Dec 3

On the 3rd Day Of CHRISTmas…giveaway with Whitney Capps

Welcome to day three of the 12 Days of CHRISTmas giveaway!!! There will be holiday ideas, easy recipes and both practical and pampering prizes to win. Best of all, each day you will meet one of my fellow “sistas” from the Proverbs 31 Ministries speaking team. Get to know them and their wonderful resources including books and teaching cd’s. Why, you might even just discover the speaker you have been looking for to appear at your next event.

So get in the holiday spirit. Tune in each day. Hop on and leave a comment. The more you leave, the better your chances of winning. The 12 daily winners will be announced on the 13th day of December so comment on all 12 posts if you can! 

Day Three

Well, there aren’t any hens, French or otherwise, to be given away on this our third day of CHRISTmas. However, you may just win a fun and foofy girly gift from today’s featured Proverbs 31 speaker, Whitney Capps. (You’ll have to read the entire post to see what she is giving away, but let me just tell you ladies, I wish the host could get away with winning it–it is something I adore!!)

But alas, I’ll have to hope my dear hubby or one of my kid’s reads today’s post and gets me a duplicate of Whitney’s giveaway. In the mean time, grab something to sip on and meet one of my newest ‘sistas’ whom I totally love already. Whitney is a breath of fresh air, has a passion for people, radiates with Christ’s love and is lovely too!! ( I don’t think I told her this, but when we met at this year’s She Speaks Conference, I was certain she was someone’s daughter attending the Next Generation track!! She could pass for a high schooler!!!! Oh, to be young again…….)

I’ll stop rambling now and let you meet…..my  new, sweet friend Whitney Capps.

Spend much time with Whitney Capps and you will probably learn more about her failures than her successes as a follower of Christ.  More often than not, however, it is that transparency, vulnerability and honesty that helps Whitney’s audiences embrace the unfailing but sometimes difficult reality of Who God is.

 

“I don’t teach because I have a lot of answers; I teach because I have a lot of questions.”  Ask Whitney Capps why she loves to speak and that’s the answer you’ll get.  No pretense.  No pride.  No posturing.  Whitney teaches because she loves to shatter the perception that to study the Scriptures one must be a scholar or a saint.

 

“I’m neither.  And yet in His infinite grace when I study the Word, the Author Himself condescends to explain it to me!  How can I not share with others what I’ve learned?”

 

Whitney is just a regular gal trying to figure our married life and motherhood. She’s a girly-girl who loves shoes, shopping and a good eyebrow wax, but could “veg” on the couch all day watching sports of any variety. Oh, and if ice-crunching drives you crazy, you probably couldn’t be her friend.

Whitney and her husband live just outside Atlanta with their two (soon to be three) young boys. Let’s hear from her now…….

Whitney, what is in store for you and your loved ones this Christmas?

This particular Christmas holds a special sense of anticipation as we look forward to the birth of our third baby boy in the first week or so of January. So while we are preparing for his arrival we are also trying to soak up every minute with our three year-old and two-year old. This Christmas is the first time that Cooper, our oldest, has been able to really enjoy the thrill of the season. It has already been so much fun! Each holiday activity, from decorating the tree to making cookies or spotting a yard-art Santa, thrills the boys. It has been such a treasure to see Christmas fresh, sparkling and new through their eyes.

 

What ways are you attempting to teach your young children about the true meaning of Christmas and avoid the trappings of the secular world?

This Christmas we are talking a lot about the baby in Mommy’s belly and baby boy Mary carried in her belly.  It has been neat to see the boys make the connection to Mary and the baby Jesus in a personal way. Beyond that we are trying to use Christmas to help our boys further understand the importance sharing.  As any Mom can appreciate, stripping our boys of the “MINE” mentality is an on-going battle. We want them to share openly and willingly what they have with one another and with others. Christmas (and the addition of a new sibling) makes learning this lesson even more poignant.

Whitney with her hubby and boys.

You have a passion for communicating God’s truth to the younger generation and to seekers. How can we use the Christmas season to creatively accomplish this?

The thing I hear most from teenagers and seekers alike is a desire to see “real Christianity.” Christmas provides a great time for us to share in the joys of the season, to celebrate, to laugh, to enjoy, to participate. In years past that has meant celebrating with others while at a Christmas party where the revelry was a little too secular and a lot too intoxicating. While I didn’t participate in the “merry-making” I hope my presence and love for them communicated the reason for the season-Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. Evangelism opportunities abound during this time of year; we just need to look for ways to take the light into the world, genuinely and gently.

The advice I give to teenagers while trying to decide whether an activity places them “in the world” rather than reaching the world is to ask a simple question. “Am I setting the agenda for how I act, serve, respond and witness in this setting or am I being influenced by those around me?” Teens need to feel equipped and trusted to evangelize and make a difference. I encourage them to think about how a situation will allow them to be a vocal, visual witness for Christ. They then must ask themselves the tough question, “Am I strong enough to stand out?”

What is the best holiday idea you have ever been given?

My Dad is a pastor. Growing up our home was inundated with Christmas gifts, cards and well-wishes. My Mom would gather up all the cards we received and put them in a basket on our kitchen table. Before each meal we would pull a card from the stack, and during the blessing of our meal Dad would pray for the family that sent the card or gift. I have such sweet memories of hearing Dad pray specifically for these families. Often it would take us months to work through the entire basket. It was a great way to extend the spirit of Christmas well into the New Year and remind us how blessed we were to have such a wonderful extended family of brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s a tradition we’ve carried on at our home. The boys love looking at the cards over and over again. And it helps us avoid becoming too habitual or mindlessly repetitive with our blessing.

What fun to get to know you. Thanks Whitney for connecting with us today!!!

You are so welcome!!

Now for the comment question and girly prize; just reading about Whitney and her young sons (with one more on the way; you do realize that come January, she’ll have boys three, two and newborn. YIKES!!!) Anyhow…. I’m sure there will be lots of oohs and aahs at the Capps household both this Christmas and in the years to come as she and her husband celebrate with their little boys. 

But what about we grown-up girls? What makes us ooh and aah at the holidays? Leave a comment today letting us know one of your “favorite things” It may be crisp apple strudel or sleigh bells. Or it may be going caroling, your grandma’s famous pecan pie or your yearly viewing of Frosty. It can even be a one word answer. Eggnog anyone? Any comment will enter you in the drawing to win the prize.

Speaking of the prize…..Whitney will be giving away a gift set from Bath and Body works complete with holiday hand soap and some cozy socks. What a fun and girly gift!

So get your fingers flying ladies and leave those comments telling us what makes you smile when it comes to Christmas. I’ll go first………..

Candy Cane Crunch!

Here is the recipe for a sweet treat we make every year. Great for teacher, coach and neighbor gifts. Package it up in crisp cellophane bags from the florist or craft shop and then tie it up with some red and white curling ribbon. Easy, easy, easy…..Enjoy!!!!

Candy Cane Crunch

24 ounces baker’s white chocolate (bars or chips are fine)

2 cups crushed candy canes

Crush candy canes in a food processor or place in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin. (Okay, sometimes my boys use a hammer! Shhh!) Melt chocolate in microwave on 50% power til melted (2 or more minutes) stirring after each minute. Or melt in a saucepan on low. Stir in candy canes. Pour onto a jelly roll pan or cookie sheets with sides. Cool and break into pieces. Yum!!! (We stick ours out in the garage on the deep freeze to speed up the cooling process–one of the benefits of living in Michigan–your garage is like a second, huge fridge!!!)

*NOTE: You can really get creative with this recipe. Use milk or dark chocolate. Or substitute a different flavor hard candy or use nuts instead. You can even sprinkle coconut, colored sprinkles or mini-marshmallows on top while the candy is still hot. Or, make a batch each of white and milk chocolate. Pour both into a pan and swirl for a marbled effect. Anything goes!!! Just try not to make it too thick. About 1/8 inch is best.

Now…it is your turn………What is one of your favorite things?

Merry-Minty Blessings,

Karen

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Comments

  1. ooo i love the smell of warm hot chocolate after a long day of playing out in the snow!! =) i hope i win!! and love B&B products!!

  2. Every year my grandmother has baked goodies and made a Lemon Pecan Cake for every household in the “family.” It’s been a tradition since long before I can remember (I’m 37). This is the first year she is not able to do any baking or make the cakes. She and my grandfather are now living in an assisted living facility as my grandfather’s alzheimer’s has progressed so bad she can not care for him any more. The torch has been passed…this year, Kayla and I get to do some goodie baking and TRY our hand at the Lemon Pecan Cake. Memories of family always brings a smile, sometimes even a teary smile, at Christmas time.

  3. Stephenie says:

    buckeyes and peanut butter blossoms

  4. Whitney–I have 3 boys who are teenagers now. What an adventure you are on….they are great fun!!

    My favorite thing at Christmas is the music!! Songs like “O Holy Night” and “Away in a Manger” bring the crazinest of the season into perspective.

    Have a blessed Christmas!
    Kim from PA

  5. Definitely the holiday music! My hubby and I have a deal. I can start playing Christmas music after the first snow or after Thanksgiving. Whichever comes first! Loved it that the first snow came early in November this year!

  6. Aunt Donna’s homemade pies. Peanut butter cream and butterscotch are the best. She also makes chocolate and even coconut.
    She taught my kids how to make them last year.
    I love the story as to how she started making them. She played at a friends house (as a kid) and the mom was always pulling a fresh baked pie out of oven to cool and Donna hoped for a piece but always had to leave before it was cooled. So she determined she would learn how to make pies and have them whenever she wanted. They are the best and it wouldn’t be the holidays without them!

  7. My Christmas favorites are getting to take a couple of weeks off from work, and spending more time with family. Just being able to hang out at home over coffee, or grabbing lunch during the day without any hustle or bustle.

  8. Shortbread cookies and chocolate nutclusters (only made at Christmas time!).

    My parents are part of church group that goes carolling every year. I live too far away to join them now, but I hope to start a similar tradition soon as my girls get old enough to join in. I loved seeing the joy it brought to people, especially those who couldn’t get out or who didn’t have any other company to share the holiday with.

  9. One of my fav things is having candles all throughout the house – that smell like cinnamon or pine!

    I’m enjoying getting to know all these ladies you are interviewing on your blog!

    Have a wonderful Wednesday!

    Blessings,
    Kate :)

  10. Hearing the sound track from Charlie Brown Christmas is one of my favorite things… given to me by my wonderful family.
    Merry Christmas!
    Lisa in WA

  11. The Christmas music! My 10 year old daughter said this year that when it first came on the radio she got tears in her eyes as she was so excited!

  12. My kids are what make me smile the most at Christmas time. Everything is magical to them. They exclaim with joy everytime they see a house with Christmas lights on it; they bounce out of their rooms each morning to see if the Christmas tree is still in the living room; they sing Away in the Manger with sweet angelic voices. I just love seeing the wonder in their eyes as the season unfolds.

  13. It’s gotta be the music! Any one of Michael W. Smith’s three Christmas CDs (he loves Christmas music, too!) totally puts me in the Christmas spirit. If you haven’t heard them, you’ve got to out and get one – really! It’s gorgeous music, and so totally centered on Jesus as our Emmanuel. My other favorite Christmas artists: Point of Grace, Avalon, Steven Curtis Chapman – all great stuff!

  14. Listening to Handel’s Messiah is what makes the season special for me! When I was an exchange student in Germany, my parents even sent me a copy to listen to while I was so far away! My kids can only tolerate a few songs, but I’m hoping as they get older they will appreciate it!

  15. Amy Haynes says:

    Coffee by candlelight and Christmas tree light!!!

  16. Oohhh – Amy you made my comment before me. I LOVE, snuggling in my chair with no lights on but the tree, and thanking God for all our blessings. Whitney, we have 3 boys and 1 girl… all 5 and under. It’s crazy and amazing all at once.

  17. I love sitting looking at the tree with my family and watching an old Chritmas movie. The Bishop’s Wife and White Christmas our two of our favorites. It is so great to take time and enjoy each other during this busy season!

  18. My most favorite thing is taking my children to see the Christmas lights all around the metroplex. When I was a child, we would get in a our 12 passenger van (big family) and pick up my Granny Dot, who would bring hot chocolate in a couple of thermoses, and then we would ride around looking at houses lit up in brilliant colors!

    Two years ago my family of origin did this…got in a church van, packed in 15+ people, and went around singing and drinking hot chocolate. I cry everytime I think about it.

    So now we take our kids out to see the lights set to Christmas music, drink hot chocolate, etc. It should be marvelous this year with 5 children! Usually we have infants (we are a foster family) but we have 2 this year about to turn 1 and 1 about to turn 2, plus our teenage daughters. I love it. This is my favorite part of the holiday celebration.

  19. My mom’s Santa Cookies. She has been making them since I was a baby… and I am 44.

  20. Seeing bubble lights on a tree makes me smile—takes me back in time to when I was a kid and went to Grandma’s house. She had twinkling, glowing. wondrous bubble lights, fragrant cookies baking, snow was gently falling— and there was magic in the air.

  21. Diane Applewhite says:

    Whitney,
    Having three boys is an absolute blessing. I use to dream of the days when they would have their college sweatshirts and I could borrow them. I am there and it doens’t happen, the girlfriend has them.
    My favorite thing is on Christmas morning having all three of them on the top of the steps and awaiting the day. It has been great watching them go from one step to three, because they just don’t fit. Just spending the time as a family and remembering why we celebrate is just wonderful. Enjoy those boys!
    Diane

  22. I love white Christmas lights. I love to turn all of the other lights off and spend the evenings with just the tree lights on. I also love riding around to look at decorations at night. My husband and I are the self-designated decoration police and we discuss who we think has earned a fine (usually for tackiness) and how steep the fine should be. It’s a lot of laughs.

  23. I start playing Christmas music early – sometimes September. It is one of my favorite things of the season.

  24. The one thing I love the most about Christmas is spending time with family. My mom passed away almost 3 years ago and so now I appreciate the time I get with all my family, especially my extended family though during the holidays. Love sitting with just the Christmas lights on watching Christmas movies with the kids or listening to Christmas music.

  25. I love the Christmas lights. Our small town in Ohio sets up an awesome light display in the park and its free. I also love the music and singing all my favorite Christmas songs.

  26. Definitely eggnog.

  27. My favorite thing is baking cookies. My mom and I used to make lots of cookies while listening to Christmas music. Many different kinds, but always lots of chocolate chip. I have continued that tradition every year that I’ve been away and look forward to continuing with my daughter this year. She helped me make snickerdoodles a couple of weeks ago. She’s still very little, but we had so much fun!

  28. Amy Bradsher says:

    Lights!

    I just love Christmas lights. They’re so peaceful and serene. Each night of the Christmas season I stress when things take me away from the tree and platform in the living room with the lights everywhere. I even set up an old hand-me-down ‘faux’ tree in the playroom so that the kids can play with it – and I can wrap presents still within sight of those happy lights! I’m sure at the very first Christmas there weren’t any happy lights twinkling merrily, except for the star, of course, but I’m so glad that we carry ‘the light of the world’ into our homes each Christmas in the form of hundreds of tiny lightbulbs!

  29. Carole Sprague says:

    Ring those Christmas bells! Light the Christmas tree!
    Jesus is the King born for you and me. Ring those
    Christmas bell!aaaaaalight the Christmas tree, Jesus,
    we remember this your birthday!

  30. Cannot help but watch Christmas Shoes every winter. Just watched it last night in fact! Good movie…although grab some tissues!

    Shannon
    smarklow@gmail.com

  31. The first lighting of our Christmas tree when we are all finished and gathered around. I also love Snow MInt Mocha coffe from Biggby in front of my fireplace.
    My husband always has about 12 days off during Christmas too so we try to watch all of the Christmas movies together as a family. There are so many wonderful things to do I could go on and on.

  32. My husband and I host a Christmas party every year for our friends and neighbors – Trim The Tree Party. We all have a great deal of fun and the tree gets trimmed. I enjoy the party festivities, but I really enjoy the ‘after party’ relaxing — the tree lights on, christmas music playing, a cup of cider — just sitting in the quiet stillness, enjoying the beauty of what Christmas is all about. Merry Christmas!!

  33. Kris Freitag says:

    My favorite thing just happened this year–for the last 6 years (my oldest is 6) we have bought a new christmas book each year, and had every person who was there the night we set up the tree sign the book. So we have baby scribbles, preschool scribbles, the first tries at writing a name in the last 6 years of books. This year, my oldest read the book we bought when he was 2 years old! What a fun thing–and he just giggled when he saw his “signature” and his drawing of a truck at age of 2. All of the books are Chrsitian Based, and are only out in the house from Dec 1-Dec 31–so they remain special. Then in January we get out all other winter themed books.

  34. betty lou says:

    I love the lights!! Turning off the room light, and enjoying the beautiful Christmas tree lights, lighted village, and candles is so breathtaking!!
    Congrats Whitney! As a mother of boys, I’m thrilled for you! I now have a “daughter” as my older son is married, and our first grandchild is …….. a boy!! LOVE!!!

  35. My Dad (who is now 83 years old) makes the best Christmas Shortbread cookies in the world!!! The are soooo good and I look forward to enjoying them each holiday season. I think they are so good because they are baked with so much love.

    Your Candy Cane Crunch sounds delicious. Living north of the border in Canada, our garage doubles as a fridge in the winter as well – very handy.

    Blessings,
    Joy

  36. Karen Ehman says:

    Joy–

    Okay…can you share the shortbread recipe? My daughter LOVES shortbread and I want to make her some for Christmas. The recipe I have is just average. I’d love your dad’s– if he gives away his secrets!

    Karen

  37. Michelle Spencer says:

    Thinking back on long ago Christmases makes me smile. I can remember daddy letting us try out our new dolls before Christmas and then re wrapping them so mom wouldn’t find out. I can still see mom falling into the tree as she tried out the new pogo stick. I remember my “baby” sister and I jumping on the bed at midnight just to tell Santa we were still awake. But when I think of more resent ones, it makes me smile to think how blessed I am to have 5 healthy grandchildren, a job for my husband and myself, A Father who loves me so much that He sent His son to the manger, and the gift of eternal life…These are a few of my favorite things

  38. I love everything about Christmas. I collect snowmen and love to decorate for the season! I was so happy to find a wooden nativity that the kids could play with. I also love trying lots of cookie/ candy recipes to give away. Thanks Karen I will try the candy crunch!

  39. Okay, I forgot to mention fudge. I love it! My grandma used to put together gift bags of baked goodies for the grown grandkids. I looked forward to it every year.

  40. Christmas lights and peanut butter blossom cookies. . .two of my favorite things at Christmastime! As we experience Christmas through the eyes of my three-year-old, it’s so cool to hear her say “wow” and it helps remind us of the wonder of Christmas.

    Cindy
    http://adopttaiwan.wordpress.com

  41. Peanut butter fudge is something I always make at Christmas time.

    I love Whitney’s idea for praying over the Christmas cards at each meal. My husband and I were just talking about what to do with the cards that come in!

  42. I love making the holiday cookies and treats!! It is so much fun decorating the cookies. My kids have always enjoyed that as well. We look forward to it as soon as the tree goes up. Bonus is that it also makes the house smell soooo yummy. :)

  43. Christmas will be diffrerent this year. Reading this post brought tears to my eyes because I really needed this reminder of those things that make me smile at Christmas. We lost my beloved grandma at the end of this past Sept. and this will be very difficult for me.

    What I’m trying to find joy in this Christmas is baking cookies. Gosh, this is a terribly difficult time to type…..that’s something my grandma would do with us. I’m smiling now, thinking about how she would show us the right way to roll the cookie dough….not too thin, not too thick. So many warm memories baking in the kitchen with my sister, mom and grandma. Our favorites were cutout cookies. I LOVED going through all of our cutters to find the Christmas ones and then we’d find the recipe….my great-grandma’s wonderful recipe.

    Thank you, I really didn’t expect to get this emotional, but I guess its been building. It feels good, though. I’m smiling at the memories of Christmases past.

  44. A lot of candles.The smell of pine from the tree at homeand looking at the beautifull tree esp early in the morning ….
    I really love the cozyness of this time of the year at home with family!

  45. Unpacking and hanging all the ornaments… I love memory lane.

  46. Karalin Lyons says:

    I smile when we go to the mall the week before Christmas and we shop ONLY for the less fortunate. The Salvation Army puts up a Forest of Trees and each tree has a theme. We grab a list and spend a couple of hours buying things to place on the trees. No purchases for ourselves are allowed. It’s such a beautiful time spent with my family. The hustle and bustle of the mall doesn’t even bother us because we’re in no hurry. I love watching my little ones consider what would be a good purchase for each tree. It’s a magical night!

    BTW…I have three boys too! My third one was born last January, so I know how you are feeling! This year they are 5, 3, and almost 1.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

  47. My two daughters are grown and used to decorate our tree. I am now blessed with four grandchildren and the joy I have watching those four decorate the tree is unbelievable.

  48. Sitting on the sofa, Christmas tree lit, fire in the fireplace, hot chocolate, family around me, sharing a book together!

  49. Favorite holiday goodie – chocolate marshmallow santas (or snowman, or whatever!). I could down a whole box – but I won’t!

    Favorite holiday thing – scents and traditions – every year when we decorate our tree, we videotape the process. We even did it before kids.

  50. We make LOTS and LOTS of caramel corn and deliver it to family and friends (including all of our pastors and church staff.) That brings lots of smiles to our house—and others. One year, we had a light dusting of snow as we drove around! :)

  51. my favorite thing is putting on christmas music and deorating the tree with the family. this year my oldest is in college and he’s not here yet, so we’re waiting on him to come home before we decorate the tree

  52. I absolutely LOVE the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church. At last, the hurried or even frenzied pace of the season comes to a rather sudden halt, and I can delight in God’s peace.

  53. I love a candy that is made around here called g-shaft. It is fabulous.

    It’s a good life!
    Terri E.

  54. I have an aunt who makes peanut butter balls and chocolate covered cherries from scratch. I LOVE them! She also gives me the jar of left over Maraschino cherries! Yum. I got a new recipe I am going to try this year – it’s pretty much a pan of sugar cookies with vanilla frosting with crushed red hots on top! Can’t wait!

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