Jennifer’s Top Five List: #4

December 3, 2012

Traditional #4: We Three Kings, St. Peter’s Choir
I don’t think I’ve come across a version I don’t like of this song. Some of my favorites are Michael Smith, Anne Murray, Mannheim Steamroller…too many great versions to pick one from!

I couldn’t find a version from St. Peter’s Choir, but this another really pretty one from the choir of Kings College, Cambridge.

Nontraditional #4: A Soldier’s King, Kenny Rogers


Emilie’s Top Christmas Songs

November 27, 2012

Jennifer’s list of favorite Christmas songs will prove quite impressive and well-researched, I’m sure.  Don’t get your hopes too high for mine.  Mostly it’s because I love Christmas carols and if I’m honest, the versions that still stir my heart the most are the ones from my “Wee Sing Christmas” cassette that I memorized around age four.  They are, amazingly enough, not on YouTube for your listening pleasure!

I’m also not a big fan of most contemporary Christmas pieces.  It runs in the family, let me tell you.  Around the holidays, I crave tradition, “the way it always was,” be it food, decorations, or music.  But there are a few new songs I’ve discovered that I enjoy, so they’ll come alongside my favorite carols.

(Unlike Jennifer’s, mine aren’t really in a particular order.)

Julie Andrews is my all-time favorite celebrity of any sort, and I could listen to her music all day long.  Her Christmas album from 1973 is often playing in my house this time of year, and I particularly like her version of O Come, All Ye Faithful

I don’t care for Meet Me in St. Louis and Judy Garland isn’t my favorite, but I’ve always liked this melancholy little song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  I even provided piano accompaniment one Christmas in high school for a friend who sang it as a solo in a choir concert.

Jennifer’s Top Five List: #5

November 26, 2012

And here we go: Jennifer’s countdown to her favorite Christmas songs! Join me and share your favorite Christmas songs with me!

Traditional #5: Little Drummer Boy, Celtic Women
There are so many versions of this song that I like it’s hard to pick out my favorite.

Nontraditional #5: Eyes of a Child, Air Supply
Another one from Air Supply. I first heard this song years ago and just fell in love with it. It’s on their Christmas album.

Jennifer’s Top Five List: Runner Ups

November 23, 2012

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!  I do love getting together with the family and cooking a good meal and then just hanging out and watching football.  I also love the Friday after because I can officially start all the Christmas music up in my play lists (though I’ve had some playing already!)  I love Christmas time. Love the traditions, the songs, love church time during advent, love spending time with family…I just love this time of year. I thought it would be fun to share my favorite traditional and nontraditional Christmas songs with you over the next month.

I’m going to start this week with my “runner ups.” Then next week I’ll start counting up from five and Christmas week I’ll end with my favorite holiday song in each category. I invite you to share your own favorites as well!

Traditional Runner Up: Go Tell it on the Mountain, Anne Murray

(Anne Murray’s Mary’s Boy Child was a really close runner up too!)

Nontraditional Runner Up: Love is All, Air Supply

Vintage Valentine’s Day Cards

February 13, 2012

Even though I’m a Valentine’s Day Scrooge, I decided to post photos of cards from the past. I had fun looking at old cards, many of which were geared toward children. (Does anyone else remember the embarrassment of passing out Valentine’s cards in your elementary school class?) There were also some cards that were so incredibly racist that I wouldn’t even think of posting them here. Times have definitely changed, thank goodness!

Anyway, hope your Valentine’s Day is everything you want it to be. 😀

Europe is Old…

January 26, 2012

…and I say that with the utmost respect!

My sister is doing a year of service work in Europe this year, so for Christmas, instead of flying her home, my parents decided we’d go out there to see her. We took on quite an ambitious itinerary for a ten day trip. It was dubbed the “Christmas Mart Vacation.” Our travel corresponded with the schedules of the different Christmas Marts.

Marienplatz and all the booths of the Christmas Mart.

We started off in Munich, Germany. Munich, the third largest city in Germany, is the capital city of Bavaria and is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. The year 1158 is the earliest date the city is mentioned in a document and hence assumed to be its founding date. 1158—That’s still over 300 years before America is discovered! At the center of the city is the Marienplatz—a large open square named after the Mariensäuke, a Marian column in its center—with the Old and New Town Hall. This is the location of the Kris Kringle Mart. I love Munich’s Mart, for the German food (I ate my way from booth to booth pretty much), the hand-made German crafts (most especially their straw ornaments a traditional German ornament you’ll find on most of the trees in all the German churches), and for its atmosphere of good cheer.

From there we moved on to Salzburg, Austria. I’ve been to Salzburg before, but it was in the summer and when I was younger, so I didn’t have many memories of it. The markets were neat. They didn’t have the atmosphere of the German marts, but it was still fun to walk around them and there was a stall that made the most amazing linzer pretzel cookies. HUGE! DELICIOUS! COOKIES! I really liked walking around the town and just soaking in the history. It’s so amazing when you walk through a graveyard and the dates on the headstones go back to the 10th century or even earlier.

In Salzburg...with my dad being silly. The water/fountain in the back ground was a watering and bathing place for horses in eariler centuries.

Life size mascot...I had to get my picture with Ljubljana's Dragon.

Third on the whirlwind vacation was Ljubljana, Slovenia. This was my first time visiting Slovenia, and I’d like to go back in the summer and just spend a whole week or two exploring the country. There was a charm about Ljubljana (the capital) that I wasn’t expecting for a large city. Their Christmas Market was quite extensive and very different from Germany, but unique, with its own personality. We took a walking tour of the old city, which I’d highly recommend it. Ljubjana’s city symbol is the Dragon, which symbolizes power, courage, and greatness. It’s depicted on the top of the tower of the Ljubljana Castle, on the coat of arms and on the Ljubljanaica crossing Dragon Bridge.

To split up the very, very, very long drive from Slovenia to Belgium, we stopped in Rothenburg, Germany for a night. I love this medieval town, and since I have a post about it planned for the near future, I’ll hold off on mentioning any more at the moment.

The next day was a seven hour drive to Bruges, Belgium for two nights. Bruges was fun to just walk around and soak in all the medieval architecture. One of my favorite spots had to be the Church of Our Lady. I have to say it was impressive! The church dates mainly from the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries. Its tower is 401.2 feet high making it the tallest structure in the city and the second tallest brickwork tower in the world.

Finally, we ended up in Brussels, Belgium on our last day. Chocolate! Really, really good chocolate! Brussels started as a 10th-century fortress town that was founded by a descendant of Charlemagne and grew into a metropolis of more than one million inhabitants. It’s a bustling city. And really does feel like a city compared to the smaller and quainter Bruges. We had about half a day in Brussels that we spent walking around and just taking in the city square and walking the very expansive Christmas markets.

It was a treat to spend ten days exploring all the “old” of Europe. One of these days I’m going to write a novel set in Europe! I want to take some of this history and make it part of one of my stories. I do love Europe!

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Results of the Gingerbread Contest

December 20, 2010

For all that were wondering…I got a call this afternoon and our Gingerbread Gristmill won the OSV Building category AND the Best of Show category!  Audry and I had a blast making it and are so glad so many people enjoyed it!