Thursday, December 1, 2011

Friday Shout-Out from Jen Brusenhan!

Greetings fellow Christmas enthusiasts :D
We are boogie-ing onto our second day of festivities here at the blogfest!

I met this wonderful friend this year on Goodreads. Full of support, she always had a kind word to say and a smile on her face. We became friends on Goodreads, then on Facebook, then we exchanged cell numbers and share the occasional text now and again. She just finished her student teaching this week (SUPER exciting!) and will be graduating in 16 days I believe it is! She keeps busy with her kids (at school!), reading, blogging, and more reading! I am so excited to present to you all the fabulous Jen Brusenhan from beautiful Texas!

Hannah: Jen! Thank you so much for agreeing to join us on the blog! I am so excited for this interview : ) Anyway, right to the questions! When does the Christmas season officially start in your household? What is the first thing done that marks the start (i.e. putting up Christmas tree, baking first gingerbread men, etc)?
Jen: It usually starts the weekend of my birthday. I have my birthday on December 5th and we usually get the tree and all the decorations out that weekend of my birthday. A few days or so before Christmas is when we actually start wrapping presents and cooking all the goodies.

H: Happy almost birthday! Eek! Almost here and what a fantastic present than to graduate, eh? That's awesome! In a Christmas fantasy land – who would be the famous figures, past and/or present, at your dinner table and why?
J: Oooo….hmm, that’s a good questions. I think it would be kind of neat to have Esther or Ruth from the Bible just because I love them and would love to get to know them. Corrie Ten Boom just because she is one of my heroes and I love her story! If you haven’t read The Hiding Place, you should! George and Martha Washington would be fun just because they were the first president and first lady of our country ever. I don’t know who else….tons of people! Lol That’s a loaded question.

H: I've never heard of her before, but looked it up and she sounds amazing, Jen. Very intriguing. Wish we had known about her when we were in Holland, sounds like it would've been amazing to see her house. We visited the Anne Frank House and that was a life changing experience. What did you ask Santa for Christmas this year? *wink*
J: I would love a Kindle. I am also asking for tons of stuff for my classroom since I am graduating in December…hey, maybe I should ask for money to help pay off my student loans?! Lol That would be even better!

H: Bahahahaha! I think a few of us reading can relate to that for sure! What is one unique tradition for your family during the month of December to celebrate Christmas?

J: We always get a new ornament every year for the Christmas tree. We all go out together as a family and pick out whatever one we want to add to the tree that year. Mom also gets an ornament from every place we have gone on vacations and stuff.

H: Awwww that's so cool! Love to hear the things families do together at the holidays : ) How will you be spending your Christmas day this year?

J: Dad will read the Christmas story to us early in the morning. Mom will make her awesome Christmas breakfast and then we will go to church since it falls on a Sunday this year. I am in the choir at church and we always sing a few songs for Christmas from our Christmas concert we have done earlier in the month. More than likely presents will be opened after church followed by a HUGE Christmas lunch!

H: You must be a good singer! Wish I could be there to hear : ) Break a leg, by the way, if I forget to tell you later! LOL! I love that your dad reads the Christmas story to you guys in the morning. Mom always used to read The Night Before Christmas to Alicia and I after church and before bed on Christmas Eve. What have been the highlights throughout 2011 for you?

J: My biggest highlight would be student teaching and the fact that I graduate on December 17th with a Bachelors in Elementary Education. :D Took me 7 years to get there, but I did it! Plus, my graduation present is a trip to NY. Who doesn’t want to see NYC in December?!

H: WOOHOOOOOOOO!!! We went in February I think it was when I was in elementary school and it was faaaaaaaaaabulous! Bet it's even better in December! That's so exciting! Jealoussssssssssss lol XD Congrats again with your graduation. Hopefully I'll be in your shoes in a couple years : ) Do you have any New Years resolutions for the upcoming 2012?

J: Haven’t thought of any yet…other than finding a teaching job! Can that be a resolution? Lol I can use the old staple of losing weight and exercising more! Which I really need to do.

H: Hush, you look fine. And yes, I think that definitely can be a resolution for sure! These are some “short answer” questions. You can answer them in as few words as possible, if you want.

Favorite Christmas book read this year? Oh gosh! Janet Tronstad’s Sleigh Bells For Dry Creek and the LFYI Under The Mistletoe by Irene Brand and Anita Higman

Movie seen? Christmas movie would have to be White Christmas and The Christmas Story. LOVE LOVE LOVE Those movies! Who doesn’t want to hear Bing Crosby sing to you? Plus, Christmas Story is a classic! Love the 24 movie marathon every Christmas eve on TNT for it. (Yessssssssssss!!! Alicia and I watch that every Christmas Eve!!!)

Last Christmas song you heard? Um, since I just came from choir practice for our Christmas concert that would be O Holy Night.

Favorite food to make or eat during the season? Gingerbread men and my soapapillia cheesecake! I also try to make a Christmas cake every year. I made an elf last year. He was totally cute! (Awwww! Bet he was!)

Briefly describe your favorite ornament. I think my favorite ornament would be one that I made when I was like in 1st or 2nd grade. It was a red paper bell with the big, old, line paper on it and I wrote a sentence about Christmas. I think it says something like God sent Jesus as a baby to be our Savior.

Anything else you would like to say? J Yes, I would! Lol I think sometimes we get so caught up in the big commercialism of Christmas that we forget the true meaning. Every year my parents make it a point to give to a needy family. I remember one year in particular that I asked that half the money they use on my presents would go to a family they were helping out. I didn’t get as many presents as I normally got, but it was great to know I was helping a family in need. Sometimes we just need to stop focusing on what we can get out of Christmas and focus on what we can do FOR Jesus during Christmas. After all, Christmas is about HIM, not presents, or Santa or who should host the best Christmas party. LUKE 2

Thank you so much for those great words of wisdom. I wholeheartedly agree that so many people get caught up, this IS a busy time of the year. However, it would do all of us some good to sit back and really reflect on the true meaning. I know last year when I started this blogfest, I was worried you guys would think I was trying to commercialize it. That is not my point at all, I just want to celebrate all aspects of this wonderful time of year with people I know also respect and embrace all points of it : ) Thank you, thank you, thank you for agreeing to fill out these questions again, Jen! It was so much fun!

I chose the song of the day in honor of your concert, m'dear! Listen and reflect on this wondrous day.

Happy Friday, my friends : )


  1. Great Interview Hannah :) I really enjoyed reading how others enjoy the holidays!

    Happy Early Birthday Jen :)

  2. Why thank you, Miss Cateroni! It was fun doing this interview : ) I didn't know much about her holiday festivities either because we just met this year. Can't wait for some more things coming up! Stay tuned ; )

  3. Good Job Hannah! WOOHOO! LOl, it's so weird seeing my interview on a blog! lol

  4. Hi Jen! Happy Birthday!!!!

    I think if Santa brings you a Kindle for Christmas you will be so happy! I love mine!!!!

    XOXO~ Renee

  5. Lol! Thanks Renee! I just saw your comment. I actually told my mom that's all I wanted for Christmas. So hopefully, she will relay that to "Santa" for me!