Thursday, December 25, 2008

A particularly great Christmas

Today was a beautiful and memorable Christmas. Planning presents, food, and festivities for a family of 17 and preparing the house for their visit has given me plenty to do over the past weeks, but it has all been worth it. I'll write more thoroughly when I have pictures uploaded, but here are a few highlights:
-the whole family Christmas caroling to friends, with a complete double quartet
-our nativity dramatization, especially the part where it took Ellie (Mary) several scampering attempts to mount onto Bryce (the donkey) and the part where Mish, with gold tinsel wrapped around her limbs, did a jig on the couch, playing the part of the star
-the Russian tea cake cookies Joe's mom sent
-Ellie being truly grateful for her presents and even informing me that "I got too many presents. I don't need a lot of presents, just three presents." Later, she said she was ready to open some more, so the sincerity of her original statement is called into question, but for a three-year-old, it was a nice thought.
-playing True Colors with my siblings-- for how well we know each other, we sure don't seem to see ourselves the way the rest of us do! I laughed harder playing that game than I have in a long time.
-a true group effort that cleared out a spot in the garage for Dad to park his car for the first time in his married life, and Dad declaring it the best Christmas present he's ever received. A little sad, but heartwarming, too.
-making 18 loaves of candy cane bread with Mom
-having a full house-- though the messes seem to always be a step ahead of our efforts, it sure feels great to have all of my siblings and their families here. I'm never happier than when surrounded by these people I love more than any others.
It's been a wonderful and memorable Christmas. I hope you've had a good one, too.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Jewelry for Sale

Mom and I are finally hosting a jewelery sale next week! I bought almost 200 pieces of jewelry in China with the express purpose of selling it for one of my favorite charities, Mothers Without Borders. When postpartum depression was convincing me that my life was not worthwhile, I focused on collecting jewelry for this charity. Keeping in mind the images of children in Africa who are among the world's most destitute, and knowing that this fundraiser would be for them, was an immense help in surviving that year in China.

I am mostly posting these jewelry photos for friends who can come to the event next Tuesday, but the rest of you are welcome to gawk.

Freshwater pearls in three natural colors: white, peach, and champagne, and dyed black pearls. White pearls come in a set with bracelet and earrings (stud or dangle).

Three-strand sets of floating pearls, sizes and shapes varying. Available in 10 colors.

Shell & pearl necklaces in natural and dyed colors.

Coral and turquoise necklace and bracelet sets. Faux-wood beads with various gem inlets.

Swarovski crystal with a single pearl, available in pink, green, and purple.