Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Special Family Day Gone to Pot--Briefly (Confessions from Jennifer)

Why is it that once you decide that it is going to be a fun family day, then all craziness breaks loose?

We had planned that today would be a light school day--just some reading and creative writing-- so that we would have time to make a gingerbread house, and make special Christmas Nativity picture ornaments for our tree to remind us of the real meaning of Christmas. Why is it then that that happy day can so suddenly go wrong?

In the creative writing exercises, the kids were whiny. Then during the gingerbread house project, Mark came home, and we were all baffled by the frosting. "It's supposed to look like toothpaste," Mark said. "It seems too thick. This will never fit through that nozzle." That spiraled down to a frustrating, chaotic 20 minutes, I admit. We were all crabby, hungry, annoyed, and confused about that stinking frosting, and then with each other. Tears, some raised voices, and the special day wasn't as special for a little bit. "Let's just not talk to each other for a little bit!"

Quietly we fumed, and calmed ourselves down. We put on praise music, had some pancakes for lunch, talked to God quietly, asking his help. Then, one by one, we spoke softly to each other, saying sorry humbly, and hugging. A few more minutes passed. The frosting jelled a bit more. Praise music kept playing. Then we all came together for a family hug, and apology, praying together at the end outloud.

Whew, better now. It's embarrassing to fight in front of people too. My parents are living with us, and they see the good and the bad. We apologized to Dad too.

So, now, the special day has gone much better. Praise music is still playing in the background. Presents are wrapped. Jesus as a baby, and the angels, shepherds, etc. Bible pictures have all been taken and are ready to make into ornaments. The gingerbread house is coming together slowly. But most of all, the family is happy again, and enjoying being together at home.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

White Snow, Red Curry

Mmm, this is my second helping of red curry this afternoon. I came home from work, ravenous and snowy. I was going to join the family at our Y, but the car I'm driving doesn't have windshield wipers. I figured the first few roads would be my test to see if it would be safe to drive in the snow without wipers. Um, nope, it wasn't! At my first red light, the windshield filled up with so much snow, it was hard to distinguish when the light turned green. So, I headed home instead. Once moving, the wind blew off most of the snow, but I decided not to chance longer distances. (Yeah, I'll call the repair shop too...)

Ahh, a quiet house to myself, which means not having to share the computer with anyone! (Is that bad?!) So I'm catching up on your blogspots, xanga posts, facebooks, etc.

Last night, my son wanted us to go Christmas shopping before swim team practice. The two of us walked around Target together, as he bought presents with his own hard-earned paper route money. It was so sweet to see him buying presents for his sister, his aunts and uncles, his dad, his new little boy cousin, and others. J even wanted to buy his own wrapping paper and tape- with his money. Scanning the rolls of wrapping paper, he found just the right one, and a good bargain too: green snowman paper. I loved seeing his generosity! "I get it, Mom," he said excitedly once this week. "It IS more fun to give presents!" Ahh, very cool. Thanks, God, for your work in my boy.

How are you guys?