Category Archives: joy


as I write this post an amazing rainfall is happening right outside my window.  It’s absolutely pouring out there and it looks like I’m sitting behing the curtain of a waterfall in some fantastically lush, tropical locale.  But I’m not.  Just sitting here in my “office”, watching the rain fall on the other side of […]

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Gearing up for the holidays

It has begun. The long-awaited countdown to Christmas, Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever holiday you honor at this time of year. We are a secular household but still love a few time-honored traditions. One of them for me is the advent calendar. Its origins can be traced back to 19th century Germany, although my first […]

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Joan - December 7, 2008 - 1:41 pm

Growing up we had a small felt wall hanging (I guess you would call it) of a Christmas tree. Underneath the tree were numbers 1 – 24 with a small ornament safety pinned. Each morning we would take the ornament off the number and pinned it on the tree. On the 24th, there was a place in the base of the tree to put Baby Jesus. My brother and I would take odd or even days but fight if better ornaments were on the days we didn’t have. To be fair about the 24th, we put Baby Jesus in the tree together.
Of course if you read my latest post, I’ve done nothing about Christmas. As far as religion, I guess our house is a mix. My husband is definitely a Christian as my daughter. I’m questioning a lot of things which has rubbed off on my son.

Cate - December 7, 2008 - 6:25 pm

Hi mate,

my kids have adored Advent calanders over the years too. My mother ended up making them a fabric one a few years back, and even though they are now nearly 16 & 18 respectively, I’ve already been told that they are expected it filled with treats for when they get home from Germany & Australia within the next week :-)

Live it up – go get one for yourself too

Cate - December 7, 2008 - 6:26 pm



Stephanie - December 9, 2008 - 12:08 pm

We always had the chocolate ones too.
Even though we have a fancy one now, I bought Trev and Maddie chocolate ones at the market.
But they ate them all that day.
(which is why I only put something in each day, and not ahead of time!) :)

Christmas Activities Abound!

This weekend was chock full of Christmasey goodness. First of all, my favorite holiday movies (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) were being played all weekend on TNT. Since they came out at Christmastime I cannot help but associate them with the season. Second, we took the boys to see Santa today. There is a […]

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VanderbiltWife - December 16, 2007 - 11:52 pm

I have a really yummy sugar cookie recipe if you want it!

Iaian does look like the Love Actually kid. I LOOOOVE that movie!

whimsigal - December 17, 2007 - 12:40 am

Yes, please email your recipe to me! I need a good sugar cookie recipe so we can leave Santa some yummy treats.

I love Love Actually, too. So many great stories in there!

Cate - December 17, 2007 - 12:46 am

I love those two films & can certainly see the resemblance.

Thanks for the emailed camera info too – you’ve inspired me & I’ve taken your info & started researching what is available in NZ.

Love the expression in the Santa pic – just what did Santa tell your boy?

Mama Podkayne - December 17, 2007 - 1:01 am

Does your camera have a B&W setting? Mine is supposed to but since it is so new to me I have not figured it out just yet. The book says that using the setting when you take the pictures has even better results. ??

whimsigal - December 17, 2007 - 1:05 am

Cate, you’re very welcome for the camera info! I’m so excited that you’re looking into it! If I can help you with anything else let me know.

LOL I don’t know what Santa said. It was really shocking I guess!

whimsigal - December 17, 2007 - 1:10 am

M.P., I do believe mine has a monochrome setting but I don’t use it. When I take pictures I do it in Raw instead of jpeg. Raw is basically a digital negative and it allows you work from it without changing the original file. I used Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software that came with my camera to make the B&W conversion on these two.

What kind of camera do you have?

Rinnyboo - December 17, 2007 - 2:59 am

Ha! That picture is freakin’ hilarious!! I am laughing outloud at Iain’s expression.

The B & W pictures are breathtaking. I can see what you mean about the Love Actually kid in Iain’s photo. I haven’t seen Nanny McPhee. I think they have a similar smile.

whimsigal - December 17, 2007 - 3:08 am

Hey Marin! Isn’t it funny? Totally cracks me up.

Thanks for your comment on the B&W photos. I am really loving them, too. You should watch Nanny McPhee when you get a chance. I think it’s a sweet movie and, of course, I cry at the end.

Just a Walk in the Park - December 17, 2007 - 3:08 pm

I love the black and white pictures!

How do you make the “paint” for the sugar cookies? Tha Park Wife

whimsigal - December 17, 2007 - 3:32 pm

Hey Park Wife! For the cookie “paint” I just followed Ree’s recipe over at which was 1 egg yolk, 1tsp water, and a couple of drops of food coloring. You do this for each color you desire.

It was simple and a lot of fun!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment!


VanderbiltWife - December 17, 2007 - 6:40 pm

Evie…also, re: cookie recipe, I always ice my cookies so maybe that makes them taste better!! :)

piscesgrrl - December 22, 2007 - 10:32 pm

You are such a good mama! Homemade cookies, visit to Santa (expression is priceless!), gingerbread houses, vintage photos… yer makin’ me look bad.

Oh wait, I do that all by my scroogish self!

I love Love Actually too! And only saw a bit of Nanny McPhee, need to see the rest. Rob and I watched Blood Diamond last night and I wept. DEFINITELY not holiday movie fare.