Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Preparations

My little helper, Christopher, always HAS to help when I start the baking! This is HIS section of the counter with HIS rolling pin and HIS dough and HIS cookie cutters and HIS cookie sheet! When he starts trying to take over MY side of things, I conveniently put him on washing duty and he's equally as content.

Of course we had extra help as we were making chipa with Ruth and Anita for Anita's class project. I'm not sure why the girls are so happy and the boys have such sour looks on their faces, but we ALL had fun that night! And the chipa was fabulous as always!! (Maybe I'll make some more today, come to think of it. We need something to warm up this kitchen anyway and I DON'T want to make another cookie for a long, long time!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mr. Creative

This is Timothy. Timothy is also known as Mr. Creative or Mr. Mess, depending on what he is making at the moment. Here he is being a scuba diver. Please notice his flippers. What a kid, I tell you! He is constantly making new games, cards, costumes, and messes. I just love him!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Sunday School Christmas Program

Well, it's over. The Sunday School Christmas program is over for this year. I'm happy and sad at the same time. This is my last year as the coordinator (I kind of hope) and even though it was extremely stressful this year, I will still miss being with all the children every Sunday, morning and evening. It's not like I won't ever see them again since I'm scheduled to teach again in two weeks, but it will only be with my 3rd and 4th graders instead of the 3 year olds up through the 12 year olds.

The highlights for me from this year's program:
* The tiny tots' poem, "Wise Men Travelled From Afar". It had hand motions and the kids really got into this little piece (Christopher LOVED it!! Ask him to do it for you, and he'll readily oblige!).
* The excitement in "Go Tell it on the Mountain" from the Tiny Tots and the Primary Choirs (ages 3-8 combined).
* The amazing handbell choir that accompanied the Junior Choir on several pieces. The sounds just resonated throughout the sanctuary and brought tears to my eyes.
* Simon's solo. THIS was my ultimate highlight. "The Lord Never Closes His Eyes." This young man beat the odds last night as he had a major headache and was so worked up before the program that he couldn't even walk in with his choir, but sat in the foyer on a chair sobbing because he wanted to sing so badly, but couldn't. I was distracted by other details, so once he went into the restroom to calm down, I moved on to the next "issue". Before I knew what was happening, I looked up and saw Simon standing in front of the microphone at the front of the church and singing with such a beautiful voice, a piece that had me truly in tears standing in the back of the sanctuary. That young man blew me away with his voice and the words of his song, and with the emotion that he put into it despite his overwhelming nervousness. Well done, Simon! God was honored by your gift last night!
* The cooperation of the directors of the choirs, the pianists, the handbell choir, the guitarist, the helpers, etc, etc, etc. It could not have been done without the help of everyone.

Still, I'm thankful that it's over now. One less stress that I have to deal with here. The Lord's name was lifted high last night and many parents, grandparents, neighbors and other family members watched and listened as their children told them the story of the birth of Jesus, some hearing it for the first time. And that was the point of the whole evening.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Silence

I thought I'd better touch base here and explain the silence of the past two weeks before you all start to worry. You should all know by now that when there is silence on this end, it just means that things are busy ... or else there are computer problems. This time it was a little of both. My sweet, computer-driven husband installed some type of anti-virus on this old laptop that would cause everything to snag and hang and eventually crash. It has become quite frustrating, so we finally just took it off. Now it's just old-age that is slowing things down. Old-age of the computer, that is! I'm still a spring chicken, you know!

Things HAVE been busy around here, too. The Cookie Kitchen is in operation just about every day. I'm so thankful that we have orders to fill, that I don't want to complain, but seriously, I think it was much, much easier to do this volume of cookies when the boys were younger and didn't care what I was doing in the kitchen! Now they want to help EVERY time they hear my mixer going or the trays banging on the counters. Christopher runs in to see what I'm doing, and in that time, Timothy has already run to wash his hands, pull up his stool and is yanking a Home Depot apron over his head. They want to help sooo badly, but I lose time, cookie dough and patience when they want to help. I was in a hurry the other day to get some shortbread cutouts made and they insisted on having some dough for themselves. I gave it to them, but I was constantly barking at them to quit coughing, sneezing and spitting at the counter! I finally threatened them that if they kept it up, I'd make them roll their cookies out on the floor! One look at the expressions on their faces and I realized I had made an inappropriate threat! I took that one back awfully quick! When they help me, they have their own dough, their own rolling pins, their own cookie cutters, their own trays and their own half of the island. They love their responsibilities so much that I can't take it away from them, but I usually have to end up doing a second batch to make up for the loss after they are in bed. THAT is why I have no time to blog!

I was hoping to get some pictures downloaded, too, to show you what I was up to last weekend, but being technically ignorant, I don't have those downloaded yet. I was at the Christkindel Market downtown Kitchener, working in the Belgian Waffle Wagon! What a load of fun! I think I have lost all feeling in my fingers and toes as a result of the cold (our booth was outside), but it was great! I was exhausted and behind in all my work around here, but as always, God provides for us in the best ways! I made more money in those two and a half days than I have made in ages! AND I got to get out of the house and work with adults!! Despite the cold and the exhaustion, it really was loads of fun and if I have the opportunity to do it again, I will jump at the chance!

So that's some of the silence explained. The rest has to deal with the issues we're still having with the business and the bank. It's far from over. The stress is still great and the waters are getting murkier (is that a word?), but I pray for wisdom for Fred ALL THE TIME! He's got some tough decisions to make and he needs the Lord's wisdom for sure! We don't know how this nightmare will end, but we do know that God loves us and has proven Himself faithful over and over again! He's dealt with much bigger issues than this in the past, so this is nothing for Him!

I'll try to be a little more conscious about posting, but I can't promise anything. Until Christmas, those cookies are taking priority! Can you smell them? I have about 95 of Ingrid's Jam Prints waiting for me to deal with them. I'd better go!