Archive for December, 2010

‘That’s My Auntie In The Choir!’

Watching my eldest daughter beam with pride at her Auntie this weekend was wonderful. Big Girl loves to sing so for her to get to attend professional choir concerts that include an auntie it is a BIG big deal. Not to mention, I can hardly contain how lovely it all is myself!The evening started with my girl and I working extra hard at dressing up Christmas-y and that is always too fun. I remember such evenings with my mom and how I trusted and appreciated her opinion while getting ready. She always took the opportunity to remind me to find what I like and that to like it means I will always look fab in it (fab is my word, not hers, he he he). I sure hope my daughter learns the same little bits from me.

We got picked up by my husbands parents and whisked away to a lovely big United Church where this choir usually holds their performances.This performance would be all the more fun since there would be audience participation during the evening. There where many carols I hadn’t heard before (different languages even) and so it was very entertaining and new. While most of the numbers where performed as a whole choir, a soloist did a lovely job of two numbers. The men and women took turns doing carols all on their own. My girl was glued to it all when the flautist stood and performed beautifully with one song near the end. Many of the songs where so beautiful you found yourself still and moved only in the heart.

(My sister and her girl after the concert.)



Crafty Christmas Tradition

Tonight was ‘decorate the presents night’. A little crafty Christmas tradition (one of the only times of year I am willing to do a little crafting) that we have done for a few years now. It started because I loved the look of all the gifts wrapped in the same paper. I started using brown packaging paper and Christmas colored yarn because I liked the look of it. It was one of my oldest kids who pointed out that it would be easy to color that kind of paper and so our tradition was born. Each year the packages end up looking so very different, depending on what we have to use. This year the kids where heavy on the foamy stickers and last year it was all about stamps. Such a lovely evening! It went well since they are all getting pretty pro at our Christmas traditions. Big Girl was very patient and willing to help Baby Boy as he learned how to gently color the gifts. Little Woman couldn’t use enough pink stickers and Big Boy was so intently concentrated I couldn’t believe how quiet this usually boisterous boy was. I was on camera duty (big surprise there). Even Daddy had time to join in tonight and we all laughed when a sticker ended up on his forehead… ‘how did that get there?’ was all he said and all four kids where splitting a gut! It is so very Merry to have mellow family time with your kids this time of year:)

It Was Hard To Say In Christmases Past

(He couldn’t seem to stand me taking pictures alone. Riddick kept rushing in as the camera clicked. This meant he kept showing up as a blur… so finally I took a moment and picked him up and made him hold still nicely for one. I like that he likes me:) Since we are both looking pretty good I thought I should share!)
Just a thought, sometimes in Christmases past things would get so busy I ended up barely using the old greeting ‘Merry Christmas’ all season. That meant it wasn’t comfortable for me when others would wish me merry Christmas… I remember having trouble giving a hearty response in kind. A perfect example of how my focus was WAY OFF! Not that stress itself isn’t a good enough clue, but moms are good at explaining stress away as a necessity… so now that we are so much better at not letting Christmas get that stressful over here I start pretty early with sharing this greeting.

This is why you will find it so much on my blog this month; I am practicing!

And with that thought, well more then a thought… story, I wish you a



Christmas Cereal

A little less enduring and sentimental then my ‘Christmas milk’ story, but no less cute is the kids favorite new find for the holidays. We where in desperate need of some cereal around here and I decided to be a little more relaxed at the grocer by way of letting my four year old choose what we got this week. As soon as Little Woman spotted the multicolored (green and red) crispy rice cereal I knew there was no going back on my promise. We would, indeed, be eating festive rice crispies that taste very much like regular rice crispies, besides the extra food dye flavor, for the whole week!

As soon as we arrived home Little Woman and Baby Boy teamed up on me and insisted we MUST test them for lunch, to make sure the big kids would like them. As usual the listening to the crispy rice was fun and we all giggled that they where saying ‘eat me, eat me’ because, of course, that is always what rice crispies say in our house. The taste… well you would think they where eating food meant for a king. Both ate it up as fast as possible oohing and aahing between spoon fulls and Little Woman insisted ‘these Christmas cereals are lovely!’ Lovely indeed! I say my children and their sweet little worlds of color and joy are even more lovely… lovely enough to win me over on this cereal… I suppose it will be one of our little special traditional treats year after year now.


DECEMBERS HYMN (last hymn of the project)

Bring A Torch Jeanette Isabella

For my final monthly hymn I chose a Christmas carol. It originated from the Province region of France in the 16th century. I .chose a French Carol so I was sure I didn’t know it already. It is also to encourage more learning of this second language in our home. I will focus on learning the English first. It will later be a project for my oldest daughter and I to learn in French. A very pretty song but it was hard to find an audio for it so I am using a video to learn it this month. You can link to the video RIGHT HERE

Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabella!
Bring a torch, to the stable run
Christ is born. Tell the folk of the village
Jesus is born and Mary’s calling.
Ah!* Ah! beautiful is the Mother!
Ah! Ah! beautiful is her child
It is wrong when the child is sleeping,
It is wrong to talk so loud.
Silence, now as you gather around,
Lest your noise should waken Jesus.
Hush! Hush! see how he slumbers;
Hush! Hush! see how fast he sleeps!
Softly now unto the stable,
Softly for a moment come!
Look and see how charming is Jesus,
Look at him there, His cheeks are rosy!
Hush! Hush! see how the Child is sleeping;
Hush! Hush! see how he smiles in dreams!
Un flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle —
Un flambeau! Courons au berceau!
C’est Jésus, bonnes gens du hameau.
Le Christ est né; Marie appelle!
Ah! Ah! Ah! Que la Mère est belle,
Ah! Ah! Ah! Que l’Enfant est beau!
C’est un tort, quand l’Enfant sommeille,
C’est un tort de crier si fort.
Taisez-vous, l’un et l’autre, d’abord!
Au moindre bruit, Jésus s’éveille.
Chut! chut! chut! Il dort à merveille,
Chut! chut! chut! Voyez comme il dort!
Doucement, dans l’étable close,
Doucement, venez un moment!
Approchez! Que Jésus est charmant!
Comme il est blanc! Comme il est rose!
Do! Do! Do! Que l’Enfant repose!
Do! Do! Do! Qu’il rit en dormant! [1]
(*) The word Hark! or Hush is sometimes substituted for Ah!

The video that I am learning this song from sings the alternate lyrics and they are as follows:

Alternate Lyrics:
Bring a torch, Jeannette, Isabella!
Bring a torch to the cradle run!
It is Jesus, good folks of the village;
Christ is born and Mary’s calling:
Ah! ah! beautiful is the mother!
Ah! ah! beautiful is her Son!
It is wrong when the Child is sleeping
It is wrong to talk so loud;
Silence, all, as you gather around,
Lest your noise should waken Jesus:
Hush! hush! see how fast He slumbers:
Hush! hush! see how fast He sleeps!
Softly to the little stable,
Softly for the moment come;
Look and see how charming is Jesus,
See how He smiles, Oh see how rosy!
Hush! hush! see how the Child is sleeping;
Hush! hush! see how He smiles in dreams.


Favorite Verse From November’s Hymn

I know not what awaits me,
God kindly veils my eyes,
And o’er each step of my onward way
He makes new scenes to rise;
And every joy He sends me comes
A sweet and glad surprise.

This hymn is so very true to this trip we called life. We just don’t know what is going to happen and holding on to Jesus through the ups and downs that will come requires trust and faith BUT who better to trust in then Jesus!

DECEMBER’S HYMN, my last hymn is soon to come.


The Joy of Two At Christmas (Marriage Monday)

Our Private Christmas Tradition

There is one particular Christmas tradition that my husband and I share alone. Once the kids have gone to bed on Christmas Eve we give one another one gift (a movie). We are to buy one another a favorite movie from that year. Once we open it we choose one to watch together that night.

We started this a few years back. After being frustrated with feeling like we had no time for one another during the holidays, and year after year not getting our true love a gift; yet not feeling like we should because what do we need that we don’t provide for one another all year long, we came up with this movie plan. It was our way of keeping Christmas simple and more about time together then about stuff. We get a little something but the biggest gift is the time we carve out that night (no matter how busy it has been) to snuggle together and relax amidst all the Christmas hubbub. Garnet is my best friend and true love, THE ONE I really want to spend quality time with over the holidays!


And The Tree Is Up For 2010

After having it up for a few days with no decorations the kids patience was rewarded with a family night to decorate the tree. They where so much quicker this year! So much less fighting as I just let them do their thing and rearranged what needed to be rearranged once they went to bed (he he he mommy trick). They had so much fun and it looks very sweet.We started the evening off right by putting our pjs on and having an applicable supper; popcorn and smoothies (applicable because it is all about the kids tonight). We then listened to some ‘Vinyl Cafe’ via pod-cast (online) and decorated. The story was very cute, by the way, it was called ‘Dave and the Elevator’, look it up if you have a chance. Listen on line at this address !

And if you want Christmas flare look up the Vinyl Cafe story called ‘Dave Cooks the Turkey’.



Hummus for all! Pass the Pita Chips! (Recipe Request)

  • 1- 540ml can chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (or more if you like, taste test lots)
  • About 1/3 cup grape seed oil (maybe more)
  • seas salt to taste
  • 4 fresh garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • generous sprinkle of paprika
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  1. Drain and rinse the canned chickpeas and put in a blender.
  2. Add the tahini and the lemon juice then start to mix.
  3. This part is kinda up to you but I find the secret to a yummy hummus is one that isn’t too dry so you need to add grape seed oil as you need it. Mix more, test for how smooth it is and if it is still too dry add more oil.
  4. Once it is starting to get smooth add the salt and well chopped garlic.
  5. Once smooth scoop out into a bowl and give it a good mix with a spatula to make sure the spices got all spread around (it is so thick some blenders have a hard time).
  6. Top with a little olive oil poured over then sprinkle with paprika and cover generously with fresh cilantro that has been finely chopped.

We love this with pita chips but it is a great dip for fresh veggies too.