Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 12

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Today, the last day of this challenge, is one favorite Christmas memory.

For me, it was a few years ago.  I think it was after dinner on Christmas day, we went to church just to pray for a bit (maybe we had gone to Mass the night before).  Instead of coming right home afterward, we drove around and looked at Christmas lights.  We played the CD "Christmas with Gisele" and all sang along - even trying the parts that are in French.  I think at one point we pulled off somewhere to watch some fireworks.  It was so beautiful, fun, magical, and I felt really connected with my family.

And that's it!  Thank you Sarah for coming up with this great challenge, and thank you to all who read and commented!

Hope you all had a wonderful day, and may the Lord be with you!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 11

Two favorite Christmas recipes...

These are (imperfect) snowman top hats.  Mom and I saw them in a store once and thought they looked really cool, so we tried to make our own allergen-free version (three out of the four of us have food allergies).  They're kind of tricky to make, but so, so worth it.

They are made with chocolate, large marshmallows, and Oreos/sandwich cookies.  To make them, first melt chocolate chips (we used a make-shift double boiler).  The way I assembled them today was I dipped a marshmallow in chocolate, put it chocolate side down on the Oreo, spooned more chocolate on the top, and used a toothpick to spread the chocolate on the sides of the marshmallow and Oreo until getting something resembling a top hat!

I don't really have a second recipe, but I wanted to share a couple pictures of the cookies we decorated yesterday!  The recipe we use is a basic cutout cookie recipe from my aunt with powdered sugar frosting.

Here is a platter with cookies decorated by my mom, brother and myself...

And a few I did just for fun.  First is Piglet, then a japor snippet from Star Wars, Bilbo Baggins (as best as I could do by memory), Phoenix Wright, and Professor Layton (a snowman version, at least).  Piglet has frosting and the others were drawn with food coloring markers

Definitely had a lot of fun creating these Christmas treats and doing it with my mom and brother.  It has also been fun to eat a couple!

'Tis the night before Christmas, our goodnights have been said.  We're going to Mass in the morning, so I better go to bed!  May the Lord be with you this Christmas night!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 10

Three favorite Christmas outfits...


I did mention I liked A Charlie Brown Christmas, right?

I'll be wearing this on Christmas with black pants or a skirt and a bracelet a friend made me a few years ago.

That's all that I have, so I'm making the third my dad's Christmas tie.  It plays music when you press it, which was the coolest thing when I was little, and it's still special now.

It's Christmas eve eve!  I really cannot believe it's so close.  We decorated the cookies today which was a lot of fun.  Tomorrow we'll be making a couple other treats and then it's time to enjoy the holiday!  May the Lord be with you!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 9

Four favorite Christmas traditions...

Did you say...tradition?

Traditiooooooon!  Tradition!  Tradition!
Traditiooooooon!  Tradition!  Tradition!

When it is light on day after Thanksgiving,
Since us kids were children, we'd hear music blare,
For I Yust Go Nuts on Christmas, and Giselle,
Are always played throughout our home.

By Papa!  By Papa!  Tradition!
By Papa!  By Papa!  Tradition!

Then at night on Christmas eve we're all at home,
Our quiet home, our darkened home,
Singing Silent Night, the music filled our home,
And then we went to bed and sleep we took.

In pajamas!  Pajamas!  Tradition!
Pajamas!  Pajamas!  Tradition!

Our family, we will go to Mass,
That morning, Christmas day.
At home we eat and open gifts,
With bows so pretty.

And this year we may each,
A brand new custom fix.
Before our glass nativity,
We'll say a prayer Mom picked.

To the Father!  The Father!  Tradition!
The Father!  The Father!  Tradition!

Because of our traditions, we've enjoyed Christmas for many, many years.  You may ask, how did these traditions get started?  I'll tell you:

I don't know.

But they're our traditions.  And without our traditions, our Christmases would be as shaky as...as a reindeer on the roof!



Sorry, I couldn't help myself.  So those are our four traditions:

1. We play two special CDs, I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas (one of my dad's favorites) and Christmas with Gisele (not sure if we did this one this year) on the day after Thanksgiving.
2. On Christmas eve night we sing Silent Night together before bed.
3. We go to Mass on Christmas morning and return to breakfast or lunch and presents.
4. This year Mom found a prayer to say in front of a nativity set that she suggested we do.

That's all for now!  We baked cookies today and will decorate them tomorrow - should be fun!  Have a great day everyone, and may the Lord be with you!

*in case you are not familiar with it, the above song is based on "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 8

Five favorite Christmas crafts...

I love Christmas crafts!  I usually do something each year, though this year only cookie decorating.

This is a wreath ornament made with pipe cleaners.  I made this a several years ago (when I was seven, I think) with a good friend that lived across the street at the time.  She has since moved away and I've only seen her a couple times, though we have emailed and written a bit.  It's not the craft that I love, but the memories.





We made a bunch of these at a homeschool field trip once.  The theme was recycled holidays, or something like that.  We had circles cut out of greeting cards which we folded and glued together into ornaments.  Of the ones we made, this is one of my favorites because it has Tigger on it (does anyone else go "T, I, double guh, er," when spelling Tigger?).




These my mom and I made a year or two ago.  It's a cookie cutter with Christmas fabric glued to the back.  I have to say, these were a lot more difficult to make than we anticipated, but most of them came out looking really cool.




Our traditional Christmas cutout cookies made by me, my mom, and my brother.

Some other cookies I made last year.  Piglet was made with a cookie cutter, and the others were shaped with cookie cutters, a spatula, and a toothpick.


And there we have it!  See you tomorrow for day 9!  May the Lord be with you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 7

Six favorite Christmas stories...

Hmm...not sure if I can come up with six.

1. THE Christmas story
2. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry.
3. The Twelve Bugs of Christmas (it's a pop-up book)
4. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
5. Does it count that one of the cases in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney takes place on Christmas?
6. The Star Wars Christmas story, one of the funniest Star Wars or Christmas videos:



Be sure to watch through the credits!  Have a great day and may the Lord be with you!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 6

Seven favorite Christmas movies...

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas - if it wasn't already obvious from my previous posts.

2. It's Christmas Time Again, Charlie Brown - basically I like most Peanuts specials...

3. Mrs. Santa Claus - a musical introduced to me by a good friend.

4. Eloise at Christmastime - So fun and sweet.

5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - the classic TV special.

6. The Toy that Saved Christmas - Veggie Tales!

7. Santa vs. the Snowman - An entertaining comedy and one of my brother's favorites.

And so far I have watched none of these this year.  Like I said before, Christmas kind of sneaked up on me this year.  I'll try to get in Peanuts before Christmas, though.  Until tomorrow, may the Lord be with you!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 5

Eight favorite Christmas decorations...

Here are some with pictures:





These are my favorite Christmas tree decorations.

A random decoration I like.  It always reminds me of the song "Ring Little Bells."



A tiny, wood nativity set I always enjoy setting up.


Our nativity set - always fun to set up and look at.


This is a lamb I really like from a different nativity set that we added to the one we put up this year.


Part of a display we put up on a door.  It's really pretty in real life.

And a couple I don't have good pictures for:

A Charlie Brown Christmas tree like the little one from the show.

And our outdoor nativity set.  We've had some fun times with that.  Many times the wind has knocked over various figures (especially Joseph and a couple kings), and thanks to a dead light bulb, one of the kings was affectionately dubbed "Dimlit."  Good times.

There you go!  Hope you all have a good week!  I'm looking forward to a Monday with no school!  May the Lord be with you!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 4

Nine things on your Christmas list...

Yay, this is easy!

1. Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva DVD
2. John Paul II High: Summer of My Dissent by Christian M. Frank
3. Her Universe Jedi charm
4. Professor Layton and Luke plushies
5. 2012 Peanuts calendar
6. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat soundtrack
7. Wii points card (to get Phoenix Wright games 2 & 3)
8. Anakin 2011 TCW action figure
9. Money to put toward Celebration VI tickets and a Jedi costume

That's pretty much the entirety of my wish list!  I remembered a few things I forgot to add later but oh well.

I'm starting to get pretty excited for Christmas!  We hung the ornaments on the tree today and got out the Christmas dishes and a few other decorations.  Only one week!  It seems to have sneaked up on me this year.  Until tomorrow everyone, may the Lord be with you!

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 3

 
Ten favorite Christmas presents...here's what I thought of:

1. The Jedi Path - I'll have to reread this sometime.

2. TCW/Mary Poppins comic book - Yes, you read that right.  This is actually something I made to give to my brother.  I parodied a bunch of songs from Mary Poppins and had characters from The Clone Wars sing them in comic book form.

3. Camera - Mom and Dad gave me a camera and it's been really nice to have!

4. Plo Koon and Ahsoka shirt - Her Universe!

5. Bitty Baby - She was so dear to me when I was little.

6. Molly - Definitely my favorite of the American Girl dolls.

7. iPod speaker - Kind of random, but you can plug in anything with a headphone jack and it's really come in handy.

8. Scapular - A friend gave me a scapular, something you wear around your neck.  Usually I see them with two cloth rectangles, but this one has two tiny plastic hearts with pictures of Jesus and Mary.  Some of the cloth ones have scratchy plastic covers but this one is much more comfortable, and I wear it as much as I can.  It's a great reminder for me to think about Jesus.  (I know this is all very Catholic, so if anyone has any questions about it let me know and I'll answer as best I can!)

9. Professor Layton and the Curious Village - My brother got this for Christmas last year and let me play it.  It was the start of a great new interest!

10, and the greatest gift of all...

Jesus.  How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given!

Have a great weekend everyone, and may the Lord be with you!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 2

I didn't post this yesterday because it was getting late and I was too tired, but here it is now!

The first day was twelve favorite pictures, and the second is eleven Christmas songs (the third will follow soon)!

Good timing, as I sang in a Christmas concert yesterday!

The first two aren't technically Christmas songs - they're for Advent, but I'd love to share them!

Creator of the Stars of Night - A really beautiful song.  I have to say I couldn't find a version on YouTube that I loved, but I suppose I'm biased to the way we do it at church. 

A Voice Cries Out - I love singing this song!  Caution: this video is made up of clips from The Passion of the Christ and is difficult to watch, but the music is great (I just looked at the lyrics instead).

And for Christmas songs...

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Traditional


Rejoice with Exceeding Great Joy - After singing this in a few concerts it became one of my favorites!

He is Born, The Holy Child - This is the Veggie Tales version, probably the first I heard, but there are other pretty choral arrangements, too.

Joy to the World - Again, traditional

Christmas Time is Here - A real feel-good song for me.

White Christmas - Although it's way overplayed on the radio here, I still love this song and Bing Crosby's voice.

O Holy Night - Traditional

Silent Night - Traditional; my family often sings this on Christmas eve right before bed.

O Come All Ye Faithful - Traditional, just a really nice song about adoring the Lord.

I love Christmas music, especially old, traditional carols.  Haven't listened too much this year yet and the season is quickly slipping by!  I must remedy that soon.  Last night when my brother and I were talking about this post we came up with a bunch of other favorites, but to keep it to eleven I'm stopping now (that and I can't remember most of them!).  Also, I ended up taking my final yesterday and it went really well!  Have a good day everyone, and may the Lord be with you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 1

Sarah came up with a great Christmas challenge for the twelve days between now and the 25th!

Today is twelve favorite Christmas pictures...



I love this picture of Mary and Jesus - so lovely!







A beautiful depiction of the Holy Family and a bit from Isaiah - it's so amazing how all the prophecies came true in Jesus!



Love the stars in this one.







A Charlie Brown Christmas!  Charlie Brown is so happy, even if Snoopy is into the commercialism of Christmas and the boy has only a small tree.  But that tree, with a little love...



Can turn into this!  Rather magical, don't you think?  The branches multiplied...  And everyone is singing!



A bit of fun...






And a Fellowship of the Ring comic I drew last year!  My drawing skills aren't great, but it was fun.  It will likely only make sense to those who have read the book.






A couple years ago we got to visit some really cool churches around Christmas, and this one had some beautiful decorations that complimented the already beautiful interior.






A staircase to the choir loft and pipe organ, I believe...






And the decorations under a stained glass window.  This is one of my favorites.



These three wise men are part of a nativity set we own.  We usually keep them to the east of the rest of the set until Epiphany.  But you know, you don't have to be wise and wealthy to come to Jesus - he invites us all, old and young, rich and poor, and all sinners...like this guy.






That's all for the first day!  Say a quick prayer for me if you will - I have my Spanish final either tomorrow or Friday, and I'm nervous!  Looking forward to being done with the course though.  See you all tomorrow, and may the Lord be with you!