This Week In My Home: Hurry Hurry Wait!

This week in my home...
...I am writing this early Sunday morning.  We went to the ballet yesterday afternoon and it was lovely.  Truly lovely.  It was chilly as well.  We were in the balcony section and I expected it to be warmer there than downstairs but it was not.  Our jackets were most welcome and my feet never did stop being cold...but my shoes were cute, lol.  

On the way home, John asked if I'd enjoyed myself.  I did, indeed.  I told him that when I'd first seen the ballet on television many years ago I never dreamed I'd see not one but two live productions of The Nutcracker in my lifetime.   He has plans for me to go next year, this time with Bess, Katie and Taylor.  I shall set money aside, as I know Bess would like to take the boys along as well.   

Because we attended the afternoon matinee the Grand Opera House was filled with children.  I must say they were remarkably well behaved and when I glanced around now and then most were deeply engrossed in watching the stage.  I saw lots of families with grandparents, parents, children  and they ranged in all ages.   Parents with college age children, parents with toddlers, parents with adult children and teen grandchildren.

John and I had two little girls of about 4 or 5 sitting just in front of us.  The one little girl could barely keep her eyes off him, lol.  She was a cutie pie and they were fully dressed complete with their 'princess' jewelry and chiffon and sequin dresses.  During intermission we watched as the fascinated by John little girl imitated the ballerinas and then stood right up on her toes as the dancers had been doing.  I asked John "Is she standing on her toes?!"  "Yep...she doesn't know yet she's not supposed to be able to do that..."  Oh to be 5 and truly believe that being a ballerina is a possibility and not 58 and know that one must sort of hobble down the stairs!

Sobering: as we left the venue, we passed a man pushing a shopping cart loaded with his clothing and bags.  It was obvious he was homeless and my heart went out to him.  I thought of the three very cold rainy days and nights that had just passed and Saturday night was to be even colder.  I was sobered further when we were on one of the main streets and I saw a cardboard house built on the sidewalk.   John and I discussed this last night as we sat snug in our own home, with hot food before us.  We know, from personal experience, that many of those wandering the streets just now have problems related to alcohol, drugs and mental issues, but a few are simply down on their luck.   They have no reliable source of income, no place to stay any longer.  The problem of how best to help and the many ways in which help is hindered was our topic.  We have no answers that would represent a permanent solution.  We determined that we could only act in kindness in future when we see such.  It's something to bear in mind in this holiday season, isn't it, to attempt to show kindness if we have nothing more to give than the dignity of a quiet hello and a smile where others have shunned?

...I worked:

I fought ants...I was telling Bess that before church on Sunday I'd had to clear  cabinet, spray it down, wait a bit and wipe it out and replace items.  I came into the bathroom later to find them swarming over our tub.  And then later I found them wandering about the kitchen floor near the living room carpet.   We've seen them on a dresser, on the dining table, nestled on a chair.  The odd thing: there were no food nor water sources in any of these spots.  Bess suggested they came in to get warm.  I suggested they just live here as we have them in all seasons in varying degrees and we apparently are the real interlopers..  I think 2018 is going to see John and I making good on calling a pest company to come out.

 Sunday was spent in the usual way with laundry washed, hung to dry, folded and put away; a stop at the grocery; home to tend to odd chores and an afternoon spent packing up boxes (oh one of those Christmas gifts looks mighty scarce!  I need to add something more to that one), planning baking for the week ahead and studying the Jamberry tutorials...I've signed up to be a consultant!

I spent another morning in the kitchen.  I made Chili for the family feasting and cookies: Magic Cookie Bars (and came closer to really following the recipe), Chocolate Chip Cookies, Haystacks, Sugar Cookies, Thumbprint Cookies, and Stove Top Cookies.

And another afternoon baking cookies and I was done.  At last!

I wrapped presents and got packages ready to go out to mail.

...I made meals:
Turkey Noodle Soup

KFC for me.  John was working and I had a full afternoon planned and no leftovers at home.

Pan Seared Sirloin, Roasted Potatoes, Green Salad

Laine's Chicken Tortilla Casserole, Spanish Rice, Salad

out on my own

leftovers for the two of us

Out with the youngest son and family.  It was his treat.  He said we feed him far more often than he gets the chance to treat us.

...I saved:

Eating out was my choice Sunday.  I'd looked over the offerings at the grocery really well and nothing appealed.  I wanted something I could eat as soon as I walked in the door.  I paid for takeout from my allowance.

I had a list made out for the grocery but left it at home.  I took a minute before going into the store to sit and think hard about what was on my list.  I got it all and nothing more.  I picked up a prescription and thought to ask if another was ready.  Fortunately they were able to fill it since more than 30 days had lapsed since the last refill and I didn't have to make another trip later this week.

We wrapped outdoor faucets with bubble wrap and covered them.  The pump house light was plugged in...and I remembered to unplug it each morning.   I do want to keep the pipes from freezing on these nights of hard freezes but there's no need to keep that extra heat going all day long too if the temperatures are going to rise.

I was alert to the fact that I'd seen an ant or two near the baking cupboard.  I kept a keen eye out for more.  Sure enough Sunday I found them in three different areas.  Of all things, in the baking cupboard they'd gotten into the cornstarch!  Everything was in a jar to prevent them 'eating' my foodstuffs but somehow they got into that jar of cornstarch.  Ants are pretty doggone clever but I fail to see the draw of cornstarch.

I had said I'd cover a couple of gifts on my own so I took my allowance and went into town to purchase said gift, added a new item to the toy box that was well priced, bought a low cost item to add to one of my shoe boxes for the big kids.  I purchased bows and an assortment of candy to send to the grandchildren in North Dakota.  Sure, they can buy candy there...but Gramma is sending this to them to enjoy.  You can't buy Gramma's love in North Dakota, now can you?

While shopping I had an idea of a gift to give someone that I hope will be a pleasure to them.  It takes just time but I hope it will be liked.

Ran the gas heater on the mornings it was below freezing.  It didn't stop the electric heat pump from coming on but it did give it a few moments to rest.  I also kept a kettle of water on the back burner of the stove to moisten and further warm the air.  Socks and sweaters were also in evidence.

I don't need a full batch of chili for the hot dogs on Saturday but having an extra quart of chili for the freezer is a bonus.

Cut the steak we had on Monday in half while it was still icy inside and put one half back in the freezer.  I get two very generous servings from each half of the sirloins we buy at Aldi.

When I made Laine's casserole I made a few substitutions.  Instead of milk, I used some sour cream that is about to expire.  I also subbed turkey for the chicken.  Laine's recipe also called for 1 1/2 cups each of cheddar and Pepper Jack.  I had some Pepper Jack slices that my sister in law left here.  I guess there were about six slices total, so I used them all.  And I didn't use all the cheddar called for.  I didn't have green onion so cooked a half cup of onion and added green chilies...I really oughtn't call it Laine's I don't guess with all the substitutions I made but it was delicious!

Spent the morning baking chocolate chip cookies.  I turned the oven on this morning to make toast, went right into cookie baking and then slid the casserole dish for lunch in.  Didn't mind the extra warmth in the kitchen not one little bit.

I keep a stash of one dollar bills on me.  They are meant, really, to be saved for a special 25th anniversary trip (a little less than two years) but I keep dipping into them.  They are handy to have about!  I am out of allowance but needed a few items from the grocery, namely raspberry jam.  The local grocer also had Daisy cottage cheese (carrageenan free) and pineapple on sale (99c for 20 oz again.  December must be THE month for pineapple).  Well no raspberry jam to be had and yes, it must be raspberry because Katie is allergic to Strawberry.   I bought the two planned sales items to add to fridge and pantry.  Then drove over to the next town to the bigger grocery to get raspberry jam.  That was the only item I bought there but I was hungry!  I realized it was nearly 7 hours since my last meal so I used some of my stashed cash to pick up a bite to eat.

Happily remembered I needed hot dog buns for the coming weekend and purchased those today as well.  Hopefully no more trips out this week at least not until Friday.

...I had my leisure:

I read in bed one evening while John was working.

I took time to sit and gaze at the lighted tree.  It's a lovely way to start a day or end one.

I watched The Polar Express.

I walked to the mail box.  It's such a nice walk on a blustery cold day.

Good thing I had all that leisure at the first of the week.  The last part of it was a doozy! 

...I lived well:
I think going to see and thoroughly enjoying The Nutcracker Ballet is definitely living well.

I saw a possibility before me in the Jamberry family and decided to cross right over that big busy street called 'Afraid' and take a chance on being a consultant.  Bess has asked me to continue to plan parties for her as she feels we make a good team and I know I can count on her for instruction and encouragement in my own venture.

While walking to the mailbox I noted the deer tracks along the drive, saw two deep vees of geese flying southward and made one red dog very happy to have a human to walk along with.

I spent time with family.

I made peace with what God is doing in our lives just now.  

Christmas Time is Near: Day 14 Advent

I Corinthians 13:4-8  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  (5)does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; (6)does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; (7)bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (8)Love never fails...

One of today's questions was "Who do you find it hardest to love?"  An enemy?  A co-worker?  A family member?  A neighbor?

I think every person has at least one such relationship in their life.When we find ourselves struggling hardest to love, it's often someone who is right in our face.  It's never a distant  unknown person is it?  Too often it's someone we must interact with on a near daily basis at the very least and we feel everything in us stretching as we struggle to display that good faith love that the Bible urges us to display.

Sometimes, it's just plain hard.

Today's verse is a good reminder of how God loves.  How He expects us to love.  Sometimes we triumph if we continue to strain towards it.  If we're really expressing love, we can't fail...

Christmas Time Is Near: Advent Day 13 (Friday)

John 1:9-12  The true light that gives light  to everyone was coming into the world.   He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

Today's title was Wide Love.  The author spoke of the lowliness of the people to whom Jesus was born, to those who received his ministry.  It's still true today.  He says that we need only come as little children to him.  A child comes trusting, with no expectation of being hurt or harmed.  Not so  does the world who attends to them.

First hurts, lasting hurts often occur in childhood and yes, heaven help us, in churches.  Yet Christ sweeps through the boundaries of those who stand in judgement over others and casts out his net into the deep, just as he urged his fisherman to do.  Cast out into the deep and draw in nets filled to overflowing with the broken, the hurting, the pained, the forsaken, the lost, the lame and crippled, the blind, the deaf, the mute, the addicted, the ruined...the very least of all.

He came to me in the midst of my brokenness and depression, in the midst of my heartache and fears with a soul that felt sooty with blackness.  He is love as we too often fail to know it.  He says, "Come" and all we have to do is turn and follow him.  It truly is that simple.  He doesn't say "Clean up your act, get your life together and maybe I can see beyond your past."  He doesn't say, "You may come but I shall daily remind you of where you came from."  He simply says "Come."  He forgives all, and better yet he says "All is forgiven."  In His love, forgiven means "It never existed."  Only he can do that. Only he will.

Cofffe Chat: Next Year, Next Year...But Right Now, too.

Do come in and now's a wonderful time for a bit of coffee...There are loads of cookies to choose from and fruit cake and Banana poundcake, as well.  There are mandarins in the fruit stand and salted nuts. Oh and we can't forget that large jar of Christmas chocolates.  That all sounds right lovely for a treat with coffee, agreed?

Well here I am...Just a day or so ahead of the family party and dreading facing an unexpected visitor.  Not a 'happy to see you!' sort of guest but because of the late hour of arrival we feel compelled to offer up a bed for the night and so I've taken time on this day meant for nothing but rest to clean up the guest room a bit nicer than usual and set out water bottles and snacks and about dark I shall go turn on a light in the room so that it looks cheerful and welcoming.   Originally the hour of arrival was well within daylight hours and frankly I was hoping that the offer of a room would be bypassed and traveling would re-commence but now the hour of arrival is well after dark and the roads are long and rural and darker than dark and it seems inhuman to not ask her to stay.

An awkward visit to say the least and yet, here I find it necessary to work hard at stretching that Christian goodwill and faith I am always wanting to promote within and finding indeed that 'one size fits all' is just as difficult to believe in faith as it is in clothes!  Sometimes it's a hard fit!

Still, despite all the awkwardness and don't-wanna-do-this-ness, I feel sorry for the person.  I do truly. I think there are many hard ways to live but alone and unloved must be the hardest way of all.  Even if we know that the person is responsible for the greater part of their current position, it seems terribly sad to me.  I have so much.  I have a husband who is a dear, dear man;  I have children and grandchildren who love me and call me their own.  This person threw away the things that would lead on this road a long time ago.

You know I had no idea a couple of years ago how many guests that guest room of mine would see. This week alone I shall host at least three different guests including the one this evening.  And every month it seems someone is in that room for a night or two.  I'm so glad I made it a welcoming room instead of  junk/spare room as it was for a bit there.  It is good to have a place to make another feel welcome.  Of course, Granny had a fold out bed and a sofa that pulled out into a bed and she made do as she'd say.  Grandmama sometimes had a spare bedroom and sometimes not depending upon whether or not Uncle Jerry was currently in or out of jail.  She too had the pull out sofa bed and she could make up a pallet on the floor that would leave you feeling you were on the best mattress in the world.  Or so I thought at 12 or so.

This week was a busy one.  I did all the usual household things and I  prepared for the family party coming up on Saturday.  I've done everything except make slaw and I am sorely tempted at this point to pick some up at the grocery.  And since we need eggs I may just as well do so.  I'm tired but happy and even had a moment or two to tackle the odd job or two.

One of those 'odd jobs' wasn't intentional.  I found ants in the baking cupboard Sunday morning.  Not in the side of it that had mixes and such but in the side with the bowls and handmixer.   Then on the upper shelf where I store all the glass jars I've accumulated.   Then they were in the section with the mixes which are all well covered in jars.  They got into only one jar.  The one that contained corn starch of all things.  I've no idea why.

I got it all cleaned up just in time to start my baking.

I loved baking cookies this year.  I found my best sugar cookie recipe once more  and used it for two different types of cookies.  I made sugar cookies with pretty colored sugars and a different flower impressed on each though John says he can't see them.  I made thumbprints for Katie and Sam to argue over.  I made chocolate chip cookies and haystacks.  I made Magic Cookie bars.   Those are all the cookies, save the stove top cookies I may make nearer Christmas Day, that are considered the must have cookies for Christmas in this house. 

I thought about it as I was baking cookies.  Two years ago I was too afraid of the diabetes diagnosis to even consider Christmas baking.  Now I feel more comfortable with the choices I know I must make on a daily basis and more confident in myself making those good choices.  Not to say I wouldn't love at times to sit down and just have my way with a batch of good cookies...but I always feel it's not at all worth the end result.  So I have my cookie or two a day and leave it at that and I make good choices in all other areas to make up for the cookie.  And it's encouraged me to walk to the mailbox each day, lol, which is very nice now that its cool and crisp outdoors.  Maddie loves that walk, as well.

Instead of sitting down mid-afternoon with a cookie I grab a mandarin instead.  I feel it's got the bonus of all the good Vitamin C and lots of fiber.   It does not however, go well with a cup of coffee.  It is fairly well suited to a cup of hot tea.

It is a ritual I missed though and one that makes the holiday seem more holiday-ish.  Just as taking a hot cup of chocolate or coffee and turning off the lights and gazing at the Christmas tree.  I played Christmas carols most mornings this week.  I needed that added boost of holiday spirit which went along rather nicely with the cookie baking.

Next week I mean to take time to go out and ride around to look at Christmas tree lights.  I'm hoping next week for more Christmas movies.   I think I have a few if I can't find anything suitable on television and I'll pull those out.  I found one of my Christmas books the other morning as I cleared the guest room bookshelf.   That put me in mind to pull down several books with favorite Christmas scenes to read through.

You see I'm trying to convince myself that Christmas isn't over once the kids go home this weekend; that there are indeed many things to look forward to and enjoy before I start thinking too much of Next Year.

Yes, I know I capitalized it and I'll tell you why.  There's always something momentous about Next Year if only in our own minds.  My Katie can be rather sardonic at times and she once sent out a social media greeting that said something like this:  "Happy New Year to all of you who have planned big changes for the New year only to keep doing the same old things you've been doing..."  I can say honestly that in my life the New Year generally brings something new.   That's because I really do seek change.  I don't make the usual resolutions to lose weight, get fit, etc.  I make resolutions like this one "Learn to crochet."  "Add a new flower bed to the yard."   Those are my sorts of resolutions, ones I'm likely to keep.

Yes, I have been thinking of next year.  What I'd like to improve, change, purchase.  I've promised myself new mattresses this year starting with the guest bed.  After all, as I told John, that old mattress is seeing a lot of work this year and it's time to think of the comfort our guests.   I have a chair or two I'd like to have reupholstered or at least custom fit for slipcovers, even if it ends being a diy job on my part.   I have a few other plans, as well.

I just don't want to waste the rest of this season looking too far ahead.  Not yet.  Not until after Christmas.  And maybe not quite then either.  Because John is working we are making plans to have our own little Christmas dinner here after the fact.  I've a lovely beef roast.  I want to make Yorkshire pudding.  I will make a carrot cake because that's the one cake that says Christmas to me.  Mama always made one.  So I'd like to extend Christmas just a bit past Christmas Day.

John is so funny.  This week, as at Thanksgiving, is his long stretch of days off.  This happens once a month.  Just like at Thanksgiving we've nothing but company ahead of us.  He asked "Do we get any time at all to ourselves?"  "Maybe Sunday afternoon.  For sure, Monday."  He groaned at that.  I've promised him that in January we shall plan to do something on our own.   We'll go somewhere maybe, and refuse company (and turn away the unexpected ones, too!).   These shifts of his are awfully hard to deal with and I mean that most sincerely.  I can't keep up with what day of week it is, nor can John.  John generally ends sleeping through most of the day and night after a 24 hours shift.  And then we cram in all we can on the one remaining day off and drop into bed at 9pm after snoozing in our chairs.  Then we start it all over again.  So we especially look forward to these five days off each month.    We don't mind sharing it with family.  In fact, we prefer to share some of it with family but we have really gone overboard with that these past two months.   A whole lotta family and not nearly enough John and Terri time.   I'd like to plan something special.  I'll have to take time to figure this out.  For once, money is not the issue.  It's time.

Have you ever noticed it's usually that way?   You either have time or you have money but seldom have both at the same time?

What I don't have at the moment is any more time...Our unexpected guest has been delayed but should finally be here at any time.  I need to put away the computer and prepare myself...Say a prayer for me!

Christmas Time Is Near: Advent Day 12

Ephesians 3:17-19And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses understanding---that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

I think sometimes, I tend to take God for granted.  I mean that in a nice way, in the same way that I take John for granted.  I trust so fully in his love that I often wrap it about me like a cloak and just go through my days without really thinking about it, because it has become such a part of who I am.  I do the same with God.  I wrap His presence about me and walk through my days, assured that He is who He says He is, that I forget sometimes to take time to appreciate Him.

One night, some time ago, I had been reading in bed, as John slept beside me.  As I started to turn out the light, my glance fell upon a photo of John and I together that I kept by my bed.  I thought of how often in my unhappy years, I'd imagined what a good marriage would look like and feel like and how I'd feel within it.  I realized then that I'd been given the opportunity for a second chance in meeting John after being on my own for a few years.  I started to pray, telling God why I was so grateful for John and then for all the other things He'd brought about in my life.  As tears streamed down my face, my prayers increased in fervency, I felt and heard "I love it when you praise Me."  

I was immediately humbled and awed.  I often do think to tell John thank you for the most mundane things: folding laundry, opening a car door, asking me if I have a book to read when I am going along to wait upon him.   I seldom think to thank God for mundane things or normal daily things, like a loving relationship with a good man.

Gratitude is the very least that God deserves from me.  For the big things, like salvation and loving me enough to call me His own child.  For the little things, like seeing a blue bird or watching the grandchildren play or a lovely quiet moment before the Christmas tree in a day that promises chaos.

Lord, I'm Amazed by You

Christmas Time Is Near: Advent Day 11

1 John 4:18  There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear.

My mind went so many places with this particular verse today.  First there is the very advent reading itself which describes what a fearful time the original first Christmas was.  Mary's fear of giving birth for the first time.  Joseph's fear that he was being a foolish man even though he spoke with an angel.  Herod's fear of the King to come.  The wise men's fear as they traveled across deserts and mountains and followed a star that led to who knew where.  Shepherds who quaked at the sight of angels.

And then there are all our human fears.  Diane asked about my mixed bowl of faith with Jewish and Christian elements tossed in together.  Her question reminded me of how I literally shook with fear when we began to explore this added depth of our Christian faith.  When we left our church to begin attending a synagogue, I had no idea what to expect.  I was uncertain and scared as I was the day I got down on my knees to give my life to Christ.  

Even tonight I sit here with an edge of fear threatening to crowd out my calm, all because of a circumstance sprung upon me and because it is full of the unknown and the unexpected.  But fear really has no place in love does it?  And of this I am assured.  I am loved.  He is in control of every situation and every circumstance and every breath.  All will be well.  In the meantime, I'm amusing myself with the photo caption for this post.  Mockingbirds are no respecter of size.  They are fiercely territorial and will happily go after the most fearsome predators.  Let my faith be of the Mockingbird kind!

The Second Week of December Looks Like This

This week Christmas looks like this:

The tree has not fallen over again.  My obsessive need to rearrange ornaments and fill in that spot right there seems to be quieted at last.  Third time decorating, apparently, is the charm.  It leaves room for gazing at the glowing tree in the early mornings and at night.  I contemplate leaving it up longer, past January 1, but I won't.  I want to enjoy the seasonality of it, anticipate it again next year, savor it because I know it's not lasting.

Thanks to a comment by Brenda at Coffee, Tea, Books and Me, I remembered I have an Amazon Prime membership, and unlimited data and hey there's free music to listen to.  I sat here one cold evening all bundled up cozy and warm and gazed at the Christmas tree lights.  Per her recommendations I listened to On A Cold Winter Day.  The lovely old English traditional songs suited the dark room and glowing tree and the snug cocoon I'd made myself.  I enjoyed it so much I repeated one dark morning with a cup of coffee before John came in from work.   Some things are truly worth repeating.

John surprised me with tickets to the ballet.  It was held at The Grand Opera House in Macon...I love that they call it "The Grand Opera House"!   It has the sort of history that makes my blood pump hotter.  Built in 1884  as The Academy of Music it boasted what was then 'the largest stage in the Southeast.  It underwent renovations in 1904 and was renamed The Grand Opera House.  The stage saw all sorts of performers from minstrel to vaudeville and finally became a movie theater for some 20 years.  It came very near being demolished and turned into a parking lot but thankfully some good souls gathered to preserve it and it's history.

I looked around at the occupants of the upper balcony and the lower area and saw many a cell phone screen shining in the half darkness before the show.   I turned to the woman seated next to me and mused "What do you suppose the original audience of this place would think to see us sitting here some 120 years later with all these glowing things in our hands?"   She looked as bemused as I felt.  We had to put away our phones before the production began.

Of course, we saw The Nutcracker.   What else could it be in this season of the year?

John and I watched the cutest little girls who sat in the row in front of us.  We figure they must have been four or five and were taking ballet lessons already (I overheard one of their moms say).   One little girl showed promise already.  Perhaps one day I shall see her in a production of The Nutcracker.

John asked me on the way home how I'd liked it.  I couldn't have told him while I was watching because my eyes kept welling up with tears.  I think my most favorite of all is The Dance of the Snow Queen.  I can't help but cry as it's all breathtakingly beautiful.

Pay no attention to that silly man in the middle.  He's a local weatherman and put in a guest appearance as Mother Ginger in one of the performances.  Aren't those tiaras awesome?

I remember watching The Nutcracker on television at Granny's and plump little six year old that I was, I was convinced I could dance as those lovely ballerinas did.  Alas for never ending plumpness, weak ankles and lack of funds for dance lessons, lol.

Cookies were baked.  The Candy Jar was filled.   Magic Cookie Bars, Thumbprints, Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Chip cookies, Haystacks, Stove Top Cookies.  Hershey Kisses and Dove Promises and Peppermint Bark Chocolates.  All the requested ones that have stood the test of time over the year

Packages were mailed off to loved ones with sweet surprises inside.

Presents were wrapped and piled under the tree.

I watched "The Polar Express".  I'm pretty sure such an experience would have left me far more traumatized over Santa! 

The first candles of Channukah were lit .

I was busy, often from sun up until sundown.  I am very aware that after this week the holiday is over for us as far as all the busyness goes so I'm enjoying it all, every hectic moment of it.    Jingle Bells, Ho Ho Ho, as Josh sings it...

This Week In My Home: Hurry Hurry Wait!

This week in my home... ...I am writing this early Sunday morning.  We went to the ballet yesterday afternoon and it was lovely.  Truly...