Well, I can't help but notice that there seems to be quite a correlation between the increased amount of time Brian spends at home and the decreased frequency of my blogging. While I do enjoy spending so many free moments with him, I do not enjoy watching so many weeks go by leaving nothing more for you to read than my boring old travel logs. We're going to have to work on a solution for this! But, in the meantime, here are a few scrambled thoughts for to give you a picture of what has been going on in my head lately:
1. Winter Laundry is Back
Poo on winter laundry! (Actually, let's not use that phrase...) Hooray to me for finding such a tall and handsome man to marry but, frankly, his jeans take up a third of the washing machine. Add a few sweaters and the coat that my child spilled hot chocolate on and I've got a full load, my friend. A frustrating concept if you live with a septic tank and have to carefully monitor the amount of water that exits your house in a day to prevent unpleasant odors swirling around your backyard... Blankets, coats, sweaters, jeans and long-sleeved t-shirts... it's a bit challenging to get it all done when you can only do 1-2 loads of laundry per day. And, I've got to keep all those little toes warm - ten wiggly feet that need new socks every day - so that by the end of the week there is a daunting pile of 70 lone socks that need to be matched. The countdown begins now for laundry baskets filled with shorts and t-shirts again. :)
2. Black Friday is for Crazies
And, call me crazy, I joined the masses this year. My favorite purchase: this lovely pre-lit Christmas tree. How did I not know the wondrous blessing of a Christmas tree that has been strung with Christmas lights for you? My life has changed for good... This year as we plugged the Christmas tree in, I couldn't help but feel like something was missing - and then I realized... yes ... it was the HOURS of untangling Christmas lights and winding them around those itchy branches while convincing my children (for all those hours) that 'I'm almost done and that, soon, we can start decorating the tree with all of those lovely ornaments tantalizing you...' Never again, folks. Never again. We are a plug-and-done family now.
3. Christ Centered Christmas
Last Christmas I came away feeling a bit empty. We had partied hard and counted down the days with the best of the crowd. We sang our hearts out in carols and thought long about gifts. We started some new, loved traditions and laughed and played and kept the 'jolly' alive... but we kind of missed bringing Christ into the center of our celebrations. And, after the celebrations were over, my heart didn't feel swollen with love and gratitude for my Savior. I decided I didn't much like that, and vowed that this year would be different. And so it is! We have taken a page (or a hundred pages) out of the book 'A Christ Centered Christmas' and it has, so far, transformed our way of celebrating. Through the month, we are slowly assembling the nativity scene... taking a full night (or sometimes a group of nights) to talk about each of the figures that played a part in that miraculous night. Each figure in the nativity has its own tradition that accompanies it and we have found the first two traditions, surrounding Mary and then Joseph, very meaningful and have high hopes for the rest of our month. Tomorrow we talk about the wisemen - and in honor of their search for Christ, we will attend a Christmas concert with the children and search for His name in the words of the songs, and search for His spirit in our hearts as we let the music fill us. And, at the end of the night, we will place the wisemen in our little homemade nativity set.
4. Feeling the Homesick Bug
Boo to feeling homesick. I've celebrated Thanksgiving happily in North Carolina for many years... but Thanksgiving morning this year found my heart feeling the miles of mountains and plains that separate me from my family. One phone call to my mom's cell and a few tears later, I felt better. But is there any way we could keep the integrity of this beautiful state and nudge it a bit west?
5. We are officially a four-gallons-of-milk-per-week family
I went out grocery shopping by myself this evening. I rarely do this... like, rarely, rarely ... I find the stores much too crowded in the evenings after work hours are over. But, today it couldn't be helped, so I left my angel kiddos home with Brian and ventured out by myself to pick up the weekly groceries. As I was loading my four gallons of milk onto the checkout counter (along with my 6 boxes of cream cheese, 1/2 gallon of cream, 6 heads of lettuce, 2 bunches of bananas, 5lbs of cheese...) I attracted the attention of, not one, but two friendly strangers who were brave enough to comment that 'I must have a large family!'
Well, I suppose I do. And sometime this week, I'll catch you up on those three little beauties that drink so much milk and take up so much of my life. :) Here's a little sneak peek:
"Mom, I have a great idea. I put these on to protect my eyes just in case the ball hits my face."
"Mom - watch my eyes. Am I doing it?"
What did I expect after I told Miles he could lick the bowl?