We've been busy this week. I was in the play that the teachers at Sam's school put on for the children each year. It's a little over their heads, but it's a good, meaningful, and funny play about the shepherds who go in search of the Christ child. I am always an inn-keeper in the play. Matt was out of town last week, which made things even crazier and busier. I helped with a lot of end-of-the-year preparations at Sam's school, went to parent night at Awana (with Sam in tow) and generally held down the fort while finishing Christmas preparations. Matt's mom is getting her house renovated by Mr Tommy, so she just asked if we could host Christmas at our house this year! Aaaaah! I'm becoming way too much of a grown up way too fast. First Thanksgiving and now this!!! I think I'm ready for it, but I think I'm going to improvize with a Honey Baked ham rather than making a turkey for this one.
Some things are going well and as planned. We just had our parent's group from church over for a little Christmas dinner/party. I made this white chicken chili recipe which I love and it has never failed me. The kids still ate hot dogs instead, however, and then about 100 Christmas cookies, so everyone was a little crazed by the end of the evening, but all in all, it went well.
I got Claire this Christmas dress/jumper at The Children's Place on sale for $10 so that was a good thing too.
We are not sending out Christmas cards this year because I just can't handle one more thing, but my dad really wanted a picture of us in front of our new house for HIS annual Christmas card, so we spent a crazy half hour one morning outside on the stoop trying to take a picture. I'm not sure I would call it a success, but my dad was happy with it so THAT is also on the list of things that went okay.
Claire is rocking at Awana as usual. I had to take Sammy with me this week to take her to parent's night at Awana, so I got to see her in all her glory. Here she is getting her red jewel in her new Sparky crown or whatever it is. She loves this kind of stuff. I was, however, affirmed in my decision that Sammy should not ever go to Awana because it is much too late at night and he will indeed melt down half way through. But we made it through without too many tears, so that's also a success.
We keep getting awesome Christmas cards in the mail every day. I keep wondering if all these kind people will keep sending me a Christmas card each year even though I never send one out, but so far I don't think too many people have dropped me, so...success!
We are pretty much living on clementines as our main source of produce. They are so delicious and convenient...I think I ate 4 the other night. And an entire bag of frozen asparagus from Trader Joe's and 4 Christmas cookies. Matt threatened to sleep in another room that night, but I was totally fine!
Claire brought this cute ceramic Christmas tree home from her last pottery class. I love that class. So does she.
Okay, so our failures are two fold: 1) each night of this month we have lit the appropriate candles of our advent wreath, read the scripture, and sang a little song about the advent candles. The kids LOVED this last year. However, this year they are old enough to help with the matches and the lighting of the candles, so it has turned into nothing but a huge fight every night over who gets to light which candle and who gets to blow which candles out. Really, this consumes the entire thing and all the specialness is lost. We have tried so many different things to make it peaceful, but it's all about my two little pyromaniacs and not about Jesus at all. Boo.
2) We started a tradition last year of snuggling together in Claire's room and singing Christmas songs in bed while looking at the beautiful glowing ceramic Christmas tree that my mom made me as a child. It was so sweet last year. Again, though, the whole thing has become a fight about the songs and about them being goofy the whole time and about how many songs we are going to sing, etc. etc. It's not going well and usually it leads to bedtime taking way too long and children crying.
Why can't it all go well? I just want a nice, worshipful, peaceful Christmas! Maybe next year. There have been so many changes this year....maybe we're just not settled here yet.