At this point December is much a blur. But in a very good way. Not those kind of blurs where you are thrilled “that is over”, but one of those blurs that leaves you feeling pretty blissfully happy about life in general. Yea, that’s the kinda bliss that everyone strives for, and that’s the kind of bliss I strive for as much as my mind, body and soul will possibly allow. Heck, no one is perfect, and I don’t like the moments where the negative takes over, but deep breath. Deep breath again and you just might get back to that bliss sooner than you’d think.
So as I mentioned before the weekend after Thanksgiving SBJ is yet again sucked back into work and we are sucked head first into craft making! Oiy, oiye, yoi…. (if that’s how you even spell!) …. but yes, of course, we had known about this homeschool craft fair for months. Literally months. I think it was announced some time in the spring or summer, and here we are the week before getting ready. Of course. Such is my life. I am such a procrastinator. For me it tends to work well. I’m a muller. I like to mull these things over in my head for a long time. I’m like a crock pot! Yea, that’s it. I have beautiful end results, but it tends to always be at the very last second.
I realize, however, this is not such a great thing for my kiddos who just may not be that way. I really can’t quite figure out how K operates. He is much like SBJ, and SBJ, from what I’ve gathered, tends to stew quite a bit as well. He takes a really really long time to do things, and then just suddenly decides to do them. I see K much in the same way… not to far from what I do I suppose. D could work on things little by little for sure. She loves to do different things all of the time and really just a little bit at time as well. She’s not so great at sitting down and completing something in one sitting. But she loves to do anything you throw in front of her.
Ok. So at any rate, we are down to the wire and have one week to get it together. I had the ideas in my head, so I knew what we’d do. K and D and I had discussed them over and over and they were pretty excited about everything. We ended up making “rock dudes”:
And snow globes. Then some other little things. Painted picture frames, ornaments, put out the batiks from TG and a couple of Mei Tai’s I had not sold yet. (Would you believe I sold 2 of 3 that I brought! That was sooooo exciting for me. Really had not anticipated that. Even sold a few batiks!)
We worked around the clock on everything. All of the goods turned out fabulously and were WELL loved. We made a nice chunk of money and just had such a fun time with everyone at the fair. It was really a blast. A great experience for all!
Calculating the totals from the craft fair I was quite interested and pleased that the kids decided to save their share. They have been super duper at putting money away and saving it. I am not overly sure what they might be saving it for, but they think long and hard before money leaves their bank. It’s a great thing to see. They worked really really hard for that craft fair event and they really appreciated the wealth they came home with! It was such a great experience for us and can’t wait till next year’s!
Classes were winding down right around mid-December so things began to get quiet in that sense, but got busy with holiday stuff. D had her Girl Scout Investiture Ceremony which was sweet. She was quite proud of the entire thing and so pleased that SBJ could make it as well. She’s found herself a nice little niche there and I’m pleased that she loves it so much. It’s a beautiful group of families and their kiddos. I am quite pleased that she’s just so smitten.
Oh! But that day! They had the opportunity to enjoy a “first snow fall” just days before this. That night of the ceremony we had to drive out in this wintry, snowy, icey, blizzardy mess to get there. Wow! What timing. But it was well worth seeing her glow up there!
We had playdatesset up that week, and special time with Grandpa. He actually joined us on this Homeschool Roller Skating day that was a blast. D loved the skating. She was going to conquer it no matter what. K gave it a good try really. He is not the most sporty-type dude, but he gave it a great shot and was pretty okthat it was over when it was 😀 Then S just out-right refused to get on the floor. I got him to go around just once in his boots! He would not put on the clip-on skates, and he would not even ride in the play ride-on car they had out for the little ones. And when I went out to give it a whirl, he was pretty upset I abandoned him with G’pa. All-in-all though, he just loved watching it! He had no problem standing right up at the wall and watching the entire thing. He really seemed to have a blast doing just that. It was so much fun to have the whole place to ourselves and they played such fun music. I think we will have to give that a whirl again soon.
After that outting G’pa joined us for lunch and then showed us to Uncle J’s music shop. That was a very cool field trip. Uncle J took us in quite nicely, despite it being a big surprise visit. He showed the kids all sorts of things *and* sent us home with a flute! Very cool.
That weekend I finally got around to getting holiday cards together. It was not the easiest task this year. Time seems to be of the essence these days and I really debated on whether the effort would be put into it. I made only 15 ornaments this year, but sent out 50 cards. I think that was a pefect happy medium for me. I like doing the ornaments, but I know that it’s a ton of effort not always appreciated. So it felt like a nice balance for me. The cards were a collage of pix from the year. That was fun to paste together.
We had our holiday cookie exchange with the au pairs that weekend, as well as a gift exchange. It’s always a nice fun event. I think they really like it. They especially like the international cookies from all of the world. That’s just so much fun.
Speaking of international! I had scheduled a date for our International Pen Pal group that following week. I have started this group withhomeschooling families withthe World Wise School program withthe U.S. Peace Corps. It was a project that I participated in while in TG and just loved it a ton. It gave so much to me and the kids that I was working with. Not to mention the education and enlightenmentit provided the U.S. kids we corresponded with. So it was about a year ago that I had decided to reach out to WWS to see if they would match us as a homeschoolgroup. It was a bit unique, but they were willing. We started with a PCV in TG who is in here second year there now. And soon after I pushed for a few more matches. They then sent us PCV’s in Morocco, Armenia and Mongolia! It’s been really fun and we’ve gained a lot from it. It’s just beenreally tough on scheduling b/c we coordinate whenever we get packages form overseas…. this does not always mesh with everyone’s schedules. But overall it’s been really fun for a core group of families and I’ve loved coordinating it.
So we had received a package from Morocco a bit before T-giving. I was waiting to see if anything else showed up in the mail and very soon after we received something from Mongolia. That’s when I scheduled our Pen Pal gathering. The day before our gathering we received a package form Armenia as well! It was fabulous. So we had all of these fabulous letters from all over the world and had fun reading them, chatting about them and writing back. The younger kids draw awesome pix to put into the packages and it’s just so much fun for all ages.
The very next day we trekked out to Des Plaines again for the homeschool classes they over there. That month it was Native American Clothing. I did not know exactly how K might take to it, but yet again, they did this amazing job on the topic and project at hand. He and D had a blast. G’pa joined us a well and he’s just so funny. When he joins us for these things he really let’s himself enjoy the event in full. It’s awesome to see him leave the “real world” and just enjoy with the kids. They were decorating (designing and dressing) their Indian paper dolls together. Sharing ideas, collaborating. It was great.
That week is still not over. We rescheduled our holiday train visit and this time around…. they said ‘hello’ to Santa! Well, I suppose I should say, “this time around we actually made it onto the train and were not interrupted by a trip to the ER!” : D
We waited a long long time on the platform. I had looked at the schedule before we left to double check and yet when we stood there, I think about 2-3 trains came by us that were clearly not the holiday train. I was getting worried that I did not know something and the kids would be crushed yet again! AHhhhh…. the train, lights, Santa and all shows up. It’s running a bit late, but it came! Santa is hanging out on this open car in the middle of the train with a sleigh and reindeer. He waves to the kids as the board the well-lite train. Wow. They really do a fabulous job on this train. It was really pretty. We tookit up to Wilmette and got off at the end of the line. This year… K and D actually went up to Santa and shook his hand and got a candy cane! This is K’s first time ever! He has always looked from afar. D just followed suite. After he went up to him and shook his hand, he came back to me, took a DEEP breath and said, “phew…. I am just so glad I did that”. It was hilarious. We then boarded the train and rode back up to E-town. It was fun and they wanted to ride again. Alas, time slipped away fast during those last 2 weeks that we did not ride again. But we will be sure to do it again next year and this time we will take it to the city and back!
The following day we journey to the Ethical Humanist Society to see the homeschool production of the Jungle Book. It was quite cute and delightful. The kids dug out the movie when we got home, and S actually sat through the whole thing and loved it. It was quite fun. Got K’s juices flowing for the Princes Bride production (a class/show he will be doing this winter).
I again was blessed with my weekend tea with homeschoolin’ parents. It was a very nice turn out with super fun discussions on every topic imaginable. (I am very excited that another is coming up this week!)
We ventured to a new place called Jump Zone. It was really pretty fun. I was excited to get a nice discount. It would be great to be able to use that place a few more times this winter. I hope the prices are not staggering if we go again. Will have to track down a coupon or two. But they had such a blast on these enormous inflatables. It was a cool place. But hey… now that I think about… we trekked out in a blizzard to get there. What’s up with these events and the blizzards?! 😀
We hosted xmas eve here at our place. Uncle P and Aunt J flew in from CA that day and came over. G’ma was here. It was a super delightful day. The food, company, abundance. It was warm and fuzzy. Perfect.
That night however, S woke quite sick. And this was the type of sick that sends a mama into cardiac arrest. He was having trouble breathing and pretty congested. I had heard this once before when K was just about his age, however never with S. But I jumped right into action and treated him quickly. He got better quite quickly over the next 3-4 days, so it was a very quick recovery. I think (from what I’ve gathered and researched online) is that he had a mild croup. It was quick and not quite as lengthy as it’s described. However, the “barking seal” was him to a ‘T’. At any rate that completely altered xmas day.
We woke to open all of the stuff that Santa had blessed us with. Miss D is onto the whole idea. I am fairly certain that she knows, or at least doubts. But she would never say anything. Not only b/c her brother would out-right refuse to hear of it, but b/c she would not want the gifts to stop coming 😀 K, on the other hand, is a believer in and out. He loves the mystery of how this could possibly be, and he will always believe. He is much like that of the Polar Express dude… He loves the idea that the magical, mysterious, mythological could all be real.
Oh. So druingthe Santa opening we discussed what to do with S and the plan was that I would take SBJ, K and D over to G’pa’s for xmas day festivities. Then S would most likely fall asleep in the car and I’d bring him back home. I was so incredibly sad of the idea that I would not get to be with K and D during their holiday there. It was heartbreaking. Then… S fell asleep while nursing here. So at that point SBJ and I agreed that he would stay with S and I would run K and D over to dad’s. On the one hand… thrilled I could go with them and experience their xmas withthem. The flip side… it was pretty impossible to be thoroughly present and enjoy with SBJ at home with a very sick S. Part of me thinks that we should have just rescheduled our xmas with g’pa for another day. It would have been much better. But all in all… it was just fine. I was relieved to be back home and see that S was very chipper, happy, no fever, breathing was great. He was already recovering. Our afternoon and weekend (and week after) was so much fun and…. blissful.
We opened the rest of the loot back home and this year SBJ and I agreed was the year for the Wii. We went all out and they received lots of games along with it. Along with the masses of other gifts we had as well.
Bubble Wonders dude was at Morton Grove Library that week and we had lunch with Uncle P and dragged him to the show. He seemed to enjoy it. When then challenged him to some intense Wii sports before he rejoined Aunt J in their whirlwind tour in Chicago!
One of Seringe’s customers had given him tix to the Harlem Globetrotters performance. This happened that same week as well. SBJ and K really thoroughly enjoyed it! They were laughing and enthralled. It was super cool to watch them. D probably would have felt the same, but she’s just not a nighttime person. I have come to notice that she really could careless to stay up late. She’d rather crash and get her sleep. So it was hard for her to do this late-night thing. But she enjoyed it as much as she was able to in her half-wake-state. S on the other hand was only interested in the maskcot. We called him “the guy” and I would have him search for him over and over again. This did not last very long and eventually had to take him out a few times. We had amazing floor seats and so the kids could see absolutely everything. It was so great for them all!
That same week, GREAT g’ma came into town from FL. Well, actually she was in CO before coming here, but she’s residing in FL, so this is a big deal to see her and get to spend time with her. We rushed on over the day after she got here to spend the day with her at G’pa’s. Had a nice lunch with them, worked on a puzzle (that I am overly addicted to… good thing it’s in his house and not mine). New Year’s Day SBJ of course was sucked back into work and the kids and I set out to Wauconda to visit Aunt and Uncle J’s. They hosted a little brunch for G’ma being in town and P and J were able to attend as well, Dad and O too. So it was a big crowd. We had a nice time and it was good that the kids (and I) got to see P and J before the bowed out of town.
And LOOK! I have now done a full run-down of the last few months and just about up-to-date! Today’s the 10th that write this, so I do have to pat myself on the back for that one. I will take time to reflect on the last 10 days and get back to you soon. Here are a few lovely pix from events mentioned, but you will see many more in the lovely flikr assortments on the homepage!