Thursday, December 28, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
By now, I'm pretty tired of thinking about the LONG WEEK. Friday turned out to be another hectic, holiday day. The boys had school at Leaves so while they were there, I managed to do several loads of wash. Thankfully, the laundromat was quiet and empty of patrons so I spent a pleasant couple of hours reading and writing. The clothes swished and dryed.
Only one minor glitch marred the otherwise calm setting. One washer set up a crazy dance in place, frenzied by the amount of wash inside. Or so it seemed. Had the same trouble last week with the same trouble. Still laugh at the expression on one older man's face as he noted the washer, looked at me as if to ask, "what are you doing to that POOR machine," and kept darting glances as if I should DO SOMETHING.
After the clothes were clean, I sat in the car and dashed out 1500 words in longhand on a WIP. It was a good feeling. The boys got out of school and we dashed into phase two of the day. Since it was a holy day and we were going to Mass, we had to wait to meet my sister so we could all ride together. The boys and I whiled away the time going to the library and the Dollar Store. We sat in the car, listening to Christmas songs on the radio, until we got our ride.
Going to church at night is always a pleasant ending to the day. We light by candlelight and it's lovely to have the glow shining out the stained glass windows, welcoming us inside.
Saturday started out as another fast paced day. I actually got to WRITE for an hour or so. Then we raced off to a program at the library--making gingerbread houses. We've been doing this for about five years and it never loses it fascination. The library staff spends a week gluing graham crackers into a house shape. The children each get icing and a bag of assorted candies to add to the tiny house. As an early Christmas present to myself, I paid off my library fine and we loaded up on videos and books. Emma waited for us at home with Grandma and we spent a happy evening watching Garfield cartoons. The boys had never seen Garfield's tv show, except for the Christmas special which they know by heart.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Last week turned into a very long, hectic, holidayish week. To give it full justice, now that I'm semi-recovered, I thought I'd divide it into parts.
Monday--I love Mondays. Usually. It's a chance to begin again, a new start to fix everything that went wrong the week before. That being said, it doesn't always work out that Monday is the best day of the week or the easiest. We began with school, moving along quite well. Things fizzled out of control very quickly when I had to stop to rush on errands in town. This is never good. Rushed to town, rushed home and got the boys moving. They go to the Knights club on Monday afternoon so we needed to leave. We technically had plenty of time to get there on time until we encountered an accident. Okay. We can be patient. We wait. And wait. And wait. Finally we are allowed to proceed on our way. Five minutes later, at another intersection we find another accident. Patience ebbs fast. We wait and wait and wait. We are now in the teeth grinding, we better get there on time or else, mode.
I make it five minutes before Fr. S. arrives. The boys jump out, eager to play games in the freezing cold. I rush to meet my cousin who needs me to pick up her boys. They jump in the car, we rush back to the park, they get out and I wait until I'm sure they have caught up with the group. Rush back to my cousin and we proceed to the Library where I sometimes volunteer with the Girls' group. My cousin and her daughter follow me.
In the interest of scouting up people to enter the December, "Cookies and Milk" contest, I ask if anyone wants a copy of our latest contest. They do. Run into the library from the meeting room and find the copier---the only copier--is OUT OF ORDER. And gee, everything was going so well up to that point!
The girls make Christmas cards. It's a relaxing activity after so much rushing. Later, I pick up the boys and my cousin decides to follow us home. Houseguests! Two of the boys ride with me and we listen to the Christmas music channel on the way home.
TUESDAY---All six children wake up early. Very early. Jarrod and Miah are ecstatic. Company to play with. No school work and a free day. I spend the day visiting, picking up, washing dishes and planning for a field trip the next day. My sanity ebbs fast. In the afternoon, my dear friend, Erica, calls and I'm able to make it through the rest of the night. THANKS! You'll never know how much I appreciated talking to someone over twelve, not crying, yelling or spilling toys.
Tuesday evening was the first night of the Merry Money store at our local library. This year the library decided to "pay" children for every 30 minutes they read during the holiday season. The fake bills--$1 for every 30 minutes--could be spent only on three dates at the library. Until we got there and saw the amount of merchandise, I had no idea it would be so well planned and such a blessing. The idea was for the children to purchase gifts for Mom, Dad, Grandparents, Teachers and siblings. Jarrod and Greg (his cousin), found several teacher gifts for their joint teachers at Leaves of Learning. (Despite several hints that I was his teacher 3 days a week, I don't think any of the nice mugs or sewing kits I pointed out made it into his shopping bag.)
Miah decided to get a nice tiara for Gemma (his cousin) because she hadn't signed up fo the program. He found a folk art Santa made from thread spools he couldn't resist for himself.
My Tuesday ended by going to the laundromat so we'd have warm clothes for our field trip the next day. Which brings me to the end of this post---conclusion in Part Two.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot chocolate and lots of whipped cream!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Under the tree in lovely, towering piles. Family gifts we wrap.
3. Colored or white lights on tree/house?
Whatever lasted from last year--but I love colored best.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
With all these kids and cats---no way!
5. When do you put up your decorations?
Outside early in Dec. The tree the week before Christmas since we use a live one.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, Dad would decorate the outside of our house with Christmas lights. My sister and I would go to bed early so we could watch the lights outside the window and sing Christmas carols.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I think I was around 11 when I stopped believing completely. Until then I really wanted there to be something truly magical in life and Santa fit the bill.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We use to go to my aunt's house and open one gift on Christmas Eve--usually new pjs. Now we go to church and open everything in the morning.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
I don't. I pass out the ornaments and let my nieces and nephews do the job. We take the Saturday before Christmas and go to a tree farm to cut it down. Bring it home and sometimes we play holiday music and drink hot chocolate.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? It's pretty to look at and now that I don't work outside in the winter--I may be able to enjoy it.
12. Can you ice skate?
My grandma bought me ice skates one year after I saw the Ice Capades. I wobbled all over creation. As a teen, I took my little sisters to a rink and found out I could skate if my skates were very tight. This Wednesday I'll find out if I still know how. Or not.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
A doll from the Sears catalog. I named her Elizabeth. She had a pink, silky dress, a red velvet coat and I got a white wooden doll cradle with it. It's the only thing I ever wanted so much I slept with the picture under my pillow.
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Being with family, hearing from friends.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Anything--but I love chocolate covered cherries.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I love it all, but my favorites would be going to cut down the tree, taking the kids to the library to make gingerbread houses, watching Christmas movies and hearing the giggles on Christmas morning when the kids see the tree.
17. What tops your tree? A funny oblong star shape my Dad bought in a Dollar store and insists on buying repeats whenever the old one wears out.
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving. It's more fun to surprise other people.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
"Have Yourself a Merry, Little Christmas," even though it makes me cry and religious, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear."
20. Candy Canes?