Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
Maybe we're the only ones but this Christmas it seems as though things ordered online are coming much slower than other years and notices that things ordered are out of stock have been sent 3 weeks after the order was placed. And this is Amazon, a company which has always been quick and dependable.
I've received two this season telling me that toy orders could not be fulfilled and 3 plus weeks after ordering, the latest came yesterday. I'm not going to get all upset by this, but boy, I could have used earlier notice.
Seems as though Heineken beer has all kinds of seasonal ads and promotions going on. I got an email from them today for some reason offering its Heineken Holiday 12 Pack. We don't buy Heineken so this was a surprise.
I'm kind of in the midst of Christmas angst. Time is flying by, I'm behind as usual and exhausted is too mild a term to describe how I feel. And anxious and worried.
One thing I appreciate, thank you some gift wrap companies, for making your paper with a scored back so ilt is easy to cut a straight line. This saves a lot of time and crooked cutting for us non artist types.
Scotch tape companies on the other hand, are chincy on the actual tape. The packaging makes it look like you're getting a goodly amount of tape but...you're not.
And, what is the actual cost of things this year? Everyone claims huge percentage off plus another 20 percent when you step up to the register. And, all shoppers seem to be in every store clutching value coupons they received in the mail or online. So what was the original price? Was there ever a plan to actually charge that much?
Also, I envy those who do not need to ship things at this time of year, who have everyone in one place.
Las Posadas celebrations are very common in the Southwest United States and Mexico. People representing Mary and Joseph take part in a procession that goes from door to door guided by an angel seeking lodging. Songs are sung and at each door innkeepers turn them away until at the end, they are welcomed. Last night a large number or seminary students along with the staff of our Institute for Hispanic studies, put on a Las Posadas and our house was one of those who turned them away. While at our front door sungs were sung until the innkeeper told them to move on.
The innkeeper, played by Hispanic studies curriculum director, Mark Kempff, arrived at our house ahead of the procession and was happily greeted by Ferdie.
Here comes the processsion
They approach our door
You may notice Ferdie went and got his security bear.
Songs were sung
And after being told to leave by the innkeeper, they turned and walked away.
The Christ Community Lutheran School kindergarten put on their Christmas program Thursday morning which had the children telling the story of the birth of Jesus. Connor was a shepherd and had on a red tunic. Connor was Connor-totally.
Yes indeed. Connor being Connor. Fun age, you never know.
Lots of people are allergic to their Christmas tree and I am one of them, but this does not stop most of us from putting up a live tree. After a number of Christmases spend coughing and coughing, I did some research last year and learned that washing the tree before bringing it in helps cut down on the allergy inducing molds and oils. It sounds ridiculous the idea of standing in the cold hosing down a tree, but I'm here to tell you that last year this helped tremendously. I had no problem at all.
So when we brought our fresh tree home on Saturday the first thing to do was hose it down. Now last Saturday was really cold so using a hose was problematic. The water to our outside faucets have been shut off except for one which was at the extreme other end of the house and would have meant carrying the heavy tree back and forth. Not a fun idea. In fact, finding a way to get the tree washed was so daunting I almost decided to forget it, get out of the cold and just live with the allergies.
But then while in the basement watching Dale finish up his In & Out Market building I noticed the spigot to the washer right next to the basement door. Hmmm. I asked Dale if he thought the hose would fit on the cold water spigot and he said "sure it would." This meant dragging a hose to the basement, letting it thaw a bit, and then pulling it up the outside basement steps to the driveway. But it worked.
After a good hosing down, I got the hose out of the basement, reattached the washer hose and hauled the tree into the basement so the water wouldn't freeze and break the branches. It was a bit of an ordeal, but hopefully it will be all worth it this Christmas season.
Now the tree is in its stand in the living room waiting for lights and ornaments.
As a footnote to this allergy post, I have to add that people can become allergic to artificial trees too, dust mites and pollen and whatever build up on them causing issues. Not sure they can be hosed down, however.
Every December members of Holy Cross in Collinsville put on a Bazaar between services. Today was the day so many look forward to.
The sanctuary is decorated.
Meanwhile the fellowship hall below the sanctuary is also decked out.
They even have bundles of firewood with kindling.
Of course many of the men would rather have coffee and let the women shop.
Oh look, there's the Kunze's, Jacqueline, Kor and Seth on the right...drinking coffee. Seth is one of our Concordia Seminary students who does his field work at Holy Cross. Kor is admiring the loudest toy rattle you've ever heard.
But this is all for the blessing of the Christ Child