Okay, most years I don't get all excited about Christmas because I mostly get worked up about all of the work it becomes. Extra shopping, groceries, laundry, organizing, decorating, making sure to follow traditions that the kids holler for, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, wet out door clothing...the list goes on and on. Also, there's the whole "end of the holiday season let-down" that really gets to me as a mom who homeschools and is home EVERY DAY with her children in the sometimes too cold to go outside weather. But for some reason, I have a lot of peace this year and I am looking forward to the holidays. Tomorrow night, Butch and I are going on an actual DATE to see one of his co-workers play in a band at a bar and I'm really looking forward to it. After that, we have Thanksgiving this week here for his parents then later in the afternoon at my parents. Then it's shopshopshop with the kids for their presents for each other (so cute that they love to do that, we never did that for our siblings!) and for their godparents and friends. We are going to take a family picture at Thanksgiving, finally! Hopefully we can get a good one that we can blow up and hang in our house and give out as Christmas cards (yay, snapfish!). Oh, before I forget this little factoid. Last week we had our first "sticky" snowfall and the kids scrounged up their snow gear and headed outside to build a snowman.
Just to give some perspective on the Minnesota weather weirdness: That picture was taken on Monday the 13th of November. The previous WEDNESDAY we were wearing T-shirts and shorts. I'm NOT kidding. We spent the whole day outside like it was July or something and not even a week later my kids were making FREAKIN SNOWBALLS IN THE FRONT YARD. What am I DOING IN THIS MESSED UP STATE??? Okay, whew, got that one off my chest. Anyway, I wanted to mention a few of my favorite things (thus the title) so here goes:
1. My children
2. Snapfish (okay I realize I already mentioned those things but I like complete lists)
3. Sunbutter (Matty's allergic to peanuts and although he doesn't like anything that even remotely resembles or smells like the stuff that could KILL him, I love this stuff because it's sooo yummy and won't cause him harm just being in my house. The Natural kind is my favorite but the Creamy kind is on my grocery store shelf next to the peanut butter and it stays mixed and is a bit more like peanut butter.
4. This stuff is sooooo good smelling and it makes my skin look so pretty (I don't usually wear perfume so it has to smell good to get me to wear something scented like this, also if you look at the picture of Butch and I at that wedding a couple of blog posts ago, you can see how it makes my arms all shiny and pretty so I'll probably be wearing it to all of the holiday events this year!) But be aware that people who can't wear shimmer-type lotions could break out...that's not so pretty.
5. Tights in the winter with skirts.
6. Blankets in the living room and snuggling up to watch a movie when it's cold.
7. Kids who say "yay!" when it's time to go to the dentist (they actually did that this morning, I gotta get those guys out more)
8. Sisters who I can call to be background noise so I can do my housework. I swear I can't do my dishes unless I'm talking to her!
9. Books about triumph over hardship. I'm reading He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, S.J. and it's taking me a long time to read because I'm forcing myself to read one chapter at a time to let his message soak in. Our parish priest is having the parish council read it and I happened to be at the meeting when he handed them out. I was practically salivating over the book and I guess Father saw the drool and asked if I wanted one to read as well. NICE! Free books rock. I'm also reading Charlotte's Web, the last in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and re-reading the Little House series (Little House in the Big Woods right now) to the kids at the same time. It seems a little frantic, but I love all these books and the kids are really reading a lot on their own too! Katrina is reading the Trixie Belden mysteries and Matty is re-reading his Bionicle books and anything else that is boy-ish enough for him. Analise is reading (well, I'M reading it to her but she can actually read some of the words herself now) Junie B. Jones and Niklaus is making me read his Little Critters, Berenstain Bears, and Clifford books over and over. PRAISE THE LORD for a love of books! Oh, I forgot, I'm also reading The Man Who Was Thursday. That one is taking a long time for a different reason. Read the first chapter and you'll see why. It blows my mind but it's GOOOOOOD. I love stuff that challenges like that, I guess that's why I hate romance novels. Blechhhhhh. One year I got into them and after about 6 or 7 of them they all sounded alike. Ever 5 years or so I read them just to "cleanse my brain palate" and get back on the good stuff. OK, I'm done now. I'm rambling over at my other blog too, in case you're interested...