Friday, December 24, 2010

Focus on Jesus

Today my temp was down .5 from being down .2 yesterday morning. I was still holding out for the best, but took a test this morning and negative nelly. I am trying really hard not to get down and reading this post really helped me refocus my priorities where they need to be this day and beyond. I will not let this change my plans of happiness and joy for this holiday weekend. I have too much to be thankful for and to look forward to.

My prayer buddy was a cake walk! She was already pregnant so I just needed to pray for her safety during delivery and for the arrival of a healthy child. Little Joseph, mom, and dad are all doing really well and so now I just pray for them to be wonderful Christian parents to their precious boy. I had the joy of praying for "My New Amazing Life". I had not read her blog very much before, and I love love love getting a prayer buddy I don't know as well as others so I can read and get to "know" them better each day. I will continue to pray for her and her family. God bless you all.....

I hope you all have a very happy and holy Christmas this year. May God bless you all richly this holiday season and may Christ's love fill your hearts and souls.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oh how merry and bright!

I have a few minutes to spare and thought i would do a quick takes Thursday (even though I know most people do them on Friday :)

1. I met Sew and Bill's Hannah Monday after school! She is beautiful, tiny, and perfectly formed! They definitely have the very best Christmas gift ever. She just slept although I got to see a tiny bit of her eyes for just a moment before she drifted off again. Sew looks absolutely great too after just giving birth, God is good.....all the time!

2. LOL!! I thought I was bringing Sew gluten free sweet potato chicken enchiladas along with the salad and beans, but last night I opened the freezer to get the white chicken chili and much to my surprise (and chagrin) I saw the enchiladas. I asked Blake, "what in the heck did I give Sew then if they are here?!?!" Turns out I sent the Thanksgiving sweet potatoes instead. What a great meal, right? Sweet potatoes, chili beans, and salad. LOL!!!

3. Tomorrow starts my marvelous Christmas break! I am literally counting down the hours until that glorious half day tomorrow which starts a 2 week vacation. Gotta love teaching.

4. My husband is seriously too good to me.....It has been crazy cold lately and every morning I get into a frost free warm car with plenty of gas. I have bought gas twice since we married and he was so upset I didn't wait for him to get it for me. He is such a provider :) Now that it is getting cold and his business is slowing down, he will be Mr. Mom for the next 8 weeks or so. He cleans, washes clothes, and get dinner started.

5. Last Friday I had my neice and nephew after school until around 6, then the other 2 nephews and neice came to spend the night. We went light looking, ate Mexican (my nephew ordered in spanish and told us "gracias por la cena tios" which is thanks for the dinner uncle and aunt). I was so proud of my little student! Then we rode the golf cart to my sis and her husband's house to visit, we had a great time with those sweet kids.

6. Our dear preist, Fr. B. will be coming over for dinner Friday night along with my mom and dad, sister, brother in law, and good friend who went on pilgrimage with me, dh and myself. We are getting out the china and having a gourmet meal to thank him for helping me so much with the pilgrimage. We are having assorted cheeses and crackers for apps, Boston lettuce salad with pears, feta cheese, and candied pecans, pork tenderloin with blackberry demi glace (sooooo good, one of DH's faves) rough mashed red potatoes, sauteed green beans with tri-colored peppers, and homemade truffles for dessert. My mouth is salivating as I type...

7. I cannot wait to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" Saturday night and finish wrapping the gifts I will hopefully buy on Saturday. I can barely get through 5 minutes of that movie without crying. I may follow it up with "Bell's of St. Mary's". I love love love old holiday movies.

Any suggestions for some other holiday favorites? I just rejoined Netflix :) and......

8. and just to add another is CD 19 which means I will test on Christmas Day........

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nativity scenes

Last year Blake "strongly encouraged" me to give away some of our Christmas decorations. We had 11 Rubbermaid containers of decor and now we have 8, still alot I know but this year I only put out my favorite things and the result is stunning, if I say so myself :) It is not overdone, but shows the Christmas spirit in each room. My favorite decoration to put out of my parents' home as a child was the family Nativity set and things have not changed. I still love my Nativities best, and have always collected Nativity scenes especially when I travel. Here are some of my favorites.

This nacimientito (in Spanish, a tiny nativity) is actually 3 ornaments, but they look so precious in the village of houses and town with the other people and buildings.

I bought this at a craft fair in Memphis years ago during the hot months of summer. The star just had to be glued again last week. It is so hard to pack each year!

My mother made these angels when I was a little girl. The nativity is a miniature Fontinani (spelling?) that she had brought me back from Rome and was blessed at John Paul II's mass.

This is one of my absolute favorites ever. I bought this Nativity in Guatemala for about 8 dollars, and I am sick I didn't buy more for gifts but I was almost out of money at that point at the end of my trip. Each figure is clothed in traditional clothing of the local Guatemalans.

Another true favorite, my dear sister bought this one for me in Mexico when we took a cruise on my 3oth birthday. I love the dotted halos Mary and Joseph are wearing as well as the tiny, adorable sheep. The picture of Jesus was drawn by my sweet neice Maddie when she spend the night over the Christmas break years ago.

This is my first "expensive" Nativity. A real Fontanini that I bought pieces at a time when I first moved out after college. I still have more pieces I want and will continue to add a bit at a time.

This nativity is the Willow Tree nativity that I have had for years. 4 Christmases ago when I lived alone and had just bought my house a year before, I had this nativity in the same spot but the mantle was not secured to the wall. In the middle of the night I heard the loudest crash and my dog was at my bedroom door hair raised barking like mad. I called Blake who lived about 30 minutes away and was scared to death, I just knew that I was about to be raped and pillaged by some crazed burglar. After much coaxing and courage, I came out to find my mantle in the tree, ornaments all around, sheep with 3 legs, shepherds without hand and staff, Wisemen minus their gifts, you name it! I still don't know how this happened but assume my cat, Fredbaby, had jumped and trampled them all together. I had a time with the super glue the next day. I still pull out the sheep every year and laugh remembering my near brush with death, or so I thought!

In Lourdes I was looking for a Nativity right after another pilgrim on our tour had our daughter, Mary Sofia speak to me through her. I only found one I liked there and gave it to my mother.
Does anyone have any Nativity sets they love and enjoy putting out every year? Do any of you have the willow tree set of a different Fontinani?