Friday, December 26, 2008

Favorite Book Friday

Reflecting on 2008, my Favorite Book Friday choice is Illustrator & author is Tasha (Natasha)Tudor. Like Beatrix Potter, Tasha Tudor illustrated her books and others as well. Tudor, who illustrated such classics as "Little Women" and "The Secret Garden" wrote and illustrated her own as well. Sadly, it's been 6 months since she has left this world for her own "adventure" in June 18, 2008 at the age of 92, just short of turning 93 in August.
"Einstein said that time is like a river, it flows in bends. If we could only step back around the turns, we could travel in either direction. I'm sure it's possible. When I die, I'm going right back to the 1830s. I'm not even afraid of dying. I think it must be quite exciting." ~Tasha Tudor
She illustrated nearly one hundred books, the last being the 2003 release, The Corgiville Christmas. She received many awards and honors, including Caldecott Honors for Mother Goose and 1 is One.

Ms. Tudor frequently said that she was the reincarnation of a sea captain’s wife who lived from 1800 to 1840 or 1842, and that it was this earlier life she was replicating by living so ardently in the past.
In the words of Tasha Tudor's family:
Her Vermont home, though only 30 years old, feels as though it was built in the 1830's, her favorite time period. Seth Tudor, one of Tasha's four children, built her home using hand tools when Tasha moved to Vermont in the 1970's. Tasha Tudor lived among period antiques, using them in her daily life. She was quite adept at 'Heirloom Crafts', though she detested the term, including candle dipping, weaving, soap making, doll making and knitting. She lived without running water until her youngest child was five years old.

From a young age Tasha Tudor was interested in the home arts. She excelled in cooking, canning, cheese-making, ice cream making and many other home skills. As anyone who has eaten at Tasha Tudor's would know, her cooking skills were unsurpassed. She collected eggs from her chickens in the evenings, cooked and baked with fresh goats milk, and used only fresh or dried herbs from her garden. Tasha Tudor was renowned for her Afternoon Tea parties.
It was noted as well that she would not let females enter her home in pants only skirts and dresses.

Ms. Tudor’s favorite of all her books was “Corgiville Fair,” one of several she wrote about the Welsh corgi dogs she kept as pets, sometimes 13 or 14 at once.
The above rare photos were taken by Photographer Nell Dorr in 1940. I hope you do not get offended by the photo of Tasha nursing her child. I was so touched to see her nursing as I have nursed all my children until the age of 2, Ayla being the longest of a little over 2 and 1/2 years.

Receipt is the old spelling of 'recipe' and was always used by Tasha Tudor. As I end Favorite Book Friday and as a treat found in here, I will leave with one of Tasha's receipt from Jennifer her granddaughter.
Ginger Pennies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. ginger
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup Grandma's molasses
12 Tbsp. butter
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Soften butter. Sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt. Stir in, ensuring mixing. In another bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, egg and molasses. On low speed, beat in flour mixture until well blended. Scrape mixture into a large freezer bag and close securely. Cut off a SMALL piece of the corner of the bag. Pipe small dots (about 1/2" rounds) about 1" apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Ignore any "peaks"; they will flatten as they bake.
Bake for about 5 minutes or until evenly browned. Cool the cookies on the sheets for about 3 minutes and then slide them off onto wire racks. They are small so be careful. You want them to crisp as they cool so keep them separate. This recipe makes about 25 dozen cookies!! You can store them in an airtight container for a long while but don't expect them to last very long!
Tip..I usually reuse my cookie sheets immediately, rotating as fast as I can. This particular recipe really needs the cookie sheets to be cool when you pipe your next batch on.
Ciao for now,

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

...the children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads...

Click on the following Holiday Greeting by Jacquie Lawson.

Merry Christmas to all my Friends and Family.

May we remember the true meaning of Christmas today.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Favorite Book Friday

I thought today I would add some short stories that I have heard once or twice or even more. I don't have the authors names so I apologize. Each time they touch me more and more. I hope you enjoy these stories especially during the holidays.
The sleigh was was all packed, the reindeer were fed,But Santa still knelt by the side of his bed,"Dear Father, " he prayed, "Be with me tonight.There's much work to do and my schedule is tight.My sack will hold toys to grant all kids' wishes.The supply will be endless like the loaves and the fishes.I can do all these things, Lord, only through You.I just need your blessing, then it's easy to do.I do this only to honor the birth of the One,That was sent to redeem us, Your most Holy Son.So to all of my friends, lest Your glory I rob,Please, Lord, remind them who gave me this job."

Daddy Will Be Home For Christmas
John was such a sweet little boy. So it was no surprise to hear that he believed that his Daddy would be home for Christmas. Early in November he was telling his Sunday School Class that Daddy would be home. The Sunday school teacher went to Mary, his mother, and said, "Is Mac coming home for Christmas?" "Oh, no," Mary responded " he is on shipboard through the New Year and is not expecting to be back for several months."Now this was common during World War II and many families were separated for many months at a time not to mention the ones who lost their loved ones entirely. Mary went to John and tried to explain to him that Daddy would be gone much longer than that. But John stood his 3-year old ground and said "I know that Daddy is coming home for Christmas."Mary tried to reason with him but he would not budge. Christmas Eve came and he went to sleep believing that Daddy would be home the next day.The late in the night, the door bell rang. Mary went to the door. As she approached the huge glass door, she could see through the shadows the image of a man. She turned on the lights and there standing before her was Mac. He held a large Teddy bear, and several bags. Somehow his orders had changed only a short period before.John knew something no one else knew. He had the "faith of a child."

A Simple Nail
It's Christmas time at our house and we are putting up the tree.I wish I could find one simple way to remember Christ's gift to me.Some little sign or symbol to show friends stopping by.The little baby was born one day,But He really came to die.Some symbol of His nail pierced hands,the blood He shed for you & me...What if I hung a simple nail upon my Christmas tree?A crimson bow tied 'round the nail as His blood flowed down so free to save each person from their sin and redeem us for all eternity.I know it was His love for us that held Him to that tree,but when I see this simple nail I know He died for me.

A Christmas Miracle in the 51 Chevy-- Author Unknown
In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds.He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries. Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana, at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress. I loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job. The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck.The kids stayed, crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.Still no luck.The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids.She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour and I could start that night. I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.That night, when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-fully half of what I averaged every night.As the weeks went by, heating bills added another strain to my meager wage.The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home. One bleak fall morning, I dragged wagged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat.New tires!There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered. I made a deal with the owner of the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires. I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough.Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning I hurried to the car. I was hoping the kids wouldn't wake up before I managed to get home and get the presents from the basement and place them under the tree. (We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side of the road down by the dump.) It was still dark and I couldn't see much, but there appeared to be some dark shadows in the car-or was that just a trick of the night?Something certainly looked different, but it was hard to tell what. When I reached the car I peered warily into one of the side windows. Then my jaw dropped in amazement. My old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's side door, scrambled inside and knee led in the front facing the back seat.Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was a whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes: There were candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries.There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.

A Christmas Orange
--- Author Unknown --- Submitted by Kelly Smith --- California
I'd like to tell you a story my grandmother told me when I was six or seven years old. We had gone to her home for Thanksgiving dinner and the drive was rather a long one. I had filled the time with making a list of all the things that I wanted for Christmas that year.Later that evening after I was ready for bed, I showed the list to my grandmother. After she read it, she said, "My goodness, that really is a long list!" Then she picked me up and set me on her lap in the big rocking chair and told me this story: "Once there was a little girl who came to live in an orphanage in Denmark" (Now my grandmother was from Denmark, so this story might even be true.) "As Christmas time grew near, all of the other children began telling the little girl about the beautiful Christmas tree that would appear in the huge downstairs hall on Christmas morning. After their usual, very plain breakfast, each child would be given their one and only Christmas gift; small, single orange."At this point I looked up at my grandmother in disbelief, but she assured me that was all each child would receive for Christmas. "Now the headmaster of the orphanage was very stern and he thought Christmas to be a bother. So on Christmas Eve, when he caught the little girl creeping down the stairs to catch a peek at the much-heard-of Christmas tree, he sharply declared that the little girl would not receive her Christmas orange because she had been so curious as to disobey the rules. The little girl ran back to her room broken-hearted and crying at her terrible fate." "The next morning as the other children were going down to breakfast, the little girl stayed in her bed. She couldn't stand the thought of seeing the others receive their gift when there would be none for her." "Later, as the children came back upstairs, the little girl was surprised to be handed a napkin. As she carefully opened it, there to her disbelief was an orange all peeled and sectioned." "How could this be?" she asked."It was then that she found how each child had taken one section from their orange and given it to her so that she, too, would have a Christmas orange." How I loved this story! I would ask my grandmother to tell it to me over and over as I grew up. Every Christmas, as I pull a big, juicy orange from my stocking, I think of this story. What an example of the true meaning of Christmas those orphan children displayed that Christmas morning. How I wish the world, as a whole would display that same kind of Christ-like concern for others, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year.

Coat of Many Colors-This is not a Christmas song or story, however, it may as well be because I love the message of the lyrics. My mama and my abuelita sewed a many of my clothes and they meant so much to me.

Back through the years I go wonderin' once again Back to the seasons of my youth I recall a box of rags that someone gave us And how my momma put the rags to use There were rags of many colors Every piece was small And I didn't have a coat And it was way down in the fall Momma sewed the rags together Sewin' every piece with love She made my coat of many colors That I was so proud of As she sewed, she told a story From the bible, she had read About a coat of many colors Joseph wore and then she said Perhaps this coat will bring you Good luck and happiness And I just couldn't wait to wear it And momma blessed it with a kiss My coat of many colors That my momma made for me Made only from rags But I wore it so proudly Although we had no money I was rich as I could be In my coat of many colors My momma made for me So with patches on my britches Holes in both my shoes In my coat of many colors I hurried off to school Just to find the others laughing And making fun of me In my coat of many colors My momma made for me And oh I couldn't understand it For I felt I was rich And I told them of the love My momma sewed in every stitch And I told 'em all the story Momma told me while she sewed And how my coat of many colors Was worth more than all their clothes But they didn't understand it And I tried to make them see That one is only poor Only if they choose to be Now I know we had no money But I was rich as I could be In my coat of many colors My momma made for me Made just for me
Click on the Book Cover, to view the song of the Coat of Many Colors.
Ciao for now,

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Tag

I'm pretty much tagging anyone who reads this. Rules are you have to copy and paste this onto your blog. Thank you Deborah, Merry Christmas!!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift Bags for adults, wrapping paper for kids. It's fun to see the young kids unwrap their gifts. Although my sister has a point, I like the convience of gift bags and whatever is less expensive, including newspaper. For reals, we gift wrapped my stepdads fathers day gift in the sports section.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. I don't even think I would know how to put up a real tree. I've never done it. How sad. Artificial, haven't heard our ozone is dying. WE NEED MORE TREES PLANTED NOT TAKEN AWAY FROM MOTHER EARTH. PS. Deborah, it's the same way to put up, just add sugar water daily if needed so that the tree doesn't burn like Gramita's did when she was a child.
3. When do you put up the tree? Just to give you an idea, my Thanksgiving decorations are still up. LOL, The day after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down? After New Year's. Ditto.
5 . Do you like eggnog? Yes. Ditto, and I like it more when I didn't know it was made with real rum, ;).
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I can't remember a specific gift but every Christmas was great! Hey, I filled this out already! Click here. I knew the questions were beginning to sound too familiar. I'll skip to 25.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? To be with the ones I love and have fun. I ditto this too, however I also like my original answer too, HAHAHA. I know you want that trip to Hawaii for X-Mas, don't lie Deb's. Merry Christmas everyone!

Happy Birthday To My Captain America

Today is my husbands birthday! He is 39 today. The 1969 babies are now the same age. But come around March and I'll be A year older than my Babe, again. His Favorite Super Hero is Captain America. I say the "A" on his head stands for Alfaro. My goal is to loose weight this year so I can be his Wonder Woman, HA-HA-Hee-Hee. HE says, as long as I don't loose the booty he doesn't care how much I loose weight. Well, no problems there. Here are the reasons I fell in love with my Hunk of Beefcake:

10. He's a kid at heart. Actually, he's like Peter Pan and refuses to grow old.
9. He loves his family.

8. He's every bit of the man I fell in love with,
and a little bit more.

7. His eyes twinkle and has a flashy smile when he looks at me.

6. He's a good looking Abuelo.
5. I love our spontaneous road trips.
4. He's a great mechanic and teacher too.

3. He loves the Renaissance as much as I do.

2. He still serenades me with those passionate eyes.
1. I'm lucky to have found my Shrek.
I love You Babe I hope you have a wonderful day, you deserve it.
Ciao for now,

Friday, December 12, 2008

Favorite Book Friday

I have to say the Dr.Seuss Books were fun to read as a child. What greater book of all than How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

Every Who Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot...
But the Grinch,Who lived just North of Who-ville,
Did NOT!

And speaking of a Grinch, another one of my favorite Christmas Story was The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol is a Victorian morality tale of an old and bitter miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of one night, which if it doesn't change his ways he will end up like his friend Jacob Marley, walking the Earth forever, being nothing but invisible and lonely, "Bah! Humbug!". A traditional Christmas Story that would give me chills, but would always enjoy the outcome and poor Tiny Tim.

For all the Grinch's during the Holidays, May you be touched with the true meaning of Christmas. May you be surrounded by friends and/or family and find love and friendship. May this year bring us happiness and hope.

Ciao for now, Arnnette

Friday, December 5, 2008

Favorite Book Friday

Since it's the Christmas Season I thought this month I would share my favorite books or movies. I have a favorite short story that gets unpacked every Christmas Season from the holiday boxes. I often forget that I have it until I spot it. I cry every time I get to the end because from the very beginning I feel I know what will happen.

Don J. Black, an LDS author, published The Little Shepherd. However, Margaret E Sangster wrote this story and was first publish in December 1936 in Good Housekeeping magazine. If you can find a copy read it. The back of the book states:
He was just a little shepherd boy--but he was the son of one of the shepherds who heard the angel choir and saw the newborn Christ. All of his ten years had been filled with his father's recollections of that glorious night. Those warm and glowing stories, with their message of hope, made life more bearable for this humpbacked, crippled child.
Now it was the anniversary of the night the heavens shouted for joy. The little shepherd boy was alone in the hills, tending his father's sheep and pondering that miraculous night. He was wishing he could have heard the angels, too. Then out of the darkness of the night came an extraordinary man who changed his life forever.
May you enjoy this book as I do year after year.
Ciao for now,

Birthdays Two Days in a Row!

Two years ago, on December 4th, a special bundle of joy was born to two loving parents, Deborah & Cecilio, my sister and her husband. The next day, Dec. 5th, Deborah spent her birthday in the hospital.

Daniel Ocean just turned 2 years! How time flies! Happy Birthday Daniel!
Deborah just turned.....

29 Penguins plus a happy penguin equals...

30 years! Click on happy feet to see a birthday dedication to Tia Deborah from her nephew Oscar.
Happy Birthday Tia Deborah and Baby Daniel from All of Us!
Hannah says, "Happy Birthday Tia Deborah I love you more than you love me."
Ayla says, "Happy Birthday Tia you are so beautiful more than me."
Ayla sends this message to Baby Daniel, "Happy Birthday baby Daniel you are so nice to me and I miss you and want you to come to my house to ride your bike with me and your dad and mom can come over and they can watch you and me and my brothers and sisters and my parents can watch us too, so we can be happy as a family together, the end mommy, thats all I have to say, oh and I love you"
Boy, Ayla keeps it short and simple, doesn't she.
Ciao for now,

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's December!!!

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Yes, I painted the tuscan view freehand:) Can you
find the lightswitch?

Ita gave this Old Santa that is almost 20 yrs old. Ayla loves him!
Tonight for Family Home Evening, we read from the Ensign. I told my kids of my memories of giving my gifts for Christmas to a friend who needed it most. I will always remember her face when her named was called out and several gifts were for her. I love receiving gifts. However the joy I give in giving and seeing someones happy expression is ten times greater. The kids wanted to read more stories of Christmas and charity. Although we thought it best to read more the rest of the month and have the kids choose their favorite Christmas stories from the Ensign, New Era, and Friend, for FHE.

Click on any magazine for a short story or activity. You can browse on LDS.Org and receive many activities and stories that will send a message or strengthen your testimony.
ABC Family have Family Night Movies and Cartoons every night at 7pm (AZ time), until Christmas. Tonight is the Shrek deck the halls and the Grinch on regular channel ABC. It was nice for the after Family Home Evening.
Ciao for now,