Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Growing up it was always tradition to keep the Christmas tree and decorations up until 'Little Christmas' also know as the Epiphany. The Epiphany is the celebration of the three Kings coming from afar to bestow gifts upon baby Jesus. I continue the tradition with my family. Our decorations and tree will be up until we celebrate the coming of the Magi on January 6th. So over the coming days I will continue to post about our holiday experiences, present and past.

I'd like to share with you some photos of my favorite old ornaments that hung on my tree when I was a child. They belonged to my Mum and now the belong to me. Some day I will pass them on to 'n'.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hello! It's Movie Time.

 Well I have many great holiday pictures to post, but I'm the official 'piece finder' for 'N's lego building spree(we're talking 1,000 piece sets- 3 in total) so I'm going to save the pics and a lengthier post for later. 

I'd like to share this movie with you instead.  When I came home from dropping off my godmother on Friday 'n' and 'R' had been busy making a movie.  I have to say I think it is quite something.  We may have a budding actress on our hands.  What do you all think?



Good Bye Daddy



Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Peace, Love and Joy!



So on Christmas eve it has been tradition for as long as I can remember for family and friends to gather together and enjoy good food and company. Since my Mum passed away 8 years ago I have taken on the tradition and we now gather at my home on Christmas Eve. This year was no exception. Our gathering is smaller than it used to be but just as merry. Here are some photos from our evening.

Say Cheese! or chips :)

Sisterly Love!

Brother 'B' playing peek-a-boo with the amaryllis!

Our lovely little Christmas tree.

The gang is all here! N,n & the cousins!

Quick look away, she has the camera again! Auntie 'A' was the only one who escaped the camera on Christmas Eve. No worries, we captured her image on Christmas morn. More on that later.

We had a great evening. Company was lovely, food was delicious and we were able to tucker out all the children so Santa could come earlier than later.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Odds and Ends

Today was our first day of vacation! It was so nice to not get up with an alarm clock. When I go to bed at a decent time I usually wake up on my own around 8am. So it was this morning. I came downstairs to my cherubs already awake, bright eyed and bushy tailed. 'N' got up so early, 5am, 'n' didn't get up until about 7:45 or so. Poor R-he was up at 6am and out the door by 6:30. No vacation for him until Wednesday, then he will be off for five days in a row. We'll all get to bed earlier tonight to prepare for late nights in the week ahead.

After coffee and breakfast I called Dad to remind him of his doctors appointment this afternoon and found out he ran out of oil! Yikes. Not a good day for that as the temperatures have dipped far below freezing. I ordered oil and my brother made sure that the electric heater and fireplace were both going to stave off the bitter cold. I invited Dad to come to my house until his home warmed up but he wasn't interested. We did some work around the house. Wrapped gifts, played on the computer, picked up and put away various items from around the house all before going to take Dad to his appt.

Dad is now on a regular schedule of having blood drawn to monitor his white count due to the immune suppressing drug he is on to treat his Chrohns disease. The good news is that the meds are working! His fistulas have almost completely closed and he has no more drainage. The doctor believes that this is due to his mp-6 meds not the most recent round of antibiotics. This was good news in my opinion. The Dr. had to burst the happiness bubble by commenting on Dad's hygiene and then open up the discussion about Dad's memory. He also wanted to know how much support Dad is receiving from both my brother and his family and me. I think that this doctor would put Dad in a nursing home if he could. It worries me. On the bright side at least the physical piece seems to be sorting itself out to some degree.

Tomorrow will prove to be a busy day. I plan on doing a lot of baking: banana bread, cranberry bread, sour cream coffee cake, black and white cookies, and anise tea cakes. I am also going to make my list for the grocery store. We'll be having a small open house on Christmas Eve so I'll be serving appetisers and goodies. I am debating on fondue as well. I have a fondue set that I received last Christmas that I have yet to use so I'd like to try it out. I would love to try Giada's recipe for cheese fondue, but I think a chocolate fondue might better suited for our guests. I'm planning on having stuffed mushrooms, scallops wrapped in bacon, homemade hummus with veggies to dip, hot artichoke dip, chicken fingers for the younger crowd, bruschetta {thanks to my dear friend Judy :) } In addition to this food I'll have lots of goodies. I've already baked and frozen chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies and nut crescents. By tomorrows end I'll have a variety of breads and two more cookies to offer. Maybe I don't need to do fondue and should save it for New Years??

Well this has turned into a rambling all over the place post! Hope you are all staying warm. I'm sitting under a blanked with my warm laptop on my lap! Ahhhhhhh!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

This weeks fill ins is the equivalent to name that tune or something similar. I love to sing however R will attest that usually I sing the wrong words. And most often even when he corrects me I prefer my own lyrics so please bear with me as I try this challenge!

Here we go!

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, _do you know what I know?
2. The first Noel, the angel did say, _was to certain poor shepherds in fields where they lay.
3. Go tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere.
4. It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old.
5. Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Let your heart be light.
6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing right within your heart.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing and watching White Christmas(my favorite holiday movie), tomorrow my plans include sleeping late, shoveling snow and wrapping gifts and Sunday, I want to bake cookies and watch football...go Pats!

ps. I used google for help! thank goodness for google!

pps. It is snowing like crazy here, should be lots of snow to shovel, will post pics tomorrow!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Some more detailed info regarding the upcoming summit.  What do you think?

A fair chance for every child, through good economic times and bad - that’s our commitment to Massachusetts’ kids. The current economic news is bleak - but our kids only grow up once. Featuring hands-on workshops, information sessions, and a chance to meet education leaders, Stand for Children’s 5th Annual Statewide Education will give you the knowledge and skills you need to become an effective advocate for your child and for kids across Massachusetts.

Conference Schedule
8:30 - 9:30 Registration & Breakfast
9:00 - 10:40 Our Shared Commitment: Partnering to Help Kids in a Tough Economy
10:50 - 12:05 Workshop Session I: Increasing Your Knowledge Base
12:05 - 1:05 Lunch & Building Relationships
1:15 - 2:30 Workshop Session II: Building Your Skills
2:45 - 3:30 Closing session: 2009 Policy Platform presentation

Attend to:
Connect with other grassroots leaders from around the state
Learn how you can improve education in your district and across the state
Hear from the state’s leading policy makers about changes that could affect every child in Massachusetts
Share strategies for winning funding and policy changes that improve schools
Launch our 2009 Legislative Agenda

"I learned great techniques to motivate others in my town to be part of the solution."
- 2008 Summit Attendee

The Buzz of Christmas

I am so excited for a short week.  My classes are only in session for two days this week; today and tomorrow.  It is so nice to be able to have a couple of extra day before my own children are out for Christmas break on Friday.  The children were excited today.  The morning group managed the day quite well.  I had expected much more of an unsettled day for those children as they are so aware of the season.  Children are always full of surprises.  The afternoon children who are usually quite calm and settled were not either of these things today!  By the end of the afternoon my head was spinning.  We made it through the day so that is good!

Last night I had a great meeting with my fellow Stand for Children strategy team members.  We are preparing for our 5th Annual Statewide Education Summit.  We have some great speakers and many workshop offerings.  The morning workshops are focused on learning more about education  reform and what is relevant in education today.  Our afternoon workshops are skill building classes.  I attended this summit last year and it was fabulous.  I am looking forward to attending this year on January 24th.  They even provide childcare.  If anyone is local and interested in attending check it out : www.stand.org/ma/summit.

That's all for now!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

What Kind of Blog Are You?

I thought this was an interesting site. I found it in one of Suzann's recent posts over at journey to a new life: What is Your Blog's Myers-Briggs Type#links. This web site analyzes all the posts you have written and tells you about your blog. The following is what it came up with for my blog.

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves. The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

This show what parts of the brain that were dominant during writing.

According to this part of the analysis I am primarily using the parts of my brain that are used for sensing and feeling with an emphasis on order, habit and details as well as spirituality, rhythm and harmony.

Very interesting. I'm going to post this and then explore the site a bit more.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

1. Friends feed my soul.

2. Good health; it's a blessing.

3. I'm ready for vacation!

4. Philosophy Pure Grace is one of my favorite perfumes or aftershaves or smells.

5. The oldest ornament I have is a silver little girl engraved with my name from whn I was a young child. It is probably 30-35 years old.

6. Take some kindess, undersstanding, problem solving, love, and communication, mix it all together and you have PEACE.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to bed early as I'm tired after a day of successful shopping, tomorrow my plans include hair and lunch with 'n' and Sunday, I want to watch football, bake goodies and hang out with my family!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Paper Mache

So for the past two days we have been working on tiny paper mache ornaments with our three year old students at school. We were unsure of how this would go as we worked on a larger paper mache project with our morning class and it was a bit of a challenge. We opted for scaling down the project and seeing how the chlildren would manage. Well I am happy to say that all but two children chose to complete the activity. On the first day the children were unsure about the process. Many disliked the feeling of the flour and water. With help they were able to cover the small baloon with the strips of coffee filters coated in paste. Today children who had not completed their project were invited to come to the table and to my surprise several children decided to add an additionl layer to their ornament. They were much more intersted in experiencing the sensation of the paste on their hands. I dare say they actually enjoyed the process. I'd like to work on a larger project in this medium at some point in the future.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Yum! Yum!

I used to be very specific about what the gingerbread house should look like. Well I've let that go to allow for creative freedom and peace of mind!

The kids had a blast making their houses. I made the gingerbread from scratch and we used homemade royal icing to glue everything together.

I think the most favorite part of the project has been the eating. I was hoping to keep the houses around in order to decorate the kitchen but 'N' had a different idea.

Check out these fun photos!

'N's creation.

Doesn't it look great.

It tastes as good as it looks!

'n' got into the action too!

I love the marshmallows on the roof!

It's all about the eating!
Making happy memories. Isn't this what we are meant to be doing during this busy season?


We have had a lot of fun creating lately! We made gingerbread houses, pine cone ornaments and paper mache ornaments.

Check out these fun pictures.

Adding some glue.

I love how you can see the glitter falling in this picture.

Close up, see how it sparkles!

Wouldn't you love to have a sparkly pine cone like this on your holiday tree?


Saturday, December 6, 2008


What a day. It went by so quickly. I can't believe it is already 7:35!

We had a productive day. 'n' and I worked on paper mache ornaments. We will be making these in school next week and I wanted to make sure it was doable. I found out that the perfect balloon for the project is a water balloon. The ornaments will be a little bigger than an extra large egg. The size is small enough for the 3yr old children to complete with help. I have some photo's of the process but I will wait until I take photos of the next steps before I post.

After our art project we all worked together to clean up the house. What would have taken me at least two hours was accomplished in about 45 minutes with teamwork It was so nice not to have to do all the work myself. It took some coaxing but we did the job. 'n' even used our floor steamer to clean the kitchen floor!

I spent a good part of my afternoon at the hairdressers. I was in dire need of having my roots and color done. I even opted for a new updated hair cut. When I went into the salon my hair was a few inches past my shoulders after my time spent with 'D' my hair now just skims my shoulders after being straightened. It will appear even shorter when I style it curly. Now that I think about it that is pretty short!! It looks updated and I like it so it's OK that it isn't long anymore. If I can get to taking a photo I'll post one tomorrow.

Now R is preparing to go out to his gig. He is playing locally and I had thought I might go, but I just don't want to go and sit in a bar. Not to mention that he is doing this to make money and if I went it would entail paying a babysitter, paying for a couple of drinks and then getting said babysitter back home. If I'm going to have a babysitter come I'd rather just be able to go out and enjoy an evening with R. It is a second job for R so he isn't that upset that I'm not going.

Time to go visiting some of my favorite online friends.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mother's Guilt

Has anyone ever experienced 'Mother's Guilt'? I had a huge case of this ailment today. 'N' has been working on a project over the last few weeks in his 4th grade class. The project revolved around family treasures. All the children had to talk to their families and choose possessions that were treasures. All the items were going to be displayed in a 'Treasure Museum' that would be open to all the families. Unfortunately the Museum showing was planned for mid morning today. Being a work day I was unable to attend. Cue mothers guilt! 'N' didn't seem bothered that his family was not in attendance yet I still feel the guilt. He told me about all the Mom's who were there and with each word I felt worse. I have to let it go but like him I sometimes get stuck! Here's hoping that a goodnight sleep will solve the problem.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

7 days til Christmas!

Well it's not really 7 days until Christmas but there are only 7 days left for my three day class! I actually thought we had three full weeks but we have two weeks and two days! We have a lot to get done in a short amount of time, but 'S' and I are going to keep things simple. We are starting on our holiday card tomorrow. It will be a two day process, water color in winter colors and then a glitter circle print on top, all matted on vibrant winter colored construction paper and affixed to a 5 x 7 card-ready for framing. We used this same process last year and the cards were absolutely beautiful. We are also completing our paper mache instrument project. We'll be adding beads to the inside of our shaker and then closing them up with glue and tissue paper. They too are beautiful. We think we'll use a similar process in the afternoon only on a much smaller scale to make special ornaments to give as a holiday gift. Should be interesting. I'll try to take pictures of the process to post for everyone to see.

I want to thank Alicia for her kind words on my last post. Prayers and hugs are always a good thing. Thanks Alicia!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Mum

Today would have been my Mum's 77th birthday. It will be eight years on January 15th since her death. Some days it seems like a lifetime ago other day it seems like just yesterday. I miss her. Time has eased the physical pain I once felt when thinking of her death.

Her favorite bird was the cardinal. There have been times when cardinals have 'found' me. When we were in DC a few years ago this cardinal found us and actually buzzed me and then allowed me to take several very close photos. It followed us as we walked down the path in the zoo. It was uncanny. Whenever I see cardinals they remind me of my Mum. Sometimes I think she comes to me in that form.

A couple of years ago this cardinal was teaching his babies how to fly. It was so cool. There were 2 or 3 young cardinals and this father. He too allowed me to stay very near to him as I observed and took photos.

So tonight I say to my Mum what she would say to me every night and what I now say to my children.

Dream of the Angels

Good Night

God Bless


I Love You


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