Sunday, December 4, 2011

Not just getting through but enjoying a bit again

A few things that brightened my week:

I like the new Mass translation fairly well. I especially like that it puts all the old-timers, the newer converts, and the children all at the same level again - everyone is searching their missalettes for the right new wording so they don't look out of place. I used to hate when it seemed like "everyone" knew just what to do and when I was always out of step. Now we all have to learn together again the fine tuned formal language of the new English translations. Thanks to Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict. It was a long time coming.

Grateful that my friend Lori brought her dog to get a coffee with me and walk around the block. I needed the fresh air and the distraction. The kids were at their TKA Enrichment class so it was all good.

The kids are still enjoying their singing lessons at Cantabile Youth Choir. Their end of year show is next week and they are excited to have their performance uniforms ready to go, down to the socks & shoes.

Grandma Ann over for dinner on Friday and hanging out with the kids. I made her salmon, broccoli, and brown rice which she said she liked. Sweetpea was really good at about sitting with her to make sure she would not try to stand up while I was in the kitchen or tending the baby. Glad Coach was here on Friday to help me unload her from the car into the wheelchair, and then into the living room recliner. She choked on a piece of broccoli and I was getting ready to Heimlich her and have Sweetpea dial 911 when she finally was able to cough it up. Scary moment. She's been having more of those recently. She enjoyed her icecream for dessert though. Grandma Ann said she was glad that she had moved her sewing machines out to California because she couldn't get anyone to take them so she is giving them to Sweetpea - which is perfect - since Sweetpea has been telling me she wants to learn how to sew. She's got Grandma's lucky & talented machines to help her now. The boys didn't interact too much with Grandma on Friday afternoon, unless you count running through the living room repeatedly with Lego fighter planes whizzing by.

Bill, the children, and I spent a great Saturday afternoon at their old school, the Waldorf School of the Peninsula's Annual Holiday Faire. The weather was gorgeous, the activities delightfully old-fashioned, gingerbread decorating, wreath making, live music, Father Christmas walking around hanging out gold coins, hot cider, a health lunch for sale, and ran into some old classmates and teachers and parents from when the kids went to preschool there up until 2 years ago. Sweetpea went for 1 year, Toto for 2 years, and Gordo for 1 year too. I hope that by the time Baby M gets old enough we'll be able to send him for a year or two also. It sets such a lovely tone to the home when the rhythym of the school day is so calming and nurturing. If I could find a Catholic homeschool co-op that was Waldorfy-inspired I'd sign the kids up in a heartbeat. The methodology and community building and inclusiveness that they inspire and create is seen nowhere else. I wish I could create that same feeling without their religion in it. Using Catholic ideas presented in a different media. Like an artist might use stone, wood, or paint. It would be amazing to prepare for Feast Days by needle felting images of Mary and Joseph and Jesus and baking bread for the children's baskets for their voyages through bible history. There's a curriculum in my head in there somewhere, I just don't think I'll manage to pull it all together until my kids are grown and out of the house. :( 

After lunch and crawling through the Gnome Winterland Cookie Adventure, the boys sat down for the serious work of decorating their gingerbread men cookies. Then they took a break on the playground with Dad, while Sweetpea and I made a beautiful wreath for the front door. 

After the kids got home from the Faire we ordered them pizza and one of the teen graduates from our homeschool group came over to babysit for us while Bill and I went to go see Maureen's newish husband play with the Nova Vista Symphony at the Church of the Ascension in Saratoga. The Church was kind of weird, very round and modern, no real altar or communion rail, and a risen Jesus on the cross which I thought was odd since it's supposed to be a crucifixion. I never did find where they hid the tabernacle - must have been behind the altar/stage. Maureen's husband Derek looked great in his tuxedo and is now the Prinicpal percussionist for this local volunteer symphony. They were joined by another local, volunteer group the San Jose Choir which did a wonderful job with the singing. I had seen another one of his performances last year and was really amazed with the level of performance for "amateurs." They certainly take their music and their preparation very seriously. I will have to get out to see them more often to support a nice non profit local symphony without big corporate sponsors.

Today, we got Grandma Ann rolling with us again to go see the Christmas Creche exhibit sponsored by the Mormon Church in Palo Alto. There were over 450 creches on display, representing countries all around the world. It was neat to see how the creche so aptly portrayed the culture and time it was made in. The artists used many different media: stone, marble, glass, ceramic, wood, metal, pottery, shells, river rock, driftwood, Legos, fimo modeling clay, yarn, stained glass, even a life size one you walked through and became part of the scene of. There was live Christmas music playing throughout too. It was nice to see that their promotional materials gave proper credit to St. Francis for developing the tradition of having a family creche. And also that they had a lot of traditional representations of Mary in art as well, including a Virgin of Guadalupe from Mexico. Which they just labeled "Mary" so I'm not sure if they exactly knew what they had there. Beautiful piece. I loved the Russian nesting dolls, the rounded figures of the Peruvian style, and the driftwood the best. Grandma Ann was especially delighted to see that there were several creches designed by artists from Tennessee.

Since we already have 5 sets, the kids think this is a good thing to start collecting. They make the perfect souvenir. In the Children's Room they had a craft table set up and a dress-up area where we staged our own family living creche, with our little baby partially stripped down and wrapped in swaddling clothes like Jesus. 
He kept looking up because he was mesmerized by the lights hanging from the ceiling like stars. Gordo of course had to be St. Joseph, since that was his Saint's Day costume, so Toto was a Shepherd. We wrapped Sweetpea in blue for a sweet smiling Mary, and Baby M filled in for Jesus. I didn't think of it till later but we should have rolled Grandma Ann into the picture since Jesus had a Grandma Ann, too!

We then dropped off Grandma Ann, and we drove Bill to the airport so he could catch his flight for this week's business trip. It's always hard when Dad's gone. But he should be back in time for the kids Cantabile Choir concert on Thursday so they are happy about that.

Afterwards, I braved going to the RP Homeschooling Group Cabana Christmas Potluck Party with all 4 kids alone. I survived, and I actually had some fun despite having to break up some fights between the boys and having a tired, cranky baby on my hands. Sweetpea and I especially enjoyed playing Catholic Jeopardy. She knew the format from having watched it on TV while she stayed at my Mom's for 10 days while we got the house ready for Grandma Ann. There's an on line version that she might enjoy. Once they're allowed screentime again. After all the bad behaviour caused by screen time lately, I am SO over wanting to get an ipad this year. Maybe next spring.

I got home safely with all 4 kids tucked into bed. Realized we had left the front door unlocked all day. Need to be more careful. Always unsettling when Bill's out of town. I don't know what I'd expect him to do, but knowing he's here, I feel more safe.

So tomorrow we start the new afternoon homeschool schedule the kids wanted to try. Which means I give up my afternoon quiet time/nap, but I get my mornings back to run errands, go shopping, and to the doctor and just get the house back in order for the day. We'll see how it goes. Our homeschooling is always a work in progress. As we all are. But at least this weekend ends with me more peaceful about the whole prospect and not frantically researching public school in our area or boarding schools who will accept 6 year olds! 

Bill is happy that I'm happier again, and it also helps that he keeps telling me I'm a good wife. I used to feel like a good wife and mother by being able to pull off and create things that looked like this:
While also weighing 40 lbs less and dressing a lot more feminine and less like a sherpa. But hopefully one day those days will come again. I just hope I'm young enough to still enjoy them and remember them. I baked and cut out this sugar cookie nativity creche and then handpainted Mary and Joseph, the 3 Wise Men bearing gifts, the star and the animals. I used coconut for the sheep's fur, and crushed whole shredded wheat cereal for the hay in the stable. Clearly, even 3 years ago, with one kid less, I had a lot more free time on my hands. 

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe you did all that and made it to the party! We hope to go to the nativity display tomorrow. Life does just get more complicated as we get older. I have several projects ready to go... In my head. If only I could figure out how to actually do them.


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