Christmas Countdown! FANCY YANCY CHRISTMAS!

Christmas is coming! A couple of weeks ago Yancy, a worship leader and recording artist, offered copies of her new Christmas CD – “Have a Fancy Yancy Christmas” – for review. I had been listening to clips anyway and jumped at the chance to hear the whole album. It is SO FUN! I listen to it in the car all the time.

It has a pop-happy sound that my kids love, too. Most of the songs are arrangements of traditional Christmas songs but the originals from Yancy are really great. Our favorite is “Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas” – the first song in this sample:

If you are looking for some fun new Christmas music (and who isn’t?), Yancy is a great option. There is also a DVD designed to use as a sing-a-long. Yancy has other worship products for preschoolers through teenagers, so have a look at her stuff. She’s an independent artist with LOTS to offer!

FancyYancyCmas-Cover

There are some new FTC rules about blogging. I’m not very good with stuff like that, but I can promise you that whenever I review something here on my blog I am giving you my honest opinion. Keep in mind, however, that I am a very nice person and would never insult someone in front of the rest of the world (which is technically the way I think of any blog post). It is quite a balance. A lot of the books I review here are books I receive for free either through the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers program or through individual author/artist sites. No matter how FREE these items may be, I would never lie and tell you I liked something that was really no good. And, most of the time, I only request/accept products that I have a pretty good idea will fit with the spirit and content of the Rare Rocks blog.

St. Lucia Day

One of the things I want to do before I die is go back to Sweden for a nice long visit. Friends, this is the loveliest country EVER! I went with my Bible College friends Stephanie and Pernilla. We stayed with Pernilla’s family and friends all over Sweden for two of the most beautiful weeks of my life. I was so happy when my four babies all turned out to look like little Swedish beauties. (No Swedish blood mind you, German I think, but they still look like characters in a Carl Larsson painting!)

St

A charming Swedish tradition is the celebration of St. Lucia Day on December 13th. Last year I wanted to mention it on my blog but it coincided with finals week. And, yeah, that happened again, but – luckily – Pernilla wrote a short explanation of the day for me and I’m going to copy it here. I refuse to let finals week wreck ALL my holiday fun! Blog connection: Well, you’ll get it after you read the explanation, but Lucia is definitely a Rare Rock!

There once was a girl named Lucia. She lived in the city of Surakuse on Sicily in Italy. She believed in Jesus Christ and in God but the Roman emperor had forbidden all the Romans to believe in God. They were ordered to believe in the Roman gods such as Jupiter and Mars. Lucia prayed to God everyday but the only ones who knew this were her mother and her fiancé.

One day Lucia’s mother gave her a great sum of money to use as she got married. Lucia thought she didn’t need the money and gave all of the money to the poor people of Surakuse instead. This made her finacé very angry and he told her to take the money back. When Lucia refused, the finacé reported her to the emperor as being a Christian.

The Roman soldiers came to take Lucia away but at first they were not able to get to her, there was an invisible wall all around her. Then they tried to burn her at the stake but the fire wouldn’t hurt her. Finally she was beheaded and died because of her faith.

This happened on December 13th in the year 304 and she was later proclaimed a saint.

The tradition now in Sweden is a mixture of an older tradition where people would walk around as beggars on December 13th and a German tradition where a girl was dressed up as Jesus on December 13th with a white dress and a halo of lights on her head. She would give gifts to the children.

Ada’s Story

Ada is our beautiful, too-smart, almost six year-old. Dan brought home some of her recent stories after parent/teacher conferences this week. This one is our favorite. I’ll let you try to decode and then give you the translation.

poempoem2pic

The stars swam quietly

The stars got scared because I made my bad-est face

I apologized and they took me up into the sky

In Case You Missed It . . .

Dance

We had what Serenity calls a “Saturday Game” this week, one of those moments when all the hard work of parenting (or just living in general) is put on display. It was the Christmas Dance Recital. And, let me tell you, it was a beautiful day! Here are the highlights:

1. Macy wasn’t officially in the dance recital, but she insisted on wearing a similar costume. Luckily we had a few extra tutus from which to choose, thanks to cousin Nola’s birthday party last month. I love the way Macy believes that when we do things we should do them together. And I love that she didn’t feel one bit out of place with her fluffy pink tutu on even though she only sat in the audience.

2. Claire and Ada danced with their classes to “Christmas Angels” by Michael W. Smith. It was a perfect fit of timeless music and charming choreography. I loved the way Ada kept her eyes on her beloved teacher so that she wouldn’t forget a single move. In the posed pictures after the show, she smiled with perfectly pointed toes and curved fingers. If I died tomorrow I could go to my grave confident that this girl was going to hold everybody together in my absence.

3. Jesse’s role as a toy soldier included a “fight” sequence. Waiting for the right beats to begin his charge, you could see him waving his little finger at his partner to make sure they started at the same time. True first born stuff right there. : ) When complimented on his work he replied, “You just have to count the beats.” It is that simple for him.

4. Claire danced a solo. It was just a tiny, one word moment, but it spoke volumes to this mama. The word was “glory” and the move was a simple turn, but for a girl with a twin sister already in Glory and an arm and a leg that make just standing difficult, this was a big deal. Most of all, I was so thankful for the teachers who love her so and celebrate the gift of her life. Her physical limitations make it difficult for her to mimic the moves perfectly (or even closely sometimes), but she still got to have a part just like her other classmates. As she made that spin and then stood patiently waiting for her cue to head back to the wings, I just kept thinking how far we’ve come from this season 7 years ago. Then she was a 3-pound preemie with a very uncertain future; what would I have given to have seen this moment?

I hope I can post some video for you later on, but I wanted you to have a chance to be there with me in the glory . . . in case you missed it. It was a gift of a day.