We have arrived down at Jeremy’s parents’ house.

Yesterday, it was still a bit too icy up there in Chicago-land, so we skipped our church’s Christmas Eve service and had what is quickly becoming our family’s traditional service at the house with the reading of the Christmas story and singing some traditional carols by candlelight.

This morning, Jeremy made a batch of waffles and bacon for breakfast. Then afterwards, we opened presents then packed up the van and headed on down. Joe (our GPS) led us through more of the country-side than we usually drive. He even took us on a dirt road for a little while.

Anyway, we are here in never, never land Illinois! Don’t get me wrong, I love the country and I love being down there. I can’t wait to see Sarah while we’re here and have a girls’ night out.

I’m So Busy… Random Stuff

Tomorrow is our church’s Christmas Cantata and I am directing it, so I am nervous about that.

For Noelle’s birthday down in NC, I bought some craft foam projects which all of the kids enjoy doing and they had a really great time with an art time. In fact, they liked it so much that we had to stop the kids from doing 3 or 4 each so we could open presents and have the chocolate cheesecake mousse. Noelle got a few books and some money to put towards her dollhouse fund. (She and AnnaBeth decided together that they would save up their money for a wooden dollhouse they found one day. They are close to having the amount they need.)

We got home on Wednesday and I got a few hours of rest before heading to church for full cantata practice. That was a long two hours and I felt like we really didn’t accomplish all we needed to, but we’ll see. Pray for me as I’m thinking I have some decisions to make regarding the adult choir.

I wanted to get some things done outside the home (shopping and stuff) this week after we got home, but that didn’t happen because we had the ice storm on Thursday night and Friday morning and then more snow today. I ventured out to the post office today, but it was still really slick out there even on the main roads, so afterwards, I came home and stayed there. I’m thinking the main roads should be better by tomorrow morning. Up here, they usually have them cleared fairly quickly, but this was a doozy of a storm, so it must have caused some problems. The kids had some fun playing around on the icy snow in the yard. They weren’t out long, but they said they had been ice skating out there. I watched Christine jumping and trying to break it. It didn’t look like she was getting through much.

While down in NC, one of the women at the Bazaar at my mom’s church was making these itty bitty bears. I asked her about them, but didn’t think I could make them. She enjoyed talking to me and gave me the pattern for the bear (and enlarged it 200% so it’s easier to do) as well as one of the patterns she uses for their 4-H club down there. I worked on the bigger bear pattern today. It’s was tough, but I did it. The lady thought Amie might enjoy making the horseshoe pillow since it’s easy and I can also use it as a nice rice pack that goes around the neck easily. At the moment though, I’m using the pattern with Christine. She’s enjoying learning how to do it.

Oh, one more thing… I put some pictures up on Flickr, so go take a look if you wish. If you are on Facebook, I put most of them on there as well, though I always put a slight bit more on Flickr.

Oh wow!! I guess I’m directing that cantata TODAY! It’s just past midnight… nervousness always makes it hard for me to sleep.

Christmas in NC

We are down at my parents’ house in the mountains of NC. I love, love, love it here. It isn’t as cold as Chicago and there are mountains and all kinds of stuff. Mom took me to a neat little fabric store down here. I didn’t spend much, but I spent enough. The kids all got fleece blankets from there for Christmas presents and I got some material to make some rice packs.

My sister is also down here with her three. Tabitha and AnnaBeth are really enjoying each other. Actually, all the kids are playing together a lot. They’ve always got along so well. Benji (as I call him) is getting a lot of attention. He is an easy baby. He doesn’t cry much and when he is a bit fussy because of being hungry or tired or wet, he just does a little grumbling. It’s cute. He’s very smiley. He loves being held by Uncle Jeremy and vice versa. Jeremy was always so busy when Tabitha and Naomi were little, so he didn’t get much time with them. He has really enjoyed holding and talking to Benji though. He doesn’t have a lot of time with the baby because Grandma and Auntie Julie take over quite often, as well as having big cousins Amie and James wanting their turns.

On Thursday, we were all here together. My brother, Jon, and his girlfriend came over with two of her girls and we had our Christmas meal, did some caroling, and then took a family picture. It was nice having the whole family all together. Jill, Rob, Jeremy, and I went over to Jon’s house yesterday and we enjoyed some visiting over there too. He and Belinda have really worked hard on getting that house looking nice and they did a good job.

Today, we went over to my parents’ church. They were having a craft bazaar and there were a lot of neat things there. My scarf had been ruined in the last flood in our basement, so I bought a new one there. After that, we went to a park and let the kids play and then walked along the river. It was kind of cold, but not nearly as cold as I was up in Chicago, so I’m okay with it.

I haven’t taken as many pictures as I usually do because my camera has been acting up. I need a better camera, but that will probably not be possible for a long time. I would love to have a digi SLR, but we just can’t afford it. It would make it so much easier to take some pictures that I want to take that my little instant digi just can’t do. I DO have pictures of my nieces and nephew, so you all will have those to look forward to after I return.

In the meantime, adios, my friends. I’ll update you all later.

Homeschool Group, Meeting #6

This last Wednesday, our homeschool group had a talent show. We didn’t have very many members show up, including some that had signed up to do stuff in the talent show. Our leader was gone since she’d had surgery not long ago, so we got started a little later than normal, but things went well. We have a budding orator in our group. He wrote a speech titled “This is the Time” and did it for us. It was very good. His little brother played the cello. My kids did a puppet show to a song off of my Selah CD and two other kids did something with puppets as well. We also had a few people singing and two sisters danced to “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree”. It was lots of fun. Afterwards, they opened up Santa’s Shop where the kids could get some nice gifts for parents for cheap prices to benefit the group. One of the members of our group gets stuff from Micheals for free when they are no longer “in style” or whatever and she donated all this stuff to the group for this event for the kids.

We’re going to miss the next 4-H meeting this next Wednesday because we’ll be down at my parents’ house in NC and then we’ll be missing the next homeschool group meeting the Wednesday after that because we’ll be traveling home that day.