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

Saturday, December 26, 2015

and a merry christmas it was....

It was 68 degrees here on Christmas Eve, so Kathryn and I took a walk.

Having Sam home makes it so special.

He loves baby Lydia...she spent the night with us on Christmas Eve, and Mali came home from her 12 hour shift and cuddled with her baby on the couch, on Christmas morning, a very tired Mali. I don't know how she does it. She had to go back to work on Christmas night for another 12 hour shift.

Anyone wanna guess who gained 3 pounds in the last few days? I decided to just go with it...I didn't go crazy, but I did have some cookies. On Christmas Eve morning, I had a temporary leave of my senses, if you can believe me, and made two chocolate pies, and two pumpkin pies. I had to make crusts for quiche the kitchen was pretty busy. We made four pounds of bacon, four quiche, pancakes, fresh pineapple, melon, and blueberries, and sausage. And orange juice, which we don't have on a regular basis. Christmas morning, we had lots of cinnamon rolls, then more bacon, leftover quiche, and eggs. I didn't even have a cinnamon roll, but I did have pie on Christmas Eve. With freshly made whipped cream. oh dear, it was good.

But Christmas wasn't all about the food. It was about the people. Having most of the family here under one roof is what makes me happy. I don't get tired of it. These adults who have grown up here, reminiscing about their childhoods and Christmases past...

Part of me hates Christmas. I am an organizationally-challenged mom, and this year I didn't get enough gifts for Evelyn. Emily loved the espresso pot and espresso beans I got her, Kathryn was thrilled with a new iPod, her old one was two years old, and the sound no longer worked...none of my kids have phones until they get jobs and can pay for them, so they use iPods for texting and staying in touch with the big wide world. But anyway, the Christmas hating part: did I buy too much, not enough? I didn't get enough for Aaron, then he came over laden with gifts for the kids...and yummy chocolates for me from Trader Joe's. I always start out with my list, writing down gifts as I get them, but somehow each year I lose track of what I buy for who...and someone ends up getting lots more than the others...Mirielle didn't get much this year either. I think shopping for Secret Santa gifts throws me off, too, but we do that exchange on Christmas Eve...

Anyway, Paul thinks I buy too much, I think I buy too little, but we agree to disagree:)

I got a fitbit type of watch, but it didn't track my sleep last night, unless it was to confirm my worst suspicions: I didn't sleep at all, which is what it feels like this morning, ha. Mali got me a spiral veggie slicer, so my pasta replaced veggies are more authentic. Sam got me dark chocolate coconut cashews and two bags of Starbucks coffee, and a box of chocolates....Em got me a sweater, and two tickets to a showing of the play, "To Kill A Mockingbird".

Jonathan liked his remote controlled helicopter. They got Star Wars Monopoly, and new light sabers, and the girls got a karaoke machine with disco lights. They got baby dolls and clothes. Older kids got earbuds and headphones and coats, gloves, clothes. Kathryn passed her old iPod down, and gave Char her old Surface.

Aaron brought his dog over...Lilly, who is part lab, part demon, ha. She's actually friendly and kind, but she has more energy than the rest of us put together. She was so excited about the presents, she was always in the middle of it, running away with gifts, and shredding up the wrapping paper and cardboard for us. She finally got tired and settled down, but we didn't mind her craziness, she gets along fine with Suri, and is so funny and cute. Duke growled at her when she got up in his grill, but didn't do much more than that.

The after Christmas let-down is here...what do we do now? Not for me so much, I don't get bored. I can putter around and do whatever people need me to do, go here and there, and be fine...but some of the teenagers will need some things to keep them occupied. Maybe Joseph will take them ice skating. Samuel is going shooting this afternoon with some friends, and we might have to go pick up some glasses today. Tomorrow is a basketball game...Paul and some of the older kids are working...isn't Sam nice, home on leave from the Army and working volunteer for church? I will be home with the younger kids, maybe we'll do something fun.

We're narrowing down dates for our trip to Florida. I'm pretty excited to be driving down again, it takes 23 hours to get there, and with a van full of's extra fun.

Then March, to Norway to see Abigail and Margaret...

See, I don't have time for "complications". This pain in my side, it has to be just a harmless, benign lump of something that can be removed by a magic wand of some sort. I have places to go, kids to raise.

My family simply wouldn't survive without me. Who would know where the tape is? Who would remind Jon to brush his teeth? Who would know we need more kitty litter, dental floss, light bulbs? Who would take the time to listen to dreams and cuddle with the princesses?

I know, I know, don't cross the bridge until you come to it, don't worry about tomorrow.

But these thoughts are real, and they come. My job is to put them in perspective. I truly believe that taken properly, it's a good thing to be so conscious of one's mortality. Walking around weeping and feeling sorry for myself would be fruitless. But our lives are finite, and as much as we would choose the Live To 99 And Die In My Sleep option if we were able to fill out a form..yes, I would check that box. Maybe even Live To 110 And Die Right After The Huge Birthday Party At The Nursing Home choice.
In our society, death is to be avoided at all costs. It's not to be spoken about. It harshes the mellow. Yet it's gonna happen to the best of us. This knowledge isn't a surprise, yet it seems more surprising when one is faced with possible health challenges...we want to dig in our heels and hold on, no, not ME, I don't want to die.

Sorry, don't mean to be such a downer right after Christmas.

I just like my life, enjoy my days, and would like to live under the illusion that they will just go on and on...

And today, I have things to do. God isn't finished with me yet.


Marilyn said...

I am sure I gained something too😬 Oh well ........ too bad. I had fun too. You are one busy lady Della, so never sell yourself short. You are amazing and an amazing mum. It must had been wonderful to have so many of your children home for Christmas, and I'm sure they all appreciate and love you for all you do for all of them. Baby Lidia is such a darling.......and Mali must be very tired. I am still praying for good results for your tests and hopefully you do hear something soon. The waiting is always the worst, isn't it? Have a great Boxing Day ☺️☺️

Marilyn from Canada

Elizabeth said...

I read but do not comment much. All that you said is so true though. It is a subject that is avoided and we all want to think our lives will just go on and on. I assume you'll have to wait till Monday now to hear anything?? I'll be praying for you.

16 blessings'mom said...

Thank you, Marilyn:)...and yes, Elizabeth, Monday I should hear something. It's almost funny that I've had to wait so long. Thank you for prayers:)

FLmom7 said...

I really like your perspective on life:)

Susan R said...

LOVE the photo of Sam and Lydia. She is an exceptionally beautiful baby.
I am keeping you in prayer Della.