Thursday, December 31, 2009


We did it... we did it!

The whole family,
out loud,
in one year.

Yes, sometimes we got behind, and I really really wasn't going to freak out if we didn't finish by today, but...
we did.

I'm really proud of the boys for their willing (most of the time) involvement.  They did a lot of the reading, and helped remind us when sometimes Kerry and I forgot.  We soldiered through some of the tougher parts (like Leviticus and Chronicles), sailed through the familiar stories, both OT and NT,  puzzled our way through parts we really don't understand, and drank in comfort, from God's promises.  And it was all good.

And we ended, today, with

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
       she can laugh at the days to come.

Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come;

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
       Praise the LORD.


Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Monday, December 28, 2009

An Announcement

This boy...

... asked me if he could start his own blog.

Which he did.

He doesn't post very often,
which is just fine,
but he asked me to invite my friends to feel free to visit

Simple Woman #42

FOR TODAY    December 28, 2009

Outside my window...  cold, frosty, sunny and bright.

I am thinking...  there are far too many Christmas cookies left in this house.

I am thankful for...  my family.

I am praying for...  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I am creating...  a clean, bright, clutter-free house.

I am going...  to stay home :0)

I am reading...  Training Hearts, Teaching Minds by Starr Meade... possibly next year's family devotions?

I am hoping...  to get our annual Christmas New Year's letter written.

I am hearing...  quietness.  The boys spent the night at Aunty Tami's :0)

I am remembering...  childhood Christmases.

From the learning rooms...  I'm not yet thinking about "organized" schooling, as we're taking another week off.

From the kitchen...  deep cleaning happening, way into the cupboards and everything.

Around the house...  I love Christmas.  I love the anticipation, the celebration, everything.  But when it's done, I like to move on.  I have a lot of blue/silver/white winter things out now.

On my mind...  Wyatt, who is 13, still has four of his baby teeth, but Tate, who is 11, does not.  Go figure.

Noticing that...  Gunnar is becoming a voracious reader!

Pondering these words...  Flame is clearer seen if its container does not compete.  Luci Shaw

One of my favorite things...  moving furniture.  Making things look fresh.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  assembling Lego kits, reading new books, visiting with friends.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

My cousin's daughter.
All she wants for Christmas is her four front teeth... 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas At Home

Years ago, before we were married, Kerry did something he called "Great Circle" every Christmas.  He would drive to his brother and sister-in-law's house - about half an hour from here - and spend time with them, then drive on to his dad's (and dad's wife's) house - another two hours away,  then on to his step-mom's (and step-mom's husband's) house - another half hour, and he would usually visit his great aunt - about 45 minutes away - in an assisted living place.  He might drop in on his friend's parents' house too.  Then he would drive another couple hours (and a ferry ride) to see his mom, his grandma, and his aunt, uncle and cousins.

Meanwhile, I had relatives about two hours from home that I sometimes traveled to on Christmas as well.

Though these are all wonderful people, this whole idea of spending Christmas in the car (and trying to see everyone in one day) just wasn't working for me, much to Kerry's surprise, initially.  A couple of years and a couple of kids later, along with a toddler and some stress-induced projectile vomiting, and he saw the light ;o).

So now we have a family 'tradition' of staying home at Christmas.  And by home, I mean in our home-town.  We have our own family Christmas in our own home in the morning, and then join my extended family (just seven miles away) for a big Christmas dinner-which-is-lunch and the afternoon and evening.

So much better!

We see other relatives around Christmas.  Then they get the boys' undivided attention, everyone is calmer, and - voila - no freaking out.

Christmas morning at home... 
french toast Christmas trees with sausage trunks.
Sorry it's blurry; I couldn't fix it.

The boys discover that the book I ordered for them - the Lego Star Wars Visual Dictionary - is on backorder.
They can handle it.

Here they are, about to open a bulletin board, for their bedroom.

Yes, they still get excited and giddy (me too!) but it's manageable.

AND, at home and with our extended family, we open gifts one at a time, paying attention to each person, who the gift is from, etc.  It's not a free-for-all, or a grab-fest.  We are thankful :0)

Happy Christmas Faces

Wyatt - 13
Tate - 11
Gunnar - 8

Christmas Eve

We had Christmas Eve at our house this year, as we often do.  We keep it simple, since we're having a big dinner (lunch) on Christmas, and we want to go to Christmas Eve service in the evening.

The boys are watching for Uncle Dave to arrive, since he's coming from out of town.

He's here!  We can eat :0)
We have a simple meal - soup, bread, crackers, fruit... and cookies.

Gramma and Grampa Grasshopper and Kerry.
Scout's honor, no alcohol was served this year.

One happy boy...

... and two other happy boys!

Wyatt even agreed to play his two Christmas pieces, since Aunty Tami and Uncle Dave weren't able to come to the recital.
He played "Go Tell it on the Mountain", and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas, Friends

And when we give each other
Christmas gifts in His name,
let us remember
that He has given us the sun
and the moon and the stars,
and the earth with its forests
and mountains and oceans -
and all that lives and moves upon them.
He has given us all that blossoms and bears fruit
- and all that we quarrel about
and all that we have misused -
and to save us from our own foolishness,
from all our sins,
He came down to earth
and gave us

-Sigrid Undset, Christmas and Twelfth Night

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Deck The Halls


Since we don't have a fireplace,
we hang the stockings along the stairs.
Weird?  Maybe.

I like candles.
Lots of candles.

Lights on lights...

Candles that look like lights...

And some of my favorite boys at Christmas.
That's our three on the right, and Grampa Grasshopper
and his brother in the black and white photo.
Grampa is on the right :0)

Advent Devotions

I love holidays, especially Christmas.  And, honestly, I enjoy a lot of activities that have little or nothing to do with the birth of Jesus... Christmas lights, hanging stockings, making cookies, etc.  And I don't feel one little bit guilty about it either :0)  I think building joy into the holiday, through traditions like these, builds happy memories and enhances our celebration.

But, I do want to be deliberate about keeping our focus on Jesus, so I was glad to find this:

For the third year in a row, we've been using Ann Hibbard's Family Celebrations at Christmas as the basis for our Advent Devotions, and we'll probably get one more year out if it, before we move on to something else.  The book contains two year's worth of devotions (December 1 - 24, so we adjust a bit, based on the first Sunday of Advent), as well as instructions for making an advent wreath, which we already have, and a Jesse tree and ornaments, which we've skipped.

I have to admit, this felt awkward at first, because we'd never done anything like it before, but I'm glad we persevered.  The boys got used to it :0)  They participate, they're eager to light the candles, and they even sing, which I love.

Each day's devotion takes only about 10 minutes.  They include a short introduction or story, a Bible reading, a few questions about the Bible reading, an explanation (of where the author was intending to go with the questions), a prayer, and a suggested Christmas carol that goes along with the day's theme.

We've skipped the whole Jesse tree and ornament because it felt redundant, but some kids might really like that.  There are also additional verses for reflection, intended for adults or older kids, which we've sometimes included and sometimes skipped.

I'm glad we found her books.  (She has similar devotions for Easter, Thanksgiving, and All Saints' Day.)  Though they're written for younger kids, they've held Wyatt's attention to and been a simple way to ease into family devotions.

I didn't this year, but last year posted several times about what we were reading in our devotions.  If you're interested you can read through last December's posts.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Luke 2

Our church had a children's Christmas program last night, and it was just exactly right.

Gunnar, waiting to say his lines.

Not perfect... oh no, not perfect.  It had all the usual imperfections.  Kids that weren't quite sure when to enter or exit, a little angel that appeared to want to remove her costume, someone saying his line too soon and being loudly SHUSHED by another little boy, and the requisite preschooler picking his nose, in the front row.

But it was just right.

The story is familiar.  We could say the words by heart, from the first and second chapter of Luke.

Mary.  Joseph.  Baby Jesus.  Shepherds.  Angels.

Wyatt, announcing the census, ordered by Caesar Augustus

In the typical fashion of our little church, there was no "overcooked ham" in this show.  No auditions or weeks of lengthy rehearsals.  The kids brought home their verses after Thanksgiving, had two Sunday mornings to practice, were costumed in bathrobes and tinsel, and nobody got stressed out about it.  All the kids participated, from preschool to high school - about 40.  They sang carols, and in case they didn't remember all the words, two of the college students - brothers - manned the overhead, projecting the words on the back wall of the chapel.

Tate, "Glory to God in the highest!"

I love the way everyone participates.  In the past, my boys - not interested in being 'stars' - were content to be spectators.  But here, everyone participates.

If there was any possible ham in the show, it was Gunnar.  He informed me before the program that he got to be the "lead angel", signified by more tinsel on his costume.  I think he was chosen for this because the other angels were all very shy little girls.  But he had another secret...

As someone recited, "An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them...."

Gunnar, in all his glowing glory!

... he flicked the switch.

Love it :0)

Simple Woman #41

FOR TODAY   December 21, 2009

Outside my window...   dark, drippy, dreary.

I am thinking...   it is really the shortest, darkest day of the year.  We've already been to the orthodontist and back, and had the headlights on the whole way.

I am thankful for...   how cozy and warm it is inside.

I am praying for...   the phone to ring.  For Kerry.  WORK.  Please.

I am wearing...   jeans, black shirt, Christmas sweater :0)

I am creating...   Christmas goodies.  Secrets :0)

I am going...   our MIT group is getting together today - a very low-key Christmas party.

I am reading...   Christmas stories to the boys.   In spite of the fact that they all read quite well, they want me to read to them.  I love it :0)

I am hoping...   Phone.  Ring.  Work.

I am hearing...   rain dripping down the gutters, wind in the trees.

From the learning rooms...   vacation!  (Because, you know, we don't learn anything when we're on vacation - eyes roll.)

From the kitchen...   leftover turkey for tonight.

Around the house...   candles, Christmas books, and the lovely smell of our Douglas Fir Christmas tree... which smells more and more as it dries out and dies.

On my mind...   I need to have a master calendar reconciliation.  The one on the fridge, that everyone scribbles on, the one in my purse that is my "paper brain", and the Master Calendar on my desk, that I keep, to remember.

Noticing that...   the squirrels just love running around on our roof.  And our gutters so desperately need to be cleaned, that the squirrels are probably planting trees in them.

One of my favorite things...   little boys that laugh in their sleep :0)

A few plans for the rest of the week...   friends over for dinner - I hope, Christmas Eve dinner here, Christmas Eve service, Christmas Day at my parents' with the family :0)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

A nativity that my "Nana" made.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Crafty Women

My family is full of crafty women :0)

For as long as I can remember we've kicked off the Christmas season with a Christmas craft just as soon as we clear the Thanksgiving table.

We've made a variety of Christmas tree ornaments, stamped Christmas cards and gift tags, and many other things I don't remember just now.  For years my mom - Gramma Grasshopper - and her sister, my Aunt Judy, headed this up.  But now it's usually up to my sister, cousin, and myself.

This year we decorated candle holders - mostly for votives, but some larger ones as well.

It's easy.  I promise.  Or I couldn't do it!

We collected an assortment of clear glass candle holders, lots of tissue paper (white, colored, and printed), and a few other items - tiny glitter stars, rub on words, and some glitter snowflakes, and Mod-Podge.  (Yes, I know... remember the 70's?)  You could mix Elmer's glue with water if you don't have Mod-Podge.

All these lovely candle holders were made by ripping or cutting the tissue paper into small pieces and "painting" them. layer by layer, onto the candle holders with the Mod-Podge.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Just Wondering

You know how sometimes you find your way to the blogs of complete and total strangers?

So, this morning I was reading a blog I like.  Clicked on the profile of another commenter.  Checked out that person's blog, briefly.  Saw an interesting blog title in the sidebar, clicked on that.  

Clickety, linkety, clickety, linkety.

This was a guy's blog, and the title that caught my eye was something along the lines of "Stuff I Think About", and don't women always wonder what men are thinking about?

Mystery solved:

The last entry was in May.

And the one before that was in January.

So.... he's been spending a lot of time in his "Nothing Box"?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

That's About Right

Mama, what day is it?  
I point Gunnar to the calendar.
Oooooh.  Is it December 17?
In just one week it'll be Christmas Eve. 
And all the kids will be JITTERY!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Quilt For Jack

I doubt she has time to see the blog, what with a new baby... #4!  But I just finished this for her last night.  Little Jack was two weeks early, but all is well :0)

Yes, I know the block in the middle breaks the pattern.  I didn't have quite enough of that blue.  Oops.  That is Gunnar's favorite part of the quilt... because it's different, I guess.  When I realized I was short I thought about making that block "spin" the other way, but I didn't.  Maybe I should have... but too late now!


The backing... well, I have a ton of that.  At one point, back in our old house (which we sold in 2003!), I was going to make a shower curtain out of that and I think I bought four yards.  I'm still using it.

Simple Woman #40

FOR TODAY    December 14, 2009

Outside my window...   winter!

I am thinking...   10 more days until Christmas :0)

I am thankful for...   shopping DONE.

I am praying for...   thankful, gracious hearts in the boys (and us), over the Christmas season, and more work for Kerry... who is about out.

I am wearing...   layers.  Jeans, wool socks, purple sweater.

II am  creating...   a baby gift, picture below.

I am going...   staying HOME.

I am reading...   we finished the Little House books - yea!  We enjoyed them greatly, but I'm looking forward to something new.  I continue to read bits of Elisabeth Elliot's Keep a Quiet Heart.

I am hoping...   to have some friends for dinner this week.

I am hearing...   the washer spinning, the boys puttering.

I am remembering...   fun time yesterday.  We had Christmas with my dad's family, I think around 25 of us (not everyone).  We don't do gifts, we just get together, eat, visit, eat, visit, see who falls asleep, eat, visit.  You know.  It's good.  The kids were able to play outside in the snow a bit :0)

From the learning rooms...   a happy mess.  For some reason I've been doing the gift-wrapping in there.  Probably because my office is taken over by a sewing project.

From the kitchen...   um.... must think of something.  Something warm and comforting :0)

Around the house...   My Organizing Mommy friend would be proud of me.  When it started snowing yesterday there was a chance the family party could get shifted to my house.  I didn't think it would, but just in case... we came home from church and did a quick Family Blitz.  Sweeping, vacuuming, swiping out toilets.  Everybody helped.

And the party stayed at Grampa and Gramma's, (not too much snow to get up and down their driveway), so I get to start the week with a clean house :0)

On my mind...   I am glad to be DOWN their driveway and in my own home.  My parents built a house about seven miles from where we live.  Usually that's a hop, skip and a jump.  But when it snows...

Their driveway gains between 600 - 700 feet in elevation over a mile, (what's that, like a 12% grade?), and it's very wind-y.  Let's just say it was an exciting ride down last night.

Not the kind of excitement I really like.

Pondering these words...
Little bits of heaven, 
floating gently by my window...
from an Amy Grant Christmas CD.

One of my favorite things...   watching the boys reconnect with cousins they don't see very often, seeing relatives that I don't get to see very often, and everyone having a good time.

A few plans for the rest of the week...   making Christmas goodies :0)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing... 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


One small town
Containing more churches than banks,

A ninety year old choral society
With a Christmas tradition of singing Handel’s Messiah,

Sixty-some enthusiastic singers recruited without auditions
Through church bulletin announcements

Farmers, store clerks, machinists, students
Middle schoolers to senior citizens

Gather in an unheated church for six weeks of rehearsal
To perform one man’s great gift to sacred music.

Handel, given a libretto, commissioned to compose,
Isolated himself for 24 days, barely ate or slept

Believed himself confronted by all heaven itself
To see the face of God,

And so created overture, symphony, arias, oratorios
Soaring, interwoven themes repeating, resounding

With despair, mourning, anticipation
Renewal, redemption, restoration, triumph.

Delicate appoggiaturas and melismata
Of astounding complexity and intricacy.

A tapestry of sound and sensation unparalleled
To be shouted from the soul, wrung from the heart.

This group of rural people gathers to join voices
Honoring faith foretold, realized, proclaimed.

Ably led by a forgiving director with a sense of humor
And a nimble organist with flying feet and fingers.

The lilting sopranos with angel song,
The altos provide steadfast support,

The tenors echo plaintive prophecy 
The bass voices full and resonant.

A violinist paints heaven-sent refrain
In parallel duet of counterpoint melody.

The audience sits, eyes closed
As if in oft repeated familiar prayer.

The sanctuary overflows
With thankfulness:

Glory to God! For unto us a Child is born
And all the people, whether singers or listeners,

will be comforted.

A year ago, recovering from a tonsillectomy, I wistfully skimmed over the call for singers.  But this year I joined in, along with several from my church, making up a nearly eighty voice choir, accompanied by a chamber orchestra.

Joy, joy, joy!

Magnified by three attentive faces, in the second row, dutifully following along in the guide I had prepared for them.  And the encouraging smiles radiating up at me every time I looked their way.

I'm hoping to add this to our Christmas traditions.

You put WHAT on your tree?

Our Christmas tree is eclectic.  We like it that way.

No two ornaments are alike, and most of them represent something... a memory, a friend, a symbol of Christmas.  A Mickey ornament from our family trip to Disneyland, a Japanese ball given by my Japanese "sister", stars, angels, and a Bethlehem scene.

But there's one ornament that really is unlike all the others.

Can you spot it?


And even if you can pick it out, do you have any idea what it is?

Look closer...

It would probably help if you have some kind of medical background.
You're looking at Kerry's Port-a-Cath.

When we met, Kerry was going through chemo and radiation, to treat Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and the port was a "convenient" way to receive therapy without puncturing his veins, repeatedly.

He was really, really sick.

After we married, and he'd been well for a few years, his oncologist suggested removing the port.

Though the surgery was minor, the message was major.

You don't need this anymore.

In celebration, Kerry twisted an ornament hanger around the top of the port and every year we give it a prominent place on our tree.

And we give thanks.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I think I've mentioned that I don't like clutter.  I've certainly mentioned it to my boys frequently.  I don't mind as much about the playroom, or even their bedroom, but I want the living room to stay tidy.

They're pretty good about keeping the common areas picked up, so I was somewhat mystified to find the same CD left out on the floor, day after day, when I hadn't heard it playing.

Guys, why is this Tchaikovsky CD sitting on the floor again?

Sheepish looks.

They've been taking it into their little CD player in the playroom and using the 1812 Overture as a soundtrack for their Lego pirate battles.

Love it.

Simple Woman #39

FOR TODAY    December 7, 2009

Outside my window...  cold, clear sunny day.  The bare branches are tossing in the wind.

I am thinking...   17 days before Christmas.  So, of all the things I'd like to get done, which are most important?

I am thankful for...   we had a fun but BUSY weekend.  (PTO day - project day, church, Tuba Christmas, and two Messiah performances.)  As much as I liked all the parts of it, I'm glad it's past.

I am praying for...  right Christmas priorities.

I am wearing... jeans, dark green sweatshirt, a turtle neck that is printed with swirly strings of Christmas lights, wool socks.

I am creating...  a baby gift for little Jack Steven, born on Tuesday :0)

I am going...  staying HOME tonight - no more rehearsals :0)

I am reading... almost done with the Little House series I'm reading aloud to the boys.  We're into These Happy Golden Years, which is the last one I'm going to read to them (of the series.)  I'm still amazed (and happy) at how much they're enjoying these.  I confess that I do skim over some of the lengthy descriptions of their dresses that she includes in these latter books, but other than that, the boys are a rapt audience.  But I haven't been reading for myself much lately.  *sigh*

I am hoping...  not to cram too much into our Advent season, to fully enjoy it with my family in a relaxed way... as relaxed as three boys ever get ;-)

I am hearing...  the wind.  I love how it makes different noises going through the different trees.

I am remembering...  wishing and praying, as a child, that it would snow on Christmas.

From the learning rooms...  line plots and bar graphs, writing a narrative paragraph, starting through Janice vanCleave's chemistry experiments, memory verses for the Christmas program, the Turkish siege of Vienna, and Turkish Delight.

From the kitchen...  pork roast in the crock pot.

Around the house...  candles, Christmas lights, decorations, the advent wreath, Christmas stockings,

On my mind... thinking that after we finish the Little House books I should read the boys my great-grandmother's book.  She was born shortly after their - Laura and Mary's - time (later in the 1800's) and grew up in Kansas and Oklahoma before moving to the PNW as a young wife.

Pondering these words...  
"Mom, clear is a color you can see through."  - Gunnar

One of my favorite things...  Christmas carols

A few plans for the rest of the week...  making/buying Christmas presents (which I wanted to have done by Thanksgiving... *sigh*)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing... 

My brother - a fan of all things Disney - is giving us a 'tour' of a scale model he's making of Disneyland.
This is just the beginning...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Merry Tuba-Christmas

It's a festive weekend for us.  Full of music.
For Kerry, that means Tuba Christmas.
Apparently, Tuba (and euphonium, aka baritone horn) players gather all around the world, to play Christmas carols, arranged for low brass.  For once, they get to play something that doesn't just "oom-pah", and *gasp!* even get to play the melody!
 Well, they have to, because this is low brass, and all low brass.

Loads of fun, people, loads of fun.
I know, you might not want to buy a CD of nothing but tubas,
but you'd probably like Tuba Christmas :0)

The conductor is from the local university.  She plays tuba herself.
In fact, she has a music group of all tubas.
They're called Heavy Metal.
I've never actually heard them, but they've been described as being "as eloquent as singing whales."
That's meant to be good.  Interesting good.

Like Tuba Christmas.

Trust me, you'd like it :0)

It's a sunny day, so she's wearing her shades to conduct.

They had a great turnout this year!

And there's my baritone player, tooting away.

And all the little grasshoppers, with Gramma and Grampa Grasshopper.

Oh, and PS... my brilliant son brought his camera, as instructed, and then left it in the car.
A fact which I realized only as the performance was about to start.
There was no way I was fighting my way through the shopping maul, to the parking lot, and back again, so these photos were graciously provided by my sister and her cel phone.

Thanks Tami!

Preparation and Frustration

I've been preparing the boys to attend Messiah tonight, especially Tate.

Knowing that it will be hard for all of them to catch all the words that are sung, I've printed them all out.  I've also given them things to listen for in most of the songs/pieces.  Like, "Listen to the strings. Thousands of angels have just appeared to the shepherds.  Can you hear the beating of their wings?"  And I've been explaining different musical techniques, like the way the voices make interwoven harmonies and then emphasize other words by singing them in unison.

As I was going through one of the songs with Tate, playing it on a CD and mouthing the words so he could read my lips, Gunnar walked in and started talking.  (We're working on his frequent interrupting...)

I ignored him and kept mouthing and singing the words for Tate.

Gunnar got more frustrated.

"Mom!  Quit interrupting me!"

I gave him the raised eyebrow.  "I'm not interrupting you, I'm singing."

Pouting.  Stink eye.

"Well... then quit sing-errupting me!"

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Blitz

I've mentioned my bloggy soul-sister.  You can find her at the link just below.

Her "thing" is organizing.  Right there you know I like her.
And she lives in the real world.
You know, the I-want-my-house-clean-but-we-live-here-too.

Because it just irritates me to see photos, usually in magazines, of houses that look too perfect.
Like nobody actually lives there.
They wouldn't dare.  They'd mess it up.
Makes me want to stomp in wearing muddy shoes and drop some bags of groceries in the middle of the floor, just to see what would happen.


My Organizing Mommy friend suggests a one hour blitz.  You can read about it on her blog.  Basically, you work like a maniac for an hour and see how much you get done.  Not the sit-down jobs, the running around the house, tidying and cleaning jobs.  But I needed to so some sit-down jobs, too, so I compromised, and did some of each, and took two hours.

folded and put away two loads of laundry
threw another load in the washer
stripped our bed
put on clean sheets

cleaned off the chair in my office
patched two shirts
sorted out a laundry basket of stuff to go to Goodwill and the consignment store
emailed Gramma Grasshopper some pics to print

And rewarded myself with a break :0)

downloaded a bunch of pics I'd taken on Tate's camera
threw in another load of laundry
prepared a folder for the boys to bring to Messiah
organized several unwrapped gifts
framed four pictures
sent two thank-you cards
ordered Christmas stamps
emailed some pics I'd promised my cousin
and attacked my office and desk

This was what I saw as I walked into my office.

Now it looks like this.
Oh!  It's the floor!

Too much stuff everywhere, and no room to work.

I still have a project on my desk, but just one, and my supplies are tidier.

My desk was like the leaning tower of Pisa.  Ugh.
And it's mostly bills.  Double ugh.

Now I have room to deal with all those papers.

I need the ironing board in here when I'm sewing, but the rest of the time it's in the way.
And it accumulates more clutter.
(Where does that stuff breed, anyway?)

Now I can get to the closet.

For me, a cluttered environment equals a cluttered mind.
I can't function very well in the midst of disorder.
So I may not have accomplished many of the tasks I need to do, but having a tidy environment energizes me to get onto them.
Like the bills.