Sunday, November 30, 2008

People Look East

Want to be more Mary and less Martha?
Have this holiday favorite in mind as you prepare for Christmas Day!

video

People, look east. The time is near

Of the crowning of the year.

Make your house fair as you are able,

Trim the hearth and set the table.

People, look east and sing today:

Love, the guest, is on the way.

Simply Christmas

The debate came up at Thanksgiving, probably at your table too. Which holiday is your favorite, Thanksgiving or Christmas? A strong case was made for Thanksgiving. After all, it is just like Christmas, without all the trappings. A time to give thanks to God, celebrate with family, without the gift-giving pressure.

Christmas, though, will always be my favorite (I HOPE!). Simply because this is The Day. The day Jesus was born. The day that changed the course of history. Definetly worth The Big Fuss. Of course, just like The Grinch noticed, Christmas will come even without the trappings.

To keep the true meaning of Christmas in focus, here are a few simple things we do at our house:

  • Don't watch commercials on tv. Fortunately on PBS there are no real commercials. On our second favorite channel, the Hallmark channel (already broadcasting Christmas movies), the commericals are mostly for diabetes or cholesterol medicines....go figure. Either change the channel at commercial breaks or mute the sound.
  • Don't listen to regular radio. I just realized this the other day. Happily singing Christmas music on some secular station, I began to hear the noisy, very un-Christmas like commercials. Switched the station back to our regular contemporary Christian one. They play some tradition Christmas tunes, many more new favorites but most important is NO "commercial" commercials. Or use your own Christmas collection!
  • Once you have made your Christmas shopping list, ours is simple but heartfelt, plan a day or weekend if you have to shop, then DON'T go to the malls or stores. Most important shop at local owned businesses. They have all the same stuff, and some unique items, and non of the oppressive shop-till-you-drop atmosphere.
  • Visit lighting displays, holiday gatherings at church or walk around your local downtown. Outside. Our downtown area is small but decorated and best of all, no amazon-sized half naked women like in the Victoria's Secret windows in the mall. How very un-Christmas.
  • Plan a surprise night time lighting tour. A very kind friend last year surprised our children by coming to pick them up, pajamas and all, for a night time drive around town to see all the lights! Hot Chocolate included. Fun, fun fun!
  • Finally and best of all, be a Secret Santa. We like to do our own thing, not any formal organized activity. But make something at home, either craft or food, and secretly leave it on doorsteps.

Today is the First Sunday in Advent and I wish each of you, a very merry getting ready time!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holly - 11 months

She can stand!

And although back in July, this whole tongue-sticking-out thing was cute...now I am trying to enlist the others help in teaching Holly to CLOSE her mouth! Most of the time she is like this picture. So, we are 6 weeks out from surgery and her mouth looks really good. She is eating stage 1 baby food like a champ, but anything thicker causes her to gag. I suppose it will be slow and steady for her to learn how to eat with her new mouth.

As for the rest of her health and well being, she is doing well. Except for the cold that has gone away and returned. That hasn't helped her sleeping habits either. I did receive a little comfort to know Ellen and Joel were up about as often as Holly (when she doesn't have a cold!) and Joel is as healthy as a horse!
How cute are these two?

Holly and Joel follow or chase each other around the hall. Most of the time Holly stares at Joel trying to figure out how he can walk like that! Hard to imagine her 1st birthday is around the corner!

Thankful for...

  • clear weather for the parade today
  • my husband still has a job
  • Holly is growing and doing well (ok, except for this nasty cold she has for the second time...)
  • that I live in America
  • Bill singing "all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth"
  • Lee Allison being so sweet to Holly
  • Anna's ever growing creative talent

So many wonderful thing blessing in our life, family, friends and Faith.

Glad tomorrow is a day to just be grateful and celebrate! Happy thanksgiving to you!

Sweet Potato Cakes

Fall isn't going to last long enough for me to get tired of making these Sweet Potato Cakes! The original recipe calls for a can of pumpkin. But canned yams work too!

From the Cupcake doctor cookbook, slightly modified!
1 - white cake mix
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs
1 - 16 oz can sweet potatoes (drained) or pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutgmeg
Mix ingredients slowly for a minute. Then on medium speed for 2 minutes. The sweet potatoes will blend pretty quickly in the mixer. No need mash before hand.
The original recipe calls for an organge glaze, but I prefer buttercream icing. You can use your favorite recipe and add 1/2 tsp of orange extract to compliment the spices. Or vanilla is just as yummy! This icing style is my second favorite. Just use a rounf tip, the largest you have, make a dot and pull. Looks ready for a party, doesn't it?




Thursday, November 20, 2008

So Where Are We?

So, where are we?

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over lousy fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world's great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from great courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again into bondage."
Alexander Fraser Tyler - Cycle of Democracy (1770)

(copied from another great Catholic Mom blog)

For anyone who has ever...

made ANYTHING from felt!

From a little further down in the same post:

"Is America the best country in the world? We'll see. In my opinion, just like Lucy, we have some s'plainin' to do."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Eight is Great!

Guess who doesn't have to ride in a booster seat anymore?


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Aldi's

Back to Aldi's these last few months. Haven't shopped there since Big Lee's job was downsized years ago. Grocery shopping is certainly a pitfall for a budget. For years I clipped coupons and shopped with The Coupon Mom's system. I loved playing The Grocery Game too.

Now, however time is rare for me to clip, sort and price compare. Back to Aldi's. Cheapskate Mary insists that Aldi's is like "triple coupon day" everyday. Good enough for me. And I have stayed near, close maybe, to my budgeted amount for groceries for the last two months!

If you had 30 minutes..

what would you do?

A small pattern has begun to emerge in Holly's little life. That's about 30 minutes of sleep every morning sometime between 7 and 9 am. Precious, precious time.

Today Big Lee was off from work and suggested that he use this 30 mins to run to Walmart. I said "Really? Is that what you really want to do in this time?" Then mentioned another option: N-A-P. The circles under his eyes are worse than mine!

Usually my morning choices include a short list: plan for school, get myself dressed, wash dishes or laundry. Sad to say only occasionally do I use this precious 30 minutes for prayer.

How would you spend 30 minutes?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

History in the Making

Whew! The election is over. And although my choice for president was not elected, I am glad for this moment in time. America has elected its first African-American President.

After the our long history of racism, of questionable police tactics, and riots in response to those tactics, a true milestone for our country today. I do sincerely hope that Mr. Obama enjoys the moment. And since he has been elected, here what I really hope:

That every single promise he made on the prolifeobama site comes true. I hope that he is able to enact so many programs and incentives that, yes, women in America will WANT to have their babies. That abortions will decrease so rapidly as a result of these programs, that we won't need to over turn Roe v Wade. That this particular ruling will be outdated as so many antiquated laws still on our books. You know the ones you read about in trivia columns.

I hope that since the racial divide has been conquered, we can join together and conquer the most important divide, regardless of race or economic background. This chasm that separates our country and encourages women to choose death instead of life.

Don't stop praying for Life now.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Caution!

Not surprisingly this sign is sold out.
(I want one too!)

Trick or Treat!

When we lived in Charlotte, Halloween was also the season for the migration of ladybugs. Often in between handing out the candy at the door, I would also be sweeping ladybugs off the ceiling. Not something I really enjoyed. But over the years I made peace with the ladybugs. Much cuter than spiders and we had a problem with those at that house too!

Who would have guessed all these years later, in a new home, I would, on purpose choose this costume for my Little One Feather? We joined our cousin Will and friends for a great night out in the neighborhood. Fortunately, no real ladybugs joined the party.

Look at all that great stuff!

Can I play the Wii too?
Anna and Amery doo-wop, doo-wop!

A quick stop at Grandpa and Grandma's before we go!
Grandma always has the BEST candy!
Here's the crew: Holly, Anna and Bill.
Lee and Lee Allison have gone to an older crowd gathering, sorry no pictures of that!