Well, it hasn't really started yet, the chaos. Camille is just waking up. I have been awake for a while, I started a pot of coffee, looked around the disorder in the kitchen, and decided to write on here instead of jumping into the clean up. Last night we left so quickly after dinner, it didn't get all tidied up, then apparently Mirielle made some chocolate covered peanut-butter drops and some bars that look like marshmallow and chocolate and I don't know what else. After I went to bed.
Today will be interesting. Paul is working at the Carrier dome (the Syracuse Orange basketball team is doing GREAT this year!! ), and all the older kids have their youth group Christmas parties. Kathryn and Evelyn WOULD be my oldest home, but they are going over to help my sister watch her extremely active grandson. So dinner time tonight will be just Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, Camille, and I. Wow. Hey, I should take them out to eat, it would be cheap! But I think I will just make pizza with them.
I am planning on wrapping all the presents today. And maybe making more cookies. And of course cleaning the house sparkling clean, and spending lots of time reading stories and talking to the kids. And of course I have to get on the treadmill. (I have done that every day this week except Thursday when I went to Aaron's driving test, shopping, then the chorus concert).....my goal is to increase the time increments, but time is one thing I seem to be lacking. But somehow we find the time to do what we love, and I love to write, so this blog won't suffer. And I love talking to the kids, so that won't get cut. It seems like the story of my life is making continuous decisions about what is the most important thing in the moment. In general, I have found for me that there is a certain state that this house sort of stays in, and if I work myself to death trying to keep it above that level, other things suffer. Like me, ha. And time with the kids. And I find I just stress too much about everything that is out of place.
Evelyn stayed up late last night. She came out here this morning and plopped down on the couch, saying how tired she was. I told her that she should get me a cup of coffee, and have a very small cup of her own. She perked up so much just feeling grown up. And I got a cup of coffee without getting up.
Charlotte Claire says she is going shopping with Emily for her secret Santa gift. I don't know if she is just saying that because Emily took other people shopping yesterday, or if Emily really is taking her. All 18 of us are doing a gift exchange on Christmas Eve this year, and it is supposed to be secret. I, of course, am the biggest blabbermouth, and I don't mean to be. One of the girls asked my opinion in the store the other day, very quietly, and about ten minutes later, right in front of everyone with me, I had a great idea for that gift, and I said the name and everything....they all screamed, "MOM!" , and I was like, "What did I do?" oops. Some of the kids confided in Paul to help them and some in the older kids so I don't know everyone's. It is fun already, and I am sure on Christmas eve it will be lots of fun finding out what they got for each other. Camille picked Jonathan, so I am getting something for him for her. I don't want to get him anything TOO cool, because then he won't be excited for morning. (I guess I won't be wrapping ALL the presents since I haven't finished buying them yet!)(is there a hurry?)
Well, the clothes couch is bearing a burden again, just in time for Christmas. All it takes is someone taking a load out of the dryer and putting them there....and it just grows. I will add that to my list today. And yes, the kids will help me, but they do have their own agendas. Suzanne always has something she has to work on when I ask her to help me. She writes books. She makes cages out of diaper boxes for her Webkins. She makes butterfly pictures and tapes them on Charlotte Claire's walls. Yes, I allow that. They are only little for such a short time.
Joseph is having a few friends over today. Because I guess there aren't enough of us here. No, I don't really mind. One of the boys is from a family with 14 kids, and he is such a good boy. I really enjoy talking to him. The other one has five siblings. They just sort of fit in here we don't have to clean up for them.
The toilets are backing up today. rats. I hope it doesn't turn into a big project. The septic system is all pumped out and fixed up so it has to be pipes in the house that are clogged. Fun. It is certainly always something.
Well, we all have our trials I guess. It can't all be present wrapping and cookie making.