Thursday, December 06, 2007

St. Nicholas Day

Caroline and I celebrated St. Nicholas Day by making some traditional cookies. I found this cookie cutter online but didn't have time to order it, so I just cut a shape out of cardboard, which we traced onto the dough with a knife. Caroline really enjoyed rolling out the dough and making her own little cookies. This is the recipe we used for St. Nikolaus Speculatius (Kris Kringel) Cookies, except I subbed more butter for the shortening. We made a lot of St. Nicholases... we gave them to Uncle Tim and to Daddy to take to work. We made them the day before so they'd be ready to give out on the 6th. This is something I'd like to do each year as a family tradition. I'm interested in trying to incorporate traditions throughout the liturgical year. I am starting small, since I have young children. I figure we can always add other things as the years go on and the children get older and more capable of things.

We also had a special feast for dinner and added a St. Nicholas blessing to our mealtime prayer. We got out the red Christmas-y placemats to use during this otherwise somber season of Advent. Caroline awoke to find chocolate coins in her shoe, too!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wild Animal Safari

I had been hearing about it for years... the Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, Georgia. My brother, Tim, had gone, and Caroline's friend, Matthew, had gone recently. We happened to be taking a trip to the area, so we decided to do it. Basically, it is a wild animal preserve that you drive through. The animals are completely free to wander right up to your car... and they will, because they expect food! We hadn't bought any food for them, but they approached our van nonetheless. Above is Caroline with a llama. We let her out of her carseat as we drove along at 3 mph so she could get a good view of the animals and pet the ones who stuck their noses in the window!
The bigger and more dangerous animals were in enclosures along the way. The giraffes, for instance, probably could have done a lot of damage to our car! One of them reached his head down into our window, though! There were camels, rhinos, and lions in cages along the route as well.

These elk/moose-like animals were everywhere!

This serval was in the Walk-About section, which was a bunch of cages with animals in them. There were lemurs, monkeys, grey wolves, wild pigs, ligers (a cross between a lion and a tiger - yes, thet really do exist!), alligators...

...and bears!

These kangaroos were also in the Walk-About.

The Wild Animal Safari was quite an adventure! We really had a fun time, and our van was left with animal slobber streaks all over the windows - ick! We had the option of renting one of the Safari's vehicles, but we decided to take the risk of taking our own van through. It was a very interesting place!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Apple Orchard Trip

I wanted us to take a fun fall trip to get some apples. Ellijay is a town in North Georgia that is well-known for its apple orchards. I looked around online and found Hillcrest Orchards, which sounded like it would have some cheesy family fun, in addition to apples. My brother, Tim, came with us, even though he had to wake up early. We started out petting a cow when we realized the batteries in the camera were dead. My wonderful husband went to a local store and bought some overpriced batteries so we could preserve our memories.

We went on a tractor-drawn wagon ride. Supposedly, had we come in September, the wagon would have been pulled by mules.

This was probably the biggest hit of all... a huge slide on the side of a hill! After going down it in a lap, Caroline wanted to do it herself, again and again! Chris, Tim, and I thought it was fun, too!

There was a wgole playground area with slides and tire horse swings. After playing for awhile, it was on to the pig races!

Well, they were supposed to do pig races... but first, they asked for some volunteers. Tim got himself selected. He and the other volunteers competed in a stick horse race to warm up the crowd. He came in first place and won a sickeningly-sweet candy apple.

Here's Caroline and me waiting for the pig races to begin. I had gotten a pumpkin painted on my face to show Caroline what face=painting was like. She was unconvinced, as you can see by her bare cheeks.

And here are the pigsin one of the three races. They get cookies when they win.

Oh, and we got some apples, too!

Afterwards, we went to Colonel Poole's BBQ restaurant for lunch. It is famous for the hill of pigs behind it... customers can pay to have their names put on a wooden pig cutout that is placed on the hill. Quite a sight!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Our Father and Hail Mary

Here's Caroline saying both the Our Father and Hail Mary. She says these prayers every night before bed.