Wow. I went out this morning to shovel a path in the driveway so the girls could get on the bus, and my hands got so cold, they ached. It doesn't help that my mittens were one of those little stretchy gloves, and one of Jonathan's old gloves, still wet from one of the little girls wearing it out to play yesterday. I have a nice pair of warm gloves, but I let one of the girls borrow them, and none of them has the foggiest what I'm talking about.
Anyway. It's cold out. It's snowy out too. But today is nothing like yesterday was. Emily, Evelyn, and I went out and about in the cold wind, shopping for Sunday's Christmas celebration. The wind made my teeth ache, hit my forehead like a hammer. Just brr. Long story short, it got really bad in the afternoon, whiteouts, zero visibility. Emily went to pick Abigail up from the Thruway stop (Abigail got a ride with a co-worker who has a better vehicle for the snow), and it took her like five times longer than it usually would. Em said it was the worst weather she has ever driven in. They came stomping in the door, happy as can be to have made it. I made a nice dinner, chicken fajitas. We all cuddled up and ate, played a game of Scattergories, then when the snow cleared up a bit, they headed home. They only live five miles away.
Today, I am planning to stay home. Emily is taking the younger kids ice skating, Sam is meeting up with one of his friends, and I am going to get the house cleaned up for a gathering tonight. We are having ham and applesauce, green beans, baked potatoes, and roasted brussel sprouts. I am thinking of baking a few pumpkin pies. Sam only has a few more days home, and Ashley and Anya are heading back to Washington state on Sunday.
Aaron is not coming home for Christmas. It makes my heart ache. But maybe I'll go out and visit them again one of these days. He has done well though, he finished his four year degree while working as an R.N., and has just gotten a permanent position at Stanford, in California. Permanent. As in, he's not just traveling for a year then coming back to New York. wah.
So yesterday as I was preparing to go shopping, a war broke out here at home. I don't even know how it started. But I do know that Sam wanted bacon, and two of the girls made it known that if I was making bacon, they were going in their rooms until the smell went away, because they didn't want to smell like bacon. We were also cleaning things up around here a bit, and they were making comments to each other, next thing I know, there were a few slamming girls. I can't say I was innocent, one of them declared she was tired of being nice, and I, before thinking as usual, said, "What? When were you being nice?" oops. Yeah. So she stomped downstairs. Sam does not like fighting, he just wants everyone to get along well, which I suppose everyone in the whole world wants. I didn't like the new vibe in the house, and started thinking back to my own behavior, how I could have maybe helped things be more peaceful. Better late than never, I jumped right in to kindness, told daughter I was really kidding and I shouldn't have said what I did, hugged other daughter and tried to get her to reverse her grumpiness...gave them some space. It went much better by the time we went out the door....
We all work hard on getting along well. But with so many personalities, and the little comments, and getting offended, having the last word, and then there's when one person says something to someone and five other people add their comments...ugh. It can get ugly.
But we are a work in progress.
I try really hard to see their hearts...to KNOW they want to be good...to forgive and forget, to just get past the things that are undesirable, so we can just enjoy life.
Because the days are too short, the years fly by.
We did our Secret Santa gift exchange the other night when Benjamin was still home. Charlotte Claire had my name, so Emily bought the gift for her...a nice new coffee maker that dispenses a cup at a time, and a really nice new mug. And a candle, because as Char said, "Everyone can use a new candle!"
Mali and Lydia are coming over tonight, Emily, Abigail and Mirielle too, and Ashley with Anya. Joseph, Sam, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Char, and Cam will be home, and of course Paul and I. (Margaret and Adrian are on their honeymoon, in Punta Cana!)
So here's an interesting story: My sister was diagnosed with cancer. Remember when I wrote that I just wanted someone to say the whole thing was a big mistake? Well, she does have cancer, the whole thing was not a big mistake, BUT: part of it was! It wasn't the lymph node with malignant breast cancer cells, it was the tumor itself which was biopsied. So the cancer, as far as they know, is not in the lymph nodes, which means that it isn't metastatic...meaning it is probably localized to the breast, and not in her whole system, which is more dire. She is facing surgery, (mastectomy), radiation, and possibly chemotherapy. The radiation itself takes four to six weeks, and is every single day, from Monday to Friday. Of course her husband cannot take that much time off from work, so I plan to make a schedule so we can take turns bringing her, my brother and I, and a few of our friends. Keep her in your prayers! She is very thankful that her outlook looks much brighter. (I think prayers changed things, personally.)
I brought my laptop into my room this morning, after taking care of the dogs and shoveling snow and talking to my three high school girls before they left, because Samuel was sleeping on the couch. He had his own room before he left for the Army, and that room was taken by Margaret, then taken by Kathryn when Margaret left for Norway for a year, then retaken by Margaret, now Kathryn has it back...so Samuel sleeps on the couch when he comes home:) Kathryn came in my room to visit me this morning, and brought me more coffee:)
I think the kids are awake now, so it's time to put this away...