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Home for the Holidays - Family

Monday was pretty chill.
Mom and I ran some errands and my car got inspected/a new registration.
On Tuesday I was thrilled to share a meal with friends Kristi and Tara! We went to high school together and have remained in touch over the years. We went to a hibachi place down the street for half price sushi and fried ice cream. Catching up is nice :)

I had also invited our friend Kristin, who lives in Berwick and owns her own Etsy shop.
After having been featured in a magazine, her business took off. A good thing! But the holidays are crunch time, and between making her orders and taking care of her two young children, border collie and husband, she was REALLY getting crunched!
So she couldn't come to dinner with us...but I got to go make spoons with her!!

(photo courtesy Kristin's Etsy shop. She took pics of us making the spoons together, but hasn't had time to post 'em yet!)

To make the faces on the spoons, you use a technique called 'woodburning' (or pyrography) which is exactly what it sounds like...using a hot poker to burn the wood in the desired pattern. Kristin showed me what to do, then drew the faces on the spoons, and I burned the wood in the correct way (most of the time haha). I have always loved doing crafts, so this was very relaxing and enjoyable for me...making the little faces while her kids ate dinner or played around us, the dog occasionally putting his head in my lap, and talking about work and family and whatnot with Kristin. Thank you Kristin, for some very enjoyable hours of creativity :)

Kristin has many other handmade items in her shop, including ornaments, baby toys, clothing, and more. She makes everything herself, so that she can work from home and raise her children while doing something she loves. Take a look at her SHOP, or read more about her life and family on her BLOG.

On Wednesday I drove with my mom and several of her friends to the Sight and Sound Theatre to see the Miracle of Christmas show. If you read my blog regularly, you may remember that I got to go see the Jonah show last year around Thanksgiving. Sight and Sound is a theatre that performs musicals exclusively based on Biblical texts. They're well known for their productions of Noah and Joseph, both of which feature incredible staging, Broadway-level acting and singing, and lots of live animals! The stage wraps around the sides of the auditorium for a really immersive experience.

(see the staging on the sides?)

Here's the trailer for Miracle of Christmas:

It was a very good show. Every year I wish I could take pictures and/or bring friends out to the middle of nowhere to experience these productions.
Next year they're doing Moses. Can't WAIT to see that!!

On Thursday I accompanied my mom to a weekly Bible study, where I met some more of her friends and had some really fantastic hot chocolate! We studied a chapter of Romans and had discussions relating to the verses. I was grateful to be welcomed into their group. Thank you ladies!

After that, I went to my sister's house for a short visit. My younger brother and sister are staying with her for the Christmas break. It's the first time we've been in a room together since, like, February!

I returned the next day to help decorate the tree (I was late, so they did it without me) and help eat dinner :D

After dinner we hung out and talked, reminisced, looked through photo albums, and watched an episode of The Office. It was great to be among family again.

The next morning I picked up Raven and Jonah, and we drove to Maryland for a family Christmas party!
Raven and Jonah just saw their aunts and uncles over Thanksgiving, but for me it's been YEARS!
Everyone looks great. You haven't aged a bit ;) Except the kids. Gosh they're big!!!
Pictures haven't been uploaded yet; I'll have to add them in later.

We had a great visit. Dinner was brisket, ham, mac and cheese, and Waldorf salad. Dessert was yule log, pumpkin roll, and cookies! Then we had a white elephant gift exchange. Jonah got a fondue pot, Raven got a blanket, and I got a cookbook! We also received gifts from aunts Kathy and Sandy...some bath and body items, and Christmas tree ornaments! Thank you ladies! We three stayed overnight. The next day Uncle Andy (or "Brawny" as we call him) and Aunt Laura made us breakfast. We watched a little tv until lunchtime, then ate the leftovers and said our goodbyes.

I enjoyed spending so much time with family this week. Really looking forward to Christmas!!

More stuff from this week:

White Tops Magazine recently published their Nov/Dec 2013 issue, with a feature article dedicated to the women of Ringling. Check it out! (I'm on page 4!)
On Wednesday the DITL LiveJournal community posted my entry, an hour-by-hour photojournal of what it's like to work in the circus band!

The Red Unit elephants out for a stroll and a dip in the lake!
(left to right: Tonka, Mabel, Luna, Assan, Siam, and Baby)

(photos courtesy Ryan)

A lighting test for the Legends show.

(photo courtesy Nicole Feld)

Some deer in a field near my sister's house.