Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Survey

Thanksgiving has come and gone and our house is officiall decked out for Christmas. The tree is up and almost all of the other decorations. I'm sure there will be a couple of new things to add to our decor just as in other years. I still need to bring in my Thanksgiving scarecrows and put out our outdoor Christmas decorations. I love this season. It is just a warm and wonderful time.

I saw this quiz over at my friend
Jen's blog and thought it would be fun to try it here.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Definitely gift bags. I would love to wrap presents with a magninficent flair but everytime I have I always hear~"Why did you do that I don't want to open it?" or "Why did you do that I'm just going to ruin it?" Everyone seems to love the gift bags.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial~I don't like to ruin live trees and I would be afraid to catch it on fire.

3. When do you put up the tree? The day after Thanksgiving every year. The kids look forward to it all week.

4. Do you like eggnog? Yes, I love it. I am the only one in my family.

5. Favorite gift received as a child? A doll house. It was small and cute but I loved it and can still remember playing with it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My father. He has everything and buys everything. What's left to buy for him? Plus he has very expensive taste.

7. Easiest person to buy for? Our kids. They both give us detailed gift lists.

8. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes and the kids look forward to taking turns putting up the different pieces and taking turns each year to put on the angel.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, even if they're late.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Some of the gifts I received while teaching. What were they thinking?

11. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Carol

12. When do you start shopping? We try to start early. This year we only have one gift left to buy.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, but I can't remember what it was. Not often though. The things I don't like usually end up in the every growing yard sale pile in our basement.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Everything, but especially the meat cakes my mom makes, only once a year.

15. Lights on the tree? Yes, I would like white but have been out voted and there are color lights on the tree.

16. Favorite Christmas song? Mary Did You Know

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? No, maybe three of them.

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? Beautiful white angel

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? It depends what we are doing with my family and my husband's. It has been a bit crazy sometimes.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The way some people behave. Definitely not in the spirit of the season and rude. I don't like to deal with the nasty crowds.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? Prim or vintage

23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Anything easy. Sometimes, we just have Chinese so I don't have to cook. We have a big dinner at my mom's house on Christmas Eve.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? I would like to have wonderful time with family. Making great memories. Of course, I would also like to spend it in Disney but I don't see that happening.

Feel free to add this to your blog. I would love to read each of yours.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black Friday Sale and a Happy Thanksgiving!!

The Old Schoolhouse magazine is having an amazing Black Friday Sale. Don't miss it! Here is all the information:

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is having an amazing sale on subscriptions during their annual Black Friday Sale November 26 – 30. For those 5 days only, they are drastically reducing their one-year subscription price to $7.95! That's the price you would usually pay for just one issue at a bookstore!This is their lowest price ever on the magazine and they want all of you to take advantage of this offer and share the info with your friends.Please don't miss out. Your one-year subscription will pay for itself time and time again as you receive practical tips and Biblical encouragement to keep going strong in your commitment to homeschooling and to the Lord. Since it's a quarterly magazine, they even have a monthly subscriber's only E-Newsletter called Teacher's Toolbox that will give you seasonal teaching ideas and a free E-Book download! It's like joining a unit study of the month club! The free E-Books alone are valued at almost $250/year. It's really perfect for people who are homeschooling on a shoestring or just wanting to add in some little extras to your teaching.Plus during the Black Friday Sale, they have all kind of bonus gifts when you spend $50, $75, $100, or $150. Some are electronic downloads that you can download immediately, while other are physical products mailed from various vendors directly to your home.AND, their Win Big contest is going on so if you just happen to be customer 67,000, you will receive a prize package valued at almost $500 which includes a $150 gift certificate to the Schoolhouse Store! Who couldn't use that? And you can qualify to win it no matter how much or how little you spend!Mark your calendars for November 26 - 30th and do a little shopping from your seat, not your feet at the Schoolhouse Store's Black Friday Sale!

I would like to wish all my friends a very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all enjoy your day as you spend time with your families and thank the Lord for the many blessings He has graciously bestowed on us. I am so thankful that the Lord has continued to provide for our family in so many ways.
Psalm 9:1-2~I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart: I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.


Monday, November 24, 2008

FOR TODAY ~November 24~

Outside my window...I see the greenhouse that we have finally completed.

I am thinking...about what I need to finish this week.

I am thankful for...our health.

From the learning rooms...we are working on a lapbook for Thanksgiving.

From the kitchen...I am cooking oven fried chicken and potato wedges.

I am wearing...tan jeans and a blue sweater.

I am creating...two aprons, a table runner, and clothespins for a swap

I am going...(actually already went)to pick up our turkey from Whole Foods.

I am reading...the Wonderful Art of Disney. I fell in love with Disney since we visited.

I am get everything done for our swaps on time.

I am children talking to each other.

Around the home is a bit of a wreck from the weekend. I have alot of picking up to do.

One of my favorite things...the smell of apple pie baking.

A few plans for the rest of the week: cleaning the house and cooking for Thanksgiving.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...(add your picture here)

Our woodstove that is keeping us warm on these very cold New England days.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Destination Disney~Epcot

My dear friend Heidi host Destination Disney every Friday. This week I am finally able to participate because we have just visited. Epcot was a great place to visit because there are so many different and wonderful things to experience. We loved Soarin and were completely amazed at this ride. You cannot believe until you try it. It truly made you feel like you were riding above cities, lakes, golfers, skiers and even right in the middle of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. We were sad to have missed the Illuminations show. That just gives us something to look forward to if we have a chance to return, which I might add, we are totally looking forward to. We are Disney addicted!!

Here are some pictures from our day at Epcot:

Here we are in front of the Epcot icon. Spaceship Earth is a great ride that is actually in the Epcot ball. This was a fun ride. At the beginning they snap a picture of you and then at the end of the ride it is added to what you pick as your future home and life. Really fun.

Here we are headed to Soarin.

These pictures are from Soarin. They are not that great because it was dark and we could not use flash photography. You actually feel like you are flying over all of these places.

Living with the Land was a great ride at Epcot. It was very educational and I was completely amazed at the greenhouses. They were growing many rare varieties of vegetables. There were also fish and eel that they were raising. They actually use everything they grow in their restaurants. There was alot about sustainable living and finding new ways to care for our earth including not using pesticides and chemicals. This was totally up my ally.

Epcot also has a great character spot and this is where we were able to meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy.

Mission Space is also another can't miss ride. What is great is they have a mild ride and than a more turbulent ride for those who are brave enough to try it. We did the mild ride and loved it.

Of course if you visit Epcot you can't miss the country showcase. It was so much fun to have a little bit of each country there.

I hope you have enjoyed the pictures of Epcot. It truly is an amazing park with so many different things to see and experience.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Great Book

I recently read It Was Worth It All by Elly Matz. This little book was absolutely amazing. It tells the story of Ukranian women, Elly as she lives in communist Russia. Her family is of German descent which causes her greater difficulties. I was very moved by this story and how God led her throughout her whole life. She clearly tells of God's hand orchestrating so many events she did not even understand. I would recommend it to everyone.

In the back of the book there is an article by Chris Noonan Funnell and appeared in the MetroWest Daily News. I wanted to share some of that article with you because it beautifully summarizes Elly Matz's story.

Now summer is in full bloom and due to abundant rains, gardening has become a game of catch-up, weeds need pulling and the mosquitos are ferocious. Whenever I feel like giving up on a job like that and plop on the couch with a bag of chips, instead I have been inspired to perservere by the autobiography of an amazing women and true patriot.
Elly Matz immigrated to America over fifty years ago from the Ukraine, realizing her childhood dream to come to the land she first heard about on her father's knee. Her ancestors had migrated in the 1760's with many German settlers to the fertile farmland south of Russia. Born in 1920, three years after the revolution, she saw the demise of her people's way of life as the farms were being taken by the Communists and divided up.
Not long after age six, when she first stated her intent to move to America when she grew up, life began to get very hard and starvation became a daily threat. The German farmers who were once welcomed in to farm the black soil were now enemies of the Communists who starved and imprisoned the German farmers and thereby created greater hardship. Elly knew no real childhood because, being strong and healthy, she was needed to work when her father grew weak. Her story is full of devastation, suffering and overcoming. Her father was taken to prison never to be seen again.
She married at sixteen and on a visit to her family's village when she was a young mother about to give birth to her second child, she discovered her Babushka, mother and little sisters had all been take to Siberia as well as whole villages of Germans born in the Ukraine. she was treated like a stranger in her own land during WWII, not accepted by Russia or Germany, but useful as a translator. A real-life survivor, she was on her own after her husband was killed at the front and she determined to leave what she knew would be certain slavery at the hands of the Communists to run for her life with her five-year-old son. Her second child had died soon after birth.
It Was Worth It All is a great remedy for the times we live in when the framers of our Constitution are seen as "dead white guys" on college campuses and the foundational writings the sweated over in the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia are currently going under the judicial activist's knife. If you want to find refreshing and anabashed patriotism, talk to an immigrant who has escaped the Red Army's, or other despots' assault on freedom.
The spunkiest octogenarian whis side of the Volga survived starvation, disease, beatings, bombings, labor camps and concentration camps. She even survived her own attempt to take her life to escape the misery she had known so long during the war and its aftermath. She figures she was destined to make it here to the land of her dreams to tell us how wonderful freedom is and to warn us about what can happen to a nation that forgets God. Elly is still traveling and telling her story at schools, churches and conferences, and to whoever will listen. America has what she and others have longed for -- freedom! she won't give up her freedom march or stop thanking God for her miraculous deliverance into her land of promise because she "wants to know what hands this country is gonna be left in."

This article amazed me when I read it . It was printed on July 4, 2003 but I don't think there could be a more important time to think about it than this. With the election now behind us it is time for all of us to take our place in doing what God wants us to do. The results are not what we hoped for but this is not a time to give up but rather a time to stand and fight for this country, for the principles on which it was established. We need to be warriors in prayer and in our daily lives not complacent. The enemy wants us to give up but we need to put on our armor and go before our King to be strengthened for the battle ahead.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hollywood Studios~Disney Pics and Fun

Our second day in Disney we chose to go to Hollywood Studios. We were there from the time the park opened until the end of the Fantasmic show at about 8:30 p.m.. It was our favorite park and we had to go back another day to finish all the things we wanted to see. I especially enjoyed the fifties theme that the park had. One of the first things we did when we got there was the Tower of Terror. I am not a fan of these rides so ds and I opted to browse the gift shop. We found the machines that make coin souvenirs and that became one of our missions throughout all the parks. I love the rolled coins and they make such cute but compact souvenirs. While dh and daughter were on the crazy rides we were out looking for more coin souvenir machines. Sorry, no pic of the Tower of Terror. It was hard to remember to take a picture of everything. I guess we'll just have to go back someday.

After the Tower of Terror the crazy duo went to the Rocking Roller Coaster ride which they both enjoyed. Ds and I went to the Animation Studios and took some classes on how to draw Disney characters. We also met the Incredibles.

Ds still loves the Power Rangers so we headed to meet them and take a picture.

One of our favorite movies is Prince Caspian and Hollywood Studios has a Prince Caspian show and area where you can see costumes and other things used in the movie. This is Dh with Ds and Prince Caspian himself. He was outside the show and we were thrilled to meet him.

Costumes from Narnia.

Prince Caspian and King Miraz from the Narnia movie.

Ds and the Stone Table.

Part of the show explains how the characters are made for Narnia. It includes about 3 to 4 hours in a makeup chair each day of taping.

We all headed to the Animation Studios together and were able to meet with the mouse himself~Mickey!! We were thrilled.

Some of the character and scene sketches for the new Disney movie~Bolt. I was amazed at the color wall they had. There was a shade of every color imagineable in that studio. I could use some of them for projects.

At the end of the night we went to see the Fantasmic show and the kids kept saying Fastasmic is fantastic. It was such a wonderful show and nobody does it like Disney. It was hard to take good pictures because they asked us not to use flash photography during most of the shows.

More amazing parts of the Fantasmic show.

This was the park we had to revisit. There was so much more to see and do there. I will post more pictures soon. We were busy from the minute we entered the park until we left. It was nice to sit for a while and watch the show. I think we collapsed every night when we went back to our room but everyone was always ready to go see more the next day. It still amazes me how much fun we had and what a wonderful experience Disney was.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We're Back~Lots of Disney Fun to Share

We are back from Disney but not too happy to say it. We loved it!!!!!!!!! It was better than we could have ever expected it. There was so much to see and do and everyone had a great time. The weather was cool but nice. We didn't have to wait in line for long to go on the rides. It was just spectacular!!!!! The kids had such a wonderful time. My dh and I enjoyed it more than we thought we would. We were going for the kids but found that it was a thrill for all of us. We are already thinking of when we can go again!!!

The first park we visited was Animal Kingdom. The animals are just amazing and so are the rides. We were able to see some of the characters.

Timon was at the entrance of the park. He was the first Disney character we saw.

Rafiki with my son and his friend.

This is my son with his friend who lives in Florida. We have known their family for a long time. They moved to Florida about three years ago. My son was happy to have his friend along on our first day at Disney.

My dh loves gorillas. This is a cute picture.

One of the alligators was hungry!!!

A very pretty Pocahontas with my daughter and I.

Now it's my dh's turn to be a snack.

Gorillas are my dh's favorite animals. They were fun to watch and we took about 20 pictures.

We saw these hippos relaxing in the water while we were on the Kilimajaro ride. (I hope I spelled that correctly!)

This picture was take during the Expedition Everest ride. I am not one for roller coasters but thought I would give it a ride. I was hanging on for dear life and waiting and praying for the end. But I survived!!!!

The day ended with the Animal Kingdom parade. We were glad to be able to rest. We had much longer days ahead of us at the other parks.
I will try to post pictures of the other parks later this week.
It was an incredible time. I have friends who just love Disney and have always raved to us about how wonderful it is. You don't realize it until you actually go. I am now a die-hard Disney fan and I never thought I would be. As I was telling my family about the trip, they just couldn't understand why we loved it so much. That was how I thought until we went. Now I can't stop talking about it to anyone who will listen.
I think that if it were possible to go back I would want to go at Christmas time. I have seen many shows about the wonders of Disney during Christmas and would love to be there to experience it.
I'll be back tomorrow to share more pictures and fun moments.