Friday, December 23, 2011

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Well, we have been very busy at our house decorating for the holidays, baking cookies, making poppers and little gifts, visiting, and having family and friends over to our house.
Speaking of cookies, I got the most wonderful gingerbread cookie recipe from BJ at http://sweetnothingsbj.blogspot.com/ who got it from Madeline at http://madelinesalbum.blogspot.com/ The cookies were a little bit more difficult to roll out then my previous recipe but it was so worth it. Everyone in our family loves them! Thank you BJ and Madeline so much! I will forever be baking my gingerbread cookies using this recipe in the future.
Charli knows something is up with the holidays coming. She has been in an even more jovial mood than usual. She loves tasting very tiny bites of sugar cookies occasionally. She refuses to let us out of the house without her and she has been getting in to everything. But what can I say.... That's our girl!
I hope all of you are enjoying this lovely Advent season of ours! I have enjoyed reading your blogs. Thank you so much!
A very special WELCOME HOME to all of our service men and women!!!
On behalf of my family, and myself, we would like to wish all of you happiness, good health, and peace on Christmas and through out the coming year! Merry Christmas! God bless all of you ♥
With much love and warmest regards, Carol




















Saturday, December 17, 2011

Handel's 'Messiah'.....

Handel's 'Messiah'....
Recently my hubby and I had the opportunity to visit the Fort Street Presbyterian Church in Detroit to hear 'Messiah' performed by the Fort Street Chorale and Chamber Orchestra. 'Messiah' has been a holiday tradition there for the past thirty three years. It was very inspiring and something we thoroughly enjoyed.
The Fort Street Chorale has been featured on public television in the past and they were absolutely amazing. There is something very special about listening to a moving concert in a church with all of it's wonderful acoustics.
The church it's self was strikingly beautiful! It was a very old historical church that was built in the 1800's. It survived a fire in 1896 and then again in 1914. The ceilings were rich with wood carvings and intricate designs. It had gorgeous stain glass windows, black walnut pews, and a crescent gallery which is where we sat. It was absolutely breathtaking!
I enjoy visiting churches and especially during the Christmas season when they are all decked out in there holiday finery. This church certainly did not disappoint. There were rows of gorgeous red poinsettia's with beautifully lit wreaths strategically placed in the front and back of the church. I don't think the pictures here do it justice.
As I listened to this concert, I looked around this church, and I was truly amazed. I couldn't help but think what it must have been like for the people years ago who heard 'Messiah' for the very first time. Unfortunately, because we live in such a fast paced and modern world, I think we sometimes miss out on experiences and events such as these. The people of the 1800's must have been overwhelmed and moved by they're experience even more so than my husband and I if that were even possible.
We also had the added bonus of seeing our sister-in-law Karen and her aunt who happens to be a member of the chorale. She told us she has been singing with the Fort Street Chorale since she was a young girl in high school. It was so nice to be able to say hello to her and let her know how much we enjoyed the concert.
It's hard to believe that Christmas is only a few days away! I have read your lovely posts, enjoyed seeing your beautiful Christmas decorations, experienced some of your wonderful recipes, and loved hearing about your family traditions, travels, and special events. You spread such joy and happiness to our world ♥ Thank you so much for sharing and making my Advent season so special.
With warmest regards, Carol








Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A gingerbread house and a lovely award....

A gingerbread house and a lovely award...
I have always wanted to make a gingerbread house. I think they are so charming and whimsical. I love that slight whiff of ginger you sometimes get when passing by one of these adorable houses.
Occasionally my mother would have a gingerbread house during the Christmas season. She never made the houses herself because she was very busy baking and decorating the thousands of cookies she gave out as gifts to us, our family, and all of our friends. I'm not quite sure where my mother got her gingerbread houses from but one thing I do know is that she and I especially loved them.
A couple of years ago my dear DIL Anne and our grandson Ryan made a gingerbread house that turned out beautifully. I again vowed that I would make one myself but things got in the way as they sometimes do.
Over the weekend our nieces, Cyndie and Dawn, posted a picture on Facebook of their lovely little gingerbread house. When I wrote to ask if it was difficult to make Cyndie said it was very easy and fun to do. She said they had purchased the gingerbread kit at Target.
Yesterday my hubby and I went over to Target to pick one up. They were relatively inexpensive. I cheated because I found a kit that already had the sides and roof of the house attached. I also found some gingerbread cookies that were already pre made and ready to decorate. In that kit there was even a gingerbread dog! Well, need I say more LOL
The gingerbread house really was easy and fun to decorate. It would be a great project to do with children. The kit comes with everything you need to decorate your house, but in addition to the items in the kit, I used marshmallows, M & M's, and other things I  had in my home.
I used cotton balls to make snow. I just tore them apart and glued them with frosting to prevent them from moving around. The gingerbread dog fell into the cotton a couple of times as I was trying to attach it with frosting to the base. That's why he looks a little tattered.The snowman sitting on the base of the house is actually a gift tag I picked up at the store. To hide the hole in the center of the hat I just added frosting and let it drip down the sides of the hat and the snowman's body to look like ice cycles or clumps of falling snow. Lastly I added artificial trees from my snow village and ceramic snowmen to create a winter scene. I think it looks rather festive sitting on our china cabinet. What about you? Have you ever made a gingerbread house? I think I have started a new tradition here at our house.
One other thing I wanted to share with all of you is the lovely award I received from my new friend Marina. Thank you so much for thinking of me Marina. I was deeply touched ♥ Marina lives in Russia and has a truly beautiful blog. She enjoys embroidery and cooking. Her blog is very inspiring and I hope you will take the time to visit her at http://marinalikeyou.blogspot.com/
I would love for all of you who follow this blog to accept this award from me. You are such a lovely group and all of you deserve this sweet award for all of the love and inspiration you continue to bring to this blog world of ours.
Christmas is upon us! There is so much I wanted to post here but it seems like time is just swirling by. I hope and pray that all of you are experiencing the wonderful joy, spirit, and renewal that the Advent season gifts to us every year.
If you get a chance I hope you will try to catch 'European Christmas' It's broad casted on PBS. It's absolutely wonderful! It was rich with tradition and breathtaking scenery.
Take care friends ♥
With warmest regards, Carol








Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Aong came my Christmas spiders!....

Along came my Christmas spiders!.....
Last year about this time I received a news letter that happened to mention Christmas spiders. I had never heard of Christmas spiders so I decided to google them in order to see what they were all about. I found out that there is a very old Christmas legend regarding the spider that originated in Europe. Actually, I found several variations of the legend but the one I liked best can be found here. http://kraftmstr.com/christmas/books/spider.html
The story of the Christmas spider very much touched my heart and when I shared it with my family last Christmas Eve it touched they're hearts as well.
I had a spider left over from Halloween that I placed on my tree last year but I wondered if anyone had ever actually made a Christmas spider ornament. I found out there are many variations of the Christmas spider and several U Tube instruction videos on how to make them. I looked at all of the videos and then came up with my design. 
 My spiders sit on the branches of the Christmas tree rather then hang. They can be used on wreaths as in the photo below and you can add a ribbon to them as in the photo above. They can be used as tea party favors or given as gifts.They were very easy to make and every one of them is unique in it's own way. After I finished making my spiders I packaged them making sure to tuck a copy of the legend inside.They have been a huge hit with my family and friends!
Well my spiders have now found new homes, the Christmas tree is up, Christmas cards, addressed, and the presents wrapped. I'm in the process of making my Christmas poppers now and then I will start baking next week.
What have you been up to? Are you all set for Christmas or do you still have a lot to do?
I hope all of you are having a great week! Charli is sending "woof, woofs" your way ♥
Take care my friends!
With warmest regards, Carol











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