Monday, December 22, 2008

Only Three Days Until Christmas!

Wow, the countdown continues during this most blessed time of year. My family and I had the most wonderful time this past weekend. We rode the Polar Express. Yup, it stopped by our house (Okay, really it's in Williams, Arizona). Mikey got on. You know what, he believes. Here's a photo of my family standing in front of the train. Mikey's jammies are under his coat. My robe is over my coat. Daddy wasn't willing to dress the part.

So, back to three days. How did that happen? Back to my beloved list!

Done this week:
1. Mail the cards (There's usually more than a 100)
Update last week: I need to buy stamps! Hmmm, should I do that this morning or write.
Update this week: Mailed more than 100. Then, discovered left off about ten. Did by hand. All mailed except for the ones who need Polar Express pictures. The pictures are made. I'm mailing them today on the way to taking Mikey to the sitter.
2. Mail gifts (This is no fun. You can't just drop the gifts in a bag and black marker a name. I'm usually running late on this)
Update this week: Done last Thursday. Cost 88.00. Memo to self, next year use Amazon. But, KMart was having such a great sale!
3. Critique group party (My amazing critique group - Cathy McDavid, Connie Flynn, and Libby Banks - usually has dinner at an Olive Garden. I found the perfect presents this year. I really must drop those presents in a gift bag soon.)
Update this week: Gathering was wonderful. I told my husband I'd be home at 7:30. I called him at 8:00, still at the restaurant.
4. Attend Mikey's pre-school Christmas presentation. --- wouldn't you know I have a 9:30 final and his program is at 11:10 a half hour away. I'm going to start my final, and another teacher's going to sub for me for the last 50 minutes. I can't miss his first Christmas program!
Update this week: Zoomed to the program. My son is a show-off. The moment I got there he started talking. "Mommy, can I sit by you?" "Mommy, can I have a cookie?" He didn't sing at all. And, he's the only one the teacher had to reprimand. "Mikey, sing." "Mikey, hold up your fingers." "Mikey, look at me." Boy, do I love that kid.

5. Finish grading finals at work, clean office, lock office door.
UPdate this week: Done grading, office not clean but it's never clean so no one will notice. Office door locked.
6. Urge husband to drive two hours to take whole family to the snow.
Update this week: There was snow in Williams where the Polar Express was. We drove up to Elkridge Ski Resort and tubed down a slope. Then, we stopped and made a snowman. I sacrificed my banana for the nose!

Done last week:
1. Write my Christmas letter (My favorite thing! God has truly blessed me)
It's written, my husband read it. He found two blaring errors (one I called my son a she; the other I had an extra I in there). I fixed them. Left the computer for awhile, came back, and printed 50 copies. Oh, while I went away my computer did updates so automatically turned itself off. I turned it back on. I didn't realize until after I printed 50 of the letters that the mistakes were no longer fixed. I started to just ink out the mistakes and send the letters on their merry way, but the perfectionist in me is insisting I print 50 new one. Oh, and during the update, all my revisions on the second half of chapter one (where I changed a 'she' viewpoint into a 'he' viewpoint)disappeared. (Hmmm, this could be why I referred to my son as a she.
2. Set up the tree (It's fake. I've never had a real one. Think cats.)
Tree is up, lights are on, ornaments are still in the shed.
---Ornaments are out of the shed and onto the tree. It looks great!
3. Make green bean casserole for RWA party (Somebody - think best friend Cathy McDavid - grabbed the chips and dip card before I did!)
Really should have used more than three cans.
4. Buy the book the Polar Express (We're actually going to ride it on the 19th)
Toys-R-Us didn't have it, but BookStar did. Not only that, but the manager took me over to the remainder table and I got the 19.95 book for 9.95, plus it came with a DVD, a casette, and a Xmas tree ornament. I read it to my three-year-old last night, and he listened to every word.
5. Attend church group party (There might be singing around the piano. What fun!)
Attended and have a killer cold. Instead of singing Christmas carols in my alto, I sang them in deep bass. I felt like the kiddie looking in the candy store window. I was there. I so wanted to sing my heart out, but my heart was in the middle of not one, not two, but three coughing spells. I hate being sick.
6. Take Mikey to get picture with Santa Clause (I'll probably do this at Sears.)
Did you know that Santa visits the Bass Pro Shop? I didn't, but my husband did. So, now we have Mikey's picture and there's even a stuffed deer in the background. We got there at 5:00 last night, and the next available time was 7:30. My husband huffed and puffed. We walked around their children's Winter Wonderland (Mikey picked out a truck and boat; husband picked out a new quad; Mommy wished she were at a bookstore) and the head elf came and got us and said someone hadn't showed up. So, we got our picture taken. Then, we went to eat. Then, we went to Walmart. Then, we went to Fry's Grocery store. Then, we went home. Daddy said Mikey needed to behave more; Mommy reminded husband that Mikey is three and that was a lot of errands.

7. Take Mikey to Chaz's birthday party.
A new train park! What a find. And, yes, we had fun.

Done two weeks ago:
1. Put the knick-knacks around the house (Memo to self: time to get rid of some)
I'm pretty sure there's a box of Christmas stuff still in the shed, but I don't think I'll mention that to hubby.
2. Clean house (We're having a kiddie party next Saturday for Mikey's Bible Hour class)
We had the kiddie party. It was great. And, boy was my house clean.
3. Call CWOW members who haven't responded to Christmas invite (CWOW stands for Christian Writers of the West. It's the local ACFW group. We're having our first Christmas party and a few members don't comprehend the meaning of RSVP)
I'm putting this in the done column because we had the party. I never did call the members - got busy. But, we had a great party. I made three new writer friends (that's the best Christmas present!). In the picture, you see Leslie, Lori, Kathleen, Sheri, and me!)
4. Make chips and dip for above party.
Not only did I make chips and dip, but I looked at the sign-up, in time, and realized I'd volunteered dessert. So, I stopped at Safeway and got cheesecake. Plus, I had all these vegetables and dip left from the kiddy party and took that, too.
5. Book a hotel near Williams, Arizona, for the 19th (I would have done this already but Don says we have to stay at a hotel where he can earn points. I don't know which hotel to book.)
Booked hotel. According to Triple A book should have been 40 a night. According to reservationist, we'll be paying 70 a night because of the Christmas season. Me, I'm thinking hotel never honors amount they put in Triple A book.
6. Make sure I have babysitters for all adult events.
Now, if they just don't cancel! --- they didn't cancel.
7. Urge husband to decorate outside.
Didn't need to urge him. He did it on his own. Plus, the next-door neighbor gave us a giant blow-up Santa after watching Don put up our giant blue-up snowmen.

Almost Done:
1. Buy gifts (I buy gifts all year round. About a week before Christmas, I unload the gift closet and I get out my Christmas list. I make little name cards and make a spot around the house for everyone. This is how I find out if I bought too much for one relative or not enough for another relative. My husband shops on Christmas Eve.)
Updated last week: I almost wish this was still on the not done list. See, our neighborhood K-Mart is closing, and I went there last week - twice!. I'm probably down to just four more presents to buy.
Updated this week: I have three left to buy. I'm not doing it. I'm adding the names to my husband's To-Do list. He hasn't even looked at it. He won't know I added to it.

Not Done:
1. Wrap gifts (hubby does paper - he even measures when he cuts! Me, I'm a big believer in decorated bags)
2. Still need to write five pages a day on Fugitive Hearts, due January 15th.
3. Settle back and enjoy the season.
4. Thank God every day for more than twenty-five blessings.

Hey, notice how there are 3 days until Christmas, and I only have 4 things left to do! And two of them, I've really been donig every single day so maybe I should move them to the done list. Now that's a blessing.


EllenToo said...

Pamela about all I can say is----
"reading your list made me tired! I just don't know how mothers survive."

PamelaTracy said...

Look at the smile on my son's face. Oh, my, Christmas is so much more meaningful when seen through the heart of a child.

EllenToo said...

I certainly agree with you about seen through the eyes and heart of a child. Although I have no children I do have nieces and a nephew and I have been around them at Christmas.

Margaret Daley said...

Love the pictures, Pamela.