It is not even 9 pm yet, and yet it feels like midnight. Susan called just a bit ago and asked me how I was doing and I had to admit, "not so good". Things have steadily been crossed off of the list and accomplished successfully, but my attitude has been anything but glorifying and thankful- and my body is weary. The headaches and muscle tension have been at a pretty high level and sometimes it's hard to determine which came first - attitude and schedule first then headaches or vice versa.
In light of those confessions, the day has indeed been full - and here's a few of the things we accomplished:
The Christmas tree - this is the one in the living room. It was purchased again at Campbell Tree Farm, two trees picked out and tied on to the van in less than 30 minutes. We love that place. Too bad decorating it didn't go quite as quickly----
This is the bonus room tree with all of the kids ornaments. This picture makes my son look especially old, a recurring thought that I've had this week watching him. It's been one of those weeks where the annoyance and disappointment levels and pride and delight in him have reached both ends of the pendulum with him. I'm happy to say that the happy side is where we are at now-
This picture was taken about ten minutes before the end of the Civil War game. Had Michael and Michele stuck around just a few minutes longer before leaving for the Fowler Christmas Party, their smiles would have been even bigger. It was a good game and both teams played with heart - well done, Beavers - we can be good sports about it as, at this point, there's nothing left to lose. OK, moving on from football, don't Michael and Michele look lovely? Michele has literally been working her butt off to make herself look good in this dress all year and I believe she exceeded her goal -I hope they have a great time tonight-
After the Schillings left, I tried to get a lot more serious in my preparation for Mikayla's party. Let it be known that this will be the last "at home birthday party" I will be planning in December for a while (or until my memory fades). I keep thinking of the "Polar Express" last year, how that was a big deal, but really took very little "work effort" on my part. That sounds like a great tradition to continue..... or maybe a birthday party in January - well, it's a year away and not something I need to be planning now, that's for sure! Anyway, here is a picture of Nati posing with the "gingerbread castles"
I had tried unsuccessfully in my first attempts to come up with a gingerbread anything. It wasn't looking pretty and I was really losing motivation and heart for the whole thing. Finally, I came up with these and felt okay about the end result thinking that by the time the kids add the marshmallow or gum drop accents, it might look pretty cute. When Traig came in and expressed his admiration for my efforts, I seriously wanted to cry. The fact that this kid "who knows his castles" thought they were good was all I needed to keep going. He's been VERY SWEET this evening, it's fun when all the kids are together how on certain occasions you end up having special bonding moments with them. Tonight has been Traig's night for both John and I......
As I said before, the real problem I've had with this week hasn't been all of the "things to do" it's been the attitude I've had through them all. Special moments that I know I should be cherishing, instead I find myself irritable and griping about how someone else has made me feel that way or deserves blame for something. It's really been ugly. So, as I began reading a new Christmas devotional book today (as it is December 1st), I was especially struck with this passage, written as a prayer to the Lord-
Thank You for coming in the flesh to this world. I can't imagine what it must have been like to leave heaven behind and become one of us. That kind of love is too much for my human mind to take in. It's pure, unselfish, perfect. And You have planted that very kind of love in my heart by the Holy Spirit. Help me each day to incorporate that love into my life, receiving it in its fullness and sending it out to others- freely giving to others what I have freely received. You are an awesome God.
Wow. I have a lot of work to do - and it has nothing to do with concerts, tree decorating or kids' parties....