Christmas Season

Tonight, my church had its annual Christmas program. Families provide musical acts, children put on a program with the Christmas story, and everybody leaves with a goody bag! I organized a small choir to sing “In the First Light,” a song I loved singing at Sterling College. I also played flute duets with Sally, our pastor’s wife. It was fun! I forgot how much I enjoy playing! The kiddos were adorable, and their little program had the typical mistakes in it, like not talking loud enough, costumes falling off (the sheep were literally shedding as the crawled up to the stage!), and people missing their entrances. But, you gotta love it! I’m so blessed to have found a vibrant church in this little place!
Our last day of school is tomorrow, FINALLY. I miss my family very much!!!  Then, I’m planning on grading everything that’s been piling up for the past week, cleaning my house from top to bottom, doing all my laundry, and making a shopping list for the trip home. Yes, I’ve not done one iota of shopping for Christmas. (Except Katie’s gift, which I need to mail.) So, I suppose I have to brave the Christmas Eve’s Eve crowd, one of the things I HATE to do. It’s all my fault though. I didn’t plan ahead.
Oooo, I need to write my Christmas letter, too! Oh, it’s stressful, isn’t it?

I wish we could de-commercialize Christmas just a bit. I know Jesus wouldn’t have enjoyed watching greedy people shop around this time of year.

I guess one reason I don’t already have all this stuff done is that I’ve actually had a social life lately. :)  I have friends! Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights were spent here or there with my friends, eating way too much sugar and pizza, watching “White Christmas,” and playing games. It has made the stress of kids, finals, and everything else much easier to deal with. I love my friends!

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Tea Time

The blustery wind is making the temperature at least thirty-two, although it’s sunny out. So, there are tiny flakes blowing around outside my window, periodically gathering to form a white mist that shoots across the road and through the trees. There’s nothing like a cup of Apple Cinnamon hot tea on a day like this, when the wind seeps through the cracks in the windowsill and doorstop, chilling me.

Last stop of the day: communCup 'o teaity Christmas Cantata. They’ll be singing part of The Messiah. A perfect day.

The West

I felt like I was in the west today. The old west. But, I was only about 30 miles from town! In a place that used to be called Evansville. Betcha don’t know where that’s at in Kansas! Andrea and her husband live out on a 17,000 acre ranch, where David works as a ranch hand.  I went out and spent the afternoon with them, and they gave me a tour. The land is full of butte-like outcroppings (I’ve always wanted to use outcroppings in a sentence), towering hills, and a small river that runs through it. We went up to one high spot that looks like a hill but then drops STRAIGHT down to a river, and David said that it was the highest straight drop off in Kansas. The sight was beautiful, the sun glistening on the river as it lazily flowed far below. I took photos, but I know they won’t do it justice. I will post them as soon as I can find my photo card.

As we were riding up to the highest point, I was thinking about what it must have been like for the Indians out on the prairie at that time.  It makes me wish I knew which tribe my Great-Great Grandma Mary Francis Westlake belonged to. I makes me wish I could go back to those times (think Laura Ingalls Wilder) in the mid 1800s and live on the “new land.” And, it makes me wish I could share the beauty of Kansas with the rest of the world (since everyone thinks it’s flat). But, then again, maybe I like having it to myself. . .