Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real ~ Preparing for the Nutcracker


We are pretty much in Nutcracker mode around here.  All of the kids are in the Nutcracker again this year but with different roles.  Little Red Riding Hood is a candy cane, Tom Sawyer is a (Buccaneer) sailor, Goldilocks is a toy kitten, and Timothy is a soldier (same as last year).  With the extra rehearsals and the kids' normal classes, we are at the dance studio about 12 hours a week for now on.  That is on top of our regular weekly doctor appointments and getting our school time done.  I am going to be a busy Mommy from now until early December.  (My Mom says I'm a very busy Mommy all year long. LOL)

This is last year's performance.  
Little Red Riding Hood is on the left of the front performers.

Timothy is the soldier in the center. 
Didn't my Dad (a professional photographer)
take great shots last year?

Hearing my kids' excited voices about extra rehearsals, costumes and being on the big stage is enough to keep me motivated during this very busy season.  They all really love the stage!


I am so happy that I have all of our Advent books organized and wrapped for the countdown to Christmas.  Below the picture is the list of  our books and the activity that will accompany each one.  The kids really love this tradition, and we all look forward to it each year.

The kids and I made the wrapping paper.  What a fun art project.
  1. The Other Wiseman - Put up Nativity
  2. Just A Snow Day - Make snowman garlands
  3. Grandfather's Christmas Tree - Decorate the Christmas tree
  4. Night Tree - Finish decking the halls
  5. Silver Packages - Donate to a toy drive
  6. The Legend of St.Nicholas - Ornaments with toys in them will be hidden on tree
  7. The Legend of the Pointsettia - Make a fleece baby blanket for donation to the teen mother program at the YWCA
  8. The Dog Who Found Christmas - Donate to the Humane Society
  9. Silent Night - Go to the annual Return of Bethlehem performance
  10. An Ellis Island Christmas - Attend a Christmas party
  11. Grandfather's Christmas Camp - Drive around looking at Christmas lights
  12. The Twelve Days of Christmas - Donate food to our local mall's Christmas food drive
  13. An Amish Christmas- Bake Christmas cookies
  14. The Baker's Dozen - Give a baker's dozen of cookies to several neighbors
  15. Christmas in the Trenches - Make Christmas cards for veterans
  16. The Tree of Dancing Goats - Take banana bread to our doctors' and therapists' offices
  17. Animals Christmas Carol - Feed wild birds
  18. Santa Comes to the Little House - Make homemade peppermint candy
  19. Winter's Gift - Wrap siblings' gifts
  20. The Chanaukkah Guest - Make a Hanakkah recipe
  21. The Crippled Lamb - Donate to a children's hospital
  22. The Christmas Menorahs - Play the Dreidal game with our Jewish friends
  23. Christmas Tapestry - Christmas songs on Youtube or else looking at more Christmas lights
  24. The First Christmas - Evening service at our church

We will probably not be doing any more hikes until the dead of winter.  Between the Nutcracker, Christmas and the increased number of roaming bears in our area at this time of year, the woods are not a likely adventure for the next month or two.  However, I just love the picture below.  Boomer, our mixed Lab-Great Dane young dog, is so afraid of water.  Unintentionally, he happened to run into about 10 inches of water while chasing a leaf.  Then he realized where he was.  Boy, did he get out quickly!  What a funny dog!


Dealing with my son's grain-free, egg-free, corn-free, soy-free diet is hard everyday, but doubly so when I can't take a chance on any inadvertent mistake and mess him up for a whole week when he needs to be in top form for performing.  Somehow I must stay on top of our diet and make sure we are fed three healthy meals each day.  We are fortunate to have a few food options out of the home in a real pinch, such as eating at the health food store or buying a fast food Angus burger.  These options are expensive, however, and still require forethought on my part.  For instance, ketchup and mustard have corn in them, unless they are organic.  So I made these cute little frozen ketchup and mustard pumpkins that can be packed on a day when I think we may end up needing to buy a hamburger on the road. 

I also need to make some cookies and bread
out of these grain-free flours.



  1. I'm really hoping to take my Bigger Guy to the Nutcracker this year. Those are great photos - and what a fun thing to be keeping you all so busy :) I love your book ideas, I might be borrowing a couple :)

  2. Wow that is very creative with the mustard and ketchup! Love the pictures of the Nutcracker.

  3. I agree with your mom about you being a busy mom all the time! This was a fun post. I love the ketchup and mustard idea! We don't avoid corn completely, but we do avoid corn syrup, and I'm going to have to borrow the freezing idea. I really appreciate what it takes to avoid all that you do. Corn is absolutely everywhere! I remember reading about how cornstarch can be added to frozen vegetables but not listed as an ingredient, and how it can be used in waxes on fresh fruits and vegetables. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to avoid it completely!

    Hope you have a great weekend!

    Many blessings,
    P.S. Oh, and I loved the Boomer story! That dog keeps me laughing!

  4. You are doing great with your son's allergies. I know this road well. You got to think ahead otherwise things are NOT good.

    Praying blessings on all the stage preparations. How fun!

    Blessings and ((HUGS))