Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve

Wishing Friendship

In the Coming Year!




Joy and Happiness
To All the Earth!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More on Promotional Tour

Everything went so well for the beginning stages of the Women of Passions promotional tour yesterday! Jeanice and I talked with the pastor of my church. We are planning to have the conference/book signing there either the first or second weekend in March. It will be a two-day event. We also took some complimentary copies of the book around to a few churches here to let them know about the event. Now we begin planning the actual conference and marketing the conference. We're also going to be contacting some local bookstores and the public library. This is definitely an invaluable experience! I've had the stomach flu since yesterday afternoon, so as soon as I'm better; I'm going to be making some more contacts. I'll talk with Jeanice again early next month by Messenger.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Today's the Day!

Well, today is the day that we start the ball rolling on the Women of Passions promotional tour. I am meeting with Jeanice from Women of Passions later on today. We'll be discussing all of the details of the event here in Salina, a date for the event, etc. I'm very excited! Women of Passions is such a wonderful project! It has even won a book award now. I'm very blessed to have been a part of this writing project and cannot wait to take part in this tour!


Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Memories - 2008

Stocking Stuffers

Toy Trains

Nathanael looking at his new WonderPets book

Taliesin, upon opening his Elizabeth Swann poster, exclaiming, "Oh, it's cute!"

The only present Nathanael wanted this year - a big scoop!

"Mom! It's a Wall-E calendar!"

As you can tell, my regular camera was not working well early Christmas morning. It was actually because the sun was just coming up, and there was not enough light to take good pictures. So I grabbed my cellphone and took these Christmas morning pictures.
We had a wonderful Christmas! I you all did as well! On Christmas Eve, Taliesin and Nathanael baked cookies for Santa and cut up carrots for the reindeer. On Christmas morning, they were amazed to find that Santa had written a note to them, thanking them! We opened presents, then enjoyed playing with new toys, listening to Christmas music, and preparing Christmas dinner. Christmas afternoon, we went by my brother's house and visted there for a while and exchanged gifts. Then my sister, her husband, and my dad came over to our house last night for dinner and a movie (The Dark Knight - I knew Kelsey would get it for me!). We had some fun Christmas memories. Two of my favorites were watching Nathanael swaying and singing, "Santa, baby, hurry down the chimney tonight" - along with the radio. He was really getting into it. :^) And Taliesin and Nathanael made up a wonderful island dance to go along with Kenny Chesney's version of "Jingle Bells," too! :^)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria). And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house of the lineage of David). To be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with Child. And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown round about them, and they were sore afraid! And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: ye shall the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And, suddenly, there was with the angel a mulitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest! And on earth, peace, goodwill to men!"

And it came to pass when the angels were gone way from them, into Heaven, the shepherds said one to another, "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us." And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the Babe, lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this Child.

Luke 2:1-17, KJV

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mary's Boy Child
One of my most recent favorite Christmas songs - a great way to celebrate the birth of the Lord!


Tracking Santa! - got this an unschooling list. Taliesin and Nathanael really enjoy it! He's getting closer and closer! Good thing they are busy making his cookies for tonight right now!


Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus - editorial and history of editorial found at this link. Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Santa Debate

This time of year always bring the debate about Santa Claus. Should Christians allow their children to believe in Santa Claus? Are we lying to our children if we do? What does Santa Claus have to do with Jesus' birthday?
These are all important questions and are definitely aspects that all of us should consider. I believe the answer to these questions lies with each individual family. I, personally, do not believe that either is wrong. Taliesin and Nathanael do enjoy the Santa aspect of Christmas; but they understand that when we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating the birth of Jesus (even though, I explain to them that we do not know for sure what time of year Jesus was born). But they do enjoy sending letters to the North Pole and getting presents from Santa. At the same time, we emphasize that Santa is symbolic of the spirit of giving. Santa, of course, stems from St. Nicholas, the Catholic patron saint of children. One movie that I enjoy immensely this time of year is Polar Express. I love the way Santa, in this movie, tells the little boy that he (Santa) is a symbol of Christmas and the spirit of giving. I think that one statement wraps up the entire movie and the idea of Santa Claus very nicely. I often hear people ask, "How did you find out 'the truth' about Santa. My reply is always the same - what truth? I'm happy to say, I definitely believe in Santa Claus and what he represents. What better way to serve Christ than by giving - to our friends and family and to those in need? I hope the idea and magic of Santa Claus is something that Taliesin and Nathanael will always carry with them.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's Almost Time....

The Reason for the season!
Tinsel and Glitter
A winter wonderland
Wishing you a Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Nathanael's Famous Letter to Santa

Today, our local newspaper, The Salina Journal, printed a story on our public library's Letter to Santa campaign that they run each year. :^) They forward letters to the North Pole from the library's young patrons. Well, in their article, The Journal printed some of the letters that they forwarded on this year. Nathanael's was one that was printed. Here is a link to the article. Nathanael's letter is the one about the big bulldozer scoop. :^)


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And They Danced...

Introducing: Taliesin Hastings

"Up on the Housetop, Raindeer paws...." (Now if he could just get those darn antlers to stay up).

Ballet: "Silent Night, Holy Night, All is Calm, All is Bright...." (notice bright smiles on little faces).
Kandy - very proud of Taliesin for following his dream...

Winter Cleaning

Well, last night; I attempted to download some new snow pictures and some cool pictures of Taliesin and Nathanael making homemade playdough; but, for some unknown reason, there was an error. I have not tried again today. But I hope I can get the error straigtened out soon enough. Tonight is Taliesin's Christmas program and party at his dance class, so I want to post pictures from the fun! Today, we're having a cleaning day! With my research papers and Kelsey's finals, the past couple of weeks, the house has really gotten ahead of us. I'm sure the dust mites have been happy and right at home! LOL. So today, while Taliesin and Nathanael are playing, I'm cleaning the house - in a good, winter cleaning! It looks so much better! And I feel so much better. I tend to get a little on the groucy side when the house gets too far ahead. (Another of my pet peaves - LOL).


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Okay, this is nothing about Christmas - and not very jolly, either

What are your pet peaves? You know, those things that really get under your skin. I have two or three that really bother me. My BIG pet peave is double standards. You know, like this is the standard that I have set for you, but I have a different standard for myself or for this person over here. My first pet peave leads into my second pet peave - generalizations and stereotypes. You know, like all girls love to cook and clean house and all guys love football and fixing cars. Pet peave number one and pet peave number set the stage for pet peave number three - arrogance.

That said, I've been having some interesting conversations about male/female stereotypes and opinions lately. Most of them have been very light-hearted and respectful. Although others and I may not agree, our conversations are generally speaking nothing that would offend the person of the opposite viewpoint. That is, until yesterday. As regular blog readers know, Taliesin and Nathanael are in dance class. In fact, next week Taliesin has a dance program coming up; so I will be posting some fun pictures when I get them. (Of course, Taliesin has also begun karate, and Nathanael will begin karate in February. And Taliesin has basketball in January and February. And, of course, Taliesin has been in many, many art classes - and that doesn't count children's church). Anyway, it seems the one that most people question is dance class. Somewhere along the line, despite the fact that there are probably almost as many male dancers as there are female dancers; many people find dancing (particularly, ballet) feminine. Oh, well, people have their own opinions, I guess. But yesterday, at one of our monthly activities that I will leave unnamed; Taliesin was excluded from a dance activity because he is a boy. The person who is planning this activity gave her reason as boys are more difficult to work with than girls. Well, I can tell you from first-hand observation that all of the young children at this activity are typical young children. The boys are no wilder than the girls or vice versa. They are typical five and six-year olds who have a hard time sitting still and being quiet. These are skills that improve with age; but at five and six, it's difficult for the kids to retain self-control for long periods of time. But the fact that an adult would exclude a five-year old child from something he is interested in based on gender is really just too much for me. I have contacted the leader of the organization and will take it farther if need be. I just cannot understand why it is such a problem to not discriminate. I can honestly say that if Taliesin saw the other children his age (even if they are all girls) performing and he was not able to, it would upset him. Perhaps other boys would not be interested, and that is fine. But, in our family, we do not discriminate on the basis of gender or age or any other reason.

I'm sorry to interrupt the happy Christmas postings with something negative; but our happy Christmas time was interrupted by this and I felt it something important to include on the blog.

Kandy - student of theology, even though I have been told theology is a man's area.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fun Activities

I promised a picture of Dorothy, the tree frog, a few posts ago. I finally got somewhat of a picture of her. It's difficult to get her in view of the camera, since she changes colors with her environment. I tried today to get a picture of her on top of her castle, but it didn't work out that well. This is the best one so far. :^)

Painting Christmas Tumbleweeds

The Bus Ride. Taliesin and Nathanael see the school bus come to pick up the kids down the street everyday. They would always say, "Mom, I want to ride a bus." Okay, then. We took a bus ride to the mall a few months ago. And yesterday, we just took a city bus ride around to each bus stop and then back to ours again. This is Taliesin on the bus ride. (Nathanael fell asleep).

Today was the first snow of the season. Taliesin and Nathanael are having lots of fun!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cookies with Santa

This past Friday, Taliesin and Nathanael attended a yearly event - Cookies with Santa at our public library. They had lots of fun. And this was the first year that Nathanael would sit by Santa Claus. :^)


Thursday, December 4, 2008

... With Bows of Holly...

This is a picture of a raven decoration Taliesin found at an after Halloween sale. He wanted to put it on our silver Christmas tree.
When Taliesin put his raven on the Christmas tree, Nathanael decided he needed to put his pink stuffed duck on, too.

Taliesin decorating a milk container to put his Christmas tumbleweed in.
The Christmas tumbleweed - ready for decorating.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We Interrupt this Christmas Blogging... bring you an important announcement. :^)

Taliesin went to his first karate class yesterday evening. He loved it! It is definitely a lot of physical activity, which is especially good this time of year when we cannot get out and play as much. Next month, he begins basketball. Then in February, Nathanael has a karate class. Since this class is just a one-month thing through our Parks and Rec. for the city of Salina, I'm looking into affordable karate classes, just in case Taliesin wants to continue after this month is over. I found one that is $45.00 per month. So that may be an option.

Today, Taliesin and Nathanael got their monthly paycheck from The Buyer's Guide. Last month, you may remember, they bought Dorothy, their tree frog (still need to get some good pictures of her). Today, they opted for toys. Taliesin bought a Darth Vader action figure and a Mr. Potato Head Spudtrooper. Nathanael opted for toy trucks (his favorite).

And last night I finally saw Twilight. You have to remember, I have not read the book yet; so I'm not sure how close the movie is to the book. But I loved it! Kelsey thought it was boring. But I enjoyed it a lot. Now I definitely want to read the whole series!

...And now back to our regularly-scheduled Christmas decoration blogging....


Monday, December 1, 2008

Deck the Halls...

I love Christmas! It's my favorite holiday! Taliesin and Nathanael have been having a blast decorating the house for Christmas - espcially Taliesin, my artist. LOL. Over the next few days, I am going to attempt to post pictures of their decorating. For today, this is our newest Christmas tree. It's around a $100 tree that we got for $20 at an after-Christmas sale last year. It's very pretty - prelit, and gold. Taliesin calls it our beautiful golden Christmas tree.