Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of the Year Ramblings

How was everyone's Christmas? Ours was good. Busy - as always, but good. This is our year to travel and be with all of my side of the family. So we celebrated our faux Christmas Morning with our children on the 24th, then headed to Tennessee for a Christmas bash that included 12 adults and 11 children! It really is a blessing to gather that many family members to celebrate and fellowship, even if it is what my Mom calls "happy chaos."

We also took the opportunity to get a portrait done of the entire family. I can't wait to see the results and post the picture. It was actually much easier - and faster - than I thought it would be to get a good shot of so many people, five of whom are age 4 and under!

Now it is New Year's Eve and I sit here in the midst of a mess of presents, luggage, and packaging - evidence that we left in a rush - and I'm struggling to get it all put away and tidied up. I titled my blog Doing the Next Thing, because that seems to be what I spend so much of my time doing! The kids still need the basics of being fed, clothed, cleaned, and disciplined; and yet I have so many other things on my list to do! Sometimes I'm tired of just Doing the Next Thing! Sometimes, I'd like to actually get a project done --- like finding a home for the two new bookshelves we adopted from My Sweetie's office. I'm thrilled to have them, but they've spent the last month sitting in my ever-cluttered dining room, waiting, like everything else in this house, for my attention.

I don't mean to bum anybody out, but I'm just trying to keep it real, ya'll! I'm guessing I'm not the only person who feels the tension between how much fun it is to plan and celebrate Christmas and how much work it is, too. I've mentioned Nancy Wilson here before, and she has another post that I found helpful in bringing my attitude out of the dumps. Read about "lifting our hearts" here.

Now for some New Year's thoughts:
My beautiful daily schedule - the one I labored over for hours back in August - isn't really working for us. I've got to try to find some time over the next few days to tweak it. The Big 3 still end up wasting a good bit of time waiting for me when they need my help and I'm busy with The Littles. We just can't do ALL our school work at naptime - gotta find a better solution.

I'm also rethinking - again - they layout and function of our basement. We do need lots of storage for our school stuff, but we are using the "study" less and less for actual studying. Everyone tends to go find their own quiet spot to work - or work at the kitchen table when they need regular input/supervision from me. I'm seriously thinking about turning the "study" (the smaller room in my basement) into a "teen playroom." The larger room is where our bookshelves and school posters are, but it is really the "playroom" where the big toys for preschoolers (and our zillion legos) live. Let that encourage all of you who homeschool and don't have a "school room" - you don't really need one! Just a place to keep all the stuff.

I'm hoping to begin working out - again. I signed up for a 5K last fall, hoping that having a goal and some accountability with friends would motivate me to exercise regularly and start getting fit. It did...until I got a stress fracture in my ankle. So now I'm finally out of the aircast and, thanks to a YMCA membership that was a gift, hoping to start slowly on the stationary bike and find my motivation again.

Lastly, though perhaps most importantly, I'm striving to be more faithful about daily time with the Lord. Why does this show up on our lists every single year? It's such a simple thing. It's our life-blood -- and yet, spending time with the Lord seems to be so difficult for us. I'm praying that this year, I will finally see some growth and maturity.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my lengthy, meandering post!
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Random Thoughts

--Be careful with your camera's memory card! I had an SD card disaster this week and lost a bunch of pictures. Lessons learned: 1. don't delete pics from the card using Windows - do it on the camera; 2. get some prints once in a while and back the dern thing up before you have 500 pics piled up!

--In other "tech" news: our kids truly are more tech savvy than we. A (4), in a wise-in-his-own-eyes attempt to turn on a Sp*der-M*an cartoon, ordered Fre*d Cla*us on demand for $4.99! Not my first choice for movie night w/ my Sweetie, but we weren't going to let 5 bucks go to waste.

--Christmas decor and baking ... am I the only one who struggles with frustration at the huge mess being festive makes? I love doing Christmas-y things with the family, but it takes motivation to stay jolly while working overtime. ;-)

--Check out the Samaritan's Purse Gift Catalog . We're letting our kids choose one item from the catalog to earn money for by doing extra chores. It's a great way to be charitable and get the kids involved - and give them a heart for the nations.

--A great quote: "The Son of God became a man so that men could become sons of God."C.S. Lewis. (Thanks to my dear friend, Wendy, for supplying the quote.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Overheard

"Better known as Soon-Dead and Gonna Bite-It" 12 C., renaming Eli's 2 wicked sons, after reading in I Samuel where God says they will die for their sins.

"I'm not making a mess - I'm making art!" 4yo A., when I told him to be careful with glue, paper, scissors, and a hole punch.

"Mom, when I have a job and I'm earning my own money... if the family budget is still tight, I'll give you some." 14yo S, showing a little bit of maturity. Awww.

"When I get up in the morning, I'm gonna make a mocha." S again. Somebody tell that boy to stop growing up!

"I be careful -- I be careful, Daddy." 2yo K's announcement as she walked into the room carrying the empty silverware basket. Such a helpful girl.

"And I thought your eggs weren't going to be good!" 9yo M, pleasantly surprised that the breakfast she made me was actually quite delicious. That girl loves to cook and is happiest in the kitchen. It's fun to watch her countenance lift whenever cooking is involved. :)

"Mommy, sit nexa ME!" 2yo K's exclamation at nearly every meal. So sweet. She then continued to chant "nexa me, nexa me, nexa me..." ♫

For more fun Tiny Talk, go visit Not Before 7!