Saturday, December 27, 2014

Boxing Day 2014

Boxing Day found us catching up on missed sleep, hanging out with the neighbors on the front porch (since the weather has been singularly, unseasonably, warm), and generally chilling out~ catching up on facebook posts and generally relaxing.

Presents were as follows:
Hubby: Donut Shop K-Cups
Me: handpainted ornament from Youngest, purchased at the Danvers Art Association. Sweet!
Eldest: Pretty new longsleeve burnout shirt and an owl Flexi-8
Middlest: Personalized Mouse Pad made at Shutterfly
Youngest: A Lego Police Advent calendar, given as a "Set" of extras, since I don't know what Lego Police have to do with Advent... ;) Putting more LEGOs together... and playing museum break-in

We enjoyed watching SNOW on Netflix~ silly, sweet movie that we discovered last year~ it's now on the "watch every year" list. ;)

Some of the greatest blessings~ just having time to be with and enjoy one another's company without the pressures of lack of sleep and needing to get to work, dance or otherwise.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Day 2014 (And a couple of Nuggets for you)

For those of you who are new readers, my family celebrates the 12 Days of Christmas. Part of the reason we started it is because our anniversary is on January 6th (Epiphany), so it made a fun way to keep the festivities going. We also decided that it was a great way to accommodate our eldest who didn't enjoy being pushed to open any more presents before she had the fully enjoyed the one in front of her. As time passed, we realized that it was a good way to avoid "Christmas Letdown" and extend the joy of the season.

So, what does it look like at our house Christmas morning?

Open Stockings (whenever we happen to get up...), breakfast, and then generally open "the big gift" under the tree for each person. The rest of the day is spent enjoying the stocking stuffers (which usually have some fun/funky things as well as music or something else that will encourage hanging out as a family, even if it's just a spiffy new pen or pencil, or a deck of cards), and the "big gifts."

Sometimes it's fun to share what was found under the tree (and in the stockings) for your future gift-giving inspiration...(clicking on the photos will take you to Amazon, if you'd like to research these items for your own use)

Winfrey's Specialty Chocolates

Stocking Stuffer Highlights~ 
Bath Gels and pocketbac hand sanitizers from Bath & Body Works, Crest BE Chocolate Mint Toothpaste, Fancy candy from a local candy store (Winfrey's), Yummy Jam, 12 Days of Christmas Charm Bracelet, Flexi-O hair holder, Gund Hedgie, Shiny Nail Tape* and sticky pencils, Music CD's , Wireless Mouse, Duncan Yo-yos , Singing "sizzling" magnets, Webkinz (reindeer for youngest, since Middlest and Eldest had them already), Yummy nuts from (Espresso Almonds and Bavarian Pecans) , "Engraving Art" Magnets (Scratch-off), Schylling Mini Tweet Blue Bird, Hotwheels Car, Wind-up Toys, Toy Socks, BassPro water bottle snuggy
(*not pictured)

Hubby received a "promise" for a fun new instrument~ the Cajon showed up at almost all the concerts we went to this year (Which was a "new" thing for our family since we've numbered more than 2). The one I wanted was in stock until about 12 hours before I ordered... but I have it on back-order!
I got a spiffy new "cool colors" baby-doll style crushed velvet top that will look smashing with my black velvet leggings and new black boots! (Picture may eventually show up here...)

Eldest received a "logic toy" ~ Have you heard of Brain Strings? We gave her this set of 3 "puzzling" balls. They are very difficult to solve, interesting to look at, and quite challenging in all. They are set up with strong rubber cords (They look like hair elastics) attached to various pieces or points in the puzzle. Mix the cords up by moving things around, and then try to untangle them. Sadly, the middle puzzle doesn't seem to be quite as sturdy as the others, while being more perplexing, and I snapped one of the cords while trying to get myself out of the knotty mess I had gotten into... :( I read some reviews, and it looks like that is a common issue with the Brainstring R... but the other two are worth it!

Middlest also received a logic puzzle~ I had read some interesting reviews on this one and thought it would be a fun change of pace for him when he needs a break during the school day, or when traveling... whatever. Anti-Virus is a logic/spatial/manipulative game similar in style to Rush Hour~ but with diagonal movements and odd shaped pieces (Which you can move as a unit)~ it is fun and a challenge. The game comes with a booklet of challenge puzzles to solve~ some are fairly simple, and others... well, they will take some work! Bonus~ this is a great game for all ages~ Littlest is enjoying solving these himself~ great little mathematical mind at work here... :)

Littlest got one of the big things on his wishlist (It's been there for the past year or so...), the Lego City Police Museum Break-in. After he put together the Lego City Tow truck that he received from friends Christmas Eve he was ready to begin his next challenge. it took a few hours, but he put together all 4 pieces to this set and is ready to play with it when he gets up tomorrow.

We had a lovely breakfast that was "slightly" home-made~ using Immaculate Baking Company Crescent Rolls for a Savory Scrambled Eggs and Bacon Rollup, and also a Sweet Cinnamon Roll Version. These were accompanied by Clementines and Pomegranate seeds. Delish!

Our day was spent at home, hanging out and enjoying being with each other as we remembered the joy of the Savior's birth.

A few "Nuggets" for you:
Tonight? I expect we will eat leftovers and watch a Christmas Movie on Netflix or Amazon (Free 30 day trial to Amazon Prime).

If you'd like to read about other 12 Days of Christmas Celebrations, or share what you're doing during the 12 days, you can visit where I'm linking up @ Kym at Homeschool Coffee Break.

Some companies/websites have 12 Days of Christmas offerings~ notably IEW's 12 Day's of Christmas~ they have done this previous years, and there is always something worth checking out.

Betty E. From Peace Creek on the Prairie has a freebie that ends today~ Family Christmas Memories Notebooking Pages  Enjoy! :)


Friday, December 19, 2014

More Musical Nuggets ~ 5 Favorite Christmas Songs for your Enjoyment :)

Just thought I'd share a few of our current favorite carols both for you to enjoy via youtube videos. If you love them, go buy the music! :)

Some Children See Him: This is a lesser known song, but so lovely~ and in this time which should be one of peace and joy, but is fraught with discord and hatred, this is a good reminder:

No link on Amazon to purchase~ could be on a recording, but not listed specifically. Too bad, because I think this is as close to the way I love to hear this song as I've ever found. Maybe if Alison Krauss records it someday I'll switch over. ;)

Another song that has come across my facebook newsfeed, so perhaps you've seen it, is Cloverton's rewrite of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah into a song where I can now appreciate the lyrics AND the music...

No link to purchase~ Sony! Listen up! There are people who would LOVE to buy this version of this song! Think about it! :)

And while I enjoy the version of "Mary Did You Know?" performed by the Pentatonix that seems to be going viral, my very favorite artist performing this song is Kathy Mattea~ if you don't have her Christmas Album "Good News" you're missing out on a seriously good set of songs~ many of which have not received the attention *I* feel they are due. ;)
linking to a live performance, which isn't a amazing as the album from an instrumental POV, but the vocal is so powerful:

Link to song on Amazon Mary, Did You Know?

Here's a fun "Synchronized Lights" video set to Go Fish's "Christmas with a Capital 'C'"

Link to song on Amazon Christmas With A Capital "C"

And finally, here is a most excellent, fresh take on Feliz Navidad, by one of our most favorite bands this year~ Unspoken:

Link to song on Amazon  Unspoken: Feliz Navidad

I hope you enjoy these songs as much as I do! Leave me a comment and tell me some of *your* favorites! :)


Friday, December 12, 2014

High School Books under the Christmas tree

If you need some new ideas for your older children and or mommy friends who like to read~ here's a quick set of books to start you thinking of some titles that you can gift to your kiddos ~

No explanation needed...
Good Dystopian Literature
High School (or Mom...) Reads:
Sweet rewrite of
Daddy Long-Legs
LOVED this book,
and so did my teen!
Sci-Fi ~ Excellent Read!
Read it now, so you'll be
ready for the sequel!

Hardcover slipcased Classics!
Currently $19.99
Classic novel
Set in Indiana
Very Charlotte Mason-ish
I have it on good authority
(Eldest received it from
the publisher when @ their HQ)
that this is a good series. 
Another Classic, better
known as the movie, but
worth the read as a book.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Some Musical "nuggets" for December (Free!)

As I was posting to my personal facebook page I decided that maybe I should pop out a really quick blog post with some of the free music that I've been finding around the web. :) At the time of writing these were all available for free...

Christmas Anthem - Single Which is a great, upbeat.. Anthem!
and this Green Hill Christmas Music Sampler which makes me think of lightly falling snow and baking Christmas cookies~ mostly instrumental, "background music".

Noise Trade: (Music is free, but feel free to leave the artist(s) a tip!) I love this site for finding new-to-me artists!

Kerrie Roberts has a 5 song Christmas Album, Thank You Child,  that is very listenable.
Here's a video "preview" of Jingle Bells from the album:

Here is a really fun album Hill and Hale and their Merry Friends: Christmastime ~ somewhat nostalgic jazzy/musical feel~ And the song "Reindeer" really hits home tonight, in particular, as we've had far too much "rain, dear!" If you're looking for a fun album, check this one out! :) Here's "Reindeer" for your listening pleasure:

Hear It First 
Peter Furler's very pleasant version of What Child is This from his new Christmas Album "Peter Furler Christmas, feat. David Ian

This should keep you busy for awhile~ Watch my page for more music!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Abe's Market Cyber Monday Specials (Essential Oils!!)


Abe's Market saved the best deals for last!
Just a few things you'll find on sale right now:
PlantLife Essential Oils Set Sale $37.46! 
Cyber Monday specials
$5 off orders of $30 or more with code CYBERMONDAY5
$10 off orders of $50 or more with code CYBERMONDAY10
$25 off orders of $100 or more with code CYBERMONDAY25

crayon/Pencil roll~ Sale $8.80, select designs $6.

$8.79 for organic/natural crayon "rocks

The savings can really stack up when you buy items that are on sale, 
and don't forget that there is free shipping through December 31!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Abe's Market ~ a Few Organic and Natural Gifts Under $25

I don't know if you've noticed the ad for Abe's Market over on my sidebar, but I have enjoyed a number of items purchased from this store, especially as I try to use more organic and natural items. If you are looking for some gifts that fit that profile, you might be interested to see a sampling of what is available at Abe's Market.

To sweeten the pot, all purchases made through December 31, 2014 will be shipped for free (no minimum), and all orders placed *before* December 17th are guaranteed to arrive by Christmas.

Organic and Natural Gifts Under $25

Foot Care Candy Mint Foot Polish
By: Deep Steep

Canal Street Daisy Nail Polish
By: Scotch Naturals

Small Herbal Healing Kit
By: Elemental Herbs

Chocolate Bar Variety Gift Set
By: Wild Ophelia

Spice Tin Gift Box
By: Sauce Goddess Gourmet

Small Change Pink/Vanilla Burp & Bib Set
By: Kee-Ka Organics

By: eco-kids

Wool Felt Jewelry Kit
By: Artterro

Check back on my blog coupons, which can be used on all items, including those on sale!




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