Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December News

My dear California uncle tells me that I must get something new up on my blog so that he doesn't have to keep looking at those candles! My apologies to any other readers who are similarly tired of waiting for a new post here. I have to admit, Advent is gone and the waiting should be over!

It's not really that I've been a slacker. It's been December!

Of course we had Christmas and related activities. Although I tried to keep spending to a bare minimum, I didn't want to deprive our kids and relatives of gifts altogether. I actually had a good time shopping sales and using $10 off coupons at Penney's and Gordman's, 30% off at Kohl's (racking up Kohl's cash too) and using points from our credit card on Amazon. Since I was out--normally, I just don't shop, or shop mainly at Goodwill or St. Vincent's for myself--I scoured every clearance rack for a few things to update my own wardrobe too. Time to retire the t-shirts and hoodies, I think. With a few inexpensive sweaters, I'm now able to wear boots (instead of gym shoes--more practical in the winter) and scarves (gifts I've been unable to wear) with my skinny jeans (score! 2 new pairs at Goodwill).

Not that anyone cares much? But it took a lot of time. And now I should be set for a few more winters! 

For the first three weeks of December, I also continued teaching and lesson-planning for the grammar and writing classes I teach at a classical homeschool co-op, and for the Drama 1 class I'm pulling together my own curriculum for. These last two weeks, it's been nice to be on vacation from teaching!

What else? We attended a Christmas choir concert and a Madrigals feast that I still want to write a post about. I am so amazed and impressed with the quality of the choir experience B15 is having at the public high school.

We had a lovely Christmas Eve service at Light of Christ. B15, Chicklet12 and I were all in the a cappella choir, so we also had a rehearsal the day before. Christmas Eve afternoon was spent cooking a meal with our friends--the ones that we lived with in between houses, earlier this summer--because after the 5:00 service, we had 33 people over for dinner! The plan kind of mushroomed beyond the initial thought, but they totally took it in stride, and we were able to include a number of folks who had traveled and were otherwise without a place to go.

On Christmas Day, we opened gifts and had brunch at home--our first Christmas in our new house--and then traveled into Chicago to spend the rest of the day with Papa Rooster's father, brother, his wife, and our niece. It's such a blessing to have family close enough to do holidays with. Wonderful memories for us all!

We had one day after Christmas to get ready to leave for my cousin's wedding in Southern California! No kids, just us. The two youngest stayed with their aunt and uncle for the first few nights, and then went to other homes they'd been invited to. The 15 and older crowd fended for themselves, and thankfully are completely trustworthy. They made plans with friends and enjoyed the downtime. It was especially nice since they're on vacation from school and regular lessons and classes.

We had a fabulous time at the wedding, particularly because my two brothers and their wives were there without kids either, and we all realized it was the first time this had ever happened! The six of us had so much fun. Without kids interrupting or meals to prepare and clean up after, we could just enjoy being together at the rehearsal dinner, the reception, breakfast, and more.

The wedding was one of those long-awaited affairs; my cousin is 45, an only child and never married. But his lovely bride was worth the wait! And what a small world it is. We discovered so many connections with her family--she used to work with Papa Rooster's cousin; her sister is friends with my cousin's wife; her twin brother lives in the same area where we lived in IL and we know many of the same people. Such a delightful family. It was a special day and a wonderful trip!

Too short, of course. But it's good to be back and have a few days of vacation left to enjoy. Hoping to not do much except write another blog post. 

Watch this space for my year-end review of the books I read this year! I promise it won't be another month. :)

1 comment:

Gena at said...

So fun to read what's going on with you all!