Monday, December 28, 2009

December 27, 2009

After church today, we had Christmas dinner at my mom's house . . .

She always makes enough food for an army (and I always eat my fair share).

This Christmas has been a bit more tense, since my brother and sister-in-law separated back in November . . .

but at least everyone is still getting along fairly well, while these two work things out.

Wrapping paper flew in all directions, but when it was all done and the "smoke" cleared, Eli thought Uncle Kevin's tools were the bee's knees.

I do believe that the boy is obsessive about tools.  (He's found the screwdrivers I keep in my desk drawer, and ALMOST taken the bottom hinge off the door in my retreat.  I keep having to tighten the screws back in.  Thank goodness he can't reach the top ones, or he'd bring the door down on himself!)

We finally got home from mom's a little after 3:00.  Eli and I promptly took a nap, and then it was off to clean and get things caught up for our trip to Dave's folks tomorrow.  I was happy to see the sun come out late in the afternoon, and the cats were taking every opportunity to soak it all up.  Hope I can get it all done before we leave.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 26, 2009

We had a beautiful sunrise this morning . . .

So today I jumped into cleaning the living room and putting away all the Christmas decorations.

Bayleigh had to interrupt my cleaning spree pretty frequently, by bringing Butterball into the house.  She KNOWS I can't help but pet the fuzzy little thing.

And during this break, Bayleigh has decided she REALLY likes to play chess.  So it's brought out frequently during the day.  She's actually getting pretty good.

And since it's snowed, our back entrance looks like this . . .

boots, coats, coveralls, gloves and a rifle . . . just in case.  Snow . . . it's a love/hate relationship around here.  Love to play in it, but hate all the clutter it brings with it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 25, 2009

Christmas is indeed the day for magic and miracles.  Bayleigh just asked a few days ago why we didn't have snow.  It just wouldn't be Christmas without it.

Somebody else must have thought so too.  We woke up to a few inches of the white stuff, with it still coming down fast and furious.

Santa had filled the stockings . . .

and left packages under the tree.

But of course the stockings came first.  Books, Play-Doh and Movies for the kids and PJ's for the big kids.  Then it was on to the packages.  I always let the kids open mine for me . . . I think there is just something about unwrapping gifts that makes this day extra special for them.

And I'm so glad that Dave takes them shopping to pick out gifts for me.  It's always a pleasant surprise to see what they think mommy might like.

This year, I received a sweet little Christmas decoration to put out next year.  I can't wait!

Out of all the gifts that were given and received today, I think the miracle of a white Christmas was the best gift of all.  Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 25, 2009

December 24, 2009

I actually got quite a bit accomplished today.  THREE loads of dishes, I lost count on the laundry, and I sorted and purged a lot of clothing in my closet.  While I was cleaning away . . . this really thick, eerie fog started moving in . . .

I didn't think anything of it at the time, other than . . . I've GOT to get pictures!

But it must have been a foretaste of the weather to come.

I made peanut butter balls before supper and they turned out REALLY rich.  I couldn't even eat a whole one.  Hmmm . . . what to do with the rest?  They're really good, but I don't need the extra poundage right at the moment.  Thank you very much.

We usually have Christmas dinner at mom's house, and open presents there on Christmas Eve, but my brother had to work, so we're changing things around a little this year.  This year, mom came over and we fixed Mexican food.  Quesadillas and tacos.  Mmmmm.

Then we let the kids open presents.

It was after midnight when I finally made it to bed, but I snapped a shot of the stockings, all hung with care, before Santa decended upon us all.

December 23, 2009

It rained all night and well throughout the day, with only a few glimpses of the sun.

Luckily the temperature wasn't too bad, so I braved a few trips outside for photos . . .

In between wrapping gifts.  (Do you like my "redneck" permanent marker tags?"

While I wrapped (gifts) and snapped (photos) . . .

Dave slept with the croupie kid.  (I'm so glad he picked up some anti-biotics at the hospital when he dropped off cookies yesterday evening!)

And after wrapping all those gifts, "Santa" was parched.  Milk and cookies definitely hit the spot.  I can see why he carries around that "bowl full of jelly".

When the sun finally came out, late afternoon, I ran outside and took some more pics.  It was still sprinkling pretty good at the time, so I eagerly watched for a rainbow.

Who would have thought!  A rainbow (double at that) two days before Christmas.  This is indeed a season of miracles.

December 22, 2009

Eli was up ALL night last night.  Sore throat and a croupie cough.  So I finally just gave up on any semblance of sleep at around 4:30.

 While Eli rested on the couch.  Dave and Bayleigh made cookies, and I cleaned.  (Do you see a pattern here?  Dave gets to do a lot of the "FUN" stuff with the kids, and I get to stay up with the sick kids and clean.  Maybe we can trade places soon.)

Bayleigh loves to help bake/cook.  I'm glad she's such a good little helper (although from all the impatient grumbling from the kitchen area, it sounded like she was more hindrance than help today).

She's still showing some signs of attitude, but she's gotten MUCH better, since she's been on break.  Now if we can just get her lined completely back out before her Christmas break is over . . .  HA!

We only snagged a few bites of this batch of sugar cookies and the rest, Dave took to the hospital.  This batch was for a benefit, to raise money for one of Dave's co-workers.  Her little girl had been in a nasty car accident last week, and thankfully things are looking better.

I thought it was very sweet for Bayleigh to color her a picture . . . and we all hope that she DOES get well soon.  My girl has a big heart . . . when she decides to use it.

(*On another note . . . Dave finally caught our elusive possum out on the deck before he left to drop off the cookies at the hospital.  Maybe Bayleigh will sleep good tonight.)

December 21, 2009

And today we shopped . . . but first we headed out to Bayleigh's favorite restaurant for some grub.

Then we split up into pairs;  Dave with Eli and I with Bayleigh, and set off to have some fun. 

And yes . . . I do some pretty silly things.  (Like stick my head under the bathroom dryers, so it makes all the flappy skin on my face do weird things.  But I make sure no one else is in the rest room when I do it.  Bayleigh gets a huge kick out of it.)

It's AMAZING the kind of response you get from people when you point a camera at them.  Most of the people I encountered today freaked out and turned the other way.  (*Note to self:  When going Christmas shopping take your camera and make sure to point it at everyone.  They'll clear a path faster than if you had pointed a gun at them.)

Speaking of guns . . . Target was NOT the place to be today.  It was completely packed.  (*Another note to self:  Do my Christmas shopping early next year.)

I think we spent the most time in Toys R Us.  We couldn't decide whether to get more track for Eli's exsisting train track, or start him up fresh with some GeoTrax, so we picked up a little of both.

And I don't know HOW she does this, but shopping must have the same effect on her as it does me.  It was a long day, but at least we got the majority out of the way.  I'm sure we've probably forgotten something, but there's plenty of time to pick up last minute gifts . . . isn't there?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 20, 2009

Today was our Christmas program at church.  Since I was assigned to head up the kid's part of the program, I was feeling a bit nervous about the whole thing, but the girls sang beautifully.

And mom and Vicky did a nice job too!

Beverly, our pianist, is SUPERB. I wish I could play just a smidge as well as she does. She could be a concert pianist. Just beautiful. I'm glad she took over for me on the kid's program, so I could take pictures. (Thanks Beverly.)

After I got home from church, I dove into more laundry. I swear it multiplies while I'm not looking . . . I feel like I LIVE in the laundry room. Sometimes I wish it would all just go away.

December 19, 2009

Now that I've got my computer and all the misc. paraphernalia moved UPSTAIRS into my retreat, I've got some major sorting to do . . .

I guess you know what I did the rest of the day.  Yep . . . sorted, purged and of course did more laundry.

December 18, 2009

Today we got our first glimpse of SNOW! 

Another full day of laundry and cleaning . . . trying to get prepared for Monday's family Christmas shopping event.

December 17, 2009

Since Bayleigh is still grounded from riding the bus, I decided to take my camera with me again today and get some pictures of her in her classroom environment.

Before they settle into the regular classroom routines, they are asked to put their book bags and coats away and then sit at their desk and read quietly to themselves.

And I'm glad to see that our little school still believes in saying the "Pledge of Alligiance" each morning before starting class.  It takes me back . . . a LONG way . . . to my own childhood.

We got around to moving Dave's desk today, and I think it looks MUCH better here, than in the front entry way.  I guess moving his desk is ONE way of getting him to clean it all off. (heh, heh)

Of course we HAD to move his desk in order to set up the Christmas tree . .

and before we put all the glass (yes, I know I'm nuts) ornaments on the tree, I thought I'd get a fun repetitive type of family photo, reflected in their bright, shiny surface.

Dave instructed Eli on hanging ornaments . . .

and we let the kids take over from there.  I didn't try to re-arrange any ornaments this year, or fuss about balance and composition; I just let the kids have at it.  It's nice letting go of perfectionism.

When all was said and done, I think the tree turned out beautifully!  I'm counting my many blessings.