Friday, December 16, 2011

Sunday School Program

This past Sunday evening we had our Sunday School program, and C participated. (She has grown out of the sheep costume, so she was a donkey, just like last year.) In this picture the shepherds are discussing politics before the angels appear... All the kids said their lines without stumbling or hesitating (or freezing) and the stories were interesting and relevant. It was a very nice program.


Here are the actors preparing for the show, "getting into character" (or goofing off a little bit). They are all such good kids!


Here's the whole group singing. (This was the most entertaining part, the sheep were jumping up and down off the step, and the whole audience was giggling at them. It was just the sheep, both the donkey and Mary were singing away, and the sheep were jiggling all over the place.)


I have one more current post, and then I will post the advent pages I finished in the last year while I am busy with Christmas stitching. I met my goal of stitching more than one this past year, but I will have to look up where I left off posting about them. See you soon!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chicago, again

On Saturday our guild field-trip was scheduled to go down-town to the same architectural tour I went on last summer. We saw most of the same things, but it was still a lot of fun.

Since it gets dark so quickly now, we started at the park. This is the first thing we saw when we emerged from the dungeons (relatively warm dungeons) of the train station. It was a beautiful sunny day, but cold!


We went to Park Grill (under the Bean, facing the ice rink) for lunch. This is our group. I had a brie salad that was delicious. You can see we are having a lot of fun.


The restaurant was very festive, and we were watching the skaters out of the window. I am disappointed in all my pictures, because you completely loose the effect of the skating: I should have taken a short video, and embedded it here. Every time I glanced toward the rink it grabbed my attention because skating is an unusual motion from what we are used to. The gliding is a lot of fun.


We didn't spend too long in the park because of the temperature, but we saw quite a bit because the trees do not have their leaves on. This is the Bean from an unusual angle. From here it looks more like an egg! The actual name is Cloud Gate; isn't the sky gorgeous?


The water in the Crown Fountain was turned off, of course, but the pictures are still active. We saw two different portraits during our walk in the park.



(I don't know if I would like to see my face 50 feet tall!)

We had to walk into the wind to get to the Palmer House and the Empire room, still just as lovely as ever. I didn't take any new pictures there. We were able to step into the building that formerly housed Peacock Jewelers. I think this ceiling is lovely.


I had never seen the Fields (Macy's) decorated windows for Christmas, so that was one of my goals. I really didn't know what to expect. It was a very festive atmosphere, with people streaming down the side walk. The theme of the windows was "Make-A-Wish" and I felt it was pretty commercial; I don't know if that is how it always is. The windows themselves were very pretty.


These are above the section of sidewalk where the windows are. I kind of wished they were playing some trumpet Christmas music.


We didn't spend too much time in Macy's. The perfume department was a little overpowering for people with allergies. But the Civic center did not disappoint.


(I wonder if anyone would mind if you took rubbings of these?) Several of us were commenting on what fun it would be to use these as an inspiration for embroideries. There are plenty more pictures in my Flickr account.

This was the end of the day, and from the Civic Center we got a very nice view of Millennium Park: Pritzker Pavilion, the Bean (Cloud Gate), and the roof of the new addition to the Art Institute.


The nice part was, we didn't even have to go outside to get back to the train. We were all quite grateful for the comfortable, warm train back home.

More pictures at Marj's blog here, and the HEG blog, here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Party and presents

I have been admonished (by my mom) that I am falling behind on my blogging. She is right, I am almost a week behind on what is going on.

Our EGA guild has a Christmas party on the first Tuesday of December every year; we go to the same place, we have the same menu, we play the same games, and every year it is what kicks off the Christmas season for me. Before I went to the party, I had very little Christmas spirit, when I got back, I was in the mood to shop, and I got most of my shopping done in the next couple of days.

Good friends exchange gifts at the party, and I got some lovely things:

From Marj I got this turquoise emery with my initial.


From Jamee I got this lovely Brazilian embroidery picture:


And from Betti I got this ornament that expresses my feelings about the holiday perfectly:


My secret stitcher gave me a basket with all kinds of presents: these Christmas towels


and all kinds of goodies: lotion, ornament patterns, a family history book, a candle, a snowman plate, a temari stand, and some winter kleenex.


I gave my friends fingerless mitts, Steampunk style. These were a lot of fun to make. So far I have given away 5 pairs, and kept one pair for myself. I also gave my secret stitcher a pair of the mitts, a pair of scissors, and a temari ball.


The food is an Italian buffet with salads, pastas, and pizza; with an ice cream sundae buffet for dessert. I had a wonderful time, and came home in a good mood.

The other thing that helped with my Christmas spirit last week was a dusting of snow. I'm not loving our cold, though.