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Archive for December, 2007

Post Christmas Ramblings

I’m ready for a nap. The last of the Christmas parties is over, with children F-1 and F-2 (that would read F negative one and F negative two, my two youngest stepchildren, both adults living on their own) having left about an hour ago. Some jumbled thoughts are in my head on this Christmas season, and I thought I’d post them for all the world to see…er…at least the couple of you who read the blog.

I loved our Advent times. The Fruit loved our Advent times. They really got into the activities, they really learned a lot about not only Christmas traditions, but also the Reason for them. Unfortunately, the activities sort of fell apart the last week before Christmas, because of our busy schedule with medical appointments. I felt bad as two items that I felt were very important, Service Day and Presents for Jesus Day, were passed by in favor of getting a decent night’s sleep or because of bad roads that didn’t allow for us to be traveling about. I’m not sure how I want to fix this next year, except to try to not schedule anything in December as far as appointments go. Maybe that’ll work…maybe it won’t. We’ll just have to see what next year brings.

Christmas was just plain overwhelming. I pulled my usual overcommitment to get things done…I made each of the Fruit something, except for F6 (because I ran out of time). I was up until 11 pm Christmas Eve finishing F4’s pajamas, then I still had to wrap the gifts and stuff the stockings. I was absolutely exhausted all day on Christmas, and honestly didn’t enjoy even one iota of it. The Fruit loved their gifts, even though they weren’t extravagant, which I really appreciate.

Since Christmas, I’ve been vacillating between relaxed joy and near tears. I think my diet the past week and a half has a lot to do with it. Way too many carbs and way not enough protein leads to a cranky me. Perhaps missing my dad has something to do with it as well. This is our first Christmas without him. I think, also, that in spite of the many, many blessings God has given me this season – Fruit who are so loving and humble and gracious, financial blessings that could only be God, family and friends who have shown such love and commitment – I still feel as though something is missing. It is a selfishness on my part…somehow I feel under-appreciated by those who I serve; I feel as though my contributions to this family have gone unacknowledged. This is completely unjustified towards my family. I receive heartfelt thanks every day from various members of the family; I’m told both in words and deeds by them how much they love and appreciate me. Somehow, I want more. So, I’m trying to deal with it, because it isn’t fair to them that I feel this way and/or act out because of those feelings. I’m not sure exactly what it is that I really want…some moments I just want to get in the truck and drive away for a couple of hours that doesn’t include doing anything for anyone but me; other moments, I want to be surrounded by these sweet Fruit and loving husband, and told how much I am appreciated. Sigh. I think it is just the changing of the seasons…for some reason I am melancholy this time of year, and I just need to get through it. I know the truth and that is: 1)God sees all, and knows what I do, and appreciates it for the eternal benefits it will reap for His kingdom, 2)My wonderful husband and Fruit adore me and truly appreciate the things that I do for them and with them, 3)If I continue on in Truth the path will even out for awhile, and I will rest.

Speaking of rest, I’m going to curl up with my knitting for awhile now and try to eek out some rest while the Fruit are busy playing with their new Christmas gifts and all is calm. I’m knitting a prayer shawl and am about halfway through with it. I would love to have it finished by the end of January.

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Merry Christmas

A day late, but heartfelt, nonetheless.

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The Fruit

All Bundled Up Scrapbook Page
Credits: Twelve Days of Christmas by Raechel Knight.

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Mr. Nutt and I

Staying Warm Scrapbook Page

Mr. Nutt and I trying to stay warm Christmas tree hunting on Saturday. Credits: Twelve Days of Christmas by Raechel Knight, found at Scrapbook-Bytes

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Promised Pictures

I uploaded a couple of pictures, so I thought I’d toss them up here for all to see.

F1 basketball
Here’s F1 concentrating hard at the basketball game Friday. Most of my pictures turned out awful…I’m going to need to take my tripod to get any that might turn out better. I also need to figure out what setting to put on my camera for action shots. If only I would’ve waited until the S3IS came out!

Hunting Christmas Trees Scrapbook Page
A page I created about our Christmas tree hunt Saturday. Sketch by Brenda Kempf, stuff by Raechel Knight: Twelve Days of Christmas. Both designers can be found at Scrapbook_Bytes

Christmas Tree, undecorated
The beautiful Fraser Fir we bought. It is settling nicely and didn’t even hurt anyone when we unstrung it!

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Last night was F1’s team’s first game of the season. He was in twice, but on his second time in, was injured and so had to sit the rest of the game out. He tried to block a pass, but his fingers got in the way and he jammed his pinkie pretty good. No one noticed (except all of us moms in the stands!) so he tried to shake it off and keep playing, but it hurt too badly. Finally, he caught his coach’s attention and a time-out was called. Only moments after they got the ice pack on his fingers, another boy on our team was injured. Unfortunately, he didn’t get out of his injuries as well as F1, and he ended up with a bone in his hand broken in two places. He’ll be out the rest of the season. Whoever said that basketball is not a contact sport never watched the game much. The boys played hard, but I think that the other team was made up of not only elementary/early junior high kids, but also high schoolers. I know that one of those boys had to’ve shaved that morning (and maybe needed a refresher in the afternoon!) and several of them were big kids. They all played a good game, stealing and making about 90% of their shots. I was proud of our boys, because in spite of the fact that the other team was obviously bigger and better at the game, they really had a good attitude and tried their best. They took shots, blocked balls (as is evidenced by the two injuries), stole balls, and in general, played their best. They had an excellent attitude toward the other team; as an example, one of our boys was running up the court with the pack when he saw a boy from the other team stumble and fall. Rather than keep going, he paused to ask the boy if he was all right, and when he got a quick confirmation that all was fine, he continued to play. I was so proud of him! What an excellent example of sportsmanship and Christ-likeness. The boys did a great job, and I’m sure that they will only get better as they practice harder and learn more. I’m excited about this season!

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Even More Advent Ramblings

Our Advent calendar is starting to fall apart…just a little. Not the calendar itself, but our ability to keep up with the activities.

Wednesday was supposed to be Wildlife Christmas Day, but because we spent the night at the old house and didn’t have our wildlife food available to us, we held off until Thursday, which was Pajama Day. (PS Every Thursday is pajama day for me. F3 told me that I need to get a pajama shirt that says “PJ Queen” It is the day that I consider my day off, so I like to at least be comfortable.) Anyway, back to the calendar issues. Combining Wildlife Christmas Day and Pajama Day wasn’t really a big issue, because PJ Day wasn’t really involved. How hard is it to not get dressed in the morning? So, that was a successful combination. We strung cranberries and popcorn on strings for our first activity. F5 gave up first, then F4 decided she was done too, so that she could eat her share of the popcorn. I finished their strings and did one for F6, as all he was interested in was eating the popcorn and cranberries. The Fruit cleaned up that mess while I got the second activity ready. I cut out snowmen and angel shapes from an old cardboard box. Then the Fruit spread peanut butter and bird seed on the cardboard to hang on the trees outside. F3 was very, very into it! I was so surprised that she didn’t have a problem getting her hands messy with peanut butter at all. She used to be such a prim and proper little girl, but now I think she’s maturing and realizing that getting messy is okay sometimes. After we finished cleaning up from that, the Fruit got on their snow things and strung the popcorn/cranberry strings on the pines, hung the ornaments up, and placed some apples that were in the refrigerator and in serious need of consumption out for the deer. I also filled an old frisbee full of squirrel food (dried corn, peanuts, and bird seed) and they placed that out. I don’t think anyone has come to take a bite of our buffet yet, but I’m hoping that they will soon realize the yummies that are there and will come partake. I took pictures…but haven’t gotten them off the camera yet.

Friday we had a busy, on the go all day, kind of day. We chose our tag in the morning, which was Christmas Art Day, and I immediately said, “Oh no! What was I thinking!?! We don’t have time for this today!” We ran some errands in the morning, spent a couple of hours at a friend’s house, ran more errands, then F1 had his first basketball game of the season. When we finally got back home, I began to look through some things, but I was just too tired to get the art stuff out (because I really, really wanted the day to be not only looking at some Christmas-themed Fine Art, but also spending time creating some ourselves based on what we see and our own interpretations of the Nativity story.). So I postponed it until today, thinking that we could combine today’s tag with the Christmas Art tag like we did earlier in the week.

But then today arrived, and we didn’t even have time to pull the tag, let alone complete an activity. Mr. Nutt decided that today would be the day to go get our ginormous Griswold-Family-Christmas-Tree (see National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for the humor in that), get the snowmobile that my dad had given us last fall from the other house, pick up some pipe that he’d ordered from the hardware, and get the rest of the Christmas decorations out of Mom’s storage. We didn’t get home until late this evening, everyone was starving, and I had to come up with a fast plan for dinner that did not use either gasoline or the buttons on the telephone (no, Kim, the computer keyboard was out of the question, too). Needless to say, we didn’t get Christmas Art Day in, nor even find out what today’s activity was supposed to be. (Shhh…don’t tell the Fruit. It was supposed to be Service Day.) I took pictures of the tree-hunting, but they’re still on the camera, too.

Tomorrow we will light the Advent wreath candle and read our verses, and I would love to work in Christmas Art Day. I found some pictures online that I would like to show the kids for inspiration, then read the Nativity stories as a whole from the Bible. I’m hoping the Fruit will draw inspiration from both the Fine Art we see and the story itself, and draw up their own versions. This year we will simply use colored pencils, markers, and crayons. Next year, I hope to pick a genre, ie stained glass, woodcarving, oil painting, and try to work within that genre together to make a masterpiece.

Hopefully, later this week, we will find a way to work Service Day into the schedule. It will be a very busy week with medical appointments, so I have no idea how the regular things are going to work, let alone making up for one day. That just happens to be one of the most important days, so I don’t want us to accidentally skip it.

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