Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Breaking Rules

{This post was written the night before Thanksgiving}

I anticipated that we'd officially welcome the holiday season with a grand, festive outing. Perhaps we'd attend the lighting of Christmas Village or decorate our Christmas tree while we blasted festive tunes courtesy of Pandora. The right idea hadn't settled in my brain yet.

Keep in mind, I try my best to be respectful of Andrew's wishes to withhold the Christmas merry making until the day after Thanksgiving. He's pretty set on keeping the two events separate. Rebelling some, I have listened to a few Christmas songs when Andrew wasn't in the car, but other than that I have successfully resisted the urge to bust out the decorations.

Ahem. But I didn't fully resist the urge to dress my children in coordinating Christmas colored outfits for Church. We all have our weaknesses.
Right, Forrest?
That's better. 
And please note his mismatching socks. I didn't crop that out on purpose. 
You are welcome.

It appears that my efforts to plan something "major" have been in vain as that beautiful spirit of Christmas unexpectedly smothered my heart in joy and gladness this evening. It's true, Andrew. I feel jolly. I blame Eliza entirely.

Eliza is always making plans. Earlier this week she came home from school and wrote an unassigned report on Abraham Lincoln and then saved it to her newly created "College File" on our computer. According to her, when it's time to apply for college, she will be prepared with a portfolio of work to pull from so they can know how "smart" she is. Another plan has been to buy her family Christmas gifts from the dollar store. For weeks, she's been doing extra jobs around the house to earn some extra money and tonight, after pleading for days, she and I finally took a special trip; just the two of us.

With her self-made purse in hand (she sewed it), we entered the dollar store. Her eyes lit up as we perused the aisles. I tried to distract her with fun decorations for her room, but her focus would not be deterred.

"Mom, I can't think about anything for me until we check off my list!" To the toy aisle we went! She was so relieved when she found that the "army equipment" she had in mind for Henry was still in stock. I clapped my hands with delight when she showed me that she'd found an Elsa puzzle for Lottie. Right around the time we were picking out wrapping paper, I realized that I was feeling alive with Christmas excitement! Eliza unknowingly unlocked these happy feelings and I embraced it. She was experiencing the joy of giving! How could I not? After she was done making her selections, she was happy to see that she had money left over to purchase a package of mechanical pencils for school; because apparently, they are all the rage in the third grade.

Eliza made wise, thoughtful selections; although I did talk her out of buying her Dad a toilet plunger for his Christmas gift. Our humble trip to the dollar store was successful in more ways than one. Knowing I had a sweet potato souffle waiting to be prepared at home, I shifted my thoughts back to Thanksgiving, but that warm Christmas light stayed tucked away in my heart. Bring on the holidays!

Seriously though... returning to Thanksgiving, the children's teacher's do a much better job bringing in the historical significance behind the holiday than I do. In my sad defense, I focus more on the importance of expressing our gratitude for each blessing to our Father in Heaven as we fill feathers on our yearly turkey.
Also, it needs to be mentioned, our thoughtful cousin Kaitlyn sent the kids a fun turkey coloring page. This activity provided me with an extended amount of quiet as they collectively went to work on their pictures. And for that moment of peace, dear Kaitlyn, I am super grateful. :) 

Other noteworthy happenings from this past week include the awards night for reflections. Henry won an award for his art project and Eliza won an award for her poem.
Eliza had a friend who didn't win an award for her reflections project. So, Eliza came home that night and constructed this friend a trophy and "engraved" it to read her friends name followed by: "greatest friend in the world." She anonymously left the trophy for her on her desk the next day at school. Sweet, huh?

In Lottie news, she had the best time at her preschool Thanksgiving party. I felt terrible that I didn't make arrangements for Forrest ahead of time so I could participate with her. I have slacked off and it makes my heart sad. I did, however, make the sweet potatoes for the party. I need to do better.
Next up, our Thanksgiving celebrations!
Indian Brave by day,

...darling pilgrim by night.

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