Sunday, December 8, 2013

Advent Day 7

It was a hard week.  I don't know if it was the weather change or the excitement of Christmas, but my kids were CRAZY.  I was a bit frazzled.  I've already talked about Thursday but in the chaos, I forgot to write on Wednesday about barely making it to pick up Ava from school on time and then rolling into the gas station before running out of gas only to find I had forgotten my purse, and therefore my money, at home.  My blessed sister Katie was kind enough to come and bring me some money.

Today, Ava had her first piano recital.  She was a ball of nerves, but she did great.  She was so proud, but Chloe almost blew the whole thing.  She hadn't slept well last night and she started to fuss a  couple of songs before it was Ava's turn.  I managed to keep her calm enough to stay and hear Ava play but Ava had barely returned to her seat when Chloe ramped up and I had to make a hasty exit.  She had a full blown tantrum in the bathroom.  I cannot deny I was angry and being tired myself, it is by the grace of God alone than I didn't lose it myself and she is still alive.  (Thank God we both got an afternoon nap!)

Today, after our Advent activity, I decided to run to the grocery store and get all needed items for the small group lunch I was responsible for today so that this morning wouldn't be chaotic.  It was 10pm.  I was tired.  I carefully made sure to get all items on my list, aware than I could miss something in my fatigue.  Unfortunately I wasn't careful enough to remember to return my wallet to my purse after our advent activity (I had it in a backpack) so when I got to the register and went to pay, I had no form of payment.  Jewel graciously held my cart of carefully selected items while I returned home for my wallet.  AYE!

Today's advent activity was planned long ago, in JULY I bought tickets, actually.  Little did I know it would be such a gift after a hard week.  God really blessed all six of us with an evening of fun and reminded me that my children really are a blessing.  They have beautiful hearts and delightful personalities.  They were a joy to others around us tonight and my heart soared.  In the middle of their bad days (or weeks in this case;), it's easy to focus on weaknesses, on sin.  It's easy to get discouraged and want to throw in the towel.  Since that isn't an option;), daily I've had to throw myself at Jesus' feet and beg him to get me through and give me patience and help me extend mercy and grace to undeserving children; I beg him to work through me to reach their hearts.  I surrender and say, "I can't do this God, you know it.  I am tired.  I can't fix these kids; I can't fix myself.  We need you."  He answers.  He answers everyday.  That is enough, it truly is, but he is extravagant.  He doesn't stop at enough.  He blessed us with a beautiful evening and as I go to bed I am in awe once again that he takes us past surviving into thriving.

Advent Day 7-

you know the bible says “Every good and perfect gift comes from up above”?  One of our favorite gifts from God is fun,
laughter, and joy.  Today is a fun
day.  We will take a ride on the Polar
Express.  We get to ride on a real train
and have dinner with a man dressed as Santa Clause.  Let’s laugh, have fun and make memories!

We boarded the train in La Fox.  The Park district had volunteers set up and Santa was ready and waiting to visit with the children while waiting for the train.  I was armed with a back pack of surprises for the trip.  Lollipops, snowflake shaped Wheat Thins, Gingerbread Man cookies, holiday rubix cubes, coloring, games, etc.

 The kids thought Santa was great.  Ava was a little put off my the obvious pillow stuffed under his costume, but Phin said, "I think he's doing a great job acting like Santa."

 Just being on the train and out in their PJ's was exciting;)  The first thing the little ones noticed about the train was the lack of seat belts..."That is awesome!"

They were given coloring books on the train.

The train took us to Elmhurst were we had pizza at Armonds.  After dinner, Santa read the Polar Express and then gave the Children cookies baked my Mrs. Claus and bells that reminded them to "Believe."  

Ava was having a great time, but was cracking me up!  Especially when she leaned over and whispered, "Can you hear the bell? cuz I can and he said, you can only hear the bell when you believe and I totally know Santa isn't real, but don't worry, I won't ruin it for the little kids;)"

After dinner we had a little time before the return trip and since in the book the kids have Hot Cocoa on the train, we found a Starbucks nearby so we could do the same.

 We sat on the upper level on the way home, which was an additional thrill for our darlings.

My family;)

Then we did our own caroling and I surprised the kids with Rudolph noses;)

As we did our Advent Book tonight, I asked the kids their favorite part of the evening:
Ava:  I just love doing fun things with our family.
Phin:  I love riding the train.
Chloe:  I love the marshmallow game!  (A game I brought along to play.  You can find it here- the kids LOVED it.)
Christian:  Mama! (granted he doesn't have enough english to actually answer this question, but his answer stands;)

Finally, some pictures and video from Ava's recital.  She practiced hard.  She was in tears on Friday terrified she'd mess up and she was shaking as she walked on stage, but she did it!  For the first time, it wasn't bad at all...and not bad at all for 7, me thinks;)
First she had to introduce herself to the audience and state her pieces.

Show time!

FINISHED!  She later said, "I want to play the piano for people for my whole life!";)

1 comment:

  1. This brought such a big smile to my face! Love everything about it!