Friday, December 26, 2014

December Delights

The beautiful pathway from the labyrinth at the 
Rocky Mountain ELCA Synod offices, near Denver.

 She's a kitten after my own heart - 
looking at the lights from under the tree.

 We have a new Buddy Bench at school for those 
kiddos who are feeling left out or just need a friend.  

This will always be one of my faves.  

 This is NOT one of my faves.  She was so proud of herself.  

 Church time with Emma!

Really, can that be comfortable?!

A bunch of nuts! Kelly and I at the ballet.

Our 5th grade star, Avery, at The Nutcracker.
I could TOTALLY bend like she does.
n o t

 Her favorite corner.  

Second week in Advent.  

 Sending my application to Seminary via snail mail!

 Crazy-colorful house in Parker.

Chop, chop!  I can see my head again - 
went WAY too long without a haircut! 

Good grief, the cute kids that have occupied that tub!

 Yes, it's MUCH easier to do my work with you hanging over my laptop.
Thanks for that, Cinco.

 You have clearly mistaken my NO for NOEL.

 TWO little beans on our way to church!

I love the fact that we always have to sit on the same side at the restaurant.
We're so cozy!

 Look at that little man!

 We're just a bunch of one-eyed wonders!

 Sending Ruthi some thumbs up for her first night at her new church!

 Brad and Julie met us for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.

 Christopher, the Kindergartener, joined us, too!

SUCH a smart, little guy!

 Crazy-fun toys from Brad for Cinco...

 ...and one, National-Lampoon-inspired one for me!

One of the three, little kittens I fostered in December.
Just providing them a home until they find they are adopted.

Some beautiful colors in early-morning Castle Rock.

Sweet pea, Abby!
"We're both wearing purple - we need a picture together!"

Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Photo.  Ouch.

Setting up the Gym for our Winter Choir Concert.
Snowflakes and candy canes for "Jingle Bell Jukebox".

 FOUR girls from one family!  We've been singing together since 2002!

 Cammers!  Her first choir concert!  YEAH!

"Mele Kalikimaka!"

Can always use a little FAITH at the holiday!

Emma set up her "Jesus Nest".
The sweet joys of sharing the Nativity story with little ones!

The third Sunday in Advent.

One of two, unique ornaments I received this Christmas:
Sand, nails, wood, thorn - all inside the ornament.
Thank you, Posch Family!

Here's the other one - a stole-adorned cross.
So wonderfully personal and meaningful.

And then there is Lucille, who's been at
every concert for the last 14 years!

Our Jukebox, AFTER!

Now THAT is a fun desktopper!

S i g h

They just melt your heart, don't they?

Especially when sleeping.

Fourth Sunday in Advent.

Some pics from back in Wisconsin:
Dot, Mom, Tim and Brad.

December 21 - time to head to Longmont.

"On our way (to Ruthi's installation), somewhat rejoicing..."

The vested clergy that attended.

The font in her Sanctuary - floating candles!

Ruth Ann and Rocky Mountain Synod Bishop Jim Gonia




No sweeping those little eyes out of your heart.
SUCH a precious gift to be able to love them!

(Caution:  Ridiculously cute pics to follow.)

Baby Rhett is really growing! Here he is at 1 and 2 months old!

The night they arrived, I NEVER would have thought this picture would ever have happened.  All the hissing and pouncing and scratching has subsided.  All you need is love!

Just a few, last minute checks to the power grid
before the marathon of Christmas Eve services!

Balloons before...

Balloons after!

Sarah and I, ready to go!

Was looking for a robe to wear, and came across Joe Wannamaker's robe.  He labeled everything JOE III - a poignant reminder amidst the chaos of who is worshiping above this year.

Ready for the hundreds of folks who will be joining us at our outdoor service - a live nativity!  How fortunate we are to have warm enough weather to worship outdoors!

Pretty sure I'll never be allowed to retrieve the Baby Jesus next year!
Rhinestone Jesus!  Yikes.

Loved this happy moment I happened to stumble upon!

WHOA!  A camel!

All is calm (for now),  All is bright.

The Pastors and their mini-counterparts, ready for the 1:30pm service.

So THIS is why he was so well-behaved during the service!
Love the cones!

The Smith Girls after one of the 6 services that evening.  Sweethearts!

"Shepherds quake at the sight..."

And the Dailey Boys, with my brand, new toy for the kittens!

Some pics from Wisconsin:  Tim and his new grilling gear.

Apparently, Dot opened Mom's gift instead of her own!  :)

Aside from some REALLY rude behavior from some later parishioners,
Officer Kevin could enjoy the festivities without too much stress.

"Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace."

1am?  2am?  Something like that.

Ah, the aftermath of back-to-back Christmas Eve services.
Farewell, Advent wreath.

Even the tree isn't entirely sure it can make it
through the 10:30am Christmas Day service!

We all spent the rest of the day napping.

Took down the Advent "Tablecloth", too.  I had been filling this up with daily devotions using the book "Advent Reflections:  While We Wait", a part of the Book of Faith series.  Lovely ideas, and I loved the visual/tactile/artistic aspect.

"Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace."

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