Mama’s Daybook

Outside my window…frosty

I am thinking…I should really be in bed

I am thankful…to spend time with my brother and new sister

From the learning rooms…elving and Advent

In the kitchen…Chicken tortilla soup was a big hit tonight. Not a smackeral left

I am wearing…a bright striped sweater jeans striped socks and Ugg knockoffs.

I am creating…Christmas gifts–also knitted an elf hat for Denton with a CABLE–too bad it ended up being too big for KEVIN! (and I did an accurate gauge swatch, so I have no idea what happened)also got a spinning lesson Saturday!

I am going…to my mom’s again tomorrow

I am wondering…if I’ll be able to get my hair highlighted this week

I am reading…the fourth Harry Potter book–I’m reading the books then watching the movies after each one. Fun times.

I am hoping…this week continues to be wonderful

I am looking forward to…more “Telestration” and laughter tomorrow

I am hearing…Kevin shuffling papers

Around the house…keeping up with the clutter

One of my favorite things…watching my children grow–how Aviana wants to be with grown-ups so badly and truly can hold her own

A few plans for the rest of the week: being in the arms of my family

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

A repurposed sweater 🙂
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Are you kidding me?!

How much do you spend on Christmas?

It’s out of control.
I googled “stocking stuffers” and was hard pressed to find a single item on the lists for less than $10. If people really go by these guides you see in magazines and on line this time of year, and you put just a few things in the stocking plus some really inexpensive items like the ritual toothpaste and toothbrush (c’mon, I KNOW I’m not the only who has gotten a new toothbrush for Christmas every year of her life), that’s $50 just on the stocking. That’s JUST the STOCKING!
Then what do you put under the tree? Googling “real simple gift guide” turned up some ideas. Costly ones. A twenty dollar gift? A fifty dollar gift? How many gifts do you put under the tree anyway?
If you’re spending $100 per person on Christmas presents for everyone in your family, that can add up pretty fast. My guess is for the average American $100 per person is on the low end of the Christmas budget.
My guess is your child already has plenty of toys. Plenty of things with which to occupy himself. Plenty of clothes. Plenty of love and affection. Ask yourself why you’re doing it.
Then what about your families of origin? Are you buying your parents presents? Siblings? Their spouses? Nieces? Nephews? Are your kids “buying” for their cousins? Do they really need all that stuff? Do you? Ask them what they think of what you got them last year. Do they still use it?
Do they even remember what it was you spent four trips to the mall and hours agonizing over to give them? Is is worth your time, your money, your emotional investment to shower all these people with gifts?
What about the paper boy? The hairdresser? The mailman (less than $20 by law)? The kids’ teachers? Piano teacher? The garbage man? Seriously?! You’re forking over another $100 just in tips or “little appreciation gifts”? How many “#1 teacher” ornaments can someone put on her tree anyway?
WHY do we do this?! It’s the season of giving. Sure. According to whom? The retailers? The catalogs? The people anxious to make a buck and pump up the economy?
Jesus gave us the ultimate gift of his very life and breath. So that’s why I should give a Buddah Butter Dish to my quirky office mate or a Bear’s Head Staple Remover to my assistant.
Grandchild tee shirt for Opa
The wise men (who, by the way, likely would have numbered many more than three) brought three gifts to toddler Jesus (which would mean they all didn’t give something). Because He was BORN! Because He is the light of the world! Because He is our Savior, not simply because it was a certain date near Winter Soltice. Jesus birth isn’t even celebrated until 300 years after His birth, death, resurrection and ascension. It’s nowhere mentioned in the Bible to therefore give gifts to your fellow man to honor Jesus’ birth, or because the Magi did it.
Sure I’m a bit on the outer fringe with my opinion. But I’m not the only one. (link is to an excellent article outlining why you might want to consider scaling back)
We’ve done some alternative things to show people that we love them without going crazy spending and shopping. One year we gave everyone a gift curtailed to their interests in their honor to Samaritan’s Purse. You could also help people in real need at Compassion. Another year, I bought gifts at second-hand stores or from friends getting rid of some of their items. Second hand gifts have the bonus of less packaging too. Generally we make gifts–like a personalized wine bottle label, a calendar with pictures of the grandchildren, a mantle scarf, ornaments…Use your imagination (or steal liberally from the internet like I do).
Second hand Animal Train for Cadrian
I’m just trying to get you to think about why you do what you. I want to help you see that just because that’s what “everyone else” does or it’s the way you’ve always done it, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it that way.
You may think it’s Bah. Humbug. But truly it’s Merry Christmas. Even without the excessive show of gifts.
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Mama’s Daybook

Outside my window…cloudy, 50’s; so far, it doesn’t feel like November

I am thinking…those Best Buy deals might be worth the craziness this year!

I am thankful…I get to see my husband every evening

From the learning rooms…making a puppet theater

In the kitchen…I have a menu made! (*insert applause here*) Tonight we’re having BBQ Pork Sandwiches with leftover pork roast

I am wearing…pink knee socks, my favorite long and lean jeans, a long sleeved purple shirt & purple 3/4 length sleeve purple sweater cardi with one big button

I am creating…some knits…

I am going…We went to presentation day today

I am wondering…if I’ll be able to get my hair highlighted this week

I am reading…finished Patriots (a how to survive the end of the world book in the guise of a novel. The writing is extremely detailed but intriguing) and am in the middle of Playful Learning (bought it–that says a lot!) and The Bourne Dominion. (I enjoy the action and trying to figure out what is going on and going to happen, but think this will be my only Bourne book)

I am hoping…we get to make some new friends when we go to “Doughnuts and Chat” at the local retirement center on Saturday.

I am looking forward to…Thanksgiving!

I am hearing…Children giggling, quietly

Around the house…keeping up with the clutter

One of my favorite things…Baby bummies

A few plans for the rest of the week: We will be going to my cousin’s for Thanksgiving. We also are going to the gym (three times hopefully!) and to set up a room at church this week.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

Sir Cutie Patootie
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14 November Daybook

Outside my window…warm, windy, cloudy rainy–although I can’t really see out right now as I’m in an interior “business center” in a hotel far from home!

I am thinking…it’s stinkin’ hot in here!

I am thankful…for my dear friend’s healthy pregnancy! Praise God. (Just typing that made me tear up again.)

BoldFrom the learning rooms…
Thanksgiving : one of our current favorites– Thank you, Sarah: The Woman who Saved Thanksgiving

In the kitchen…breakfast buffet prepared by someone else. At home I have a menu waiting and all the ingredients ready to go, so am excited about not throwing together last minute meals this week!
I am wearing… yoga pants, a longsleeved tee, a sheen of sweat and sparkly nail polish

I am creating…toddler pants and girl legwarmers from old sweaters

I am going…back to reality today–after a girls’ weekend of relaxation, lots of coffee and talk and a movie marathon

I am wondering…how Denton did without nursing for 50 hours (as of now, it’ll be longer when I get home)

I am reading…Crazy Love –well, at least I’ve been carrying it around with me for several days with the intention of starting it. I’m also re-reading the Harry Potter books and then watching the movie after each one. Fun for me!
I am hoping…my kids readjust to me being home with no fits or tears

I am looking forward to…snuggles and kisses and warm bodies on my lap

I am hearing…this squeaky (‘puter) mouse

Around the house…more organizing, purging, maybe getting the carpets cleaned

One of my favorite things…a small person running to me with his or her arms outstretched

A few plans for the rest of the week: several stay at home days…

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…(I’ll try to remember to post this when I get home)

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Are you tired or lazy?

This was the subject line in an email I received from a trusted faithful woman. It’s supposed to be motivational as she’s doing a series on moving from lazy to self-disciplined which is a good thing. In truth, her email was rather encouraging, and as well as honest.
But it was the subject line that got my attention and my point is that our worth isn’t measured by what we accomplish.

We live in such an achievement oriented society. It’s ridiculous.

Now granted, I have moments of selfishness and times when I want to do absolutely nothing. Sometimes I give in to the urge like yesterday when I watched several episodes of a show on Netflix without even knitting or mending or nursing while doing so. Sometimes I don’t.
But I don’t think that makes me lazy.
It’s frustrating because I look around this house and all the picking up that needs to be done, the vacuuming, the wiping, the corner scrubbing and flat surface dusting.
Here are some of things I did today:
Picked up and put away several things in my creativity studio
Made bread
Read aloud for a really long time with many many interruptions and
Kept my temper
Made Italian stew with fresh vegetables from my garden
Played a learning game with my girls
Made a couple of fabric covered magazine bins out of a diaper box
Cut up some tomatoes and put them in the freezer
Sharked the kitchen
Had a Jingle Bell Rock dance party with my boys
Roughhoused with my children
Organized a couple of cabinets
Did all the dishes
Now–the chiddlers are all in bed. I am done. Tired. Mentally worn out. Ready for some relaxing. But there is still a ton to be done. Everywhere I look there are things to put away at the bare minimum, not to mention the cinnamon in the bathroom sink or the shredded cheese on my kitchen floor.
If I don’t do it, am I lazy?
Thankfully, God loves me with an overwhelming love and doesn’t base that love on my achievements, paltry as they may be. If I can only truly grasp that concept, really ‘get it’ into the core of my spirit, it would be a lot easier to let go of what I haven’t gotten done.

(pictures in this post are purely gratuitous)
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1. Learning to get along and not throw tantrums when I don’t get my way. (Yes, I’m still learning)

2. An understanding (mostly) and patient (usually) husband
3. Play outside afternoons
4. Spending time with friends
5. Not having to cook
6. Crafts all over the house speaking of creativity
7. Building blocks
8. Fish lips from the one year old
9. Unbridled exuberance
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