We're into the 12 Days of Christmas. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day blew in and blew out more quickly than we expected or would have liked. For that reason, we're trying very much to enjoy these 12 Days of Christmas even more this year. Although, it's difficult. Matt has to work. Instead of the full holiday, he's only has both Eves and both Days off. This used to be pretty normal the first several years he started working. Now, I've been spoiled by the full week or more of vacation - glorious days with ALL of us home, ALL of us celebrating and ALL of us relaxed.
In all the hustle and bustle, I've neglected to post recently. To recap, here are 12 quick takes.
1. The week before a holiday break at school is insane. An entire week of celebrating for Joshua in first grade. A week of cramming in the ends of chapters and units then testing for Matthew in fourth grade. It ended on a high note for everyone with the annual grade level sing-a-longs and parties. This is Matthew's last year in elementary school and last year for a class party. I think he liked me being there. He was sitting by himself, saving me a seat at the sing-a-long immediately after, so I take that as a sign that he's not too cool for Mommy...yet.
2. There's a cutie who's sweet on my Matthew. This is strange to me. The megawatt smile and blinky blinky eyes she makes at him leave me perplexed. I mask my confusion my ribbing him good naturedly, then firmly reminding him of our "No dating until you're 16" rule.
3. We won the best double door decorations for the neighborhood! We were flabbergasted...and excited. Josh pointedly remarked that there must not have been many double doors decorated or participating.
4. We were happy to have the boys' Opa and Nana staying with us for the holiday. I think it's the longest they've stayed with us. The boys loved having them here and our only regret was that Opa had so much work to do. They passed the time playing with Nana on her new ipad.
5. Opa taught Josh how to play blackjack. This is how my family rolls.
6. We completed the O Antiphons this year. It really was a great way to up the ante that last week before Christmas. Our Advent wreath and the O Antiphons are what we did together as a family. The boys were quite happy to do their Nativity calendar and Lego City Calendar just the two of them and miraculously kept track themselves whose turn it was each night.
7. Christmas Eve Mass was lovely. Our Church was beautifully decorated with the most stunning Nativity set I've ever seen. The boys thoroughly appreciated Father's homily centered around The Little Drummer Boy. Then we celebrated a modified Wigilia with their Grandma and Grandpa. Matt hopes to lobby for Wigilia rights for next year. I told him that when he plans to wager that war, to leave me well out of it.
8. Instead of whiskey, Santa had blackberry brandy this year. We also had to quickly make a fresh batch of reindeer food - oats and glitter - because we misplaced the 3 bags we made over Advent. Santa and his reindeer were well fed at our house. There were cookie crumbs in the fireplace and "rein"deer tracks all over our back yard and around where the food had been left. All the food was gone. I expect some other neighbor was surprised to find glitter laden "rein"deer poop in their yard.
9. Santa came. Santa conquered. Santa left the boys what they wished and hope for most. Evey year the boys make a list for Santa which Santa, Mom and Dad discuss. But they really only ask Santa for one very special present. Matthew asked for and received a remote control Apache helicopter. Joshua asked for and received a light up green light saber just like Luke Skywalker's.
10. The boys gave each other a Rainbow Loom. We have 2 looms, lots of Legos, a convertible game table and many more new, fun things to play with, read and build. So far, they've been building Legos, playing air hockey and making bracelets non-stop for 2 days. Today I had to buy more black and white bands.
11. Yesterday, with Matt at work and Opa and Nana on their way to Kentucky, I cleaned the house. It was Thursday which is bathrooms and kitchen day anyways. I added the floors. With the great crowd we hosted on Wednesday, the food, cookies and unwrapping, it was needed. The boys and I had a deal. If they entertained themselves and stayed out of my way, and there was absolutely no fighting, I'd just pretend they were at school and get all of the work done myself. One slip up though and they'd have chores to do. I neither saw nor heard them all day - minus lunch. My husband also mysteriously returned home when the chores were done! (Just teasing. He came home at his normal time. A quarter past 'I needed you home to help with dinner before karate.')
12. Today, we braved Peach Street to get Joshua to his best friend's birthday party. I planned errands since I'd be up that way. I didn't consider that everyone else is still on vacation. Stores are a mess. Roads are sloppy. And both JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby are just normally a disorganized mess with nary a sign nor label to be found anywhere but would be more aggravating with all of the additional wandering and lost shoppers. We came home with MOST of what I needed, exhausted and with a headache. The three of us took a Christmas cookie break and are now waiting for Daddy to get home.
And that is that with not a smidge more.