Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Card Holder

I got my first Christmas cards in the mail the other day. It was so much fun to get mail and see how loved ones are doing. Then I realized that I didn't have anything to display the cards on. How would I be able to enjoy them all season long if they sat in their envelopes amongst a pile of bills? No no, this would not do at all. I decided to come up with some way to display them using things I already had at home.

Presenting my Christmas card line!
It was super simple and cheap to make. As a result, it's not the best looking thing but it's functional.
I took a piece of green ribbon (probably 2.5 or 3 feet long) and fastened it to the wall using two clear push pins. I positioned the pins so that the ribbon would sag a little, creating an arc.

Then I tied an extra bit of red ribbon into a bow on the middle of the line to give it a little extra holiday flair.
Using paper clips, clothespins and any similar devices, I attached the cards to the ribbon. I happened to have these adorable mini clothespins left over from another project, but they are not necessary for having a card line.

And there you have it! A beautiful, easy way to display Christmas cards.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Great Sunday!

We had a wonderful Sunday yesterday! I wouldn't have predicted it being so great, but it really was.
It was our ward's Christmas program in church. Mckay and I are part of the choir in our ward, so naturally we participated in a large chunk of the program. We had 3 choir songs and I played the piano for all 3 of them. One of the songs had a very important and difficult tenor part, and Mckay being one of only 3 tenors in the choir, was nervous about getting it right. In another song, Mckay sang a solo for the first verse. A week ago we were asked to give talks as part of the program. I could have just said no because we were already participating in the musical part of the program, but I said yes. On top of that, I was asked 2 days before Sunday to play in a violin piano duet for the program. Granted, it was a song that I had already practiced and knew well, but it was one more thing to do for Sunday. AND on top of the the program, we still had our regular Nursery duties for church. I had to plan my Music time, and Mckay had to plan his lesson.

In case you couldn't have guessed it, Saturday was a stressful day in our home.

Of course, we had procrastinated writing our talks until that day. Mckay had 2 finals on Monday (today) that he should have been studying for, but had to write his talk. We were up until the wee hours of Sunday morning writing and perfecting our talks. Just to add to all the chaos, Mckay and I were both starting to feel sick. Ordinarily, we might have considered staying home from church, but you just can't skip out when half of the 3 hour meeting block is resting on your shoulders. Since we had to be at church at 8am for an extra choir practice before church started at 9, we didn't get much sleep.

I'm sure you're thinking, "Wait a second, Sheri said they had a great Sunday and this sounds like a terrible one." Don't worry. It got much better.

We had a wonderful Christmas Program. The music sounded beautiful. Mckay did a wonderful job on his solo. I made a few mistakes on the piano here and there as I played, but no one noticed. The violinist that I played with is amazing and I would perform with her any day just so I could hear her play. I feel very privileged that she asked me to play for her.

Our talks were wonderful, especially considering the amount of time we put into them. My talk was about the wise men and how they searched for Christ. I talked about how we need to come unto Christ and shared some ways that we can do that during this Christmas season. I used a lot of Elder Uchtdorf's talk from The Christmas Devotional last week. Mckay's talk was about how Christ has shown us the way to be with him again. We learn about His birth at Christmas time, but more important is that we learn about His life and atonement. He used the following line from the song "Once in Royal David's City" (the song that Mckay's solo was in): "And our eyes at last shall see him, through his own redeeming love. ...And he leads his children on, to the place where he is gone."
I've always thought that giving a talk in sacrament meeting is almost more uplifting for the person giving it than those listening. I learned a lot while researching for this talk and it made me appreciate the wise men's role in the Christmas story so much more. It helped me to see them more as spiritual leaders for their people who sought for Jesus out of faith, rather than astrologers who sought for the star out of curiosity.

Nursery was..... Nursery. It can be very draining on your energy and patience, but it's hard not to love those little kids. Especially when you're teaching them how to sing Away in a Manger and they rock on the 'asleep' chorus. They can roll around like crazy and cry for hours, but then they can be quiet and reverent as they pretend to be wise men, follow the star through the building, and present the baby (doll) in the manger (wicker basket) with gifts of gold (plastic fake coins).

The rest of our Sunday was spent relaxing. We had a Choir Christmas Get-together where we ate treats, played a game and talked with friends. At home, we listened to Christmas carols and had Gyoza for dinner. Perhaps the best part of the day was putting Dallin in bed, having spiced apple cider and pumpkin chocolate chip bread, and snuggling on the couch. We reflected on how much we actually enjoyed giving our talks. It's been really easy to get caught up with finals, travel plans, Christmas decorations and presents. It was nice to a have a day to recognize the importance of this season. Our talks helped us remember why we celebrate and it got us into the true Christmas spirit.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Parties

We've been to a few Christmas parties in the last week. It's really getting us into the Christmas spirit and I'm getting so excited for Christmas.

Our ward had a "Night in Bethlehem" Christmas party at the church. Every one dressed up in biblical time attire.
Here is our little street rat.
(Recognize the vest and hat from the Abu/Aladdin costumes from Halloween last year? Who knew I'd be able to use them for something else!?)

The whole family sitting together.
All the families brought blankets to sit on in the cultural hall. We were given bags of coins (i.e. pennies) to buy our dinner from the various shops and stall around the room.
There was a fruit and vegetable stand, a soup stand, a snack stand, a dessert stand, and my favorite, "The Bishop's Winery" where we got our drinks.

We sat on our blankets, ate our food, and enjoyed the company of others.
Then there was a Christmas program and the nativity story was told.
The songs we sang along the way were accompanied by guitar. Yes, there were electric guitars at the time of Christ's birth.

It was a really fun ward party. I liked that it was a little different and it was fun for us to dress up.

Our apartment complex had a Christmas party last night. It wasn't anything really big or spectacular, but there was a free ham dinner and LOTS of desserts so we went.
They had Santa Claus there for the kids to get a picture with.
Dallin really liked Santa. (Go figure, when has Dallin NOT liked a stranger?)
It's hard to tell his emotion in this picture, but he was just staring at Santa the whole time with this happy grin. We couldn't get him to look away to smile at the camera.

I think all this partying has worn Dallin out though.
He fell asleep while I was doing the dishes.