Things are going crazy in Florin! I'm not even remotely ready for Christmas and I'm to the point of not even caring. My goal is to be completely ready by Thanksgiving next year. It's sad that I don't feel the Christmas spirit.... and I don't want to have another season like this. If I'm ready early, I can sit back and relax and get excited with my children and serve others more.
Of course, some of my stress might be the fact that Max is still gone 4 weeks a month. This schedule has been hard on all of us. He hates not being home and we miss him so much. It's especially hard trying to keep up with the house and get the Christmas baking done and all the shopping finished by myself.
That will probably change soon. His contract in Montana, the one that keeps him out of town week after week, has most likely ended. It's not supposed to, and he was jilted by an unscrupulous CEO... but I'm not going to go into that. We'll miss the income that contract created, but its ending comes at an opportune time: One of Max's local employees has decided to move, so she can end her employment with us without being laid off, which is what would have happened. Also, Max has decided that he wants to take his business in a different direction and he couldn't do that while he was travelling and working in MT so much. He still has one contract, that is less demanding, that he can work on at home. Plus, this gives him more time to get out and drum up business in areas, hopefully closer to home.
So, it's good news and bad news. We're looking at the positive side and are very excited to have Dad home all the time. We've lived this schedule for over a year, but I don't think it will take very long to adjust back! :)
Onto more positive things:
Tonight I was driving with Inigo. He said, "Even though I'm not famous, I'm still special! Especially to Heavenly Father. We're all famous to Heavenly Father."
Seriously, this kid amazes me. I learn so much from him. This kid who, when I said it was time to go to Tithing Settlement, ran to his piggy bank to get money out. "Inigo," I said, "you have paid all your tithing. You don't owe any more!"
"I know, Mom," was his reply "I just want to pay to help build temples!" So he took 4 quarters out of his piggy bank and filled out the tithing/fast offering slip and put $1.00 in the space next to Temples and gave it to the bishop.
We had the opportunity last weekend to be groupies for Buttercup's choir. Each year they are invited to sing on Temple Square, at the Joseph Smith Memorial Bldg., and the Church Office Bldg. She is so lucky to belong to such a great choir! Her choir director works perfectly with the kids and they sound amazing! As a matter of fact, he secrectly recorded them and submitted it for a state competition and they were accepted! She gets to go to the state capital in March and compete against other high school choirs. She is so excited about that! It's a great way to end her senior year and her choir career.
Buttercup's director always tries to take them to a special production while they are in SLC. Last year they went to Kurt Bestor's Christmas concert. This year he had each kid in the choir request tickets to the Tabernacle Choir's Christmas Concert hoping they'd get enough tickets and he could take them to that. Unfortunately, that didn't work out for them. Instead he took them to see a stage production of The Christmas Carol. (Buttercup loved it!)
Lucky for us, Buttercup's request for tickets to the concert was granted and we got 4 tickets for Friday night. She was at the play and couldn't go, so we thought we'd take Inigo and Red. But Red was wiser than we were and realized that Inigo wasn't ready to sit still for that long. She volunteered to earn her angel's wings and took him to Chucky Cheeses and let Max and I have a nice night out alone. (Not only did Red earn her wings, but she earned a spare pair as well as a halo!!)
The concert was magnificent. Natalie Cole and David McCulough were the guests this year. Natalie sang an arrangement of O Come All Ye Faithful that first had me in tears and then on my feet. It was beautiful! And of course the Choir was superb. I had to keep closing my eyes to soak in the beautiful sounds that surrounded me. I have only been in the presence of MoTab once before in my life... a year before Inigo was born... and it took my breath away then as well as now.
Thanks to Buttercup who took the time to write and request tickets! I think I'll put her on ticket duty next year so we can go again! It seems she has the 'special touch'. I know that other kids in the choir who requested didn't get them. We were very blessed!
My camera is full of pictures but my hard drive is full too, so I can't download them. As soon as Max gets home and can work on things, I will download images from the past couple weeks.
This week I'm most looking forward to my craft group's Christmas party. Our group's name is SOS, which is highly appropriate. (Actually, no one really knows what it means. I just know that once a month I get a night out and have 'girl time.') Our Christmas party is not about making crafts, which is what we usually do. It's about eating great food, chatting, laughing and exchanging gifts. It's so relaxing! So, Thorkgal, get ready! I'll probably be there early (especially if I ride with Bossy Lady) and I plan on parking myself in a comfortable spot and not moving until you kick me out!!