The three year old son of friends of mine had a rather interesting take on the nativity story. In his version, the Holy Family, shepherds, and wise men were all attacked by a deadly land shark. Fortunately, the angels sent fighter planes to take out the shark, but not before he got to the camels, sheep, and donkeys, leaving a grisly scene.
To kick off Advent, we went to the Drive-Thru Nativity at the church where my brother-in-law is a pastor. A number of my nephews and nieces were taking part, though it was sometimes a little difficult to pick them out in costume.
Picked out a couple of nephews among the shepherds:
Niece in the candle shop:
Another one at Hebrew School:
Nephew at the spice shop- they had some actual frankincense for us to smell- and a niece in the basket shop:
My brother-in-law was one of the Roman soldiers:
And my sister was in the angel choir at the stable:
A couple of the other shops:
The tax collector, who was taking in donations of food and money for the food bank:
“For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning - not home but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last.” ― Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
"Now there is more to a bluejay than any other animal. He has got more different kinds of feeling. Whatever a bluejay feels he can put into language, and not mere commonplace language, but straight out and out book talk, and there is such a command of language. You never saw a bluejay get stuck for a word. He is a vocabularized geyser. Now you must call a jay a bird, and so he is in a measure, because he wears feathers and don't belong to any church, but otherwise he is just as human nature made him. A bluejay hasn't any more principle than an ex-congressman, and he will steal, deceive and betray four times out of five; and as for the sacredness of an obligation, you cannot scare him in the detail of principle. He talks the best grammar of all the animals. You may say a cat talks good grammar. Well, a cat does; but you let a cat get excited, you let a cat get at pulling fur with another cat on a shed nights and you will hear grammar. A bluejay is human; he has got all a man's faculties and a man's weakness. He likes especially scandal; he knows when he is an ass as well as you do." -Mark Twain, Morals Lecture, 7/15/1895
My 14 year old nephew came home from school with one of those robot "real" babies. My sister said that he reminded her of Imogene Herdman in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, because he kept blocking the other kids from touching the baby and yelling,"Don't touch it! Stay away! Get back!" In his defence, my sister pointed out, her five year old admitted, "I'll be a terrible father. I ripped the heads off all the dolls."
'Since none of the Herdmans had ever gone to church or Sunday school or read the Bible or anything, they didn't know how things were supposed to be. Imogene, for instance, didn't know that Mary was supposed to be acted out in one certain way- sort of quiet and dreamy and out of this world. The way Imogene did it, Mary was a lot like Mrs. Santoro at the Pizza Parlor. Mrs. Santoro is a big fat lady with a little skinny husband and nine children and she yells and hollers and hugs her kids and slaps them around. That's how Imogene's Mary was- loud and bossy. "Get away from the baby!" she yelled at Ralph, who was Joseph. And she made the Wise Men keep their distance.'
I've been offline at home for a few days, due to some complications with changing internet providers. Yeesh- nothing ever goes smoothly. Everything is now up and running however, and spending time doing not-online stuff has let me finish up a few U.F.O.'s (unfinished objects):
A couple pairs of socks:
A hat for my little niece:
A hot pad:
In addition, I finally got around to starting GK Chesterton's autobiography, which I purchased a few months ago:
I dropped into one of the local thrift shops for the first time in a long time and picked up a copy of the 1933 film The Invisible Man, starring Claude Rains. Although I've read the 1897 novel by HG Wells that it's based on, I've never seen this movie so I'm looking forward to viewing it. Claude Rains is amazing in every role, so I can't imagine that he will be less than incredible in this one.
I also bought a copy of the 1971 autobiography of Corrie ten Boom, the Dutch hero who, with her father and sister, hid Jews in their home after the Nazis invaded the Netherlands. They were eventually caught and sent to a concentration camp. The title The Hiding Place refers to both the place where the ten Booms hid Jews and to the Bible verse Psalm 119:114-"Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word."
I have a vague recollection of watching a movie based on this book when I was a child, but only remember a few scenes well. It was filmed in 1975, a few years after the book was published.
1. October 5th- Five year old nephew comes home from school: A---: "Isaac did my hair on the bus." His Mum (my sister): "I like it!" A.: "Yeah! He said all the girls would want to kiss me!" Mum: "Kiss you?! Well, how about just your mum?" A.: "Yeah. I don't need all those girls anyway. I just need one... Adeline... or Sylvie... they're both fighting over me... and they're both beautiful." Mum: "Well, you're a little young, don't you think?" A. "Yeah. I can wait. I waited a whole month already... I can't wait until I get married!"
2. November 7th- Same nephew arrives home from school: A.: "All my girlfriends gave up on me." he laments. Mum: "Good." A.: "No! Not good! That means Sylvie gave up on me!" Mum: "What does that mean?" A.: "It means we're not getting married when we're older!" Mum: "Oh." A.: "... and C---- (eldest brother, age 17) has nothing to say about that! He's already married! Mum: "He is? That's news to me. He must have eloped." A.: "No! K------ (17 yr old's girlfriend) would never do that! She's so nice! She's even nicer than Sylvie!"
3. November 9th- Nephew is disillusioned by his recent heartbreak: A.: "She never cared about me." Mum: "It's O.K., buddy. Friends will come and go, but your true friendship with your family and God will always remain." A.: "But what about when you and Dad die?" Mum: "Well, you'll know that we always loved you." Z. (7 yr old brother): "And probably all the money will go to C----."
** Update: We went to a Remembrance Day service with A. and family, arriving about 30 minutes early so we could get enough seats together. Almost immediately after getting settled, A. starts shifting around in his seat; I catch his eye: A.: "My girlfriend is here, but she hates me now!" Turns out, Sylvie is sitting three rows ahead of us with her parents. A. continues to squirm until his dad (my brother-in-law) advises him to go say hello to her. As he climbs over my knees to get out to the aisle, I advise him not to sound too needy. Under the eagle eyes of the Family, A. goes up and greets Sylvie, who immediately turns her face away, hiding it in her mother's shoulder. Discontented muttering travels along the row. A. appears to be talking with Sylvie's father as her mother coaxes her to say hello... she eventually does, and a brief but seemingly amiable conversation takes place. A. returns before the start of the service: A.: "It's O.K. She was nice to me. We're going to be just friends now." Friend-zoned. It's just as well... the family's not ready for this level of drama from the younger generation.
I've been sewing up a storm lately, doing pillowcases for a couple nephew & niece birthdays. This is a Beauty and the Beast one I made for a niece:
I made some Thanksgiving potholders for my sister; this is when I was in the middle of sewong the binding on them:
I finished the table runner & place mat set I was working on:
This is a baby quilt I made for a shower that I was attending... I probably should have ironed it before taking a picture.
I was trying out making a hexi quilt, because I need to make a large quilt for Christmas and am thinking of doing it in 60 degree triangle hexis. I thought it would be a good idea to try out the pattern on a small scale first. It's basically the same method used on the table runner above. I also finished the socks I was knitting. I'm now working on two other pairs, one of which looks like a piano keyboard running up the top of the foot and the front of the leg.
Well, we did indeed watch Hocus Pocus. It... wasn't good.
Fortunately, we ordered our traditional Halloween fare (Chinese food) and snacked on leftover candy, which almost made it worth it. Also, another sister came over with her husband and their one-year-old daughter, and the munchkin was more entertaining than the movie. My brother-in-law carved their pumpkin:
I was slightly envious to find out that one of my other sisters' kids were watching It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown after returning from trick-or-treating: definitely far superior viewing to Hocus Pocus. Her boys all opted to be super heroes this year. The eldest was Thor but, as he was careful to explain to us, "Not fat Thor."
They also insisted that their dog not be left out; here she is wearing a cape that I made for one of the boys' costumes a few years ago:
Here's a clip of the delightful Charlie Brown special: