I guess it is time to play a little catching up. I had a busy month, complicated by a change in medication over the holiday season, and it has most definitely thrown me for a loop. I haven’t been feeling well, haven’t been sleeping well, and so the doctor decided to try something new. I have slept better at night, but I feel rather gross during the day. I have 7 more days to get my body to even it’self out before school starts up again.
We started the month with St. Nicklaus Day. Many years ago, when we didn’t have very much money and I was always stressed out about how we were going to pay the bills, feed the kids and create some kind of Christmas magic, a sweet family called and asked me to have my kids put their shoes on the porch. The mom explained that it was St. Nicklaus Day, and what it was, and that her kids had saved up some money to get my kids a few simple gifts and treats for the day. I had my kids put their shoes out and they were so pleased to discover that they had surprises in them in the morning. We then made it a tradition to take small gifts to others on this day. It was the perfect way to bring the Spirit of Christmas into our home. These days, we only do special things for the grand kids and the kids that live at home. This year all the kids were too busy to join us, so John and I ran around to the grand kids homes and left surprises. We left a mini-real-tree for Hannah too. She was so happy. We had decided to go with fake Christmas trees and she was disappointed, so we got her a personal live tree for her room.
We also worked together to “deck the halls”, although we did not use any holly. John worked hard installing a new system for the outdoor Christmas lights. The girls helped a little to get the rest of the decorations up and out. We looked rather festive.
We all enjoyed the Christmas dance recital. This year Holland, Freya, Kimber, and Lilli all danced. Holland was quite funny as her tried to escape on multiple occasions. Everyone did a good job. I didn’t get any pictures. Per usual, I need to borrow them from others who post them on the internet. I am usually busy running tech.
I wrapped up all the instruction I have for scenic painting in tech class. When we return to school the class will dive into their final paint project and a short unit on rigging before I wrap up the semester. Some kids get it… some kids don’t. The biggest obstacle seems to be apathy. Kids don’t really seem to care much about their education and what they are learning. If you were to look at all of their semester grades you would most likely discover that it isn’t just my class. There is a huge problem across the board, a problem getting kid engaged and caring about education. I wish there were answers.
We have had lots of family dinners and moments over the past couple of weeks. People are busy eating, playing games together, singing, and the like. I am glad my kids enjoy each others company.
Lilli was kept busy with singing events all month. IN fact, her choir sang at 17 different events from Thanksgiving to Christmas break. It was fun to see her final Choir Concert. It is tradition that alumni join the jazz choir for a few songs. This year there were 4 out of our 5 kids up there singing.
Kimber and her family seemed to have a fun little Christmas season. The kids loved seeing the Mickey Mouse House (a house that goes nuts with their Christmas decor), getting their tree at a tree farm, and meeting Buddy the Elf at the ward Christmas party. I love seeing Kimber so content and happy.
I don’t have many pictures of McKay’s family this month. Sadly, John and I missed Kaiden’s music program. Hannah said he had a good time performing with his group. The other kids seem to really enjoy the Christmas season too. I am excited to see Lenayah in her dancing soon. She got dance a dance class for a Christmas present.
Our school is pretty cool and helped give hundreds of pounds of food to people in need. I took some of the left overs home and helped give it to a few people I know who could use a little extra.
I finished the New Testament and the 2019 Come Follow Me Program with my trusty study companion. This cat loves to sit with my while I work in my new office space. Thanks John for helping me to create the perfect space.
I took the girls to our second annual Nutcracker with the Oregon Ballet in Portland. Hannah wasn’t able to go so we took Jocie. It was the first time that Freya, Lenyah and McKay went along. I didn’t get any pictures. It’s a good thing that Kimber and Lilli took a couple.
Meanwhile, John hung out with McKay’s kids. I think they had a pretty good time together.
John bid on an auction item of a plane ride at the music concert. He won it and decided to take Chad along for the ride. They ended up flying down to Newport, up the coast and even buzzed our house before the end of the flight. John loves that kind of thing.
Somehow, we worked out some time to go caroling. We were able to get all of our kids together for at least one stop, and a few of us went on to visit a few more people we thought could use a visit. It was fun to sing together. On Christmas Eve we met McKay and her family at the Mickey Mouse House and got the Christmas story in.
Christmas came and went. Again, for whatever reason, no-one really took pictures. I guess that is okay. I’ve been blogging for years and I am finally figuring out that my kids don’t actually like that I write about them and the family. Oops. Well, someday, they may actually enjoy all the stories I’ve preserved over time.
I think the best present we gave away this year was the swing thing we got for Kaiden. He seems genuinely happy and content with his gift.
John had taken the week off to work on the roof over the deck project. Sadly, he never really got to work on the project. But he did help me make all the apples we had collected into apple sauce. We ended up with 56 jars! Go us. After reading the book of Revelations, we both decided we needed to do better at preparing. Hopefully, we will be able to stick with it through the new year.
So… that wraps up 2019. In a couple of days we will enter a new decade. This new decade will bring us into the empty nesters club, possibly new family members, aging bodies, and other huge changes I don’t dare to predict. I learned a ton of good lessons in the past decade. What did you learn in the past decade?