Wow. What a weekend. I don't think we could have fit anything else into this weekend if we tried.
While the kids were at school on Friday I rushed around getting all the outdoor Christmas decorations set up. It was a warmer day (around 40 degrees) and I figured it may be the last chance I have to put up the decorations without freezing. It took me most of the morning and when I was done I realized that I wanted to add a bit more. Since I had to run to the grocery store anyway I decided to stop at a few nearby stores to add to our decoration collection.
After I found what I was looking for I rushed back home to get Grace from school and then resumed the decorating. When Grace went down for her nap the decorating continued. When the boys came home from school Todd and I were hanging the lights on the roof. It was nonstop decorating all day long. As Todd finished off the highest part of the roof I went back inside and dragged the Christmas tree up from the basement. It was starting to get late so we stopped for dinner and then began decorating the Christmas trees.
First the kids put up their trees in their rooms and decorated them with their ornaments. Then we all pitched in and decorated the two trees (one in the front hallway, one in the family room) together. Most of us were decorating the big tree in the hallway and Ben ended up decorating the family tree pretty much all by himself. I was amazed at the good job he did. I only snuck around briefly to rehang a few jumbled ornaments (holy cow, I am really getting good at letting go and not worrying about everything being perfect) but I was thoroughly impressed with Ben's work.
Much to Todd's dismay, when we were finally done decorating the trees, I wanted to try and get a couple of Christmas card pics. It was past bedtime and the kids were tired but I managed to get a few cute shots.
I let the kids off the hook as quickly as possible and let them stay up for a few more minutes before bed.
When the kids were finally fast asleep in their beds I still had to set off to work on some stockings. Everything had to be set for St. Nick's big arrival the next day.
Even though the kids went to bed late the night before they just couldn't stay in bed the next day. Everyone was up bright and early to see what kind of goodies St. Nick had left.
Ben was so excited, and not at all nervous, to go to his first confession. He was so excited, in fact, that when the kids were given the go ahead to pick a priest and line up for confession Ben was the very first one in line. Benny gave his confession, came back in the pew to say his penance prayers, and then went up and lit his candle at the alter. He was just so excited he could hardly contain himself. He said he felt so good.
So anyway, after Ben's reconciliation we quick went back to school to pick up Joey (they won their game) and take everyone back home for lunch. Instead of relaxing before his next game Joey went outside and played basketball with Tommy (while Ben read his bible and Grace took a nap). Todd and I put up more lights. Egad.
I had to run back to school early because I was working at the tournament. I ended up working a double shift since no one else had signed up and I was there for Joey's game at that point anyway.
Once the tournament games were over we decided to go out to dinner. It was another late night and once we got home we were all pretty exhausted.
This morning we got up and got ready for church. After church it was a quick lunch, the boys played basketball again, and then we were off to Cabela's to get pictures taken with Santa. Now, it is kind of silly really, because we don't have a Cabela's near us. We actually had to drive over an hour to get there but the kids love that store and we can usually make a nice trip out of it. I was beginning to get nervous because we didn't know what time Santa would be at the store. It was just after two when we got there and instead of hitting the bathrooms right away like we normally do I told everyone that we were going to make a beeline to the back of the store to see Santa right away. THANK GOODNESS we did that. We were able to walk right up to Santa (no line!) and then I heard the woman behind the camera say, "Okay. But this is the last one." I asked her if she said we were the last and she informed me that they were actually supposed to be done a while ago. I apologized and told her I had no idea what time they were here. She let us know that there was a line all the way from the back of the store to the front of the store and out the doors all day. They had to cut the line off an hour ago. How we were able to just walk up right at the end and still see Santa, I don't know. It was a Christmas miracle.
The rest of the day was spent checking out the tents, the mountain of animals, the aquarium, looking at toys, playing the shoot out game, and going to the candy store. It was a lucky day.
The kids are now finally in bed and I am busy editing pictures, picking out Christmas cards, going over paperwork to be handed in to school, and updating my calendar.
This is such a wonderful time of year, and at the same time, it is always jam packed with far too much. Big school projects are due, Kris Kringles are in progress, school concerts are on the schedule, along with plays and talent shows, and work Christmas parties too. I actually had to back out of my Symphony Christmas concert because I just couldn't get to the practices with everything else going on. And to be honest, I haven't really started the Christmas shopping yet. I feel pretty far behind but I'm trying to relax and keep my focus. It is not easy to do and that makes me sad. I've already cut out everything I can, and there is still so much. Ah well. Such is life.
'Tis the season to be jolly... FA-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!