summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Monday, December 7, 2015

and good morning happy monday!

A party with these girls, as my teenagers would say. "These girls", my friends, are more special than can be articulated. We are different, yet this describes us perfectly: "Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."(Psalm 133)

Emily's house was warm and welcoming, although she hadn't gotten around to decorating for Christmas yet. She's a busy girl, going to school and working full time as a nurse. Mirielle is doing the same thing, she's so busy she didn't even join the party...homework was due!

We got our Christmas tree. Sonja K. is 13, and she has ideas of what a tree should look like. She's thinking sleek, a nice color scheme, white lights...I like colored lights, lots and lots of them, with a whole assortment of ornaments we have collected through the years. She says it looks awful, I think it's beautiful. It looks like it's always looked. Maybe next year I'll let her do it how she wants, if she still wants to. That's the thing, sometimes I don't think things through. It wouldn't have hurt me to let her just do it all up differently, but I was set and determined. Old and stubborn, that's me.

We had quite a crew for dinner last night, 16 of us at the table. 17, counting Lydia. Our internet is so slooowww, so I cannot post the adorable pictures. We had roast pork, which had marinated in lemon juice and olive oil with Jamaican jerk seasoning, rice with lime and cilantro (and butter!), fresh broccoli, mini peppers, and mixed vegetables. And for dessert: lots of leftover treats from the bazaar, fudge and chocolate dipped oreos...almond joy fudge, and chocolate dipped wafer cookies...and chocolate dipped peppermint patties.

This afternoon I am going to fit in a trip to the dreaded mall with some of my girls, between school and their youth meeting tonight. They have things going on every night of the week, and this coming weekend is a huge church Christmas concert. They are supposed to have nice clothes, as they are singing in it. Plus, a few of them want/need jeans, and haven't had any luck finding them at the thrift stores, so the mall it is. I have sixteen kids plus some close friends on my Christmas list, and there are still blanks next to some of their names. Since I am going to Norway in March, I think I will just bring Abigail and Margaret their presents then, instead of spending so much on shipping gifts overseas. Now it seems like Samuel might not make it home for Christmas, he put in for leave and hasn't heard yet:( The poor kid hasn't been here for Christmas in two years. So I had better send him something soon because it takes a while this time of year.

There's a Christmas song, "All I Want For Christmas Is You", and I can relate. I don't want/need anything for Chrismas, except for maybe getting my hot tub fixed, but that is getting old, asking for that. It just ain't gonna happen. But anyway, I don't want anything. I hate the stress of shopping and trying so hard to find the balance of not overspending, and yet making everyone happy. I have Paul on one end of the spectrum, Paul who works hard and pays the bills and thinks the kids only need like one or two things, and then I have the kids who are happily expectant of a merry Christmas which includes that pile of gifts...then me in the middle, trying to please them all. I am okay with getting the older kids just a few little things, but the teenage girls, and the little kids...? Just because there are a lot of them doesn't mean they shouldn't get that pile of gifts.

We were supposed to get up and go to the pool this fine morning, but I wimped out. The chilly overcast rainy frost-coated morning called for hot coffee and a blanket, not rousing the homeschoolers out of their warm beds to get their bathing suits packed. The little girls had their cousin overnight for three nights...they stayed up way too late and got up way too early, so they NEEDED to catch up. Jonathan had a friend over Saturday night, and when I got home from my party, I checked in his room, they were playing video games and eating Ramen 12:30 in the morning. So yeah, I let them sleep in this morning.

It's chilly in here. My coffee gets cold in my cup before I finish it, and my cold fingers are making mistakes on the keyboard. My feet are under a blanket, and don't want to touch the floor and put those clothes in the dryer. Our tree is all lit up...Jonathan is reading about Pearl Harbor, as it's the anniversary of the bombing by the Japanese, thus our entrance into WWII. Camille is playing with the Playmobil Christmas set while Jon reads her little snippets.

Charlotte Claire is still sleeping, Kathryn is working on school, and Joseph is working on an art project. The coffee pot has more pumpkin spice coffee, and the space heater is humming that sleepy hum. Do I HAVE to get up and get busy? Can't I just sit here a while longer?

Oh...I wandered off from a point I was trying to make, big surprise there, but I don't want anything for Christmas...I just want the kids here, and I want my kids to be happy. And I want a nice warm sunshine-y getaway with Paul, ha. Oh believe me, if I started in on wanting things, I am sure I could find a good sized list. Warm new boots, and my coat is two years old, (it was THREE dollars on the clearance rack a few years back, in the spring time. THREE DOLLARS.) New jeans, and a few scarves, and a diamond ring, and a puppy. Ha, kidding not kidding. I really don't want anything. I think the most important thing we can have is an appreciation for what we already have. And a thankfulness for our days, our spouses, our kids, or parents, or friends.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

My husband is the same way. He never got more than a few gifts at Christmas growing up and he survived so he figures that's fine for our kids. He gave up years ago and just lets me figure it all out though so I guess I'm lucky in that regard. I always used to wish he'd go Christmas shopping with me, but he seriously does not want to shop EVER, let alone after work and on weekends (who does? I avoid night and weekend shopping like the plague.) so I'm fine with trying to find that balance and he never complains because he knows how hard I try to get the best deals.

The difference to me is this - when I was growing up we didn't get things throughout the year. We didn't just get a toy in the store because we wanted it and my parents didn't feel the need to reward any of us with anything out of the ordinary. We got exactly what we needed when we needed it and that was about it - except at Christmas. Christmas was BIG at our house and I want that for my kids, even though they do get things sporadically throughout the year. Balance is the key.