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

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

tis the season...

To find the fine line between overspending, and getting nice things for everyone. For baking lovely cookies without eating any. For keeping secrets, and finding time to do it all, yet enjoy the family. It's the seasons for moms everywhere to feel overextended and undervalued...secret Santa gifts for this party and that party, a dessert for this, and a dish for that. I keep thinking of the verses about love, and if you don't have it, you are just a clanging cymbal. You can have all your ducks in a row, but be so irritated, maybe even harbor grudges, or have terrible thoughts against someone. Or you can just plain be stressed out.

Being stressed out is something I can really relate to. See, I am a YES person. Of course I'll help you! Yes, you can drop off your kids here! Yes, yes, yes! Because that is my heart, my longing, to be good. I see the more and more I find how selfish I really am here inside, the more room I have to do things for other people, and the happier I am. Being stressed out is more a result of the thoughts I have when I am super busy and pulled in lots of directions, I think. But honestly, sometimes it's okay to say no, to have some down time, to reflect and relax.

The house is just twinkling.

The tree drama, oh dear. I kept thinking about the tree in the cracked base, drying out, forming a sap seal on the bottom and dying before Christmas. Paul and I agreed not to mess with it Sunday when we had so much company, over 20 here for dinner, so last evening it was time to figure something out. The tree is huge, he already cut off the top and the bottom, to fit it in the house. The star was on, it was touching the ceiling...but it was leaking, and we had to figure out how to get it out of the base without dragging it outside so we had more height. I thought to find something huge, like a corrugated metal beverage bin, to just set it in...but Paul thought differently...he used a small metal pail, put it on the bottom of the tree and put the tree back into the broken stand, so it can hold a small bit of water. Of course the whole tree tipped over in the process, messing things up majorly, but it's "fixed", and we can give it small amounts of water at a time.

Paul knows better than to ask me if we should just get a fake tree, ha.

One year, when we were knee deep in small children and babies, he drove away with two of the lucky kids who got to go in his little red truck with him, to cut down a tree. He came back in a bit, had forgotten his wallet. He drove all the way back to the tree place, and oops, he had forgotten his saw. This was before cell phones, and he came home the second time for the saw, and said he was just going to the store and getting an artificial one...NO, please, no! So off he went, and cut down a tree.

Our tree...

Kitty, Sunny, and Lydia with her Rapunzel Barbie, this fine morning. She is trying to brush this doll's hair. I am going to help her, but she likes doing it:)

Yesterday we stayed home. Anne was here, it was a quiet-ish day. I made molasses cookies with Paul's grandmother's recipe. The kids are crazy about them, and Anne liked them too. I didn't eat one, just had a few small tastes. I have very little self control when it concerns all things spicy, like cinnamon-y, molasses, pumpkin, ect. So it was hard to make them, they made the house smell just heavenly.

In one week from tomorrow, Mali is getting married. I am making the cupcakes, and some meatballs. Margaret and Emily are doing other food (Buffalo and barbecued chicken bites, cheese and crackers, grapes...), and Josh's mom is making some things too. It's going to be a very simple wedding, but we want to make it as nice as possible.

Perhaps that's why I am feeling a tiny bit stressed, ha, a wedding in the middle of the Christmas season. It's also Abigail's 32nd birthday next week, we're having a celebration on Sunday. And Aaron and Margaret both have birthdays in December. The Christmas feast at church is coming up, and it's going to be a good one. On Friday night before it, we'll have a cookie bake where everyone brings a different dough, and we bake it all (there's a huge convection oven in the kitchen there). We'll have hundreds of cookies, to serve for dessert at the celebration, and hopefully lots to bring home too.

I am buying the food (around 90 people), and helping to prepare it...ham, roasted squash and root veggies, baked russet potatoes with sour cream and butter, apple sauce with apple slices, green beans with almonds, and rolls.

So there's a lot to keep me busy.

Today, we might go out to the library. It snowed again last night, and it's just beautiful out there, the branches looking all Narnia-like.

1 comment:

Carol said...

I give you praise for all that you do. It makes me tired just reading about it. I find that I am easily stressed these days as there is so much to be done and rarely enough time to do it in. A wedding at Christmas might be stressful but I think it would be beautiful.