One year, we purchased a tree from another place that was further away. The transportation of it from that location to our home didn't go so well. After almost losing the tree several times, the highly-stressful drive was the pivotal point in finding a closer location to home where we could find a tree.
There were plenty of trees to choose from, and we found one that we like a lot. It's tall enough (perhaps a bit too tall given that are ceilings are low because of living in an old farmhouse) and plenty wide.
Olivia and Sophia by the tree we picked.
There should be enough boughs on the bottom that we will cut off to make an Advent wreath on Wednesday.
This year, we used the new car. It doesn't have a rack on the roof to tie down the tree, so we put the tree in the car. We put a blanket down first and then I pushed the tree into the car. It just fit.
Turned around and said, "Where are you, Olivia?"
She leaned over with this HUGE smile.
(Wish the picture wouldn't have been blurry.)
Turned around and the entire back of the car was filled with the tree. It smelled wonderful.
A picture in focus with Olivia and the Christmas tree.
Unrelated to Christmas - but also a highlight of the day - was taking Cooper to puppy agility training. As usual, he was so excited to be there and to be able to go onto equipment - especially the A-frame ramp.
Cooper learning how to do the teeter totter.
This is at the end where he receives a dog treat and peanut butter.
The instructor is on the left in the blue sweatshirt and I'm on the right.
This was to ensure that Cooper wouldn't jump off the teeter totter.
Today he learned how to do the large teeter-totter. He did very well...though was a bit nervous as were most the other puppies.
At the end of class, there was a graduation ceremony since this was the last class of the session. Each of the handlers and puppies showed a trick they learned. Sophia showed how Cooper could do the "figure eight."
Then each of the puppies got to go through the obstacle course on their own with their handlers. Sophia and Olivia took Cooper through the 11 stations and did a great job.
Sophia leading Cooper on the miniature A-frame.
The standard A-frame stands about 5 1/2 feet tall in the center.
When we came back home, Sophia practiced the harp before I took her to her 45-minute harp lesson. She is preparing for performances on the 13th and 23rd at the nursing home; and the 22nd at church.
Sophia practicing Christmas songs on the harp.
While Sophia was at her harp lesson, Olivia went to the local elementary school to work on math, reading, and speech; and then did her weekly drawing class which she enjoys.
I also finished printing out shoe outlines for Olivia to color. She has been coloring them for the past week for the seniors who will attend the St. Nicholas activity we are doing for them on Friday at the nursing home.
In addition to Advent, we are celebrating Chalica. Today we talked about the principle of justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. To honor that principle, Sophia and I went shopping and chose 20 items for women and children who have escaped domestic violence situations. We will bring these items to the Tubman Center in Maplewood when we are near that area this month.
In the evening, Olivia chose the book to read: When Mindy Saved Hanukkah by Eric A. Kimmel.
We all practiced memorizing The Night Before Christmas. Olivia has 6 pages of the book memorized; Sophia and I have 8 pages memorized. There are still a few words here and there that we need to remember. There are 23 pages total in the book.
Luke 1:11-13 - And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.
Artist trading card I made in 2008 with an image of an angel on it.
What do cows say at Christmas?
Young calf that was at the county fair.
Christmas almond bark we made in December 2012
with crushed candy canes.
Today we learned about candy canes:
In the 17th century, the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany gave his young singers sugar sticks to keep them quiet during ceremonies. In honor of the occasion, he had the candies bent into shepherds’ crooks.
In 1847, a German-Swedish immigrant decorated a small blue spruce with paper ornaments and candy canes. By the 1900s, the candy cane got its red and white stripes and peppermint flavors.
They were mass produced in the 1950s, eliminating the laborious task of making the treat, and their popularity spread.