Happy Daze of December 2016
“I heard a bird sing in the dark of December. A magical thing. And sweet to remember. We are nearer to Spring than we were in September. I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.”
― Oliver Herford
We took off the entire month of December from schooling, a much-needed break from a hectic life. While at times we do not formally “homeschool” we are always learning. We spent plenty of time outdoors photographing, enjoying, and investigating God’s creation.
My sister-in-law was being forced to move her mobile home from a park she had lived in for about 12 years and had to be out by the end of the year. She was worried how on earth she would be able to afford the move and set everything back up. I had the privilege to be the “messenger girl” that delivered a quite substantial amount of money to help her out. She was shocked and moved to tears. It was a beautiful thing to be a part of!! God answered her prayers by way of a person she did not even know!! That is how you know it’s God when you have no idea how it could happen but it still happens!!
My niece graduated from college!! She is now officially a teacher!! She is one of the smartest people I know with a dry humor and a touch of sarcasm that perfect for the middle schoolers she will be teaching and I know she will do an awesome job!
We spent time out walking around the lake while I practiced my photography skills I am learning. If nothing else it gives me an excuse to get outside and enjoy nature.
Packages for the holidays started coming in and large boxes were left laying around. My teens took advantage of the sizable containers to play… which reminded me of their much younger selves in years gone by. They have always loved the boxes almost more than what came in them! Awe, sweet memories!
Using my photography as an excuse again, we headed out to a different lakeside park. The weather was a bit chilly today. We enjoyed a nice hike along the trail the two older ones competing to see who could stand on the slanted posts better than the other. Then at the playground, two younger ones had competitions on what we call the spinning “bull” equipment to see who could spin and get up and walk without looking like a drunk! It was a good laugh for me and hubby!
Walking the trails, siblings being siblings and bantering and joking… all part of the hike. Adam found what was left of a picnic table and used the 2×12 to make a see-saw for him and his sister where they tried to balance it so neither was touching the ground with their side. Adam then found some “rich light” pine and had to show it to me to confirm. There was no question it was the smell of rich light pine!
With the holidays quickly approaching and it was time to make cookies! We always cut out the shape of their hand for them each year. A quirky little tradition my mom had done with us girls and one I had passed on to my kids and one day I will do it with my grandkids as well. We also cut out snowmen, menorahs, candles, snowflakes, angels and gingerbread men. We enjoyed “coloring” them more than making because we get to show our creativeness!!
For a month and a half, ever since she turned 16, my daughter has been putting in applications once a week at the local grocery store in hopes to get a job! Persistence pays off… she finally got the call for an interview. She was so very nervous!! I had her sign her social security card for the first time ever (after practicing a few times) and sent her on her way. She got the job!!! She is so thrilled because she has a plan… get a job, buy a truck, get her full license, and be ready to face the world once she graduates! I am so proud of her!
We had our Hanukkah/Christmas party with my family, we opened gifts, snacked on finger foods and played games! Hubby is addicted to Pokémon so I bought him a shirt that says “I go to the gym everyday” meaning Pokémon gyms with the little Pokeball on the front, he loved it!! It was a good evening with my family!
Every gift day morning, the tradition is hubby has to wake the kids up with some crazy story about why they need to get up early. When they were little we liked to surprise them with the gifts because we never let on that they had any until the last minute. This year he told them, “Get up guys, Honey (our pygmy goat) is tangled up in the volleyball net!” Then it is my job to take their sleepy picture as they come through the doorway to the living room. As they have gotten older they know what we are doing but it still has to be done because “it’s tradition!”
After gifts were opened we headed down to the state park and hiked, taking pictures and enjoying the peaceful day with my little family!
The oldest kiddo was off job hunting, the middle child was at work, that left us with the baby to spend some one-on-one time with! He enjoyed being a temporary “only child” for a couple hours and I enjoyed teaching him some of the stuff I learned in my photography course. Mushrooms are our favorite fall “flower” and the “boy scout lake” had them in abundance! He got down on his belly to get some of his best shots! True devotion! He seems to really enjoy photography, I hope he continues learning and developing his skills if nothing else as a hobby!
Our daughter worked today but the boys were both home so we went hiking and practicing our photography on the lovely mushrooms around Boykin Lake.
We also tried a few other shots like of the swing over the lake and of the waterfall. Just trying to learn the different aperture settings it takes to get the results we wanted. I am happy to be able to share this connection with my baby boy.
December 31st New Years Eve
We spent the evening with my family at my sister’s house for New Year’s Eve. They grilled, and the youth played with fireworks and I got to visited with my niece Susan and nephew David and his baby boy, Nate who came in from out of town for a visit. It is good to have a little one to enjoy holidays with, he still gets excited about everything!!
Anna had to work but got to make it to the main part of the fireworks… apparently, she had some “fireworks” of her own at work when some crazy lady got mad at her, cussing and threatening her for not knowing how to deal with a “WIC card” yet. Thankfully she works with a good crew and they had her back and the issue was dealt with… I am proud Anna kept her cool with it all. That shows how much her job means to her. It is real hard for me not to want to hunt that woman down though… momma bear that I am and all…
What can I say about this year to sum it up? Here are some sayings that best conclude my 2016…
Life is hard, it’s harder if you’re stupid!
You never know how strong you are until strong is the only choice you have.
This too shall pass.
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. — Genesis 50:20
In God’s hands intended evil becomes eventual good. Max Lucado
Peace, Hope, & Love,
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