Monday, February 29, 2016

What I'm Into~ Books, Movies, Links, Plus Years Past on the Blog: February 2016 edition


I've been  devouring Anne's writing over  
at Modern Mrs Darcy for some time now, which
is how I learned of a few new authors and refreshing new blogs...
well, new to me...........!
And isn't this one of the great things about the blogosohere?
The rabbit holes we follow can certainly evaporate our precious time, 
but once in a while, we hit paydirt, right?
And clicking through a number of Anne's links,  I stumbled onto
 Leigh's What I'm Into monthly reflection  and
 I'm so happy to join in for the first time!
Also, loving jumping into Carolyn's very first Open Book party
THANKS for stopping by for my spin on what we've been 
reading, watching, doing, living
and fun things I've discovered - or rediscovered -  recently.


...........as well as a look back at the blog this month and in years past.
So thanks for stopping in~ !

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What I'm Reading~~

The  absolutely gripping series by Susan Wiggs, Lake shore Chronicles.
Oh. my.

Product Details
Since I'm a series binge reader I needed something...... and fast.....
 to fill the void left behind
when I completed Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove series.
Lakeshore does it. Start here. Trust me.

What we're reading in our homeschool~~

Wow, way too much to even include here...
BUT
we're on a Ray Bradbury roll and even though life is short,
we're rereading Tolkein. Just because.
Also~~~
the jaw dropping series, The Ascendance Trilogy.
DO you know it? It's classic YA and very well done.
 Start with The False Prince.

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What we're watching~~
This weekend, a classic film with the family!
We love love love John Wayne and Kirk Douglas.
Who doesn't right?
Wow.....this is a must-watch, folks!
As ife need more testosterone around here.....




What I'm watching~~
My guilty pleasure.......
My Queens born and bred soul
( until I moved out east to LI and the land of entitlement but that's another story)
 loves this show:
Tom Selleck, classic shots of NY, not-so-subtle hints of Roman Catholicism??



What's not to love?
You know it: Blue Bloods.


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Don't - miss gems from around the web~ 
Near and dear to my heart?
Dyslexia advocacy. 
I write about it. I research it. 
I watch my amazing son navigate it.
Still astounding to me are the many  myths and general misconceptions 
that surround this hereditary, neurological difference.
By the way, did you know that dyslexia affects 1 in 10 people in America? 
Yes ONE in TEN. Just think about that. 
The read  this.

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Two of my favorite things?
The Bard and The Doctor.
My do and I are rewatching season 4, The Doctor Donna era
( my fave of all!) and wound up of course at this class Comic Relief skit.
I've shared this before, but it absolutely bears repetition.
If you're a Shakespeare fan or a Whovian or both, you've already seen this. 
Here: watch it again...I dare you not to repeat the skit word for word.......
 or fall off the couch laughing.
If you haven't seen this one, you're in for a treat..........

               

You know I aim to please ( ....and to turn you Whovian......! )

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This month on the blog~






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Image result for picture of the book ablazeThis time last year on the blog~




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On the blog two years ago~


                               


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On the blog, three years ago~




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Happy Leap Day~~ !

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:


                                                                       
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Until next time,

~Chris

This post contains my amazon affiliate link, 
which means if you click to amazon through my blog
 and make a purchase, 
I will receive, at no cost to you, a tiny percentage of the sale price.
So, thank you!

Post dividers: Plumose Lane 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Five Minute Friday ~ Lenten "Limit" 2/12/16

Welcome friends ......
Seems the only blogging I'm doing these  few weeks
is with Kate's FMF tribe of writers....thrilled to take part...
Thank you  for, the prompt and the community to spend just five minutes writing...
no editing in or overthinking...
Just  writing.

GO:
It is our emptiness and lowliness that God needs, and not our plenitude.
Mother Teresa

There is no limit  to what we can accomplish ... 
when we let it all go and leave it with God...
leave the worry, the cares, the questions, the decisions.
Along this journey of 40 days, this dark night of the soul, 
the only limit to
  doing for our brothers, coming closer to the Lord and walking
hand in hand  through the dessert with our Savior is....what?
Will it be fear? Distraction? Drama of the day?
Or will we accept the irrefutable love of the cross...
will we lean into it, enveloping ourselves into it...this miracle....
This love which is the only thing which can take down Satan and make us whole
I once believed my being full.......yet without Him, no.
It was  emptiness., limiting, binding.

Dust you are and to dust you will return.
Genesis 3:19


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 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:
  
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Until next time,


~Chris







Friday, February 5, 2016

Five Minute Friday~ Winter Wonderland "Focus" 2/5/16


Falling snow, gusts of hipping wind....
Emerging from under a blanket of winter's drapery~~ 

overnight drifts and glitter~~



coating the shrubs, weighting them down~~ 


encasing the branches in  icy crystals~~


trees swathed in winter's gifts~~ 


Grey, darkening skies, uninviting.
The stuff of a Jack London novel and unyielding nature of the outdoors.
Giant trees bend and a biting wind blows ... 
My magnolia~~~  decorated for winter tide months before 
pink blossoms emerge and embellish


The sun's attempt to warm the air after the vicious chill.....


.... but is now just a spark, a glimmer dancing between boughs.







Soon, night envelops and wraps nature in its chilling, austere quiet.




Hearts capturing the cold, the frost, the icy chill, the bitter beauty, the artistry,
and we enter into home and  safety,  love.
The "focus" of the family and the heart of our home........  

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I'm SO happy to join Kate's FMF party....
please click over and enjoy... xoxoxo

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:
  
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Until next time,


~Chris

Monday, February 1, 2016

Our Avatar: The Last Airbender Party! Invitations, Decor, Food, Cake, Favors

Well, it's been over a month since we celebrated my youngest's 13th birthday
with an Avatar party...yikes, where does the  time gone? 
It was t-o-n-s of fun....tons!
Now that the holidays are over and we've more or less settled into
a "routine," I've  finally  gotten myself together to blog the party
 details and share the enjoyment.....
So thanks for stopping by for the scoop on the Airbending party!
Do you know Aang and friends?
Surprisingly,  people of all ages are drawn to the gripping drama,
injected with humorous bytes and a  will-good-prevail-over-evil  story line
which chronicles element bending and Aang's journey,
flanked by Katara and Sokka, who protect him on his quest to save the 
world from the Evil Fire nation.
The Avatar  pop culture phenom is based on a short lived
TV series with an anime, southeast  Asia-like influence on its  setting and characters.
And by the way, we're not talking Avatar, the blue-people movie-----
which my family and I have never seen --
we're all about these pre teen protagonists and their hybrid animal friends:


Because my younger son.....the birthday boy.......
  enjoys the  Avatar TV series sooooo much,
Santa surprised him with the entire series on DVD!!
.......aaaaaaand a playstation game
                  

This is one kid who LOVES that he has a Christmas  birthday, by the way. 
He is soooooooo enjoying these Avatar treasures, as we allow limited video/
video game time......

So here goes...let me take you through the party, from plans to favors:

~ The  Invitation~ 



Should you be holding an Avatar themed gathering, you're welcome to 
copy, paste, use in its entirety if you like.
If it's easier, I'd be happy to email you a copy to edit in your own info
and change text and pictures to your liking.

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     ~ The Decorations ~
Since each  of the Four Avatar Nations is recognized  by its own color,
we placed several balloon bunches in these 
symbolic colors  around the house. :

For example, the colors represent~
 the Water tribe (blue )
the Earth Kingdom ( green )
the Fire Nation ( red ) 
the Air Nomads ( yellow ) Also, since the party was held on Thanksgiving weekend, 
you might be able to see our
pilgrim statue gracing the entryway.

I'm a big fan of lights lights lights whatever the season. 
Hence the mini white Christmas lights on the banister 
 which I have scattered throughout the house and yard throughout the year.

And here's my son with  more balloon bunches in the Avatar color scheme,
along with signs made by banner letters
that  we purchased and attached with  paper fasteners.
Above: "Avatar the Last Airbender"
Below: "Lucky 13 "



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~ The Treats ~

All of the food and drink represented characters, setting and plot of the Avatar series~ 
(fireballs from Dollar Tree) 
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The birthday boy made these using white melting chocolates,
blue melting chocolates and a ship mold that I bought in a 
candy supply store about a million years ago!

A few shots of the candy kitchen in progress~~~

           


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Twizzlers, cut and  bent to look boomerang-ish  and dipped in melted chocolate 

                 


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Gummy Bears 

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Animal crackers, bought at the local supermarket 

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Marshmallows rolled and dipped in melted chocolate.
Super yum, especially roasted at the firepit! 
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Ok, the arrows are a bit hard to see here.....
We baked and iced an arsenal of mini cupcakes and then decorated with
blue "dot" sprinkles to represent the arrow on Anng's head~~

Here's what we used~~~ 

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You could buy pirouette cookies, but we bought these 
cookie sticks in cylinders a the Dollar Tree!
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Pretty, huh?
Luckily for us, there's a jello  color for each  Avatar nation! 


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Doritos just happen to be fan-shaped.....
We bought the cool ranch flavor!

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A couple of shots of the "party table"............


To light up the night, we hung a few colored strings of LED bulbs
 and lit pillar candles, again staying with the four color theme.



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~The  Fun~





Fire pit and friends.
I'm  intentionally posting images that are a bit unclear. 
I'm fine with my own child's picture out there, but many may not be.....

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~The cake~

The  cake has to be the centerpiece of the party, right?
Well, the birthday boy had an image of how he wanted the cake to be 
and since he so enjoys baking and creating confections for any occasion, 
I just followed his lead.
I have to say, we won the baby lottery when he arrived.....
he's simply a treasure to spend time with for any reason.

So...above?   The finished product.
And here are the "supplies" we used to assemble and decorate:
To show the coexistence of each nation on the others, the birthday boy wanted
four cakes stacked, each simply adorned with its symbol, 
which he created from  fondant sheets .




So once the four cakes were baked and cooled, we iced~~~~~ 

........ and cut the nations' symbols out of the sugar sheets......: 



Finding and enlarging the exact symbol to replicate is super easy,
 on any Avatar related site, as you can see.......

And voila~~~

We then wrote a message ON the white cake plate
 with the an  icing writer

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~The favors~

We bagged treats and gifts to represent each nation's "theme,"  
and highlighted  the Asian - feel of the series.


Each guest received these gorgeous chopsticks


...as well as Dentyne's "fire" gum ( representing the Fire Nation )
bottled water ( representing the water tribe)
pop rocks ( representing the Earth Kingdom )
air heads candy ( representing the Air Nomads ) 


Whew, well that was one fun party to re-live!
Thanks fo sticking with me from invites to the guests' parting gifts!  
There are numerous other party posts as well as cakes from alllllllll occasions in 

~~ This post contains my amazon affiliate link~~
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 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!
And hey:

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:


                                                                            
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

This post contains amazon affiliate links....
If you are shopping at  amazon for any item
I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....

THANK YOU!

Until next time,

~Chris