Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Vacation

Today is our first official day of Christmas break.  With me working this year and sickness in our house last week, it's been a lil bit crazy over here.  Here's a snippet of stuff that's going on - hold on to your hats, it's supes exciting (that's teenagese for super exciting in case you're not hip like me):

  • Last night I power-shopped for 6.5 hours.  I am a LOVER OF SHOPPING, but even for me, it was ridiculous!  People everywhere, parking lots full, long lines. . .eeek!  While I was walking to my suburban at Target, two men yelled angrily at me as they sped past.  That was fun!  And then at Walmart I noticed a little girl about 15 months or so, wandering around at the checkout lanes.  I followed her across the entire front end of the store, waiting to see who would be panicking (no one seemed to even notice she was missing).  After several minutes and involvement of the Walmart employees, the girl's older siblings panicked at a register and told mom, who panicked too.  I was glad she was safely returned to her family.
  • All five of my children are (or have been) on Tamiflu.  Three because they've been sick, and two as a preventative measure.  As of yesterday, everyone seems well, which I pray continues.  My 8-year-old took his temperature on Saturday, and came to me wailing, "Does the F on the thermometer mean Fever??!!"
  • I found my 10-year-old son's suit that he wore to his Christmas program all wrinkled at the bottom of the laundry basket.  Sigh.  Dry clean only, of course, and he wore it for about 1.5 hours.
  • My eldest daughter and I had a marathon wrapping session in my room Saturday, with the door firmly locked.  Children were banging on the door the entire time, hoping to gain admittance, which I firmly denied.  We watched "You've Got Mail", one of my all-time-faves.  My husband wandered through at one point and did his usual trash-talking: "Which Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movie is this?  They have identical plots!"
  • My youngest two children have been making lots of those little melty-bead crafts. We've seen hedgehogs and hearts - all super cute!  But I have to tell you, friends, when I get out the iron to melt them, it is literally the only time my college-era iron leaves the cabinet.  Don't judge.
  • My eldest son has a book project due when he returns to school.  The public-library book he was using was supes overdue (remember I talk like a teenager), so I returned it.  Then the library was closed all weekend, and he was unable to recheck it out and do the massive reading/project work he has put off most of the quarter.  We will check it out today, but his frustration with the situation caused me to bust out my ever-loved phrase, "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
  • My youngest daughter neighs.  ALL THE TIME.   LOUDLY.  It's equal parts endearing and ear-splitting.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Random Brain Things

Things are running at full tilt over here, and I feel a bit like I'm on The Dragster (my kids tell me this is the fastest coaster in all of the land), waving to please, please let me off!  I don't wear this busyness as a medal of honor, in fact, I realize it means I am not concentrating on what's important!  But busy we are, at least for a time, and I must persevere.  4 of the kids and I are in our community theater's Christmas show, and it's great fun!  Very rewarding!  But also very exhausting.  The shows are this weekend, so life will slow down after that.  Somewhat.  Then I'll have to pick up the slack of all I've been putting off. . .finishing shopping, baking, wrapping. . .

One of my kids has the flu, and another was sent home this afternoon too.  I'm fervently praying we don't all succumb to it.  I didn't have anyone get the flu shot this year (mostly because this is how it went down the last time I did it), and also because we hardly ever get the flu.  But this one has certainly contracted it now.  The other seems totally fine, and I'm not sure he's really sick.  I'm hoping the kids who are in the show will still be able to perform.  

In other random news, lit up Christmas trees make me happy.  Really and truly.  I smile each and every time I see one.  On the flip side, nothing is sadder than a dark, unlit Christmas tree!  And many people in my house seem to be oblivious to our trees and carry on with life amidst a dark, horrible tree!  It's very disappointing.  

Amidst all this busyness, I struggle as I always do with finding time to contemplate the mysteries and beauty of this season.  But this year I have had some wonderful moments to come to the manger and reflect.  The first is, ironically, during this Christmas show I'm in that is taking up all my time.  I sing in a small group behind the manger scene, and we are to look adoringly at Mary and Joseph and the manger.  And I get chills every time!  I think of the true scene so many years ago and I am simply moved as I worship that child in the manger.

I am also finding it so rewarding to teach my little students about Jesus' birth.  As they help me tell and retell the story, I soak it all in.  They are so young and like little sponges - absorbing all of the good news of Christ's birth.  It is such a joy, and so, so glorious to have this privilege.  

May your Advent be filled with less busyness and more Hope, Peace, Joy and Love!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Overheard, over here:

Me, to my 8 year old:  "I love you, baby!"
8 year old, seriously:  "I think we've established that."

On Thanksgiving morning:  I suggested to the children that they all wear jeans and a decent shirt.  You'd think I had asked some of them to systematically rip out all of their eyelashes.  I basically did not want them to look like bums at our family's Thanksgiving get together, but it was not received as such.  Instead, I was thought to be issuing a cruel and unusual punishment.  Their commentary:

"Why are you being so mean to me?  And on a HOLIDAY!"  moan, groan, flop on the floor in horror.

To my husband, while he and the child were sitting on the couch doing devotions before we departed:
"This is the worst Thanksgiving ever", said the child morosely.
"Why?", said my husband, having no idea the horrific sentence I'd placed upon the poor children.
"Mom's never made me wear jeans before!"