Monday, December 28, 2009

Brace Yourself!

That's what I'm doing right now. January is going to come in like a lion for me. There is SO MUCH on my To Do List that it can get intimidating at times. I feel a bit overburdened, but I know I am not alone. Thank God for prayer! I sincerely do not know how I would make it through life if I did not have prayer. The older I get the more important my relationship with God becomes. I have grown so much closer to Him in my 30's...only one year left for me in that decade. I am so thankful that God is always there for us no matter what. What a blessing!

As January approaches I find myself in preparation mode. Avery will be here by February, and there is so much to do in the meantime. Today, I updated and paid the bills. The other biggie on my agenda is to get as much done for the lawyer as I can. All of the paperwork and documents need to be in place before Avery is born so that the paperwork can be filed upon his birth.

Tomorrow I plan to get started on the 2009 tax preparations. I figured it was a good idea to get as much of that as possible out of the way before I have a newborn under my wing. I know my days will look a lot different in just a few short weeks. I find myself wondering what kind of baby he will be. Will he be content? (I pray so!) Will he be fussy? Will he like to be held? Will he want to be rocked? Will he have dark skin and hair? Will his eyes be brown? How much will he weigh? Will he take to the bottle easy? Oh my, the questions go on and on.

Wednesday is my day to shop for our family Christmas celebration. We always celebrate on December 31st from NOON to 4PM. This year we are having a soup, salad, and baked potato bar. It should be nice, and simple. That's what we were going for; simple. I'll need to shop for the produce and make my soup ahead of time. Also, that is the day that Adrian and I are going to lunch at Ike's and to a movie. That is his Christmas present to me. I always enjoy hanging out with him.

Thursday we celebrate Christmas with family, then in the evening we celebrate the New Year with the boys and our good friends. Harmony may even be staying the night. We'll see about that one. I haven't decided yet, but she'll likely end up here. She can barely go a week without a Nana and Papa fix!

As we get into January there will be Christmas decorations to put away, things to clean, our daughter moving out, furniture to move around, a room to paint and prepare for Avery, and a lot of shopping to do. I have been waiting to buy things like diapers, bottles and formula. There is so much to consider in their purchase. In the middle of January I will be attending a diaper class through No Pins Required. They are based out of Ferndale which is about 20 minutes from my home. Yes, I am actually considering cloth diapers. They have come such a long way, and they are so economical compared to disposable. We'll see where this adventure leads.

Fortunately, I have my mom coming to help me the week after Christmas. We'll likely do some cleaning and moving of furniture. Then, after our daughter moves out my best gal pal will be coming down to help me prepare Avery's bedroom. Currently we have a bassinet in our room for him, but I know he won't be in that long. I think it will be nice if I am able to have everything set up and waiting for him. Less stress is good by me.

Speaking of stress, my poor hubby has been under a lot for the past couple of months. I know he is real frustrated with personnel type issues at the shop. It seems he will have no choice but to fire and hire. That is such a tough spot to be in, especially when friends are involved. Unfortunately, he seems to have no choice. I just keep praying for wisdom and guidance for him. I know that God works in mysterious ways, and experience has shown that something much greater typically lies on the other side of tough decisions and situations.

A lot is going to change around the Smith Household during January. I am sure there will be blessings and challenges. That's what life is made of, it seems. I am reminded of the Bible verse I have hanging on a tile above my stove, "...rejoice in our suffering, suffering produces perseverance , perseverance character, and character hope..." Romans 5:3 I don't see life as all suffering, but I have learned to see the blessing in suffering. I am thankful for my trials, as that is when I learn and grow. It really is a beautiful thing.

It is my prayer to you that in this New Year you will find the blessings in your struggles and rejoice knowing that there is always hope. Have a richly, blessed 2010!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Old Tanenbaum

Christmas just isn't Christmas without a real Christmas tree. This statement comes from my husband. In the 13 years of our relationship this has always been a strong point of disagreement. I now find myself really struggling to honor his real tree Christmas fantasy fulfillment for yet another Smith Family Christmas. I have been pondering this point all evening, and I am still in conflict.

This year is exceptionally challenging in the "having enough time" department. Apparently my Wonder Woman Cape has mysteriously been donated to charity, because it is nowhere to be found. I spent the first part of November sick with a bad cold for about 11 days and recovered just in time to pull off Thanksgiving. Then, this past Tuesday I suddenly came down with a very bad cold/flu type thing that I actually suspected to be H1N1. I stuck with my natural remedies and chiropractic care and accepted the five day grounding to my room. Needless to say between these two illnesses I have fallen completely off course in regard to preparing for Avery and preparing for Christmas, and both are right around the corner. Quite literally.

With so much to do that now includes catching up on my normal household duties, the November and October month-end bookkeeping for the shop, updating the bills, locating a counselor to assist us through our family adoption process, securing all the documents and paperwork for the adoption, preparing our house for the home visits related to the adoption, and all of my holiday baking, gift making, shopping, and wrapping seriously just how important is a real tree? The actual pivotal point for me was when I found out hubby is going to go hunting one more time after telling me that he would be home next weekend. See, this means that I get to do it all by myself AGAIN. Somehow, gathering the tree, setting it up, caring for it, cleaning up after it, decorating it, undecorating it, taking it down, and disposing of it are all my responsibility. Hubby NEVER helps aside from actually putting it into the stand...sometimes. The rest of that list is all me with the occasional child helper; which is getting less and less the older they get.

Finally, I had visions of a family day together decorating the home and putting up the tree coming to fruition this coming Sabbath. What a beautiful way to spend the day, right? I could live with the beast of a chore making tree if it was a fun family day. However, my vision disappeared like a movie tape in the heads of an old, dirty VHS player when hubby let me know that he was going to go hunting again one day next weekend. Of course, he has no idea which day. This man knows nothing of planning. Can you say, "AHHHH!"

My defiant, independent self wants to just chuck everything and not have a tree. Well, I know the revolt that would come from that one, so the next best thing in my book is a good old-fashioned fake tree. My ideal? A 4-foot tree on an end table covered by a pretty, white sheet in front of the window. Totally works for me. Easy up. Easy down. No muss. No fuss.

Any opinions?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Christmas Oatmeal

This is my favorite way to use leftover oatmeal and cranberry sauce. Here is a recipe for my favorite homemade cranberry sauce:

Cranberry Sauce

2 cups Sugar
1 cup Pineapple Juice, from reserved juice
1 cup Water
1 - 20 ounce can Pineapple Tid Bits, juice reserved
6 cups Fresh Whole Cranberries

Combine sugar, juice and water in large pot. Bring to boil.

Add cranberries. Bring back to boil. Reduce heat. simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add pineapple. Continue cooking another 5 minutes.

Move to container. Cover and cool completely. Refrigerate before serving.

Okay, now for the Christmas Oatmeal. What I do is warm up leftover oatmeal in a sauce pan with about 1/2 to 1 cup vanilla soy milk. As the oatmeal warms, break it apart with a wooden spoon. Once it is warmed through, mash with a potato masher to get desired consistency.

In a small bowl, dessert size works well, spoon about two tablespoons of your leftover cranberry sauce into the bottom. Top cranberry sauce with warmed oatmeal and sprinkle with brown sugar. Can you say, "YUM!"?

I absolutely love this, and I hope you enjoy it as well.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...