Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Week

The best week of the year, brimming with anticipation, good scents, and peppermint everywhere!

I'm actually doing well and not stressing out. We are even having school this week which is a first in my personal history of homeschooling. I got done with Christmas preparations early this year and all I have to do now is a little bit of baking and filling the stockings. That's it!

Our plans have changed with the weather. That hasn't happened since 1887 when a Midwestern storm roared across the plains and dumped 17" of snow. That's what I have heard anyway, not having actually been alive then. But seriously, I have never, ever had winter weather interfere with Christmas travel. It's not uncommon for us to have brown Christmases, which is actually a little depressing, but good for road travel. But this year sounds like it will be different. Nobody knows for sure what is supposed to happen - just that it's going to involve ice, wind, and snow. It has been raining all day today, which is seriously depleting our snow levels. But that's supposed to switch to ice as it gets colder and then a snowstorm is supposed to whip up tomorrow and Christmas Day. I have talked with plenty of people who have had to alter their travel plans for this year.

Our plans were a little bit in limbo with Paul being scheduled to be on second call for Christmas Day. But we had planned to just see what the forecast would be. If it was going to be not all that cold, then we'd be safe to travel 2 hours across the state and spend it with his family. But now this forecast has come up. And then we found out that Paul's one brother was going to be visiting his parents' for Christmas. Because I don't know who all reads my blog, I'll just say that that is a situation better avoided if we can. :( So - it looks like we are celebrating Christmas alone this year, which is a first, ever, for us. But it will be fine. I went and bought supplies for a nice ham dinner for Christmas Day. We've got gifts, food, and plenty of wood for our woodburner, so we should be more than good. It's always nice to spend Christmas with extended family, but we're a family, too.

The other day we were listening to "Angels We Have Heard on High" and David pointed out to me that it sounds like they are singing, "Glory in egg shells day-o" Thanks, David! I'll never be able to hear or sing that again without thinking of egg shells!

Sam has a new name for David, who has always been "Dah" to him (which interestingly enough, are his initials!). For the past two weeks he's been "Dee-ba" now. I think it is hilarious, as does Will, who takes every opportunity he can to also call David by his new name! David is not as amused.

A couple of weeks ago the three boys were doing dishes. I almost hate to ask them anymore to do the dishes together because of all the fighting. I'd rather do it myself. All three contribute to the problem and usually I end up removing talking privileges before the chore is over. I'm thinking this points to a character failure on their part and a disciplinary failure on mine! But anyway, Sam was in the kitchen and all of a sudden, in the midst of the bickering, he yelled, "E'rybody need stop!" The room fell silent. None of us could believe that a 2 year old had just said that! We didn't even know he knew all those words, let alone understood that what was happening wasn't right. Wow!

I have begun to notice in recent weeks that Sam seems to have a more sensitive component to his personality. On one hand he's a very rough and tumble little boy. But every so often this soft side peeks through and I get a glimpse of his little heart. Just a few moments ago he needed my help and so I got up. I didn't know that my foot had fallen asleep and when I stepped with it I twisted it and fell. Oh, it hurt! I wasn't screaming in pain, but I was making noise. Pretty soon Sam, who was sitting beside me, just buried his head in my leg and began sobbing. I think he was upset that I was upset and hurting! So then I had to assure him that I was really ok (although I'm not sure - my foot sure is throbbing right now). We've had other similar incidents and it just simultaneously warms and breaks my heart! What a sweetheart!

I took Will out on a date last night. I should have started this a long time ago. It was a chance for me to get an emotional "read" on him and talk to him about whatever. He's not all that talkative by nature, but he was willing to respond to whatever I brought up. I think he's doing ok. I think I'll try to do this with each of the boys from time to time. We went to the Dairy Queen in Knoxville - only because the Checkerboard (Pleasantville) was closed! I couldn't believe it! My mouth had been watering over the thought of their amazing onion strings all day long and then they were closed! But I got to have a peppermint/chocolate blizzard at DQ and that was almost as good as the Checkerboard's strings!

Paul got a raise last week. It's a paltry 25 cent raise and he was not all that impressed. But, I told him it's better than not getting one at all and it's certainly better than not being employed. He's a little frustrated lately with the up and down nature of his work. He's had several days this month where he didn't work because it was too warm and there just weren't enough calls to pass around. And he's had even more days where he has been home early. That stresses me out, too. He has commented a couple of times lately that had he known that this business would be like his, he would have never gone into it. I understand his frustration and I would love for him to be in a line of work where we could count on a certain amount of income every paycheck. But, at the same time, I can look back to 6 yrs ago at this very time of the year, when Paul began to sense the Lord's leading into an HVAC line of work. It was because of that that we moved out here to central Iowa and have this whole new life. I wouldn't want to go back to the life we used to have - even with its regular paycheck.

Even with the stress, God is providing. Just today we got our annual anonymous $200 Christmas check in the mail. This is the 3rd or 4th year in a row that it has come. There's no return address and usually just a simple note accompanies the cashier's check. This year it said, "For the boys." I was praying that the tradition would continue this year, because we are in a particularly tight spot at the moment! God is good to us. He is - we have so much. I'm living my dream. I always wanted to be a mother of a lot of boys (kind of envisioned having a couple of girls in there, too, but that's a different post!) in a warm and happy house. That's my life! Here we all are, together at Christmas, living out my dream. What a wonderful Christmas!

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