29 December 2014

Artsy Christmasy stuff

Claudia insisted we make paper snowflakes, and we put up no resistance. We got some pretty cool results, experimenting especially with the outer edges.

The game in the middle of the table is really fun!

Tessie was trying to make a 3D snowflake she learned at school--the sort-of-successful result is atop the tree.

26 December 2014


We are having a lovely Christmas!
On Christmas Eve Tessie and I cantored for the first time for the 6 pm Mass. Then Mom, Isabel, Gus, and Thomas joined us and we sang in the choir for caroling and 9 pm Mass. Afterwards we got pictures in front of the Church's huge tree.
A lady from Church made my dress--isn't she talented??

Then we came back to a light meal (mostly made up of cookies and pies) and there was a lot of toasting going on. Mom and Dad went to bed and everyone else boisterously cleaned the kitchen while singing Christmas songs at the top of our lungs. Some people stayed up to watch a movie, but I went to bed.

Next morning we all got up early so we could do breakfast and presents before Gus and Emily left for Kansas City to have dinner with Emily's family. It was tons of fun as usual, with some pretty cool gifts! I won't go into details, but you can see the whole story here. We saw Gus and Emily off and played some games, and just hung out. Then one of Dad's colleagues came over for Christmas dinner, by which time we were all more than a little tired (and I was getting sick). But we still had fun, and later we finished the movie that everyone else had fallen asleep watching the night before. 

Today we are planning some art, shopping, visiting with friends, and relaxing. Patrick also left for Lincoln, NE to see his friends there. So here we go with the rest of Christmastide! (Which I would like to remind everyone lasts until February 2.)

Merry Christmas! 

23 December 2014

Stuff that's been going on

 Busy busy busy! Making cookies, buying last-minute Christmas gifts, singing, laughing, hugging, wrapping, drinking tea, sleeping, reading...
And yet, it doesn't quite feel like Christmas yet.
Just two more days.
Speaking of which, I have to practice organ and the music for tomorrow!

Us at brunch on Sunday. 

With Brenna and Aunt Sue

We've had some weird weather going on. 

The two surprises: Grandma and Claudia

12 December 2014

Happy feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe!

What a lovely story. My favorite part is that she speaks to St. Juan Diego in his native dialect.
I read somewhere that Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of unborn babies. She's also the patroness of the Americas. So, pretty fitting feast. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

10 December 2014

December 9, 2014

Erik Charles Nielsen 
September 2, 1994 - December 9, 2014
  requiescat in pace.

"The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity."

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor,
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
(Psalms 62:5-7)

"No soul can weep that has not still some capacity for joy."
-Robert Hugh Benson

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

07 December 2014


I've been thinking about trust lately. It's funny that we don't trust God as much as we should. I mean, we trust that the sun will rise every morning, right? God makes that happen. If He ever didn't will the sun to rise, it wouldn't. So if we trust God to keep the universe going, why don't we trust Him with our lives, a rather small matter in comparison?

04 December 2014

The King's Singers

On Tuesday various family members, friends and I went to a concert of The King's Singers at the performing arts center on campus. They were singing Christmas music and it was heavenly. Their program was very religious, with lots of old traditional hymns and some Latin chants. Highlights included Gabriel's Message, Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming), Hodie Christus Natus Est, and There Is a Flower. Their voices are amazing (can't stress that enough)! There was not one dull moment in the concert--everyone felt their love for singing and enthusiasm to be performing. Actually, we were the first stop on their American tour, so we got all the energy! Afterwards they came out into the lobby, and though we didn't have time to meet all of them, we got a picture with the bass:
And since Tessie wasn't in the car that had to leave she was able to go around and get autographs of all six of them, and was nice enough to HAVE THEM SIGN STUFF FOR ME too! (I knew she was my favorite little sister!) I didn't even ask her to! Anyway so yeah that was pretty awesome. 

When I got home I went onto their website and warned Mom that I might add an album of theirs to my Christmas list. They have a zillion albums in all sorts of genres. 
The King's Singers are So. Cool. Look them up on YouTube! I'll put one video here for a starting place:
(And this wasn't even the best one! There is a limited selection of their music on YouTube. Try Pandora or something if you want more.)
That was one concert I'll never forget. I hope to see them again some day. 

01 December 2014

The 100th post, in which I win Settlers of Catan for the first time

Um, yep. I had never won before. That's what happens if you only play a game when Patrick is around.

Yesterday afternoon we went to Sioux Falls for a senior violin recital (which was lovely). We also dropped off Isabel at the house of her ride back to college. It was too bad she couldn't see the recital with us.
When we got back to the house, we sat down to a game of Catan while Mom made soup. We decided to do a timelapse video and here's the result. 

Settlers of Catan Timelapse 1 from Patrick Braga-Henebry on Vimeo.