Thursday, December 13, 2018

WRWE: Coziness edition!

Wow, once again it’s been way too long since I posted, but so much has been happening.  Fall has moved out and winter is earnestly here.  We got our third snowfall so far yesterday, and it was the most we’ve had.  The ground is icy and cold, but our home is cozy.  


There are some posts I really want to get done by the end of the year, and to my amazement that’s under three weeks away! So I’d better get a move on it.  And of course, because it’s been so long since I did one, it seems like a good time to do a Watching, Reading, Wearing, Eating post! So here goes:


Watching:  I’ve watched a few things since my last edition of WRWE.  Our family tradition (at least for those of us old enough for it) is to watch Planes, Trains, and Automobiles on Thanksgiving.  It’s so good and hilarious!  This past weekend we watched Adrift.  It fell a little flat for me, honestly.  The scenery was beautiful and that it was a true story is amazing, but there was nothing really surprising or new about it.  


What I did love was that in October, we did a little Alfred Hitchcock movie fest.  Some of his films are definitely better than others (hello, The Birds, I’m talking to you — did you forget an ending? Hmmm?), but my favorite by far was Rear Window.  I keep thinking didn’t I watch this before?  I remember scenes from it, but oh my goodness, the movie is about as close to perfection as one can be.  The dialogue was entertaining, the imagery excellent and Grace Kelly + James Stewart were amazing. 


This month my family has our Christmas movie fest, which is one of my favorite things about the season!  We watch classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone (which is actually probably my least favorite), and Buddy the Elf (of course!), plus A Christmas Story and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  An aside: Skyler told me yesterday that almost no one in her English class had seen Christmas Vacation, and I was shocked!  Please tell me you’ve seen it?!  We also include Die Hard for Matt, and About a Boy — which is totally a Christmas movie.  Obviously, not all members of the family watch all of these, but it’s so much fun.  We end with The Polar Express on Christmas Eve and usually watch or re-watch A Christmas Story on Christmas Day.


Reading: I didn’t read as much as I did earlier in the year, at least for myself, but I did read a couple good books.  One I read aloud to the kids was Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat.  It was funny and interesting, and they loved it. I read Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss.  I’d seen this on a few bloggers’ lists, and then my neighbor told me she had it.  It definitely gave me a lot to think about in regards to things like purpose, pride, and my faith.  Have you read it?  


I also read Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins.  This offered fascinating insights to several famous artists and creators from Michelangelo to Jim Henson.  It gave me lots to think about, and I highly recommend it to everyone, whether or not your consider yourself an artist.


Wearing: I’m participating in Dressember this year!  

For the entire month of December, I’m wearing a dress and posting on my social media accounts to raise awareness about human trafficking.  Every day I’ve been sharing facts and figures about modern slavery, and I have a fundraising page for Dressember, which does grants to organizations such as International Justice Mission and A21, plus many others.  I’ve wanted to do this for a few years, but honestly (ridiculously) thought it was too hard for me to do.  It really isn’t!  And even if it was, what is my discomfort in comparison to an atrocity such as human trafficking?  I have my cozy layers that I talked about in this post, and I’ve been learning lots that I plan to share in a post in January.  In the meantime, I’d love if you’d pop over to my campaign page on Dressember and consider giving a small donation to this cause!


Eating:  Every Thanksgiving, we have certain standard desserts, like Dutch Apple Pie — my husband’s favorite — and also from his side of the family, banana pudding.  Plus we have pumpkin and pecan pies for sure.  But ever since my two oldest got to where they like baking, we’ve had a “wild card” pie.  This year, Skyler found buttermilk pie on Pinterest, and the comment about it said something like, “You haven’t lived until you’ve tried this pie.”  Well!  How could she not make a pie with a promise like that?

We had friends over for our feast, and they included a nine-year-old boy.  After trying it, we asked what he thought, and he said, “Well, it’s not my favorite, but at least I’ve lived now!”  That cracked us all up!  The rest of us, however, really enjoyed it.  The boy’s dad then told us about something he used to have growing up called chess pie, which he described as being similar to pecan pie, except without the pecans.  It sounds intriguing, for sure.  We’ve decided that our Christmas feasting absolutely needs to have a reappearance of the buttermilk pie, and maybe the chess pie too.  A penny for your thoughts?


Okay, this edition of Watching, Reading, Wearing, Eating has a bonus section because music is one of my favorite aspects of this season....


Listening! Music is such a huge part of my life, so I especially love listening to Christmas music.  Skyler likes the vintage sounds of Frank Sinatra, Elvis, and Michael Bublé.  I love my Jars of Clay, Sufjan Stevens, Leigh Nash/ Sixpence None the Richer.  The littlest ones like TobyMac and Owl City.  There are some songs I didn’t know I loved until I heard certain artists do them, like Brandon Heath singing “In the Bleak Midwinter” — I actually can’t stand the Sarah Maclachlan version.  I know, I shouldn’t say that out loud because here come the trolls, but it depressed me! And it shouldn’t be depressing at all! Heath’s is so good, with the music actually doing the lyrics their justice.  But before you think I just hate Sarah Maclachlan, that’s completely not true.  Her rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is my favorite, and there are many who have covered it! But 


Anyway, here’s a very short list of songs we love.


Christmas This Year — TobyMac and Leigh Nash


Light of Christmas — Owl City and TobyMac


Mary’s Boy Child — Jamie Grace and TobyMac


Here With Us — Joy Williams (one of my absolutely favorite Christmas songs!)


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas — Sarah Maclachlan


Sleep, Jesus, Sleep — Sovereign Grace


In the Bleak Midwinter — Brandon Heath (and only him!)


Feliz Navidad — Michael Bublé


Love Came Down at Christmas 

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Peace is Here — Jars of Clay


Riu Riu Chiu

Angels We Have Heard on High

Some Children See Him — Sixpence None the Richer


Joy to the World

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Sister Winter

Only at Christmas — Sufjan Stevens 


Okay, I’m going to leave it there because I could spend the rest of the day just talking about Christmas music!  Every year I find new favorites, so I’d love to hear from you, as always but especially this month!  What are you watching, reading, wearing, eating and listening to?  

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