Thursday, December 24, 2009

One more sleep.

The kids are bouncing off the walls, the NORAD Santa Tracker has been booted up and the stockings have been located. Christmas morning breakfast has been planned out, supplies laid in and invitations extended (there will be lots! come on by!)

To use the words of England's Jon Gledstone, creator of the world's first PC Holiday Card:

"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practised within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all."

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Tonight, stockings will be hung and then we will gather for the annual viewing of The Muppet Christmas Carol with some cinnamon caramel corn to munch. I plan on having a nip of Peppermint Baileys. We may sneak out to Midnight Mass after the kids go to bed, if my parents are willing to babysit. (Even though I am not a Christian anymore, I can still appreciate the beauty and majesty of a candle-lit cathedral and some lovely choral music)

Happy Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Double, double, toil and trouble.....

cocoa butter
shea butter
coconut oil
macadamia nut oil
sweet almond oil
jojoba oil
primrose oil
*emulisifying wax
*steric acid

Oil of:

A little of this, a little of that. Melt, stir, cool, whip, pour.
Was I re-enacting a familiar scene from Macbeth this morning? It sure felt like it! When all was said and done I ended up with some beautiful tins of soothing lotion and pots of lucious lip balm.

Thanks, Cynthia!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hard Work Pays Off

I am on an Apraxia message board. A mother on the board was asking for video of kids with apraxia speaking. I posted a link to a video I shot of Emmett about a year and a half ago, not long after his speech breakthrough. I couldn't believe the difference between then and now. Time really does blur the edges of a memory, doesn't it? I find when we are in therapy we are always looking forward. We are always looking for the next milestone that we need to reach so we sometimes forget how far we have already come.

Remember this video?

I shot this last night:

Can you believe the difference? Can I tell you that I still get a song in my heart when he tells me to stop filming?? I can't help but smile.

Monday, December 7, 2009

If I can do this, you can too!

I love showing my friends how much I care for them by making gifts for them.

This year, I am feeling pretty overwhelmed with a busy schedule that having three young kids gives you, in addition to settling into our new house, which is an ongoing process.

A freind emailed me last week to ask for my peppermint mocha recipe. It reminded me that DO have time to whip up some love in a jar for my friends.

Here are two ideas for gifts that are quick, easy and will be happily received. They can be made up in advance and then live in your pantry for spur-of-the-moment giving.

Peppermint mocha mix (click to link) Put this in a mason jar, tie a spoon on to it and paste the instructions in a pretty card. I gave this to a friend last year and she said it was better than Starbucks.
I use icing sugar in the recipe as it mixes with the cocoa powder better than granulated sugar. Use candy canes to give it festive green and red flecks.

Chocolate popcorn mix
In a large bowl stir together:
1-1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

and, if you are feeling brave, a dash of cayenne pepper.

Print out the following directions to give with a jar:
Chocolate popcorn: Melt 1/4 cup butter in the microwave or a small saucepan. Stir in 1/4 cup mix. Pour over 6 - 12 cups of popped popcorn and toss to coat well.

Give this gift with a gift card for movie rental and I am sure it will be well recieved!
Oh, and I actually mix one batch of this into 12 cups of popped popcorn and it still has a lot of sweetness and more crunch.

Make sure you save some of the mixes for yourself too!

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Traditions

December is here! We had our first giant snowfall so now I feel like decorating our house and trying out my new cookie press with some shortbread.

I am also back to thinking about where my new feelings and beliefs fit in with this season. This is the first time in my life I have stopped identifying myself as Christian. Some days I am an Agnostic, and some days I am a Humanist, but I definitely don't feel Christian anymore.

Hubby takes the kids to church and they are learning about being Christian and being an Anglican from him. Baby Jesus is in our Christmas book basket, as is Santa.

I don't quite know how to teach my kids there is something in between celebrating the birth of Jesus and waiting for Santa. They of course are all about the loot.

I want to teach them there is more to Christmas than loot and baby Jesus.

I am starting by trying to get the kids excited about giving. Emmett and Charlotte have each been on special shopping trips so they could pick out gifts for each other. Charlotte and I spent the morning making salt dough ornaments to give as gifts.

Can someone point me to some good story books about giving that don't have Santa in them?

What do you do to celebrate the season?