Jesus is a Duck?

So yesterday I explained that my mother has an extensive nativity collection. Most of them are beautiful and meaningful.  But today I’m going to show you the ones that lead a little more to the bizarre end of the spectrum.

A few years ago a blog about the Worst Nativity Sets made the circulation around the internet and my twin brother and I had the same reaction: Mom has some of those!! And some of her others are just as bizarre! (see that post here) And although she doesn’t have any made out of bacon, I humbly submit to you my own selection of my mother’s most bizarre nativity scenes.  Although confession, after google-ing around to find the link to the worst nativity blog, I realized I didn’t even photograph mom’s own versions of her Veggie Tale nativity and the nativity painted on the front of a wooden Santa, but there is always next year.

But here’s the thing… I am not willing to state that these are the worst nativities, in fact a couple of them are quite beautiful.  They simply made this list because they are out of the ordinary and not your standard run of the mill Mary, Joseph and the baby.

So without further ado…

The title of this post:



Our family friend Missy gave my mom this awesome Rubber Ducky nativity that sits in the guest bathroom.  My dad is a preacher and as I mentioned in yesterday’s post they host several holiday parties a year.  At one such party a little boy was in attendance and my mother being the ever fantastic hostess that she is knew that he would LOVE this little nativity, so she brought him over to see her rubber ducky nativity floating in water on the bathroom shelf.   The boy ever so seriously turns to his mother and says… “Jesus was a duck?!?” I’m thinking we made his poor Sunday school teacher’s job WAY harder.  If you want to buy your own version, Amazon sells one here.

The next one on the list is one of my favorites and it definitely falls into the bizarre but beautiful category.  This one is carved out of a Tagua nut and was a gift from my aunt to my mom.  The whole thing is about 2 inches tall and an 1/8 of an inch thick… so I cant imagine how hard it was to carve.  But it also looks a bit like Jesus is about to fall off the bottom of the nut.


This next one is actually the illustrations from one of my favorite children’s Christmas books called The Friendly Beasts by Tomie DePaola… but it makes the list because it is a mobile in which all of the major characters in the nativity swirl around baby Jesus in a somewhat dizzying manner.  PS… mobiles are extremely hard to photograph, forgive the fuzziness



This next one is fairly new… and could EASILY be your next craft project if you want a matchbox nativity for your very own.  My Dad’s former administrative assistant passed away a little while ago, but before that always delighted in finding interesting and unique nativities for my mother and this was one of her finds:



Its hard to see in that picture, but the tips of the matches are painted gold… a very fancy detail on a less than fancy nativity.  I love every bit of it.

This is another one of those that skirts that line between interestingly unique and totally bizarre.  This one hails from Panama that my mom picked up on a vacation there.  I’m pretty sure it is that they don’t have pupils… but something about this makes me feel like Mary looks quite possessed.


This one is remarkably similar to the one I showed you yesterday (link at top of post) but it makes it onto the list because 1. they look a little bit like cigarettes and 2. This is on a greeting card.




My next one is actually beautiful, but it is also a fireplace screen.  Proving that they really do have nativities in all forms and fashions. (If you hadn’t already guessed that from today and yesterday’s posts)




I’m not totally sure where this one came from, but it makes me think more of voodoo dolls than the holy family… but to each their own!



This is one of my favorite bizarre nativities… yes that is bird baby Jesus hatching out of his egg, but have no fear because all of the birds are wearing hats. AAAAAND the shepherd bird has a sheep. I guess in a world where Jesus is a baby bird the laws of proportions have no jurisdiction.




This next one is a relatively new addition, I think it came from Uncommon Goods a season or two ago.  We have had long debates about who the members of the nativity are… is the Sheep/Shepherd Joseph? If so where is Mary? Or was baby Jesus left alone with only the shepherds to watch over him by night?



Yesterday I promised that there would be Moose and I would hate to disappoint you. So in all their forestland wonder… the Moose Nativity:





And that’s all of them in a nutshell.


Oh wait, no this is all of them in a nutshell:




What about you, what’s the weirdest or most unique nativity you have ever seen?

AJ’s Kitchen

Some of you may recall that I made a list this summer of some of the things I wanted to accomplish before my 30th birthday next June.  One of the things on that list was to help my twin brother fix up his house.  We live about 10 minutes away from each other and spend a lot of time hanging out.  Being a twin is this crazy thing… you always have a friend, a cohort, a partner in crime (although more often than not… AJ was tattling on my crime sprees rater than being my accomplice).  People ask what it is like being a twin, but I’ve never known anything else, so it is kind of hard to compare.  We’ve definitely had our moments of disagreement (read: ALL OF HIGH SCHOOL) but have settled into a great adult friendship and I am so lucky to have him.  He will be quick to tell you that he actually set me up with my husband (unbeknownst to my poor husband at the time).

One of the great things about having a twin so close is that they are automatically great help for projects.  Since we bought our houses around the same time, we’ve spent quite a bit of time helping the other one paint, move, fix up etc.  We can’t even possibly keep score at this point of who owes who, since it is just part of our nature to help out when the other one needs it.  In the spring, my brother is going to tie the knot with one of the sweetest, most fun person I know and I’m so excited to be getting another sister-in-law! I couldn’t be more excited for them!

They’ll be living in the house my brother is in now and they decided they wanted to fix up the kitchen a bit.  It has a great layout, fabulous countertops and mostly new appliances, so the cabinets were really the big thing that ‘dated’ this kitchen.  AND the previous owners LOVED yellow; every room in this house started out as yellow. Here is what we were working with:


So we did our research and decided to paint the cabinets black.  This room gets a ton of natural light during the day and with its open design it would still look open and light even with the dark cabinets.  First we removed all the cabinet doors and started the slow process of de-glossing and sanding.  We used this deglosser that I had leftover from painting my bathroom cabinets gray.  It doesn’t take a ton per cabinet, but you basically wipe it on in a circular motion and then wipe it off.  After reading lots of reviews of how to do cabinets, we decided to be extra cautious and do liquid deglosser and sanding.  It may have been a little overkill, but these guys were pretty glossy before and if we were going to do this thing, we wanted to do it right.

So after we deglossed them, we took an orbital sander and sanded down all the cabinet fronts and doors.


AJ did the bulk of this work on his own before the weekend that we had planned to come spend helping him out.


  We used Benjamin Moore advance paint for everything.  They tinted the primer a gray color since we would be painting black over it. So here they are all prepped and ready to have primer: (ignore the part on the right that already has primer… I started painting before remembering to take pictures!


We painted one coat of the gray primer over everything.  We ended up choosing to paint the insides of the cabinets as well because we liked the idea of having some open shelving, but weren’t sure which ones they would leave open, and we liked the consistency of having the same color inside and out.


Next up… black paint.  The paint color was Universal Black from Benjamin Moore. It had pretty good coverage after one coat, but was uneven, so it definitely needed two coats of the black paint.  We found it easiest to cut in with the brush first and then use a small foam roller (you can see it in the pic above) for the most even looking coat.  The Advance paint is ‘self leveling’ and it did a pretty great job of leveling out all the brush strokes.



All in it took about 10 days of pretty solid work (and 4 people over the weekend) to do all the steps.  This was NOT an easy weekend project, but seriously, take a look at these afters and you will see how much it was worth it:





And just because it is so fun, a before and after:


Doesn’t that look awesome!?