Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas!

Christmas has been a whirlwind again this year. But among all the activities there was still time for sitting quietly by the lighted Christmas tree, looking at all the outdoor displays, and attending Christmas Eve service at church.
We had loads of fun as we did all the traditional things we like to do such as bake and decorate cut-out sugar cookies.
LittleJ sure liked putting on the sprinkles!
We always go out and cut our own tree and this year was no exception. Here we are hunting for the perfect tree.

Where, oh where, has our Christmas tree gone. Where, oh where can it be?

We ended up back at the barn without a tree (all the scotch pines were way too plump), but had some wonderful hot chocolate and popcorn. We left the tree farm empty handed and ended up getting one already cut at a nursery. It looks just as good and we still had a great time.

BigJ was a shepherd in the homeschool co-op Christmas program.
And LittleE was a camel in the stable for the co-op youth drama.
On Christmas morning we opened our gifts to each other.

We also had gifts to open at grandma and papa's house.


Monday, December 21, 2009

The Final Candlelight Concert

St. Bernard's Church in Akron was a beautiful venue for the SCS Candlelight Concerts. They have been singing here for the past 16 years. The concert was performed by the Masterworks Choir, which is the adult choir of the Summit Choral Society, and the Touring Choir. They performed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening.LittleA is in the front row, second from left.
We attended last night and they did a spectacular job!
They sang 3 pieces by themselves, as well as O Come All Ye Faithful, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, Away In A Manger, and Silent Night with everyone. A beautiful concert!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another song by the SCS Touring Choir

I finally figured out why I was unable to upload anymore videos for the choir; they were too large! So I trimmed the video to under the maximum size and it worked. So here is part of another song by the choir called In Winter, composed by a local Ohio woman. It is very beautiful and reminds of a gentle falling snow in winter. Enjoy.

The combined choirs sang this next song called Winter Fantasy. I broke it into 2 parts, because as a whole it was too large to upload. The first part is sung by the combined Touring Choir and Concert Choir in the back. The training level choirs (the younger children in the front) join in with Jingle Bells. The second part combines it all together for a joyous and fun ending to the concert. The combined choirs number 200+ singers total.

Summit Choral Society does a wonderful job training young voices. We are so glad to have been a part of it and LittleA has greatly enjoyed the time she has spent with them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

MMmmm! The Christmas Cookies

You gotta love a good Christmas cookie, and we really like these cute reindeer. BigJ and LittleE did the assembly work. It's a basic peanut butter cookie recipe (mine from good 'ol Betty Crocker), pretzels for antlers, and chocolate chips for the eyes. The recipe calls for a cinnamon red hot for the nose, but the kiddos don't like those so we use a chocolate chip for the nose as well. Here they are fresh out of the oven.
LittleJ thinks they are great. YUM!LittleA and LittleE rolled out candy cane cookies yesterday, and we'll be making cut-out sugar cookies tomarrow. I'm hoping also to get some Snickerdoodles made. Happy Baking!

The Christmas Concerts Continue

This past weekend LittleA had two more Christmas concerts with the SCC Touring Choir. Here they are practicing before the concert which was at Historic St. Peter's Church in Cleveland.
This is the oldest catholic church in Ohio, but unfortunately it will be closing next year. This was the choir's last concert in this beautiful sanctuary and according to Dr. Jacob's, the best acoustic building they have ever sung in, anywhere in the world. The choir sounded wonderful. This photo was taken from the back as the choir was gathering for their rehersal.
The second concert was Sunday afternoon and took place in Wadsworth. Here is the choir after their first song. They put on a wonderful concert once again.
That's 3 down and 3 more to go; St. Bernard's Candlelight Concerts this weekend.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Christmas Concerts have begun

LittleA began her Summit Choral Society Christmas concert season with the Children's Choir concert last night. Everyone did such a wonderful job. Here is a picture of the Touring Choir with LittleA in the second row, second from the left.
Here is one song by the Touring Choir called A King Is Born.

This weekend she has 2 more concerts, and next week 3 more. She's having a great time!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

An Early Winter Hike at The Wilderness Center

This month's Wilderness Center trip involved animal homes and habitats. It was a cold morning with a light breeze, but the woods offered welcome protection. The leaf litter shows the types of trees in this area--mainly oak, beech, and tulip trees.

The woods were very quiet, but the docent instructed the kids to turn over logs and rocks to look for salamanders.

They weren't disappointed. This is one of the red salamanders that was found. They are quite common in Ohio and this one was very active and wiggley.
We had an enjoyable morning.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December is finally upon us!!

We had this deer in the backyard a few days ago. It seemed to be looking for something to eat and obviously noticed us looking at it. This one happened to be alone. Many times we see 3 or 4 traveling together along the back edge of the yard and rarely do they ever come this close to the house.With December upon us I'm sure we'll be seeing plenty more throughout the winter. Now I just need to remember to buy bird food for the feeder!!