This Christmas season I have continued to struggle with pain in my hands, so although I have had the desire to do lots of Christmas baking, I haven't been able to follow through with all of it! I did make a couple of batches of cookies, and I was able to get together with my sister in law and (well, mostly watch her) make cookies. But there is still half a batch of red cookie dough and half a batch of green cookie dough in our fridge, waiting for someone to turn them into candy cane cookies. I haven't had strong enough hands to even think about getting that cold, hard dough out of the fridge to work with it!
I am so thankful to have friends and family around that I can get together with to enjoy some of the traditional fun things that I can't quite pull off on my own all of the time! This year, while Talia was in school, my sister in law and I drove out to a friend's house with our two little ones, to make gingerbread houses & decorate gingerbread cookies.
It was lovely to see Katrina experiencing this, and to have someone there to squeeze out the icing when I couldn't keep going!
What are some of your traditional holiday baking recipes?
Do you have anything you like to bake for New Years?
As a Lysol Healthy Families Ambassador, I was recently able to review some tips from the Hygiene Council, about food preparation and clean up.
Here are some Food Preparation Tips that stood out to me:
o Foot-operated bins are more hygienic because they reduce the risk of hands picking up germs touching the bin lid. (Feeling glad that I replaced our garbage can that had a faulty pedal ;)
o Your kitchen sink contains 100,000 times more germs than a bathroom or lavatory. (Eek! That makes me want to clean the sink more often, for sure!)
o 9 of 10 kitchen cloths have unsatisfactory or worse levels of bacteria. (I hate gross kitchen cloths! I'm forever washing mine, and figure better safe than sorry, and better to wash them excessively than not enough!)
I was so happy when Leisha asked me to photograph her wedding to Dan. I've known both of them for a while. They both had parts in a production of Joseph & the Technicolour Dreamcoat that Ken & I helped direct when we were first married. They both come from beautiful, loving families that I am happy to know. It may have been a freezing cold day, but hearts were warm as family and friends came together to celebrate their special day!
The groom's father and all of his siblings, all together.
The bride's grandparents (I love this photo- two very adorable couples!)
They were each (somewhat literally) supported by great friends and family in their wedding party!
When they came out of the temple together, officially husband and wife, they kissed. I love this cute sequence:
Leisha had a beautiful, long veil!
...and a gorgeous cape!
Congratulations, Leisha & Dan, you're a beautiful couple, inside and out! You have many friends and family who love and support you and your future family- hope you're having a fabulous time in Europe, celebrating with more family!
I've been a little absent lately on the blog. In a couple of earlier posts I mentioned my hands briefly. I've been having a lot of pain in my joints- particularly my finger & thumb joints. I went through this for a few months, 3 years ago. After numerous tests, and specialist appointments, doctors were unable to come up with a diagnosis for whatever is wrong. I had been doing quite well for a full year, and mostly well for quite a while before that.
Near the end of October of this year, pain started to return, and slowly all of the old symptoms came back. I've had days where I can barely stand to do things as simple as holding my spoon while I eat cereal. So, it's back to tests and more tests, to see if we can find out what's wrong.
I had committed to photograph a wedding this month, so I have been thinking a lot about that as time moved closer to it- always hoping that my hands would be well enough on that day, to do that job! I had a photographer friend ready to step in for me if needed (Thank you so much, V!), but I really wanted to be able to do it! Thankfully, I was able to do the wedding on Saturday, and now I'm feeling it. I'm back to sore days, and taking things easy.
I have posts that are waiting to be typed, stories waiting to be told. I will be back here more often when my hands are feeling better, and I'm feeling more inclined to type & click! I'll share a few photos from the wedding soon, and I have a couple of Christmasy things I'd like to share as well, so stay tuned- and thanks for sticking around, despite the quiet around here!
Did any of you watch Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman? I totally did!
That's how I got to know Jane Seymour :) Well, last year, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir had a Christmas concert featuring Jane Seymour and singer Nathan Gunn. Check this out:
So, as mentioned in the video clip above, you can get a copy of this performance called "Once Upon A Christmas" in the form of a DVD, Blu-ray, CD, MP3 download, or the beautiful hardcover children's book (with disc).
The illustrations in the book are beautiful! It's great as a stand alone, but my girls got so excited when we watched the DVD together after reading the book- they ran to get the book, to show the illustrations as they came up throughout the performance!
It was fun to have a copy of both versions because the girls were able to learn about the story in more than one way which I think has really helped it to "stick" with them.
I loved the DVD because of the dancing throughout the performance and being able to see the faces of the performers :) This really is a beautiful performance, and I think it would be a beautiful item to have around year after year, as part of your Christmas celebrations.
Guess what! 3 of you will get a chance to win this giveaway- one of you will win the book, one of you will win the DVD, and one of you will win the CD! Just enter with the form below:
Oh, I love Christmas time! I love the excitement, the feeling, and most of all the joy that comes from an increased focus on serving others.
I want to include my girls in this as much as possible! I really want the focus to shift away from receiving, and back to Jesus' birth and why remembering that encourages us to serve others. I want them to have first hand experience of how good it feels to give to others.
This year we spent a family night with Ken's brother's family, carolling and delivering homemade cookies to some unsuspecting members of our church congregation at their homes. This was a good opportunity for our girls to experience the joy that comes from giving to and thinking of others. One of my favourite "service projects" that we have done was this one. Within our family, we take the girls out individually with some of their allowance money that they've been saving, and they pick out gifts for each other. It's so fun to let them loose in a dollar store & let them choose things!
While I'm on the subject of giving, I want to tell you about some things Kinder has going on!
First of all, they're giving away 7,500 (!) Kinder® Mini Eggs! You can be a part of this at Kinder Canada's Facebook Page. Hurry, tomorrow is the last day!
More importantly though, Kinder®’s "A Joy To Share" program supports the Children's Miracle Network, helping to save and improve the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals since 1983.
Visit Kinder Canada's Facebook page to see how many families this program has helped. Every time we share the video stories of the families Kinder will donate $1 up to $5000 to the Children's Miracle Network!
Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
The girls got into a bit of a fight before bed the other day.
I came upstairs and we had this conversation:
Me: Katrina, how many sisters do you have?
Me: Talia, how many sisters do you have?
Me: So, you need to be friends, and you need to have fun together, and you need to be nice to each other!
(and maybe going a little too far for a 3 & 6 year old)... One day you'll grow up & get married & you won't live in the same house anymore & you'll miss each other! Make sure you have fun now, while you're together!
*Katrina breaks down into tears.*
Trina: But... but I want to live with you forever!!