Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

I said a Christmas prayer for you
Because the season's near
I didn't ask for riches
But for gifts so much more dear.

I asked for joyful gatherings
With your family all around
And for carols to inspire you
With their old familiar sound.
I asked for quiet moments
In your heart on Christmas morn
For a special time to celebrate
The Savior who was born.

I asked for friends to send their best
That you might know they care
I asked for peace and love and hope
And I know God heard my prayer.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Scent of Christmas

During the holidays we are taken in by the scent of a fresh cut Christmas tree.  There are many candles, room sprays, and oils that try to mimic the scent, but nothing replaces the real thing.  Unfortunately, 'real' Christmas trees aren't always the best choice in some homes.  Here's an excellent alternative:  Evergreen boiling blocks. 

Next time to pass your local Christmas tree lot, stop and ask for a few of the end cut pieces.  With every tree purchase, the tree merchant will typically give the trunk of the tree a fresh cut.  These end cut pieces are loaded with natural oils. 

Place 1-3 cut pieces (depending on size) into a pan of simmering hot water.  Within minutes, the room will begin to fill with the scent of a fresh cut tree. 

You can also use these end cut pieces in other ways - drill a small hole at one end of the piece and loop a piece of twine through the hole.  If you have forced air heat, you can secure the piece inside of your floor heat vent.  As the warm air passes over the block of wood, the oils will be released. 

This is a great 'green' way to fill your home with the scent of the holidays and best of all, it's free!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade

Sunday afternoon, we attended the Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade, in beautiful downtown Rochester, MI.  This was the 60th Christmas Parade to make its way down Main Street. 

It was our first time attending the parade in person.  We usually watch it on television - but this year we decided to see it for ourselves up close and personal.  Here are a few photos from the parade: 

The crowds were growing by 1pm - waiting for the 2pm parade kick off

A color guard kicks off the parade

It's official!  We have a parade!

There were several marching bands.  I love the sound of a marching band playing Christmas songs!

The Michigan Leader Dogs made their appearance.  Such cute pooches!

These good folks are the 'Scrubs' from a local hospital.  They do a well choreographed routine with their wheelchairs. 

Dancers, singers, and more made their stop in front of the television cameras. 

The temperatures were much warmer than normal, so we had no snow.  It didn't stop this happy snow person from prancing down Main Street

The theme of the parade this year was six decades of Christmas.  These guys represented the hot toys in the 80s.. Pac Man and He-Man. 

My dear friend Erin Nicole was in charge of the "Prize Patrol" during the WXYZ TV coverage of the event.  She gave away GREAT prizes!

This huge Nutcracker was having a hard time staying balanced as he strolled down Main Street.  It was actually quite funny to watch!

There's a 'tea party' organization in Rochester (not of political affiliation) that teaches little girls the social graces of being proper.  They were dressed in their formal wear to welcome in the season. 

Channel 7, WXYZ-TV, the nations 11th largest news station, has covered the Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade for many, many years.  

Alicia Smith, anchor of the morning news, showed off her dancing talent, performing in a number with the Rochester Ballroom dancers. 

This little girl was a big fan of Alicia.  She was wanting to meet her so we made sure she had her wish come true.  She was adorable and just awe struck to meet Alicia in person. 

Not a great picture. but Santa arrived on is big float, along with Mrs. Clause.

The same little girl who wanted to meet Alicia, also wanted to meet Dave Rexroth, our Channel 7 Chief Meteorologist.  Dave is always warm and welcoming to fans of all ages. 

The best part of any parade, is when Santa arrives!  Santa has made his official arrival in Rochester during the Christmas Parade for the last 60 years!