Holiday Rambles

It’s that odd week of the year where everyone is in vacation mode. Children are off school, there’s traveling to see family, Christmas get togethers still going on, New Year’s parties in the planning, reflections on 2022, and aspirations for 2023. There’s so much effort put into all of the goings-on that, ironically, it makes one busy trying to relax! 

We traveled to Daviess Co IN. to visit Jerald’s folks for Christmas weekend.  We got in on an enchanting snow fall Monday morning. The children had make shift sled rides with their cousin, via a snow shovel, for lack of sleds.

Christmas Lunch with Jerald’s family.  We missed Kaylene, who is serving at a small mission in western Ukraine.

Monday evening we enjoyed a supper with Jerald’s Schrock cousins and Uncles/Aunts. Many of his cousins are married with young families which contributes to noisy and interesting gatherings. But honestly, the big cousins emit a fair share of raucous sounds too!

Schrock’s Christmas supper at Eagle Crest Lodge

Many discussions and calories later, we returned to our favorite home Tuesday evening. It is good for one’s soul to reconnect with family and old friends but ahh, it is very good for this soul to unpack suitcases, stow the leftovers, and begin the humble job of laundry. East or West home is Best!

I dreamed of sleeping in, leisure breakfasts and relaxed time at home for a few days before the school schedule resumes next week. I also dreamed Jerald might even find time to paint the bathroom. But he’s not in vacation mode like I am. Yet another dream is that I can gather up buckets of patience and bake the traditional cutout cookies with my children. Reality is; a head cold with a stuffed nose, zero energy, and little sleep. You can’t sleep in when you can’t sleep so there goes that dream. My plugged nose is a contributing factor but I’ve also got a history of insomnia, which is why I roam the house at all hours of the night. At 3 AM I heated a pan of water and dropped in Breathe and Eucalyptus essential oils. Draping a towel over me, I propped my elbows and steamed my head. I felt like a hoodlum. My nose remained plugged. Next time I’ll steam the cabbage head instead of mine.

As for the cookies, we attempted those this afternoon. I tried a new recipe using a gluten free flour mix. (Read the whole post and you will understand why gluten free) They were more sticky and tricky to work with but I had no time limit and decided to not care what they looked like. I had Josie and Reece take turns with the cutters. When we were ready to decorate the cookies, I frosted them and let the children each decorate as they pleased. Putting them on cookie sheets catch alot of sprinkles, by the way! Now we have cookies in the freezer, we made memories and Mom stayed much more calm than sometimes, thank God. Yay for one dream accomplished!

Holidays are good in moderation, but I am not too sad about having them over for another year.  Let’s get the fridge emptied of chocolates and snacky foods and bring on the veggies. Its fun to eat all the cookies and candies and not worry about it. But there comes a time when worry creeps in right behind the consequences of unhealthy eating and I’m just sick of it. Armed with a large helping of fresh courage, I’m ready to embrace strong discipline and healthy eating once again!

I also despise the shopping craze to be endured whenever you make a run to town in December. I wish people knew that gifts/ things do not equal lasting happiness. In fact,  piles of stuff often leads to overwhelming clutter and depression.  I wish people focused on Jesus being the real reason for Christmas. Not Santa, trees, and gifts. Most of all I wish more people knew the peace of Jesus and sins forgiven.

This year instead of giving gifts, Jerald’s family decided to give money to help a need in Ukraine. Its a good feeling to know we can help out a little and another good thing was, we had less things to bring back home than usual!

My heart also goes out to those who have lost loved ones this year and are missing them this season. It doesn’t seem fair that others can go on with their usual festivities while they huddle in grief. It appears people try hard to make everything feel perfect for the Christmas season with extravagant decorating, sparkly lights, gifts, and food. But things are not perfect. There’s still hurting and grieving people around us. Only Jesus can bring perfect peace and comfort to those in distress. But since we are the hands and feet of Jesus, be Jesus to someone today by showing compassion and love! ❤️

How many others have  fresh courage to lose weight in a fresh new year? I have been off  my usual diet plan for about 6 weeks. I can tell I’ve gained weight and I’m so ready to get back on track. My walking has also fell in the ditch these past weeks. But my hubby inspired me with his health related New Years goals; He said he’s going completely gluten free and walking 1 mile a day. I smirked a little, but he claims he can do whatever he decides to do!! Perhaps I should have laughed loud and long so he doesn’t lose his willpower in the heat of Summer. 

Last year we had a goal to implement thanksgiving into our daily lives in a tangible way.  Each evening before prayer at our Supper table, we take turns saying something we’re grateful for. It has become a good habit we plan to continue. We endeavor taking turns but there’s often a 3 year old chiming his thanks in a loud voice regardless if another is already speaking. His willing spirit blesses me, but still we must teach politeness.  Some days thanks comes harder than others and I may say “I’m thankful for water”.  The children too, began relying on things within eye sight if their thankful list was waning . Then we’d hear things like “potatoes” “chicken” or some other food on the table.  So we made a rule that you can’t mention anything that’s on the table. We’ve got so much to be thankful for, surely we can be more creative!

I bought a larger planner for 2023 than what I normally use. I’ve already transferred events/ notes and filled it in as much as possible.  I’m super excited to use it for several reasons;  1) It’s new and has a pretty cover. (I don’t care if that’s a lame reason, it’s true.)  2) It has much more space for jotting tasks. I want to write in those daily little jobs that I normally didn’t write down, such as, make bed, wash breakfast dishes, sweep floor, walk, etc.  In this way,  I hope it helps me realize I get more done than what it sometimes looked like judging by my planner in the past.  I find it so irritating to be working all morning then I look to see what I  can cross off and lo behold! I haven’t even begun the day’s project!  3) It has a ‘priorities’ section for every week.  Hopefully that will help me be OK with it if I don’t get much more accomplished than the most necessary things for that week.  4) It has enough space I can easily jot down the day’s menu. (Not that this always got done in the past. My other planner actually had a designated spot for the menu.) But I’ve already made notes in my planner for the next several months, reminding me to plan the next month’s menu! I wish I was more diligent in abiding by menus. I fall off track so many times, but I always feel virtuous if I put proper, thought out meals on the table, rather than last minute scrambles.

If you’ve never used a planner I would highly encourage you to try one out. You can buy a cheapie at the dollar store if your afraid of wasting money. Not only will it save you brain space by keeping your events and appointments in place, it’s also valuable to have a place for brain dumping. Any ideas you want to implement or projects you’d like to accomplish or even a recipe to try; write it down. You are much more likely to get it done if you write it down!

A Happy, Healthy New Year to you and yours! 

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