Today is Kade's eighth birthday. This does not help my sense of complete and utter brainlessness. I pretty much try to take one day at a time, no matter that it's Christmas when there are hundreds of things that need to get done. I just need to get through the day.
It's not necessarily that things are particularly difficult or that I'm particularly tired or that we have more to do than any other family in the USA. It's just that things are different. Going to work has added a completely different aspect to my regular day. And I only work an average of six hours a day at a Target register. However, laundry still gets dirty, dishes still need to be washed and floors still need to be vacuumed whether I go to work or not! Imagine that!
Yesterday, we all went to Kade's Christmas program at The Performing Arts Center. He was one of four boys who were in a toy band. The play was mainly about a little Christmas tree who knows the true meaning of Christmas. Santa, at one point, panned out to the audience, "Do you know the true meaning of Christmas?" I wanted to yell it out, but thought that perhaps that would defeat my purpose. But I did watch with great interest as the little Christmas tree sang out the true meaning . . . it's LOVE! How about that? But as she sang, I thought, well they've got it nearly right. It is love, but it's actually Love, with a capital "L". (But more on that, later.)
Then, today, I took Kade out for his birthday for a lunch date at Steak and Shake, his choice, where we enjoyed his favorite french fries. We polished off lunch with a fudge brownie sundae for him and the world's yummiest eggnog shake for me. Mmmmm-mmmmm! THEN, the serious shopping began. He had eight dollars from Papa Stan that had been burning a whole in his pocket for days, so to his utter relief we went to go spend it! It had to be done! He finally settled on three balls from Target -- a football (his current favorite sport), a basketball and a bouncy ball -- all of them blue.
Then, we detoured to his school to see if his teacher had his jacket that he had left before the Christmas play at the Performing Arts Center. (I mention this little trip, because it showcases the state of my brain at this point.) We were driving down a long stretch of road that we take all the time to get to our home. There is one intersection that leads to the elementary school . . .
"There it is! You passed it, Mom!" Kade told me.
"Oh, I wasn't even paying attention! Thank you, Kade!"
So, I turned around at the next intersection. And headed back the other way, marveling at how I could have missed my turn and wondering at how us city folk had ended up living just outside of Mayberry.
"You passed it again!" Kade cried, just minutes later.
I couldn't believe it! How had that happened? So, I turned around AGAIN a mile down the road muttering to myself that my brain was really screwed on weird when it came to directions. However, when Kade told me that I had missed my turn a third time, I realized that he was seeing a road that was not the right turn. It looked somewhat like the turn that led to the school, but that turn was still several miles further down! We had just turned and back-tracked THREE times at the wrong section of the road and I had not figured it out until then. Yes, that's my driving acuity in a nutshell.
Now, I'm home. I should be madly cleaning because in two short days we'll be having a huge birthday bash for Kade, Kristofer, Kylie, Konner and Keva . . . all the kids that we just couldn't swing a birthday party for this year because of our financial issues. We're going to do a big bash on Friday, but SHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!, it's a surprise! Hopefully we'll get most of the neighborhood kids to come before too many families are gone for Christmas. I'm going to make a huge cake in various flavors and one icing. We'll play a lot of goofy games. It should be fun.
This year, Keri Lynn and Kathleen were able to finagle birthday parties, and even those were creatively cheap, but the rest weren't so lucky. So before Konner's birthday comes around again in two weeks we're going to cover them all. Keri Lynn and Kathleen are masterminding the major details while I act as a kind of behind-the-desk general from my Target register.
Then there's the whole problem with the Christmas letter. I think I'm going to do what only was going to be inevitable. I'm going to write my Christmas letter on my blog instead of on paper. First and foremost, at this time, it's plainly more affordable. Secondly, I just don't have the time to do a letter. I think it's been about three years since I've sent one out anyway, so I really need to at least send out a postcard to my regular recipients, who aren't on this email list, with our Georgia address and blog information! We got our first Christmas letters a few weeks ago. It's always so nice to get a real card in the mail!
We're on track better than last year, though. We had a Christmas tree donated to us last week and it is now up and decorated! It looks beautiful! Keith also put up the lights that he'd bought two years ago when he didn't have a ladder big enough to do the job. He nearly killed himself trying to put up lights. I'm sure he nearly killed himself this year, too, but I was at work and blissfully unaware. I came home that night and he brought me right back outside to stand and watch as Kristofer turned the lights on. It looks so pretty! He has only one more eave to do, the tallest one of course, but that may wait until next year, which is fine with me!
One last story and then I'm going to do some more cleaning.
Kylie sang with her choir in church a few weeks ago. I loved watching her sing the words of a beautiful Christmas song. Her little blond head among the other singers, always in the front row because she's so short. Her mouth formed the words and even though I couldn't hear her specifically, I could tell she was forming the words with the tiniest hint of a childhood lisp. So precious. My heart just burst over with love for her. I had eyes only for her.
Then, I thought of our Father's love for His only son. How He must have looked on Jesus, His beloved. How proud He must have been to see Him laying in Mary's arms, so precious. And yet God gave His Son, His only Son, as a sacrifice for us, that we might live. That's what we celebrate this season. We celebrate the coming of God's Son to this earth . . .
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Before Middle and End!
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