I'm sure, one day, I'll be able to plan everything in advance and take some "official" time off for Christmas break. But as it is, we often just get a day or two (or three) now and again when crazy things happen -- like Mondays. Or Ice Storms. Or snow. Or visits from Grandparents. Or ear infections. It could be anything.
The other day found me singing a cute little ditty I made up myself (you'll thank me for not recording it, I'm sure).
Oh, I love doing school work with Mini-Me and G-man.. I think we should do school work Everyday.. Oh , I love doing school work with mini-me and G-man.. I think we should do school work on Sundays and CHRISTMAS!!
That got their attention.
Mini-Me walks...stomps is more like it...and points her finger at me...
Have you ever had a moment with God?... One moment that seems to spark something within you that makes everything else pale in comparison? even blogging.
A moment with God that makes everything else ... common place .... mundane?
That's where I am. I have a sense of Destiny - a sense of God... a hunger for the Holy that is making everything else seem .... common place...
So as I sort this out and try to get my brain around it I realize that this could preach. I'm sure others have already preached on it, too.
The opposite of common place is "holy". Being Holy means being set apart. It's so easy to say that we're set apart - and only think in the legal sense. Being "legal" gives into legalism and religion. We're looking good on the outside - but on the inside we're really not set apart. We're acting an act. We look the part and still surrender to the things of the world.
We're supposed to be Holy as the Lord is Holy. We're supposed to be set apart because of Jesus in us. We're supposed to be Holy - set apart - so that the World notices the difference. If the world is going to notice any difference -- what is to take place?
I think that's where this holy hunger has come from. That moment with God that has made things seem common place... because God is not a common god -- He is a Holy God. And yet He wants to have a relationship with me.
If He wants that relationship with me (and the key word is relationship) then don't I need to be Holy? Here the search begins...the search to understand. The search to feed this hunger.
I was tagged By Cristina from here and well, she juggles here, too.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both. It helps build the suspense. And sometimes I just don't have the right box.
2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial - The professor is allergic. And well, it's hard to find a 3ft Christmas tree at a Tree "lot".
3. When do you put up the tree? Always tried to do so the weekend after Thanksgiving. We barely made it this year.
4. When do you take the tree down? Sometime before Valentine's day.
5. Do you like eggnog? Not really. I'll take a drink if someone offers - but it's not my favorite. The funny story in the family is when my little brother was really little and refused to drink the stuff. Calling it "Dirty Milk."
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I'm easily amused and love gifts. But the year I got my big red bike -- I actually shed tears.
7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Made by Fisher Price.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My Father. The Professor is almost as difficult.
9. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? .... *drawing a blank* ...
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Yes.
11. Favorite Christmas Movie? I don't have one. Though I'm really fond of the original "Grinch" as read by Boris Karloff.
12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? It varies year by year. This year we didn't start until December.
13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Paper or plastic?
14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? It would be easier saying I detest fruitcake - but will eat just about everything else.
17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? It depends on where the presents are....
18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? They already have perfectly good names.
19. Angel on the tree top or a star? Snowman
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Oooo We like to keep the kids guessing. This year we were actually thinking of letting them open gifts from their grandparents on the saturday before Christmas... and then open ours on Christmas or Christmas eve. I rather like the idea of just suddenly announcing to the kids "Let's open Gifts!!"
21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? I like Christmas, really, but when you need to buy ordinary stuff and all you can find is Red & Green??? it gets a bit old.
22. Best thing about this time of year? Presents!! This is a dream season for the person who's love language is GIFTS.
Because we have plenty...though not as much as some.
I almost wish the leaves had finished turning or something - because they look kind of sickly up-close and encased in ice.
After I took the picture, I thought it looked cool. They looked almost like raindrops had been suspended in time.
We are in the lightest hit area of the region. Those north of us were hit worse - but we still have plenty of ice to go around. I wasn't sure how bad the weather was going to be - they said the ice storm was coming - but the local weather men always blow things out of proportion. It's almost embarrassing.
The kids want to go outside and explore but they can't - because it's been raining all day long. So the trees are icy and the ground is muddy. That adds up to a cold and mucky mess.
We'll stay inside and watch the tree thaw out instead. I am a bit wistful though...I sure would have liked to have some of that snow that everyone is talking about.
"Mom, Mom!!! How many days until Christmas?!?!" asked the exuberant Mini-me. I happen to know because of certain Christmas counters I've seen lately (one of them being my own at the bottom of my blog). I still turned it into a math lesson.
"Well, Christmas is on the 25th. Today is the tenth. You would subtract 10 from 25. So what is 25 minus 10?"
She thought for a minute and then her whole face took on circles. Her mouth formed a circle, her eyes became circles - "15 days!!!" And she bounced with glee.
I said, "Yes, roughly two weeks."
The glee stopped. The bouncing stopped. The bottom lip nearly pouted.
"Awwwww." she said almost mournfully.
I watched. I waited.
"Oh. Wait!!" she brightened up considerably, "TWO Weeks?!?! Yay!!!!"
That was too much fun. It probably shouldn't have been, but it was. I love my job.
I'm blogging several thoughts at once because I might not have another chance for a few days...and I want to have something new to read. It doesn't bother you, I know -- it bothers me.
I put a schedule on the board today because I noticed that Mini-Me was getting cranky at me again for the suddenness of the activity changes that were taking place in our sanguine driven home.
It looked something like this:
Breakfast Menu Wrap ornaments - Don't pester me! School work 11am - lunch 11:30 Naptime for E (I should have put a question mark here) More school work. Leave for party at 2pm.
Mini-Me loves schedules. "Mom, it's 11:30. Isn't it time for E's nap?" We hadn't had lunch yet. Lunch came and went - 12:30 I try to get E down for her nap. The Box Man comes with Christmas boxes - so of course we had to see what was inside them. They came wrapped (yippeee) and Mini-me was elated to see a box with her name on it.
I finally get E down for a nap. Then we had to get the rest of our things ready for the party. We leave at 2. I need a Diet Coke. Then I realized I'd left my Advil at home. Go back home. Start driving to our destination - "Are you sure you're supposed to turn here?" "Where is this place?" We arrived safely but I learned a valuable lesson today:
Don't put times on the schedule. The 9 year old can read.
it's not just a game.... What do you do when life gets in the way?
Sunday: I'm having major pains on my left side - LOooooong Story short - the professor sends me to the ER because it was hurting to breathe. And move. And Talk. And most importantly laugh.
I call my mom and say something like this: I .... need you to .... come up and ... either stay with ..... the children .... or take me.... to the ER.
Mom's reply, "I'm on my way." While mom was traveling, I called a Nurse friend who suggested I talke 800mg of Advil and be sure to visit my primary care physician in the morning. The Professor insisted I see the ER doctor that night.
She arrived at 11:30 at night and off to the ER we go. They took an x-ray to see if maybe it was pleurisy. Or a collapsed lung (???) or a broken rib (?????) that might have arisen from my recent bout of bronchitis. I hadn't even considered there might be worse things than pleurisy. Nothing was wrong with me - the ER doctor said it was probably a chest wall muscular injury.
In english that means I probably pulled a muscle from coughing. I thought I'd have remembered that...but oh, well.
The pain was still present the next day so I visited my DO. He adjusted my rib back into place. For which I'm very grateful.
Monday was a loss for school work between speech therapy (which went spectacular), lunch and then my doctor's appointment. That night I went grocery shopping after taking 3 advils -- I needed ribbon and stuff for a craft.
Tuesday - Mini-E was diagnosed with an ear infection. So we had to get that taken care of...
Wednesday - that's today, right? - we were heading to a Christmas party for our age group within the homeschool group we are a part of (That's really bad grammar...but my fingers are cold and I'm leaving it as is.).
This morning I needed to wrap ornaments for an ornament exchange. My brother texted me to have me go check to see if we were going to get ice. He was at work or I'd have told him to look for himself. Our weather men pretty much said, There might be wintery precipitation NEAR the area -- Monday. Mini-E wanted to rock for 30 minutes. The kids wanted to eat lunch. (What's up with that??) Then I had to get Mini-E to take a nap -- life just got in the way again with School work.
My grandmother called. In the course of the conversation she tried to encourage me that if I felt down to "look at Cousins." I finally told her "I don't want to!" Cousin #1 is involved with her children in a theater in their town - she directs and runs and acts and practices - not to mention having 6 kids - and a son in a championship soccer team. And a doctor husband. She's far too busy and I don't want the issues that she has. Not to mention their house.....
Cousin #2 has 7 children - a large house with 2 sets of washers and dryers (they just added on to their house) she gets help from her in-laws...and well... I just don't want to compare myself with them, thank you!! three completely different situations...even if they are your favorites.
I guess this really nitty gritty and lifey-ness of the Denim family. It's always an adventure around here. I thought about getting concerned over our missed school days - but I've decided I'm not going to. We'll pick up right where we left off tomorrow and go on our merry way - and see what our next adventure might be.
The Professor and I have been listening to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. (Click here to see Dave's Site. Click HERE for FPU.)
During one of his sessions he talked about what he does at home for his kids regarding money. He would give them Commissions. If they worked - they got paid. If they didn't work, they didn't get paid. If his children did 5 chores during during the week (I think this is how it goes) then he pays them 5 - $1 bills. $1 goes into an envelope marked "tithe". $1 Goes into an envelope marked "Savings". The rest is spending money.
I'm a "choreganizer". I really enjoyed the set up of the "chore charts" and the little chore cards - though, our chores don't always go with their cards. The problem came when it was time for the kids to buy something with their "Mom Money" and "Dad Dollars" from the "Store".
The first time, I was giving them little things that I had bought. Then when I couldn't find nifty things to be bought - I just gave them an exchange rate of 50cents per Mom Money or Dad Dollar and they could pocket the change.
They did learn a bit about money. They learned they could earn money. The learned the could spend money. The problem with giving them cash in this way, came when they'd gather up their quarters or $1 bills and go to the store with me. Those little vending machines are nothing more than kiddie slot machines. *sigh* Mini-Me was sorely disappointed more than once. G on the other hand, bought some little rubber aliens he keeps in a plastic tub on his shelf. Oh, I'm sorry, it's a space-ship.
When I heard about Dave's idea I jumped at the chance to try something different. Especially to teach them about tithing. (And to get out of stocking the MomStore.)
It has been an absolute blessing!!!
I started with the $5 Dave Ramsey suggested and we get paid once a week. Mini-Me discovered that her money would accumulate if she didn't spend it. G spent his quickly at first. They're starting to get the hang of this money thing, though.
Mini-Me went with me to an electronics department store and as we were sauntering through the movies (I was idea hunting for The Professor) she found a movie that was within her budget. She was thrilled to find it - but saddened by the fact that it was 67cents out of her price range. I had mercy and gave her the 67 cents. She offered to pay me back, by the way, but I told her to keep it. (I might need to borrow money from her.)
She takes her purse everywhere with her now and G will put his spending envelope in my purse, just in case. We can't always walk through the toy aisle...but the day we went window shopping at the toy store and he bought his on Robin action figure was a great day for him.
Mini-Me has also rejoiced in the fact that she bought her movie "With her own money".
I've really enjoyed them get the idea of tithing. They're really not sure of the reason behind saving - and I tell them to just get used to it. I don't want them to make the same mistakes I made.
I've discovered that Ramsey's site has a site for kids and He's written some curriculum geared toward children. The Curriculum might have to find it's way to our home for next year. For right now, we're working on commissions and loving it.
I know it's been a while since I've sat down to actually write a blog post. I've honestly not been stewing over it, but I do like to write. I've discovered that I like to write about the kids. I like to write about God - but I don't really like to write about me. Unless I'm in the story with God and the kids.
We had a very peaceful and rather quiet Thanksgiving. The week before Thanksgiving, I managed to finish painting our kitchen. It's a small kitchen and I didn't think it would take very long - but when you're doing it at night the time doubles. It's finally a nice, uniform peachy color.
Just before Thanksgiving, we discovered that Dry Erase markers do NOT just erase off a newly painted wall. Even if the wall is a semi-gloss paint. I tried scrubbing bubbles from Dow. I tried water. I got out my "Magic Eraser" and discovered that it worked with some elbow grease.
I'm a bit perplexed as to why a dry erase marker doesn't come off a wall very easily. Especially now that I have a red scribble on the wall right next to the green scribble, and of course, the first black scribble. I honestly do keep the markers out of Mini-E's reach. Honest. Somehow she just finds them.
The day after Thanksgiving, I went out for my first ever "black Friday" shopping trip. Wal*mart was having a sale on ShopVac's for a price that couldn't be beat. Of course, it's a no-name brand, but that's okay. We don't have a shop vac and they were $20. I set my alarm and when it started singing at 4:30 am, I quickly turned it off and snuggled back under the covers.
Only to discover that I couldn't sleep. I head out of the house by 5am and arrive at a Wal*Mart at 5:30. I see the shop-vacs go by me in people's baskets. I thought that maybe I had missed my chance. I almost got lost in the sea of people in the toy section because I took a wrong turn.
Behold! I found a shop-vac for The Professor - 1 of 4 remaining. Yippee!! Then I went to find the jammies that were supposed to be on sale for Mini-E and J-man.
I survived my first Friday after Thanksgiving shopping trip!! We spent the day with a friend who came to visit. We watched Shrek 3 (which was on sale at Wal-Mart) and we ate lunch and went to see Enchanted. It was fun to see, really. We recommend it. I wonder if I should "review" it. Oh, here's a synopsis from IMDB (internet movie database).
I really can't believe that it's december. I can't believe that I need to finish my shopping.
Saturday I went to WalMart again to pick up some glue sticks for a project for The Professor and because I had promised J-man that we would go to the store. He wanted to go somewhere. He decided that he wanted to walk a few steps and then flop to the floor. Typically in front of me or -- someone else. I bumped him with my basket at least twice. He wouldn't stop after I asked him not to - so we ended up in the car on the way home. That's the first time I've ever had to leave the store because of the choices of a child of mine. My older kids never pushed past the threat. J-man, I guess, just didn't get the threat.
I guess there's a first time for everything.
While we were experiencing that First event, The Professor was experiencing another. Mini-E, who is now known to grab things and run, apparently grabbed and ran with the phone.
And called 911.
Not just once. but several times. Hanging up on them each time.
The professor found her with the phone, whether it was before or after they called back, I'm not sure. He said that the 911 operator was very nice. They had called back to make sure we didn't need them and that everything was okay.
Apparently, first times for everything can happen several times in one day.
I'm not sure this qualifies as an interesting post or not - but it certainly crams into one post why I love my "blogging without obligation" button on my sidebar. Sometimes life is just full of First time events.