Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

To Start A New Year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anonymous

"A new year is unfolding—like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within.

Lord, let this year be filled with the things that are truly good—with the comfort of warmth in our relationships, with the strength to help those who need our help and the humility and openness to accept help from others.

As we make our resolutions for the year ahead, let us go forward with great hope that all things can be possible—with Your help and guidance."

Y Its so hard to believe that this year is coming to a close. It was a very difficult year in many ways. It was a very good year in many ways. One thing's for sure, this year has passed quickly.

Recipe for a Happy New Year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anonymous

Take twelve fine, full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly free from old memories of bitterness, rancor and hate, cleanse them completely from every clinging spite; pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness; in short, see that these months are freed from all the past—have them fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time. Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many persons spoil the entire lot this way) but prepare one day at a time.

Into each day put equal parts of faith, patience, courage, work (some people omit this ingredient and so spoil the flavor of the rest), hope, fidelity, liberality, kindness, rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad dressing— don’t do it), prayer, meditation, and one well-selected resolution. Put in about one teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaping cupful of good humor.

Y We were affected by and had the same problems as the rest of the country, an nosedive into fear and fear of poverty, absolute amazment and outrage at the country's financial mismanagment, a roller coaster political ride and acceptance of a predictable political outcome, along with renewed pride in America and Americans.

I Am the New Year

I am the new year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.

I am your next chance at the art of living. I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.

All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me, waiting for you to search it but with more determination.

All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.

All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will, all the faith that you claimed but did not have—these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose.

I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Him who said, "Behold, I make all things new."

Y We welcomed another family into our home, found light and love in the faces of our greatest blessings (our grandchildren), found great pride and joy in the lives and actions of our children, lost a family member to her poor choices, and were saddened by the drug users company she keeps and the drug life she is enmeshed in.

A New Year’s Prayer

Dear Lord, please give me…
A few friends who understand me and remain my friends;
A work to do which has real value,
without which the world would be the poorer;
A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed;
An understanding heart;
A sense of humor;
Time for quiet, silent meditation;
A feeling of the presence of God;
The patience to wait for the coming of these things,
With the wisdom to recognize them when they come. Amen.

Y I wish I had a simple answer when I wonder what was the best of 2008, but I feel like I lived in the twilight zone this past year. I think the disapointments were greater that the joys, and there were days where I was upheld purely by the Grace of God. There were times when my expectations of others were absolutely crushed and I had those moments of saying 'who are you' to people I thought I knew.

A New Year’s Prayer

May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
and by making you anxious to be there to help.
God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.

Y But it's all in the river 'bout a mile (or 10 miles or 100 miles) back or so, swimmin wit de fishies. I have passed it by. My river is a wild one, it has never ran smooth or straight. I look back some times, and I am simply amazed. Who needs past lives theories to cling to, I have lived many, several times over in this span of 50 years.

A Prayer for the New Year

Come, Holy Spirit,
Spirit of the Risen Christ, be with us today and always.
Be our Light, our Guide, and our Comforter.
Be our Strength, our Courage, and our Sanctifier.
May this new year be a time of deep spiritual growth for us,
A time of welcoming your graces and gifts,
A time for forgiving freely and unconditionally,
A time for growing in virtue and goodness.

Come, Holy Spirit,
Be with us today and always. Amen.

Y I wish I could say that my businesses just took off and I had the best year ever for my Etsy shops, but my sales were pitiful. I had the token one or two just to keep me inspired, and I am greatful for that. It's fun to sell stuff, and ship your art to China and France. I do not have the time to promote my shops so my sales were like gifts from God.

"A Morning Wish". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . W.R. Hunt

"The sun is just rising on the morning of another day, the first day of the new year. What can I wish that this day, that this year, may bring to me?

Nothing that shall make the world of others poorer, nothing at the expense of others; but just those few things which in their coming do not stop with me but touch me rather, as they pass and gather strength:

A few friends who understand me, and yet remain my friends.
A work to do which has real value without which the world would feel the poorer.
A return for such work small enough not to tax unduly anyone who pays.
A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed.
An understanding heart.
A sight of the eternal hills and unbelting sea, and of something beautiful the individual hand has made.
A sense of humor and the power to laugh.
A little leisure with nothing to do.
A few moments of quiet, silent meditation. The sense of the presence of God.
And the patience to wait for the coming of these things, with the wisdom to know them when they come."

Y And here we are again at the end of the old and the begining of the new, I am ending and starting this year with Jesus, as I have no life apart from Him. He is there for me on those days when I am overwhelmed and uninspired and overcome with sadness.

New Year’s Message

"I asked the New Year for some message sweet,
Some rule of life with which to guide my feet;
I asked, and paused: it answered soft and low,
‘God’s will to know.’

‘Will knowledge then suffice, New Year?’ Aloud I cried.
And, ere the question into silence died,
The answer came, ‘Nay, but remember, too
God’s will to do.’

Once more I asked, ‘Is there no more to tell?’
And once again the answer sweetly fell,
‘Yes! this thing, all other things above:
God’s will to love.’"

Y I pray, Lord be merciful to me and bless me with your Grace. Strengthen me in your ways, and may Your Will be done.

New Year’s Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anonymous

"Heavenly Father, for this coming year
Just one request I bring.

I do not pray for happiness or any earthly thing.
I do not ask to understand the way you lead me;
But this I ask—teach me to do the thing that pleases You.
I want to know Your guiding voice,
To walk with you each day.

Heavenly Father,
Make me swift to hear and ready to obey;
And thus the year I now begin
A happy year will be,

If I am seeking just to do
The thing that pleases You."

Y I pray for my family, that you will shelter them under your wing, and increase the things that are Holy and Pure in their lives, and diminish the things that are unholy and impure. Increase their wisdom and power of will, and lesson their desire of things that are of no substance and benifit to your Kingdom.

A Prayer for the New Year

Come, Holy Spirit,
Spirit of the Risen Christ,
Be with us today and always.
Be our Light, our Guide,
And our Comforter.
Be our Strength, our Courage,
And our Sanctifier.

May this new year be a time
Of deep spiritual growth for us,
A time of welcoming
Your graces and gifts,
A time for forgiving freely
And unconditionally,
A time for growing
In virtue and goodness.

Come, Holy Spirit,
Be with us today and always.

Y Come Holy Spirit, Amen

Poetry and prose from

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another favorite

Originally uploaded by Oeil Photography

Here's another amazing photo from Oeil Photography

Friday, December 26, 2008

The best of 2008

I came across a beautiful blog that I want to share,

I am struck by the beauty of these hands,

these hands are found right in the middle of wedding pictures and kissy face pictures and young lovely vibrant people and younger lovelier more vibrant people (!) but in the middle of all this youngness, is this weathered wrinkled spotted set of hands that absolutlely captured my attention.

These hands made it.

They have an unbelieveable story to tell... if they will ever get the time to tell that story. They will make you a cup of coffee while they feel guilty that they are neglecting the other duty that their mistress had intended they be doing.

They have darned and laundered and gardened and swept and wiped snot and patted and hugged and wiped tears and kneaded and fried and I know for sure these hands have held a Bible. How do I know? Just look at these hands.

So right in the middle of all that young vibrant and lovely, is true beauty. I don't have to see her face, I've seen these hands before. They are my mother's and my grandmother's and its so funny, they held them exactly this way as well. Even tho these hands are still, they are not idle, they are poised and ready once the weary old bones catch up to the ever thinking brain, off we go.

This post was titled the best of 2008 and I think her pictures are just amazing. I hope you take a minute and visit her page, she's very talented.

But that got me thinking, what was the best of 2008?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Handel's Mesiah

It's hard to believe how fast the month has flown, and here I am on the Eve of Christmas. Tomorrow it'll be Christmas goose and figgy pudding (or really garlic mashed potatoes and a big slab of beef) but tonight I'm enjoying putting pictures to the AWESOME lyrics of the Mesiah.

Messiah is an oratorio by George Frideric Handel based on a libretto by Charles Jennens. Composed in the summer of 1741 and premiered in Dublin on the 13 April 1742 Messiah is Handel's most famous creation and is among the most popular works in Western choral literature. It includes the very well-known "Hallelujah Chorus".

MAJORA CANAMUS(Virgil, Eclogue IV)

And without controversy,
great is the Mystery of Godliness:
God was manifested in the Flesh, justified by the Spirit,
seen of Angels,
preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the World,
received up in Glory
(I Timothy 3 : 16)

In whom are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge
(Colossians II : 3)

PART ONE : The prophesy and realization of God's plan to redeem mankind by the coming of the Messiah

Sinfony (Overture)Accompagnato (Tenor or Soprano)
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplish'd, that her Iniquity is pardoned. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness; prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40 : 1-3)

Air (Tenor or Soprano)
Ev'ry valley shall be exalted, and ev'ry mountain and hill made low; the crooked straight, and the rough places plain. (Isaiah 40 : 4)

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 40 : 5)

Accompagnato (Bass)
Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts; Yet once a little while and I will shake the heav'ns and the earth, the sea and the dry land: And I will shake all nations; and the desire of all nations shall come. (Haggai 2 : 6-7) The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts. (Malachi 3 : 1)

Air (Alto)
But who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire.(Malachi 3 : 2)

And He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3 : 3)

Recitative (Alto)
Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, GOD WITH US. (Isaiah 7 : 14; Matthew 1 : 23)

Air (Alto) & Chorus
O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain.
O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid;
say unto the cities of Judah, behold your God! O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, Arise, shine, for thy Light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.(Isaiah 40 : 9; Isaiah 60 : 1)

Accompagnato (Bass)
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. (Isaiah 60 : 2-3)

Air (Bass)
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isaiah 9 : 2)

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9 : 6)

Pifa (Sinfonia pastorale)Recitative (Soprano)
There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. (Luke 2 : 8)

Accompagnato (Soprano)
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. (Luke 2 : 9)

Recitative (Soprano)
And the angel said unto them: Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2 : 10-11)

Accompagnato (Soprano)
nd suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying: (Luke 2 : l3)

Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men. (Luke 2 : 14)

Air (Soprano or Tenor)
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; He is the righteous Saviour, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen. (Zecharaiah 9 : 9-10)

Recitative (Soprano)
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing. (Isaiah 35 : 5-6)

Aria (Soprano)
He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; and He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40 : 11) Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him that are heavy laden, an He will give you rest. Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11 : 28-29)

His yoke is easy, and his burden is light. (Matthew 11 : 30)


The accomplishment of redemption by the sacrifice of Jesus, mankind's rejection of God's offer, and mankind's utter defeat when trying to oppose the power of the Almighty

Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1 : 29)

Air (Alto)
He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53 : 3) He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: He hid not His face from shame and spitting. (Isaiah 50 : 6)

Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows! He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him. (Isaiah 53 : 4-5)

And with His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53 : 5)

All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53 : 6)

Accompagnato (Tenor or Soprano)
All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn; they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads, saying: (Psalms 22 : 7)

He trusted in God that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, if He delight in Him. (Psalms 22 : 8)

Accompagnato (Tenor or Soprano)
Thy rebuke hath broken His heart: He is full of heaviness. He looked for some to have pity on Him, but there was no man, neither found He any to comfort Him. (Psalms 69 : 20)

Arioso (Tenor or Soprano)
Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow. (Lamentations 1 : 12)

Accompagnato (Tenor or Soprano)
He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgressions of Thy people was He stricken. (Isaiah 53 : 8)

Air (Tenor or Soprano)
But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell; nor didst Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption. (Psalms 16 : 10)

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.(Psalms 24 : 7-10)

Recitative (Tenor or Soprano)
Unto which of the angels said He at any time: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee? (Hebrews 1 : 5)

Let all the angels of God worship Him. (Hebrews 1 : 6)

Air (Alto)
Thou art gone up on high; Thou hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men; yea, even from Thine enemies, that the Lord God might dwell among them. (Psalms 68 : 18)


The Lord gave the word; great was the company of the preachers. (Psalms 68 : 11)
Air (Soprano)
How beautiful are the feet of them: that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things. (Romans 10 : 15)

Their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of the world. (Romans 10 : 18 / Psalms 19 : 4)

Air (Bass)
Why do the nations so furiously rage together, and why do the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against His Anointed. (Psalms 2 : 1-2)

Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yokes from us. (Psalms 2 : 3)

Recitative (Tenor)
He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn; the Lord shall have them in derision. (Psalms 2 : 4)

Air (Tenor)
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. (Psalms 2 : 9)

Hallelujah! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. (Revelation 19 : 6) The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11 : 15) King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. (Revelation 19 : 16) Hallelujah!

A Hymn of Thanksgiving for the final overthrow of Death

Air (Soprano)
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. (Job 19 : 25-26) For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep. (I Corinthians 15 : 20)

Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (I Corinthians 15 : 21-22)

Accompagnato (Bass)

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. (I Corinthians 15 : 51-52)

The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. (I Corinthians 15 : 52-53)

Recitative (Alto)
Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. (I Corinthians 15 : 54)
Duet (Alto/Tenor)

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. (I Corinthians 15 : 55-56)

But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 15 : 57)

Air (Soprano)
If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8 : 31) Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us. (Romans 8 : 33-34)

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 5 : 12-13)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Blessed Christmas

Today at last, I got my meager offering of Christmas cards made and ready to send to the few people on my list.

I'm late, I know, and every year I'm late, (I know) and as usual, feel extremely bad about it.

I just don't get with the program in time to be a delight to those who like to receive a card in the mail.

I actually think about it around the 4th of July, and if I pursued it then, I could get them out on time.

But risk my Christmas cards getting stained with watermelon juice and potato salad blobs? I can't bring myself to it.

I am into Christmas up to my ears in every other area, but my cards are late (again) this year. Mine are handmade as I usually like to do, I feel they are artful and unique and I like to write some note to those that I send to. If you are on my list, you're special.

Well, thinking of cards, I happened across this article on the web somewhere and I wanted to share a little Christmas trivia.

Pictured on the left is the world's first commercial Christmas card.

The sending of commercially printed Christmas cards originated in London in 1843. Previously, people had exchanged handwritten holiday greetings, first in person, then via post.

In 1822, homemade Christmas cards had become a huge frustration to the U.S. postal system.

There were so many that year, the Superintendent of Mails in Washington, D.C., complained of the need to hire sixteen extra mailmen.

Fearful of future mail overload, he petitioned Congress to limit the exchange of cards by post, concluding, "I don’t know what we’ll do if it keeps on."

How times have changed.

The first mass produced Christmas card designed for sale was by London artist John Calcott Horsley, and is pictured above.

A respected illustrator of the day, Horsley was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole, a wealthy British businessman, who wanted a card he could proudly send to friends and professional acquaintances to wish them a "merry Christmas."

Horsley produced a triptych.

Each of the two side panels depicted a good deed-clothing the naked and feeding the hungry.

The centerpiece featured a party of adults and children, with plentiful food and drink (and this card provoked severe criticism from the British Temperance Movement for picturing wine with children).

The first Christmas card’s inscription read: "merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you."

"Merry" was then a spiritual word meaning "blessed," as in "merry old England."

May you have a Blessed Merry Christmas!

Modern day card photos courtesy of:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Please, have a seat, I'll pour you a cup!

found at,

How about snowman soup?
Assemble in a gift bag or
small zipper food storage bag:

1 individual pack hot chocolate mix
3 Hershey's chocolate kisses
10-15 mini-marshmallows
1 small candy cane

Attach the following poem:

Was told you've been real good this year.
Always glad to hear it!
With freezing weather drawing near,
You'll need to warm the spirit.

So here's a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick.
Add hot water, sip it slow.
It's sure to do the trick!
photo credit: kevinmarsh, flickr creative commons

Make a 19th-Century-Inspired Ornament

Make a 19th-Century-Inspired Ornament

Modeled after decorations in turn-of-the-19th-century style, these papier-mache ornaments spread good cheer whether they're hung from your tree or positioned around the house.

What You Need:

Cookie sheet
Parchment paper
Celluclay instant papier-mache
White glue
3-inch-diameter green plastic-foam ball (body)
Resealable plastic bag
Thin palette knife
Thin wire
Acrylic paints: antique white, brown, black, pink, and silver
Brush-on water-base clear finish
Mica flakes
Crafts glue
Silver glass glitter
Pink tinsel garland

How to Make It:

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix a few handfuls of instant papier-mache with warm water, following the manufacturer's instructions. It's best to mix small batches of dry papier-mache and keep the mixture in a resealable plastic bag while you work. Knead the mixture with your hands until it's a smooth, workable consistency. Keep a small bowl of water handy to dip your fingers in as you form the snowman on the cookie sheet.

Apply a thin coat of white glue around the foam ball before coating it with the wet mixture. Note: The mixture adheres better if you use the glue.

Apply a generous layer of the mixture over the entire ball for the body, smoothing out bumps and ridges with your hands. The finished ball should be about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

Place the wet ball on the parchment-lined cookie sheet. Gently press down on the body, creating a flat bottom so the snowman will sit upright.

Complete the paper-mache sculpting as follows: Roll a 1-3/4-inch ball of mixture for the head. Set the ball on the top of the body, gently smoothing the ball into the body at the neck area. Insert a toothpick through the center of the head to secure it to the body.

Roll tiny balls of the mixture for the nose and cheeks. Press the balls onto the face. Use a palette knife to smooth the features and a toothpick to shape the eyebrows, eyes, and mouth.

Shape a small column of the mixture for the hat and attach it to the top of the head. Smooth the edges into the ball. Cut a 3-inch length of wire and fold it in half to create a loop. Twist the ends together. Insert the twisted end into the top of the hat. Smooth the mixture around the base of the loop.

Place the cookie sheet with the snowman bauble in an oven set at a low temperature and bake for at least 2 hours or until hardened. Remove the snowman from the oven and let sit on the sheet until cool. Lightly sand the figure until the surface is smooth.

Paint the head antique white. Paint the cheeks and nose pink. Use antique white and pink to paint stripes around the body and to add words, dotted borders, and stars. Paint the hat and wire loop silver. Use black for the eyebrows, eyes, and mouth. When the paint is dry, create an aged patina by mixing a small amount of brown paint with water; apply this mixture to the figure.

When the paint is completely dry, brush clear finish on the areas that you want to sparkle.

Immediately sprinkle mica flakes over the wet finish. Allow to dry and then brush off the excess mica flakes. Apply bands of glue around the snowman's body; immediately sprinkle glass glitter over the glue. Add glass glitter to the hat in the same way. Apply a band of glue around the neck and press a length of tinsel garland into the glue.

Found at:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Angels from the realms of glory

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o'er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation's story,
Now proclaim Messiah's birth:
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
Watching o'er your flocks by night,
God with man is now residing,
Yonder shines the infant Light;
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great desire of nations,
Ye have seen His natal star;
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Saints before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear,
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear:
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

The author of Angels From the Realms of Glory was an Irishman called James Montgomery. He came from a religious family background and sadly his parents, who were missionaries died following their vocation. Angels From the Realms of Glory was written in 1816. The music for Angels From the Realms of Glory was composed by Henry Smart. The lyrics of Angels From the Realms of Glory tell the story of the shepherds, sages and Saints.

Photo credits:
1. William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - Song of the Angels (1881)
2. Free photo
3. Benozzo Gozzoli: Three Wise Men, fresco in the Magi Chapel of Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence, 1459-1461.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Any agnostic or atheist
whose childhood has known a real Christmas
has ever afterwards,
whether he likes it or not,
an association in his mind
between two ideas
that most of mankind must regard
as remote from each other;

the idea of a baby

and the idea of unknown strength
that sustains the stars.

His instincts and imagination
can still connect them,
when his reason can no longer see
the need of the connection;

for him
there will always be
some savor of religion
about the mere picture
of a mother and a baby;

some hint of mercy and softening
about the mere mention
of the dreadful name of God."

-- G. K. Chesterton, From The God in the Cave, Part II, Chapter 1 of The Everlasting Man

Yummy Yummy Yummy
Easy giftable cookies~enjoy


1 18-ounce package refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough
1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces (2 cups)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2 cups dry-roasted peanuts
1 10-ounce package peanut butter-flavor pieces
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1. Heat oven to 350 degree F. Lightly coat a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Press cookie dough onto bottom of prepared pan with floured hands. Sprinkle chocolate pieces evenly over dough. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over chips; top with peanuts and peanut butter pieces. Press down firmly. Bake for 25 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

2. Beat together peanut butter, powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon milk. Add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cookies. Cut into bars. Makes 72 bars.

Make-ahead tip: Cover pan and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Recipe found at Better Homes and Gardens online
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 72 bars
Calories 122,
Total Fat (g) 7,
Saturated Fat (g) 2,
Cholesterol (mg) 4,
Sodium (mg) 49,
Carbohydrate (g) 12,
Fiber (g) 1,
Protein (g) 3,
Vitamin A (DV%) 0,
Vitamin C (DV%) 0,
Calcium (DV%) 3,
Iron (DV%) 2,
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet


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