First up, a reader asked me how I organize sibling presents.
On Christmas Eve we have a tradition- after 4:00 pm Mass, we eat a nice dinner (we decide every year together what it will be) and then the kids exchange gifts. This year they chose to pick names (we’ve done both in the past-little gifts to everyone and picking names). Jeff and I give one gift that night also to the kids and each other, which is always pj’s (or sweatpants for older kids who don’t wear pj’s.) Then we all go to bed calmly, and stay in our beds and sleep all night long, and awake to our living transformed because Santa came. 🙂
When the kids were littler this was a bit more complicated because I had to take the kids out shopping, which added to the busyness. Now there is the nifty internet, or I’ll try to schedule a mom-and-me shopping time with the kid and his own list and his own wallet, or I’ll just buy something or have something extra on hand and say “How about this?”
A few weeks ago I was taking a walk and snapped this photo-every color of autumn! It is now all covered with snow!
I took the kids to the zoo on a day off, even in the cold and rain and we were about the only ones there and all the animals were out (the first snow of the year) and it was such a good time. We went and ate lunch with Daddy afterwards.
A few of the kids have their signature cookie and I thought it was about time Patrick had his. We invented one called “Patrick’s Hot Cocoa Cookies”. And they are really really delicious. I will post the recipe soon.
Looking through old albums I found this photo of my older sister and I after a Cleveland snow storm.
And the little house we grew up in (which later expanded to hold all seven of us.) .
Little House In The Big Woods. My parents still live there today and and have always worked so hard to keep it nice. I have really good memories of cold snowy winters spent sledding and ice skating, and summers exploring the woods and spring’s that couldn’t come fast enough and autumns when the leaves were beautiful.
Janey and I attacked the Christmas books last weekend. I could tell she needed some quiet time after a busy Thanksgiving weekend and we went up to the attic and brought down the Christmas bins and read every Christmas bookwe have.
The book above is the I Spy Christmas book, that is so worn out and we have practically memorized it but from first to last kid, this is a favorite.
Abbey’s boyfriend’s dog comes and visits sometimes and she is so so sweet and I don’t even like dogs so that is saying something. Her roommates cried when Sasha moved back home, so she took Sasha back to stand guard for a couple weeks-which makes me feel better too. Sasha has a bad hip just like me, so we get along, limping and stretching our way through life, eating scraps from the table and barking when boys chase or wrestle too wildly.
My sweetest nephew ever, Walter, who also happens to have the best parents ever. He’s so squishy. His cheeks droop when he is tired. Anyone have an extra baby I can have?
Pre-cancer never would I have a fake Christmas tree. Post cancer-I saw one all assembled with a free sign in front of someone’s house and Janey and I threw it in the back of my van, and I love it. LOVE it. I might have a couple older children not happy with me but I don’t care. I love you, fake Christmas tree, with no watering demands, or shedding.