Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Five Week Story

Hello Y'all! I may have to reintroduce myself after all these weeks of not blogging, so I've prepared an extra long blog post in explanation of my absence.

I hope that you all survived that 16 degree weather that we were having up here in Washington. This Washingtonian girl, who is not used to such frigid cold, has sure been enjoying it. I ended up having to declare some "on the couch school days"...we huddled up in blankets, cupping mugs of steaming tea, and working on homework. 

First and foremost on the Spafford household agenda has been keeping up with those piles of home work. This year, we've been focusing on a study of the Civil War and are going through some history channel movies. Though, with the business of life, some of the extracurricular activities, like home-ech and spelling B's, have gotten neglected. 

Then there was that weekend when these three little Gents came over for an overnight babysitting. We had a grand old time and it reminded us all of what it was like to have three very young, very lively ones around again.

It was a privilege getting a whole day to play with little guys again. 

Ah yes, I can explain this picture...I mean, what other kind of entertainment would you expect three boys to find in the company of seven girls?

Each of the boys have quite the personalities and an equal amount of energy. But they are such a joy to take care of and left us in stitches many times!

We were all disappointed when we had to hand them over to their parents on the following day...

And then of course there was that before-thanksgiving decoration rush, when the house was abuzz with flying hands and arms, and decorations going all about (we even got mistletoe this year *grins*)

It is at this time of the month, and this time only when Christmas music is allowed to be played before Thanksgiving is over...I mean, you can't properly have Christmas decorating without Christmas music.

And it's that time of year when the house becomes decked with all those lovely little decorations that you've been storing in your cellar for the past year...the door is constantly ringing with package deliveries (which only succeeds in irritating my curiosity), the closet is jam full of boxes, and no one is allowed in there. Finally, the boxes are wrapped and get carried down by the armload. 

This year, we had the addition of Chris and Caleb (a church friend),  into the holiday rush, getting the decorating done in double the time...When all had been done, the last touch has been added to the holiday garlands, and the last stocking has been hung from the balcony, we sat back to enjoy the fruits of our labor. 

Then there's Christmas baking whose only purpose is to add unnecessary weight to our waists. 

Traditions must be strictly followed, like the annual watching of "It's a Wonderful Life", and the traditional list of Christmas goodies to be baked, along with the handing out of Christmas goodies to our neighbors.
 The kids are practicing for their upcoming recitals; But most of all, we all are reminded of the birth of a precious Child, who was born to save us, and is coming back again someday!

Ah, and I must not forget this little project; our little extra, school time project that the students and their teachers put together.

Course, there's the Thanksgiving stay at Grandma and Grandpa's that is always a big highlight for all of us...Yes, they are actually brave enough to house 11 people in their one story home.

We always have a blast lining their rooms with sleeping bags, crowding out their two bathrooms, filling every square inch with suitcases, and any other left over space with ourselves :)

The weather there was quite different in Redding from what we had been having up here in Washington and allowed for some early-morning-on-the-porch devotions.

Come Thanksgiving, Grandma's kitchen didn't hold a square inch of space...counters were filled, floor space was occupied, the oven was in constant use...ah yes, it not only smelled like Thanksgiving, but it looks like it too!

As dinner was cooking, we all went for a Pre-Thanksgiving walk to help work off the turkey and mashed potatoes before they even hit our hips.

This little "tomboy" riding on BF's back came up with the brilliant idea of not wearing socks with her shoes...two blisters later, she ended up with a free back ride (I'm trying that tactic next time!)

It was a first time for getting to meet our Cousin's little boy, Graham...absolutely adorable little fellow, with eyelashes that would be the envy of any girl :) 

And seeing our other Cousin's new addition, Mackenzie Dakota...a perfect little baby girl; 
Her brother is an absolute cutie, with a smile that never leaves his face.

Also, a highlight for me was getting to ride in this adorable Model A... I could only imagine what history must be behind it.

This guy here got some fun relaxin' time doin' what he likes best...

God has given us exceedingly abundant things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving...Family, freedom, wonderful times together, and most of all, the gift of Salvation through His Son.

Then, it was back into the old luxury van again for a comfortable ride home, in close fellowship with one another (and no, there was no note of sarcasm in my voice :) It is at this time that we can finally start up with the Christmas music again.

When we arrived back home again, it was time to prepare for a Christmas bizarre. Charae, Leisel, and I were able to participate in the bizarre that HP was putting on; which, though not altogether successful, was thoroughly enjoyable. I love those festive events that kind of put you in the Christmas mood.

Of course, we don't get the tree up till after we get back from Thanksgiving...then it's time to gather round the living room and decorate it together.

The process gets faster each year...but there's always a lot of extra laughing and joking that goes on in the meantime :)

As the house took on a cozier atmosphere, we knew it was time to start having company over. With the weather being as foreboding as it was, some hot soup and bread sounded like the perfect meal...followed by some holiday treats.

The fellowship was sweet, the house was warm, the times were special...the perfect recipe for a wonderful evening.

But why, you may ask, when all seemed so pleasant and cozy inside, would we dare to test the freezing 16 degree temperatures outside for what some called "a pleasant walk"? It all started rather pleasantly, as you're all warm and cuddled up in layers of cloth...but slowly, the cold begins to creep through, layer by layer, till it has reached your very skin and you are shaking with goosebumps... Half way through, it has found its way to your bones as well; your body has reached the point of full numbness and you can barely move one leg in front of the other. Limply, you make it to the end of your pleasant walk.

When we had fully warmed ourselves again with both hearth, heat, and cider, we were ready for some Christmas carol singing. 

The singing was followed by some majorly competitive games of "four on a couch" began with teams of hats vs. hat-less, and ended with a round of girls vs. guys. Though I am not one to brag, the gals did humbly gain the final victory, with very little amounts of cheating going on in between...and the men bore the inevitable with credible cheer :)

Here are pictures from the games of wall-sits...

And now that brings me to these last few days... we have been caring for our dad, who's been down with a giant man cold.  And like dominoes, we have all eventually fallen prey to this virus. 

So ends the account and happenings of these last five weeks...written with the greatest care by the hand of Lynnae Spafford, (while in the process of fighting off her own man-cold). I wish you all a very Happy Christmas, and may we always remember the true meaning of why we celebrate this wonderful time of the year.
May God richly bless you!!!
P.S. I already have my first New Year's resolution: Be a more faithful blogger *grins*