Friday, January 2, 2015

Seven Quick Takes: December in Review

Hello, friends. 

This dear neglected blog has been all but forgotten for most of the month... and a while before.  I have lots of stories and projects and draft posts in the works, so let's hope that 2015 sees me back a little more often in this corner of the internet.  I'll start off right with some stories from last month!

Chronological order might make this more readable, but really, lets just go in order of importance.    Meet my niece, Violet Irene!
Proud mama and papa Stephanie and Steven welcomed this little beauty into the world on December 18th.  Watching them become parents has been so fun, inspiring, and awesome.
We are so in love with her!  Fortunately, Christmas break from school (and my generous sister and brother-in-law) have allowed me to spend most of the past two weeks with her, helping and soaking up her adorableness.  Seriously, she is the cutest.

In other news, my mom made me this manger earlier in December.  The nativity figures had been my Grandma's and I have used them for years.  I really like it because of its gold and ivory simplicity.  My mom took it upon herself to design and build this awesome manger to give the Holy Family a bit more of a home for the season. 
It has two separate rooms, a fence, a hay loft, a ladder... and the best part is that the whole thing easily comes apart and stores flat, without using any nails or screws.  St. Joseph would be proud of my brilliant mom.

My other Nativity (not nearly as beautiful) is in my classroom.  I have always regretted that because the kids are not in school during the last days leading to Christmas and the days between Christmas and Epiphany, we have never been able to move the Nativity figures around representing the events of the Christmas story.  This year I changed that a bit and had to get creative to remind the kids that Advent is about looking for Jesus.  Hence "The Wandering Wise Men" moved about our classroom every day, making mischief and teaching my students about the things around them that point to the coming of Christ.  More about these guys coming this weekend as we prepare to celebrate Epiphany.

Another memorable event at school this December was me making a complete fool of myself for a good cause.  My dear cousin/friend/former-co-worker/NCIS buddy issued me a challenge.  It started as a request to do the following hairstyle for my students.  I said no, she issued a bet involving a donation to charity, and Facebook escalated it from there.  Anyone who donated could add something to my lovely Christmas outfit.  I ended up raising $357 plus a box of canned good for the Food Pantry at the parish where I teach.
It was for a good cause, and I looked (and thanks to all of the bells, also sounded) ridiculous.  My students enjoyed the spectacle I made of myself and laughed all day.  However, one Kindergartener saw me and genuinely said, "Ooooh, you look beautiful!" :)

Back to family-
I was able to go and help S&S with Violet at their house for part of my break, and then Emily & Luke came home from Colorado and we all piled into my parents' house for one-big-family-of-eight week of joy.

It involved lots of pots of coffee, and lots and lots of cooking. 
And lots and lots and lots of adorable baby snuggling.

We have one picture of her from the week laying in her bassinet.   Steven saw it and said, "When was someone not holding her?"  It was a valid question.

Being away from my apartment for two weeks has its pro and cons, but one fun thing is stopping to get the mail and having a pile of Christmas cards waiting for me.  I have them all hung up now across the big window in my living room/kitchen.  This is the only possible perk of having vertical blinds.

And speaking of Christmas cards, I just finished and mailed mine today.  I am not sure when I am going to stop myself from making my cards each year, because I keep thinking that it is crazy, and then I do it again.  I only made 60 cards this year, because I had already given/sent/written about 60 store bought cards earlier in the season.  I do really like how this year's turned out, and if the mail works fast, many people might get them this weekend just in time for Epiphany!

I'm out of quick takes, but lets just have more more look at sweet Miss Vi.  Goodness gracious, isn't she the cutest!

Thanks, Kelly, for hosting!

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