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     What fun it was to be a stay at home mom making things for my children. My children loved to play kitchen and always wanted to use raisins and crackers and water for their mixtures.  When it was time to clean up, we approached the kitchen and found a concrete-like mixture in every bowl and cup...the raisins, the crackers and water.  Dutifully I chiseled it out of the containers and suddenly had a great idea...Toy Food.

     Awakening the next morning I thought, "Toy Food!"  And as soon as I could get to my box of felt, I thought...breakfast, and quickly cut out shapes of white and yellow and there were sunny side up eggs. I sewed the pieces together,

grabbed a bag of split peas, poured in the peas and made egg beanbags.


     What followed is pictured below:  breakfast, supper and dessert = Toy Food!

      Bacon & Eggs                 Pancakes & Sausages               Spaghetti & Meatballs                      Cherry Pie                             Hot Fudge Sundae           Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bacon and Eggs

     When the children were a little older, as part of our Christmas preparations, I decided it would be fun to make our very own nativity.  I had a recipe for home made playdoh and made a huge bowl of it.   We had lots of fun making Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus, two sheep, one cow, one chicken, one mouse, two angels, suddenly a snowman appeared, and then the little boys thought that Baby Jesus needed food. And they made two doughnuts, two pancakes with pats of butter, an apple, one chocolate cupcake, a bunch of red grapes, and an orange fish.  

     We made these quite large and put them in the oven to bake.  And when we took them out in the evening, what a surprise...our tall nativity had shrunk in height and expanded in width, and to this day, many, many years later, it is our most endearing nativity.

     With two children in college and more time to myself, when I found a simple pattern for a nativity in a woman's magazine,  I thought it is not possible to have too many nativities and the more I looked at the simple pattern, the more I embellished. Instead of making this of felt, I saw brocade and satin and jewels and I  began what we affectionately called........ 

The Guys

The little boys loved finding the jewels for the turban, we found a sword and the wise mens' capes in an antique store.  The camels were made of mohair with suede eyelashes.  The sheep became a clump of four, one for each of my children.  The donkey made of velvet was irresistible and Baby Jesus was made from a pink baby sock wrapped in a tiny patchwork quilt I made.  The angels' wings were made of my grandmother's hand crocheted lace doilies. This nativity was certainly a labor of love, but also fun as everybody's great ideas piled on and made this nativity wonderful.

     As I was finishing this nativity and decorating our home for the holidays, I put my collection of wonderful Christmas books for children on the shelf and found this favorite.......I took a break and sat to read savor it......and as I read, I knew I needed to make the Clown of God to add to our new nativity.......What fun it was to read..."first the sticks, then the plates....." in Tomie dePaola's wonderful prose......


     And when I completed the clown I loved watching my children get out the purple bag, take out the rug,  line up all he juggled, in order, as I read the story. This book and our clown is a wonderful part of our Christmas.   Thank you Tomie dePaola.......

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