Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

My shopping experience for this year's Christmas list has been totally different than in the past. I am just shy of reaching my halfway mark with my budget, but I have only made one in store purchase. That was a bargain at $10 off what I had priced in other stores and online, and the purchase was relatively effortless as it was right on a shelf in the aisle I was in as I was doing my weekly shopping. I have already bought several of the major gifts for everyone, but I have done most of that on-line. Now I just have a moderate list of little things and clothes for several of the kids on my list and then I will be done. My goal to be finished shopping is December 6th and I want all my wrapping finished by December 14th. Since I am ordering several things on-line and through catalogs, sometimes it takes a bit of time for all the items to get in, so Monday is my goal to be finished with online and catalog ordering.

This year my budget was a bit different than in the past. I have had a budgeted amount for Christmas shopping set aside each year. I save from January through October and that is what I use for all of my Christmas purchases. This year, I broke it down to how much I was going to spend for each person on my list and tried to even the amounts I was spending for my kids and then with the cousins, and then gifts for work and school. I still have a way to go, but I hope that I can meet my goals with shopping and wrapping so I can enjoy my weekends and the first five days of my break.

The Thanksgiving decorations are still up. I will probably leave them up until Sunday, and start decorating for Christmas then. I think we will go to get the tree Wednesday or Thursday and get the house decorated by this weekend.


Besides the fact that I was a bit on the run down side yesterday, and that I was fizzling out at 7 p.m., our family's Thanksgiving was great.

I think the highlight of my morning, and maybe my week, was when my youngest son Daniel, while we were dancing to one of the songs on a Christmas video the boys were watching this morning, stopped and said, "Do you know what I'm thankful for? ...For you Mommy!" I told him I was thankful for him as well, and gave him a big hug as we continued our dance. He is a very cuddly loving boy, and I am so blessed to have him reminding me every day that I am loved.

Another highlight was Wednesday evening. The boys helped to prepare pumpkin pies for the Thanksgiving dinner. Each of them worked on each step, and as we doubled the recipe, each one completed a pie in the end. Raymond set the timer and they both waited for the first high heat to complete and then helped with peeling eggs, opening olive cans and loading the dishwasher while they waited for the pies to finish baking. They were so proud as they announced to all who came for dinner that hey had made the pumpkin pies.

My grandma came for dinner along with my mom. The first moments with Grandma were a bit rough as she didn't know where she was although she has shared many Thanksgiving dinners with us here. She didn't recognize my family until we sat down and spent some time talking about time we had spent together in the past. She asked if Raymond used to be called Ray Ray. Once she got into the moment she seemed to really enjoy the visit. I got a couple of great pictures of her, this one with my youngest son Daniel.

It was too warm in the house with the roaster, oven and stove top going to enjoy a fire all day, so I waited until the they were off right before dinner, I had already opened the window in the kitchen and we had a nice fire in the fireplace during dinner. My nephew Alex also came for dinner. He is also a regular for holiday celebrations. Joe did his usual after dinner entertainment and had Mom laughing so hard she was crying. I almost cried laughing at my mom laughing. It was great.

The evening was here before we knew it and it was time for guests to get home before it got dark. As I said before I was worn out very early. We spent the evening after guests left watching the traditional cartoon favorites and I did my traditional napping on the couch as they watched.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Check Or Cross Off My List?

Sometimes I think that planning ahead just leaves time to do other things that need to be done in my busy life. I have a list that needs constant prioritizing. What are we going to do today? What do I have to do today? How far can I work ahead? There is always something on the list that I would rather skip. Either because it is just plain boring or that it just seems that it will take more time (and effort) than I have at the moment. I do love it when I do follow through with plans. It is such a satisfying feeling to check things off a list, or better yet, to actually put a line through each one.

Daniel has been interested in my lists lately. He thinks he should have input in what goes on my list. He is currently helping me to make our Thanksgiving dinner to do list. I like to do things one at a time, and plan for using a pan multiple times as in my pot that is used to boil eggs, macaroni and finally potatoes. Daniel also doesn't understand why I would ever want to put a line through something I took the effort to write on paper. He gives me a surprised look and states his shock in my behavior. Oh if he could only comprehend the satisfying feeling of drawing a line through a completed task on my list. Checking off a list is okay too I suppose, but not nearly as good as slashing through the done deed. So when I share my lists with Danny, we will be making checks in front of what is done. I am sure he will be making lists of his own very soon.