Hanging of the Greens

This year we’re continuing with some family traditions we started last year, and adding some new ones.

toys-for-tots

This is a new tradition for us this year.  We’re grateful for all that we have, and all that we’re able to give Hannah Rose.  We believe that one of the least important things about Christmas time is the getting of presents.  Sure, that’s lots of fun–don’t get me wrong.  But there’s so much more to the holiday season than that, or there could be if you open yourself up to it.  I believe whole-heartedly that in giving is as good as getting, if not better.  Of course, some of my friends wish I weren’t this way–but hey, my mom said I came hard-wired to give.  Generosity is a good thing.  It’s something we want Hannah Rose to learn, but more than learn–we want her to grow to enjoy being generous.

This year, she’s very much into Barbies.  Makes sense to my head.  I was her age when I started playing with Barbies, and I was a tom-boy!  So, we let her pick out a Barbie to give to Toys for Tots (Sponsored by the US Marine Corp!), so that another little girl can have something special for Christmas and hopefully a happier Christmas for it.  She picked out Christmas Morning Barbie.  Here she is with the Barbie, and then dropping it off in the collection.

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Hanging of the Greens–Troy Museum & Historic Village

This is our second year attending the Hanging of the Greens, and it was just as much fun this year as it was last year!  Hannah Rose made a craft project.  She wrote a letter to Santa, and mailed it at the historic post office.  We listened to a hand bell choir.  We watched as the blacksmiths made iron icicles for Christmas ornaments.  While waiting for Santa to arrive on his sleigh, Hannah Rose and Chris had a blast playing in the snow.  Afterwards, we headed inside for some Hot Cider.  Yummm!!

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Holiday Reading A Hit!

At first, Hannah Rose was a little perplexed when I explained what we would be doing with the reading at night…the whole unwrapping “surprise” books for story time. Once she got it all straight in her head, she was happy. But not as happy as she was each night when she got to open a “present.” She loved it! Have to admit, we loved the look on her face each night. It was precious. I think it’s definitely going to be a repeat tradition next year.

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Girls Aren’t Yucky

Hannah Rose started kindergarten last week.  So far, she likes it a lot.  However, she has run into something she does NOT like too much.  The boys don’t want to play with the girls.

This really bothers her, and I can understand why.  We were talking about this whole issue and how the boys think the girls are yucky.

I say to her, “Girls aren’t yucky are they?”  She readily agrees, “No!  They’re not yucky.  They’re clean!”

lmao…

Our Karate-kick Ballerina

Last weekend we took Hannah Rose for a photo shoot.  She’s been doing both Karate and Dance (Ballet and Tap) for some time now, and we wanted to commemorate these parts of her life.  Plus, she’s so cute–how could we resist pictures????

When booking the appointment, I informed them there would be an outfit change.  The girl on the phone was surprised and impressed to hear Hannah Rose has been doing both Karate and Ballet.

The pics we ordered are due in 1 August.  We got some individual shots in sepia as well as a couple of larger prints with multiple images.

In addition to our pics, we get small images electronically…probably to entice us (or friends and family) to buy more pics!

Our Budding Da Vinci

Hannah Rose surprised me today with a chalkboard rendering of E.V.E. and WALL-E. She drew these pictures by herself and completely from memory!

Here’s the first pic I shot:

Here’s the artist with her finished masterpiece. (It should be noted that on this one she incorporated different scenes from the movies…)

It’s interesting that she should do this today–because at dance camp, one of the things they did was to colour a picture of Hello Kitty in a tutu. She’s in a class for 3-5 year olds, and is a young 5. I got to see her picture today, as well as some of the other girl’s pictures. A number of them had coloured in the lines quite well. Hannah Rose had not. She’s still not colouring inside the lines.

That’s not to say that’s a bad thing–and indeed, I’ve not once actually encouraged her to colour inside the lines. I remember being her age, and working so hard to colour inside the lines like the older kids–and to outline everything in black as well. I’ve often wondered if I started colouring inside the lines too soon. When you look at a little kids picture, coloured in “crazy” colours and all over the place instead of traditional colours inside the lines–there’s a certain freedom there.

Kids grow up all too fast. Unless of course, you ask them. Hannah Rose is vascillating right now between wanting to never grow up and wanting to be grown up (so she can have a baby!). So while part of me is anxious to see the woman Hannah Rose will become, and to watch her on that journey–I’m not going to hurry her up along that path. She’s still a child, and while I’m not so idealistic as to believe in the perfect childhood for anyone–I want her to have a childhood.

My childhood ended at the age of 5….and before that, it was hurried up tremendously. And while that’s one of the myriad of things that have created the me I now love, and have brought me to this life I’m now living–I don’t have to want that for her, or for any of our (future) children. I say let her colour out of the lines–for as long as she wants. Let her draw her cats with purple fur and her clouds pink.

Mondegreen

Hannah Rose was on the phone with her pappy and was talking about the upcoming wedding.  She’s excited we’re going to see our seamstress, Debbie Freeman, tomorrow.  She told Pappy that she was going to be the Flower Girl, and then went on to talk about her cousin’s role in the wedding.

“He’s the ring barrel.”

Actually, that would be ring bearer.

And if you’re curious about the title of this post–check out some of the latest words added to the dictionary.

June has not Won–Yet!

Thus far, I’ve managed to avoid being swallowed whole by the month of June.  Thus far.  The month is not yet over–and experience has taught me that June has a strong reach!

In spite of June, life goes on.  As it must.  Dishes need scrubbing.  Laundry needs washing and folding–and to be put away!  Sheets must be changed.  Floors want vacuumed.  Sinks and toilets want sanitized.  The cat and people must be fed.

To which today, I am making marinara sauce from scratch.  Not for the cat–for the people.

I learned how to make it back in Junior High.  When my folks would make it–you could count on it never tasting the same way twice.  They’d use what was on hand–didn’t have a set recipe.  Mine is more consistent in the taste–probably cause I’m more consistent in how I make it.  Although, like them I don’t use a written recipe–and I don’t know how to make a small amount of sauce.  The sauce is extremely healthy and chockful of vegetables.  (For those of you who know me and/or Chris well–you’re probably wondering how that will go over.  Here’s the trick–a food processor!  There’s no vegetable chunks in the sauce, they’re all pureéd.)

Hannah Rose enjoyed the helping, which is great!  We like her to be helpful!!!  She thought the oregano in the food processor looked like “people walking.”

Days have been busy–and as I sometimes do, or technically–don’t, I’ve not written much lately.

Have to run for now–that whole life thing, and things must be done thing–not to mention a five year old running around the house, and enough sauce to feed a small army cooking on the stove all demand my attention!

Welcome to the Wacky World of Food Allergies

Hannah Rose was recently diagnosed with milk and egg allergies. So we’ve embarked on quite the new journey.

We’ve replaced milk with Soy Milk. (Silk makes a very vanilla and a chocolate flavour that enriched for kids). In fact, we’re buying a number of soy “replacement” products: soy cheese, soy butter, soy yogurt–you get the idea. We’re also looking for alternative sources of calcium (like calcium enriched OJ, and the aforementioned enriched soy milk, along with foods naturally containing calcium).

We’re also reading labels like never before. Which is how we found the soy cheese that contains milk proteins. (No we didn’t buy that brand of soy cheese!) We’ve managed to find bread that doesn’t contain any milk or egg. (Thank you Whole Foods )

I’ve gotten a new cookbook:  Allergy-Free Cookbook by Alice Sherwood which contains recipes for avoiding eggs, dairy, nuts, and gluten.  (Although not always all 4 ingredients at once!)  I’ve also been researching on how to adjust current recipes with replacements for milk (and milk products) as well as egg.  It seems as if there are quite a number of options out there–it’s just a matter of trying out these “experiments” and finding the ones our family likes best!

We’ve been thinking, talking, and doing research into this whole thing.  Did I mention it’s still very new to us?  While Hannah Rose’s allergies are on the milder side, we still want to avoid them completely.

She likes to go to McDonald’s occasionally.  OK, so probably more often than occasionally–but like most of us, she doesn’t always get what she wants as often as she likes.  I decided to look up McDonald’s Nutritional Information.  I wasn’t too surprised to find out that the Chicken McNuggets have milk.  Most breaded items will have either milk or egg.  I was pleased to find out their hamburgers (including buns) have no milk or egg.  However, I found it oddly strange that their French Fries have milk.  Apparently hydrolyzed milk is a starting point for their beef flavouring.

I’m finding some good resources on-line in regards to food allergies–one being The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network

Like I said, this is the beginning of a new journey–and I’m sure I’ll have much more to write on this subject as we travel down this road!

Oliver!

This past weekend we took Hannah Rose to see the Broadway Musical, Oliver! Of course, it wasn’t on Broadway…it was a bit off off off off Broadway. Give or take an off or several.

It was put on by the Motor City Youth Theatre and Grantland Street Players in Livonia. (You can check out their website here )

We really enjoyed the show.  It had been far too long since I had been to the theatre–any sort, really.  Hannah Rose seemed to enjoy it–she said her favourite parts were when “the man’s foot got stepped on.”  She also liked it when Oliver pulled out a very long stream of hankies from Fagin’s pocket, and then fell on his bum.  She was incredibly well behaved during the show.

The director did a great job with the cast.  Working with kids is not always easy–but when it’s done well, it’s a pleasure for everyone!  As far as the cast went–the young girl who played Dodger stood out by leaps and bounds.

Even Chris–who hates musicals and isn’t that much of a live theatre fan (yet! ~wink, wink~) enjoyed the production.  Which, if you know him, is saying more than A LOT!

The theatre space was small and intimate.  The cast was almost as large as the audience!  It looked like the building had at one time been perhaps a small church.  I liked the set, and the costumes were great.  I was a little surprised to see actors doing double duty as stage-hands, but I know that’s not unheard of.

The story–it’s a great story, as long as you’re not reading Charles Dickens’ version thereof.  I was going to say I can’t think of any adaptation of a Charles Dickens’ novel that I haven’t enjoyed–but then I remembered that Great Expectations movie we were forced to watch back in high school.  I didn’t care much for that.  With that exception, I think his stories are great.  I just hate the way he tells them.  I know there are a lot of Charles Dickens fans out there–and I may get yelled at for saying so, but I don’t think he was a good writer.  OK, OK, to say I don’t think he was a good writer is putting it mildly to say the least.  And it’s probably a little silly how passionately I dislike the man’s writing.  But there you have it folks–my honest opinion:  Charles Dickens’ stories are great, the way he tells them not so great!

Driving after the theatre, Hannah Rose yawns loudly and declares, “I’m not tired.”  Chris laughed so hard at that, she did it several more times before arriving home.  She likes laughing and making other people laugh every bit as much as he does!

“My Daddy makes that noise!”

Hannah Rose called me today, and since my phone was across the house and still on vibrate (oops!) I missed the call.  She left me a voicemail.  “Hi Brenda.  The tortilla maker made a noise that my daddy makes.  Bye-bye.  I love you.”

Seems she’s rather impressed with this–she’s been talking about it a lot since Friday.  While on her vacation with her mom, she went to her uncle’s house.  His girlfriend and Hannah Rose made tortillas Friday.  (Strangely enough–I, too, was making tortillas Friday.  At about the same time.  Talk about strange coincidences!)  Anyway, seems she has one of those tortilla presses that also cooks the tortillas (I use a traditional comal)–and the press emitted a noise.  Hannah Rose announced that her daddy makes that noise!  Her uncle started to explain to her how we all make that noise sometimes (thinking she was referring to flatulence).  Only, that’s not what Hannah Rose was referring to.  ~laughing~  I guess her mom explained a bit….  Chris likes making funny faces and funny noises–often combining the two.  Hannah Rose of course loves it!  (She definitely has his sense of humour!)  She was referring to one of his particular face/noise combos.

They didn’t get in until late this evening so we’ll be picking up Hannah Rose tomorrow.  I’ve no doubt she’ll want daddy to make the tortilla noise.

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