~ 1 ~Ever since Becky gave us this dry-erase board, I have been regularly entertained by the drawings that appear on it. It inspires endless creativity from my children!
Two of the drawings that particularly stood out to me recently were done by Shav. In this one, he drew a giraffe and viewing stand that is very similar to the one we were on during our drive-through safari last month.
~ 2 ~In my Q & A a Day journal, the question for December 7 was this: "Where do you see yourself next year?"
I was moved when I read my response in 2014. I had written, "Honestly, probably right here! Kids a year older, but still homeschooling, doing choir & violin, etc. Maybe with a new baby? But after a year of unsuccessful trying, I'm doubtful."
And now, in 2015, to hold my Benjamin in my arms and remember how it felt to write those words! All I can do then is whisper for the hundred millionth time, "Thank You, God, for giving me this child!"
~ 3 ~
I don't listen to the radio very often anymore, since I have my Kindle hooked up in the kitchen and can access Pandora through it. But a little while back, I happened to be alone in the car so I turned on the country station (my guilty indulgence) ;-) and heard a song that was new to me: "Die a Happy Man" by Thomas Rhett. I didn't love all the words of the song, but I sure do love the message of it. Here are some of the words:
And I know that I can't ever tell you enough
That all I need in this life is your crazy love.
If I never get to see the northern lights,
Or if I never get to see the Eiffel Tower at night,
Oh, if all I got is your hand in my hand,
Baby, I could die a happy man.
Once in a while, the topic of "bucket list" comes up; and I smile when I hear what my boys put on their bucket lists. When they ask me about mine, I have a hard time coming up with an answer. In truth, I feel so abundantly blessed by the life I have, the husband I'm loved by, the children we've been given, etc. that I sometimes find it hard to wish for more. But to have Jeff's hand in mine until the end of my life? Yeah, I'd like that. :)
~ 4 ~One of the simple pleasures I've enjoyed all year has been a Mary Engelbreit page-a-day calendar that I've kept on a windowsill in the kitchen. Josiah, David, and I are all eager to see what each new day brings. When we turned to the page for December 8, Josiah exclaimed, "Mom, that's you!!" :)
~ 5 ~This December was historic for me because, for the first time, I got to be in a parade! Josiah and David had been in one before as part of their children's choir; but the other kids and I had never gotten that privilege...until this year when a kind friend who owns a local business asked us if we wanted to help decorate their company bus for the parade and then either ride in it or walk alongside it, passing out candy. Moriah, Benjamin, and I took up her offer to ride, while the others walked or rollerbladed (David) or scootered (Tobin) and handed out candy.
I'm so glad we got to do this! It sure gave me a different perspective on a parade because rather than sitting on the sidewalk and watching all the groups and floats go by, I got to see this...
I wondered if my kids would be disappointed to be on the giving end of the candy, rather than the receiving; but they had a blast being in the parade and didn't grump about the lack of candy. Being able to do this with friends was way better than candy! :)
~ 6 ~When we first started attending the church where we fellowship now, one of the very first people to welcome us was Janie--this Janie, who recently took care of Benjamin in the church nursery so I could, for once, sit in the service and focus on the sermon.
~ 7 ~For years and years and years, the choristers of the Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir wore red-plaid vests; and that particular plaid became synonymous with the SVCC. And then, when that plaid was no longer available, the decision was made to get new uniforms. Monumental! Earth-shaking! Unbelievable!
This past semester was the first one in which the choristers sported their new look during concerts, and the funny thing to me is that not once did I (or Josiah and David--I checked) think, "Oh, I sure wish we had the old uniforms again." We were so pleased with the new ones. They just looked RIGHT.
~ 8 ~She's only three, so I'm not faulting her; but Moriah can't figure out pronouns to save her life. She very consistently refers to females with masculine pronouns and vice versa; and even if I correct her by saying, for example (in response to her saying about a girl doll, "He has a pretty dress"), "Yes, SHE has a pretty dress," she will instantly go back to the masculine pronoun again. Oh well, someday she'll figure it out. :)
~ 9 ~
Some time ago, we were given a lovely quilt by a friend who, get this, used to be a LAPD officer but who, after he retired, took up quilting to pass the time. He doesn't fit the stereotype of a quilter, but he sure has a good eye for it, and we were DELIGHTED to receive one of his beautiful creations!
Benjamin has just recently discovered his toes; and when I lay him down on his back, he starts reaching for his toes which are swinging around wildly, somewhere at the end of his legs. He's getting better and better at grabbing them. :) Thurston's quilt was a perfect place for Benjamin to show off his new skill yesterday. :)
~ 10 ~As the days have progressively gotten shorter, I have noticed that, from time to time, I get a little antsy at sundown. In fact, the thought came into my mind that I would like to write a poem for Jeff called "I Miss You Most at Sundown." But then I never did. ;-)
I know how early-evening darkness affects me from other years, so I wasn't surprised to start feeling some of the same this year; but then somehow, my perspective shifted. Rather than dreading the coming of darkness at that time of day, I realized that, if I could look at it as a time of preparing for the joy of the family being reunited, I could see it as a wonderful part of the day. As I shift into our early evening routine and go about my tasks of making supper, instead of lamenting how dark it is already and wishing that it were spring so the light would stay with us longer each day, I try to focus on the reward of preparing a meal for my beloved family. I LOVE those hours when the family has all returned from their various places, and we sit down together to eat supper, and then we have some time to be--just be--together. At home. With the family. It's heavenly.
At this season of the year, when the sun slips away each day, I try to remember the reward that is coming; and that simple change of perspective has helped make this past fall a more joyful time for me.
Let's hope it still works when February rolls around! ;-)
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