Monkey and I hosted Thanksgiving for 33 people at our home. We were a little nervous about space, but in the end, it all worked out well. It was a day that had my heart brimming with grace and gratitude.
The boys are playing basketball through Community Education. They practice twice a week and play games on Saturdays. Beginning in January, we will have to divide and conquer, as the boys have different game locations.
We celebrated the Feast of St. Nicholas on December 6th. The kids left their shoes outside their bedroom doors and the next morning they discovered small gifts within them. On the 13th we celebrated St. Lucy with braided sweet bread, adorned with candles, and reading about her life.
Last year at this time, I was so busy trying to make sure that we were making Advent meaningful, that I think I missed the mark a bit. I'm a big fan of the concept, "don't reinvent the wheel," and so this year we are using a Jesse Tree Kit. It has simplified our lives and is giving our family a really beautiful and meaningful reflection each night. We pray, we read scripture, we learn about the day's symbol, we pray some more and then we end with singing a verse of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel."
|Our Advent table with our Wreath and Jesse Tree|
Today is December 21st and we still do not have our tree up or cards sent out and not one cookie has been baked. I haven't purchased any gifts, with the exception of gift exchanges the kids had in school. I am at a point where I have to be o.k. with "not doing it all." So with 4 days until we host Christmas Eve, we are being very intentional with what gets done. Sometime today the kids and I well erect our tree. Monday, the Love Bugs and I will make some gingerbread. And as for gifts? Well, we have scaled back. I've been teasing the kids by asking, "who gets presents on your birthday?" They reply, "We do." "And who gets presents on Jesus' birthday?" If nothing else, it gives them something to think about. I did attempt a group photo the evening of the kids school Christmas program. I asked Monkey if he could doctor it up for a card. This is what he came up with.
There's just something not quite right about Wise Men and camels walking on the back of our sofa. We're going to keep this one for ourselves and our own amusement for years to come.
A little over a week ago I threw my back out. I was retrieving something from the refrigerator and fire shot down my legs and across my lower back. I managed to shuffle to a chair and wait for Monkey to get home from work. I was panicked because Monkey was leaving at 5 a.m. the following morning on a 4 day trip and I couldn't imagine handling our household with feeling the way I did. I was blessed in a few different ways. 1) Thanks to Sweet Potato's confidence in the kitchen, he cooked supper for the family that night. 2) Due to a snow storm, school was two hours late the following day. I was able to get into the chiropractor within that time frame. 3) Upon my return home from the chiropractor, we were notified that school was closed for the day. That was a huge relief. 4) Getting dressed was difficult and so I relied on my yoga pants which transitioned from day wear to lounge wear (pj's) with ease. Gummi helped me get dressed, which was humbling, yet necessary. She may never fully realize how much I appreciated her help.
In other news, Sweet Potato, Gummi Bear and Cucumber had a Christmas piano recital which was lovely. Sweet Pea had a touch of the stomach flu, but has already bounced back to heatlh. Honey Bunches is excelling at guitar and Pumpkin LOVES being the only child home during the day. I'll share more about that at another time. So I think that brings us up to date.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas celebration. Take time to live in the present and savor the little things. God's blessings to you all! Merry Christmas!