Surprise!

I have three lovely children. When the third was born, his oldest sibling was still under three. When I found out that I was expecting Camo, I was a little overwhelmed. Whatever would I do with three kids?! Still, I’d done fine with the first two, and decided that I had this mothering thing pretty well figured out. Boy was I wrong! If I’d known what I was in for, I’d have cried on the spot.

I thought that I knew what to expect during childbirth. This third time would be quicker and easier than the first two. Nope. It was pretty long, and really hard! That was unexpected! Of course the fact that Camo weighed over two pounds more at birth than Mr. Q had probably contributed to that.

Munchkin and Mr. Q started sleeping through the night at about 3 to 4 months. Camo had me up a couple of times per night until he was eleven months old! Ironically, it was only when we moved him out of our room at night that he actually slept. I really wish that I’d known that a bit earlier…

Camo is fussier in general than the other two. I just don’t know what to make of him some days.

God sent him to me, at least in part, to teach me about pride. Mine was unfounded. I thought that two toddlers made me something of an expert. Hah! Every one of my children has been different from the others, and with Camo, even more so. I call him my surprise, since everything about him has been a surprise. I thought that I knew what to expect, but I was wrong.

It’s funny, Munchkin is so much like her daddy, and Mr. Q is a Welch through and through, just like his mommy. Camo is just his own guy though. I’m curious to see how his personality develops and whom he will resemble. I did see something in him last night that reminded me of my dad…

While I was looking for his jacket, he wandered into the kitchen and found a potato. When I called him so that I could get his jacket on him, he came toddling out with a drooled-on potato firmly grasped in his hand. I laughed and told him that he must get that from Grandpa, who likes potatoes too.

That’s the neatest thing about kids I think, seeing something of everyone whom I’ve loved so dearly reflected in them.

Simplifying Christmas

I sit here enjoying a nice cup of my favorite raspberry tea, and am somewhat overwhelmed by the number of things to do this month.

Moving at any time is enough to keep you busy, especially when your kids unpack boxes almost as fast as you pack them! Moving between Thanksgiving and Christmas is even more interesting. Did I mention that everyone is coming to my “new” house for Christmas???

As adults, we all too often have the attitude that we don’t like Christmas. I’ve said plenty of Bah-humbugs in my lifetime! I don’t think that it’s Christmas that we dislike though, I think it’s the expectations that we feel we must live up to at Christmas. Gifts for everyone, perfectly decorated house, matching outfits for the family photo, scores of cards to send, a small feast to make completely from scratch. Is it any wonder that Christmas creates stress? Why do we do this?

I realize that Christ was actually born sometime in the spring, and not on December 25th, but it is a good thing to have a time set aside to celebrate His birth. Many of the traditions that God established during Old Testament times served the purpose of teaching children what God had done, as well as reminding the adults of the greatness of their God. That’s what Christmas should be about for us. A time to rejoice that Christ was born here on Earth, and teach our children what that means to us.

Decorations, food, gifts, etc. are all nice enough, but they are not to be our focus. We could easily scale back and simplify our expectations. Would anyone really be upset with us if we did that. I think that the answer might surprise us. I think that everyone else would also be relieved to be freed from the “perfect holiday prison”.

So, this year, I’ll put up the tree and let my kids decorate it. Sure it will look like it was done by toddlers, but that’s a look that I’ve come to treasure. Christmas dinner will be potluck, so that none of us are a slave to the kitchen for the month of December. Gifts will include things like the jam I made this summer, and small handknit projects. I’ll take the time to enjoy all of the Christmas music that I love with my kids.

My favorite Christmas special is “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, so I’ll close by taking my cue from Linus.

Luke 2:8-14

” And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

And that’s what Christmas is all about.

A Work in Progress…

We are working on our house. We have not moved in yet, but are doing a LOT of work to be able to move in within the next week or so. No, we are not building a house. We inherited the family farmhouse. It is 100 years old this year, and has been in my family since it was built. I love the history that house has.

It was built by my great-great-grandfather for his daughter, my great-grandmother. She taught school and sent the money that she earned to him for materials. When the house was completed, she married and they lived in the house for the rest of their lives. My grandfather was born in that house, along with all five of his siblings. When my Dad was a baby, he and his parents lived there while their house was being built next door. My parents still live in the house next door, and I am thrilled to be moving into this house. My kids will be the fifth generation of my family to grow up on this land. That’s pretty amazing today.

So, since it has so much history, the house has also needed a lot of work. We have had a huge amount of help from our family and friends, and without them, moving would not even be a possibility. We have had a big push of work over Thanksgiving weekend, and that has put us well within sight of our goal. We are all very tired tonight!

I think that a house is always a work in progress. We will certainly not have everything done that we would like to before we move in. But we will work on it over time. I don’t think that a house is ever really “finished”, since there is always something more that can be done.

We too are certainly a work in progress. Constantly learning, growing, changing, there is always something more that can be done. God molds us, and sometimes we clay lumps need a lot of work just to see a small change. Still, I am thankful that God is ever patient with me. I have many faults, and many more things that can certainly be improved. I’m a work in progress, so long as the work continues, I am one step closer to my goal of being the woman that God plans for me to be. Unlike a house, however, one day I will be “finished”, and that is a day that I look forward to with joy and anticipation. Perhaps that day is closer than any of us imagine. Perhaps Heaven isn’t so far off after all.

Welcome!

Welcome to Tea and Conversation!

I’ve thought about starting a blog for some time now. The only problem was that I could not pick only one topic to write about! So, I finally decided that since I was writing the blog, I could actually write about more than just one thing. Here you will find a mix of things, my thoughts on faith, politics, economics, books, music, education, cooking, knitting, homemaking, and one of my favorite topics, my incredible kiddos!

I choose not to be a part of a particular religion or denomination, and can best be described as simply one who follows Christ.

On Thanksgiving I will have been married to my wonderful husband for nine years. Definitely something to be thankful for!

I am the mother to our three kids, Munchkin, our three-year-old daughter, Mr. Q, our two-year-old son, and Camo, our one-year-old son. Yes, I really did have three kids in three years, an I’m still sane!

I’m also the keeper of a rather large, black German Shepherd. She may not be the brightest crayon in the box, but she is great with the kids!

I’m interested in a wide variety of subjects and have several hobbies and activities that I enjoy. I hope to touch on all of them at some point in this blog. Hopefully you will find some of them to be interesting and entertaining.