“I don’t have any good photos to blog with,” I thought.
“Well you do have some on your phone,” I replied.
“They aren’t that great of quality though,” I continued.
“But they are priceless and of great value, since they capture the moments authentically,” I said wisely.
“Oh fine,” I sighed.
And then got all emotional looking at them because there were over twenty photos, twenty moments during which we were living life and I grabbed the nearest camera, my phone, to record something quickly and easily. I honestly LOVE this stage of life. My youngest is 7 and without any toddlers daily life is much calmer, however with seven children it is still busy enough to never be boring and to always have that feeling of “what’s next” — you really can’t prepare, there are surprises every day and lots of laughter.
Handsome son Dave, who was dressed in his High School wrestling clothes for the first time in his career. And, by the way, this door used to be a curtain hiding our laundry area, but the laundry room has been moved downstairs and now this is a big spacious closet just off the kitchen. I’ll take photos eventually because I really like how it turned out.
Sarah Joy arriving home from school. “Christmas Porch” with a wreath, and a snowman flag. She made me and her dad an ornament made out of a glue/cinnamon dough that smells so good.
LOOKING FOR THE PICKLE IN THE TREE
I gave him the present; a chocolate fish and a card that I had prepared for the Amazing Pickle Finder.
“Keep looking for hidden treasures your whole life and you will be amazed at what you will see and discover.”
“I am really good at finding things,” he agreed. (debatable, I thought)
Sarah was holding back the tears because she didn’t find it.
SHOPPING WITH MY SISTER
We had SUCH a good time. We got manicures ; my nails are so pretty now, a deep red with red sparkles similar to Dorothy’s shoes on the Wizard of Oz.
We talked and talked and laughed and just felt so comfortable together; “This is good for my soul,” she mentioned.
We had bison burgers and freshly cut french fries for lunch. I indulged in a diet coke.
There was a giant Christmas tree at the outdoor shopping center. We did a little shopping and I bought Caleb, Seth, and Sarah some nice warm mittens/gloves for outdoor play at LLBean and they liked them so much they literally spent HOURS until dark outside everyday until our snow melted a couple days ago. Wise purchase even though the line was long. With a sister/friend the lines go fast. More time to talk!
My dear Hannah sent me and my family a Christmas box. She lives in Alaska and has visited me 3 times and I haven’t visited her yet.
So guess what I asked Rich to give me for Christmas?!
We spend time together like this every chance we get. In fact, he’s next to me as I type and he’s rather insulted because a laptop is on my lap and not him.
COLLEGE SON ETHAN IS HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As of two days ago!
AND COLLEGE SON JACOB my FIRSTBORN is here as well, the person I gave birth to 21 years ago at just this time of year. CHRISTMAS and JACOB’s BIRTHDAY are all wrapped up in my heart during this season.
Uncle Dave always sends cards for the children under 18. The rest of us get a family card. So now there are “only four” in the tree waiting for Christmas morning even though they keep asking me if they can open them NOW.
WRESTLING MEET on Wednesday, two days ago. David was .5 over so there was a little bit of unwanted stress in making certain he made weight and then come to find out he had no one to wrestle in that weight class. (he did make weight, however)
But eventually they did exhibition matches (which don’t count in the team scores) and Rich bumped him up to give him experience. I could see Dave giving a little shake of his head “no” but Rich didn’t give him a second glance and got him right on the mat with someone who weighed 5 pounds more than him…..and Dave won.
He won right in front of his big brothers who also wrestle for college.
Right in front of his big brothers AND their girlfriends.
AFTER THE MEET it was time to play. Ethan wrestled with his little brothers but what really gives me joy in this photo is Bruce the man on the left just walking out of the camera frame with a smile on his face. He’s one of the custodians of the school and is ALWAYS so quietly kind and friendly. We notice he turns a bucket over and sits on the side of the gym during meets, we think he must like wrestling.
^^ Jacob and Seth on the left and Ethan pinning Caleb on the mat. And it took me a long time to get that sentence out right. (names LOL)
Seth’s turn to wrestle with E. It was such a fun night. We were only missing Grace because she was at work.
We are forever trying to hug Dave and he is always this reluctant, but we know he secretly enjoys it. Tessa is a good sport. Such a dear girl who, along with her sister, has grown up with my own children (they live nearby) and is in love with Ethan. ❤ She’s a senior this year, while David is a freshman so she sees him now and then and tries to get hugs. You can tell (sort of) that he’s warming up to her. (no, his arm never got higher than it is in the photo).
HERE SHE IS! She got back on Tuesday (thank you to Michael who went to get her from college). Yesterday she and I went shopping with Ethan and we took this photo as we were waiting for him to finish up his hair cut.
(I prefer myself with bangs but when I am too lazy to deal with them I pin them back).
When Seth got home from school yesterday he had a sore by his mouth which immediately freaked me out (internally, I didn’t show it to him) because it wasn’t there when he left in the morning. He complained that he thought his jaw was broken and his cheek hurt. But he pointed to the sore spot by his lip as the place where it hurt. (I don’t think he knew what “a jaw” really was) I was thinking “Oh my goodness my child caught a contagious skin rash during wrestling” and took him to the docs who told me it was basically NOTHING. I mean, it was infected slightly (like a pimple actually but he’s too young for them just yet). She gave us a prescription for an antibiotic cream but Rich didn’t get to the pharmacy in time so we just rubbed neosporin on it and this morning it looked much better. I’m still picking up the prescription though, don’t worry Mom. I’m sure it will come in handy. Seth has had chapped lips so the Doc thinks he was touching his face with dirty hands. (8 year old boys are generally dirty) I do tell him to wash but when he’s at school who knows. . . . . .
The whole experience ended up giving us a nice time together. His appointment was at 6:10. WHY is it SO DARK he kept asking. We agreed that it isn’t a pleasant feeling to be going to the doctors when it’s dark outside. Scary.
I took him to Dunkin Donuts after, it was just a short jaunt down the sidewalk from the office. He ordered himself a bacon egg and cheese on a plain bagel, toasted, and five glazed munchkins….and a hot chocolate and he looked so cute as he waited. He didn’t want help carrying his treasures. He ate and drank everything. He hugged me.
We went to the Goodwill store next and he and his bright eyes saw a wrestling head gear for Caleb (who needed one) for ONLY A DOLLAR. Jacob said they are twenty at the sporting goods store he used to work at. So Seth got the deal of the day. Grace scrubbed it with antibacterial wipes this morning.
Then we met Jacob, Grace, and Sarah at the pet store. WHAT are the girls looking at, you ask?
I typed all this at the end of the couch at Ethan’s feet. He sleeps on the couch when he’s home even though he has a perfectly good bed in a bedroom upstairs. I think he finds it cozier to be on the couch. He’s sound asleep. Listening to him breathe gives me joy. He stretched his feet out and pushed against me, waking up just enough to look down at me and say sorry. I said, “I like it.” and gave him a pat on the leg.
What fun to see the activities of your family. I was just thinking about ours – and what will happen to yours in another “few” years. My heart is full of joy even though there is family all over the place. I just message chatted with Jana who is in a country that must be kept secret. She loves it. Grandson Josiah is soon arriving for a week – from his over-the-road trucking job. Our daughter Diane will soon be on her way to our house – also for a week. Lydia is living with us and loving her job at the Lancaster General Hospital kitchen. We have fun plans for the weekend. Not everyone will be together for Christmas, but it is so much fun to watch them growing into their own person. Treasure those busy, family moments.
I love big family life! It’s hard for me (introverted, from a smaller family), but I really do love it. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life! Merry Christmas, Shanda!!! 🙂 Amy in WI
Merry Christmas to you too! You and your sister look so pretty in that picture. I love your tree. That’s what a Christmas tree should look like in my old-fashioned mind. 🙂