16 December 2008

Oh, I'm Sorry But...

Christmas and blogging do not mix.

OMG! I cannot believe the madness that is my life right now! There's biscotti to make, Christmas programs to attend, Christmas pageants to rehearse (two separate events, mind you), angel dresses to come up with, Santa sale money to scrape together so my kids can buy cheap goods for everyone again this year, wreaths to make, rooms to clean, meals to plan, clutter to clear (we are hosting this year), and lots of presents to buy.

It's not that we go hog wild with gifts, but come on, with five kids, well, do the math. We are about half way through the shopping thing...with ideas and plans for most of the second half. Of course, it always turns wild at the last minute, but I guess I'll just have to figure out a way to ride through it with a smile on my face.

I'm thinking wine.

My oldest, usually an absolute BEAST to his siblings, came up with a beautiful idea tonight. After a particularly ugly ride home from school, and lots of yelling from mama, I had just about decided that my children are downright evil to each other, brutes, demons, just plain mean people.

Sam came to me:

"Mom, you know how everyone isn't being nice to each other? Well we should make a cradle for Jesus, and then we all pick names in secret for each other, and each time you do something nice for the person you picked, you put a piece of straw in the cradle for Jesus, and the more nice stuff we do, the better bed we will make for Jesus. But you don't tell anyone whose name you have, you just do nice things in secret and then add straw to the bed."

Ya coulda knocked me over with one of those pieces of straw.

So anyway, that's what we're doing tonight!

This comes right on the heels of me driving home amidst the meanness and nastiness and thinking for the umpteenth time How do we make this season about Christ and not about getting STUFF? How do we change this into something beautiful, something with a gravitas beyond consumption and consumerism? How, HOW HOW?

Samuel taught me how. So as soon as they finish watching The Polar Express, we'll be making that cradle.

There is hope!

10 December 2008

A Kid's Eye View of Chaos

Today, we got out of the house and on our way to school in spectacular fashion. Last night, we set aside ALL of the school clothes, down to socks for everyone. This may sound super basic, but it's just not something I'm very good at doing. Hence, the usual morning routine includes an incredible scramble for school clothes, tossing clean laundry around in a tizzy, hunting down socks, and generally cursing my complete failure as a laundress.

This morning: total bliss. No scramble. No chaos. No mayhem. It was lovely.

On the drive to school, I mentioned that I was so happy that we didn't have the usual stress of trying to find socks and shirts and such. My son offered an alternate view:

"I like all the chaos. Cuz when we have the chaos, we're late for school!"

08 December 2008

My New Entreprenurial Endeavor

Find a way to bottle this:

If I could bottle that emotion, I could single handedly bring down the Happy Pills industry. I could become an international hero for figuring out how to bring pure, unadulterated joy to millions. I could end the age old pursuit of Happiness.

I guess I'll just have to settle for being witness to such joy instead. Which is pretty awesome itself.

07 December 2008

High Art

I'll talk anyone's ear off about my second born's artistic ability. He is truly amazing, and not a day goes by that he doesn't churn out some real gems. He does, I think, see the world with an artist's eye, noticing shapes, colors, relationships, spaces. When he draws, he fills the page, including amazing detail. I've posted at least one of his creations on this blog, of course.

On Thanksgiving Day, my sister and I took all the kids to Grand Lake to run off some steam before having to be inside for a long meal. Vincenzo wanted to bring his sketch book, which made me so happy. It made me happy to see him so into drawing that he didn't want to leave the house without a sketch book and some pens.

He sat under a tree drawing for awhile. I recorded it for posterity:

I took a few photos, and later that evening, while looking at the pictures and getting all misty eyed at just how great my kids are, I noticed another picture of Vincenzo Van Gogh; in this one, you can see his subject. A butt.

So it might be hard to see here, but it's plain as day in my picture viewer; if you'd like to treat yourself to a closer view, click on the photo.

Leave it to an 8-year old boy to bring butts into the cultured world of art. Maybe someday he'll render a Picasso-like version, with sideways buttocks and shifting panels of color.

So much for High Art.

03 December 2008

Mothers of Daughters

Wow, it's been awhile since I've managed to post anything. And tonight is no different. But I DO have something you must watch, especially if you have daughters. Click here to visit my friend Nicole's blog and to watch a compelling video clip.

A must see.