Caroline and David are outside enjoying the fresh snowfall. We’re expecting a warm-up this week so Caroline is making the most of it while we still have snow. We’ve had very little this winter (relatively speaking). But I’m so glad when we do get snow because then she is eager to get outside. We have a couple of small inclines on our property that are fun going down on a sled (for a six year old). She enjoys making snowmen and the snow is about right today to make a new one.
We packed up the Christmas decorations yesterday. It always creates mixed emotions. Sad to put away all the pretty lights and see it all end. Happy to have a house that’s less cluttered and easier to take care of. We left the lighted garland on the back upper deck so we can enjoy the lights for at least another month. And we keep a single candle in each window from fall through spring. We don’t light them every night, but often. And we keep our Christmas dishes out until our anniversary (January 25). Just a few little things to keep a bit of holiday cheer in the winter.
We did a number of special things during the Christmas season. Not as many as I had hoped, but quite a few. We took three drives to see the lights around Cute Little Town. There are some neighborhoods where the owners do a lovely job and we enjoyed taking them in. We visited a Lutheran church for the Christmas Eve service. Our church didn’t have a Christmas Eve service so we asked around and chose that one in Cute Little Town. It was the first time I had been to a Lutheran church for a service. (I’d been to one for a wedding years ago.) The sanctuary was beautifully but simply decorated. It was a nice service and we were thankful for the opportunity to worship there. We made dipped pretzels for the first time. Caroline really enjoyed the process and we all enjoyed eating them so I think we’ll make them from time to time during the year as a yummy treat.
I realized a couple of things. One, I prefer to watch Christmas movies in the summer. LOL! It’s too hard to find the time to watch Christmas movies during Christmas. There are too many other things to do. I never did get to watch a couple of favorites so I’ll do that over the winter.
I also realized that it really would be better to get my shopping, wrapping and Christmas cards done before Thanksgiving. There were things I wanted to do with Caroline that I simply didn’t get to because I had other things to take care of. I really don’t want to spend most of a Sunday doing Christmas cards in December. So I’m adding a sticky note to my calendar for this year to remind myself to do the more mundane things early. I don’t like rushing the season, but I think it would make the actual month of Christmas more enjoyable.
Has anyone else noticed that with the rise of the Shutterfly collage cards has come the near disappearance of the Christmas letter? I truly enjoy Christmas letters and hearing what people are up to. David and I both say it is one of our favorite parts of the season. We seem to be getting fewer and fewer of them. In fact, this year we received many less Christmas cards, even from people we always get them from. I know that I flirted with the idea of not sending out cards due to the cost and I’m guessing some people decided to either stop sending them or substantially reduced their lists.
I feel like the start of homeschooling tomorrow has snuck up on me! We’ve so enjoyed casual learning/quasi-unschooling the past month that I haven’t really thought about it. Now I need to get into the learning room this afternoon and plan for our week. I’m going to try work boxes again with Caroline. I tried them before, but she was too little. I’m going to see how they go over now.
In the category of “Isn’t it ironic?” I found out this week a piece I had submitted to a magazine about women in the church was accepted for publication. I haven’t signed the contract yet and don’t have a publication date. I’ll share a link when it happens.
We narrowly escaped joining the twentieth century last night. (Yes, twentieth, not twenty-first.) With the return of Downton Abbey tonight we decided to purchase some cheap rabbit ears ($10) to see if we could get PBS in. (We don’t have cable.) We have one of the HD converter boxes that the government “gave” everyone when the switch happened. Unfortunately it had sat out in the heat and cold extremes of the garage these past few years and it no longer worked. And the $20 rabbit ears didn’t work. Nor did the $30 rabbit ears. David ended up making four trips back and forth to Meijer last night, trying to get the right combination. After spending $80 on equipment, we still could not get PBS or CBS which are the only two channels we cared about for Masterpiece Theater and college basketball. So we said forget it. We packed it all up and took it back to Meijer. We’ll just have to watch Downton Abbey online on Mondays after PBS posts it. I’m less enthused about watching it because I already know a couple of major spoilers. (That’s the problem with regularly reading online papers in the UK.) But I didn’t tell David so I’ll still enjoy it with him.
Speaking of things to watch online… I watched Funny Farm online since we have Amazon Prime this year. I recommend it as a cute movie with one HUGE disclaimer. It has a fair amount of swearing in it. I normally don’t recommend movies with language. The only reason I mention it is because it is about a couple moving from New York to Vermont so he can write a book. I know there are probably more than a few people who read this blog who also fantasize about moving to the country or a small town somewhere. It has a fair amount of predictable humor in it (Chevy Chase), but I laughed out loud several times and related in many ways to what they were trying to do with their move. So I recommend it with a warning.
Don’t forget to check out my Pinterest pins on a regular basis. I add new pins almost daily. I really enjoy browsing through the pictures on there and pinning things. Social media I actually enjoy!
Enjoy your first Sunday of Epiphany!
Top photo is Christmas 2012. It’s a little blurry, but the best one we got!
Second photo is the snowman Caroline made for me on the deck today while I was writing this, complete with a starfish sand toy face and sand strainer arms from the sandbox. LOL!