Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Very Merry Christmas 2013

...having ourselves a very merry December 1-7...

Our December begins with attendance at a presentation of Handel's Messiah,  and the beginning of the lighting of  our Advent candles.




Memories of Christmas' when sitting around the table and shelling nuts was the norm at Grandma's house at this time of year. It settles me somewhat to buy a bag of nuts and pull out the old metal nutcracker.

And speaking of nutcrackers...we were...right?...
costuming always involves hours of altering and handsewing to get every dancer dressed for the performance.. Thankfully, I was allowed to bring some of the work home.


Charlotte danced in the Nutcracker as a soldier and marzipan this year. This creates a whirlwind of activity literally weeks before Christmas, but I will not go into that in detail in this space.

  
This was the second go round, Rose baked me a flourless chocolate cake, rich and delicious. This lemon cake with buttercream icing was baked and decorated by Claire. It came with yet another round of song, candles and birthday wishes, naturally.


Piano recitals upon which renditions of Carol of the Bells and Silver Bells were played.


This cute idea was happily snatched from Pinterest. A tasty peanut butter cookie, fun to decorate too. I realized I love peanut butter cookies and I wondered why I never bake them to keep around.


...having ourselves a very merry December 17-24...



Violin recital in the sun room.


Widow's luncheon


"Lets' have coffee"....a coffee tray waiting for anyone who stops in for a visit.


Another birthday to celebrate, at home, gathered around the table. 


Charlotte and her best buddy's annual gingerbread house decorating one morning. It began quite early...


Charlotte' s new hair bob, no more buns for awhile; and her delight as well as ours, when she plays Christmas songs on her violin for us to enjoy.



This has definitely won the place of Honorable Mention this year!
 My husband and I wait until all shopping is done, events to attend or host are over, and then we plan a quiet, unrushed evening upon which we dress up and enjoy a meal dining at a favorite restaurant. Even though I could not finish my meal, dessert was still ordered... and boxed and brought home after only a few bites. 
I got up the next morning, and while no one else was around I sat down at the kitchen table and finished it off in its entirety, enjoying every single mouthful. I should blush, and I did actually feel remotely shamed when my husband and daughter portrayed their disappointment in my execrable actions. Even if you do not imbibe whiskey, this recipe might involve a discreet visit to the liquor store because the whiskey is a key ingredient to the sauce (yet you do not taste the whiskey).

...having ourselves a very merry Christmas Day...








We missed Alan tremendously this year! I am thankful over and over for skyping. We skyped him while we opened our presents that morning, then when Witt and Claire came over later, we gathered once again to have him "with us".


And speaking of "with us".

 Emmanuel, God with us. 

Our Savior is not thousands of miles away, being missed until it hurts,
 He is, with us.



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

"Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart... filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever. Even though you grew up and found you never could quite bring back the magic feeling of this night. The melody would stay in your heart always-a song for all the years."
~Bess Streeter Aldrich
A Song of Years



Merry Christmas!

november as it looks now

"After the leaves come down, the countryside has an open look. New vistas appear, hills unseen when summer's wealth of green is spr...