• Advent,  Orthodoxy,  the home arts

    O Tannenbaum…

    all together

    O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
    wie treu sind deine Blätter!
    Du grünst nicht nur
    zur Sommerzeit,


    Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
    O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
    wie treu sind deine Blätter!


    O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
    Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!


    Wie oft hat nicht zur Weihnachtszeit
    Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!

    david and lorelei

    O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
    Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!


    O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
    Dein Kleid will mich
    was lehren:

    elly 2

    Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
    Gibt Trost und Kraft
    zu jeder Zeit.

    first christmaselly 3star

    O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!

    Das soll dein Kleid
    mich lehren.


    Traditions are strange things, especially in families. For years and years and years and years and years through two generations, the tree and all the trimmings always went up the day of Thanksgiving. The women would be making the kitchen smell all sorts of wonderful, while the children and men-folk dragged out the Christmas boxes and tested the lights, and as the turkey roasted and the Macy’s Day parade jabbered on the TV, the house would be made over. Until suddenly, the last few years, it just hasn’t happened for some reason or another. Traditions change.

    This year, of all years, has been our slowest, quietest Advent and Nativity yet. Caleb’s lovely wreath and Mary on her donkey came out on Nov. 15th, the beginning of the Nativity Fast. We read Katherine’s Jesse Tree readings a few a week. Nothing else made appearance until the first weekend in December, when the tree slipped into white lights, and thus it stayed, plain and lovely. Mid-week, the festive table cloth was brought out. St. Nicholas came Dec. 6th, leaving his gold coins and oranges in the children’s shoes, lined up by the door where he’d be sure to find them.  And it wasn’t until Sunday night, the night of Peace, in the midst of sickness, that the tree was finally robed in our family ornaments and other finery. And it was then that the old traditions creeped in, for I couldn’t help but sing the song my mother used to sing to me in German as we decorated the tree…”O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, how lovely are thy branches!”


  • Advent,  Art,  scrap happy

    A December Album…

    I shared a layout on Friday from a pile of work that had been on my desk for a while but had somehow gotten lost. This album has an interesting history. The pictures included in this are from 2008. I remember that I had hoped to do a December Daily album that year and I apparently did keep track of it enough to have many of the pictures printed out; however, there was not journaling nor arrangement that made sense. Way back last January, right before we moved (or knew that we were moving), I was getting some scrap time in the evenings, and finally started putting this album together. I challenged myself to a very simple palette and only a few products (I’m not sure why now, but I did). It’s a very old SEI album; a Jenni Bowlin stamp from one of the early kits; some old Basic Grey rubons, some alphas that I’m not even sure what brand they are any more; Heidi Swap gems; a 7gypsies 6 in. paper pack, and some shipping tags.

    Here’s where it gets funny. We found out we were moving almost as soon as that album was done, and it got packed away with my art stuff. I completely forgot about it. It sat like that until I rediscovered it a few weeks ago, completely shocked at this completed album I remembered nothing about until my husband could jog my memory. And then, it got buried again till Thursday night. So here it is, finally, six years in the making. Enjoy!

    IMG_4075 IMG_4076 IMG_4077 IMG_4078 IMG_4079 IMG_4080 IMG_4081 IMG_4082 IMG_4083 IMG_4084 IMG_4085

  • Advent

    December 5

    We walk by St. Andrews nearly every morning. We found the church garden putting on Christmas colors today, even tucking in a few snowballs. Even the little plants know it is the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas and it’s time for the greening of the church!closeup fireberrysnowballredyellowyellowred