The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

December 7, 2014

The Herdmans are children who make you color your hair. Their social skills are lacking and their voices are loud. Barbara Robinson transferred her beloved chapter book story into a picture book titled the same, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Although their personalities are rowdy, intimidating, and restless, they bring to life the Christmas spirit. I am thankful that the Savior of Christmas does not look at us through tinted glasses, but rather loves us unconditionally.

The book invites conversation around classroom community. Laura Cornell‘s illustrations bring out tension and social awkwardness that even young children can talk about their feelings.

In the end, the Herdman wisemen bring their Christmas ham, a gift from their sacrifice. We have much to be thankful for. Enjoy the season.


Grandma Kessler {Slice of Life}

December 17, 2013

The conversation began through a picture memory my cousin posted on Facebook of her mom, who passed away a year ago. Cousins across the country began commenting, missing her smile, love, and joy she shared.


Thoughts turned to our yearly gathering at Grandma Kessler’s house for Christmas. This holiday was about Love, belonging, and sharing stories.Grandma had ten children and with grandpa passing early in life, she held the family together. We lived the farthest away and being an only child, I was thrilled belonging to a large, lively family. I was home there at Grandma’s, spending a month in the summer with her, visiting the uncles and aunts at the farms.


The comments began and my cousin Brett brought in the laughter to our comments. You see by the time I married, we had close to 100 people in Grandma’s house. We laughed. We were loud. We shared. Then, we opened presents. The secret name we drew back in September, known only by Grandma. We started with the youngest and circled around the room finding the next person. We would open the present, announce the gift, thank the gifter and then the gift from Grandma.

I am thankful for family and memories and connections today. We have a legacy passed on to us that we pass on to our family and others around us.