Monday, December 31, 2007

Carousel of Progress

I'll take "Potpourri" for $400 Alex.

A: Death, taxes, the passage of time, and a never-ending stack of papers to grade.

Q: What are things that we can be sure of?

I've truly enjoyed my Christmas break this year. Haven't done a lick of work (though that will have to change starting today - classes start again on Thursday!), and that's left me with lots of time to play with the kids, chat with Husband, go on a couple of day trips, and look at all the photos on our hard drive. I started looking at Christmases Past, then I started looking at trips we've taken, goofy shots of the kids - everything, really.

As I went through the photos, what struck me is how at each stage - newly married, new house, adding a child, adding a 2nd child.... we have been convinced that we were in the best stage of life. Even now, I'm absolutely loving it as we move from having babies & toddlers to having preschoolers. It's a whole new era of independence, but still full of the magic of childhood.

We were able to tap into that magic earlier this week. For their Christmas present, we took the kids to the Magic Kingdom (Disneyworld). It was a truly wonderful day, and one that I should probably blog about soon.

Today, however, I'm thinking about one of the last rides we did - the Carousel of Progress. This was one of the rides entirely created by Walt Disney himself, and features a family every 20 years or so through the 20th (and now 21st!) century. At each stop you see all the nifty new inventions that have made their lives easier. As you rotate through the stops, they sing their theme song.

Apparently, the theme song is a bit controversial. Mainly because there are 2 of them. There was the original, which was played at the World's Fair and at Disneyland, and then there's the new version when the ride moved to Disneyworld. If you go to Disneyworld now, however, they've changed it back to the original song.

More than a few people I guess didn't like the new song, but if you grew up in the late 80s/early 90s like I did, it's rather nostalgic to read the lyrics, and very appropriate as we are about to roll over into a New Year. (I am doing this from memory, but I'm pretty sure these are the lyrics.)

Now is the time
Now is the best time
Now is the best time of your life
Life is a prize
Live every minute
Open your eyes & watch how you win it
Yesterday's memories may sparkle & gleam
Tomorrow is still but a dream
Right here & now
You've got it made
The world's forward marching & you're in the parade!!

Happy New Year to you and yours and I hope you find 2008 to be a wonderful blessing!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Very Calming and Relaxing

I am forever grateful to the lady who tipped me off to this group, simply because I find them so incredibly relaxing.

If you enjoy Celtic Women, you will likely enjoy the Mediaeval Baebes as well. (The styles are actually rather different, but it was the best analogy I could think of!)

This song is the Lord's Prayer, in Cornish (which is a little like Welsh).



Merry Christmas to you and Yours!!! I hope you have a fabulous holiday, and I will see you after the New Year rolls over!! (or until I feel the urge to start blogging, whichever comes first!)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

What's the Point of Christmas?

A classic answer to a classic question.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What color is your tree?

You Should Have a Purple Christmas Tree

For you, the holidays represent a time of creativity and expression.
There's no way you'd do something bland simply for tradition's sake.

You are an independent person, and you definitely do the holidays your own way.
And you're decadent enough to go way over the top with any unusual holiday ideas you have.

Your purple tree would look great with: Purple lights and ornaments

You should spend Christmas Eve watching: A Christmas Story

What you should bake for Santa: "Kitchen sink" cookies - with a ton of things in them


Most of this quiz is pretty true for us:

* Husband does tend to go over the top be creative with some of our decorations. (I mean really, how many folks have a train setup that takes over the dining room?!). It's only a matter of time before we become "that" house with the outdoor lights too.

* We really do watch A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve!! Right after dinner & the kids are in bed.

* I certainly am extraordinarily overzealous love to bake for the holidays. Though instead of one kitchen-sink cookie, we have enough varieties of cookies to fill a kitchen sink!! This year I made sugar cookies, gingerbread men, peanut butter blossoms, egg nog cookies, pinwheels, chocolate & peanut butter fudge, and toffee bars.

I guess the only major unbelievable part is that the tree is purple. That would just never happen as it's Husband's least favorite color. He's learned to tolerate it since Bird wears a lot of purple, but he'd never let a purple tree in the door!!

Thanks to dcrmom for the link!!

Another Light Show

After that guy did Wizards in Winter, many others tried their hands at Christmas light sequencing. This one features Carol of the Bells. (and I promise this will be the last time for this song!!!)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Scrooged

I love getting ready for Christmas, but it seems like there's always so much to do!! As of last night, the holiday baking is finished. I've still got to decorate the sugar cookies & the gingerbread men, but at least they're all cooked!


(Those square containers are fudge.)

I look at Bird's Advent chain & can't believe there are so few links left! Which means not too many more video clips, but hey, we're all lined up until Christmas Eve!

Today's features asks "Who needs A Christmas Carol when you've got Scrooged?!" Another family (well, my family growing up anyhow!) favorite, today's video skips right to the giggly, feel-good, closing song.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

More TSO

With the song that gained them (American!) national attention. Since Carol of the Bells is one of my absolute favorite Christmas carols, anything that involves it is high on my list.



I was able to see them in concert many years ago (before children) and watching this video only offers a taste of what it's like to be in the theater with them. It was amazing!! This was from a concert in Toronto, and it does include the introductory narration.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Vacation

Since as of today I am on Christmas Vacation, today you are treated to a montage of clips from the movie of the same name! (one of my favorites!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bird's Version of the Nativity

I'm always interested in how my childrens' minds work. Sometimes, though, I wonder if THEY know what's going on in there. Makes for some very interesting conversations.

At preschool, Bird received a rather straightforward task: Draw a Manger Scene.


Now, she loves to draw and of course she went straight to work. She even got the 3 main characters in there (that's Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus).



Now, if you look closely at the above picture, you'll see that there's some kind of yellowish glow above the Baby Jesus. What could it be? An angel?

No.... it's an oft-forgotten character from the Christmas story - the Christmas Octopus.

Carol of the Bells

This really is my favorite Christmas carol, so today's videos feature many different versions:

Kamiak Kantori Choir (click over to You Tube; they don't allow you to embed this one in your blog)

Tuscon Boys Choir (turn your sound up a little here)


A Rather Nifty Piano Concert (long, but rather fun to listen to)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Where We Begin Our TSO Tributes

One of my favorite Christmas bands is Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Unfortunately, Husband does not agree with my so I must either blast my CDs when he's not home or in the car.

Anyhow, there is another guy out there who loves them a lot - so much so that he set up his Christmas lights to flash to one of the songs - Wizards in Winter. If you want to know more of the background to this story, you can check it out here.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Line Rider Christmas Story

It's quite possible that if you haven't heard of Line Rider that you might not appreciate the effort it took to make this video. But it's fun to watch & you've gotta love Bing Crosby singing Jingle Bells.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Singing Muppets

What would the holidays be without those beloved Muppets singing the 12 Days of Christmas with John Denver?! Apologies for the visual quality of this video, but it was the only one I could find!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Get Into the Holiday Spirit....

.... with the Christmas Boomwhackers!!



I soooo want to do this now!!! Especially when I started clicking around and saw this!! (oooo.... Bonus video!!!)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Back When they had Chalkboards

I had a tough time selecting today's video. Felt like I'd exhausted many avenues of fun that I knew of, and no good searches were coming to mind. And then it came to me..... Animaniacs!! This has to be my favorite cartoon series ever - probably the only one I ever actually watched on a regular basis.

So then of course LOTS of fun stuff popped up, and I had all kinds of fun watching old clips & songs. This episode was one of my favorites, and since I couldn't find the one that mocked both Jeopardy & Concentration, here we go!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Little Ernest?

One of my family's favorite Christmas movies is Ernest Saves Christmas.




I tried searching You Tube for some nifty clips, but apparently that movie just isn't popular enough.

I did, however, come across this tribute to Jim Varney, and thought it quite good. Hope you enjoy it too!





Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Russian jumper

Who needs a ladder if you can jump like these guys?! This video is a bit longer - almost 9 minutes, but the stunts! are! amazing! The Russian hip-hop music I could do without, but as you watch this guy jump you kind of stop paying attention to that.



Monday, December 10, 2007

Radar, Three-Wheelers, and a Rock Song

I always thought the song was "Red-hot love", not "radar love." Go figure.

Things that had me giggling:
- the 3-wheeled car
- the looks the policewoman & the singer gave each other when she pulls him over
- SKIPPING off into the frontier!
- handcuffing the CARS together?!

Anyhow, enjoy the video!!




Also, hat tip to finslippy, which is where I first saw this video. Her readers also made several amusing comments.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

For your inner, untalented artist

I've always admired people who are so... GOOD at things artistic. You know the type - they can look at a room and with a pair of scissors & some ribbon, they can transform it into a Martha Stewart paradise. (gee, I think that makes them the MacGyvers of design.)

I am not one of those people. In fact, as much as I wish I was that creatively artistic, I don't think it's ever going to happen.

So when Shannon posted about a site where you can make virtual snowflakes, you can believe I'm all over that. You can click that link or the Snow Days button on the side and join in on the virtual snowfight!!

If you need a Mrs. Robinson moment, or just a really hearty laugh

Today's entry features 2 wild and crazy guys. You can find out who they are here:



and I highly recommend watching some more of their videos over on You Tube (so I don't clog up the works over here!) Some of my favorites:

PC Fratboys
Mother's Day Card (no expletives, but one questionable word that you may not want to explain to your older children; younger ones will likely not notice)
Flag Makeover (contains an expletive)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Meme

Grabbed this meme from Alli's blog.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Either - whichever will be easier. Husband disagrees, and thinks that even the hardest of items should be wrapped.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
FAKE!! Always has been, and always will be.
Now, if you look at where our tree goes, that makes a lot of sense!

This is the design from 2006. Not much will change this year except that I've bought a couple houses & stores for the village.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Weekend after Thanksgiving, provided the trains are all set up.

4. When do you take the tree down?
There was that year when we didn't do it until February. But since Bug was born towards the end of January, the goal now it to get it down before his birthday party.

5. Do you like eggnog?
YES!!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
hmmm... I remember the year my sister & I got a play kitchen set. We played with that thing for YEARS.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. It's actually probably the oldest thing we own - it belonged to my grandmother. It was always my favorite thing to set up every year (she gave it to my parents when I was really young), so when I got married my mom passed it on to me.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
My dad.
9. Easiest person to buy for?
Husband, Bug, and Bird.

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received?
I can't think of anything really bad...
11. Mail or email Christmas card?
Both, actually. We can only afford so many pictures, so I will send actual cards to people who like actual cards, and I will email the same thing to folks who don't have an opinion either way!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Every year, the following are "must-see:" Tradition reigns!!
Ernest Saves Christmas
Christmas Vacation
Scrooged
One Magic Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (original cartoon, not Jim Carrey)
Charlie Brown Christmas
A Christmas Story
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
After Bird was born, Husband & I began a tradition of shopping the Black Friday sales. Since we always seem to travel for Thanksgiving, it's actually been more like a date morning to us.

14. Have you ever recycled/re gifted a Christmas present?
Yup.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
My mom's meringue chocolate chip cookies.

16. Favorite Christmas song?
Carol of the Bells

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Since we travel at Thanksgiving, we always stay home for Christmas

18. Can you name Santa's reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen
(and no, Rudolph doesn't count!)

19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
One present Christmas Eve - new pajamas for the kids.

20. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Trying to keep my students focused until finals are over and Christmas vacation has actually begun!

21. Best thing about Christmas?
The Christmas lights, the vacation time, the special church services, the fun things we can do together as a family - the general overall feeling of the season.
Consider yourself tagged if you would like to be!!

Blending Fun

Good old Tom loves to toss things into his blender & if it will blend. Check out what he does to Guitar Hero!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Are you ready to jump?

In all honesty, I cannot stand this video. I think it's weird and at times borders on inappropriate.
BUT (you knew that was coming, didn't you?!)

I am not a huge techno fan, but every once in a while there's a song that I just happen to really like. I heard this song at a college football game & part of me wants it for my ringtone cause it's so.... computer-sounding and catchy (cause, really, anything else sounds weird on a cellphone). Students all around the nation will jump in their stadiums when it comes on during a football game. Kinda makes me feel like we're all inside Super Mario Brothers or something.

So, start the video and then work on something else so you can just listen to the music... or just go ahead & watch it! But don't say I didn't warn you! :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Perhaps a New Way to Exercise??

Do you find yourself packing on some extra pounds during the holidays? Perhaps this will help. Your daily giggle - provided by Monty Python.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Making Advent Chains


I love the delicateness of her fingers.

Arrrrr Matey!!

Pirates
+ Catchy Tune
+ Child Friendly
Pieces of Eight





You can find out more about Captain Bogg & his lime obsession at his official website.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I'm the Mom

If you haven't seen The Mom Song by Anita Renfroe set to the William Tell Overature, you're in for a treat!


Monday, December 3, 2007

Quoth Husband

"You know, this kind of falls on the list of stuff I never thought I would know."

"What are you talking about?"

"Bird and I are playing Memory and I know the names of all these Disney Princesses!!"

Sure enough, he did.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Whole New Advent Calendar

Oh....my....word.... that's all I can come up with to describe this.

Thanks to Rachel for the tip.... or the timesucker, depending on how you look at it!

A Little "Disco"

I have blogged about my love for this Romanian pop group before and sent you to their most popular song in the US. Here is what I believe is their follow-up to that single. While I do like the song.... the video is pretty darn hysterical!! (And yes, I do find all those silly visual effects & the ridiculous-looking pelvic thrusting rather funny.)


So go check out Despre Tine.



Warning - the volume starts off really loud, and then mellows back to something a bit more manageable.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

24 (??) Days of You Tube

Holidays are insane!!! Between cleaning the house, decorating, cookie baking, final projects, final reviews, final exams, and Christmas dinner preparing.... I may or may not be actually blogging. In fact, considering that last month I only lasted about 2 weeks before I couldn't handle daily posting anymore, I think it's safe to say that I'm moving back into sporadic posting. Which seems less robotic anyhow.

So I got to thinking.....(always a dangerous proposition). One thing that always seems to get swept under the carpet during this time of year is just a moment or two to relax. And what better way to do that than with a moment or two watching a short video? Especially one that might even be Christmassy?


So my (possible) goal is to post a video each day for the next 24 days. Sort of an Video Advent Calendar, if you will. I think we will start with just random fun, and slowly move into the Christmassy stuff as we get closer to the holidays.

* * *

Ahem. Okay, apparently I am posting links to videos, cause I just can't get the darn You Tube code to work!!

On today's menu: Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) by Mika

(Why? Cause the song is catchy & even though it is bubble-gummy, it seems to put me in a happy mood anyhow. And you just need that this time of year.)

(PS - I discovered Mika via Blog Antagonist)

The End

I think I've accomplished a couple of things with my 30 Days....

- I am not a daily blogger. I much prefer the Post & Run approach.

- Some things in life just stink.

- There is an awful lot in this world to be thankful for, and I am grateful for that.

So, with that in mind, here's my last 2 Days of Thanks:

29. Husband returns home after being out of town all week for work. I am so, so amazed & awed by all the single parents out there, as what they do is infinitely hard and wonderful at the same time.

30. It's Friday. I do not have to work on school stuff until 10pm if I don't want to.