Greetings readers and random internet bots! I’m back from my Advent break, but admittedly, still in the midst of holiday celebrations and travels, so it will be the quickest of takes as I dip my toes back into blogging waters.
1. My Advent was great, in the sense that I used my time to prepare for Christmas slowly, versus the usual last minute panicked rush, and thus, arrived at Christmas happy and prepared… like, really prepared, not, “Here is a toy your father bought last night out of the dollar bin at Target because we just didn’t know what else to do for you.” prepared. I’m not sure if it was all the time I was not online that helped, or if it was the whole younger boys are in school thing. I think being off line more definitely gave me a better attitude which allowed me to better plan and use the time I had. Homeschooling slowed down and gradually ended rather than the typical ‘we all hate this right now so let’s stop for December ‘feel we’d had going for a few years. Overall, it’s been a wonderful Christmas with much less yelling on my part. I feel like I need to reflect a bit more so I can perhaps pinpoint and ideally duplicate this success down the road.
2. In that vein, Amanda shared this neat Rest Retreat from Homesong which may be just the ticket for those looking for a similar break after a stressful December.
3. The biggest change to my preparations was adding a slew of teachers, aides, nurses and bus drivers to my gift list. Because all these people work pretty closely with the boys, I wanted to thank them, however, our budget did not allow spending any money. Thanks to Pinterest and a pile of old Advent candles, I started melting down old candles and before I knew it, I had melted down and re-poured 11 new candles in fresh containers with new wicks. I worked at it slowly on the days the woodstove was going, taking over parts of the hearth and dining room table as I progressed, trying to not overwhelm the house with too many conflicting scents. The experience reminded me of how much I enjoy making crafts and especially the feeling that comes with making an actual nice craft worth giving someone. (Versus 60 percent of my efforts.)
4. Other crafting adventures included making limoncello for the first time and discovering after a couple of weeks that I was successful, and bonus! it made a lot more than I thought! As we bottled, it was sort of like the loaves and fishes…except with lemon flavored alcohol.
5. I’m trying to finish reading a couple more books before 2018, and decide if I want to set any specific goals for the new year. (Like actually, FOR REAL, reading War and Peace.) I always get testy when in mid-December Goodreads starts trying to tell me about my year in reading and I’m like, “Fool! I got two weeks left to tackle this stack next to my bed! Shut yo mouth!!” I tend to like having a theme, but often I find it has to develop organically rather than be one I create and outline in detail in January. When it comes to reading I shy away from anything called a ‘challenge’ since in my mind it puts reading on par with a workout, or something that requires exertion, and reading is what I do to avoid exerting myself.
6. I also put in one final effort to upload all the pictures off our old desktop and after restarting the computer three times I decided to stop for the day. (The Christmas music was also failing to drown out my cursing and banging of the mouse so Tony thought I should perhaps take break.) I got most of our pictures uploaded to Google photos this year. I have one more year (maybe less?) on our desktop to move over and then I can heave a sigh of relief and move on to the task of creating photo books.
7. Favorite Christmas gifts this year included super soft fleecy PJ pants and a sweatshirt that says ‘I am a unicorn.’ and features a horn. Plus I’m excited that Byron got the deep fryer he wanted because now we’re going to eat like carnies on the regular; funnel cakes for breakfast, french fries for lunch and deep-fried Oreos for dinner! Better schedule my bypass surgery now!
What was your favorite Christmas gift? Write it down then link it up below. Remember to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!
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