-We decorated our room! December 1st we made some little crafts (wreaths, glittery candles, and attempted snowflakes... ha!), some popcorn, and put in some music, and put all these little touches that made me happy, haha. It wasn't a lot, but it was nice to have even a little bit, and so fun to get to it after I tried up until about three days before Christmas last year, haha.
-One of the churches I volunteer at took the special needs group rollerskating. We got lost and I got there late, but I can only imagine the opening chaos, given what I did witness after things would have been settling down... but it was fun to see them enjoy themselves!
-Our dryer broke. Twice. And we thought it was a simple problem at first, so I tried to fix it, because I've seen Daddy do it before... but it was actually a broken belt and they don't make our dryer parts anymore, so that was interesting. Daddy had to buy a belt that was completely too big and do a bunch of rigging with pulleys and all the extra works so that it would work... but it does now!
-All our family an hour and a half away got snow, and we got rain. Sadness... It's supposedly a possibility it will snow tomorrow, but I'll believe it when I see it ;). Then Grandma and Grandpa got snow for New Year's Eve...
-Me to a friend: "I've made all of these projects and been out shopping for over six hours and we've all got colds that have left us so congested that eating feels like suffication. And that's just the past two days and an evening." We were busy this month ;). Haha! And you know that deal about the more productive I am, the messier my bed is? My bed is depressing to look at in December, hahahaha!
-We went to look at Christmas lights. Twice. And do you remember me telling y'all what happened the first time we went last year? And that the second time last year was much more worthwhile? Well, the first time this year was everything we could have asked for. Then we tried to go a second time out to Lexington to get to see one of the houses set to music. The only problem was we have no radio in the big van anymore, but we thought it would be fine, because we could download a radio app now that we have smartphones.
Yeah. Never trust a smart phone.
There were no working apps, and we spent the whole 45 minutes watching lights dance with almost no context, while Daddy looked for anything that would work. We rolled down the windows (they had a radio playing outside that you could JUST hear during the loudest notes), and all the big people strained to hear enough to know what the lights were going to, and all the little people were just making it five times harder because they heard nothing to listen to ;). We did discover Tori not only can play by ear, but can also read music by lights, though, because she guessed two or three songs without the windows being rolled down... it was odd, haha!
-I spent the day with an elderly lady for her daughter. I took my crocheting with me, and she was so interested, it was cute. I had to leave with about an hour's worth of work left (which ultimately turned into much longer because, um, I was not good at anything the afternoon I tried to finish it, haha, and tried two failed techniques for the mouth until I put it away, got more materials, and finished it in about 10 minutes, haha...), and she was so sad she didn't get to see it finished! We had a lovely time talking about the candies she used to make and how many siblings I have, because that is everybody's favorite topic with me, haha ;).
-We got to watch a live concert online, and it was so much fun <3. (Even though I missed most of it because I was making supper... knowing they were enjoying it and thinking about how cozy it was made me enjoy it, ha!)
-Josiah chopped Noah's hair. Bethi and Emmi have cut their own hair when they were little... but Josiah decided to try it on someone else's. Noah came crying to Mama, holding his head and saying "cut! cut!"... she picked him up to look, and some of his little curls just fell into her hand. He was traumatized for almost an hour, and is still bothered if it's mentioned to him.
-Josiah twisted his first maple twist! It's a big deal in our family, haha. The first maple twist I remember helping with, I got tired of waiting for Mama, and cut circles out of the whole thing... I forgot that it's only one circle in the middle, and twists around that, haha. I was so little, but I remember it vividly, haha. That was the one and only time I got to eat the "middle" of the maple twist (because there were so many ;)...). Daddy always wants that piece... I don't know why, because they fall apart with nothing holding the three layers together...
-We went to spend the day with Granny, and a couple of our Aunts came by, too. We had a wonderful time... several priceless memories made that day <3!
-We took our annual shopping trip with all the little ones to let them pick out gifts at the dollar store... it's crazy keeping gifts hidden from each other with everyone there ;). And Peter... this lady was carrying a whole flat of singing snowmen around with her, and he loved them (he had already seen them elsewhere). She set the flat down, and, being Peter, he didn't realize they were actually hers, so he went over and picked one up, admired it, started to walk away... she was all kind and humorous, asking him, "Are you going to take my snowman???" I'm not sure he realizes even now why I made him put it down, hahaha!
-Andrew build his own working radio!!!
-Candy making, obviously. The candies take much less time then they used to... it used to take days. But with so many hands, one of the most time consuming parts is figuring out how to best give everybody a chance to help, haha!
-Gramma and Papa and Granny came over to help us celebrate Christmas Eve! Usually we leave all our present wrapping for Christmas Eve, but it's been more stressful than fun the past few years, so must of the gifts were wrapped the couple of days before, which worked really nicely! But Tori and I wrapped our presents together on Christmas Eve... and I forgot about this when I answered what my favorite activity to do at Christmas is in that tag the other day. Otherwise, this may have made the answer, because, wow, I love wrapping gifts with Tori. It's the best for so many reasons!!! We weren't done when Gramma got here, but once we were, she had us come bring in gifts from her car... er, rented trailer. Yeah. Hahahaha! It was priceless. It was a wonderful evening... and when they left, we ate supper and did our advent study, and then we had our annual Christmas Eve candy & movie night (which was missed one year due to wrapping gifts until all the little ones had been asleep for two hours... part of the reason we switched things up this year ;).), and Mama and I put all the presents under the tree, because Mama likes it to look just right when we come down in the morning, even though it doesn't last once we go to give out the gifts ;).
-We had a wonderful Christmas <3! I am hopeful (hopeful - not promising) to still get a detailed post about our Christmas out sometime after I get back online, so suffice it to say, it was a wonderful day <3.
-I decided to clean everything I own (including my pen cup) and caught up on correspondence instead of relaxing all day like I always plan... I just need to start planning on being busy all day and loving it, haha. I love how the end of the year motivates me to get things done, and having things done gives me the chance to get to things I always want to do and can't!
-We older four spent a few days with my Aunt Tessa (and some time with my Aunt Amber and her little guy, and Grandpa and Grandma :)!). We enjoyed lots of conversation and coffee and movies and a walk, and just enjoyed being together <3. We help Tessa finish her Christmas puzzle, and we saw a goat on the interstate on our way back home... that was weird. Haha!
-I caught up on correspondence... again ;). Haha! I love people who want to write me even when they think I won't be answering for weeks, but I shouldn't have checked my email... I had to empty out my inbox again before I vanished "for real" after I get this blog post done.
-New Year's Eve <3! We celebrated with our annual s'mores toast (which Noah hated because he got sticky...), and prayed in the new year <3. It has been a rough, stretching, growing year for us... but the Lord was faithful through it, and I'm thankful for those around me at this time. I am praying that this next year will bring some happier moments... but also hopeful to know that the Lord uses everything according to His plan, and what we have gone through has not been by chance.
-Abbi got a complicated lego set for Christmas that I'm now helping her with (no, it's not actually more complicated than other lego projects. yes, I avoid legos usually, hahaha). Send help and chocolate. But I'm enjoying myself despite knowing barely more about this than origami ;). And constantly being afraid we've lost pieces.
-All but two of the little ones on the Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree made it over the $1,000 wall by the time the campaign ended, and those two little ones were found by their families (along with six others)!!!! What a blessing to hear <3!!!
Josiah needs some healing creams on his little face due to being so dry and itchy, so he has to close his eyes while we apply them...
Josiah: "Can I open my eyes now?"
*peaks one eye open*
*closes it again*
"Actually, I want to sleep."
Josiah, signing Christmas cards...
Josiah: "Am I done?"
I look at the all the cards left on the table...
*resigned little voice* "Same thing?..."
He knows how to sign his name now ;)!
*I go to check the mail*
*Sees porch tree out of the corner of my eye*
WHO is standing on our porch staring at me?!?!?!? Oh.
Noah at every light we pass while driving now, even just car lights: "Oh, My!!!!!!"
It's sooooooo cute!!!! He got so into all the decorations <3!!!
Sister often: steals food off my plate.
Me once: steals M&m's from Tori's cup.
Sister: screams in horror and terror.
Maybe I shouldn't do that again...
Mama: "I hope you like your Christmas present. It's not fun or flashy."
Me: "Am *I* fun or flashy?"
"You are fun!
'...Well, I guess this is kind of fun in the way you are fun."
Y'ALL!!! It was like the perfect gift!!!
Andrew: "Bri, is it bad if chocolate falls on the floor if it's still in the wrapper?"
"Ummmm.... I mean, you shouldn't throw chocolate on the floor. But at least if it's in the wrapper, you can still eat it."
"Bethi thinks it's so bad. She said we shouldn't ever do that."
"Well, we should never waste chocolate!"
"That's what Bethi says. She is so obsessed with chocolate. She thinks it's SOOOO bad if anything happens to chocolate now. I'm getting tired of it."
And I haven't annoyed him the entirety of his life? Hahahaha! Don't touch these girls' chocolate.
Tori is his only hope. He told her about it, and she was like, "I like chocolate, but I don't care."
To which he gave a relieved little "Weesh!"
Bethi to someone who made a joke: "You are such a comadian."
I came home one night and everybody was trying to tell me at once that Josiah threw his chocolate kiss after supper and couldn't find it... until they spied it on the chandelier. Hahahah!
Tori opened the microwave to get out her hot chocolate, and then went throughout the entire house trying to find said hot chocolate, because she forgot to put it in the microwave before she turned it on ;).
Peter after getting a firefighter costume: "Maybe, if I put this toy down, then when people pass us they will think I am a REAL FIREMAN!"
-The Old Testament.
-About two chapters of "An Old-Fashioned Girl." Still.
This was going to be the year I read more again, y'all...
-Lots of budgeting, because I'm trying to decide if my prices are right... no surprise, I think they need some work, but, eh, it's always improving, so I'll get there...
-Lots of music lovers were (I hope) made happy at Christmas! (Also, one of these was my first orders from a previous item favorite, that was so fun!!!)
-It was generally a busy month in all respects! People enjoy giving handcrafted gifts, and so this is Etsy's "busy season". This busyness meant I didn't do a lot of "fun to share with y'all" things like add new product, because I was working on orders until right before Christmas, but it was fun for me to get some really neat custom orders and make up gifts for others to give, and raising money for the Reece's Rainbow campaign! This racer set is a new listing, though :)!
I almost used my license to pay instead of my card... I'm so observant and clever...
Me while designing Christmas cards: WHY CAN'T I DRAW ANYTHING TO SAVE MY LIFE WHEN I CAN DO THINGS LIKE THIS??!?!?! I mean, it's all just hand control, right?!??!! sigh...
Well, I scared one of the birds while we cleaned the cage and she flew into the hallway... I went to bring her back so she wouldn't hurt herself, and she let me pick her up (which was shocking), but then bite me and I loosened my hold... she then flew straight. into. the wall. I told y'all Misty was clumsy, haha! I'm so glad she was okay... Noah literally screamed and cried when he saw it happen, it was sad, he loves them so much <3.
I did all this cute word art on my dry erase board, and sent a picture really quick to a friend on my way to family bible time, and realized when I went back to my room for bed that there were two spelling mistakes that I hadn't noticed while I was trying to make the art side look nice, and my friend hadn't even pointed it out, so I'm guessing it was too late for anybody to be proofreading ;).
I practically destroyed a friend with my choice of words. Ah, well. I never mean anything mean, y'all. I just... don't think how things could be taken sometimes. I do apologize to all of you who have to deal with it. Especially to that one friend last year. I will never forgive myself for that one.
Me: I'm going to be so put-together this Christmas!
A month later: Never mind. Let's survive.
Like literally, one day I had a slice of cheese for breakfast because I couldn't take the time to stop working to eat. Although I did take the time to make a cup of coffee that day; several days I decided the time it would take to make coffee that I would eventually drink cold, because I never drink as much coffee while I'm crocheting as I think I do, was wasted. Haha... and I'm glad to be done with nights of 5 and 1/2 hours of sleep, haha.
Me: *puts lemon in water*
*forgets that fact*
It's only good if you expect it, y'all.
-That Christ did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but humbled himself, and came to earth as a baby, to die for us as a perfect sacrifice, holy unto God, without blemish, and perfectly willing, so that the hope of the resurrection might be ours for all eternity <3.
-A Christmas full of special memories and family activities, that we will look back on and cherish for years to come.
-Noah's love of Christmas lights. It made them even better than usual, it was soooo cute!
-Family read-alouds. I got some Christmas literature, even if I didn't get Christmas reading done ;).
-These blessings that this year has held... moments, even in the midst of trials, when the Lord showed himself faithful.
-The Lord's grace in leading us through this year and the ways He proved His faithfulness when our world was falling to pieces.
-For the people I hold dear who are gathered around me and a part of my life as this year draws to a close <3.
Happy New Year, dear readers <3. I hope the Lord brings you closer to Him in all that this coming year holds <3!!!