They’ve been filled with trips to the doctor, snuggling on the couch, a humidifier, and all the ways moms show love to soothe sick little bodies.

Christmas Traditions:  We also managed to sneak in picking out a Christmas tree and decorating it while daddy was home.  He surprised us the other night while we were recording our 12 Days of Cleaning song.  Someone was supposed to be in Mexico for another couple of days.  (The owner decided to come home early.)  Break time to give dad hugs and kisses!!!

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 It was Chris’ turn to pick out the tree this year

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Kindness:  Our Orthodox homeschool group volunteered at the Ronald McDonald house.  Gabriel had developed a fever the night before so daddy took the big boys instead of me.  They all put together snacks for families who are staying there.  (The Ronald McDonald House gives families a place to stay while their child is being treated at the Children’s hospital.)

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Thanksgiving:  Les had to fly on Thanksgiving so we celebrated a day early.  I don’t remember ever having a White Thanksgiving before but it was snowing hard while I prepped the food.  The boys even went outside and made a Thanksgiving snowgirl.  (I was corrected when I said snowman.  They used their sister’s hat so it was a snowgirl.)

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God’s Creation:  The boxelder beetles seem to be inside the house for the winter.  Not all of them…but more than we’d like.  Let’s put it this way – every few days I tell the boys they get 1 chocolate chip for every boxelder beetle they find and put outside.  I did learn that if you spray them with Dawn soap, it will kill them.  They’ve pretty much gone into hiding under our siding at this point so we don’t really see them outside anymore to even spray them with soap.  Chris has rubbed off on me over the years.  He’s the protector of bugs around here – “Give them a chance!”   I hate having to kill even the boxelder beetle when they pose no threat to us other than landing in my chai tea once.  Grrr.  So, we have a catch and release policy around here right now.  Niki was cracking me up last night as she was telling me how even she has gotten accustomed to the beetles now.  She told me one landed on her leg the other day and instead of freaking out, she started talking to it, “This is not appropriate.  You are not allowed to crawl on me.”  I have no doubt you had to be there for the conversation but it was funny.

As I type this, one boxelder beetle is crawling across the wall in front of me and another on the printer.  Gabriel is asleep in my arms so I’ll have to call one of the boys to come catch them.

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Gabriel:  While he was sick, one of the few ways he was happy was sitting on my lap and watching the tv.  He’s 4 months old!  If I turned him away from the tv, he would crane his neck to watch it again.  Crazy!

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Niki:  She has finals next week.  I can’t wait till she’s done!!!!  We’re turning the classroom into the sewing room during her break and sewing side by side.  (The room we call the classroom has ceased to be the classroom for several years now but we don’t really know what else to call it  – so, it’s still called the classroom.)  Niki was telling me last night that it was like the Hunger Games at the computer lab at school yesterday.  The kids have to scan in their art work for their process portfolio to hand in for their final grade.  Picture dozens of art students vying for 6 large scanners.

Niki and I went to only one store on Black Friday.  I’ve avoided Black Friday for years for all the obvious reasons but we’ve found that the fabric store is a non-issue and they have amazing sales that day.  When Niki is going to buy the stuff anyway, I’d rather we get it when it’s 75% off plus I have a 25% off coupon.  See…it’s worth it.  Additionally, everyone there was friendly and kind.  Customers were constantly saying excuse me to go past you or would smile and wave you through.  It was nice.  So for a fashion student, it was bliss to get thread half off and fabric between 50 and over 75% off.  The cherry on top – Zach N. babysat the big boys while just Niki, Gabriel, and myself went shopping that morning.

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