Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our Thanksgiving Vacation

As we speak, I'm sitting in my big comfy chair sitting criss-cross applesauce in front of the fireplace (I love saying that), Christmas lights are twinkling, a wine glass is on the table next to me and my living room smells like fresh pine trees. My kids are being kept busy with the Kinect downstairs, and my husband is trying to hang pictures on the wall. I'm trying to find a few moments of silence where someone isn't screaming my name or whining about whose turn it is to pick a movie.
I love vacations from school. I love that when I have a day off, they have a day off, but with it comes moments where I exhale a lot deeper than I normally do. Sawyer has started this screaming phase that could seriously make glass shatter. Carter is as stubborn as both Dan and I combined and constantly feels like he needs to have the last word, and Jaedyn is at an age where it's the end of the world if you haven't had a sleepover in each and every month, and spending and entire weekend with family is not near as fun as it used to be. On top of that, I'm missing all four legs of the tree downstairs and the lights are toast except for exactly 14 of the 300 lights that are on it which means I don't get to decorate it with all of my ornaments that hold such fond memories of my childhood.
But as I sit back and just take in the last few days, I can do nothing but smile. My house is lived in. My kids are healthy and act the way "normal" (if you could call us that) kids do. It's my favorite time of year, and I know that all too soon, my house will be quiet, and Dan and I will be empty nesters waiting for the next time our kids will make it home. So for now, I'm going to relish in the disorder and the noise. I'm going to get a giant silly grin on my face every time Sawyer says, "Right mama?". I'm going to be the last to let go when Carter hugs me and tells me he loves me so much. I'm going to hold onto the moments where all three of my children believe in the magic of the season, and store in my memory the look on Jaedyn's face when she realized our elf had come back from the North Pole this year with a gift.
I'm learning with time that patience goes a long way. When I remember that they are only kids for a small window of time, I don't get so bent out of shape as quickly. Sure, I still get mad. I still have those moments when I lose my crap. (This morning was one) But I'm getting better at letting them be little.

With that ridiculously winded preface, we are enjoying our break. Wednesday night was our Thanksgiving Eve service at church. Jaedyn and Carter and all the 2nd-6th graders got to lead worship. It was such a cool service. We have some talented kiddos in our church who have such angelic voices. It was such a blessing to hear them sing. There were moments during the service that allowed us to reflect on all that we had been thankful for that year. We took Sawyer up to one of the poster boards and let him draw what he was thankful for. I wish I had a picture, but it was a very deformed looking stick person, and when he was done he asked, "Mom, how do you spell God?" And when the pastor told the congregation that if they felt led to share something they were thankful for, Carter raised his hand a bazillion times to say the things he was thankful for in the mic. We spent the remaining moments at home cuddled up watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. It was a fine evening to be thankful for, indeed.

Thanksgiving morning started out exactly how I like it, watching the Thanksgiving Day parade as I prepared my part of the Thanksgiving meals.
Being in attendance during the Thanksgiving Day parade is on my bucketlist, and it WILL happen.

We enjoyed our afternoon with the Wolfswinkels, catching up with family we don't see very often. Our evening was spent with my dad, laughing with siblings and smooching on nieces, playing cards, and singing one-liners of songs we don't know all the words to. We were out far later than we should have been, especially since Amy had been up for over 24 hours, but nevertheless, we enjoyed family and I was reminded of how blessed I really am.

Traditionally, Amy and I head out for some Black Friday shopping every year. We typically hate the crowds, but get a kick out of people scrambling about to save a few bucks on Christmas gifts that their kids will probably break in a matter of months. Our Black Friday shopping goes a little like this. Set the alarm for 5:30. Roll out of bed at 6:00. Grab a cup of coffee at the gas station. Meander into a store without a plan. Pick up some gifts. Notice we saved some money (winning!!). Grab a snack. Shop a little more. Decide we're bored. Get some ethnic food before we head home. Most of the time something happens to our wheels/tires that causes us to spend some time begging for help from very kind strangers. This year, however, Jesus was kind to us and decided we didn't deserve it, and we made it home before dark. WOO HOO! Oh yes...and Bernard showed up yesterday as well. Christmas is coming!!

This book is so amazing. I found it here. I don't know why it's so expensive on Amazon. I seriously had mine shipped for $9 total. It is such an amazing book. If you love the magic of the season like I do, you will love this book. There are so many details in it about the North Pole and Santa. Included are a letter from Santa and Mrs. Claus, a letter from a child to Santa Claus, Wisdom of the Elves book, Santa's Diary, and so much more. It is the coolest book I've ever seen.

We're spending the rest of our weekend with no agenda. We went and saw one of the free movies today in Sioux Center with some friends. We'll watch some Bronco/Chiefs action tomorrow, and I will probably bribe my children into watching one more Christmas movie before the weekend is complete. One thing is for sure, I am so thankful for the family and friends God has given me. I'm so so blessed.
Happy Belated Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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