Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

"Christmas day is in our grasp
So long as we have hands to clasp"

As Dr. Seuss said, Christmas is about the people we love.

We had a lovely Christmas:
1. The Children's Nativity pageant went off without a hitch - except for the minister accidentally cutting off the last reader, but everything else went smoothly. And the glue on the star was dry.
2. All the presents got wrapped, although John was up until the wee hours setting up the kid's new computer. We thought we were done with those days of late night assembly. Hah!
3. All our guests came for a lovely Christmas dinner. The roast came out beautifully, albeit an hour and a half EARLY (which so beats late). We had to wait for the potatoes because I got them in late and peeled my fingers, but all was yummy and we all ate too much.
4. We had plenty of cookies, because I went to an awesome cookie exchange Monday.
5.The kids were thrilled with their presents. Thrilled! Rachel is figuring out this texting thing. JC has evolved all the way to fire and tribalism in Spore. William didn't even miss the giant pirate ship I didn't buy him.
6. My house got just clean enough, because the kids cooperated, and helped.

So tomorrow John is off to Florida to visit his parents and earn platinum status on his frequent flyer program. I will finally mail my brother's presents, which is fine because his kids are older and understanding. I will work on Christmas cards tomorrow, yes I know it's late, but I've decided that's no excuse. And we'll just chill for a couple of days.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm Not Ready

The kids had their last day of school today. I kept thinking they got out TOMORROW, even though I really knew better. So now they are home, and I'm just not ready.

I have piles of wrapping to do (so why am I blogging instead?).

I still have a box to ship to my brother.

I have 7 people coming for Christmas Dinner.

The house is filthy.

I still haven't called the dermatologist about Rachel's rash that won't go away.

I would really like to have a bigger variety of Christmas cookies for dessert (someone keeps eating them...).

One of the families has yet to RSVP, and I already bought a huge expensive roast, so we will be living on beef for a week if they don't come.

I haven't even gotten all of the Christmas decorations out.

I have to make a new star for the church Christmas Eve pageant - tomorrow.

And I feel lousy and tired, so nothing is getting done.

On the positive side, tomorrow is another day. I baked the other half of the batch of cookies I made yesterday for a cookie exchange. I cleaned up most of the counters in the kitchen and got all the hand dishes washed. JC's friend Adam is here for a sleepover, and he and JC and Rachel have been occupied all evening playing a very complicated long game. William was feeling a little left out, but we sat on my bed and read about 6 Christmas books, which was very pleasant. And now he's asleep, and I'm debating - do I stay up and wrap, or do I just go to bed? The older kids show no sign of winding down yet, but since there's no school, I may just let them stay up.

They're playing the Order of The Stick Board Game, which is based on a web comic we read. It appears to be highly complicated and hilariously funny, and they've been having a great time all evening.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Survey

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both... I hate those plastic clamshell packages - how are you supposed to wrap those?
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, baby. We had our last one more than 15 years and it still looks good.
3. When do you put up the tree? When we get around to it! Usually the 2nd week of December
4. When do you take the tree down? Depends on when we feel like it. It may stay up until mid-January for our Post-Christmas Letdown Party this year.
5. Do you like eggnog? Not so much. Too heavy.
6. Favorite gift received ever? John's done a pretty good job surprising me a few times, I'm not sure I could pick just one.
7. Hardest person to buy for? John. He usually buys himself what he wants.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Usually my mom. We have similar tastes.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. I'm up to 38 if you include the ones on ornaments. If you tell people you're collecting something, they look for interesting ones.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? mail, when we get our act together. this year for sure!
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? One year my darling husband didn't get me anything because he was so busy. That one hurt (he made up for it later).
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Original version with Boris Karloff)
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I'll pick up things year round if I see them, but I get serious around Thanksgiving.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Possibly.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cookies.
16. Lights on the tree? I prefer twinkly colored ones, my husband likes the novelty lights (who else has shotgun shell lights?). We have some of both.
17. Favorite Christmas song? To sing, "Angels We Have Heard on High." To listen to, currently most things on the Barenaked Ladies Christmas Album.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? Would rather stay home and have people come to me.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? morning. Stockings first, then breakfast, then the rest of the tree.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Parking
23. What theme or color are you using? I guess you'd say "eclectic". I go for novelty ornaments, and there may not be any on the tree that are identical.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? We usually go for turkey, but this year I'm branching out to prime rib and I'm excited.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I've lost a lot of weight recently, so I'm actually excited to get clothes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Renewing My Faith

Sometimes it's the little things that keep you going.

I took the kids to the mall this evening, to shop for each other and their father. We were pretty successful, it wasn't insanely crowded (just crowded), they behaved themselves pretty well.

And two miracles occured.

JC put down the bag with the video game he bought for his sister (first miracle!) and left it at the game store. When he realized 20 minutes later, he ran back to the store and it was exactly where he left it (second miracle).

I figured it was a goner. Especially since he wasn't sure at first which store it might be in, and it wasn't in the last place we'd been (although there he'd put down another bag he was carrying for me, but they had it at the counter). And to leave it at the game store automatically means it was of interest to the other clients. I think we lucked out because no-one had noticed it.

But he was devastated at first - he'd spent his own money and traded in two older games to buy this one for his sister. And he was so excited, he had taken her back to the store to play the demo version of the game, and I was waiting for him to just explode and tell her what he bought.

So we are thankful to God this evening for the small mercy of not crushing JC's spirit, simply by inspiring him to put down the bag in an unobtrusive spot. I'll take my miracles where I can get them.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More Pictures (Wordless Wednesday)

Yes, there were other children at this party, but I don't feel right publishing their pictures without permission, and I didn't think to ask the parents at the party. So you get my kids in all their goggled glory.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

All Out War (Marshmallow Style)

The big "kids" got in on the action too.
William loading his magazine for multiple shots.
Taking cover is important in an offensive action.
We survived the party. We survived the party, everyone seemed to have fun. We survived the party, everyone seemed to have fun, and NOTHING GOT BROKEN. And no-one got hurt (well, at least until after the party when William got his finger pinched in a door). There were marshmallows stuck to the floor where they had been stepped on, but we've mopped so the floor is probably cleaner than it was before. And there are probably marshmallows lurking here and there, but we got the majority of them picked up.
More pictures tomorrow - I'm beat!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wish Me Luck

Tomorrow is William's Birthday party. The cake is not completely decorated (I ran out of sprinkles for the sides). The dining room is a mess, there is no tablecloth on the table yet. The kitchen is a mess from the cake making/decorating process.

We are going to be making marshmallow shooters out of PVC pipe. I have goggles for each boy and targets from the hunting goods store (including turkey targets!). We don't really have many planned activities besides that. They will be here 2 hours.

I've never been this unprepared for a party before - usually I have a list of activities and plenty of backups. We have until 1pm to prepare, and then five 6-7yr old boys will descend on our house. Right now, I'm going to bed because I'm exhausted.

It's like a bad reality show on TV. "Will she survive? Tune in tomorrow to find out!"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

And What Holiday are YOU?

You Are Thanksgiving

You are a bit of a homebody who enjoys being in the company of people you love.

It doesn't take a lot to make you happy. You're enjoying life as it is.

You have many blessings in your life, and you are grateful for each one.

You believe that life is about what you *do* have. You feel like you have enough of the good stuff.

What makes you celebrate: Family, friends, and the changing of the seasons.

At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The host of the party

On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Spend so much energy preparing that it's a full time job

Busy Busy Busy

I've been knitting, and filling in at the school library, and running around with errands. Oh, and maybe a few Christmas presents here and there.

Anyone got party activity ideas for 7-yr old boys? William's birthday party is Saturday, and I'm feeling a little under-planned. We're going for a loose "7" theme (he wants a 7-shaped cake), so anywhere I can work in a "7" is good. We invited 7 friends, although only 3 have RSVP'd so far. They're not going to be picky, but they are going to be active for 2 hours (!!!). And of course there is rain predicted for Saturday. WHY did I have my children in the winter??!!?

The good news? I don't feel like my house has to be perfectly clean. The bad news? I think all breakables should be securely locked away...