Early in December, we met with church friends to make peppernuts for our church's annual Christmas cookie sale. We've done this for several years, so Katherine was an old hand at cutting dough.
In the first part of the month we had a Christmas open house for all our neighbors. I was a whole new step for us, but one that excited me. Katherine helped me bake dozens of cookies - one batch a night for a week. We had all sorts of great conversations as we mixed and rolled and iced. And the open house was a rousing success!
A couple of weeks ago, our dear friend Marvis died after a long illness. Four or five years ago when Katherine decided she was no longer sitting with us during church services, she moved to sit with an older couple, Jim and Marvis. Over the years they formed a deep friendship. Marvis was beloved by all the kids at church, but the bond between the two of them was particularly strong. Katherine has grieved deeply for her friend, talking about Marvis and playing out her heart on the piano. She has also been worrying about Jim, making him cards and looking for ways to reach out to him. Grief is always hard, but Marvis's death has been a wonderful reminder of how much Katherine loves and is loved in return.
Katherine decided to make cookies for her teachers at school. She doesn't say a lot about school, but she admitted that she really liked most of her teachers and wanted to do something for them. So, she baked and decorated sugar cookies for them.
Katherine got out of school two days before I did, so she came to my classroom the last afternoon before Christmas break. Both of my aides were gone and I was on my own, so I appreciated the help. And Katherine was terrific help. My students adored her (and asked her to read story after story) and she realized how cute my kiddos are. We made it through a preschool Christmas party together and had a good time.
A few days before Christmas we invited over church friends who were struggling through a family crisis. Katherine helped me bake yet another batch of sugar cookies to decorate with them. The two sets of sisters spent a day decorating and giggling and hanging out together. All four had a great time!