Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A little out of order...December 21, 2009

Hmm, I wonder...

So, after a morning of screaming, scowling and fighting, the boys spent an hour outside doing who-knows-what, involving rocks and sticks. Lee now has a scratch on his nose--but doesn't care a whit--and they're both pretty dirty.

And they're getting along swimmingly.

They're happily cooperating setting up Lee's recent favorite pastime, Memory, and Lee has said no less than 10 times, "We're having a fun day, aren't we?"

So now I wonder: If we had a backyard, would my children like each other more?

A little out of order...December 19, 2009

Now I'm feelin' it.

Today is December 19th. Christmas is in 6 days and I'm almost ready.

Around the 5th or so, I had the feeling that December was spiraling wildly out of control and I was struggling to grasp anything I could get ahold of in order to establish some semblance of control and order. Weird, because it was only the 5th.

So I got busy making plans, wish lists and charts of who would give what to whom. A good list always brings relief. I also organized it by deadline: family gifts for the exchange at the annual Christmas dinner the 12th (brunch this year), gifts to ship by the 14th...you get the point. Then I got busy getting busy. Finding just the right recipe for an "in-the-jar" gift for just about everyone, ordering a game, making rice bags, deciding what "make, have or do" gift would be best for each family, etc.

Though I'd done a good job of making sure things were done on time (mostly), I just wasn't feeling it. I wasn't feeling the excitement, the joy, the giddiness...I was missing the Spirit of Christmas. I've been listening to Christmas music since before Thanksgiving, I've been making Christmas plans, watching Christmas movies, reading Christmas books. Even eating Christmas treats! But I wasn't feeling Christmas.

Until today.

Today my sister came to watch the kids so Riah & I could go out for a couple hours. Date, shopping, puddle-stomping, whatever! Because he's been gone all week working 2-1/2 hours north, we opted for the shopping option. We went to Michael's, then Jo-Ann Fabric to find just the right supplies that we still needed for Abby's gift to Alex, then to Fred Meyer to pick up our gifts to the kiddos. We were in Michael's maybe 15 minutes when Riah reached his craft store threshhold. It was visible. And funny. He started getting antsy and looked like he was going to be sick. So I did what any good wife would do: I laughed and dragged him to Jo-Ann's.

After dinner we got to work on the gifts. Riah & Abby were downstairs sanding, gluing, nailing and staining a new chessboard/box for Alex's recently acquired chess pieces. Alex & I gathered the necessities and constructed a work area up on my bed (upturned laundry basket covered with a towel...good enough). Alex & I drilled, cut, covered, twisted and hot-glued a padded, fabric-covered necklace/hairclip holder for Abby.

It was fun to see Alex's excitement to use the drill, cut the fabric and batting, screw in the cup hooks where I got them started, decide how many ribbons would hang down for the hairclips and even use the hot glue gun! Any time anyone needed to go upstairs or downstairs, there would be a little scramble to make sure that nobody saw something they shouldn't. There was excitement in the air. Secrecy. Fun. Giving. Service. Happiness. Love.

It spread.

So now I'm feeling it. My tree is lopsidedly lit thanks to a faulty string, my house is a mess, I still don't know what the kids are going to do for their dad and there's no way that I'm going to get the usual lavish goodie plates out to my friends this year. But it doesn't matter right now. Right now I'm basking in the magic of Christmas.

Monday, December 28, 2009

This really shouldn't be that hard!

I've been wanting to start a blog for quite a while. With a husband and children and the property and a home and church responsibilities, I've been avoiding it. I simply don't have the time! It's the same reason that I didn't belonging to any social networking sites. After a while, aubreyannie convinced me to get onto Facebook. It took a while, but I finally caved. Once there, it was a short journey over the border into BlogLand.

I found myself blogging in my head. All day long.

So I sat down to set up a blog, and frankly, it was frustrating. Almost infuriating! All of the good names are taken, and half of those lie unused! At least half of THOSE blogs don't have anything to do with the witty blog names that I came up with. Why on earth would 'peppermintcocoa' lead me to a blank blog with nothing but Joe Schmoe's name on it? It seriously took more than 6 weeks to come up with my name.

But it fits.

Why? Two reasons. Those who know me know that I'm talkative. So much so that it's not uncommon for me to be in a group conversation and not ever get to my point because I felt like I needed to explain way too much of what I call the backstory. I'm getting better. The other reason is that I love lists. Lists help keep my life in order. If it doesn't get onto my list, it falls out of my crowded brain. Lists can be on my computer, a beat-up spiral notebook, a post-it, the back of a receipt, the bathroom mirror...it doesn't matter.

So the double-meaning of 'listing' and my acknowledged loquacity make this blog name good for me.

Plus I love alliteration.