This week the kids are off school. It's been pretty good so far, though yesterday the twins had two friends over, and Mary and Tyce each had one. And they all stayed for dinner! One of the little friends said that if she ate the soup I made she would throw up. Good thing I make a killer grilled cheese sandwich.
Every morning I've been having a Christmas devotional with the kids. I read a scripture and then a story from a book called "Sharing Christmas: Stories for the Season". Yesterday I flipped through and settled on "The Little Match Girl" by Hans Christian Anderson. I forgot how sad that story was! The older kids both said, "That was horrible! First no one loves her and then she dies!"
So I decided to read another one, called "Bryan's Gift" by Alma J. Yates. I scanned it and saw it was about two boys; it was probably good for our group.
I read about best friends with dreams of playing in the NFL. It was nice. And then: "Ever since Bryan had told me about the cancer in his left leg, I had prayed for him."
The kids cried, "Mom! Stop reading! Wait . . . well, I guess you can finish."
It was about a healthy boy, Randy, who knows he's getting an expensive football for Christmas. He has a great idea about what to give Bryan in the hospital--Randy's own unwrapped football. Randy reasoned that it would cheer him up and give him something to look forward to.
By the end I was sobbing and reading at the same time. Bryan, the boy with the amputated leg, gives the football back to his best friend. I'm surprised the kids could understand me choking through the last part, but I'm pretty sure they were crying too:
"But if I take your ball, that will mean I didn't give you anything good."
"Oh, but you did, Randy. You gave me the best gift of all, just by coming." Bryan smiled. "I waited all day. I didn't even sleep. I just lay here and looked out the window. I knew you'd come because you're my friend, the best friend in the world, and having a friend like you is the very best Christmas present of all."
Oh my goodness. There was enough sniffing and tear-wiping to keep the Kleenex company in business for a year. I had to read "The Texas Night Before Christmas" to balance the mood or we'd be bawling all morning.
Later that day Mary and her friend Taylor wanted to make cupcakes from a mix. I suggested they put their egg shells in the box, since it would all end up in the trash anyway. I played LIFE with Harrison while they mixed. Then I heard,"Ohhhhh....did you say to put the egg shells in the box?" They had cracked the eggs into the box! It was an easy fix (though not very sanitary) to dump the eggs into the mixing bowl. But people ate the finished product and we're all still alive.
I am almost ready for Christmas. But I think our outside lights might be on the fritz because of all this rain. That would be a little lame, to go dark a few days before Christmas. I think we might have gone a little overboard with the gifts, even though each kid only gets three (and one from Santa). They are pretty great presents, I must say. I will tell you what they got after Christmas, in case any prying eyes read this (which is highly unlikely, haha).
We watched Mr. Krueger's Christmas for FHE. We also watched it in Young Women for our Christmas lesson last Sunday. Next Sunday the ward choir is singing and I am excited to be in a quartet for one number.
For Christmas Eve dinner this year we are having roast pork loin, roasted potatoes, spinach salad, and Dutch apple pie. I just bought the pies. I will probably make it through my entire life never making a pie from scratch. You may remember that we eat by candlelight and then have a special program, which Bryce is in charge of and is always the highlight of the entire Christmas season. I am really looking forward to that.
So that's what's going on with us. Busy, and with mostly good things. Hohoho.