It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done any sort of wrap-up here on my blog, so I thought it high time to catch y’all up on what we’ve been up to. 🙂 Since a whole lot can happen (and has!) in two weeks, I thought I’d simplify matters by limiting myself to my five favorite things.
1. A pre-Christmas vacation this year took us a dozen (or more, actually) hours south to Walt Disney World. After going last year and being pleasantly surprised at how much we (meaning Steady Eddie and I) enjoyed it, this year we scooted our scheduled fall beach trip back a couple of months and went a bit further south. This year we didn’t fly, but we did take our leisurely time getting there. The weather would’ve been beautiful had we been more prepared for it. 🙂 We were expecting it to be slightly cooler and so weren’t completely prepared for the 80+ temperatures clothing-wise, but besides having to do laundry a couple of times and making an emergency run to Wal-Mart for more t-shirts, this actually probably made the trip better in terms of the water rides, etc. (I can’t say I was particularly thankful for the summertime-like conditions at the time, but in retrospect I can see the blessing. 😉 ) The children did relatively well on the long car trip (a bout of carsickness for one child and a closed interstate coming home notwithstanding). While I’m not sure we’ll attempt another vacation this close to Christmas again any time soon, it was a great family getaway that we’re all thankful to have been able to take.
2. On our trip south we made a slight detour to Little Talbot Island, Florida, for a bit of beachcombing. Louise is quite fond of seashells and was more than a little disappointed when our vacation plans changed, so Steady Eddie did a bit of research and discovered that this barrier island is a great place for seashells. Boy, was it! It was a very cool and windy, overcast day, but the beach was littered with hundreds and hundreds of seashells. They collected a shopping bag full, and Louise has plenty now to add to her collection.
3. We were able to carry on with most of our Christmas traditions, despite returning home only a couple of days before Christmas Eve. The only thing missing this year was our usual cookie decorating event with my nephews, though at ages 14 and almost 13, I’m not sure how much they missed it. 😉 After years of waffling back and forth between what sort of celebration to have with our own little nuclear family (that will mesh with the celebrations with extended family), I think we’ve finally hit upon something that works: Christmas Eve breakfast! This year instead of doing some sort of breakfast casserole involving eggs and sausage that no one save Steady Eddie and I would eat, I opted for what I’ve made the past few years: cinnamon rolls, with a side of various kinds of fresh fruit. (I’ve made different recipes of cinnamon rolls, but this year I hit upon a real winner. A bonus was that I used my bread machine for the dough, and this worked wonderfully!)
(Don’t be fooled by the book propped up there on the breakfast table. It was apparently for effect, since the children scattered after our recitation/reading of Luke 2:1-20 and I hurried off to do more baking. We’ll get to this one next year!)
Another tradition that we’ve settled upon is that of each child receiving a Christmas ornament to add to our tree each year. (Actually, both Nana and Mamaw & Papaw also give them ornaments, so at the rate they’re getting ornaments, they’ll each need their own tree by the time they’re teenagers. 😉 ) This year their ornaments came from Epcot where they had a glassblower in residence in Germany (since Germany is where the tradition of the Christmas tree began). I just hope we can manage to keep them from hitting the ground! 🙂
4. I’m still working on Les Misérables, but I lack about 400 pages to call it done. Although I really, really wanted to finish the book before seeing the movie, Steady Eddie and I took advantage of a relatively free Thursday (and free babysitting!) and took off to see the movie yesterday. I enjoyed it immensely, and although I’m no movie critic, I thought most of the acting was good. I thought the parts with the Thenardiers were unnecessarily bawdy, but the bawdiness aside, those characters did provide some needed to comic relief. I thought both Hugh Jackman (Jean Valjean) and the actor and actress who played Marius and Cosette were my favorites. I hope to finish the novel before the year’s out, so stay tuned (probably next week) for my thoughts on it.
5. I’m glad this year is almost over. Is that bad? The last half of it has been trying, with pregnancy and all its attendant problems and ills that I usually suffer. I’m not complaining (or at least I’m trying not to!)–just being honest. I also like the idea of a fresh start, and I like looking back here on my blog over all the books I’ve read (which I hope to share later today, maybe) and all the books I’ve read with my children. I also like making plans for the future, but that’s another post entirely. While I am very aware and thankful for all the blessings God has showered us with, I’m ready for 2013. There are a number of new things in store for us in the coming year, and we’re ready for the challenge.
How was your Christmas?