Sunday was the last of the year. Here's J11 in her special outfit that her sisters helped her coordinate so she could wear her Christmas boots to church. It was I3's last day in the nursery. Next week he joins primary--the regular children's organization at church. It was also M12 and S12's last day in their primary classes. Next week they will join Sunday School. Dad was home from work, so he was able to take the older 3 to the youth fireside at the Bishop's house. It was about the Middle East. One of the girls in the youth group just moved here this very year from Cairo, Egypt, so she had a lot to offer the discussion. I grilled my girls about what they learned because I was curious, but they were too focused on the social aspects of being together with the other youth to answer any of my questions.
Monday Dad and I ran some errands after my appointment with my midwife (I'm registered at the hospital and she says that barring some unusual circumstance, she'll be with me when I deliver), not the least of which was using our Christmas money from Grampa C to purchase 2 ceiling fans--one for over the kitchen table and one for the dining room. Dad got the first fan up that very afternoon, but as daylight waned, A7 helped him out by holding a flashlight for him.
Tuesday we had friends over, the S-- family. They are our neighbors from our old house. They attend public school, so we only see them when they are on vacation. Though I don't have pictures of our friends, the picture above of my kids playing one of our new Christmas games is perfectly representative of our visit--the kids played games and laughed all afternoon.
Wednesday was New Year's Eve, and I had plans to have a present an hour to open just the way we did last year. I'd scoped out all kinds of fun activities and had a great schedule worked out, but then budget realities hit (guess I spent too much at Christmas!). I had to let go of my plans and make do with what we had. But that was a blessing because I was too tired to organize and wrap a dozen boxes. The kids and I sat at breakfast together and worked out a schedule for the day.
Here's what we came up with:
9:00 am breakfast
9:30 am chores (there are always extra chores to do before celebrating)
10:15 am big girls make brownies/Mom plays games with little kids (we played Uno)
11:00 am do a walk-at-home video
12:00 pm lunch/clean up
1:00 pm make decorations and cut confetti
2:00 pm clean up craft messes and frost/decorate brownies
3:00 pm play games (we played Apples to Apples and New Year's Eve BINGO)
4:00 pm make dinner
5:00 pm dinner/scriptures/family prayers
6:00 pm do year-end inventory/see Dad off to work
7:00 pm clean kitchen/get ready for bed
7:30 pm kids start movie while Mom takes E14 to church dance
8:30 pm make popcorn
9:00 pm toast the New Year/eat snacks/toss confetti/tuck smaller kids in bed
late night--Mom and older girls play games while waiting for E14 to come home
|Making confetti out of colored tinsel left over from last year.|
|Punching holes so we can string up the flags to make banners.|
|Cutting out the flags.|
|Using left over birthday decorations that also became Christmas decorations as New Year's Eve decorations!|
|Stringing up the flag banners.|
|E14 entertained I3 all afternoon with this train track and town.|
|He loved it.|
|So did the other kids.|
|I think we vacuumed 6 times that day! The floor just always seemed to be dirty!|
|The banners were so pretty and festive. (They're still up)|
Our biggest laugh was when I3 saw this picture:
It was taken January 2014 when he was still little enough to want to do everything his sisters did. He LOVED that tutu. But 2014 was the year he figured out he was a boy and that boys do things differently from girls. When he saw the photo he exploded, "I'm wearing a DRESS?!?!?!?!?"
This little man got too tired to even finish the movie (Christmas in Connecticut) that the kids were watching, so as soon as I got home from dropping E14 off at the dance I tucked him into bed. I got the popcorn made just as the movie ended, and the other 5 kids and I toasted the New Year with sparkling cider in Dixie cups. We ate our yummy brownies, munched on popcorn, and decided we were too tired to dance and toss confetti. We opted to wait for the next day when E14 would be home and I3 awake to enjoy the activity with us.
I tucked in the little girls and joined M12, S12, and J10 for what turned out to be a 2 hour marathon game of Phase 10.
We were so tired and so glad when the game finally ended!
It was just minutes to midnight when we finished and E14 came home (the church leaders didn't want the youth out after midnight, so they rang in the New Year at 11:00 pm and were home before midnight). We watched the clocks click to 12:00 and then went gratefully to bed . . . after texting Dad a Happy New Year and telling him that we love him.
I'm so glad we spent $0 on the celebration. We had so much fun with what we already had on hand!
Thursday was lazy and slow.
We looked at more pictures--the kids loved going back to laugh at Mom and Dad in their pre-kid days when Dad had a goatee, and Mom did her hair cute every day. The kids asked us if we missed all of the traveling and adventures we used to have. My honest answer?
Nope. I was very happy then. I'm even happier now.
After I insisted that the computer be turned off, the older ones turned I3 into Harry Potter and had him chase a "snitch" around the house.
Then we broke out the dance music and confetti.
It took 2 hours of non-stop vacuuming that day plus additional vacuuming the next day to clean up.
But it was so worth it!
Friday I kept my promise to the kids to take them out to spend some of their Christmas gift money.
M12 got a lovely jewelry case; E14 bought some make up and fake nails; S12 and J11 are saving their money for special purchases; I'm saving I3's money for a date further away from Christmas to give him time to enjoy the presents he has now; A7 and H5 bought Spirograph sets.
They've played with them endlessly--worth every penny!
Saturday I woke up having contractions, but we needed to go grocery shopping, so Dad and I got that done while the big girls read library books and the little ones continued playing with their Spirographs.
We did another walk-at-home video, and I kept right on contracting . . . only to have them slow down when I got tired and sat down to read for a little while.
It would have the baby on G'ma's birthday. Instead we made a birthday "card" for G'ma that we sent to her via email.
|I had each kid dictate a birthday message to G'ma. I3's was "Merry Christmas!"|
|Opening the box|
|I3 got a "ninja guy." He's carried him around non-stop since Saturday.|
|A7 and H5 each got a homemade Christmas ornament.|
|Popping the bubbles that the presents were wrapped in was a lot of fun!|
It's been a happy vacation week.
The big question now is whether to start school again in the week ahead or just wait. Will I have the baby sooner or later? Monday would be a great day--there's nothing on the calendar, and Dad's off work. :)
But maybe Baby will keep us on tenterhooks, teasing us until closer to his actual due date.
We don't know.
I guess we'll plan to start school.
(But I'd like it better if Baby chose to arrive instead!)