Every year around Christmas, our blog gets quiet.  However, our house is NOT quiet 😀  We’re practicing music, baking, sewing, decorating, and trying to do everyday chores around the house, plus our working jobs far and near 😉  Often we have vehicle discussions.  “Where are you going tomorrow?”  “Can I take this car?”  “What time will you be back?”  Lol!

 

To start with…we went Christmas tree shopping at Hensler’s this year, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  We discovered after last year’s trouble finding a tall tree (and we do love tall trees), that Hensler’s is the best when it comes to tall trees (or any trees for that matter!).  Plus the whole atmosphere is quite fun…they have hot chocolate, horse drawn wagon rides, a petting zoo, etc, etc.  Last year when we went, it was later than we usually get our tree, so hardly anyone was around.  This year, EVERYONE was there.  We girls laughed in amazement at how many people there were…”This is like the 4H fair…only for Christmas time!”

 

A funny picture Anna made us pose for

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Hensler’s has these nice Christmas tree ‘carts’ to haul your tree back to your vehicle.  Cassia hitched a ride on our way to find our tree 😀  There were so many people there that they were out of hand saws.  Daddy went to get a saw out of his truck, but then we ran into some friends who had just cut down their tree, so they kindly gave us their saw 😀

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We have the tree!

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While we were waiting for Daddy to pay for the tree, we saw this really cute little Volkswagen ‘Bug’ with a little tiny tree on top.  I told Anna, “Take a picture of that…it is so ‘Pinteresty’.”  😀

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This year, for the first time ever, we put the tree out in the sun room.  Some of us had a hard time liking that.  Like me.  I am a fuddy-duddy-who-doesn’t-like-change! 😀  However, it grew on me, and I ended up liking it after about a week!  Especially when I saw how the lights reflected in the windows!

 

Every year, Daddy and Mommy line up all of the ornaments.  We get a new ornament each year that has something to do with what happened that year, so after all of the ornaments are lined up, they tell the story behind each ornament 🙂

 

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They bought this little house ornament the year they bought the house we live in.  The ornament even has a small window seat upstairs…just like our house!

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We had a hard time trying to decide what this year’s ornament should be.  Susannah went to Haiti, but not everyone went to Haiti.  Cassia got into EMS, but not everyone is in EMS.  Jessica is flying airplanes, but not everyone is flying.  So our parents went out on a date one night, and found this.  We thought it was perfect, because no matter where we go or what we do…we’re going to stay close 🙂

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December 5th, all seven of us girls went to see the Piano Guys in Fort Wayne!  When we found out that they were going to be so close, we just knew we had to go!  We love their YouTube videos 😀

 

Us at the Embassy Theater, to see The Piano Guys

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Here’s a video Anna took of their performance…it isn’t the best quality, but hey!  It proves we saw them for real and in person! 😀

 

The view from the ‘sky bridge’ from the Hilton to the parking garage. It was much more amazing looking than this blurry picture really shows.

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Another night, Charissa and Rebekah baked a TON of cookies, and we all got into our pajamas and drove around, looking at Christmas lights while eating cookies and drinking hot chocolate.  That sounds so cozy (and it was!), but it was SO warm that night that the hot chocolate was really making us warm, and so we opened our windows to cool off.  Who looks at Christmas lights in Indiana with their windows rolled down?!!

Mommy found out about this eight-minute light show in Warsaw, which was rather amazing 🙂

Went out with the family to look at Christmas lights!! So fun 🙂

Posted by Seven Farmgirls on Saturday, December 12, 2015

 

 

On December 12th, Leah, Susannah and I played in the Symphony of the Lake’s Christmas concert!  That was amazing!  The Warsaw high school and middle school choirs sang while we played…The Candlelight Carol by John Rutter, For Unto Us A Child is Born, And the Glory of the Lord, and several more amazing songs 🙂

 

Christmas Festivitiesphoto via Symphony of the Lakes Facebook page

 

 

The next thing on our December calendar was the Bremen Holy Walk!  We so love doing this!  There’s a more detailed post about it here from a previous year.  But basically it’s a live nativity…you get to walk through Bethlehem and experience a little of what Mary and Joseph may have experienced 🙂

 

This year we sewed about sixteen new costumes for the Holy Walk.   The committee gave us several bolts of material to sew them for last year, but we got busy and didn’t get to do it.  This year, in true Richardson style, we waited until the week before to decide that we really should sew these up! 😀  So one night Leah made us yummy peppermint chocolate cookies, turned on Christmas music, and we cut out and seeeewwwweeeddddd costumes!  I was the ‘costume-cutter-outer’ and the rest of the girls set up their sewing machines and sewed them all up.

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All sixteen costumes…FINISHED!

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This is most of us on Friday night…crammed into the bathroom, all trying to adjust our costumes 😀

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Mommy, Anna, and I were guides (this was Anna’s first year, and she LOVED it!).  Here all of the other guides are listening to Barb give instructions before we headed out to guide our ‘families’ (groups).

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This year, 4,000 people went through the Holy Walk over the course of the two nights.  Mommy guided eight groups, and Anna and I guided seven groups each.  A group usually averages around 20 people.

 

Mommy got some pictures of some of the tents before it got dark.  This was the “tax collector’s”  tent.  The tax collector always gives me a hard time when I come through with my ‘families’.  He’s supposed to be this ‘stern Roman’, but he can’t seem to keep a straight face.  When I came through with my fourth group on Saturday, he turned his head toward me and held up four fingers, “Is this number four?!”

 

I always sit on the straw when I’m in the Roman tents…partly because I’m tired and need a rest, and partly to get the Romans going 😀  He always told me, “Get up old woman (they call you ‘old woman’ or ‘old man’, no matter what your age!),  why are you sitting on my straw!”  At my last group when it was 12:30 a.m. he let me sit down…I think he felt sorry for the guides who really were tired by this time!

 

He put me in the stocks for the first time ever…Mommy had the very last group at about 1:30 a.m., so I snuck in at the end of her group, and when he saw me again he started laughing.  Which made me laugh.  Then he told Mommy, “What’s the matter with this one down here?”

 

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Then he hit the board in front of his ‘throne’ with his staff and said, “Come here!” and made me kneel in front of him.

“What’s the name of your family?”

“Hadassah”, I said…I knew what name Mommy always went by.

“What does your family do for a living?”

“We’re shipbuilders,” I answered.  That was close…I had only heard a couple of minutes before what ‘our family did for a living’.

“How many people are in your family?” he asked.

I thought,  oh no!  I don’t know this one!, so I guessed “Twenty!”

I was right!

But then he asked, “How many men are in your family?”

Oh brother!  I had no idea…I guessed fifteen.

“Wrong!” he said, “put her in the stocks and she can count them as they walk by!”

Lol!

 

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More guides, plus ‘Marys’ and ‘Josephs’ getting ready 🙂

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Roman soldiers, waiting on the villagers to arrive.

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“Bethlehem” is coming alive

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The Romans always tried to rob me of my ‘money’, and it was fun to see how some of my ‘families’ would try to protect me.  The innkeeper asked who carried the money, and one tall guy said that he did.  “Good,” said the innkeeper, “because there’s some soldiers who would try to steal it from your mother here. And some of them make you look like a midget!”

Which was true, because we have a ‘Roman soldier’ who is 6′ 8″ without his Roman helmet on, so he makes a pretty intimidating soldier!

My tall ‘son’ told the innkeeper, “We’ll see!” 😀

 

The rest of the family was down in the village, ‘selling’ produce!

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We came home extremely tired that weekend, but it was completely worth it…tons of fun and a huge blessing 🙂

 

 

 

During the first part of December, Cassia had the idea that all of us girls should go out and get a manicure or pedicure.  None of us ever have before (except for me, but that was ten years ago when my friend who was going to cosmetology school gave me a manicure for free :)).  We decided we would, and called ahead to make a reservation, because we figured they didn’t want to be surprised by seven girls all at once, especially only a few days before Christmas (it was one of the few days we weren’t doing anything!).

 

Well…they forgot we made a reservation, so they were surprised.  It was hilarious, and I had to try to not laugh too hard.  Seven of us girls come traipsing in to the nail salon, and the customers are looking at us like they can’t believe their eyeballs.  Others just smiled. One lady…the look on her face was somewhere between horrified and confused.  She was probably very glad she wasn’t waiting behind all of us!

The guy in charge was confused, because he didn’t remember us calling to make a reservation, but he was very gracious and worked us in without any problem, and the ladies who did our mani/pedicures were very nice 🙂  The guy picked Charissa to go first, then had her give him one of our names.  When it was their turn, he called out the name.

Guy: “Anna!”

Anna: stands up totally confused at how he knew her name

Anna went and sat down and asked “How…how did you know my name? did one of my sisters tell you?”

Guy: “Eh, just a good guess” 😉

 

At first we were a bit confused…how did he know our names?!  Then we figured out what he was doing as each sister got done and gave him the next sister’s name 😀

 

 

He asked us, “Is this a wedding party?”

“No, just a sisters outing!”

“Ohhhhhhh!” he replied.

 

One of the ladies asked us, “Is this a wedding party?”

“No, just a sisters outing!”

“Ohhhhhhhh!” she replied.

 

A customer asked us, “Is this a wedding party?”

“No, just a sisters outing!”

“Ohhhhhhh!” she replied.

 

One of the ladies who was doing the pedicures asked, “Are you all related?”

“Yes, we’re all sisters!”

“Wow!”

The other Asian lady helping her asked in their language, “From more than one mother?”

The first lady told her, “No, I don’t think they do that in their culture!” 😀

 

After the nail salon, we went to Starbucks!

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Then we noticed other people giving tips.  Having never been to a nail salon before, we didn’t know this was customary…and we started to wonder what the proper percentage was.  So Cassia asked another customer 😀

Later, the lady who had looked horrified and confused earlier, left with her granddaughter.  I was sitting next to the door and she stopped and said very seriously and in accented English, “I hope you have a…happy…holiday.”  🙂

We were all finished, except Cassia, whose toenails still needed to dry a bit, so the rest of us decided we would go out to the van so that there would be more room in the waiting area for more customers that were coming in.  Cassia decided to just walk outside with us in her pedicure flip-flops.  I said, “What?!  You’re walking outside in those?!”  and then we started laughing.

I’m quite sure by the time we all left they were all smiling at each other and laughing, “Those girls…had no idea what they were doing did they?”

And they would be perfectly right!

This just may become a new Christmas tradition 😀

 

This picture is quite random and hilarious…we’re trying to pose for a picture, but Anna’s making a funny face, Bekah is wiping her eyes because she’s been laughing so hard she’s crying, and apparently Susannah didn’t know we were taking a picture, so she was ‘spying’ on her coffee, and eating her cinnamon roll.  She let me post this picture as long as I made it clear that she was NOT blowing her nose…that was her cinnamon roll!

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Cassia, giving Bekah lessons on how to snoop.  “First you see who it’s to, and who it’s from, and then think about what that person would have asked for on their Christmas list.”  I told her she was going to get switches and coal in her stocking if she kept it up 😀

 

Anna is terribly thrilled that I got her sleeping in the background of this picture.  I thought I cut her out, but I guess not! 😀

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Santa came on December 23rd 😀  We’ve blogged about it before, but the Mentone Fire Department visits the homes in and around Mentone, and one of them dresses up as Santa and he arrives in the fire truck with lights flashing and sirens blaring.  Then he gives everyone candy.  It’s a fun tradition and we love seeing the firetruck light up our driveway 🙂

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And now for the last part of our post…the decorations!  We have a Rubbermaid tote system where we number the totes, and have a index card file with corresponding numbered cards with a list of everything that is in that tote.  That sounds like we are very organized.  However, those lists haven’t been updated in years, so you kind of take a guess at what is REALLY in that tote, lol!  But at any rate, we know that all of the totes labeled with the number ’25’ are for Christmas.  And we have ’25A, 25B, 25C’…all the way to ’25H’ full of Christmas decorations 😀  Usually we all get together and get the house decorated in a couple of hours, but this year we couldn’t seem to get together and just DO it, so Leah came to the rescue and made everything beautiful 🙂

I mentioned in a previous post that the boys like to decorate their room, too 🙂  You can’t really see it, because the blankets are covering it, but they built their own bed frame 🙂

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Reflection in the mirror…

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The ‘stairway’

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The entryway

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Leah’s handiwork…she made the ‘faux chalkboard’ out of black paper last year 🙂

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The other wall in the entry way.  The sign at the top is one Charissa made for Mommy that says, “Never a Dull Moment”. Nothing could be more true.

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A tiny Christmas tree and Nativity scene.

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A larger nativity scene that our grandma made and gave to us 🙂

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The kitchen with all of the ‘village houses’ on top of the cupboards.

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Christmas teapots

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Lotsa aprons

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Looking at the kitchen from the other direction 🙂

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Leah was making ‘Kiss’ Cookies 🙂

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My favorite!  Remember how I said that the lights looked so pretty reflecting in the windows?

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A rare moment when the sun room, our main living area, is actually picked up and clean!  There aren’t any towels on the couch that need to be folded! 😀

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Christmas presents…stacking up behind the tree 🙂

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So cozy!

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On the night before Christmas Eve,  it was extremely windy and I heard a crash.  We just recently had some wind tear off the carport roof out by the shop, so I thought it might have blown the metal somewhere, or blown a tree branch down.  I went outside, and I never did find out what the crash was because the sky was soooooo beautiful!

You could see a full moon, and a starry sky, then white fluffy clouds were racing across the sky….zooming!  I found out later that we were having winds of about 40 miles per hour.  Standing out there looking up at that beautiful sky, and the wind trying to blow you over was just exhilarating!  I loved it!  I love how God sends us little gifts of things He knows that we like…this was a like a birthday gift from Him to me 🙂

 

Christmas Eve was my birthday…and it was nice enough for a few hours in the morning that I was able to go flying!!!  I’ve been rescheduling my checkride to get my license since the 5th of December, and the weather has NOT cooperated, so the fact that we actually had a sunny day made me very, very happy! 😀

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Now that most of the Christmas busyness is over, I do plan on starting up my ‘flying story’ again 😀   I took this picture when I went flying on the 24th…there were a few little fluffy clouds around me, and zipping by me.  I was headed for one, and I thought to myself, “Oh cool!”  Then I remembered, I’m not supposed to fly into one of those!, so I changed course to get out of the way 😀

 

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Tomorrow…we’ll show you pictures of Christmas Day 🙂

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jessica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Christmas Festivities

  • December 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm
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    Yay! I was so thrilled to open up my iPad and find a new blog post! Looks like you had a busy, yet fun December. Tell Leah her decorating is beautiful. We would have lots of fun crafting together. It’s my favorite hobby! The Christmas tree lights reflecting in your windows is gorgeous!
    The Holy walk looks like so much fun. Also, I was excited to see the word “pinteresty” because it proved to my husband that I was not the only person to use that word! Lol…!
    I’m hoping, and if everything works out, I may be coming to IN to visit my memaw the first or second week of January. I will let you know for sure when plans are concrete. She is not doing very well, so if you could remember her in your prayers that would be great.
    Our Christmas went well. I was glad to see you got to fly on your birthday! I’m going to start my blog back up. I’ll send you the link when I do.
    ?in Christ,
    Randi

    Reply
    • December 28, 2015 at 11:13 am
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      Thank you, Randi! So glad you enjoyed the blog post 😀
      Yes! Let us know when you come up! We’d love to see you 🙂 Anna and I will be gone at a music conference from the 5th to the 10th, so hopefully we don’t miss you!
      ♥ Jessica

      Reply
      • December 28, 2015 at 3:53 pm
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        Mom was telling get enough they had quite a bit of ice there today and their electric had been out. Hope you all are safe and warm. Isn’t Mentone in Kosciusko county? If so, Syracuse is as well, so you guys live in the same county. That is cool!

        Reply
        • December 28, 2015 at 7:05 pm
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          Yes! We do live in the same county! 😀
          We’ve had a lot of wind and ice, and the electricity has flickered, but so far, it’s been staying on and we’ve been staying warm! 🙂 🙂

          Reply
    • December 28, 2015 at 11:12 am
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      Nope, I don’t think we have 🙂 Maybe it’s just all of the garlands and decorations…or maybe it’s because we actually sort of cleaned it up, lol!

      Reply
  • December 28, 2015 at 1:09 am
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    I loved all the Christmas pictures!!!!! The Holy walk looks like so much fun! Tell Leah she did an awesome job decorating! You are right the lights reflecting of the windows Are beautiful! Happy belated birthday Jessica!!!

    Blessings
    Arabella

    Reply
    • December 28, 2015 at 11:11 am
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      Thank you, Arabella! I’ll tell Leah 😉 And thank you for the birthday wishes!
      ♥ Jessica

      Reply
  • December 29, 2015 at 8:06 pm
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    I do like your sun room and all the snowflakes and lights. I remember it from your
    pictures last year. I think the tree looks wonderful there.

    Reply

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