Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas at My House

Another week has flown by, and it has been one full of music. I calculated this afternoon that in the last 3 days, I have sung 86 songs in performances - 4 concerts with the Loveland Choral Society and 3 songs in each of the two services this morning at church. That number doesn't count singing along with the radio or the congregational singing this morning. Needless to say, I am weary. But it has been an amazing time - our director decided that it is time to really "bring Christmas back" and chose the music accordingly. He has always chosen wonderful, "real" Christmas music, along with the "fun" stuff. But this year he went an extra step and included narration of the Christmas story from Scripture, read by his pastor. I wish you could all have been there.

But - my visit to the podiatrist last Monday left me in this condition:

This is the next step in surgery prevention. But it made getting on and off the risers, and standing for hours at a time, challenging to say the least. My singing partner served as my crutch getting off and on the fairly steep risers. I start physical therapy tomorrow - I'll keep you posted!

Once again, decorating, baking, and card sending has taken a back seat to singing. I'm thinking of a New Year's letter, or even possibly a Valentine's one instead. But then I thought that last year also. I used to put up two trees, but my designer one has not made it upstairs - this makes the third year. Hayley wants me to still put it up, though it's only a week till Christmas now. We did manage to decorate the regular tree and have enjoyed it very much.

My growing collection of snowmen occupies this corner ...

... and the angels sit in the opposite corner ...

Remember my little broken snowman that I bought in Maine? Dwight did a great job of repairing him - finding a new right arm out in our back yard. (I love the pictures of Kristen and Kevin on the wall behind him).

For years I had this one nativity set, the only ceramics project I ever did.

When grandkids began arriving and spending lots of time at my house, I acquired this Little People one, which has been used with great imaginative playing for 7 years now - the figures spend a lot of time on the floor. When you push down on the angel on top of the stable, it plays "Away in a Manger."

This is another child-friendly one, which tells the story and plays "We Three Kings." When both it and the other one are put into action, it is wonderful cacophony.

This is the third one the kids play with - I got it at a fund raiser when Hayley was in preschool. Last year Baby Jesus disappeared, and has not been found. I placed one in there from a different set, which totally doesn't fit. But that's okay.

Back in the day when we used to do blogging Christmas Home Tours, I saw the Willow Tree sets for the first time and fell in love with them. I began getting a few pieces each year. This year I completed my set with the wise men. I know there are more things available, but I don't plan to spend any more on this project.

I have acquired several more sets, small ones that fit on the shelves of our new entertainment center. This one came from Miles Kimball catalog and it's called the "thimble collection."

This one is miniature, with the pieces only about 3 inches high.

... and these are about 6 inches

This came from Louise in Maine - I love it.

I love Hobby Lobby's 80% off sales after Christmas ---

Kristen works there now, and this one was 50% off, plus her 15% employee discount!

This one is WAY abstract, but it is special because Dwight's boss gave it to her staff, made by her husband.

This was a gift from my sister-in-law ...

... and this one is very special to me, carved from olive wood and brought to me from Israel by my brother, who is privileged to go there often.

The rest of these don't technically qualify as nativity sets, but do represent parts of the wonderful story.

This one I showed in my last post, but it fits here ---

My mother-in-law made these for us years ago. I haven't put them up for years and Kristen was so happy to see them. She said she always knew it was Christmas when she saw the wise men.

Kevin found this at the Cracker Barrel one year for my birthday, and it meant so much to me because it was at a time in his life when the fact that he bought me something so special gave me so much hope. The girls love watching it twirl in the candle heat.

This was a Christmas card years ago that was drawn by Joni Eareckson Tada. She draws with her mouth, since she became a quadriplegic at age 17. I decoupaged it back in the olden days when that was a popular craft. Remember that?

My sister is heading to Puno, Peru to visit her kids who are on a short-term mission down there - I'm going to ask her to bring me one of their very cute sets. If I get one, I'll be sure to share it with you.

Have a wonderful week leading up to the wonderful celebration of Christ's birth.


Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Love, huggles and merry Christmas.

Needled Mom said...

I do hope that you can avoid the surgery, Dawn. That does not look like a comfortable way to celebrate Christmas this year.

I loved seeing all of your nativity sets. They are all unique and beautiful in their own way. It's nice to have ones that the children can handle and arrange. I wonder where baby Jesus went!!!

Your new photo header is lovely.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

My dear Dawn...first off, of course you can share it on your facebook if you haven't already. I really isn't 'mine' to say one way or another, I rec'd it in an email and wanted to share it with everyone who visited my blog to know this is EXACTLY how I feel about the 'going green'!! We've done if for years and the past generations even more so.

Now to your nativity [creches I think they're called...not sure exactly how to spell it tho--but the spell check isn't doing anything, so I guess it's correct **snort**] collection--------they're all fabulous. I'm envious of your Willow Tree collection. I keep ogling them at Hallmark stores here in town....wanting one. And the abstract one I really really like too. Oh and I must close with loving your Christmas tree, but the part that drew my eyes inward was the walls...the family portraits!!! Fantastic.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

ps....after I clicked publish, I read Needled Mom's comment as mine was loading---and yes, me too!!! LOVE all the color coordinated outfits y'all are wearing in your new header.

Brenda said...

I love all your collections. I collect snowmen too.
Hopefully you can relax a little now and get off that foot? Maybe? Kinda?
God bless and Merry CHRISTmas!

Amy said...

Love the new picture Dawn!

Thanks for sharing your pictures of all your sets.

Hope you and yours have a very peaceful and Merry Christmas!

Linda said...

Your home looks just delightful Dawn. The tree is beautiful.
I can't decide which of the Nativity Sets I like best - they are unique and lovely.
You've done a wonderful job. Isn't the singing a blessing? We have two more services - on Christmas Eve. I'm looking forward to it!

Sammy said...

First, I love your new header! What a beautiful picture of the girls and their sweet grandparents! And Olivia STILL looks like Ramona! She's just adorable, as are they all.

Lovely photos of your Christmas decorations. I bet your house looks beautiful right now. Everything looks so thoughtfully placed.

nancygrayce said...

Love your new header! That is a great picture of you all.

I do hope you can avoid surgery and will be better quickly....I'll bet that was a challenge to go up and down risers! Of course, singing that much would be a huge challenge for some of us! :)

I love your nativities and I especially love the one from Israel. The one that Kevin gave you that gave you hope made me think that I need to keep hoping and praying that my own son will someday be o.k.

Merry Christmas!

Maine Mom said...

That is a lot of singing! What a great way to celebrate the Christmas season. :-) I'm sorry your foot was a challenge to deal with, though. I hope the physical therapy is going well.

I love seeing all of your nativity sets! We need to buy one that the kids can play with. We used to have one, but it didn't last. I love the willow tree set you have! I also love your Maine snowman. I'm glad DC was able to fix it.

You have a wonderful week, too!

C. H. Green said...

I loved going through your nativity sets. I wondered if the tour of homes was still around. I guess I'll have to poke around and see. Thanks for sharing your Christmas with us!

grammy said...

Love your tree
man that is a lot of decorations on pretty!!!
Lots of nativities too!!! Love them. I have the Fisher Price out!!!
Hope the foot gets better fast. What a bummer. My sis had her knee replaced a week ago. It has been a lot worse than she thought!!!

PEA said...

My Christmas wish for you, my friend
Is not a simple one
For I wish you hope and joy and peace
Days filled with warmth and sun

I wish you love and friendship too
Throughout the coming year
Lots of laughter and happiness
To fill your world with cheer

May you count your blessings, one by one
And when totaled by the lot
May you find all you've been given
To be more than what you sought

May your journeys be short, your burdens light
May your spirit never grow old
May all your clouds have silver linings
And your rainbows pots of gold

I wish this all and so much more
May all your dreams come true
May you have a Merry Christmas friend
And a happy New Year, too .. xoxo

Gram said...

Love seeing all your nativities. My sister used to collect them - she had over 100 without counting the ones which hang on her tree. When she downsized her home a few years ago, she stopped and started giving them away to her family. Have a Blessed Christmas.

Glenda said...

Dawn, you have so many special decorations with stories! They are the best kind! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family!

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Just wanted to stop by and ring your doorbell one more time before 'the day' arrives....

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year.

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