Things have slowed down and I have decided that we will take a full week off of school, so that we can have a relaxing Christmas together as a family. This gives me more time to do some much needed housecleaning before our guests start arriving on Christmas Eve.
My dad and stepmom are going to take Andrew, Jacob and Jessica this evening, which means we get to have some "big kid" time! Tomorrow, Dad and Diana are going to take the Josh and Marcus, so we'll have "little kid" time the next day. I think I might get out my stamps and have the little ones make Christmas thank you cards.
I'm going to start my prep work on my Christmas menu.
Breakfast: Maple French Toast Bake (if you click on this link, scroll down to the end of the post for the recipe)
Bacon Wrapped Little Smokies
Lunch/Dinner: Glazed Ham
Potatoes Romanoff (Diana will make her version)
Sparkling Apple Cider
Of course, we have to make cookies for Santa and a birthday cake for Jesus. The little ones will love helping me this week! I'm almost done with my shopping, I just need to get Steve a stocking stuffer. I think today, I'll run to the library and get some good Christmas movies. I have a Netflix movie coming. We are all looking forward to watching "The Nativity Story" again. I can't wait to read more, "Unafraid" by Francine Rivers, to the children. I am finding it more and more difficult to have reading time now that there is such a wide variety of ages. When they are not interested, they get loud and I end up disciplining more than I am reading.
I was able to go to church yesterday, thanks to my mom and stepdad, who volunteered to stay home with Lily Pie. She is at the tail end of a cold. It was wonderful to listen to Pastor Steve. Each time he preaches, I know that I am witnessing a miracle. He has stage 4 colon cancer. He wasn't expecting to make it to Thanksgiving, so each time I hear him preach, I just savor it, knowing it will not always be like this.
Yesterday, I savored being in the Word. I'm in the last week of my "A Heart Like His: A Study of David" by Beth Moore. It is my second time through this study and I have gleaned so much again from going through it. I need to start praying about what study God wants me to do next. I do enjoy being in the Word as much as I can. I don't know what I would do without God. I think I would be twitching! My God gives me strength for each new day. I have been crying out for wisdom on how to parent each child individually and He is supplying all my needs! It has been amazing to watch. I am falling more in love with my husband and my children each day and I ask God to show me how to love them like He loves them.
I pray that you would all have a MELLOW, UNRUSHED, CALM, and BLESSED week with your family!