Sunday, December 06, 2009

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Our priest told the children all about St. Nicholas during the children's sermon today and gave each of them a St. Nick to take home.  It was a very interesting talk, but at one point when he was telling them about how highly St. Nicholas was esteemed in Russia, he told them about a Russian saying, "If anything happens to God, we'll still have St. Nicholas." (or something like that)  Katie rushed over to me during the exchange of the peace, shocked and horrified, to say that Father Kramer said we could replace God.  I explained that it was a joke and she was mollified, though still a little scandalized.
The pageant practice went somewhat better than last week.  We used the costumes, and the kids & adults mostly went where they were supposed to go.  Unfortunately we were missing quite a few people because of the snow and ice on the roads.  Next week will be our last practice, and we will go through the whole thing twice, with music.  Prayers will be appreciated!

Oh, and I saw a gray fox as we were driving to church!

It was so pretty, and was happily trotting across a clearing (not like the poor caged fox in the picture, but I couldn't find a good picture of a gray fox on the internet).

We had planned to buy our Christmas tree on the way home from church, but I forgot the checkbook so instead we went back up the mountain later in the afternoon.  The snow had been really thick in the morning and the children brought their sleds just in case we saw a good, available slope, but the snow was largely melted by late afternoon (though I am sure we'd have found plenty if we'd gone north a little farther).  We happened to meet friends who were getting their tree from the same farm, so we chatted and the kids horsed around and threw snowballs. (And they had brought hot cocoa with marshmallows & whipping cream and cookies, which they shared!  Why don't I think of things like that?).  It was Travis's turn to pick the tree this year, and he took the job very seriously.

He finally picked the Perfect Tree.

And here is Katie, eating an icicle.  It wasn't her year to pick, so she just ran around and played.

Here is Ed posing as though he is about to drag the tree along.  The tree cutting guy is explaining to Travis how to hold up his end.  As soon as I had taken the picture, though, I took the other side and we all carried it together, feeling rugged and outdoorsy, like models in an Beans catalog (you know, the plain, tubby, middle aged models with mud splashes on their clothes).  Fortunately the tree wrapping guy took pity on us and carried the tree to the van and stuffed it in the back for us. 

Just because I am curious to know if anyone else does this, Ed washed our tree after we got it home.  We got it up on the front porch, sitting in the tree stand, and he gave it a complete hose down.  It did have icicles and snow on it, but I thought we could just brush those off, but he says it was dirty.  So now it is on the front porch, turning into a gigantic (but clean) icicle.  I think it will warm up enough tomorrow for the tree to defrost and dry, but I think that washing a Christmas tree is a sign of increasing eccentricity.

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