Nov 29, 2011

Christmas Music?

Ashley in our house in Provo.  Love old photos and memories.
As I was walking through the store yesterday, they of course had Christmas music playing-it is the season officially now.  As I was walking down a toy aisle a new song started.  It was Barbra Streisand's version of "My Favorite Things."  I realize that there are lots of songs that don't deal specifically with Christmas, but I just wondered who decided that that song was a Christmas song? I love the Sound of Music, it is one of my all time favorites, but I associate that song with summer and thunderstorms.  I also like that in the movie it is upbeat and happy, but it has never struck me as something that should be sung this time of year.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I for one vote that it should not be sung at Christmas time, especially not the Barbra Streisand version.  Totally made a happy song all gloomy and depressing, it did not make me feel better.  So I will not be adding it to my favorites list anytime soon.

Some of my favorites are:
  • Carpenter's Christmas album-love it, we play it every Christmas morning. (Love thinking about my Dad trying to sing Merry Christmas Darling-had to do it in falsetto. It was hilarious)
  • The Osmond's Christmas album-always have been a fan of the Osmond's
  • Andy Williams-The best version of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
  • The Forgotten Carols-The Innkeeper always makes me stop and think.
  • Bing Crosby singing White Christmas, love the movie, love the song. Nobody sings it like Bing.
  • Twas The Night Before Christmas-Twitchell version-we sang this every Christmas Eve at my Aunt Helen's Christmas Party.  I always thought my Dad would make a good Santa Claus (he could even do the white beard now if he would let it grow)  I loved the little flannel pictures that it was my job to put up on the board while we sang.
  • Any Christmas song that we sang around the piano together as a family.  It was a favorite family past time to gather around the piano and sing all the time, but I loved doing it at Christmas time especially.
  • The Christmas Hymns-love December and singing the Christmas hymns every Sunday.
  • Christmas music that my kids play on the piano.  It is always their favorite music to play, and they will practice those songs without complaint.  Jared spent several hours (no exaggeration) practicing yesterday learning the Jon Schmidt version of  I Saw Three Ships.  
Jared performing his Christmas piece.

Nov 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Five of the six-hadn't baked the Pecan Pie yet.
Thanksgiving has come and gone and the Christmas decor is now adding a little holiday sparkle to our home, but it just wouldn't seem right to not have a post dedicated to Thanksgiving.  It is so nice to have a little time to just relax and enjoy family, food, football and food.  (yes, I meant to type food twice-which is why I will be exercising extra this coming week).  The girl's both came home on Tuesday evening, and I have thoroughly enjoyed having all 7 Benjamin's under the same roof again.  It is louder and messier, but so much better.
Highlights of the Holiday
  • Five Guys Tuesday evening (Jared ate a 1/2 lb. hamburger and wanted another one. What I want to know is where he puts it?)
  • H&M with the girls on Wednesday.  Not sure what the big deal is about that store, but it was packed.  Gave me just a little bit of claustrophobia.
  • Harry Potter night. 
  • Pie making.  I made 6 pies while Tony and the kids played football and then basketball with the kids.  Only have one pie left, that I am sure Tony will take care of.
  • Thanksgiving dinner with family.  Eating way too much.
  • Seeing the Tanner's cute little grandkids.  (I think I am ready to be a grandma.  I need to buy baby stuff again.)
  • Sock shopping with Tony.
  • Leftovers Friday evening.
  • Kneader's for breakfast with Breanna and Tony.  Wow, the French Toast is to die for.
  • Putting up the Christmas decorations.
  • Lexie's loudness.
  • Ashley constantly saying-I can't, I have Carpal Tunnel. (unfortunately she does, but she is trying to make the best of it-hard when you are a piano major though).
Thanksgiving festivities were a little too much for them.
 I am so thankful for my family.  Nothing makes me happier then being with my kids, and watching them get along so well.  Having Tony home too, made it a special treat. I have much to be thankful for.  I am thankful for my amazing parents and my sisters.  How grateful I am to still have Mom & Dad here with us and still healthy and happy.  Funny thing I have acquired a pretty nasty cold this week, but I still have enjoyed every minute of this holiday.  And I feel grateful that it didn't hit hard until after Thursday so I could still taste the food.  Any mention of gratitude has to include the Savior, for He has made the things I treasure most possible. To quote from The Living Christ-"He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son."

Nov 21, 2011

The Spirit is the Same in Any Language

Yesterday my new visiting teachers came.  One has been my neighbor for years, and I was actually her visiting teacher for a few years.  The other one is a sweet little lady who speaks Spanish, and some English.  She gave the message from conference in Spanish, and I am happy to say that I could pick out quite a bit of it.  My Portuguese is very rusty, and it is different than Spanish, but I could understand a lot of what she said.  What was even more clear though was her testimony and her sweet spirit.  I could feel it even if I couldn't understand every word.  It was actually a really cool thing.

I have recently starting cooking more and more things in the crockpot.  It just works out better.  I can fix food when I have time during the day, instead of trying to make dinner when a million other things are going on after school is over.  I tried this recipe for Chicken and Dumplings, and I really liked it.
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons of butter
1 (10.75 oz) can of cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 oz) can of cream of celery soup
3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
Chicken boullion seasoning or cube
salt & pepper
*As for the dumplings… Use 1  package of refrigerated Grands biscuit dough, torn into pieces.
1. EXCLUDING THE BISCUITS put all ingredients in…
2. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
3. About an hour (give or take) before serving, remove chicken and pull into pieces and return to the soup mixture, place the torn biscuit dough in and cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.

I have made this twice now, and the first time it was way too salty for my liking.  So the second time I used a lower sodium chicken broth (it wasn't salt free, just 33% less salt or something like that) and I did not add any extra salt.  I liked it much better without the extra salt. I guess it just depends how salty you like things.