This one was from my friend, Vickie Andersen. She was my first married friend. We moved to Ontario, California, where I didn't know a soul. She had three children approximately the same ages as mine. I really wanted a friend. I tried and tried to be friends with her and finally gave up thinking that she just didn't need or want me for her friend. And then she started calling me. We were both young and poor. We babysat for each other on the weekends so that we could have a night out with our spouses and not have to pay for a sitter.
The next nativity came from one of my ESOL students. When I remember her name, I'll come back here. She was embarrassed to give me this gift because it was not like what the other students gave the teacher for Christmas. When I told her that I loved it and that I collected nativities, she had the biggest smile that you ever saw. I really love the coloring on this Holy Family.
Mary Gronlund saw this nativity on a family vacation. She gave it to me for my birthday this year. I think it is amazing how Mary and Joseph and Jesus are portrayed inside this crystal. A couple of years ago she took me to see "ICE" at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando. This also reminds me of that experience and the gigantic nativity that we saw carved in ice.
When Doug's parents moved into the Alzheimer facility, he and his brothers divided up the belongings that they would not be taking with them. Doug brought me back this ornament from his family tree.
The final nativity is from my friend, Sandy Teeples. She is the first teacher that I personally knew that did a job share. We both taught second grade so we used to share ideas when we were both working full time. We also worked together in our ward in Claremont, California. But one of my favorite memories of her is when I was in the throws of a miscarriage. She showed up at my house unannounced one day with fresh strawberries and cream. She stood at my sink hulling and washing the berries. For some reason that was just the perfect thing. She is going through a difficult time now. I wish that I could do some strawberry cleaning for her.