29 November 2011

Just Tuesday...on a Wednesday

Today I did a lot of talking.  I talked all morning with my children as we got ready for school, and then drove to school and then dropped them off.  There was a lot of hugging before I could get back in the car.

Then I was off and talking more, first with my friend as we walked and talked and promised to pray for one another.  Much has happened since the last time the two of us were together; we had a lot to process.

Then I drove to Bible study with another friend.  More intense talking and processing.  Didn't talk much in Bible study, but really listened and prayed.
Then I had about two blissful hours of NO TALKING as I Christmas shopped ALONE.  No sales people bothered me.  I was alone in my head and with my thoughts, plotting and scheming about Christmas gifts and how to make it fun for all.
Made a stop at the library.  Again, no talking.  This is the best library ever, hands down.  

Then it was off to parent/teacher conferences for two kids.  Another one tomorrow, not to mention doing writing my own report cards...eeek!  Not my favorite part of the job.  
Tomorrow, Thursday, is usually my day of no talking, but three kids have the day off, so I'm quite sure I will do my share of talking. Let us hope it is just TALKING...nice, calm talking...no yelling.   Juuuust talking.


28 November 2011

Being thankful never gets old

Are you so over Thanksgiving?  Our table is still festooned with the harvest-colored flowers and the green pumpkin...and the Advent wreath in the middle of it all.
I've never been one who could switch so easily from season to season; I need to ease into things.  I always marvel at those who have all their Christmas decorations, INCLUDING THE TREE, set up by the Friday after Thanksgiving. We usually try to get a tree up by the 15th, maybe even later.
However, Advent almost always follows hard on the heels of Thanksgiving, so I can't stay in land of burnt orange and yellow for too long.  It's becoming time for the red and the dark green, silver and gold.
We had a great time celebrating with my brother and his lady friend, Robin.  Robin is especially great at entertaining Lucy and will play with her for long periods.  A saint, I tell you.  Sadly, I have NO pictures of all of us together!
Today was a hard, hard day of re-entry.  I read on someone's blog that the four day weekend made it easier to face Monday.  Not so for me or my house.  Four days of feasting and playing and going to bed late made this morning full of weeping and gnashing of teeth (not to mention how the kids were acting).  I woke up filled with the dark dread of morning, but found some comfort in these words in Psalm 119:
I wake before dawn [true dat] and cry for help; I hope in your words.  My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise [and that I may make the lunches...with joy]...But you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true.
The Lord goes before, He is never asleep and He knows how hard it is to go into the week.  He met me indeed this morning, and meets me even now, in the tasks that come easily and in the tasks that require prayer and fortitude.
So, even if Thanksgiving has come and gone in America, it is always time to give thanks, to cultivate a heart that notices the ways in which we are loved, blessed, seen, heard, held by our Father in heaven.
Giving thanks on this Monday night for:
* sons helping in the kitchen
* foodie son's first pie all by himself!  
* pumpkin spice rolls and the delight they produce in my family!
* pies, pies and more pies
* The Muppets
* just days away from beginning to listen to Christmas music!
* first Sunday in Advent and lighting the candle together
* dear dear friends and all our children together, loving each other
* cooking and cleaning 
* naps under a fuzzy blanket
* encouraging words
* seeing Lucy's birthday joy
* reading Raggedy Anne stories with Lu
* talking to my mom and comparing Thanksgiving cooking notes; she taught me everything I know
* just living, being, enjoying what is now, this very moment

25 November 2011

My baby is 6

How can it be that my baby is 6?  With her birthday always just before, after or on Thanksgiving, this girl may be doomed to always having family-only parties.
Here's how we celebrated her day this year...No one had school, so we were free to laze around the house (except for me; I was in a pre-Thanksgiving cooking and cleaning frenzy) and wait for MORE PRESENTS!
Her request for birthday breakfast was French toast, bacon and melon.  Done.
Around noon time, she was begging for more presents, so the boys gave her their present. They were so cute, fighting over who would carry it to her, and they sang a song of presentation.  It also involved some wrestling...

When she opened the bag, she exclaimed, "Oh my GOODNESS!" and ran to hug each brother.  She loves her new pink (fake) Uggs.

In the midst of the all the pie baking for Thanksgiving, we had to also make a birthday cake.  Not because Lucy wanted cake, though.  She informed me that she is "not a big fan of cake".  So, the rest of the family ate cake and Lucy ate chocolate ice cream.  Love that girl.
 We decided her cake looked like a giant donut.  Doesn't it?
The night was topped off by Lucy's receiving the much-longed for American Girl doll, Josefina.  She was so pleased.

Lucy dear, you are a delight to all who know you.  You are a ray of sunshine, so cheerful, sensitive and kind to all. Also, we love that you are so snuggly! We are proud of you and love watching you grow up.  Like Lucy in the Narnia tales, you are full of faith.  May you ever be so.
Much love,
Mama and Daddy

24 November 2011

Giving thanks

Note:  Blogger is being weird.  I apologize for the strange-looking text in this post.  

Now thank we all our God
with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done
In whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers' arms
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts 
And blessed peace to cheer us,
And keep us still in grace,
And guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills
In this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given;
The Son and Him who reigns
With them in highest heaven.
The One eternal God
Whom earth and heaven adore
For thus it was, is now,
And shall be evermore.
(text by Martin Rinkhart)

21 November 2011

The Kit and Caboodle 500

Hey guys!  Guess what?  My last post was the 500th post published on this blog!  Cool, huh?
I've been so out of it since last week and our trip to Hotlanta.  We hit the ground running last Thursday and here it is Monday again! 
First, we were at the children's school to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Here are some very cute pilgrims, as well as some AMAZING kindergarten room mothers.  These ladies wore full-on Pilgrim and Indian costumes.  Now that's dedication.  Also, I will NEVER be able to be a kindergarten room mom.

Then we met up with a college friend and his lovely wife.  Bryan and Kimberley were in town so that Bryan could undergo surgery at Boston Medical Center.  John and I did our best to distract him from his pain by keeping up "Fletch" quotes and all manner of hilarity. What a blessing to be with them for a few hours!
Backing up a bit to our time in the ATL.  One of the best parts was having a bit of time with old friends.  The first night we had dinner with my college bestie and her sweet family.
Look at Lynette, sweet and beautiful as ever.  She is such a gem.
Lynette's third child is NOT dramatic at all, as you can see.
Got to keep the birthday celebration going for at least a week. Lynette made the waiter bring me some birthday ice cream.  Hee hee!
We also had an hour or two with our pastor and his wife from our late college/grad school/engagement/wedding days.  Bob and Margaret Anne played a big part in our lives in those years, especially because John lived in their downstairs apartment for a year or so.  In fact, in the two weeks before our wedding, John was in the basement apartment and my mom and I were up in the attic bedroom!  They did our pre-marital counseling and Bob performed our wedding.  Bob and Margaret Anne had four really little kids in those days, who are NOW GROWN UPS!  Can you believe that happened?!  The heck?!  They are still the cutest couple ever and we are so so grateful for their love and influence in our lives.

I love Thanksgiving week and all the preparation.  I hope you are finding joy in it, and not pressure.  I find it so easy to become pressured and joyless.  I want to just have fun and not have to be perfect.
Also this week, we will celebrate Lucy's birthday.  And I will cry because HOW CAN MY BABY BE 6?  Wah, no fair.

16 November 2011

It's Wednesday, do you know where you are?

This is one of those posts where I rely heavily on photos because I've been out of town for the last three days and my brain is fried. John and I are about to get on a plane back to Boston after a few days in our old hometown on Atlanta.  We had a blast, but are ready to get back to "normal".
Soccer season ended last weekend and Lucy and I snapped this photos.  That girl is a hoot.

This neighbor is a little bit confused as to exactly which holiday/season he should decorate for.  It's a patriotic autumnal Christmas extravaganza!
Lucy told me that this tree is her big sister.  She hugged it several times and instructed me to hug it (her?) when I went by.  Bossy.
Hope y'all (see, I'm in the South as I write this!) are having a good week!