Posted in Christmas, Me

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

December 20th. 5 sleeps until Christmas Day. ONE DAY left of school and work. I love Christmas and all, but oh, how we as a family need the break from life this year! School is being, well, SCHOOL. Work is, well, WORK. My family is burned out and needs to sleep in, relax and unwind for more than one or two days in a row.

That said, the house is decorated, the tree is up, the presents are all purchased as are the stocking stuffers. I have to make one batch of fudge tonight and another Sunday. We need to wrap presents. So at this point we are at a good place with holiday preparations.

Ethan and I attended church on Sunday, which we haven’t done in months. I was pleased to see a few gals from my Thursday morning Bible Study, and enjoyed the time there. I love being at church. I don’t like GOING there, but I love BEING there, if that makes sense? I’m hoping that 2019 finds us more faithful with church attendance.

As we close out this year, I wanted to say Thank You to my readers and followers. If you had asked me 13 years ago if I would still be blogging I would have probably laughed. Yet here I am. Still posting, still wondering, still parenting, still figuring things out. Thanks for coming along for the ride with me.

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Christmas

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. 26 days until Christmas! 12 days of school left for my local kids and 15 for Ethan! Let the craziness begin!

2. Or not. Actually, it’s interesting this year. Finances are tight. TIGHT. So, with everyone’s blessing, we are opting to purchase only for our kids and my sister’s children. Which, let me tell you, makes life a whole lot easier with Christmas shopping. I have done 98% from the comfort of my office. So far, it’s only been stocking stuffers I’ve had to venture to the store for. Having not much money is actually making for a less stressful time for me. Who would have thunk?!

3. We are celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow with my family. My mother is home from the hospital (1.5 weeks there!) recoverying from pneumoni and sepsis. She’s very tired. Even talking on the phone exhausts her. While I’m looking forward to seeing my family, I’m uncertain how it will go with my mother. She’ll be 80 in a few weeks. She has outlived every single relative in her family, for which I am extremely grateful. I can’t imagine life without her.

4. I had the blessing of helping a mom take her daughter to rehab yesterday. Having a car, having the time…such simple things in my life, yet so big to someone who needed them. I’m making the drive again today, with special toiletries (without alcohol) for the daughter. As someone who doesn’t struggle with that particular addiction, it’s definitely outside of my realm to need alcohol-free shampoo. But, as someone who struggles with addiction in general, I know how low one can do to get a fix. Sigh.

5. Jim has caught some sort of bug and has definitely not been himself these past few days. I feel so badly for him when he’s sick–he’s not the “typical guy” you see on TV who groans and complains about a little cold, so when he does complain, I know he really doesn’t feel well.

6. We are talking very seriously about cyber school for the next school year. There are pros and cons for both it and public school, but the crazy-early wake up time is tipping the scales in cyber school’s favor.

7. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Now another one and out. Grab a cup of coffee and see how much Christmas shopping you can do online instead of trekking to the stores!

Posted in Christmas, House

Finally Coming to the End

I’ve been going like gangbusters since early Christmas Eve. This afternoon (27th) is my first chance at serious downtime. I watched Julie/Julia and thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it. Definitely worth it. I remember wanting to see it in the theater, but never got around it (the story of my life with movies in the theater!)

My hosting of Christmas dinner was successful, but I admit to being glad it’s over. When you are in charge of dinner it’s definitely harder to relax and enjoy it–you are much more aware of what everyone wants and needs and it’s your responsibility to take care of those wants and needs. Which, if you think about it, is what I do as a mother anyway!

Jim finished painting the stairs and hallway, so that’s one less thing on the “get the house ready” list, which is depressingly long still. I’m guessing that February 5th is going to turn into March 5th. Pbbbbbtttt.

Posted in Christmas

Christmas 10

A Holiday Meme (copied from One Thing who got it from someone else who got it from someone else…..)

1. Best childhood gift from Santa: A Barbie house that my parents and next-door neighbors made from a stereo cabinet. It had four rooms and two porches (for the speakers). I LOVED IT. Except that I went downstairs at around 4am and saw it. ‘Cuz I regularly did that as a kid. I was obnoxious as a kid, and have only slightly grown out of it since!

2. Best childhood memories: Probably getting up at the abovementioned wee hours of the morning and just looking at the tree and the unopened gifts.

3. Favorite Christmas cookies: I don’t think I have one! I’m not much of a baker, so I make fudge every year and give that to teachers and bus drivers.

4. Icky Christmas memory: The year that I apparently looked through my parent’s closet and found a Ken doll and told my sister what she was getting. I wasn’t a popular child that year!

5. It’s not Christmas without: The annual embarrass everyone at dinner stories. You never live anything down in my family and the same stories are trotted out year after year. Oh, the humiliations!

6. Our Church Service: Hah. I was supposed to be there this morning, but as we had two feet of snow dumped on us on Saturday they postponed until next week. It’s music, both by the worship team, a song by the little kids (which they are doing kicking and screaming, believe me), some other numbers by members of our congregation (including an older gentleman who plays a harmonica), with a shorter message and then a fellowship dinner together.

7. Christmas Pet Peeve: All the pictures of Three Kings visiting Jesus in the stable. Um. NO, PEOPLE, NO! They didn’t get there for a LONG time!

8. Favorite Christmas CD: This is too difficult. I looooooovvvveeee Christmas music (have 659 Christmas songs on my iPod right now!). If I absolutely HAD to pick, I guess it would be Nat King Cole.

9. Real or Fake: Real. Sigh. Needles all over the floor. I like the idea of a fake one, with its lack of searching high and low for the perfect tree while freezing outside, but somehow we keep on with real ones!

10. I spend Christmas Eve: Eating Chinese food with my husband, and wrapping up all the presents. We had Chinese food our first Christmas married, back in 1995. This will be our 15th straight Christmas to have it!

Posted in Christmas

On the First Day of Christmas

I have Christmas music on in the Living Room. I’m trying to get “into the spirit”. These past four weeks have not felt very “Christmas-y”, and I really REALLY don’t want the Holiday to go by and not be enjoyed because of all the to do lists. It helps, though, that those to do lists are getting shorter! I sent the fudge in the with the kids today, as well as the Christmas cards. I’ve been working on straightening up the living room this morning, because, well, it’s a PIT. The kitchen isn’t much better. And it’s all pretty much just picking up after ourselves, which none of us is all that good at, myself included.

So, here’s to the first real day of Christmas in our home. I want to consciously celebrate today and ENJOY it. May you find the grace and time to do so as well.