Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas!

The Christmas letters are slow in going out so if you'd like a preview, click here. Although a warning, it loaded pretty slow for me.

Stories from the season

It's been quite awhile since I've written so I'm guessing no one is expecting anything four days from Christmas so I'm probably rambling only to myself. But that is okay because that is what I needed to do today. The last four weeks have been so busy. The holidays are of course part of that but so is more basketball games than I can count, friends in need, year end work demands and a house that never, ever seems to clean itself, but rather just the opposite. Thankfully we have remained healthy.

A couple funny things I wanted to get down before I forgot. Micah's friend Anna has a new baby brother. The day before the big arrival I told Micah Anna's baby was going to be here very soon.
He asked very seriously, "Momma, when is our baby going to be here?"
I said, "We're not having any more babies, Micah. You are our last baby."
"I know!" he said with great excitement! "When Drew grows down HE can be our baby! Anna, I'm going to have a baby too when my brother Drew grows down!"
Problem solved, happiness restored.

The other funny story was when Drew and Micah recently were making a fire. They had both carried in firewood and pretty soon Micah came back upstairs asking for paper. I told him he didn't need any paper, he should use the fire starter log instead. He insisted he needed some paper.
I asked, "Are you wanting paper so you can throw it on the fire and watch it burn?" to which he nodded his head, yes.
I said, "No, you can't do that anymore. I know you did it before but that is dangerous and we are not going to do that anymore. I already gave Drew a big speech about it so he knows." Serious as can be, Micah replied, "Mom, Drew burned that speech."
"He did?" I asked.
"Yeah mom, yesterday. He burned it."

One more story. Drew and his Hesston High Singers group went caroling the other day. They caroled at several nursing homes in the area and then at Bank of American in Wichita and at The Olive Garden (in their tuxes and formal dresses.) Drew of course did not share this story with me but a friend did whose daughter, Tavia, is also in Singers.

They were caroling at Schowalter Villa and went into the room where one of the singers' great grandmother lay in a bed, not doing well after two falls the week before. By her bedside was her son (grandfather to the singer) and while they sang, he continued stroking his mother's hair. As they continued, he began to cry and Tavia realized she was about to cry as well and looked around nervously at the group to see if she was going to cry alone. Her eye first caught a boy across from her and tears already streamed down his cheeks. As she looked around the group, nearly all had tears falling as they continued to sing their song.

I cried as she told the story. I was so touched that this man had allowed these young people into this precious moment in that way and that they had recognized it for what it was - a reverent moment. What an amazing gift to them. Normally their trips to their next stop were filled with laughter and joking but Tavia said it was quiet as they headed to their next destination.

As always this time of year, I struggle to find balance between what is truly important and what is not and getting everything done without gritching around too much. My mom gave me a great birthday present yesterday - her presence. She came and wrapped gifts all afternoon while Mark and the older boys were gone. She endured the craziness of my busy life and messy home and acted like she didn't mind. It was a true blessing and took me from the edge of insanity to sanity again. She is why I have time to write this blog. That and the fact that I made all the boys clean house before they were allowed to go anywhere after church today. They were highly motivated since open gym is only from 2:00pm to 4:00pm today.
My next task is to make a list of all there is left to do in preparing for the big day and then putting someone's name next to every item - and making sure they are not all mine! I'm hoping the list is not as long as I think it might be.

Merry Christmas everyone! Love to you all!