She had a large metal caribiner tucked between her ear and shoulder. She laughed into the air and walked around the kitchen before disappearing into the laundry room. Then she poked her head back around the corner and tipped her head at me to say, “I’m just on the phone.” I nodded to her then proceeded to overhear her continuing conversation via the caribiner-telephone: “That’s just my mom. She cooks supper.” Then continued laughing her way through the conversation.
Yes. I am mom. And I cook supper. But it is not all I do, though I could let that define me. And to be honest, I don’t even get supper done every night of the week! At least not one that doesn’t start with a “P” and rhyme with “aches”. And those don’t fully count as supper unless there is plenty of bacon to go along with them. Which there usually isn’t, because those “ache” nights often coincide with the need to go grocery shopping… which in turn most often include a run to my sweet neighbor Jen for a couple of eggs. And butter. And milk. Yeah. She’s more than just an amazing friend. She’s my go-to-grocery joint when my day has been so full of everything but… dinner. Love her!
So a huge reason why I have pretty much stopped writing, is this: my brain keeps telling me I didn’t even write about Christmas this year. It’s been beating me up inside. “No, you can’t write anything about January… or February… or March… you haven’t even written about Christmas!” So tonight I’m ending that negative talk. In fact, I WILL write about Christmas. It was a special and dreadful day all wrapped into one. Betty was so sick we almost went to the hospital, and I spent the entire day watching Star Wars and holding a bowl for her while functioning on two hours of sleep. That is probably why I never wrote about it. But as my mother always promised: “This too shall pass.” And it did.
Until last week. The same thing hit us, but thankfully it was only 8 hours instead of 36. But those things are definitely not worth dwelling on for more than a second.
Two days ago it was my birthday. I’ll stick with how old my mother-in-law thinks I am and enjoy another year of being 32. WHAT a fun day. Delicious chocolate chip crepes and hot tea for breakfast, then a clean house to welcome our first round of company. Julie came and showed some gorgeous jewelry from a company called Trading Hope. Basically, the purchasing of this jewelry provides business, dignity and hope to artisans who would otherwise not have any. I LOVE this kind of thing.
The next round of company was almost my entire family. My brother was able to drive up from North Carolina with his family, and I believe this is the first time since I was a kid he’s been able to celebrate my birthday with me. SO special. Everyone except my one sister and family came over for dinner. This was after we spent the late afternoon cheering on my nephew at his soccer game and watching him score a goal! Time spent with family is never wasted. I am so thankful for mine.
Our five blessings fill our cup to overflowing. Betty, as mentioned, keeps us cracking up and shaking our heads. She is reading small words in school, and piles ALL her books into her arms to eagerly do her work each day with me. She makes teaching a joy. She has all of a sudden become a sweet young lady and is so incredibly independent. She loves to take care of hurt and sick people so much that it didn’t surprise me when she told me she wants to be a doctor one day. Here is a small taste of what I get each day in school with her.
Elsie got a taste of color guard at school, while the boys did wrestling this past season. She pretty much sets her mind to anything and gets it done. She tells us she wants to play basketball, judo, wrestling, soccer, gymnastics and karate. If we were one of those special families blessed with an extra 24 hours in our day we might be able to make all of her gigantic dreams come true. However, for now we will have to narrow it down to one at a time and see how we can encourage her love of MOVEMENT.
Jack finished off his wrestling season so well! At his last team tournament a couple weeks ago, this is what Matthew wrote on his facebook wall: “This guy. Wakes me up at 4:30 this morning feeling sick. Throws up at 6:15. Picks himself up and wrestled out of a 12th seed to finish fourth in the league finals tournament!” That pretty much sums him up in a nutshell.
Today he called me excitedly to come outside and see his back handspring. Yesterday he learned how to do a back walkover all by himself. No spotting. I kind of gulped but watched him as he took the leap backwards and did it. He is tenacious to the core.
Elijah also finished off his wrestling season a much stronger young man than when he began. If you missed Matthew’s post about how he took a giant step towards becoming a man, then you should read it. He is definitely changing. The other day he nonchalantly mentioned how his lip was feeling numb. Matthew and I were both somewhat distracted and I didn’t think too much of it. Quite a while later he started to reference a former conversation we had had not more than an hour before. Something about his upper lip starting to show a shade of ‘stache. I stopped what I was doing, looked at him and laughed. “You shaved! Didn’t you?” He grinned. No wonder his lip was feeling numb. How is it possible? Our three-and-a-half-pound little baby is becoming a man. For the past year, ever since flying with my brother, he has been sure of his future plans: he wants to become a pilot. He asked me yesterday if Geometry is useful for a pilot. “Because I LOVE Geometry,” he said. And he does. He actually is doing Geometry on his own, besides the pre-algebra on tap for this year. He also has a musical beat inside of him which can not be stopped. This is a little taste of what math class looks like around here. I dare you not to watch it more than once.
Nadine is the most genuine girl you could ever know. If she seems sweet, it is because she is. If she seems helpful, it is because she is. If she seems incredibly knowledgeable about animals, it is because she is. She started piano lessons this year and is progressing quickly. She isn’t taking riding lessons right now, but a recent school assignment involving changing contractions to whole words, showed her dream is stronger than ever: “I will be a horse owner one day! I can not gallop yet though. I will not let that stop me from riding! I have what it takes and you have what it takes to ride. All you need is yourself. I would not say this otherwise.”
Maybe tomorrow I will finish with this super long update. Like about the time I went to Tennessee last month. Just in case I never hit “publish”… because there is always something more to say… I am going to do so now. But first, I have to at least include ONE photo of Christmas.