Sunday, December 27, 2009

Counting Blessings #9 - finding things to be grateful for in the everyday

holy experience

41 - inspiration from across the sea

42 - he loved it!

43 - an afternoon in the city of brotherly love

44 - trying to figure out the new camera

45 - making wishes come true

46 - cooking cousins

47 - warm and cozy spots

48 - the smell of onions frying

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

For my King

Gerrit va Honthorst (1590-1656)
The Adoration of the Child

Mitt Hjerte Alltid Vanker
words by Hans Adolph Brorson (1732)
from The Crossing, The Court of a King

The miracle within and beyond all this
is God appearing here
In a stable small and rude.
He came, but was despised on this poor earth--
Him the eternal, honored Word.

Yet I know I can offer Him a dwelling place forever,
here in my heart.
Please come, sweet Jesus.
Come to this heart that is your home.
I know it's no strange place I offer you;
it is a place built and bought by you.
Here you can come back into your creation,
and I will wrap you in my heart and soul.

If I could, I would place palm branches
all around your feet.
For you, Lord, I will live and for you I will die.
I have found complete joy, as in my heart,
Lord, you are born anew.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Featuring Miss Fiona

This past November, I taught an art class in my home to a group of homeschool students. Before leaving for the day, a certain imaginitive young lady told me she enjoyed the class so much that she was going to make me something special, so I should watch my mail box. Here it is - a stunning Christmas card she designed and drew herself using oil pastels. Inside was the scripture:

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child
and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means 'God is with us'. " Mt 1:23

Fiona, I love your work. I'm touched by your thoughtfulness and very proud of you.

Love, Mrs. Jodi

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Counting Blessings #8

holy experience

33 - Winter nights

34 - glow

35 - wonder

36 - new babies wrapped in old quilts

37 - countdown

38 - quiet conversations over dinner

39 - paper chains

40 - patient teachers, teachable spirits

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Belsnickels and Pavs, or from PA to the bottom of the world

It's becoming a tradition for our friend Andy to read this delightful book aloud to our family at Christmas time. He does a beautiful job reciting the story of the visitation of the Belsnickel in the lilting dialect of his Pennsylvania German ancestry.

Our granddaughter was enthralled. Thanks, Andy.

a page from the book giving a little of the cultural background of this PA German folklore.

Also, our eldest daughter who lives in New Zealand is home visiting for the holidays. She made us a Pavlova, a traditional Kiwi dessert.

What do you think, Rhys?

Can't wait to taste it!

Need we say more?

Here's a link to a recipe AllRecipes for a pav if you'd like to try it. She omitted the coconut.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Deck the clogs with boughs of holly

I have an unexplainable passion for wooden clogs. I have no idea why, but I'm very attracted to them. I find them--or should I say they find me--at garage sales, thrift shops, and flea markets. I try to be discriminating so as not to let this become an out of hand obsession. That being said, I still hope to find a pair that fit me, because I would actually wear them. But until that time, I like to be creative with the ones I have, to sort of justify my wee addiction...I know I can quit at any time ;)

Two clogs, rawhide cord

Most of the clogs I have found have pre-drilled holes in them. This makes it easy to string them with cord.

Next, stuff some plastic wrap or small sandwich bags into the shoes to protect the wood.

Insert some floral foam that has been soaked in water.

Now add the desired greenery.

Voila! 'Tis the season to be jolly...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wonderful books, beautiful words read again and again

holy experience

30 - and again

"During the last verse a chiming of bells was heard, and the children came trooping down the stairs, singing the first verse again. When they reached the stage they divided, and a fairy-like figure in silver and green floated out from among them. It was Annie-Laurie in a wide ballet dress of frosted fur-dark green. Her bells were around her waist, and she had a wreath of Christmas roses on her hair. Malony as Father Christmas came through the drawing room door at the same moment, while David unseen in the drawing room played the air of their dance upon the piano, and the children, gathered round the real Christmas tree, hummed it very softly.

The genius of Annie-Laurie was, as David had said, unforgettable. The comic antics of Father Christmas, the children in the animal costumes, and the brilliantly lighted tree made a bizarre background against which her delicate loveliness drifted like thistledown against the bright colors of a summer day. And it was the thistledown that captured the attention and held it as though with a spell."

Elizabeth Goudge, Pilgrim's Inn

31 - and again

"I think it must be the field mice," replied the Mole, with a touch of pride in his manner. "They go round carol-singing regularly at this time of year. They're quite an institution in these parts. And they never pass me over--they come to Mole End last of all; and I used to give them hot drinks, and supper too sometimes, when I could afford it. It will be like old times to hear them again."
"Let's have a look at them!" cried the Rat, jumping up and running to the door.

Kenneth Grahame, Wind in the Willows

32 - and again

"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude," returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices."

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Candy doesn't have to have a point...that's why it's candy"

So says Charlie Bucket in the movie Willy Wonka, and is another one of my favorite movie quotes. Which leads to this next little adventure--making a candy tree. Inexpensive and fun, it's a trip down memory lane for me, since my Aunt Betty would make them for us kids. I LOVED THEM. I would only allow myself one piece of candy every few days to make it last a long time.

You'll need at least two bags of hard candy, a glue gun, and an empty thread cone.

Starting at the bottom, glue one end of the candy wrapper to the cone. Continue around, working your way up to the top.

Ta - da!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

and visions of orange peel danced in my head...

The Margaret Rudkin Pepperidge Farm Cookbook; an awesome thrift shop find! In it is a recipe for candied orange peel, an old fashioned sweet popular in colonial times and a family favorite of ours for the Christmas season. It's easy to make, too.

Can you believe it only took four oranges to get this much peel? This recipe suggests removing all the white part of the orange skin, but I prefer to leave some. It's less fiddley to prepare. Having tried it both ways, I think it tastes better, too.

Love the vintage pen and ink drawings that are through out the book. Click on the photo to enlarge the recipe.

You'll have to imagine that there is a picture of the peel cooking in a pot of sugar syrup, which I forgot to take because I was too busy trying to avoid burning myself while stirring the molten hot lava-like syrup. This is what the peel will look like after being cooked, at which point you sprinkle it with sugar.

Ta - da! When it finally dries, the peel is all sugary sparkley-warkley Christmasy nice. Much better than sugar plums, in my opinion.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Counting Blessings #6

holy experience

25 - Gingerbread

26 - Being related to the world's greatest chili makers

27 - First snow of the season

28 - dé·tente (dā-tänt', -täɴt') n. A relaxing or easing, as of tension between rivals.

29 - Fathers and sons


Related Posts with Thumbnails