5 days till Christmas! -

Hey y'all! 

I hope that today finds you well and healthy and enjoying the month of December. haha. I'm saying that because I've just recently (within the past 3 days), been recovering from a nasty winter cold, and am very much enjoying breathing again.

I liked writing this post so much that I decided to do a December re-cap with photos. Minus the Christmas Tree Saga and also the Christmas Photo Taking Debacle. But here is the rest of the month, almost. ;) Oh and also the epic Christmas Card Envelope Addressing Convention which looked like Santa's Elves took all the cards to Santa to our living room and dumped them on a table instead of Santa's workshop. If I find one marked "Santa, I was great this year.", I'll be sure to send it on to the North Pole.

In other news....did you know there is no president of Antarctica? Just little camps of explorers and little flags with their camps so no one gets lost in their little camp country. Oh, the things that come up in conversations are just .... irrelevantly wonderful. Right, Adie? Right?!!

Dec. 1st - as you know, my Christmas piano recital. Becs came, and we got a photo. :)

My bestie's oldest daughter (Miss M., who is 11) crocheted Lucy Mae a doggie sweater because she heard that she was cold. My bestie's daughters are AMAZING. They crochet things without patterns. Me? Not so much. Here's a photo of Lucy Mae trying not to look guilty after I scolded her for chewing on the bow that ties the neckline. hahahaha. Typical Dachshund.

Dec. 13 was the Ligonier Christmas Party, that our family has gone to for....years. 2 years ago, I met Darby and choked on a lot of food, and almost fell over from laughing so hysterically hard. Those memories are still so fresh in my mind. hahah. Let's just say it was my favorite Ligonier Christmas ever.

But this one was lovely too. :) I took several pages of notes of the sermon by R.C. Sr., and was just so blessed to be there. And as you can see, I couldn't help snapping more than one photo of the amazing Poinsetta Tree.

So brilliant and so vibrant.

Delaney....who I pretty much never get a picture of standing still. 

Yes. It is extremely tall. haha. Isn't it so lovely? 

Amanda S. and Kirsten Z. I finally got a picture of them on here - yay!! 

Delaney took one of me....I've lost my bobby pins, so my hair gets tied in a knot, and that's it. 

Hahaha. We finally match! Redheads for the win! She's so downright stinkin' wonderful. 

Me & Darbs. 

Dec. 16 was St. Andrew's Choirs and Sinfonia's Christmas Concert: Joyeux Noel. It was a Sunday, and I had been going all day long from one thing to the next, but after getting begged to go on Thursday, and hearing Lauren was going, I wanted to go. haha. So I went, and I'm so glad that I did. It was amazing.

This was the view of the sun over the wetlands. I was almost in tears. A few days before the anniversary of Mrs. Sproul going to Heaven, and the sun was spilling gold over the wetlands that held the flowers that were blooming profusely when Shannon went to be in Heaven. It's things like this that remind me that God really is here, dwelling with us, showing us that He is faithful to give mercies.

One of my dearest friends - Lauren. Love her.

And Joseph, looking extremely like Dapper Dan. 

The concert was about 2 hours long, and worth every second of it. They sang French carols and selections from Camille Saint Saens' "Oratorio de Noel", and it was just glorious. Lauren has some audio recordings of it, but I don't. You will just have to come next time to hear. :) My favorite was the choirs (and congregation joining in) singing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel", which is my favorite Christmas hymn (and yes, I ended up crying), and "Un Flambeau, Jeanette Isabelle" sung by a lovely lady, Mimi Acosta. It was amazing. Did I already say that? There is nothing like a swelling organ, orchestra, and beautiful harmonies by a huge choir. Thank you, Arts of Saint Andrews for a lovely night!!

I'm sure where you live it is cold and snowy or sleeting and freezing, but here? Here in Florida it is 75 degrees during the day, with a lovely evening temperature of 65. However, I just looked at the weather for tomorrow, and it is supposed to drop to 60 during the day with a night temp of 35. That is living on the coast weather, y'all. hahahah.

Dec. 19 - So yesterday Becs and I took advantage of our college Christmas breaks and went trail walking at a park (aka: trails through woods). We had a lot of fun, mostly making fun of me tripping on every root and vine because I was going first and because I was staring at everything. Oh, and I was also the spider-web-breaker. Next time ... she's goin' first. We saw a rabbit and a black racer and a whole flock of robins. We walked about 2 miles, and sometimes you look around, and all you see is forest, and you can't hear any noise. I just love that. :)

And we found this huge, huge old oak tree. This is the trunk, and Becs isn't even close to the side of it. haha. We couldn't believe how big it was!! We got pictures with it. :)

The trunk. It looked like a Living Tree from LOTR, with a bunch of bumps for thrones.

And then we took Spider pictures for EmilyBrower. Emily - never say I don't do anything for you. hahaha hahhaa. We made sure to go under this one's giant web!

I looked it up, it is a Golden Silk Orbweaver (Nephila clavipes).

You can't see the web....but all those dots are (previous lunches?) on the web. heh. 

Yep. You're welcome, EmilyBrower. This is for telling me the other night about the roach/shirt story.

I walked right past this little guy, but Becs spotted him! I hate the brown lizards that have invaded FL, but I love these guys! He is a Green Anole. I don't let Lucy Mae kill these. 

A Cassia blossom.

So that sums up my December! I can't believe it is 5 days until Christmas. It has zoomed by!! What are you most looking forward to this Christmas? I'm most looking forward to: time with family, celebrating Christ's birth, and now.... cold weather! YAY!

Remember now, don't be shy....say hello, from wherever you are!!
Always with love,
~ Jean Marie ~