Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Some December memories

For some reason, perhaps due to my terribly inconsistent blogging schedule, I've had a hard time lately remembering to take my camera anywhere and, if I do happen to remember it, the batteries are always dead. Consequently, I've gotten very few pictures of anything we've been doing this fall.

So, today, I was planning to post about one thing and was surprised to see some pictures on my memory card I had forgotten completely.

The girls were in a bell (chime) choir again this year. Last year, our church was able to borrow chimes from another church and use them at Christmas. This fall, a parishoner donated the money so we could get our own set-so we are looking forward to more performances throughout the year. The girls really enjoy being part of it.

This is one of my Christmas gifts.

It seems to have become a tradition (I hope!) for Julianne to crochet gifts for me. She found a pattern for a crocheted hexagon and was inspired by my love of Grandma's Flower Garden quilts to create something similar in crochet. It is more beautiful in person than the picture can show.

We had a lovely Christmas and are anticipating more celebrations in the next couple of weeks. Due to work schedules, my extended family hasn't gotten together yet but we will see some of them on New Years Day and have another family party planned in January. It's a nice, relaxing pace and draws the holiday season out a little bit. I'm looking forward to having dreary January brightened by good times spent with those I love most.
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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We attended a Christmas Eve service held in a big, old, red barn last night. It was chilly and, thankfully, absent the smell of animals. It was a very nice way to celebrate Christmas Eve.

Our family wishes each of you a wonderful Christmas, filled with joy and peace.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Two of my favorite Christmas songs (that you've probably never heard)

I entered a drawing last week where I had to answer the question "What is your favorite Christmas song?"

That was easy to answer: Almost Christmastime by David Meece. I considered adding a link to the song in my comment but became completely sidetracked when I went looking because I found another song I always loved but hadn't heard for years.

On Amazon, these two songs are on the same album. I happen to have purchased the album a couple decades ago but my cd only has 10 songs, not 12 like the one on Amazon. Sadly, my copy doesn't include The Star by Dan Peek!

I had to buy it right away. You know I love it if I'm willing to download it via dial-up. The girls think I'm just a wee bit obsessed with listening to it but I told them today that I haven't heard it in decades-I have lots of time to make up for!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

When My Name Was Keoko

Our Five in a Row group read When My Name Was Keoko for November. It is a fantastic book by an author our group was familiar with already because we read A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park a few years ago (and loved it as well).

We had an extra special day to go along with Keoko. One of the families has a friend who is Korean and has stories from his childhood that very much went along with what we read. He agreed to meet us at a Japanese/Korean restaurant and guide us through choosing some Korean foods as we shared lunch together.

I've gotta tell you, after seeing the menu and being completely unfamiliar with which menu items would be Japanese and which would be Korean, I was plenty worried. I'm a far more adventurous eater than when I was younger but when I saw squid, eel, octopus (which I actually have eaten once, years ago), fish roe, and the like on the menu, I wasn't sure it was going to be a fun time.

We started with miso soup. Safe enough so far, and quite delicious, too.

Next came edamame, which I enjoy, and potstickers. Then they brought salad with a wonderful ginger dressing I'd love to have the recipe for. I was feeling better about the experience already.

I think this dish is called Bibimbob

We all shared the dishes he ordered. I enjoyed every.single.thing!

This, I believe, is called Chapchae

He shared a lot of family memories with us and it was amazing how much his stories corresponded with the story line of the book. We found it incredibly interesting to listen to him.

We finished the meal with a choice between green tea ice cream or red bean ice cream. I only had a taste-I was actually full!-but the girls enjoyed it a lot.

We intended pay for lunch for him and his wife, to thank him for sharing his time and tales with us, but he wouldn't let us. Instead, he paid for our whole group-such generosity!

This book, and our day together, will not be quickly forgotten.

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