This was a more relaxed Christmas season for us, I feel like. We took the week before Christmas off of school, as well as this week of Christmas. That really helped. There's always a lot going on leading up to Christmas; it's hard to do school and parties and activities and baking.... All the Christmas doings are more enjoyable with a little extra padding of time.
Liz Photo Creds
Elizabeth got her driver's license!!
The first place she drove to was an old abandoned house about 5 minutes away. She had to take someone with her if she was going to explore, so she took Jonathan. I've been there with her before ~ it's a neat looking little place. I'd love to know its history. There are two buildings on the property; the one pictured is made of stone.
Phoebe and Charlize on Christmas Day. They are growing up!
Elizabeth made the sweater for Phoebe.
Liz Photo Creds
Elizabeth also likes to wear the sweater she made for Phoebe.
Since we are off school and have some time on our hands, Phoebe got out all the cards she's been saving from over the years and read them. I do the same thing periodically. I had a big box of letters that I kept for a long time. I went through it finally and whittled it down to a small shoebox of letters.
Ah! This was a lot of fun.
A homeschool friend put together a time of caroling at a nursing home. I've been wanting to do this, but I'm not usually one to lead the way on this type of venture. I also have memories of doing it as a kid, and I'd always thought it was kind of useless. "We aren't professionals. There's nothing special about how we're singing these songs that would be especially enjoyable. We're awkward when we try to talk to the folks listening. Why are we doing this?" Maybe our kids are thinking these same things.
But I had a totally different perspective this time around. I saw the little, bright-eyed lady in her wheelchair singing along with us. She shook my hand and told me I sang beautifully and that she used to sing in her church choir. Each seemingly non-attentive person we went around to in the sitting area lit up when we hugged them or patted them on the shoulder and had a little something to say to them.
We walked down the halls singing to those who were in their rooms. One lady called us in and we sang Silent Night. She cried. Who knows what thoughts were going through her head.
One old timer, when I shook his hand, said, "Well, hell! *chuckle, chuckle* I mean, hello!" He was quite jolly and funny. All the folks wanted to give Harrison a pat or hold his hand. They love little kids.
Thank you, Cil, for putting this together!
People just want a touch of humanity sometimes. It doesn't have to be professional.
My sister sent this picture of Jordan eating his new candy cane. Wow! This is just a classic Christmas picture, in my opinion. I love it!
Mimi and Papa were here for the weekend. We watched "A Christmas Carol" with George C Scott. Very classic and nostalgic. Harrison discovered that he loved that cozy spot between the couch and the Christmas trees.
I wanted pie for Christmas dessert. But I couldn't decide what kind. We had seven mini pie plates and a new pie crust recipe in Cooks Illustrated......
Went to church at Cornerstone Sunday morning. It was their Christmas Eve service even though it was morning time. I really enjoyed their music ~ a choir and a brass section.
And the lighting of the candles!
There were about 4,000 people there. It's really neat to see that many points of light in the auditorium.
The preacher talked about something I had been thinking on this year: Lights on the tree came about to show that Jesus is the Light of the world. He said Martin Luther started the tradition. Now it has become a common cultural practice ~ to light your house and tree around Christmas time. Even if they don't know it, people the world over are testifying to that Light. We want light. It's delightful and beautiful. We drive around to catch the best displays of light. What a great parable that can point to Jesus.
And Mimi took Phoebe to get her ears pierced at Claire's just like Elizabeth a few years ago. Very exciting times in life. :-)
Harrison was bucking around and dancing. He was so expressive about his excitement. You just can't beat a little kid at Christmas time.
Dinner is served.
Too much food, as always. But we will have leftovers, and that is a good thing.
Seven mini pies.
The chocolate mint pie got the most votes. Phillip liked the pumpkin best. Mimi liked the cran-raspberry. I liked the tart lemon best. It was a fun endeavor. However, I told them to document this well, because I will probably not do it again. :-) I enjoyed it though.
Sharing Christmas memories around the table.
Playing Clue which Mimi and Papa got for the kids. Nobody won. We all guessed wrong. We'll have to try it again today.