Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

For the first time ever, I cried when I opened a present. Of course, that was after my excited screaming. But I'll tell you all about that some other time.

I hope that all of you have a wonderful, jolly day today! It's a great day to spend time with your family, but to remember what happened 2000 years ago. What a marvelous gift from God, sending His son to die for our sins. :)

I might be taking a little break from blogging after I've posted at least once a day for the past 25 days... :P But I probably won't be gone too long. ;)

Merry Christmas!

abby

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jollification Day 24

As I sit here in my nice little chair sipping my sweet iced tea and listening to Christmas music, I think I'm finally starting to feel like it's Christmas. I've had a busy year so far, so I find it rather hard to slow down and get in a holiday mood. After our Brunch this morning, I think it's finally sinking in. :) I use times like this to think back to when I was little... I never wanted to go to sleep because I wanted to see Santa Claus! (Yes, I was/am still a believer. And yes, I wrote him a letter one year.) :)

We have our Christmas Eve service at church tonight, then we'll come home, read from our advent book and head off to bed. Do you have any plans for tonight?

My song for today is sung by Roger Whitaker, who is an old-timey-style singer who has a nice country-style voice. I don't know if he's a Christian or not, but his song, Momma Mary is really cool. :)


As for our Christmas Eve Brunch, we had most of the neighbors on our street over for some quiche and breakfast casseroles, with my Grandma's super yummy Spice Tea. :) As I said earlier, most of the neighbors we have are retirees, and they are probably some of the sweetest people I know. Here are some pictures for you. :) (Sorry, I'm not a great group photographer.) :P





Me, and my grandma :)

my sister Chloe and her friend




my sister Grayce and her friend

guess who. a special Christmas present for my bloggy friends. :P
I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Remember the reason for the season. ;)

Merry Christmas,

abby

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jollification Day 23

When I was a young 'un, I listened to country music on the radio so much that I knew the lyrics to every song. Even now, when I listen to the radio and one of those songs comes on, I can still sing along with most of the song. :) I still love country music, but I'm not very familiar with all the new artists. Rascal Flatts has always been a favorite, and while looking for this song, I came across their version and it's beautiful. Here you go, I'll Be Home for Christmas by Rascal Flatts.


Even now, I'm discovering gifts I forgot about, or gifts I just thunk up that would be great to give someone. We've also been preparing for a Christmas Eve brunch for our neighbors tomorrow. We live in a neighborhood filled with mostly retired folk, and a lot of them don't have family to visit. We've done our brunch for a few years now, and we always enjoy it. :) I will try to get some pictures to share. ;)

Well I'd better be off to help clean house and get dinner ready, but Lord-willing I'll be writing again tomorrow! ;)

Happy Advent!

abby

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jollification Day 22

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer- a song pretty much heard everywhere around Christmas. :) I found a few different versions on YouTube, some versions different from the original. The one I'm posting is by the amazing Jack Johnson. Here are the links to the version by Ray Charles and the version by Gene Autry.


Only three more days till Christmas! I've been decorating and getting in a Christmas-y mood, so I think I'm finally ready for Christmas. :) Are you?

abby

ps. sorry I'm opting for the shorter post today- I need a break. :P I'll be back tomorrow. ;)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jollification Day 21

In the Bleak Midwinter is a beautiful song, and I am thankful to have found some beautiful versions! I found one by a Norwegian singer, Sissel. But I've also really enjoyed James Taylor's version. So this is James Taylor, but I encourage you to listen to Sissel's version too. ;)


Another recipe! Yay! This one is for toffee pecans or walnuts. :) My mom makes the pecans every year, and they're sooooo good. :)
Toffee Pecans or Walnuts

Ingredients: 
1 pound walnut or pecan halves (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake nutes on a baking sheet about 8 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring after 4 minutes. Turn off oven. Cover toasted nuts with aluminum foil on the baking sheet. Return to the oven to stay warm. Line another baking sheet with aluminum foil; grease foil. Butter sides of a very heavy large saucepan. Combine butter, sugar, water, corn syrup and salt in saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook over meduium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Using a pastry brush dippe in hot water, was down any sugar crystals on sides of pan.  Attach a candy thermometer to the pan, making sure the thermometer does no touch the bottom of the pan. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Cook without stirring until mixture reaches hard-crack stage (approximately 300-310 degrees). Test about 1/2 teaspoon mixture in ice water. Mixture will form brittle threads in ice water and remain brittle when removed from water. Remove from heat and stir in warm nuts and vanilla. Spread the mixture onto a prepared baking sheet; sprinkle with salt. Using two forgs, pull nuts apart on the baking sheet. Let the nuts cools. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 7 1/2 cups of nuts. Enjoy!

Hope everything is going well with Christmas preparations! ;)

abby

Monday, December 20, 2010

It must be nice this time of year with all that snow...


For a girl who wears a hoodie during the summer because she's cold, snow is a very scary thing.

This past weekend, on Friday and Saturday, part of my family drove up to West Virginia. No, we don't have any family living there, but we were planning on meeting our uncle, aunt and cousins there to pick up our Grandma so that she could spend Christmas with us. :)

Friday morning, around 10, my Dad, little sister and I got in the car and started off on our trek through the mountains (in a warm, heated car of course).

Jollification Day 20

Sleigh Ride is one of those songs that is played everywhere so I wanted to find a lesser known version for you just to change things up. :) Again, sorry for all of you who really can't stand oldies, but that's the music I love. So here are The Carpenters singing Sleigh Ride.


And instead of a recipe or gift idea, I'm going to share about my trip to West Virginia- but in a different post. :P But for this post, I'm going to try a Kaeleen-style ramblings list. :D So here are things that have been on my mind. :)

    How behind I am in my Christmas shopping. I still need to get presents for my Dad, my cousins, and my Grandma. And I only have a few more days...

    The nice "warm" weather down here. WV was amazingly cold (in the 20's most of the day) with about 7 inches of snow on the ground. It was definitely pretty there, but I am very thankful for living in Charleston. :)

    My piano lesson today that hasn't been as well practiced for as it should be...

    The interesting dream I had last night. It was good...but slightly disturbing.

    Our Christmas brunch for the neighbors of Christmas Eve (we do one every year). So far we have five RSVPs. :D

    My hopefulness of getting socks for Christmas. :P

And that's pretty much all that's on my mind at the moment. :) Now off to tell about my trip! ;)

Happy Advent!
abby

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jollification Day 19

I know I've already posted a gospel song, but ya know, I really do love it. It's part of the Charleston culture, and I really love the joy these people get in singing these songs. :) Here is one of the bestest gospel song, Amen featuring Adam McKnight and others in the Atlanta program, Gospel Christmas. :D



I really love posting recipes, because I really love reading recipes on other folks' blogs. Of course, I can't really cook, but I still really enjoy the foods that result when someone else makes it. :P I took a class downtown a few years ago and they let us take the recipes home. This recipe for corn chowder was really good, and it's great for winter-y weather. :)

Corn Chowder (from Charleston Cooks!)
2 tablespoons butter
olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cupsvegetable stock
2 cups heavy cream
2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
6 ears corn
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.
2. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are soft.
3. Add flour and cook for two minutes.
4. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
5. Add the cream and the potatoes, bring to a boil and cook for about 7 minutes.
6. Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add to the soup.
7. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 to 12 minutes.
8. Stir in the parsley and give soup a drizzle of olive oil.

It's been a while since I've had it, but I really liked it when I did. :) Enjoy!

I will try to get around to posting about my trip later, but I have the hiccups right now, and my sister is begging to get on the computer. :P If not today, tomorrow for sure. ;)

Happy Advent!
abby

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jollification Day 18

I'm sorry, but I love The Temptations. A lot. And I feel that other people should love them too. :P Here is Silent Night by them. :) (I love that bass guy near the middle of the song) :P


And I just got back from my trip, so I can't write for too terribly long (but I can't forget a Jollification post!). So my gift idea for today is Randy Travis' Christmas CD, Songs of the Season. It's definitely country, but definitely Christmas too. And the main reason it's a gift idea is because we listened to it on the way home from our trip and he is very easy to sing along with. :P

Lord-willing I will post about my adventure tomorrow, along with the next Jollification post. :D

Happy Advent!
abby

Friday, December 17, 2010

Jollification Day 17

Silver Bells. I'm not quite sure how it came to be, but it is a pretty song. Here are Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney singing it. :)


My gift idea for today is a movie called The Iron Giant. It's directed by Brad Bird, who also did The Incredibles and Ratatouille (both great movies). Plus, it takes place during World War II, with voices of Jennifer Aniston and Harry Connick Jr.. :D


It's a great movie for little kids, big kids, or bigger kids. Sadly, not many people have heard of it, but it really is a classic. :) So check it out, and maybe you know someone who needs a little movie thrown in with their Christmas present. :P

(sorry the post is so short- I'm traveling and this had to be scheduled. I'll be back soon though! ;))

Happy Advent!
abby

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jollification Day 16

I originally wanted to put a version of Lully, Lullay (Coventry Carol) on here because it's such a pretty song, but I couldn't find any. I decided on the Carol of the Bells instead, and since I haven't done any Straight No Chaser songs yet, this one is by them. :)


This recipe is one handed down from my Grandma, and probably from her mom and so on. :) I shared it with my Omnibus II class last year, and a few of my friends made it and liked it. So if you're looking for a cake to share over Christmas break, this is a great one. ;)

Owens Family Pound Cake
3 cups sugar
1/2 lb. butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon extract
6 eggs
3 cups plain flour (with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder)
1/2 pint whipping cream

Cream butter and sugar. Add flavoring. Add eggs one at a time and beat each egg. Add sifted flour and cream alternately (start with the flour). Pour into greased angel food cake pan lined with was paper. Put in cold oven, then turn oven on to 300 degrees F. Bake 1 1/2 hours without opening oven. My grandma usually tops it with strawberries and whipped cream, but it's fine plain too. ;)

Just to let you know, I will be heading out of town tomorrow for a little road trip, and Lord-willing I will be back on Saturday. But till then, I will be scheduling these oh-so-wonderful Jollification posts (we don't want you being un-jolly, now do we?). I will try to get some groovy pictures while I'm there, so you can see what sort of adventures I have. But while I'm having a blast up north, remember- comments are loved appreciated. :P

Happy Advent!

abby

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jollificaiton Day 15

I love gospel music. It's great. :) Go Tell it on the Mountain is a great Christmas song, but while looking around on YouTube, I only found versions different than what I've grown up hearing. But I did find a great one by Simon and Garfunkel (loveee them). Enjoy!


Y'all hopefully know who Gomer Pyle is. And so you probably know that Gomer Pyle is played by Jim Nabors. And you probably didn't know that Jim Nabors became a singer after his Gomer-fame. Well, he did, and I found a version of Go Tell it on the Mountain by him. Sadly, I'm not a big fan of his voice- he sounds a little... like he's faking it. :P So I heard his version and (sorry) couldn't stop laughing. I mean, it's a great song, and it's not that I don't like his version, I just thought it laugh-at-able. :P So here is the link if you wanna hear it too. :D "Shazam!"

(more movie gift ideas, sorry) :P
James Stewart is possibly my favorite actor ever*. His acting has always impressed me because his mild scenes are always mild, and his powerful scenes are always powerful. A lot of actors I see now blend those types of scenes together, and it really makes for a dull movie.

of course this isn't the real Harvey. the real one's invisible.

Of course, he is very well known for his part in It's a Wonderful Life, but a few other movies of his I've enjoyed are Harvey (about a big, invisible rabbit), The Shop Around the Corner (the original idea for the Tom Hanks/Meg Rayn movie You've Got Mail) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Harvey is more of a comedy, and according to some dis-likers of it, it has a slow-paced story line. I love it though. :) The Shop Around the Corner is a wonderful romance that I could watch over and over again. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is more of a drama, but it is very, very good. It makes a very strong point about corrupted government, and it's just a great movie all around. :)

Happy Advent!
and Fellow VPSA students- ONE MORE DAY! YOU CAN DO IT! :P

abby

*he is my favorite because he only married once, and never divorced; he was in the best movies I've ever seen; he was handsome (duh); and his voice is very relaxing. like Mr. Rogers. :D

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jollification Day 14

The song today is very, very special. It is performed by the handbell choir that is a branch off of the Lowcountry Homeschool Girls' Choir. I'm a member of both, and my Dad took a video at our Christmas concert last Monday, and I thought I'd share it with you today. :) Here are the Ding-a-lings (as they like to call us) performing Good King Wenceslas. (if you're looking for me, I'm the tall one wearing green and black) :P


And originally I was going to post a Christmas story that my sister was supposed to write... but she hasn't finished it. :P Instead, I'm going to post some pictures of my Christmas ornaments. :)

This first one is my favorite. :) My Grandma gave it to me, and I fell in love with it. Isn't it so adorable? ;)



I've had this snowman since I was in preschool. I think we made them or something, but I still think it's really cute. :P

 There's nothing super special about this one, but I thought it was really cute with the little birdie and bow. :D


Do you have any favorite ornaments? If you said yes, you must now share pictures of your favorites on your blog. :D

Happy Advent!
abby

Monday, December 13, 2010

i need a little helf here


Of course I'm not in that kind of trouble, silly. I just have a Christmas gift dilemma.

Two of my relatives have chosen to give me a lump of money to buy gifts for myself, to avoid getting something I wouldn't like. I've already decided to spend some of my money buying a pair (or two) of shoes (PF Flyers and/or TOMS). But what to buy with the rest of my money?

I really have enjoyed my piano lately, and I would truly love to buy some music books. The thing is, I need some ideas. If any of you hep readers play piano, please give me some good ideas. :D

Other than that, I haven't been up to much lately. I am currently very excited about this being my last Monday of classes before break. YAY! I still have Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to defeat, then I'm DONE. You dig? Man, I dig. I'm ready to feel tha funk, get down wit da boogie. Or, just have a wonderful Christmas break. :P

I'm a little worried about my upcoming weekend trip to West Virginia, because my Father was reading a weather forecast having something to do with cold weather. I think I died right then and there. But I'm back now. I can't stand cold weather. Or snow (sorry Kae!). ;) But I will get to see my cousins and Grandma, so I am excited about that. We will be stealing our Grandma away from our cousins for Christmas, then all piling back in the car to drive back up to Michigan, to drop Grandma off and visit more with our groovy cousins. That's what I'll be up to. :)

What about you? Any heavy plans for break?

Pardon my language, I'm in a bit of a retro mood today.

abby

Jollification Day 13

I can't believe I've been posting at least once a day that past two weeks. It's fun though. :P

I love Andy Williams. I have one of his vinyls. :P So here are the Williams Brothers singing Winter Wonderland. :)


Today is another recipe. :) Recipes are fun. :P This one isn't that special but it's really really good. And it's great for holidays. ;)

Caramelized Crispy Snack Mix
9 cups Corn Chex cereal
9 cups Rice Chex cereal
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup Land O Lakes butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups candy coated milk chocolate pieces (translation: M&Ms)

Heat oven to 250 degrees F. Spray roasting pan with a no-stick cooking spray. Place cereal in prepared pan. Combine brown sugar, butter and syrup in 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil (8-9 minutes). Continue cooking, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add baking soda; mix well. Pour syrup mixture over cereal; toss gently until well coated. Bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, or until coating is set. Cool 5 minutes; stir in chocolate pieces. Spread mixture onto waxed paper. Cool 10 minutes. Break apart. Store in container with tight-fitting lid. Yield: 40 (1/2 cup) servings.

I know it's sorta time consuming, but it is so good. :P

Happy Advent!
abby

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jollification Day 12

This song, Ave Maria, is really pretty and I've heard lots of versions. I've found two that I really like, and I'm going to post both of them (one at the top of the post, one at the bottom). :P The first one is by Joshua Bell, a renowned violinist, and I'm posting it 1) because it's good, and 2) for my sister and friend who love his music. :D


For my birthday one year, my friend gave me a book called The Book of Three. At first, I didn't think I'd like it very much, but I knew I should read it. :) So I started it and loved it. It's rather short, but I'm pretty sure there is a series following it. The book is by Lloyd Alexander, and before I got this gift, I'd never heard of him before. :) I would say this is a gift good for pretty much any age that loves fiction stories. (fyi, there is some witchcraft in the story, but the author makes it clear that witchcraft is evil)

And here is the second Ave Maria by Chet Atkins. :)


(Just in case you're wanting to listen to any more versions, Harry Connick Jr. has an amazing version) :P

Whilte searching around on YouTube, I came across my now favorite Christmas special. It's from 1967 but that's what makes it awesome. ;D The Monkees had a groovy TV show, and this Christmas special is even groovier. :P Here are the links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
Happy Advent!
abby

Saturday, December 11, 2010

good old fashioned family discussions

Most families discuss topics while having meals, and my family does quite a bit. One of their favorite topics is what Abby will be like when she is married and has children. Of course, if you know me very well, you probably know what sorts of things I enjoy doing in my free time. Those things I like to do usually aren't very productive, but that's why I like to do them- because it gives me a mental break from other things.

Our discussion today started out with me asking my Dad why he liked groups like Stryper* when he was younger. He just said because he thought they were cool back then. Thankfully, he doesn't listen to them anymore. :P Then he started talking about how I probably wouldn't like things like Emergency! (tv show) when I'm 45. Of course, I can't imagine not liking that show, so I'm not sure if I'm going to like growing up (jk). ;P Then they started a mock discussion between me and my kids of the future going something like this:

"But Mom, aren't you going to fix us some lunch?"
"NO! I said I would after this episode [of emergency]! Gosh!" (with a hint of a Napoleon Dynamite voice)
"But Mom! We're hungry!"
"Didn't you eat breakfast?! Go eat your Poptarts and watch an emergency! and tell your dad to bring me my chapstick! If you're still hungry, fix youself a quesadilla." (extra Napoleon on that last phrase)**

And that might make no sense whatsoever to you, but I couldn't stop laughing. And my parents always seem to make me laugh the hardest just after I've gotten a mouthful of sweet tea. :P (Yes, I've been through the whole "drink coming out of your nose" thing before)

Of course, those discussions are just for fun; I hope and pray I won't be like that when I'm older. ;)

I honestly don't know what my family would do for laughs if I weren't here.

Does your family like to do things like that? For me, it never ends. :P

abby***

* Stryper (prounounced stripe-er) was a supposedly Christian rock band, but I must say that the album cover I've seen is rather horrendous and disgusting.
**Yes, I like love Napoleon Dynamite.
***And sorry, this post was rather....boring-ish. :P And unless you know me very well, it probably looked like a whole bunch of gibberish. Oh well. :)

Jollification Day 11

This song, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", is one of my favorites. Just add Frank Sinatra's voice and it's perfect. ;P


Old movies are the best. They're clean, classic and wonderful all around. :) One of my favorite old-timey actors is Gene Kelly, well known as Don Lockwood in Singin' in the Rain (also a great movie). He also starred in a movie called Brigadoon along with Cyd Charisse. They're both remarkable dancers and singers too. :) If you know anyone who loves old movies, this is a great gift. Brigadoon is about two American hunters who travel to Scotland to do some hunting.


The two hunters stumble upon a town that had a spell cast on it, making one day of the life of the citizens one-hundred years in normal time. So of course one of the hunters (Gene Kelly) falls in love with a lady from the town (Cyd Charisse). But you'll have to watch the rest to find out. ;) The movie is full of music and dancing and fun, and it's something the whole family will enjoy. :P

Mark 1:1-8
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
"Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
'Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,'"

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

abby



Friday, December 10, 2010

Jollification Day 10

Mi amiga Kaeleen posted on her blog about her branching out into different music artists and such, one of which was David Archuleta. So while looking for today's song on YouTube, I saw a version by David, listened to it (he is amazingly talented btw) and so now I'm posting it here for Kaeleen (and everyone else). :P Here you go, Angels We Have Heard on High by David Archuleta. :)


Again, I have more book gift ideas. :P My choices of reading before I started Omnibus were more on the fiction/fantasy/adventure lines. Now that I've had Omnibus, I think I could read much more and be able to understand it. :P My Mom discovered a trilogy of books by Jonathan Rogers, so I read them, thinking they'd be somewhat boring, but no! I was proven wrong. They are written with the general story of David and Goliath from the Bible, but with different characters and setting, and I had lots of fun reading them. The first book, The Bark of the Bog Owl is really good. So if you know any young readers who would love a story like this, this is a great book. :)

The Bark Of The Bog Owl (The Wilderking Trilogy)

If you're looking for a book more for a young adult or adult, Beowulf is the way to go. Not kidding. That was my favorite book last year, even though it was in Omnibus. I actually got my Dad to read it, and he loved it. If I had the time, I would read it over and over again. It's probably not the best book for people who have issues with blood and gore and sinew (hahaha) but it's still a remarkable book. :)

Luke 1:67-80
And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace."
And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

abby

Thursday, December 9, 2010

gold and green

I've been (attempting) to do a series of posts on the family blog about the Monarch life cycle (partially for my mom's science class, mostly for fun). It's been really great, and I thought I would share one of my favorite pictures of a chrysalis. :)


I'm also entering it in pastor's girl's ponderings "on cloud nine" blog hop. :) For me, it's a great example of not only God's care over these creatures, but also His design. He could've made this chrysalis just plain green, but no, He put beautiful gold and black marks on it. He could've made us dull and without personality, but He didn't. We have quite a lot to be thankful for. :)


Happy Advent!
abby

Jollification Day 9

It's so much fun for me to look on YouTube to see how many different artists of one song I can find. I discover new artists that I really like, but I also discover artists I wish I hadn't heard. :P So today I was looking for Blue Christmas. Of course, I really wanted to put Elvis, but seeing as I put one of his songs up a few days ago, I felt I should find someone else. :) So here is The Patridge Family singing Blue Christmas. :)


This movie, Holiday Inn, is one of my favorites, because it covers pretty much every American holiday on the calendar, so you can watch it all year round! :P It's a great gift idea too. ;) ;)
Plus it has Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, so it's a must see. ;P Lots of great music, lots of amazing dances, and still scenes that make you laugh. :)

Luke 1:57-66
Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, "No; he shall be called John." And they said to her, "None of your relatives is called by this name." And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, "His name is John." And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.

abby

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

(what Valentine said) :P

Valentine did a post on her blog, and it looked fun. So here's my go at it! :P

If I were a gemstone, I'd be a diamond.
If I were a scent, I’d be something citrus-y. :)
If I were a pair of shoes, I'd be Clarks Wallabees. :P
If I were the weather, I would be sunny and warm with a little breeze.
If I were a facial expression, I'd be curious.
If I were a car, I'd be a '59 Cadillac. :)
If I were a time of day, I'd be evening.
If were a month, I'd be May.
If I were a place, I'd be Charleston. 
If I were a liquid, I'd be sweet tea.
If I were a taste, I’d be pecans and chocolate.
If I were a sea animal, I'd be a dolphin.
If I were a food, I’d be butter. :P
If I were a color, I'd be sky blue.
If I were a musical instrument, (like Valentine) I would be a grand piano. :P
If I were a flower, I'd be an apple blossom. ;)
If I were a song, I’d be Daydream Believer.
If I were a planet, I'd be Uranus. :P
If I were an object, I'd be an old, lovely typewriter.
If I were a fruit, I'd be a mango.
If I were a sound, I’d be a laugh. :)

Happy Advent!
abby

Jollification Day 8

When it comes to Christmas music, I love country songs. The only thing is, the artist usually makes the song a little more upbeat than it should be, or vice versa. So I was about to put up Away in a Manger by Kenny Chesney, but it's too fast, so I found this version by Nat King Cole, and I must say, I like it much better(don't ask me why there's a picture of a swimming pool though...). :P


Radio shows are a lesser form of entertainment that live in the shadows of television and video games. I've enjoyed downloading (free) older radio shows from iTunes and listening to the when I can't sleep. But I also enjoy listening to newer ones, about animals, in a jungle. :) Jungle Jam and Friends the Radio Show is something even my parents still enjoy, not to mention my sisters and I. They teach great Christian lessons, but still make you laugh. :) So go check them out. ;)

The Magnificat
Luke 1: 46-56
And Mary said,
"My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever."
And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.


abby

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jollification Day 7

As far as Christmas music goes, you're probably going to be getting lots of oldies. :P So here is Elvis Presley singing Here Comes Santa Claus. :P


And today, I have a recipe for a salad that my Mom makes for holidays, and it is the best salad ever. I normally don't like salad, but I tried this, and it is amazing. It's sweet. :P So here you are:

Pear-Blue Cheese Salad
Ingredients:
1 recipe Holiday Dijon Vinaigrette (recipe down below)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup pecan halves
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
16 cups torn curly endive (chicory), romaine lettuce or spinach (my Mom just buys an organic mix of lettuce from the store, and it's great that way)
3 ripe pears, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup crumbled blue cheese (we use feta cheese)

Directions:
1. Prepare Holiday Dijon Vinaigrette. In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add pecan halves. Cook 4-5 minutes or until pecans are lightly toasted, stirring frequently. Sprinkle sugar and salt over pecans; cook and stir for 1 minute more. Transfer pecans to a medium bowl; cool.
2. In a 6- to 8-quart bowl combine curly endive, pears, blue cheese, and half the pecans. Pour Holiday Vinaigrette over salad. Toss gently to coat. Divide among salad plates. Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Makes 8-10 servings.

Ingredients for the Holiday Dijon Vinaigrette:
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots or onions
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Directions:
1. In a screw-top lid jar combine all ingredients. Cover; shake well. Serve immediately. Or cover and store in refrigerator up to 1 week.
2. If refrigerated, let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Shake before serving. Makes about 3/4 of a cup.

Enjoy! ;)

Luke 1:39-45
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."


abby

a Christmas tag!

My friend Kimmi, being so creative as she is, made a Christmas themed tag, and I decided I should do it. :P Here we go!

1. What are your three favorite Christmas Decorations?

Hm... The tree, our nativity, and the candles we put on the porch. :P

2. Who's stocking in your family is your favorite? Describe it.

Maybe my Dad's... It's red and fuzzy, and has his name in sparkly glue as Ricky, from when he was a little boy. :P And then there are a few more stick on things like a snowman and such. :)

3. What is your favorite Christmas song.

Blue Christmas. hands down. :D

4. Who puts the star on your Christmas tree every year or does it change?

Well, it's an angel, and my Dad usually puts it up. :)

5. Who's room do you stay in on Christmas eve, or do you stay in your own?

I stay in my own. :) I have a hard enough time getting to sleep in my own room on Christmas eve, I'd probably never sleep in someone elses. :P

6. Does your family all have their own Christmas mugs for hot chocolate, or do you just go get your mom's coffee mugs? If you do have your own Christmas mugs what do they look like?

That's actually a really awesome idea... but no. We kinda just have a general collection of mugs that we can all use. :)

7. What time do you get up on Christmas morning?

It depends... usually 7 ish, but I have the tendency to sleep in a little after that. :P

8. What is your favorite Christmas book?

Hm... Maybe Luke, in the Bible. :D

9.What is your favorite ornament?

It is the most adorablest little bird that my Grandma gave me, complete with vintage-y fabric and everything. :) I'll have to show a picture. :)

10. Do you have any special crafts you do around Christmas time?

I'm not much of a crafty person, but we do cook and bake a lot. :)
I won't tag anyone right now, but feel free to do it! ;P

abby

Monday, December 6, 2010

a non-jolly post

I know, I know... I'm interrupting my jollifications. I kinda need a break from that for a little while. :P I'll still post it tomorrow though, don't worry. ;)

I had the priviledge on Saturday of going with my Dad out to the country for a skeet shoot. For those of you who don't know what that is, skeet are little clay discs that are flung in the air, and someone with a shotgun tries to shoot it. It's good practice for duck/bird hunting. :) Anyway, I got to go, and I've been the past two or three years, but it's always lots of fun. The only thing I didn't enjoy was the fact it was really cold out. I'm more of a summertime girl. :P I have no idea if any of my friends know anything about guns, but just for fun I'll tell you what I got to shoot. I got to shoot a double barrel shotgun, that used to be my Grandfathers (it has quite a kick), along with a .22 rifle and .22 magnum. Then I got to shoot a handgun, and man, those things are scary. I don't know why, but they scare me. :P And just for the record, my Dad said I got about half of the skeet I shot at, so I did pretty good! :D

It's also standard conduct down here to have food at a skeet shoot. The food I had was amazing. I was actually sad that I became full. I wished I could've kept on eating. :P

After that lovely meal, I helped my Dad clean his guns, then we hopped back in the car and did a quick bit of Christmas shopping on the way back. :) Then Saturday night, we went to our local Christmas Parade! I love seeing all of the people (mostly kids) and "floats". :) There was a local firetruck from Station 2 in the parade, and for those of you who know my little "obsession", you know that I got really a little excited. Our mayor was also in the parade, driving the amazingest, grooviest, hip-est old car I have ever seen. It was beautiful. I wish I'd have gotten a picture.

Of course, for my little sister and her friend, the candy being thrown was the biggest part of it all. My sister actually got hit in the head by a lollipop. But she was too busy picking up the candy to notice. :P I got some candy, but most of it is what I call "bad candy". :P

Well. That's all I've got at the moment. I need to get back to school, and practice for the choir concert we have tonight! :) I'll post about it tomorrow if I get the chance. ;)

Happy Advent!
abby

Jollification Day 6

I was looking for a nice recording of O Holy Night, and came across quite a few good ones, but this one, by Andrea Bocelli, is beautiful. It is actually performed in French, but we all probably know the words anyways. :)


Gift Idea: Chocolate. But not just any old kind of chocolate. I'm talking about the Wilbur Buds Chocolate. I've been to their store in PA twice, and it was wonderful. The whole store smells delicious, and their chocolates taste even better. I wish they'd open a store down here, but I don't think that will be happening anytime soon. :P

Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."
And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?"
And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy— the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.


abby

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jollification Day 5

This Spanish carol, Riu Riu Chiu, is really pretty, and I was extremely thrilled to discover that one of my favorite music groups ever had a recording of it! So here you are, Riu Riu Chiu by The Monkees. ;)


And my gift idea for today is something really simple, that was given to us last year. The idea was to find a big bowl (like a popcorn bowl), then buy lots of candies and a movie (or two) and of course, popcorn, to load up in the bowl as a movie-lover gift! Then cover the bowl in cellophane and tie it up nice! :) The present was given to us along with blankets, to keep cozy. So it's really quite a fun way to give a personalized, yet super fun (and yummy) gift. ;)

Luke 1:17-25
...and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."
And Zechariah said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years." And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time." And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, "Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people."


abby

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jollification Day 4

And today it's White Christmas, but with a doo-wop twist! :P


And instead of ideas or recipes, I'm just going to post some pictures of snow (in South Carolina!). :)







abby

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jollification Day 3

This is an amazing song, written by Michael Card, and performed by Michael Card and Steve Green. I love the piano, and of course, the lyrics. :)


And today I actually have a recipe! This recipe is for Cranberry Hootycreeks. They're delicious, and you have the ability to make it a gift mix! :P

Cranberry Hootycreeks

Ingredients:

5/8 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup rolled oats 1/3 cup white sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour ½ cup dried cranberries
½ teaspoon baking soda ½ cup white chocolate chips
½ teaspoon salt ½ cup chopped pecans
Directions:
1. Layer the ingredients in a one-quart or one liter jar, in the order listed
2. Attach a tag with the following instructions: Cranberry Hootycreeks. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. 2. In a medium bowl, beat together ½ cup softened butter, 1 egg, and one teaspoon vanilla until fluffy. Add the entire jar of ingredients, and mix together by hand until well blended. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. 3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges start to brown. Cool on baking sheets, or remove to cool on wire racks.

And to continue the Scripture about the story of Christmas...

Luke 1:13-17

But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."



abby

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jollification Day 2

So the song for today is actually classical. :P But it's the Nutcracker March, so it is relevant. ;)

 

I will definitely try to get a recipe for tomorrows "jollification", because I have a really good one in mind. :) But my gift idea for the day is a pair of shoes called Vibram Five Fingers. These are good gifts for anyone, male or female, young or old. These are the most comfortable shoes I have ever had, and they come in colors! :P I'm not able to add a picture of the shoes on here, but here is the link to their online store. :)

Luke 1:5-13
In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years. 8Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.


abby

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jollification Day 1

We all like things that make us jolly, right? And it's the first of December, right? So, I will attempt doing daily jollification posts (and yes, jollification IS a word. look it up). Now, because of my school schedule, I might not get around to posting every day, but the least I can do is schedule a post ahead of time, right? ;)

I was thinking about sharing a song, and something else, like a gift idea or recipe. Recipes probably won't be as often as other things, due to my lack of cooking skills. But there are a few things out there I can make. ;)

I love Harry Connick Jr's version of Let It Snow, so you get the "light show" along with. ;)


Hehe. Somebody has too much time on their hands, agreed? :P

And let's see... a gift idea. This book is probably geared more towards 10-14 year old girls, and the author is a Christian (and contributor to World magazine). It's called The Middle of Somewhere by J.B.Cheaney.


I love this book. If I had the time, I'd read it all over again. :) It's entertaining, and funny, and by gum, it beats out the Twilight books any day (not to mention it's probably healthier reading too). So at least check it out, it wouldn't hurt anything, right? ;)

And that's all I've got for today. But stay tuned for the next post of Jollification!

abby