February 09, 2015

Getting Back To Basics

Right before the New Year, I had a long talk with myself about this here blog (that often gets very neglected).  I tried to set goals about how often I would write here.  Those thoughts were lofty and then somehow I settled on a goal that just said, "Write some".  Perhaps I should take some goal setting classes, no?

Lately, though, I've been reading through my early posts with my kids.  (Holy cow, I've been taking up space on this corner of the Internet from almost 6 years now.)  One of them will crawl up on my lap and we'll read their silly little stories of things they did and look at their little pictures and we are all filled with joy as we read their hilarious antics.  And sometimes I read them the hard stuff and we talk about how we've worked through things together and we use it as a conversation starter about how far we've come as a family.  

Then somewhere along the way, I felt like things I said here needed to be profound.  Profound I am not.  What used to be a way to chronicle our lives, became a space in which I needed to insert my two cents about everything and then I would obsessively worry about how things were received and readership and stats and all those other things that help derail a gal from her original intentions.  So for the last several weeks, I've been thinking about more chronicling of our everyday lives.  Nothing profound.  People won't read it.  No one will share it.  And I'm okay with that.  Because I've realized something in finally sharing all of this with my kids... they are my audience.  If together we can look back on my words in 20, 30, 40 years and laugh about how Noah called his manhood "your highness" or how Miles had a blowout in a taxi in Kinshasa which caused me to get nekkid in front of strangers, or how Sadie wore a button with a cervix on it to kindergarten or the look that Scarlett had for Miles when they first met then that's really my goal here.  

With all that in mind, here's a little recap of Christmas. (Yes, I am that behind!)  

Chilling with Santa at the ol' Rotary pancake breakfast.  Miles must have asked Santa at least 3 thousand questions about the logistics of how Santa could get around the world with the football helmet he wanted.

Putting up the Christmas tree.  This is a big deal.  The children just begged and begged for us to get out the tree starting the day after Thanksgiving. I really need more time to ease into holidays.  They go full force from one to the next.  They are already discussing next year's Halloween costumes, for the love.

Kamron is the master of the Christmas tree.  He has claimed dominion over the fake forest.  He's the only one who can get the angel on the top without falling off the ladder. 

You know how when you set up a ladder the children will all want to climb up it and fight over whose turn it is to climb the ladder?  This was our solution.  It's weird that the kids are all old enough now that all the ornaments don't all end up on the bottom two feet of the tree. 

My mom and I took Sadie and Noah on a special date to see the Nutcracker.  They were totally in awe and loved every minute.  Noah is such an artsy little guy and loved the costumes and the sets. 

Front row of the balcony at the Nutcracker.   I was especially grateful that the more hyper constituents were at home when I saw our seats.  Had Miles been there, he would have figured out a way to repel down the balcony. 

A new tradition has started with Kamron's side of the family.  For the last couple of years we have hosted the entire family for Christmas.  It's about 3 billion people (really, Kamron's dad is one of 8 children and by the time many generations get together it's a lot of people)  We LOVE it.  The older I get, the more I love love love to host things and have people in my house.  

A few of the Terrys.  I think this was an attempt to get most of the original brothers and sisters and their children in the picture.  Meanwhile, the spouses and significant others played paparazzi...

 Which brings us to Christmas Kindness.  Lord help us.  I get the chills (and not in a good way) when I think about our projects we did this year.  You know how you have the best of intentions and they just don't work out.  Some of our people tried their very hardest to ruin all the Christmas Kindness.  Most activities ended with me in tears.  We did have a nice time with the kids (and neighbors and spare kids and my mama) singing carols for an assisted living facility.  And while we were doing that, our car was busy in the parking lot springing a flat tire.  We had two flat tires doing Christmas Kindness projects.   Satan was really stuck to my car this holiday season. 

We had one project that went well.  One.  Such is life.  The day the kids got giant rolls of tape to tape up the Lion's club boxes for food distribution was a good day.  

Back to hosting a LOT of Christmas stuff...  Sadie is an organizational genius, which is good, because that gene skipped me.  She helped me through the grocery with her clipboard and lists.  We changed her first name to "Secra".  Get it?  Secra Terry.  

 Miles loved all the holiday baking.  Licking beaters is a major strength of his. 

By the time Christmas Eve rolled around, we declared ourselves too tired to get dressed.  Thankfully, the grandparents said, "Pajamas?  Yup, we are all about it!"  We have decided that all Christmas gatherings will henceforth be celebrated in jammies.  

Some of the kids learned how to play Gin Rummy.  We played a millions rounds over Christmas break. 

And of course, there was lots and lots of hot chocolate. 

Scarlett really wanted a UK jersey for Christmas so that she and Miles could match in their jerseys. Now they always try to coordinate and wear them to school on the same days.  

The football helmet.  It's all in the world this child wanted.  He wears it everywhere.  Never takes it off.  Sometimes sleeps in this clunky thing.   Now all he want in the wide world are football pads.  He stuffs socks and sponges and kitchen towels down his pants and on his shoulders to make it looks like he has pads on under his clothes.  One of these days we will get him some pads, but it's entirely too cute watching him be creative about padding himself in the mean time.  Also the Batman cape just makes it.  

My gosh they are cute. This was on Christmas Eve.  Anticipation was sky high and they all talked a million miles a minute about how exciting Christmas was going to be. 

 My dad always comes over on Christmas morning for breakfast and presents. Noah discovered the face juggler app.  He swapped mine and my dad's faces and we laughed about this photo for a solid week.  

There is a limit to how much Christmas one can have.  Holidays are really hard for kids from traumatic backgrounds. We were bracing ourselves for a full on rage day.  But oddly, the opposite response happened and Scarlett slept through the entirety of Christmas day.  We carried her sleeping from place to place.  10 hours of sleep during that day.  It was heartbreaking but she woke up the next day super refreshed.  

 Miles and his favorite cousin, Logan.  

My Granny is just darling. 

There is a tradition in our house that the ONE thing Kamron cooks in preparation for all the celebrating is the sausage balls.  A few years ago he recruited Sadie to help him roll them all out.  They can roll with the best of them.

GranMary gave Noah a whiteboard for Christmas and he is constantly writing on that thing.  It was a super awesome gift!

Truly, I just can't even with my hair.  Enormously huge.  Sadly, this was the only picture of us all together over all of Christmas and so huge hair it has to be. 

We tried to teach the kids how to play Pictionary over the break.  No matter what was being drawn the children shouted out, "It's a butt!"  "It's boobies!"  

Then school started back up.  When all four littles came home with good behavior marks all on the same day we knew we'd better capitalize (this does not happen often!) and head out for ice cream to celebrate.   

You know how the old "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" song had the line, "And mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again."  That was SO US this year.  We had a wonderful Christmas but I was really glad to get back to the routine!  

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