Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Readying for the next big event...

Three little noses are pressed to the window this morning watching the entertainment next door. The man who plows our neighbor's driveway apparently backed his truck into the snowbank and buried his back tires and another truck has been spinning his tires trying to pull him out for the past fifteen minutes or so. So of course when I spotted this scenario you know I called out, "Hey kids! Come look at this!" You can't buy this type of entertainment, folks.

I wonder if the men milling around outside appreciate their cheering section at all- Wahoo! He's gettin' out! Yeeeaaah! come the enthusiastic cries from my kids who are perched on the back of the couch.

Moments later... Okay, that did not end well. At some point, Hannah left the viewing stand and got into Jack's new markers that were left on the kitchen table- to which of course he flipped out and pulled her of the bench. Now Hannah's sporting a bobbed lip, the plow guy is gone, and a new war is brewing over whose candy Hannah just found on the kitchen counter. Ahh... The peaceful week that follows Christmas day is pure bliss, I tell you.

Quite truthfully it has been a fun few days. My sister and her family are in town which means lots of time speant drinking coffee, visiting, and- for the kids- endless opportunities to play with cousins.

I undecorated the tree yesterday to discover the top is nothing more than some scraggly sticks, and even the mere act of breathing within a two foot radius of the beast causes a rainshower of pine needles. The crispy brances at the bottom are as wide as an elephant, though, so I'm waiting for my husband to clip some limbs off before we attempt to haul the thing out.

I never take my tree down this early- I ususaly like to leave it up for this week after Christmas but this year I suddenly have the pressing desire to clear out December and move on to 2010. Slight nesting instinct is beginning to kick into full gear over here. Approximately six weeks to go combined with my fears of going three weeks early again have me on a sudden time crunch to ready this place for a new baby. Wait a minute. Let me digest that please. Three weeks?! I know it's not likely that I'll go that early again but... I was so unprepared last time, I feel like I have to be ready by that point this time.

Woah. Didn't realize myself I was narrowing in that closely on the final stretch until I typed it. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Please excuse me while I go hyperventilate.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope your day was peaceful and happy. Santa came to this house last night and unloaded a pile of presents under the tree- my kids said they heard him on the rooftop.

This morning both sets of grandparents came over to watch the kids open their presents. The kids amazingly slept in until 9 a.m.- all the Christmas partying has finally caught up with them. However, by about 9:08 all presents were opened. Okay I exaggerate... but only slightly- it didn't take them long to tear through the paper to discover if Santa had delivered their little requests.

My parents then moved on to their next stop while Ryan's parents stayed for lunch (that they provided.) Usually we've gone to their house for lunch on Christmas day, but with the weather unpredictable today and Ryan having to work the afternoon shift, we decided it would be easier to cook lunch here. Talk about easy (for me)! They came in the door with all the fixings for a delicious ham dinner- and all I did was I provide the oven.

So, now the kids are content as can be- busy with their new toys and I'm relaxing here with a cup of coffee musing at how quiet they're being.

What a perfect Christmas Day. So thankful for all we've been blessed with in this life and for that first Christmas day!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Twas just days before Christmas...

...And ooh, those Oreo truffles in the front porch are killing me. I'm scrimping with them on the party trays, I can't stop thinking about them when I'm sitting down to a cup of coffee. Or right after I've eaten a meal. Or first thing in the morning when I wake up. Or right before I'm heading up the stairs to go to bed. It's rather distracting. And I have this sinking feeling that by the time our last party rolls around on Sunday evening there will be no more Oreo truffles to stick on the plate. They're that good. Or I'm just that pregnant. Either way, I can't let them be. Just one more. Okay. ONE more. And that's it... After the next one. Wait, that one has an odd shape- better get rid of it quick.

I'm trying to waste some time waiting for the kids to fall asleep so I can finish up some last minute things. But they continue to talk and giggle and anticipate, I'm sure, as they have every night for the past week about Santa coming and what he might bring them. Their excitement is no longer containable and it's rather contagious as well. I'm feeling a bit giddy with anticipation myself. Or that could just be the sugar buzz from the truffles.

Or it could be the fact that I'm already slightly overtired. I did something completely uncharacteristic this morning- woke up at 6:30, quickly ate my breakfast and drank my morning coffee while I put the finishing touches on my to-do list, and then went crazy. By 7:40 a.m. I had the entire kitchen cleaned (not a small feat, I might add), the cupboards scrubbed (thanks to my Norwex cleaning rags), and had the floor mopped. I tackled the bathroom as well before the kids awoke. And after they were up and fed, I moved on to the living room (hauled some toys up to the kid's bedrooms, quickly stuffed a few things into a bag to get rid of while they weren't watching), waded through the entry way, cleared out the hallway that seems to be a clutter magnet of miscellaneous homeless items. I have to admit, I was inspired by Juli last week. Thanks Juli- my Christmas present to myself is a clean house! Feels nice.

It's those truffles, I tell you.

Okay, I think the kids are finally settling down. It's been quiet for a few minutes. Time for me to get back to work!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas program

After going to the Sunday school Christmas program this evening and hearing all those sweet little voices telling the Christmas story, I feel like Christmas has truly settled in my heart. The presents are (mostly) wrapped, the baking is done, the tree has been up for some time... But it isn't until I hear those Christmas peices and listen to all the children singing of the very first Christmas day that I finally feel like it's Christmas. I tried to tell the kids, this is what Christmas is really about as we were on our way to the program.

The day we went to visit Santa, I was warmed by Lydia's words as we were on our way to see the jolly old elf himself. We were walking in the door and she slipped her hand in mine and said, I know why we really have Christmas- it's because it's Jesus' birthday. Yes, sweetie, you are exactly right. Amidst all the other excitement that goes on with Christmas I'm so glad they can realize that is the true reason we celebrate.

So as the countdown blazes on- five days to go!- I'm feeling quite peaceful. The next few days promise to be busy (and I gauruntee you this peace will slip away more than once- probably only to be relocated in the box of truffles keeping cold in the front porch). Yet, I'm looking forward to all the Christmas parties and seeing family and friends. And of course, the excitement in my children's eyes on Christmas morning.

I hope you too are able to find some peaceful moments this week- and enjoy the sights and sounds and whispers of Christmas swirling around you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Final exams & Christmas cookies

Wow, it's been a while! The semester finished up yesterday with our final exams and it feels so nice to have some time off now. I know how fast the time goes by, and I know this little four week break is going to be gone in a blink between Christmas and parties and family in town... But I'm going to enjoy every minute of not having any papers due or tests to study for!

And then when we go back- one more semester! Even typing that seems unreal. And I don't think I'll believe it until I'm actually done for good. But, oh it's so close now!

In other news- the energy in my house is reaching all time highs this week in the five and under crowd while my patience is waning. I took them to see Santa last weekend and both L & J sat on his lap. J usually isn't so brave, but I think he figured if he didn't voice his wants he might be left with nothing on Christmas morning. Mom keeps threatening that Santa's not going to leave them anything if they're not good so I think he had to take it to the source himself.

We frosted cut out cookies tonight. The kids kept at it for about an hour before they finally tired of it. J spent most of the time frosting a snowflake cookie all different colors and sprinkles. It was quite the work of art by the time he finished with it. I thought I might attempt to do some other baking after the kids were in bed, but somewhere between putting them to bed and scraping the frosting off the table I lost all energy. There's always tomorrow right?