Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas on the Bayou

For the past three years we have built a Gingerbread Display for The Gertrude C. Ford Center here in Oxford as a way of advertising our little budding soap business Cypress Lake Soap, and also as a way of contributing to benefiting our community because the Gingerbread Village also collects food for the local food banks and pantries in our area. This year in honor of our little business, We decided to recreate a scene reminiscent of the poem A Cajun Night Before Christmas.

Every year the kids have been able to participate a little more than the previous years. I like that it is becoming a collective effort and as they get older they are able to do and accomplish more. This year most of the gingerbread was created by me, but the boys helped by making animals from the chocolate clay that I made. They made chickens, alligators, chairs, pots, birds, rocks, nests, eggs, a deer, and cypress knees. The princess helped by testing, tasting, molding and eating what she molded. She said it was all pretty good. Matt helped with the trees, and made a couple of the cutest raccoons.

We worked for weeks and yesterday when it was finally finished and ready to be driven to its new home we couldn't get it through the door. It is quite a bit easier to get a 3'x 3' pallet through the door when it is turned sideways...and not one of us thought to even check to see if it would fit flat. After trying a couple of doors in the house I finally made the decision to risk it, remove everything that was not fixed in place and have Matt and Nathan turn the pallet while I held the house in place and hoped and prayed that everything else that was stuck on didn't come tumbling off.
There were a few casualties, but fortunately nothing that wasn't repairable, and other than a couple of birds and maybe a squirrel all the animals made it during travel from home to the destination. Although we originally had grander plans and not everything got accomplished, I am very happy with how things turned out and very proud of the work that my family did helping to create our Christmas Bayou Wonderland. I hope you all enjoy it too. I leave you today with pictures of our creation and the Cajun Night Before Christmas poem...

 Cajun Night Before Christmas

 Twas the night before Christmas an' all t'ru de house,
 Dey don't a ting pass Not even a mouse.
 De chirren been nezzle good snug on de flo',
 An' Mama pass de pepper t'ru de crack on de do'.

 De Mama in de fireplace done roas' up de ham,
Sit up de gumbo an' make de bake yam.
 Den out on de by-you dey got such a clatter,
 Make soun' like old Boudreau done fall off his ladder.

 I run like a rabbit to got to de do',
 Trip over de dorg an' fall on de flo'.
 As I look out de do'in de light o' de moon,
 I t'ink, "Mahn, you crazy or got ol' too soon."

Cux dere on de by-you w'en I stretch ma'neck stiff,
 Dere's eight alligator a pullin' de skiff.
 An' a little fat drover wit' a long pole-ing stick,
I know r'at away got to be ole St.Nick.

 Mo' fas'er an' fas'er de' gator dey came
 He whistle an' holler an' call dem by name:
 "Ha, Gaston! Ha, Tiboy! Ha, Pierre an' Alcee'!
 Gee, Ninette! Gee, Suzette! Celeste an'Renee'!

 To de top o' de porch to de top o' de wall,
 Make crawl, alligator, an' be sho' you don' fall.
" Like Tante Flo's cat t'ru de treetop he fly,
 W'en de big ole houn' dorg come a run hisse's by.

 Like dat up de porch dem ole 'gator clim!
 Wit' de skiff full o' toy an' St. Nicklus behin'.
Den on top de porch roof it soun' like de hail,
W'en all dem big gator, done sot down dey tail.

 Den down de chimney I yell wit' a bam,
 An' St.Nicklus fall an' sit on de yam.
 "Sacre!" he axclaim, "Ma pant got a hole
 I done sot ma'se'f on dem red hot coal."

 He got on his foots an' jump like de cat
Out to de flo' where he lan' wit' a SPLAT!
 He was dress in musk-rat from his head to his foot,
 An' his clothes is all dirty wit' ashes an' soot.

 A sack full o' playt'ing he t'row on his back,
He look like a burglar an' dass fo' a fack.
 His eyes how dey shine his dimple, how merry!
Maybe he been drink de wine from de blackberry.

 His cheek was like a rose his nose a cherry,
 On secon' t'ought maybe he lap up de sherry.
 Wit' snow-white chin whisker an' quiverin' belly,
He shook w'en he laugh like de stromberry jelly!

 But a wink in his eye an' a shook o' his head
 Make my confi-dence dat I don't got to be scared.
 He don' do no talkin' gone strit to hi work,
Put a playt'ing in sock an' den turn wit' a jerk.

 He put bot' his han' dere on top o' his head,
 Cas' an eye on de chimney an' den he done said:
 "Wit' all o' dat fire an' dem burnin' hot flame,
 Me I ain' goin' back by de way dat I came."

 So he run out de do' an, he clim' to de roof,
 He ain' no fool, him for to make one more goof.
 He jump in his skiff an' crack his big whip,
 De' gator move down, An don' make one slip.

 An' I hear him shout loud as a splashin' he go,

"Merry Christmas to all 'til I saw you some mo'!"

 by Trosclair

If you are local stop by the Gertrude C. Ford Center on the Ole Miss campus and take a look at the local supporters for this years Gingerbread Village . Admission is free, but people are encouraged to share a canned good or non perishable food item for families in need.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

XLEAR SparkX Candy Review

We recently had the opportunity through Moms Meet  to review a candy that is actually beneficial instead of detrimental to our bodies and especially our teeth. These little gems are sweetened completely with xylitol, another form of sweetener that is plant based and natural.

Before reviewing the product itself and giving you our opinions, here is a list of several of the benefits of using Xylitol, and the Xlear products.

  • Xylitol is a plant based, dentist recommended sweetener that has been proven to improve dental health and strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Xylitol is safe for individuals on a sugar-controlled diet because it doesn't interfere with the body's sugar or insulin levels.
  • Xlear SparX is sweetened naturally with xylitol.
  • Xlear SparX candy comes in a variety of flavors that are all free of artificial colors and flavors: Berry, Citrus and Fruit.
  • The suggested retail price is just $1.49 a tube.

My Thoughts:

I've know about the benefits of xylitol for several years now, but had not been introduced to XLEAR products before. The package came in recently and I forgot about it for a while. When I remembered that the review had to be done I found the tubes almost empty. Our kids found them and apparently enjoyed them. So I tested them to see if these were something worthy of exploring and I have to say I really liked them. One interesting thing that I found was that the candy has a cooling effect when you bite into them. They are very sweet and have a really good flavor. The flavors and colors are natural which I am very excited about, and the ingredient list is not three feet long and full of chemicals and dyes like some other candies. Personally my favorite was the Citrus flavor. The others were a little too sweet, and would love to see a version that was actually closer to a sweet tart and not as sweet.

Another benefit that I really like is that it does not affect insulin levels. Being pregnant with gestational diabetes, can be difficult when you have a sweet tooth. Having a couple of these does not affect my blood sugar numbers or affect the insulin that has to be taken so I can still enjoy a little sweet treat sometimes. 

We also received Kids Spry Tooth Gel with our package and I really love this too. The ingredient list is very short, can be read and understood, does not contain dyes, artificial flavors, or fluoride.

The Kids' Thoughts:
We have 4 children. Every one of them really liked these. Even the tube packaging. They also liked the Citrus flavor best. The only problem I saw with them was how fast they ate them. Which I guess is only a testament to how good they are.


We will definitely be getting more of these products in the future as well as trying some of the other products offered by this company. My kids are begging to have their own tubes of candy, so we may have to include them in the Christmas stockings...shhhh! 

You can find information on SparkX candy and the other products at the XLEAR website. or connect with them on facebook.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet Program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet Blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.