Saturday, December 12, 2009

Depression Cooking with Clara

"Great Depression Cooking With Clara"
A grandson wanted to capture his 91 year old Nana's recipes and stories from growing up during the Great Depression. He didn't think he could adequately write everything down to convey her charming personality and so he began making videos - Great Depression Cooking With Clara was born. Clara shows you how to cook easy and thrifty meals while sharing stories and trivia from the Great Depression! And best of all it's on YouTube so you can go there and watch all the episodes right now. ;)
If you've never seen "Great Depression Cooking With Clara" before you're going to love it:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Heart of CHRISTmas: It isn't Santamas...

When my mom was a child, she knew her mother to be the most honest person in the whole wide world. So when the kids at school told her there's no such thing as Santa Claus, my mom declared with utmost conviction that her mother told her Santa was real and "My mommy would NEVER tell a lie!"
She went home and told her sainted mother what the kids at school had had the NERVE to say- that Santa wasn't real! Her mother broke it to her that Santa really was just a tall tale and it crushed my mother. It shook her confidence in everything for a long while, that the one person she knew would never ever tell a lie had deliberately lied to her for years about Santa, the tooth fairy, and the easter bunny. Her mom assured her that Jesus was really real but I'm sure you can imagine the doubts and heartsick feelings my mom had to deal with for a long time thereafter. She vowed to NEVER do that to her own kids. And she didn't.

When I was a kid I never believed Santa was real. I actually always felt very sorry for kids whose parents would lie to them and tell then Santa was real! I thought it was terrible that proclaimed Christians would propogate Santa because
1. It's an outright boldfaced lie and it's wrong to tell lies,
2. It hurts kids when they find out the truth that their parents have been lying to them all along,
3. It takes away from Jesus because kids are so busy trying to please Santa so they get material posessions that they forget their real goal should be to please Jesus and gain eternity in heaven, and
4. It makes a mockery of a true historical character.

Then when I was a little older, probably 10 or so, I learned the story I told above, how my mom came to opt out of the great Santa conspiracy with her own kids. That was the cap on a conviction I'd been formulating throughout my childhood up to that point- to continue the herritage of TRUTH with my own kids instead of propogating the Santa myth.

My husband believed in Santa as a kid but his parents didn't push the myth and he figured out the truth quite young. He didn't have a traumatic experience but believes that it's wrong to lie to kids about Santa etc. because then they won't know when to believe you and when not to. They won't know if you're telling them the truth about Jesus or not. So even though he had Santa as a kid with no traumatic results, he as an adult believes it's wrong.

So that is the story of why we don't preach Santa to our kids. My 3 year old knows presents come from loved ones. She knows Santa is some guy in a red suit. She has not connected either thought with "Christmas" yet and when she does we'll be here to make sure she is (and later our son and any future kids are) connecting the right dots and Truth is the verdict. We have not allowed her to learn any Santa songs or watch any Santa tv shows or movies because we want her to know the truth before she knows the lie. Santa Claus is the god of xmas commercialism. When she knows that CHRIST is real and the reason we celebrate, then she will be able to see the Santa pop-culture with the knowlege of what is real and what is not.

Here are a couple other bloggers' posts regarding whether to promote Santa or not:
Cheryl @ Adventures of a Somewhat Crunchy Mama: Why We Don't Do Santa Part 1
Cheryl @ Adventures of a Somewhat Crunchy Mama: Why We Don't Do Santa Part 2
Tiana @ God Made, Home Grown: Real or Pretend?


If you want to share how you're keeping the heart of CHRISTmas where it belongs this year, or read more from other bloggers on CHRISTmas, please click the button below to see how you can link up! :)

Click to see other posts in this blog carnival or add your own!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Toddler Tales Tuesday

12/1 My husband and I decided to go with a fake Christmas tree for a few years until the kids are older. He and I always wind up having the discussion where, we are making plans for our half a day's drive to spend Christmas with my parents, and he asks me why do we need a tree here if we're not even going to be here? Then I try again to find a way to explain to him the importance of having the tree even if we're not here to open gifts under it. (I.e. why it's important to have it even if we don't open gifts under it so that the kids get the symbolism of it and don't think that all it is is a gift-receptacle which, if we aren't opening gifts under it, then it has no purpose at all.) Then he brings us home a nice tree because he loves me and not because he really "gets" why it's important to me. Plus you know how fun it is to discover you've forgotten to water the tree and there are now about 50 trillion needles in your carpet which will clog your vacuum cleaner so instead you spend all day on hands and knees with a wisk broom and dustpan, picking them out of the carpet. Add to the fun two toddlers taste testing the needles faster than you can dispose of them... and well, it just seemed like a good idea to have a fake tree until the kids are old enough to care. So last night my dear husband bought us a fake tree. Doing so made him late getting home and kids were already in bed, so Chicklet (3 years 2.5 months old) didn't see the large box until this morning. She stood there staring at it. I said, "It's a big box, huh?" She replied, "BIG big box!" I asked her, "What do you suppose is in this big big box?" I did not expect her to remember Christmas trees from last year. She was only 2 after all. Then again, she had gotten extreemly excited about Christmas lights last year and has been pointing them out whenever we drive past a home that leaves their lights up all year so maybe. Chicklet examined the side of the box for a brief second, noted the picture of somebody's living room with a Christmas tree in the center, and replied, "It's a Christmas Tree!!!!!!!!!!!! Can I open it?" I told her that we would open it as a family when Daddy gets home. So all day since then she's been talking to herself saying things like, "Daddy coming home later. Daddy will open the big box. Daddy will be home soon. When Daddy is home we can open the Christmas tree..." I think she might be a bit excited, what do you think? ;)

12/2 Last night when my hubby got home and set up the Christmas tree Chicklet hovered around her Daddy like a fly on a ... you know. She was SUPER excited and had to be in the middle of the action. Then this morning when Bug (1 1/4 years old) woke up and I brought him out to the living room, his bottle literally fell out of his mouth in shock when he saw the tree. He stared at it, pointing and opening and closing his mouth, for a minute or two. Then he proceeded to ask, "Issit?" over and over for the next hour pointing to individual lights and twigs of the tree. I dutifully sat on the couch beside the tree with him in my lap for the whole hour replying appropriately, "That is a red light. That is a branch of the Christmas tree. That is still a branch of the Christmas tree. That is a green light. That is a blue light. That is yet another branch of the Christmas tree. That is a yellow light. Yes that is even yet another part of the Christmas tree..." I don't feel it was an hour wasted. :) It was a wonderful dreamy hour with one kid in my lap and one on the floor at my feet just enjoying the Christmas tree together. That right there makes it worth the price of buying a tree.

If you have a sweet, cute, or funny Toddler (or kid) story, I'd love it if you'd share it! :)
If you would like to post a Toddler Tales Tuesday on your blog, please just leave a link back to my blog in your post so people can see where you got the idea. You may leave a link to your post in my Linky below on the condition that you also post a comment! No link-and-runs please! ;)
If you don't have a blog or would prefer it, you may share your toddler tales here in the comments.

Monday, December 7, 2009


It's snowing! It's so beautiful! I love snow but where I live (pretty much a small valley of paradise in the middle of a desert) it's rare for it to stick and rarer still for it to get deep enough to have to shovel. The soft graceful way the snow floats and swirls before landing lightly on every upward surface like lace, then like a fresh coat of paint, and finally a thick coating of fluffy frosting on the trees and rooftops.

Underneath the snow, everything is cold and dead and lifeless, but then there is the beautiful lacey snow covering all the lifelessness and imperfections that are glaringly obvious without this white blanket of hope. What some people do not know about snow is that the plants that appear so dead in winter actually NEED that beautiful covering of snow to be able to survive and bloom again in spring! Like Eskimos take refuge in igloos of snow, so the leafless vegitation takes refuge under a blanket of snow. The snow helps it not to freeze too deeply into the earth that all the plants would die, and it brings nutrients to the soil, and protects it from becoming churned up mud from the feet of people and animals. While it may all seem dead under there, it's really just a season, a time of sleeping under the protection of the snowy quilt until God sends a whisper of spring to breathe new life into the world.

For a while this morning, watching the snow fall, I was so struck by the beauty that I couldn't put it into words. Forgive me as I bumblingly try to do so now. No words could ever paint as beautiful a picture as the truth of the Christ blanketing His bride in the pure white of forgiveness made possible by a virgin birth and sinless life. No words can do justice to the amazing joy of a forgiven soul blooming into beautiful spring in love for their Saviour, or bearing the fruits of a heart dedicated to Him! And when the harvest time comes, what unspeakable beauty and joy to be gathered into Heaven to be with our Beloved for all eternity!

I think that we all go through seasons in our lives. Winters of trials and springs of hope, and summers of growth and autumns of fruitfullness. My family is going through a winter right now. Mom, if you read this know that I love you and I'm praying for you!

So I'm sitting by the window watching the sun break through and shine on the snow like diamonds, and trying to soak in the peace of it all to quell the chaos in my emotions.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Little Help Please? (UPDATED)

I need your help finding a mystery song from my childhood! When I was a child we had a tape of Christmas songs and I sang this one for a Christmas program:

"How I wish that I could have been there when,
The shepherds and the angels came to worship Him,
What a joyful night it was in Bethlehem,
How I wish that I could have been there then.

How I wish that I could have heard His cry,
And listen to His mother sing a lullaby,
As He lay there sleeping 'neath the starry sky,
How I wish that I could have heard His cry!

I would give anything
to have heard the angels sing
'Glory in the Highest!' to the newborn King...

How I wish that I could have been there when,
The shepherds and the angels came to worship Him,
What a joyful night it was in Bethlehem,
How I wish that I could have been there then...

...and yet...
In my heart I've been
Time and time again! "

Can anyone help me? I would like to know the name of the tape it was on so I can try to find it for my own kids.

It was little kids singing it. I think I might remember a couple other songs on it too...

There was one about the Cristmas tree. I only remember part of it;
"Green is a sign that
will always remind us
The Father has an everlasting love
A color so gay that
no matter how gray that
the world may seem we still have plenty of

It might have had Away In A Manger on it too. There are more that are just stuck in the deep dark recesses of my memory and I can't find them at the moment. This tape would have been pretty old - I think I was 11 the year I sang the one song (that would have been 1994) and we'd had the tape for years already. If I think of any other songs that were on the tape I'll add them...

UPDATE: It was called 20 Christmas Songs for Kids. It was copyrighted 1988 THE BENSON COMPANY (Benson Music/ Brentwood-Benson) and contained the songs "Little Packages," "We've Got News For You!" "How I Wish," "Snowflake," "Evergreen," "Away In a Manger," "Go Tell It On The Mountain," "Christmas Bell," "Happy Birthday To You," "The Greatest Gift Of All" and 10 more. I wish I had better news: It was a really sweet album. I wonder if we all who are looking for it were to contact the company and for a re-release if they would do it? Click on the name to email or use the phone number and phone them. Perhaps the squeaky wheels will get the grease, as my mom used to say. :)
**UPDATE AGAIN: I got a response back from someone at Benson who told me to buy the tape on Amazon and have someone convert it to CD.