Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Christmas 2015

GIn November, as a last minute pull the rabbit out of the hat and make a good RS activity night, we had a class on planning for a stress-free Christmas. Turned out to be the best thing ever. I think from now on, in November, I will be sure to take some time to think about what I really enjoy and focus on that for the Christmas season. There is so much to do that sometimes I get bogged down in to do lists and don't enjoy this season. This year I didn't do that. I enjoyed the music more. I enjoyed the social gatherings more. I enjoyed my family more.

We have a few traditions. We go to the First Presidency broadcast the first Sunday in December, then we go to our friend's, the Hawryluks. We had my work party, Allen's office party, a RS party (missed that one, although I did help organize conflicted with my work party) our ward party, and we usually help serve at the other ward's Christmas party. I even went to my friend, Kim's, Christmas  concert. It was amazing music! I went alone...and that was just fine because I gave up all the expectations (it is okay to do some seasonal stuff without family!) and just did what I enjoyed. It was great! We went to Storybook Theatre's Christmas play.....loved that. We usually go to the Hudsons for a carol singing night, but this year they didn't have it. We would have missed it anyway because that was the day we celebrated Christmas with Grandma.


We had Christmas Eve at home. Usually, we go to the nativity pageant, but it was really cold, so we just enjoyed ourselves at home instead. I learned the joy of teenagers on Christmas morning: they slept until 8:00!! This year we didn't seem to do as many presents, but it was still great. Just perfect actually. We had The NAckroyds over for dinner the afternoon of Christmas Day. A lovely day!

I always have a long list of housework things to catch up on over breaks from school. This year I decided to just do one little thing each day to make our house a little nicer.....something I had been neglecting. It worked! Usually I have these long lists and never quite get sound to any of t because I really don't want to spend my whole time cleaning. That makes me feel a little bitter. This one little thing each day seemed to work much better. I might even continue it after school starts up again! I also did a little bit of school work - even though people like to lecture on how important it is to leave all work behind. Just a little bit now and then is what I did...and I think that will make going back to work even better. And the truth is, I don't hate the work I do. I enjoy why not?!

Peirce got a pet sitting job over the break so we have spent a lot of time driving him to the house of pets. They have a dog named Draco, two cats and a bearded dragon. I has been a good responsibility for him. Good $$ too, I would say!

Jill did a fair bit of homework and studying (still finishing up English 20!) She has some swim practices, worked a few days at Brokin Yolk, and did a lot of fun friend things. She pretty much never stops!

We tried to immerse Bobby into his first Christmas experience. He wasn't that into it. I decided I would just invite, and after that, not worry about it if he didn't participate. It was, however, very interesting to have someone who has n emotional connections to Christmas. That is a subject for a whole 'nother post!

I also spent a lot of time reading. I hoped to do a book a day (inspired by Donalyn Miller) but I got stuck in a couple books I wasn't that enthusiastic about. Didn't quite meet my goal, but I did get some great books read! I also exercised every day over the break. Every day!! It has been fabulous.

Looking back, we really did a lot. It didn't stress me the same as other years though. I think there are a few reasons. I decided to be conscious about simply enjoying the moment. I decided to not worry about expectations, especially when it comes to gift giving. I just did what felt right, not what I figured others expected me to do. I chose to not do some things that I just don't enjoy. I filled my days with things I love, rather than duties. 

I lived to feel the joy.

Really, I think that is what Christmas is all about.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

The Early Bird Gets The....mess to deal with??

The trouble with getting to school early is you're the first to find the flood. Not a great way to start the day!

I wish I had taken pictures. It was quite the scene!

Here is the story:

Being the swim parent that I am, I can rarely sleep past 4:30. So, even though there was no practice today, after a few minutes of debating whether I should sleep in or get up since I was awake anyway, I decided to get up so I could tackle those bulletin boards and Edmodo quizzes and prep the craft for today.

I arrived in the dark of the morning, just after 6:30. When I walked in, I could hear a swishing sound. It sounded like someone was in the school. Eeek! That's a little scary when you are pretty sure you're the first one there.

I turned off the alarm and snapped on the lights and....slop, slop, slop,....I was walking in water an inch or two deep. I walked down the hall, rounded the corner, and saw a horizontal gusher coming out of the caretaker's room. Pretty cool sight! Who knew so much force could come out of one little tap!

I stood there with my mouth gaped open. Now whadya do??? I considered donning a garbage bag but then decided I likely wouldn't be able to retrieve one without getting soaked anyway, so I went straight for the spot the gusher was coming out of. I figured if I kept my coat on it'd take a bit to soak before it got to getting my clothes soaked.

I did the breast stroke into the stream of water, approached the sink, and presto. Gusher averted. Problem solved.

Well sort of.

I stood there wondering, do I just go get ready for the day? Or is school going to be cancelled? Or do I start cleaning up? Is that my job? Where is the mop anyway? 

I did the backstroke down to my room, found my phone list and woke Preston up. He put on his superman cape and came over to the school, rolled up his pants and saved the day. "No! There's no need to cancel school!" he says. "We can handle this!"

He reassigned classes. Cancelled specialties. Found a secondary route for kids to get to the bathrooms...and we were back in business.


If only I had stayed in bed and arrived at a normal hour, the entire place would have been wet and school could have been cancelled.

*double sigh*

Live and learn! LOL

Friday, 18 December 2015

A Christmas Story

We have been volunteering at Storybook Theatre for years....and truly love it.

Tonight Allen even came! The play was a Christmas story. Odd. But fun and really quite enjoyable. Lots of chuckles.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

I DO have a great kid!

This week I got an email from Peirce's principal:

Sometimes teenagers get a bad rap. There are some good ones in this world though, for sure! So proud of Peirce and his friends. Peirce often tells me how nice this bus driver is. They had planned for quite a while to do something for him. It took some work and coordination.