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Merry Christmas to all - a bit late!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

OK, I'm late! But I worked last night!
What better way to work on Christmas Eve than with choirs of young and old!

They were wonderful -- and my camera's batteries held out for the children's mass, and then gave out. so I can only show you

Mary, Joseph, and a donkey...

The angels and the shepherds...

and one chorister, about halfway through the homily...

But then, Christmas is all about the people anyway, isn't it?

Merry Christmas to all!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CELLO23 12/28/2010 5:54PM

    Such cute pics - LOVE the donkey with its forlorn ears! Hope you have a great trip and safe arrival! emoticon (couldn't find a plane...) emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/26/2010 5:22PM


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ANDYINBC 12/26/2010 1:39PM

    Looks similar to our Christmas Mass, where I was the proud father of a singing angel!

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CLAUDECF 12/26/2010 1:04AM

    Thanks for sharing and a Merry Christmas emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CJWORDPLAY 12/25/2010 11:06PM

    Thanks for taking the time to upload these pictures. I agree - I don't know a better way to spend Christmas Eve. You have helped create wondrous memories. You are a gift to all who know you.

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Christmas Eve music!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The lights are brightly shining outside our church and tomorrow all will be put in place for the Christmas Vigil, Midnight, and Day masses!

The choir is ready and sounding good!
I thought some of you might like to see what we are here is our program!

"Hodie Christus natus est" (Gregorian chant)

"On This Day" (an arrangement for choir and organ of Personent Hodie)

"The Angel Gabriel" in a wonderful arrangement by Robert Edward Smith

"Bring a Torch, Jeanette, isabella" arranged by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw

"As Lately We Watched" (arranged by Charles Black - some lovely divisi for the sopranos & altos

"I Wonder as I Wander" - Appalachian folk tune arranged by John Rutter

"Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine" harmonized by Erhard Bodenschatz

"Patapan" arranged by Robert Edward Smith - with piccolo and snare drum!

"Noel Nouvelet" arranged by Harold Owen - two flutes and choir

Then mass will begin with the Christmas Proclamation and the procession to the altar.

"O Come All ye Faithful" is the processional, of course!

Choir will sing "O Magnum Mysterium" by Tomas Luis de Victoria and "Silent Night" in German, as arranged by Schulz-Widmar.

All will sing "The First Nowell," "Silent Night," and "Joy to the World."

And then it will be Christmas! And all good musicians will rest well in their beds... emoticon

The babe is born!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBELBLITZ 12/24/2011 5:31PM

    Looking forward to our Midnight Mass this evening! Thanks for sharing!

Christmas Eve 2011

1 year later


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SARAWALKS 12/24/2010 12:46PM

    Thank you, everyone, and Merry Christmas to you! I am beginning to get excited! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/24/2010 12:46:40 PM

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CLAUDECF 12/24/2010 11:45AM

    I'm sure it's going to be lovely!
Have a wonderful Christmas!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CELLO23 12/24/2010 8:02AM

    sounds lovely! hope everyone does you proud! emoticon emoticon

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GRITS46 12/24/2010 1:41AM

    This is a lovely sounding program of Christmas music. Such a variety, many of them favorites of mine . . . Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella, I Wonder as I Wander, O Come All Ye Faithful, Joseph Dearest Joseph Mine (Joseph doesn't get the press he deserves!). I'll be thinking of you while at the same time our church is holding its Midnight Candlelight Service. And yes, afterwards all good musicians sleep very well!

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CJWORDPLAY 12/23/2010 10:40PM

    Sara - This is so beautiful. I love the music you are doing, such a fine variety and including so many I have sung. The pictures help me feel as if I am there with you. Thank you for taking the time to share what you have long been working on. Bless all who sing and all who listen.

Noel Nouvelet! It truly is the Magnum Mysterium.

I hope all you fine musicians have a restful Stille Nacht!

CJ emoticon

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"Bridging our gulf of self-despair..."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It is still Advent season, not Christmas yet! We're still preparing the way...I read this today and liked it a lot so I wanted to share.

"'Every valley is to be bridged and every mountain and hill leveled'; the ancients built their roads...with an eye to avoiding steep gradients -- the cutting and the embankment must eliminate rises and dips. That Christmas ought to drive a cutting through our self-conceit goes without saying; for love of us...and for our salvation, God took on himself the nature of a slave. But equally, it must bridge our gulf of self-despair; 'Christian,' says Saint Leo, 'be conscious of your own nobility; sharing as you do in the divine nature, will you return to your old groveling?' Each of us must sink to child-level before the Crib; each of us, at the same time, must rise to Incarnation-level...

Christmas has the disconcerting directness of childhood, challenges our doubts with 'Yes, but did it really happen?'; embarrasses our ingenious evasions of conscience by demanding whether we really mean it. For once in the year we have to see things with the lucidity of a child's eyes."

Monsignor Ronald A. Knox wrote this & it was published in Magnificat.
He has been dead since 1957 so I hope he doesn't mind if I share!

I also cannot remember who took the above photo which I found somewhere on the internet. Mea culpa. But I thought it was a most encouraging sky!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECOMINGJAMI 12/20/2010 4:33PM

    Thank you for sharing that. On a day when I'm having trouble with my Christmas spirit, it reminds me of the things that are really important. And it's so beautifully, artistically stated, too. I appreciate this, and you, today.

Well, I always appreciate you. But you know what I mean. emoticon

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MICKEYMAX 12/20/2010 8:59AM

    It's much easier to feel the joy of a child around Christmas!

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CELLO23 12/20/2010 5:06AM

    Sara - I'm not religious but I do like your comment about the 'disconcerting directness of childhood' - very easy to lose our sense of wonder. A friend sent me this and I thought you might like it!

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ESLTEACHER1 12/19/2010 12:46PM

    Well done my friend! Divine nature is a tenet of my faith as well and it so easy sometimes to lose sight of that when confronted with day-to-day life. What a lovely reminder and encouraging thought you have shared.

Have a blessed, peace-filled week and Bon Noel!

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Four months later, the Big D has paid off...

Friday, December 10, 2010

I just looked back to see that on August 19, I blogged about that big D word, Discipline, which has been so hard for me.

Today I am so grateful for that resolution that I made.

It wouldn't have happened without Sparkpeople and the encouraging support and tools for change that Spark provides.

Just last night my choir members were noticing my weight loss AND my renewed energy and asking about it. So again I wrote on the board,

Today I am especially thankful. I was struggling with hymn choices back in August. Today I've just about finished hymn choices going up to March 9th - so that I can head for Paris right after Christmas and spend time with one of my spark friends there!

This is one of my favorite streets in Paris, right across the Seine from Notre Dame.

All this planning would NEVER have gotten done so soon, without my resolution to be more Disciplined. I would also never have been able to fit into size 8 small pants! And I wouldn't have been able to do 4 miles of Leslie Sansone & have plenty of energy left for last night's rehearsal!

There were FANTASTIC cookies last night. I ate some! I was up just a bit this AM - but now that snow is coming down and I have some extra time at home, I can do 4-5 miles and be ready to splurge a bit at the party tonight.

We don't have THIS much snow yet - this is a photo from my front door taken last January!

I am well ahead with my work at this point, so I can enjoy some reading, work on some French to prepare for the trip, and just generally breathe a joyous sigh of relief and have fun preparing for Christmas!

Thank you, Mr. D. Thank you, Sparkpeople and Sparkfriends new and old! It's been a wonderful year - and there will be many more to come.

My most joyful holiday greetings to all of you!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ESLTEACHER1 12/17/2010 6:25AM

    You know what I 'heard' when I read this post? Peace and contentment. It doesn't mean there isn't more to do but I like what Paul says in Philippians: "I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Discipline sounds so harsh and yet it really isn't. It's love with a firm hand.

Keep walking and keep holding on to your peace!

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SARAWALKS 12/14/2010 11:14PM

    Yes, you should, Paula! And that is a fantastic new profile photo! Thanks for reading! emoticon

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/14/2010 8:20PM

    Woo hoo! J'adore Paris. I haven't been there since I was 16, but maybe that can be part of a celebratory trip. I should start my own planning!

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SARAWALKS 12/14/2010 7:52PM

    Thanks, TeenyB! So true that it ain't just about the pounds! I appreciate the vote of confidence! emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/14/2010 7:15PM

    How cool is that?! Go Big D go! And go you!~

I just love how blogging really is documentation of every aspect of this journey. It is wonderful.

So are you!

Great work!


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SARAWALKS 12/11/2010 8:53AM

    @Cello...hmmm, that will take a bit of thought! Maybe I'll blog again on that. by the way love the "situational binge" notion, re. your recent blog...
Thanks, Susan, Karen and Kaki! I iknow we will have fun!
Susan, not sure about how stunning I will look in my multiple layers but I am certainly going to feel good and have tons of energy for walking etc!
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CELLO23 12/11/2010 7:40AM

    It's fab that your choir are noticing your weight loss and commenting emoticon I think people are often shy about doing that, so there must be a great visible change!

Re Mr/Mme D - it sounds like a big internal as well as external change, and I wonder if you can put your finger on what has helped most? Or what previous thoughts you have managed to change? (this is a roundabout way of asking for tips!) emoticon

Your holiday sounds lovely! Hope you'll both post some piccies for us!

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SUSANS111 12/11/2010 1:09AM

    Size 8! Ooh la la! You will look stunning walking down that charming Parisian street. Congratulations on all the accomplishments and have a happy holiday. emoticon

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KAREN42BOYS 12/10/2010 9:53PM

    there are a lot of unexpected fruits in learning to really care for ourselves! great post!

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KAKIPOPUP 12/10/2010 5:19PM


Have a great time in Paris!

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SARAWALKS 12/10/2010 2:33PM

    Thanks, Jenn, Claude and Jami!
Well, I think I get that MR. D notion from my dad, who was the one who always NAGGED me about discipline and productivity. Probably that nagging didn't help, just made me feel guilty. My mother was very indulgent and spoiled me rotten, which also didn't help! But looking back, she herself was very disciplined and productive. Back in those days, country women HAD to be! They both aspired to an easier life for me but didn't really hope for much change for themselves.
Be it Mr. or Mrs. D, I think I have a permanent lodger! emoticon
and that's a good thing!
Paris, here I come! (well, in 3 weeks, anyway!) emoticon

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BECOMINGJAMI 12/10/2010 2:22PM

    You are an inspiration, as always. Congratulations on all your progress, and your trip to Paris sounds amazing. I haven't been in a number of years, and would like to go again. I didn't fully appreciate it the first time, as I was traveling with a group of over a hundred high-school musicians and I, myself, was seventeen.

In other news, I am taking your blog about the D-word straight to heart. That really is what it's going to take. And while he's making visits, he (she, since Claude is right, it is a feminine word in several languages!) needs to come live at my apartment.


On a random note, I have that much snow! Fortunately, it might be melting off for awhile, which would be nice. As long as it stays off the roads, it's okay by me!

Hope everything else is going well!

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CLAUDECF 12/10/2010 1:35PM

    Your Parisian friend is looking forward to seeing you again emoticon and it made her laugh that you talked about Mr D! In French, it would have been Mrs D. as discipline is a feminine word emoticon (oh well, not so sure about that).
It's wonderful that you have achieved so much emoticon emoticon emoticon in terms of weight loss, exercise and discipline. And thanks for mentioning SparkPeople to me emoticon

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LADYZHERRA 12/10/2010 1:14PM

    Joyful greetings to you, too! Congrats on your progress!

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Thanksgiving with friends and kitty friends!

Friday, November 26, 2010

You won't believe it, but this 32-lb. turkey was cooked for just 4 people!
Planned leftovers are a wonderful thing!

One of my friends is a bit camera-shy...

But the other two are not!

My delicious dinner - the perfect size, didn't need seconds!

Furry friends like to be included...

and sometimes they even obligingly pose for the camera...

until everyone is ready for...dessert!

I didn't manage to finish the pumpkin pie...and after the pecan pie, I needed to recline...

I'm glad I took Coach Nicole's advice and moved my feet before I ate!

And I'm grateful that the last 6 months or so of sparkdiscipline have left me feeling quite happy with smaller portions of food!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ESLTEACHER1 11/28/2010 2:42PM

    Loved it! Everyone looks happy, even the cat! I'm glad you had such a successful Thanksgiving! You deserve it!

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CLAUDECF 11/27/2010 5:54AM

    I refuse to comment, as I know you are posting these photos to make my mouth water emoticon emoticon
I don't care about the pecan pie or the pumpkin pie! But oh the turkey! Shame on you, such a big turkey for 4 people!!!! And oh the turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce and stuffing!
There ought to be a mouth watering emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/27/2010 5:55:15 AM

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CELLO23 11/27/2010 4:47AM

    Gorgeous cat! Lovely food! My goodness, what a massive bird! emoticon

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CJWORDPLAY 11/27/2010 2:18AM

    What a wonderful way to include us in your Thanksgiving celebration. Love the pictures. I know what you mean about feeling happy with smaller portions. And I'm taking your (and Coach Nicole's) advice about moving my feet! Sounds like you had a delightful holiday.

CJ emoticon

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SUSANS111 11/27/2010 1:28AM

    Looks like a perfect Thanksgiving feast!

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ANOTHERMOMOF2 11/26/2010 9:14PM

    Good for you on moving your feet before you ate! Nice pictures.

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