Highlights of the weekend:
29 - The girls and I met some homeschool friends at our church on Friday morning to make crafts and color Christmas cards for folks at a local nursing home. It threatened to be an ugly experience. The girls were complaining about how the glue wouldn't hold the craft together. Then they complained about how the crayons didn't work so well on the cards. I encouraged them to keep trying, but I was getting frustrated as well. We finally completed our projects, but were a little too early to head over to the nursing home. We ran to CFA and had a quick lunch. That little excursion helped us regroup and put us in a better frame of mind.
By the time we drove over to the nursing home, we were getting excited about singing Christmas carols. When we walked into the dining area, the ladies and gentlemen were all smiles. The kids walked around, passing out cards. The ladies would tug on the kids, giving them hugs and kisses. I chatted with a gentleman who loved to talk about choir (right up my alley!). Then we sang carols, and everyone joined in. By the time we left, my girls were talking about how much fun that was, and that we should do it again some time! That made this momma's heart joyful!
30 - Friday evening was a threat to the weekend. I had choir dress rehearsal that night, and was already tired. It was the third straight night to be at church. I went, but admittedly, not with a great attitude. When I got home Friday evening, I took a little time for myself, and determined that the rest of the weekend was going to be filled with Christmas cheer for the family and me. I was going to make some joy!
31 - On Saturday the threats kept coming. We had plans to go see Santa at the Bass Pro Shop, eat lunch, and be back at the church (again) by 4:30 to watch our oldest daughter in a quick, little program. Our plans went awry. We left later than we planned. We had to stop to get gas, and discovered that we had an almost-flat tire. We had to take time to deal with getting the tire aired back up. Then we worried all the way to the BPS that it was going to go flat on us. And the scenic route entrance (my favorite part) was closed. What a morning!
But when we pulled into the parking lot, we forgot the troubles of the morning, and let our excitement take over. We love the BPS. We stayed for almost 3 hours. The girls played on the 4-wheelers. We ate ice cream and popcorn in the snack shop. We watched the fish in the fish tank. The girls colored a couple of wooden ornaments. They played games in the Santa shop. We had a great time. We decided to skip the hour-and-a-half-long line to see Santa. We'll go back this week while everybody else is in school! We even enjoyed the 30-minute wait to get out of the parking lot. Okay, well maybe not "enjoyed," but we were at least having some family time!
31 - On the way back from the BPS, we stopped to eat at Cracker Barrel. I've been craving their country ham and their coffee for about a month. That little detour brought me much joy! (And a couple of extra pounds!!)
32 - When we got to church (again), we were able to sit by and chat with some good friends. They always make us laugh.
33 - We did nothing Saturday night! That brought me much joy!
34 - Sunday began very early. I had to be at church by 7:20 to participate in all three services of our Christmas program. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. Standing and singing for 4 hours is tiring, but it's energizing when you watch the transformations take place on the faces of the audience. The Christmas story told through music can't help but change one's cranky demeanor. I love watching those changes take place on a person's face.
35 - We spent the afternoon at a birthday party for our friends' daughter. We love those people dearly. We've seen each other through some difficult times, and they hold very special places in our hearts. There are friends who you know where they've been, and they know where you've been, and you hold a deep understanding for each other. They're those kind of friends. We were so glad to be able to spend some time with them.
36 - Last night was our Sunday School Christmas party. I made peppermint punch. Joy! We spent some time getting to know the people we usually only see for an hour on Sunday morning. We had a great time!