnancy, and Little Ones

I love it when it works out for you to hear directly from a sister-in-law. Here are Anna Marie’s thoughts on how she’s managed with three littles and morning sickness.


I love children! I have since I can remember. Years before Christopher and I began our relationship, I read Managers of Their Homes and thought that if the Lord ever blessed me with a family, I would want to implement the ideas shared in that book. Now, with three little ones and another on the way, I can tell you it has already helped us in numerous ways.

While I’ve enjoyed having a schedule to help me be sure to fit in the things which are most important to me, I appreciate it all the more when I’m dealing with morning sickness (though I don’t get as sick as many mommies I know!) and “pregnancy fog.” My activities are already laid out, and I know what to do next.

I want to share with you a few of my favorite elements of our schedule in hopes that it will be an encouragement to you if you already are scheduling, or maybe inspire you to start if you haven’t yet!

DSC_2202When Ruthanne was a baby, I would have her sitting on my lap while Joshua and I did our phonics flash cards. A side benefit that I didn’t really plan on is that at twenty months old she already knows most of the letter names and sounds!

DSC_2242Joshua loves to work puzzles, but I didn’t often find convenient times for him to do it until I gave him a fifteen minute time block to build puzzles while I get the girls down for their morning naps. He loves that time, and it also keeps him happily occupied with a constructive activity while I am busy elsewhere.

Reading stories has been one of my favorite things to do with little DSC_2259ones through the years. I put a story time on the schedule for right after naps, and it has been delightful to once again read old favorites—only now to my own little ones!

If you’ve thought about scheduling but are just hesitant to jump in, let me just say that one nice thing about a schedule is that you can tailor it to suit your own individual needs and family. Personally, I’m not naturally a super task-oriented person, and having a schedule has helped me keep some order and routine going when otherwise it would tend to fall apart.

Mom (or one of the girls) and I walk together most week day afternoons.
Mom (or one of the girls) and I walk together most week day afternoons.

Also, if you have any moms on your Christmas gift list who do not have Managers of Their Homes, I heartily recommend it as a wonderful gift that will keep on giving so long as they utilize its contents!

Love,
Anna Marie

“I will praise thee for ever, because thou
hast done it: and I will wait on thy name;
for it is good before thy saints.”
Psalm 52:9