"May the odds be ever in your favor."- Effie Trinket

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Countdown, Day 10, 17 days left

Wow!! It's already the 9th!! How many people have heard the song, We wish you a merry Christmas when they say
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer

Well, two years ago I wanted to make a fancy dessert for Christmas and I ended up making Figgy Pudding...
12 plump dried Calymyrna figs, snipped into small pieces
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dark rum
1/3 cup cognac or brandy
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 (packed) cup brown sugar
2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (made from about 8 inches of baguette)
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup brandy, cognac or rum, to flame the pudding (optional)

Well, actually I don't know why it's called pudding, it's actually more of a bread!! It requires SO many strange ingredients that it is really quite expensive and since it has spirits in it probably is not something you would make with a child in mind...however last year I made homemade donuts and "reindeer poop" and I can say that I liked those two things SOOO much better!!!  Have you guys ever tried any of those desserts? What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Countdown, Day 9, 18 days left!!

What would you ask Santa if you could interview him?? Email me your answer to:addy@addelynn.com and I will post them on my blog!! Or maybe a letter to Santa?? Also, through my blog I want to try to start an editorial called Dear Addy! If you have a question, same thing: email it to me!! Or, if you have a special Christmas tradition or anyting related to Christmas during the Countdown...PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know!! Or any ideas or posts that you would like to see on my blog just let me know!! Because this IS a reader's blog;-)
Today, my Christmas List:

iTunes gift card
Insulated Water bottle from Scheels
Slammers things!
Wall iPod charger
Under armour items
A hawkeye sweatshirt(I cant believe I dont have 1!!!)
A pretty flash drive!
Beyonce Documentary
Barnes n' noble gift card
Whats your Christmas List or hanukkah List? Or just something in general that you would like to get??
NOTE: I did not post my list because I am asking you to get me anything:-P

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Day 9, 19 days left!

To continue my tradition of lists...I have realized that Christmas trees can be SO pretty!! So here is my list of the top 10 most prettiest Christmas trees!

(The annual D.C. Christmas tree. Each state makes an ornament to put on the tree. One year I made a couple ornaments for Iowa to put on it!)


Which tree is your favorite??

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Day 8, 20 days left!

So, the biggest part of the holiday season is of course, the songs!! Today, I bring you some of the most popular songs sung by some of my favorite celebs!
Josh Groban, I'll be Home for Christmas

What I like about this song is that it is dedicated to military families and at the end of his usual song(I don't know if it is on here) but he has a couple of soldiers say their names and infantry and what not. I think that is SO cool!

But of course! My Grandma got run over by a Reindeer
Love this song!(don't take that the wrong way Grandma!!)

I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus

This is another funny X-mas song! Seems to go along with the song above. Now they just need to have a Christmas song with a)A dad b)an aunt or c)a grandpa!

Feliz Navidad     How many of you have seen the Taco Bell commercials where they sing this song? I started watching those when I was four and I would go to preschool and sing it ALL day!! Love!

This is Bing Crosby's White Christmas. I would say that this song is probably my favorite Christmas song non-traditional! Very pretty!

This is THE #1 song you will hear on the radio during Christmas time! I don't know why it's so popular...but it is!

The one line in this song that I remember is "So hurry down the Chimney tonight!"

Please comment below with you're favorite Christmas song!! I will also have a poll that you can vote on too! Only 20 days left folks!! Btw- DON'T DON'T DON'T forget to feed my fishies!!! They are very hungry because all day they have to stare at my post of the Christmas cookies and cupcakes!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Day 7, 21 days left!

How's everybody doing on the challenge?? Are you looking for a way to maybe bribe Santa this Christmas? Well you're in luck!!  Here are the most beautiful and crafty Christmas cookies! If you want to thank me for giving you inspiration on your Christmas cookies....I would LOVE to sample one as well;-)

 And if you're sick of tradition, I am sure Santa wouldn't mind of you left him these gorgeous cupcakes!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Day 6, 22 days left!! CHALLENGE

OKay folks!! This is SO much different then what I have EVER done on my blog!! I am assigning a CHALLENGE!!! You have until December 20th to memorize the first four paragraphs of The Night Before Christmas poem:Twas the Night before Christmas Poem
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.
When you are done memorizing it, get a video of it and either send it to me(via email:addy@addelynn.com) or recite it to me in person(maybe at school) and I will get a video of it.
THE WINNER: The person who can memorize these four paragraphs and recite them to me will get a full post on my blog about how great they are!;-) BONUS: If you are really competitve and want to go for the extra oomph that might make you win you can 1. Memorize more of the poem or 2. get it done BEFORE the deadline!!! I wish everybody luck and I want to see those videos start to roll in!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Day 5, 23 days left

So yesterday we talked about traditions! One of my MOST FAVORITE traditions is to read Christmas books! One time I remember I went to the public library to check out ALL of their books on Santa! Another time on Christmas cooking! Every year another one of my family traditions is to read a christmas fiction book starting on December 1st!! We usually never finish the book and falter out with reading it on the 12th but it still is fun! Some titles that we have read are: A season of gifts; By Richard Peck, Diary of a wimpy kid; Cabin fever;By Jeff Kinney, and The White House, White out(A to Z mysteries); By Ron Roy. So I decided to share with you some of the great books about Christmas and other holidays at The Lemme Library and the Iowa City Public Library!

1.Book Cover African American holiday celebrations and traditions : celebrating with passion, style, and grace
Broussard, Antoinette.
Summary:Holidays are a time when people put differences aside and join together in celebration. Christmas especially brings celebrants home to family and to their own personal history, convictions, and deepest connections. Other days are meaningful, too: Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and New Year's.
2.Book Cover Celebration games : physical activities for every month / Barb Wnek
Make every day a cause for celebration with Celebration Games! This book provides a calendar year's worth of fun games and activities—all designed to get 5- to 12-year-olds excited about physical activity. Included are 68 physical fitness activities, skills, games, and rhythm and dance activities, each based on a specific holiday or seasonal theme.
Whether it's Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, or Kwanzaa, every occasion offers a new opportunity to build a child's knowledge of health and wellness. Innovative yet easy to implement, the activities use common equipment and supplies and may be adapted easily to various grade or skill levels. In addition to teaching kids important health concepts, you'll also uncover opportunities to tie in lessons on history and diversity. Ideas for family events are also included to get everyone involved.
For more than 25 years, author Barb Wnek has strived to foster healthy attitudes in children. Now, she brings you the same creative ideas that won her acclaim as one of Dole's Creative 5 A Day Teachers of the Year. Based on decades of testing in summer camps and public schools, Celebration Games makes teaching fun for both you and your kids by turning every activity into a special event.

3.Book Cover  Religious holidays and calendars : an encyclopedic handbook / edited by Karen Bellenir.

4.Cover image   Hanukkah


5.A Season of GiftsA Season of Gifts

Summary:  The return of one of children's literature's most memorable characters is a gift indeed.

The eccentric, forceful, big-hearted Grandma Dowdel is the star of the Newbery Medal-winning A Year Down Yonder and Newbery Honor-winning A Long Way from Chicago. And it turns out that her story isn't over - not even close.

It is now 1958, and a new family has moved in next door to Mrs. Dowdel: a Methodist minister and his wife and kids. Soon Mrs. Dowdel will work her particular brand of charm - or medicine, depending on who you're asking - on all of them: ten-yearold Bob, who is shy on courage in a town full of bullies; his two fascinating sisters; and even Bob's two parents, who are amazed to discover that the last house in town might also be the most vital.

As Christmas rolls around, the Barnhart family realizes that they've found a true home - and a neighbor who gives gifts that will last a lifetime.

6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series #6)

I personally read this book myself yesterday and I was really surprised at how funny it was! I mean it IS a Diary of a Wimpy kid book...but I thought since it was Jeff Kinney's 6th book it wouldn't be funny! But boy, did he prove me wrong!!! Check it out, makes for a great Christmas present!

7.The White-House White out(A to Z mysteries)White House White-out (A to Z Mysteries: Super Edition, #3)
IT’S A SNOWY December in Washington, D.C., and Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are there to see the sights. While they’re admiring the White House, they meet the president’s stepdaughter, KC, and her friend, Marshall. Soon, in the confusion of all the people decorating the White House for Christmas, the president’s dog, Natasha, goes missing! The kids set out to find her, but it’s not going to be easy. The area is still crowded with decorators, it’s getting dark, and all five of them risk getting caught in a monster snowstorm!

That's all for now, folks! See ya tomorrow for more Christmas!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Day 4, 25 days left!! Happy 1st!

Today is the annual start to my family's advent "calendar"(it's more of a box). A tradition in our house is to do this advent(let's just call it a box) from December 1st-24th. What we do: My mom(or dad) puts a clue in the box of the day that it is(i.e. today would be box 1) and us kids read the clue and figure out where the clue is having us go to...once we do that we go to the room(obviously) and in the room is our "present of the day". Sometimes the present is a "share" present meaning that the present is for all of us. But sometimes we have ones to ourselves, some yearly presents are the homemade gift from mom(years past: quilts, shower tote...those are the two I can remember.) every year we get socks, a book and just some things that we might've asked for! It is a ton of fun and is making memories, it is something to pass down the generations!! Do you guys have any holiday traditions? Btw- thought I would share this pic!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Countdown:Day 3, 26 days left

Okay! So today I present to you a SUPER cute idea with inspiration from http://thecraftpatch.blogspot.com/. It starts with a picture:Each 12 days of Christmas there is a treat that go along with a story...Below is the link to the story along with the candy number the story goes along with:
Day 1:A Christmas Family(red envelope filled with chocolate coins)
Day 2:Rudolph--that amazing reindeer(reindeer marshmallows)
Day 3:An older brother's gift(candy book)
Day 4:The other wise man(candy ring"jewels")Btw-the website for the story doesn't work:-(
Day 5:Christmas day in the morning(cow tales)
Day 6: In Shepherd's Field (pooping sheep)
Day 7:
The Christmas Orange (chocolate orange)
Day 8:
A Christmas Gift For Jesus (chocolate dollars)
Day 9:
Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect (Peep Christmas trees)
Day 10:
Christmas On The Rhine (gingerbread men)
Day 11:
A Brother Like That (race car candies)

And then wrap the candy up individually, print off and roll up the story for that day and attach a tag that says what day the "present" is supposed to be opened. Like this:
A neat touch to the craft would be to include a poem:

We thought this present would be good
to get you in the Christmas mood.
Each day there's a story,
they're all really neat.
Along with each story
comes a special treat.
Open each package one by one
We hope it brings lots of Christmas fun!

Guess what?! Tomorrow's December 1st!!! Happy December everyone;-)


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Christmas Countdown:Day 2, 27 days left

Are you ready for some true Christmas magic? Well this Summer I read Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul and I read a short story in it that really got to me! I thought that it would be appropriate for the Christmas Countdown, so here goes:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 NIV
For three days a fierce winter storm had traveled 1,500 miles across the North Pacific from Alaska, packing gale-force winds and torrential rains. In the Sierra Nevadas to the east, the snow was piling up and would offer great skiing once the storm had passed.
In the foothills of the Sierras in the town of Grass Valley, California, the streets were flooded, and in some parts of town, the power was off where trees had blown down. At the small church, the heavy rain and high winds beat against the windows with a violence that Father O’Malley had never before heard.
In his tiny bedroom, O’Malley was laboriously writing Sunday’s sermon by candlelight. Out of the darkness, the phone in his office rang, shattering his concentration. He picked up the candle, and with his hand cupped in front of it, ambled down the hall in a sphere of dim flickering light.
As he picked up the phone, a voice quickly asked, “Is this Father O’Malley?”
“I’m calling from the hospital in Auburn,” said a concerned female voice. “We have a terminally ill patient who is asking us to get someone to give him his last rites. Can you come quickly?”
“I’ll try my best to make it,” O’Malley answered. “But the river is over its banks, and trees are blown down all over town. It’s the worst storm I’ve seen in all the years I’ve been here. Look for me within two hours.”
The trip was only 30 miles, but it would be hard going. The headlights on Father O’Malley’s 20-year-old car barely penetrated the slashing rain, and where the winding road crossed and recrossed the river in a series of small bridges, trees had blown down across the river’s banks. But for some reason, there was always just enough room for Father O’Malley to make his way around them. His progress was slow and cautious, but he continued on toward the hospital.
Not a single vehicle passed him during his long, tense journey. It was way past midnight, and anyone else out on a night like this would also have to be on an emergency mission.
Finally, in the near distance, the lights of the small hospital served as a beacon to guide O’Malley for the last 500 yards, and he hoped he had arrived in time. He parked behind the three other cars in the parking lot to avoid as much wind as possible, slipped into the right-hand seat and awkwardly wrestled his way into his raincoat before stepping out into the wind-whipped deluge.
With his tattered Bible tucked deep inside his overcoat pocket, O’Malley forced the car door open, stepped out and then leaned into the wind. Its power almost bowled him over, and he was nearly blown away from the hospital entrance.
Once inside, the wind slammed the hospital door shut behind him, and as he was shaking the water from his coat, he heard footsteps headed his way. It was the night nurse.
“I’m so glad you could get here,” she said. “The man I called you about is slipping fast, but he is still coherent. He’s been an alcoholic for years, and his liver has finally given out. He’s been here for a couple of weeks this time and hasn’t had one single visitor. He lives up in the woods, and no one around here knows much about him. He always pays his bill with cash and doesn’t seem to want to talk much. We’ve been treating him off and on for the last couple of years, but this time it’s as though he’s reached some personal decision and has given up the fight.”
“What’s your patient’s name?” O’Malley asked.
“The hospital staff has just been calling him Tom,” she replied.
In the soft night-light of the room, Tom’s thin sallow countenance looked ghostlike behind a scraggly beard. It was as though he had stepped over the threshold and his life was already gone.
“Hello, Tom. I’m Father O’Malley. I was passing by and thought we could talk a bit before you go to sleep for the night.”
“Don’t give me any of that garbage,” Tom replied. “You didn’t just stop by at 3:30 in the morning. I asked that dumb night nurse to call someone to give me my last rites because I know my deal is done and it’s my turn to go. Now get on with it.”
“Patience,” said Father O’Malley, and he began to say the prayers of the last rites.
After the “Amen,” Tom perked up a bit, and he seemed to want to talk.
“Would you like to make your confession?” O’Malley asked him.
“Absolutely not,” Tom answered. “But I would like to just talk with you a bit, before I go.”
And so Tom and Father O’Malley talked about the Korean War, and the ferocity of the winter storm, and the knee-high grass and summer blossoms that would soon follow.
Occasionally, during the hour or so before daylight, Father O’Malley would ask Tom again, “Are you sure you don’t want to confess anything?”
After a couple of hours, and after about the fourth or fifth time that Father O’Malley asked the same question, Tom replied, “Father, when I was young, I did something that was so bad that I’ve never told anyone about it. It was so bad that I haven’t spent a single day since without thinking about it and reliving the horror.”
“Don’t you think it would be good for you to tell me about it?” O’Malley asked.
“Even now, I still can’t talk about what I did,” Tom said. “Even to you.”
But as the first gray light of dawn crept into the room and began to form shadows, Tom sadly said, “Okay. It’s too late for anyone to do anything to me now, so I guess I might as well tell you.”
“I worked as a switchman on the railroad all my life, until I retired a few years ago and moved up here to the woods. Thirty-two years, two months and 11 days ago, I was working in Bakersfield on a night kind of like tonight.”
Tom’s face became intense as the words began to tumble out. “It happened during a bad winter storm with a lot of rain, 50-mile-an-hour winds and almost no visibility. It was two nights before Christmas and to push away the gloom, the whole yard crew drank all through the swing shift. I was drunker than the rest of them, so I volunteered to go out in the rain and wind and push the switch for the northbound 8:30 freight.”
Tom’s voice dropped almost to a whisper as he went on. “I guess I was more drunk than I thought I was because I pushed that switch in the wrong direction. At 45 miles an hour that freight train slammed into a passenger car at the next crossing and killed a young man, his wife and their two daughters.
“I have had to live with my being the cause of their deaths every day since then.”
There was a long moment of silence as Tom’s confession of this tragedy hung in the air. After what seemed like an eternity, Father O’Malley gently put his hand on Tom’s shoulder and said very quietly, “If I can forgive you, God can forgive you, because in that car were my mother, my father and my two older sisters.”
Warren Miller

Monday, November 28, 2011

Countdown to Christmas!

With there being                                                                                       But who's counting?(me!)

I have decided to do a post that has to do with Christmas every day until the wonderful celebration!!
So...to kick off the Christmas Countdown I am going to start with some of the cutest Christmas crafts(brought by....PINTEREST!!)

1.reindeer noses saying for candy    Reindeer Noses

2. Have a holly      Haha!

3.      "Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!"

4.We could all use a little extra      Secret Santa : We could all use some "dough" this time of year!

5.We wash you a merry Xmas!      Soap, we "wash" you a Merry Christmas this year!

6. Popping by to wish you a merry xmas     "Popping" to wish you a Merry Christmas! Popcorn, get it?!?

7.Christmas Treat Ideas    "Twizz" the season to be jolly!

8.   And of course the legendary, Reindeer Poop!

See you tomorrow for Christmas Countdown!