December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I had great plans this week of posting about Ken's birthday and our trip to the trains.  I had posts planned in my head about our holiday crafting and gingerbread houses and .....  they never happened. 

But yesterday afternoon.  It hit me.  Christmas Peace.  I was loading the kids up to run an errand and pick up pizza, the kitchen was still a mess from the day's preparations, Ken had to drive 2 hours away unexpectedly to fix something for work, and it all didn't matter.  I was just at peace.  The peace I've been wanting all of Advent.  I was full of joy.  And I still am!

It was a gift!  Truly a gift from God.  And here we are, Christmas Eve and the important thing is that I will be celebrating God's gift of His Son, with all my little gifts from God and that is enough.  None of the baking, preparing, cleaning, stressing...matters.

May the peace of Christ be with you all!  Glory to God in the highest! Merry Christmas!

And if I don't post between now and then--Happy New Year too! :)

December 16, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook--Advent Edition.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Outside my window...snow, snow and more glorious snow!  We've had more snow this December than I can remember.  This is our third snowstorm in two weeks.  I'm hoping we'll have a white Christmas!  I think right now we have about 3 or 4 inches in addition to what was left on the ground.  That is a lot of snow for 'round here!

I am thinking...
  • about Christmas preparations and menu plans and all that.  I seriously need to put together teacher gifts (piano, religious ed) and angel tree gifts and make sure I have it all for this weekend.
  • about babies.  I'm 15 weeks today and I feel ginormous all of a sudden.  Good though, still tired but no more nausea!  Yay! 
  • about pets and what to do with them now that the weather is cold.  They're driving me crazy.
  • about our sponsored Compassion child, Kevonsky.  I always worry for him when I hear about all the stuff going on in Haiti, the Cholera outbreak being the most recent.
I am thankful for...a warm house and food to eat.  Especially when you think about all those who are suffering and who have so little.

From the learning rooms...we're on break until after the holidays.  We're crafting and baking and sledding instead.
From the kitchen...lots of goodies.  Making tins of cookies for all the neighbors and some of Ken's co-workers.  I have been trying to make and bake and freeze.  I've never done the cookie freezing thing so I hope it turns out okay!

I am wearing...sweats, slipper socks, and a thermal shirt.  Cozy clothes for a cold day. 

I am creating...a baby.  And Godparent gifts and still working on a gift for my new little nephew due in February.  Not a big deal, it is just taking me a long time!

I am going...nowhere today!  I don't think my van would get out of the drive if I tried.

I am reading...Light from Heaven by Jan Karon (Mitford series).  I've read it before, but I just came across it again. 

I am hoping...for good health!  Liz and Nick have been battling little colds for awhile now.  I'm hoping they resolve and I'm not driving to the pediatrician for an ear infection next week.

I am hearing...kids talking while eating lunch.

Around the house...finishing the to-do list.  Ken's birthday is this weekend so that will be a whole day of fun and I need to have the house pretty much cleaned up by then.  I'd like Ken to install the remaining shelves in the hall closet so I can get the sheets up off the floor.  There is nothing more ridiculous than scrounging through a pile o' sheets when someone needs one!

One of my favorite things...hot cocoa and rosy cheeks.

A few plans for the rest of the week...birthday celebrating, baking, passing out cookie tins, piano lessons, final shopping.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...




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Purple is for preparation.

In Catechesis of the Good Shephard, they talk about the liturgical colors with little reminders on the seasons--Green is for Growing, Purple is for Preparation, White is for Celebration....  and here we are in Purple and I'm not feeling very Prepared.  Are you?

I realized this week that in large part, I am feeling unable to focus because I feel like my house is so out of order.  It is hard to decorate when everything needs a complete wipe-down.  10 weeks of nausea have left me way behind and vastly underprepared for this season!  I want to be preparing my heart, not my home.  I'm missing the moments of years past when all we focused on were traditions--novenas and the advent wreath and Jesse tree.  This year, those things aren't as prominent as I'd like.  And it shows even with the kids, they aren't as into it as usual--and it is all because I'm not peaceful at heart.

I'm realizing that I need to let some of it go.  I'm allowing my focus to be distracted by things that I necessarily can't change much.  My house is out of order, yes.  Can I afford to go out and buy the shelving or the furniture to change that? No.  Will these things come in time? Yes.  Should I allow my frustration to take away the true focus here?  No.

That being said, I do think it is a very real thing as the woman of the household to desire to prepare her house for company.  Being open and welcoming to company is also to be open and welcoming to Christ.  To be able to show those around you that love of Christ firsthand.
So, we're taking this week to get caught up.  We made great progress on Saturday--we actually got almost the whole house clean.  Except for mopping the floors, which can be a whole day undertaking in and of itself.  I finally have an empty laundry room.  Except for what is in the dryer right now, the baskets are empty and everything is folded and put away.  I need to wrap up baking so that I can do a thorough clean-up of the kitchen.  I'm not looking for total perfection.  I just want to be ready.  And, we're focusing hard on our devotions this week and next.  Making the most of the time that is left.  I want to be ready to welcome family into my home for the Christmas season.  I want to be ready to welcome Christ.  Because He deserves a place of honor in my home and most especially, in my heart.

And, today, today, I will finally get the Nativity where I'd like it to end up.  Just in time.  I'm hoping to be thoroughly purple.

December 15, 2010

Christmas red?


Christmas red would be an appropriate color name for Nick's permanent cast.  It is waterproof, so for the first time in a week he was able to get a bath. Yay!  He doesn't much like it.  He keeps saying "off" and gets mad when you tell him that it can't come off.  Poor little guy!  But most of the time, he carries on as normal and is learning to use his left hand really well!  The docs tell us the cast comes off in three weeks, rain or shine!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

December 14, 2010

Final Christmas card!

Nativity Blessing Religious Christmas Card
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December 10, 2010

Kitchen Window Makeover.

Since moving in here in April, I've felt like my kitchen has nooooo flow.  To have doubled, almost tripled, my kitchen size I can't figure out why it feels like such a disaster!  I can't keep up with it.  I keep waiting for the kitchen fairy of inspiration to strike--but no luck yet.  So, maybe my little window makeover inspired by LMLD will help get it started.  Because I would really like my kitchen to be a peaceful place in time for Christmas!
 

My before photo.  The windowsill tends to be a collection place for random toys and small saints.  To the left is my crockpot (it is often there) and the pile-up for dirty dishes, and in this case--an empty chip bag!  To the right sits my pile of clean dishes.  I laughed at Leila's post because I have never ever had a dish rack.  And in fact, I don't use kitchen towels--I use old placemats!  I've always felt guilty about that... but now I don't feel so bad!  And also to the left is the pile-up of baking stuff from yesterday.

Upper left cabinets hold glassware, above the dishwasher.  The upper right cabinets hold plates and bowls.  I would really prefer for it to be reversed but the size of the cabinets are better suited this way.


My after photo.  I don't have much room for pretty stuff on my windowsill but a clean window and a little garland goes a long way towards a peaceful view!

Now... to tackle the kitchen island.  If I could surround it with barbed wire, I might be able to keep it clean.....  everyone seems to deposit all sorts of miscellany there!

December 9, 2010

Roller Coaster week.

Well, the week started off with a bang.  In a good way.  We got our christmas tree at our local cut-your-own farm.  Always a good time!  It amazes me that I have a young man old enough to drag that tree himself!
Nick really loves being in the backpack carrier.  He didn't much mind the cold!

We got our first snow of the season on Saturday.  And our first snow angels!  Liz loves making snow angels (and sand angels and dirt angels....).

And first attempts on our newly-mowed sled run.  It was great (I tried it so I know!).
Lots of fun and hot chocolate at the Christmas parade (and candy and cookies and a live nativity too!).

 And all the joy and excitement that comes with St. Nicholas day.  The stockings have already been emptied here.  Had to hang up the "extra" stocking for the new baby!
 And then, the downhill part.  Mr. Nick broke his wrist Tuesday afternoon.  He fell off a chair at this very island while we were trying to finish a project.  How I didn't see him, I don't know!  Bad Mama!  Here he is trying to make the best of it in his temporary cast while making cookies.  Not only does he also have a cold, the poor boy can't get comfortable to sleep at night.  Which means that either Ken or I are up with him.  A lot.  Which has turned my sweet, easy-going toddler into a fussy, uncomfortable, has-a-hard-time drinking his juice toddler.
So, we're all trying to console ourselves with lots of cookie-making!  And movie-watching.

I'm hoping that Nick heals quickly and we can start climbing uphill again!  In baby news, I am 14 weeks today and that is a very very good thing.  Still very tired, but not feeling so ill!

Say a prayer for Nick, will you?  It is miserable to see a little one uncomfortable!

December 6, 2010

Happy St. Nicholas Day!


Happy feast day to you all!  We will be enjoying some time over here celebrating St. Nicholas' day with our own little Nick.  We'll be having some hot chocolate, making some peppermint bark, watching the Veggietales St. Nicholas movie, some crafts for godparents maybe.....and reading some books on St. Nick... if I can find them (sigh)!

Enjoy your day!