Saturday, December 24, 2005


Merry Christmas, she says with a sign. A long, exhausted sigh.

The morning began with 2 hours of dishes, as I whined about this morning. We waited for Bart and he got here so we could start at about 11:30. It only took us about 2 hours, which is really unusual for us. Typically it takes at least 3. Everyone is getting older, though, so that makes a difference.

We have carried on a few traditions from my family of origin. We open presents, one by one, starting with the youngest, and going to the oldest. Growing up there were five of us and it took a while. With 11 or 12 it takes a LONG while. But it’s fun to see what everyone is getting.

We also have the tradition that we started several years ago of naming our kids after reindeer. The first year we did it I think we had 8 reindeer. Since MIke wasn’t home, the 9 worked out fine this year. Next year I hope we have the problem of having to invent a reindeer name.

The gifts have only reindeer names on them so that nobody knows whose gift is whose. This keeps them from doing too much shaking and poking and prodding. When it is time to begin, we each have a paper or plastic sack to put gifts in after they are wrapped (also a tradition from my childhood). We start by having the newest reader read the Christmas story. However, today since everyone had already worked themselves into quite the frenzy by noon, I read it because I knew it would go fast. Then Bart prays. Then I announce which reindeer was which.

Here are the big surprise gifts that everyone got this year:

Kyle got the computer printer he decided not to ask for because he really wanted other stuff, so he got the other stuff and the printer.

Rand got a note saying his letter jacket he’s been “saving for” was ordered by us.

John and and Salinda got a note saying they have an appointment for contacts for this week, something they’ve long begged for.

Jimmy is getting his bike repair paid for, even though he is supposed to pay for it.

Ricardo got to open the family’s new 27“ TV...

Sadie got permission to wear earrings.

Tony got wrestling shoes.

and Dominyk got a very cool computer game.

Mike will find out tomorrow what he gets.

I think everyone was fairly pleased with their Christmas. However, poor Dominyk held it together perfectly all morning and most of the afternoon. He was thrilled with each gift and VERY grateful for everything he got. He sat still, which is hard for him, and made it through the gift wrapping without getting too distracted or bored. But by 6 things started to fall apart. We couldn’t get his rock tumbler to shut tightly and it started to leak. He got his video game stuck in the drive of the Imac that has a broken drive. And when I announced it was time to change clothes and get ready for church he just lost it. I really thought he was going to break a blood vessel in his face it was so read as he screamed and stomped and cussed and yelled and then sobbed again and again ”but I don’t WANT to go to church.“

Such a shame that our children get so spoiled by all the material goods that celebrating Jesus’ birthday means so little.

Church tonight was great, except that I messed up the sound on the multimedia presentation for one of the baptisms. Murphy’s law totally applies to technology in church -- the more people that are there, the less professional the sound/multimedia/video is. I have near perfect Sundays often when there are 30 or 40 people in attendance. It’s the 150+ weeks that I always mess it up.

There is another service at 11 that Dominyk and I will not be attending. He’s just had way too much stimulation today and his ADHD/OCD self is plumb at the end of his ability to function.

Tomorrow we have two more services and then we’re off to visit Mike.

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