We continued to do the Countdown to Christmas, although it is not as "formal" as past years with Sophia and Olivia pulling a slip out of the Advent countdown calendar I embroidered for them when they were younger.
We nonetheless are doing activities each day - mostly focused on service and making food with items we have on hand. We also are seeking out things that are free to do which is a bit of a change for us.
Without a paycheck since early-November, we are learning what it means to take one day at a time and see what we are able to do. It's sobering, yet humbling, to think that many others are in the same boat as we are each day. It has forced me to be significantly more creative with what we do have and try to create memories without creating a sense of panic (which on some days is what I feel).
This financial challenge - coupled with the fact that this is the first Christmas without both of my parents - makes this a season I'm simply trying to get through as best I can. Many days I think to myself, "The show must go on." And it does. And it should. But, honestly, it's one of the most challenging I've ever been through.
Below is a recap of what we did for the past few days.
Tuesday, December 8th
I made croissants for breakfast. Some were plain and other had some almond paste in the inside. They were topped with powdered-sugar frosting and sugar sprinkles.
The idea came from this pin on Pinterest that led to Catch My Party which had a photo for a "Happy Hanukkah" post.
My goal was to read a bit about Hanukkah to the girls, but that didn't happen. Between classes at the co-op and then onto Sophia's harp lesson to prepare for upcoming performances this month, the day went by all too quickly. Perhaps next year.
Wednesday, December 9th
Wednesday morning we spent homeschooling and getting flu shots. Received a call after lunch from the nursing home. Their harpist didn't show up to perform for the Christmas party that afternoon. The volunteer/activities director wanted to know if there was any way that Sophia could play the harp - in less than an hour.
Sophia quickly got ready while Olivia and I packed her harp. She made it there just in time.
She set up by the Christmas tree to play the harp.
Although this was a performance, it also gave her a chance to practice the songs for Sunday's performance at the Guthrie.
The dining room was packed with seniors and their families.
I'm so happy that she was able to get ready and over there in time for the party.
She even had the volunteer/activities director and a volunteer sing along while she played.
Thursday, December 10th
Today we had a special quilting, sewing, and painting program that we are doing with seniors at the nursing home.
It's the second session and we had quite a few seniors wanting to do activities with us.
This week I made another Christmas stocking for one of the seniors. Another one (a 97-year-old senior) wanted to sew her own pillow just like she did the stocking last week.
This the stocking that I made for Art. He's a Korean War veteran - just like my dad was.
The seniors used games that I made - like this concentration one where images of quilts had to be matched with one another.
We were fortunate to have the help from two members of our 4-H club.
The residents left feeling good with things they created - paintings, Christmas stocking, and a pillow.
Later that afternoon, we made blankets and pillowcases for children and teens going into foster care.
The girls received a grant to buy all the materials - all we have to do is create the bags.
We did this project with the help of members from our 4-H club.
This was a good project that will help children and teens.
It will give them things they can call their own no matter where they live.