Our Family

Our Family

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Quiet Christmas Season

Every year we talk about toning down Christmas.  The rush of the season always seems to get away from us, and we rush around like crazy people, getting gifts, wrapping presents, going to parties, celebrating just about everything about Christmas including the birth of Jesus at different Church programs, musicals, cooking baking, jumping from different family members homes all the haste of celebrating the season.  The things we do aren't bad, and while they are very fun individually, as a whole, they leave us feeling exhausted and frazzled.

Maybe it was the transition of moving and being in a new place this Christmas. Maybe it was beginning the season with the threat of a tummy bug looming all over town.  Maybe it was the fact that we just got back in town after Thanksgiving from a long trip.  Or maybe it was the fact that there aren't programs on such a grand scale here in our new state like there are in the south.  I don't know what caused it, but this year, we finally toned down the Christmas season.  We took a big time rest at our house since Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful!

We did have a Christmas party, we tried to go to our church Christmas program (5 minutes into little bit tossed her cookies - or as her daddy would say here PB&B, and he can say what he wants b/c it got all over him).  We even checked out a couple other church Christmas programs.  We went light looking, we enjoyed the company of friends.  We got some (very minimal presents - well, Santa did).  We decorated the inside of our house.  We home-made every one of our 125 Christmas cards (and somehow we still didn't get cards to all the people who are so precious to us).  We celebrated my son's big 8th birthday (though we haven't had an official party yet).  We even drove to visit with family on Christmas day, but in general, we just took it very easy.

I'm pretty sure I'm able to speak for my whole family when I say it was the best Christmas ever!  Oh...and the most magical part may have been that we actually experienced our first white Christmas ever sitting in the luxury of our own home.  It was beautiful.

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful extra Merry Christmas this year.  May you have a very blessed New Year!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Counting My Blessings

I have been thinking about life and how it has so drastically changed for me in this past year.  The most obvious change has been moving from the Sunshine state of Florida to the New England.  I could go into all the differences that transition alone has taken us through, but I just want to share one of my favorite changes of all...the blessing of our new church.

Our church fellowship here is so unique.  The people up here are so lovely.  I've never met a group of people who resonate the aroma of Christ quite like this group does.  They truly know how to unconditionally love.  I can't name the times where someone in my church has helped me, encouraged me, or just loved on my family.  It's quite different from any church we've ever gone to, and there is something so beautiful there. 

I keep waiting for the other shoe to fall.  I've been so hurt by friends and people in the church, and I find myself expecting to happen here too.  However, I really believe that the people here are genuine in that they just love people.  No expectations, no requirements, no need to be perfect...they love me just the way I am.

If you are in Connecticut, and you are looking for a church or even if you're just looking for someone to love you back, this is the place to be...Christ Community Church in West Hartford.  I'm sure you'll find it to be the beautiful place that my family has found it to be.

As this year comes to an end, I find myself counting my blessings.  It's been a good year...likely the best yet!  I'm thankful that we get to stick around here...even if it is REALLY COLD!

Rainy Monday

It's funny how your perspective can change.  Last week at this time, we were waking up late after being up with a little girl who had the tummy bug.  Mat was swollen with eczema, and Andrew and I were helping out wherever we could...and praying that we didn't get sick! 

Today, Mat left early for his men's Bible study (and he still made breakfast and had it waiting on the kitchen table for them - that's my awesome husband), but the kids and I rolled out of bed super late.  I couldn't believe it when Elizabeth slept until 8:45...that NEVER happens!  Even my boy (who is in the final countdown for his big day on Thursday), slept until 8 something.

Last week, I wasn't allowed to get out for fear of spreading our nasty germs, and it was killing me to quarantine our family.  Today, I don't want to go anywhere.  I think I'll just stay in my pj's today :)  It's pretty dreary outside, and while the temperature isn't that cold, there is a coldness that I'd rather just avoid all together.

I hope you are enjoying a low key day filled with your own sweet kiddos.  I wouldn't have it any other way!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Couple More Things

My favorite saying of the day:

The mailman came to deliver the mail.  Andrew was anxious for any excuse to stop working on school so he checked out the mail.  He came running to me shouting "that is so wrong!"  He handed me a coupon book that Publix mailed to us in Connecticut...very far away from our favorite grocery store.  I love that kid!

Did you know you have to water plants?  I nearly killed my poinsettias (at least I hope they revive) which prior to today were my mantle decor.

I'm totally rocking the baby powder in my hair look today. In my effort to de-grease-i-fy my hair, I've stopped washing it daily.  It is gross and itchy and smelly.  The baby powder helped all of those little problems today, and I proudly even hid the powder in my hair. I headed out for piano lessons, got home, and checked myself out in the mirror while washing my hands.  Much to my horror, the copious amounts of baby powder were showing in a clumpy dandruff like fashion.  Ahh...I was so excited about my find too.  If you see me, and it looks like I have dandruff, no worries, it's just baby powder.

A Crazy Start to the Christmas Season

Ahhh...it's so peaceful right now.  I'm sitting in a chair with a nice hot mug of chai tea with my computer in my lap right beside the Christmas tree in complete silence.  It's pretty perfect here right now, but I feel like I deserve it with all the crazy shenanigans that have been happening around here lately.

It all started last week at our once a week homeschool group.  The tummy bug hit...and it hit hard.  I wasn't directly affected, but I did hold back some hair back.  I mean...who likes to be sick alone?  Not me!  I'm not typically an alone kind of person (except for times like right now).  My kids weren't even around the one who got sick - yay!  The following evening, we went to a country dance with that same homeschool group.  Attendance was lower than expected due to the lovely norovirus (I'm probably spelling that wrong).  The following day, I took Lizzy to a birthday party, and that night, I heard that about half of our community was down with the bug.  Almost every single family from our school was hit (some families were wiped out entirely) by the tummy bug.  While we were still feeling great, I decided to keep my family home from church, and I went alone to teach Sunday School.  I thought I'd keep the kids away from other humans for 24 hours to make sure they were safe and didn't get further germs, but unfortunately, 24 hours wasn't long enough.

We got all dressed up for an special evening Christmas service.  We were all of 5 minutes into the program when Lizzy lost her dinner.  Yep, right there in front of everyone.  We quickly tried to get cleaned up and out of there, but I'm sure it was much too long for those who had to smell it.  I'm also sure they thought I had brought a sick child to church as I had my trusty big green bowl safely tucked away in a bag with me.  I had taken that bowl with me everywhere since Friday night after hearing that so many had been sick.  I figured that it would do one of two things: insure that no one would get sick or come in handy if someone did.

We got Lizzy home (both kids were crying about having to leave the service as they wanted to sing Christmas songs badly).  Andrew still has his bulletin on the piano, and he's been trying to pluck out the songs on his own while singing the songs.  I felt horrible for him.  I would love to hear of other programs happening in our area so if you are a Connecticut friend reading this, please let me know of any!

Lizzy felt pretty awful, and her fever spiked for a few hours.  We ended up with a very mild version of the bug.  We've been waiting for it to hit someone else in our household, but I think we're in the clear...knock on wood!

Mat woke up Monday morning extremely swollen.  His eczema was completely out of control, and currently steroids are the only thing that can get him back to a manageable state.  I've never seen him so puffed up and swollen, and I nearly sent him to the hospital.  Thankfully, my doc took him in right away, and got him on a something to help.  He had to get a better permanent plan, but we have to find a dermatologist for that.

My neck is stuck...and quite painful.  I can't move or sleep without excruciating pain.  It's been like that on and off for 1 and a half years.  I also saw a doc, and I finally have someone willing to at least start the process of helping me.  I'm very thankful for that.

So after a week of staying home and keeping to ourselves, the kids are at each others throats.  The final straw for them was hearing this morning that our weekly homeschool class has been cancelled for tomorrow b/c so many people in the group are still sick or afraid they are going to get sick (wise move, but so sad).  The kids started hitting and fighting about everything.  The final straw was when Andrew bullied his little sister and took all her toys after his piano lesson today.

His punishment is that he is grounded in his room, AND he has to do school work until dinner.  I'm thinking we will have a later dinner tonight...haha!  Just kidding.  Do you know how many times a boy needs to go potty when he is grounded?  I quit keeping track.  Lizzy is also grounded, but I'm pretty sure she fell asleep.  So it's just me and the dog (who is also sleeping).

I've gotten so much done this afternoon.  I even got our Advent activities finished so we can start our scripture reading.  I also do a little fun activity each day with the kids.  I put a plea out for help on Facebook, and I got some really creative feedback.  A couple ideas include wrapping the kids in gift wrap followed by a photo session and wrapping the kids in toilet paper so they look like little snowmen.  Love it!  I'll post pics on Facebook of some of those activities...if they ever get to come out of their rooms!

Merry Christmas!