Friday, November 30, 2007

The Gift—Kenny Rogers

Legendary artist Rogers wears his faith on his sleeve for this recording. All the songs except one speak of the birth of the Savior. This is where I first heard the song “Mary, Did You Know,” which has become one of my Christmas favorites.

The Gift—Kenny Rogers

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Joy for Christmas Day—Kathy Mattea

I discovered this CD when I used to work for a Christian magazine publisher (it was a review copy). Most of the CD is filled with lesser known holiday songs (“When the Baby Grew Up” and “Sing Mary Sing”) but does have a few well done classics (“O Come All Ye Faithful”).

Joy for Christmas Day—Kathy Mattea

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Christmas Together—John Denver & the Muppets

I was quite a Muppet fan in my youth, so this is a nostalgic favorite. It includes fun songs (“Christmas is Coming” and “Little Saint Nick”) and heart-warming tunes (“A Baby Just Like You” and “The Christmas Wish”).

A Christmas Together—John Denver & the Muppets

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When My Heart Finds Christmas—Harry Connick, Jr.

Harry’s voice and musical style is reminiscent of another time—and Christmases past. Favorites included "(It Must’ve Been Ol’) Santa Claus" and the title track.

When My Heart Finds Christmas--Harry Connick, Jr.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Snowed In—Hanson

My husband bought this CD for me as part of a running tradition we have of him finding me the goofiest Christmas CD he can find. But, by darn—those boys can really play and sing! It’s hard to believe those youngsters are now grown men.

Currently available as 20th Century Masters - The Christmas Collection: The Best of Hanson

Sunday, November 25, 2007

If Every Day Was Like Christmas—Elvis Presley

Sure, it nice to listen to the “King” sing the holiday standards, but the hits here are the songs he put his personal stamp on such as If Every Day Was Like Christmas, Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me and my personal favorite, Blue Christmas. I will always join the back up girls on the “Sha-dooby-doobies”.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What we've been doing this weekend:

Thought I would post some pictures to show what we have been doing this weekend--lots of holiday fun!

Here is Nikolas on Thursday having a traditional Thanksgiving apple. He made the headband at preschool and got to earn feathers for good behavior. As you can tell, Nikolas did a bang-up job and earned ONE whole feather. (We're so proud.)
Gary bought a fundraiser Little Ceasar "Build your own pizza" kit from a co-worker. Here we are putting together a pepperoni pizza on Friday night.

The waiting is the hardest part...

After our yummy pizza, we headed over to the mall to see their spectacular light/music show. Even the hippos got into the holiday spirit.

The show is set to music from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and they used Nikolas' favorite Christmas tune, "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24". Here are the boys watching the tree go crazy with flashing lights.

Saturday morning we headed to church for Mrs. Karen's gingerbread house building party. Gary was in charge of contruction.

I supervised decorating.
Here is our finished house. Notice the feather on top of the chimney...that was all Nikolas.

The back yard featured a flower garden and stack of firewood, which Nikolas made sure included fire.

Merry Christmas…Have a Nice Life—Cyndi Lauper

She’s So Unusual…and it shows in this CD! Lauper demonstrates her range in quirky, fun numbers like "Early Christmas Morning", "Minnie and Santa", and "Christmas Congo"; and her softer side with "In the Bleak Midwinter".

Merry Christmas...Have a Nice Life--Cyndi Lauper

Friday, November 23, 2007

Christmas Portrait—Carpenters

The sibling due provides a wonderful mix of holiday standards and lesser know gems, including their signature hit, Merry Christmas Darling. Additional highlights: Christmas Song, Christmas Waltz, Home for the Holidays and Richard’s wonderful rendition of Carol of the Bells.

Christmas Portrait--Carpenters

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

art work by Nikolas

Hey Santa! –Carnie and Wendy Wilson

The Wilson part of 90s hit band Wilson Phillips, this disc features the two daughters of Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. Besides, the title track—which is worth the price of the disc, the girls also perform a wonderful version of Silver Bells which includes the full intro.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What a Wonderful Christmas—Anne Murray

This 2 CD collection includes 28 tracks, some featuring the London Symphony Orchestra. Murray lends that voice as warm as cocoa to holiday classics such as I’ll Be Home For Christmas, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, and Silent Night.

What A Wonderful Christmas--Anne Murray

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Andrew Sisters Christmas

I have always been a big fan of the Andrew Sisters and their harmonic talents. Highlights of this CD include songs featuring Bing Crosby (“Jingle Bells” and “(The Toys Gave a Party For) Poppa Santa Claus”) and Danny Kaye (“All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”). Another gem is “I’d Like to Hitch a Ride With Santa Claus.”

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas Music

Currently, I have over 200 Holiday CDs in my music library (plus a handful of cassettes and LPs). That probably doesn’t qualify me as a Christmas music expert, but I’m certainly a big fan. Starting tomorrow, and each day until Christmas, I am going to feature one of my favorite Xmas CDs. I’ll start with my 15 favorite single artist CDs, then highlight my top 20 compilation CDs.

Friday, November 16, 2007

2008 Resolutions

I know 2008 is still well over a month away, but when it comes to resolutions having a game plan already in place before the first of January can certainly improve your chances of success. Here are the four I will be focusing on:

I resolve to take more pictures!
I wanted to take more pictures so that I can scrapbook them and post them on this blog. To take more pictures, I need to have my camera with me. Back in October, I purchased a larger purse. I liked the purse I had (I got a great deal at JC Penny’s), but it barely held all my essentials. One day when I was trying to zip it up, the little strip of leather zipper pull came off—that was the catalyst to head out and search for a new bag. My new dark brown purse is perfect: it wasn’t too expensive and has several separate departments, so I’m not digging through a bunch of junk to find what I’m looking for. When I purchased it, the delightful lady at the checkout gave it the once over and told me it was a winner—she would have stolen it from me if I had grabbed the black one.

I resolve to read the Bible in a year.
This is actually the first of my “before I turn 40” goals. I have done this once before back in 1999 and figured it was time to attempt it again. I will be using the same Bible I used last time: Becky Tirabassi’s “Change Your Life” Daily Bible, which is a New Living Translation. The reading for each day includes Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs.

I resolve to read 12 Newbery Medal winners this year.
This will broaden my knowledge at work and expand my literary horizons. I have already read one of the winners, Bridge to Terabithia this year—I will not include it in the twelve (that’s one a month) to read in 2008

I resolve to lose 20 pounds.
I know this is a popular one on everyone’s list. I actually feel optimistic this year. At this time last year the amount to lose would have been 30 pounds, but since I have started working at the bookstore I have lost 10 pounds—and that’s with all the break time Frappuccinos! My game plan is to exercise (targeting the abs) and cut portion size.
My goal weight is my post-pregnancy weight. No, that is not a misprint. Thanks to a case of gestational diabetes, my post delivery weight was 30 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation and anxiety of first-time motherhood lead to some stress-induced emotional eating and I quickly gained the 30 back.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Digital Layout & CC blog challenge

My husband got me Memory Mixer software for my birthday. I’ve been trying to play with it some, but it really hasn’t captured my fancy. Guess I prefer the old fashioned way.
I created this layout for a blogging challenge on Coordinates Collection. The challenge was to use a sketch from this blog: Erica’s Sketch It .

The photo was taken as part of a family photo shoot with my in-laws and will be our Christmas card photo.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Layout of the Day

This is the last layout I had planned for the Archivers crop. I didn't get them finished there, I completed them back at home. They are pictures from Nikolas’ 5th birthday party. The theme was Scooby Doo.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Layouts of the Day

Here are some pictures taken in September. Had fun playing with the Silhouette for the painting layout.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Layouts of the Day

Since were members of the zoo, we enjoy bringing guests with us. This trip we invited Nik’s cousins Ethan and Jordan.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Xmas Gifts

I want to give a Christmas present to each of the managers of the bookstore where I work part-time. I came up with this idea from a similar recipe book I made a couple years ago at one of my sister’s Stampin’ Up camps.

Layouts of the Day

We kept busy this summer with T-Ball and Swim lessons.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Layouts of the Day

When we found out that Scooby Doo was going to be at Kiddieland this summer, we knew we had to take his biggest fan.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Layouts of the Day

We had a family outing to the Bristol Renaissance Faire over the Labor Day weekend.