Friday, December 31, 2010

the end of 2010

What a year this has been. I cannot say I am sorry to see it go, quite the opposite. So many things have happened and changed, most of them good. But mixed in there has been a lot of emotional upheaval and I am more than ready for the new stage of this journey. It has also been a year of learning and experiencing new things.

1) I learned to play poker (and won my first game).
2) I learned to knit.
3) I learned to drive stick shift (manual transmission).
4) I became an auntie for the first time.
5) I took my first Greyhound journey.
6) I went to (and was maid of honour) in my first British wedding.
7) I went sailing for the first time.
8) I had my first cross-chanel ferry ride.
9) I cooked my first turkey.
10) I learned how to crochet.

Many other wonderful and trying things happened this year. But now I'm looking forward to what the New Year will hold.

Monday, December 20, 2010

welcome to our world

This is one of my favourite Christmas songs,

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking

How we need to hear from God.

You’ve been promised, we’ve been waiting,

Welcome Holy Child.

Welcome Holy Child.

Hope that you don’t mind our manger,

How I wish we would have known.

But long awaited Holy Stranger

Make yourself at home.

Please make yourself at home.

Bring your peace into our violence,

Bid our hungry souls be filled.

Word now breaking Heaven’s silence,

Welcome to our world.

Welcome to our world.

Fragile finger sent to heal us,

Tender brow prepared for thorn,

Tiny heart whose blood will save us,

Unto us is born.

Unto us is born.

So wrap our injured flesh around You,

Breathe our air and walk our sod.

Rob our sin and make us holy,

Perfect Son of God.

Perfect Son of God.

Welcome to our world.

by Chris Rice

Despite the snow causing major delays in the arrival of the mail all across the UK my Christmas package arrived today. It was full of wonderful and lovely things including a "Bedtime Hug" from Origins. It is the most wonderful thing ever! A large wrap filled with Lavender, Chamomile, and Rosemary that you warm up in the microwave. I frequently have pain in my shoulders and this is going to be amazing as is it large enough to wrap over my neck and shoulders all at once with soothing heat and it smells A-mazing!!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

i laughed when i saw him in spite of myself

It was snowing and I was all dressed up in Christmassy clothes and I just couldn't resist! Don't mind the poor webcamera work or how big it makes my nose look!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

walking in a winter wonderland

Tonight I got all dressed up in Christmassy colors (that's my new hat, which I made... nbd) and went out to sing in a Christmas choir. It was snowing and lovely. Then, as I walked home in the thickly falling snow, I passed Christmas carollers and was given a present (ok, the present was a tract, but it's big and pretty and fancy) and a mince pie. I sang all the way home (Winter Wonderland with James Taylor and We Wish You a Merry Christmas with Raffi) and was absolutely covered in snow. It was fantastic!!!

Remember, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing LOUD for all to hear!

This is a little ditty I made up last week when I was out in the falling snow for the first time this year:

Snow, SNow, SNOw, SNOW!
Snow on my cheeks and snow on my nose
Snow on my eyelashes, fingers, and toes.
Slipping and sliding around on the ice,
Winter and Christmas are so jolly nice!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Last time I rode the ferry these guys were on board...

And yes, the fact that they made this video and that Mariah Carey Tweeted about it was news on the BBC website...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas party

Today I went to the international student's Christmas party at BMC. I wasn't planning to go, but I received a phone call on Friday afternoon that made me feel like I didn't have that much of a choice. I wouldn't exactly say I'm glad I went. I'm nursing a cold and would have been just as happy to stay home. But it was a nice meal and I met some nice girls and had a lovely chat with the director of the college who is very nice and we got some nice gifts. I did feel it was slightly unfair as most of my prizes came from being in the group which correctly answered the most questions on the Christmas quiz the quickest. I was probably the only person in the room for whom English is not an additional language and who is from a Western country and is getting ready to celebrate my third British Christmas. I may have had just a slightly unfair advantage...Here's what I got after divvying up the spoils with my teammates. A box of Ritz crackers (!), dark chocolate covered ginger, a stuffed penguin which plays a scary version of Jingle Bells, a box of Maltesers, a box of After Eights, a pencil, a notepad, a jumpy frog, and a 2011 calendar from some gentlemen outside of the Baptist Church.

The frog and the purple crown are from my Christmas cracker and so is this joke:

Q. Who invented fireworks?
A. Some bright spark.

Ha, Ha, Ha.

my Christmas journey

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

busy, busy, busy

Said in a voice slightly reminiscent of the magician in Frosty the Snowman. (But I've been busy with happy Christmas things, not the opposite. Promise, cross my heart.) I'm out on placement this whole week, no classes at all. When I'm not at placement I've been listening to this and working on this:I can't really let you see, because it's for Christmas... Santa's Little Helper has to at least try to keep a few secrets!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

free books!!!

I just found the most amazing website which allows you to download audio books completely free! They use books that are in the public domain. You pick the book you want, click the link to have it added to iTunes as a podcast, and presto! A new book to listen to! I'm getting ready for my two eight hour bus journeys! I started with The Story Girl and The Golden Road by Lucy Maud Montgomery, two of my favourite books growing up which I haven't read for probably 13 years or more!

The website is Books Should Be Free, enjoy!

(There are a lot of exclamation points in this post... books make me SO happy!!!)

Friday, December 3, 2010

from a Christmas gone by...

Recorded December 2008

Christmas Mice

For my nephew's Christmas present and for the 3rd birthday of a little girl I used to nanny I made little stuffed mice. It was my first toy project and it was lots of fun! I know they will be given proper names by the children they belong to, but I call them Felix and Felicity.

Here are the pieces, all ready to be assembled.
Felicity wanted to see the snow.
Of course Felix did too, and it's a bit chilly on the windowsill, so he put on his scarf.
Friends Forever

Then they tried to get into my Christmas chocolate, but I stopped them just in time!

I sure hope they make the little ones smile as much as I did!

well the weather outside is frightful

Last night I laid out two pairs of thermals, a pair of knee socks and a pair of big wool socks, a tank top, a pair of jeans, my wellies, and a big wool sweater. This morning I added a long sleeved t-shirt and a third pair of socks and laid all the clothes on the radiator while I showered. I dried my hair, put it in braided pigtails, and used the hair dryer to warm up my boots. I had two pairs of gloves at the ready, a scarf, bobble hat, and waterproof coat with a hood. I packed a lunch and filled a thermos with hot tea. My nursery school had a trip to the farm planned.

I waddled to school in all my layers with sore feet because the socks made my feet too big for the wellies. All of this only to find out that the trip was canceled for fear of being snowed in at the farm.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

happy, happy, happy

So a few things that are gettin' me really excited!

1) I got a free month's trial of LoveFilm, the UK version of Netflix. It comes with two free cinema tickets and £5 worth of points on my Nectar card, which is like a store VIP card. My first movie is the animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and it will soon be on it's way!

2) When I was doing my Christmas shopping yesterday I discovered that Boots carries Vitamin Water, one of my favourite things! I also discovered that a YogaBerry lookalike is coming to Belfast soon!

3) A lady in my knitting group gave everyone coupons for a free Graze Box. Which is basically a box of healthy snacks that are delivered to your door. I've just ordered my free box to be delivered the day before I head to Scotland for Christmas. That way I can have it and a Vitamin Water on my bus journey. Isn't that just perfect?!

4) Tonight I'm heading to the first practice of the Christmas Choir at church. It's been years since I've been in a choir, and a Christmas choir is even better! I'm so excited!!!

5) When I switched over to my new computer I didn't put all my music on it. It was all stored on my external hard drive so I decided to only put on what I listen to most. (I have an exorbitant amount of music.) Well, this was a great plan until my old computer managed to corrupt the files on my hard drive so that they are no longer accessible. I thought I had lost all my music. Well, last night I discovered it in the trash of my new computer. Because it took me a while to figure out the correct/fast way to transfer the files I had a copy of my entire library in my trash. All that music, including my Christmas music, and children's music and my audio books, found again! It was a Christmas miracle!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

december 1st

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16

"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him anyone can have a whole and lasting life." - The Message