On a recent Studio 5 segment, Mandy Douglas introduced a new way to journal. It was using a calendar and just noting a few events on each day. It certainly isnt my ideal way of journaling, but it is far far more than I have done in years-- decades!! Well, I didnt see her segment live, but I did see it on her blog, a day after it aired. She had a promotional code for 40% off and free shipping if you ordered the journal on the day it aired. I tried to get it for the discounted price, but it wouldnt go throught. Bummer. I looked at her blog again, and she had a give away of two of these journals. I thought, well, Ill give it a go. My odds were better winning on her blog, that getting the discount code to work. AND I WON! cool hua? It came Wednesday, and surprisingly the calendar begins with Dec 2011, and goes through Dec 2012 so I can start immediatly! very cool hua?
After Joseph got his mission call, he didn't say when he wanted to go to the temple. Since I was asked not to pressure him, we waited for him to take the lead. Come to find out the SP had asked him to attend all the temple prep classes before he went--- anyway he got his SP signature on Tuesday night and we planned a temple trip for Thursday. Joseph wanted to go to the Draper temple. That meant we needed to hustle and make sure we brought everything since they don't have clothing rental there. I totally got out of Christmas shopping so I could hem his new pants ;) As expected it was a wonderful experience.
Today while I was in the family room my phone was in on my bed. I went to get it about 1/2 hour ago. I had missed a call that came through as "blocked" but there was a voice message left by "unknown". I listen to the message and it was hard to understand. I was 20-30 seconds in when I realized it was Aubrey!!! She was going to call tomorrow--- I immediately started crying cause I thought I had missed my chance to talk to her for just a second. Jacob saw my reaction and quickly put his arm around me. David noticed and got wide eyed. At this point aub said she'd call again tomorrow to get skype info for Christmas day so I told the two it was ok. I just thought I had missed something- I was so surprised at my thought process, and freak out. My spirit is truly in a different place this Christmas. So I'm still a little bummed I didn't get to talk to her today, but having her message on my phone is AWESOME.
We've had buddy boy Jack here since early Sunday morning. Generally things have gone better than I thought, but night and nap times have been as difficult as I worried about. I decided early on I was in no emotional place to be fighting a two yr old for a week, so we've been playing it pretty loose. Heres a picture I found on my phone--- kinda self incriminating for the anonymous person that took the picture hua? Jack calls my phone "mh-phone" as in "my phone" with a little country accent. The monkey preschool app has been awesome for him. Today I learned the mall + 2 1/2 year old + grandma = almost certain fail. So we cut the visit short. We swung by and got JC popcorn chicken at sonic and me a good ice cfd coke and called it a win. I am enjoying the simpler days but I will appreciate a full night sleep when that time comes. He's a doll and charming us all, including the uncles.
So, its two weeks out until Christmas. I have two Christmas things up in my home. The tree is up, yet not decorated, and I put out some awesome potpourri with the "scent of Christmas" on it, in my entry way. I'm just not feeling it. I wasnt sure what was going on. I knew I'd have a great week with Jack while his parents are in Hawaii, and I didnt want to put too much pressure on myself while he was here to do things just right, but it was more than that. I wasnt even motivated to get things done before the big JC came over. Then I got this poem on an email
I skipped the sales after Thanksgiving. The thrill just wasn't there.
No pictures taken with Santa Claus, My decorating has no flair.
His presents are shoes, shirts, and ties, two suits and socks...no fun.
I've bought him all white clothes because... This year I'm giving Christ
I've spent more time in the temple, my testimony stirred.
I've reread November's Ensign, Felt strength come from His words.
Our family prays more frequently. My tears are quick to run.
Abraham seems closer because, This year I'm giving Christ my son.
I wonder how those Lamanite mothers, gave their sons to war?
Or how the pioneers chose Zion , their sacrifice was so much more.
My loss will be his presence, I'll miss his smile a ton
For two years we will pray for him, I'm giving Christ my son.
I stare at his face when he's not looking. I memorize his eyes, their shine.
He's always hungered for the part of him, that makes his soul divine.
The stories and lessons he always heard, His choice and mine are one.
I'll put my faith in God's hand, This year, I'm giving Him my son.
Past gifts have lost their glitter; I think I finally understand
Christ's birth should be celebrated by giving Him a hand.
It's because I know Christ lives and reigns that all his packing's done.
My gift has taken years to make, This year... I'm giving Christ my son.
I know there's One who understands, the sacrifice I'm making.
Who knows the gift I willingly give, The toll it will be taking.
For He has done it all before Greater love - there could be none.
For years ago God gave to me, His only begotten son.
The hands I washed, the hands I held, The hands I taught to pray;
Now knock on doors to find the ones Who will listen to what he'll say.
Because I know Christ needs him, Until all the gathering's done,
My gift has taken years to make. This year...I'm giving Christ my son.
Having Aubrey out and Joseph on the launching pad this year has had a bigger affect on me than I ever thought it would. It's not that I want them anywhere else, but it certainly throws my groove. All in all its ok, not having the energy? motivation? whatever, to get my stuff up and festive. It is weird though. (AJ would say "weirdy") :)
Today is my good mans birthday! He is such a joy and wanted him to have a happy day. I had all the kids write favorite memories of their time with him on post it's. I took them down to his work and put them all in his car! It was an awesome idea I found on the web somewhere. I even had some memories from A J to include. It was a good part of his day. :)
While my kids were young we really played down the whole Santa thing during Christmas time. Now that we are mostly through that part of parenthood, I have pretty much swung to the other side of the scale. The new (to me at least) thing is the Elf on a Shelf thing. The elf comes to your house for the Christmas season and reports nightly to Santa of the happenings in your house. Kim, Joseph and Jacob patiently giggled though the story book that comes with the Elf. When presses to name our new little friend they chose "chipwood" which has a connection to the family naughty word, "dip". (If you don't know the dip story please don't mention anything about knowing us to the officers in the city I live in. I'll tell you later.). Anyway, I choose to call him Chip or Chipper. Chip brought us donuts this morning! We must be doing okay so far. Jack came and may I say he certainly appreciated Chips offering with more sincerity than some others.
This I must share! I came upon it a while ago and now I must tell you. Now that the cold weather had come Dave and I have hot chocolate almost every night. I have found I like to have both marshmallows AND whipped cream on my drink. The cream pushes the marshmallows down so they soften in the warm cocoa, and the cream, if you use enough ;) keeps the heat in the cup longer. I sprinkle the cream with either Choco sprinkles or these new chocolate chips that are half peppermint half vanilla chips. Delightful!! The Starbucks hot cocoa mix from Costco is awesome, but not for the weak as far as dark chocolate goes. Dave likes the Stephens better, but I love the starbucks with some french vanilla creamer added. Give it a try. You'll thank me