Friday, December 04, 2009

A Gift to Myself...

I gave myself a gift this week in the form of a completely clear calendar! With the exception of a follow-up appointment for Jack-the-Beagle and a soup supper/Advent worship service at church, I didn't have one single thing thing to do or place to be this week.

It's been bliss.

Especially since it has been bitterly cold the last few days. And it's been snowing off and on. And we rolled back into town on Monday after being gone for several days. And because I'm a huge homebody.

I'm actually enjoying December this year!

I've stayed true to my commitment to not add anything else to the calendar and when I look at all my blank spaces, I feel sane. It feels good!

We still don't have things decorated. I suppose I could have pulled all the Christmas boxes out and tackled it this week, but in our house, it's a family affair. All five of us look forward to it. I couldn't deprive my family of that. I'm hoping we can put our tree up tomorrow in between some fun things we have planned.

Last night we constructed our gingerbread house. I think this is the first time that John has been a part of the fun, and the kids decided that's why this our best house ever. I agree!

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I've been putting each activity for our Advent calendar in place right before the kids open it (after school or after dinner) because I've haven't planned ahead with my calendar. Between homework and dinner and showers, it can be hard to squeeze some of the activities in! Tonight, Will and Sarah have a youth group party, and I'm having trouble coming up with something we can all do together within our time parameters. Good thing I'm not a stickler for rules because we may have to skip tonight and double up on things tomorrow!

I should also tell you that I can't find my Advent wreath and I've just been using a random candle this week. I looked long and hard for it before we left for St. Louis. I wanted to have it set up and ready to go when we returned. I've looked a couple of other times this week and cannot find it! It's at the bottom of a box somewhere I'm sure. Our Advent readings have been pretty haphazard this week as well.

In fact, last night, I got so ruffled about two of my kids throwing a fit about what I made for dinner that we didn't even light our candle or do the readings. Well, we DID do it eventually, but not until after dinner when I'd calmed down a bit. (Do your kids gripe about dinner too? Oh my word, that sends me over the edge sometimes! We ended up having three different meals for five people and I was NOT in a good or Adventish mood.)

Apologies were spoken, forgiveness was offered, and we all got back on track and ended our evening on a fun note! I love sharing life with these people!

PS: This is not our finished gingerbread house! My camera battery died before we finished decorating it.


O Mom said...

I love gingerbread houses, we haven't done one for a couple years though. 3 daughters and a mom who likes to do things 'perfectly' made it almost stressful! But yesterday at Walmart I found a kit that had 5 tiny houses, a village! I was so excited! Now we can do it together and everyones happy!!!
Hope you all 'worked' together better than us! :)

Lauren said...

How fun!!!!! Seriously, we may not know each other personally, but have to say.... you are a wonderful mother Meredith. I can see the love your children share for one another just in the pictures you share, so you're doing something majorly right!!! Your family is just so warm and inviting....can I come for a visit??? haha!!!

Melissa said...

We're not completely decorated, either. Putting the tree up tomorrow. I hope to have it all finished this weekend.

I can't believe it, but we hardly have anything on our December calendar. It's WONDERFUL!

Have a great weekend, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Looks fun! I have to admit that I gave up on the idea of a project every night before we even got started. This is the first year we'll be celebrating Advent (my Southern Baptist upbringing completely skipped the concept of Advent somehow,) so we're gonna stick to one reading/project each week. You have given me some great ideas!

Stephanie Kay said...

These pictures look so fun that I'm almost persuaded to risk Walmart for a gingerbread kit!

Yes, my kids also complain about dinner. BUT they don't get the option of making themselves something else (they're too young, hee.hee). I'm about ready to institute a new rule: Complain about supper = sitting on your bed and no food.

Gretchen said...

OH, we have dinner gripers. And it just about drives me to drink. I've started asking for input and help for meal plans though, to staunch some of the bloodshed. And, you know, I also just let them know that they don't have to eat. But even when I give these choices in an even-handed manner, it's a downer on the evening. No one likes her dinner to be rejected.

Great gingerbread house pics. And yes, I like being in my fam, too. Despite dinner time woes. :)

Gretchen said...

Time is one of the greatest gifts, and one I don't often give myself. Way to go, stickin' to your guns on the clear calendar thing!

Yes, dinner gripers stand on my very last nerve, which is not a safe place to be standing. ;)

Thanks for your transparency... it's beautiful!

2cats said...

I have never tackled a gingerbread house. They always kind of intimidated me.
At breakfast my son would ask what was for dinner. He knew better than to gripe then. If he did gripe at dinner time he had 2 options: eat it without complaint or go hungry until breakfast. I was not going to make another dinner and neither was he allowed to. Except of course when he got older and 3 nights a week it was one of his chores to do. Then it was my turn to gripe (jk).

His Girl said...

just so you know, I am so behind on your blog I can't even believe it. I am so enjoying seeing how you are so good at protecting tradition and family- such an inspiration for me!


Brenda said...

Yep, last night was definitely a good night to stay in--and make a gingerbread house.
I forgot how Freezing Cold it gets here. wow!
It's so nice when you can enjoy your own pace at Christmas time.

Chloe m said...

We need to do our g, house too! I keep forgetting to pick up the kit. My kids throw fits about dinner too and we have quite the variety now at dinner. Makes me peeved at times. Now I understand what my mom went through.
It is a good thing that you are not over stressing yourself this holiday season. You are such a good inspiration for me!

sara said...

the house looks great!! a very fun family time.

I'm with you, complaining about dinner can put me over the edge. We have a rule that if you don't like it you can say "the wasn't my favorite tonight"....gets the point across without all the "gross, yuck, I don't like this" that makes mom crazy!!!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Love, love gingerbread houses and gingerbread trees. Your pictures are great...Visit my holiday blog for new tree pictures and my main blog for a MIRACLE story...

Melissa said...

Hi Meredith. Just wanted to let you know that your blog has given me many wonderful ideas for my family. Thank you! Merry Christmas.

Kecia said...

Yay for your clear schedule! My week is mostly open, too, and after last week, I needed it.
Your gingerbread house looks great! Was it the already-put-together kind? We did ours yesterday, too. :)

Carpool Queen said...

Oh, friend, dinner complaining sends me over the edge. I've found it helps if I post the menu ahead of time so that they can get all their complaining out before they get to the table. I also enlist their help in cooking the offending item and sometimes that helps.

Sorry to be behind in my commenting. Give me grace for Christmas :)

Michele said...

I love Gingerbread houses. I hate kids complaining at the dinner table. I love your heart for your family.