William agreed enthusiastically and added, "Or a Brother!" And then, on a half minute's thought, said, "But I don't want to be a Brother!" We all looked over at him, waiting for the punchline, and got, "Or a Sister! Of course not! I'm not a girl!"
He laughed at his own joke there, then commenced pounding his forehead with the heel of his palm. "And I don't want to be a.... a.... a...."
Guessing where he was going, I said, "A bishop?"
"Yeah, that's it. I don't want to be a bishop, either."
We were clueless. "You tell us, William."
And the lightbulb dinged over his head. "I know! I know!" he said. "I want to be a pope!"
And there you have it. Are you starting to get the picture of the kind of kid we have here? Took twenty years and ten kids to get this one. And he's a lulu!
2. One thing that must happen around here. And soon. The bucket of peanut brittle that Dan got Anna for her birthday must be eaten. By someone else besides me. All of it. Get on it, kids, for heaven's sake.
Picture this and imagine our bittersweet amusement: Monday afternoon, Anna brings home a very pretty Christmas card from her admirer with "Christmas" crossed out and "Birthday" written in -- and in the envelope, a little cache of stickers, two pretty rocks, and a little scrap of purple paper upon which was written: " To Anna. You are Butuflu." Isn't that so sweet it makes you wanna cry? Or laugh? Or both?
* For enquiring minds... Anna did graciously give her permission for me to tell this story. I wouldn't post it if it were a source of embarassment to her or if I thought there was a shadow of a chance her little beau getting wind of it... Just thought that might be important to disclose. :)
|And you can see them around the necks of the youngins above and below, too.|
5. Due to circumstance beyond my control (because, believe me, if it were in my control, I would just spend, spend, spend, spend spend.... ), it's going to be a lean Christmas this year. But, no really... It's fine. I'm going to be OK. Christmas is going to be OK. The kids are going to survive. It's not about the presents. It's about Jesus. And, anyway, last year's was an out-of-the-ordinary exuberant Christmas, so it's all in the balance. And, in the spirit of "we really don't have it bad in the big picture, and we've never been rich, anyway" perspective, I'm really looking forward to simplifying this year.
Total Consecration on December 8th. All of us, Anna and up, are working toward this great grace and honor. Then in the two weeks leading up to Christmas, we'll work on homemade gifts, baking, and planning family get-together fun for the week between Christmas and New Year when the whole gang will be home. (We're cooking up some doozy party themes that I'll fill you in on as things come together.)
But on the gifting thing, because there will be a little of that -- Those few things we purchase need to have special punch -- at a reasonable price. In my wanderings for just. thee. perfect. gifts for each of the kids, I've stumbled into some super fun online stores. Here are a couple:
|Gratuituous photo of Theresa, 12|
* For kids of all ages, categorized, in fact, by ages, you have to check out Fat Brain's toy shop. And for some cool stuff, it's fun poking around the Cool Stuff Express website. And you know you gotta go check it out if the site is called "Cool Stuff Cheap." But for real toys (not like we really need any more toys around here, mind you), you can find lots of good stuff at discount school supply sources and museum catalogues.
* For clothes that we don't get at thrift stores or garage sales, we love L.L. Bean. Just love 'em. And they have coupons, too!
6. For the past month or so we've been having fun with an incentive chart based on our little "hiding" squirrel, Chippy. It looks like this:
Here's the deal:
For the Christmas season, we'll change the theme, but I haven't figured out yet what I'll change it to. And then we always have the Christmas crib and the straws devotion that we'll pull out. I found a beautiful new little baby Jesus for the crib, too, that we're excited about! I'll take a pic of him when I pull him out after Thanksgiving.
* Here's a question for the siblings and aunts who are far away: Can you guess who's won the Chippy Count every Sunday so far?
7. I've been having to stop myself from being tidy-obsessed lately. Not that I'm OCD, mind you -- I mean, you should see the inside of my pantry and the back fridge. No, actually, you shouldn't. But, especially if I'm tired or stressed, I can't relax if the room I'm in is not at least picked up. Which, as you might guess, in a house with five kids at home (at the moment) and a husband who just doesn't much care God bless him, is maybe not a reasonable expectation? Is it?
No, really. Is it unreasonable? I mean, not all the rooms have to be clean -- just the room I'm in. So, as long as the kids stay one step ahead of me, anticipating my migration through the house, everything will be good. And I won't have to nag.
The count so far: We'll have Kevvy and Michelle and adopted son, Omar, and my sis, Nina, is coming. But no Paul and Nicole and baby Gavin; no Jon or Br. Pio; no Mom or Dad or any other sibs of mine.
There will be only eleven of us here eating turkey next Thursday. Weird.
Anybody wanna come and fill out our numbers? I can't cook for less than twenty people on Turkey Day.
Jennifer' is the place for more Quick Takes (probably quicker Quick Takes than these were...)