• "Oh, if I could only put things into words as I see them! Mr. Carpenter says, 'Strive, strive -- keep on. Words are your medium -- make them your slaves -- until they will say for you what you want them to say.' That is true, and I do try, but it seems to me there is something beyond words -- any words -- all words -- something that always escapes you when you try to grasp it -- yet leaves something in your hand which you wouldn't have had if you hadn't reached for it. ... I have written myself out for tonight, and am going to bed."
    - Lucy Maud Montgomery, Emily Climbs

    This is my place to "write myself out" -- sharing both my day-by-day thoughts and my artistic output. Thank you for visiting! - Carmen Pauls Orthner
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The wheels keep turning…

Filed under Christmas • Written by Carmen @ December 21, 2010

… but I think I may have fallen under them. ;) Just kidding — I’m feeling a little worn out at the moment, but I’ll get through it all. The Dec. 22 prompt for Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas participants is an update on your task list, and I’ve got commitments tomorrow morning, so I figured I’d just get this done tonight. So here is my list, with an update on how I’m feeling at the moment….

I’m feeling a little “bah humbug”-ish today, as I look at the remainder of my “to do” list. Bryan is off work as of today (although he did get called in to fix a problem, as something technical always goes wrong when he’s away), and he should be off until he’s needed back for the Headwaters Tech store inventory starting on Jan. 3. I wish I could be “off” with him, too.

He’s on childcare duty today, and he’s planning to take Sara to the church with him to play in the sanctuary while he practices music for Sunday, and then (so they’re out of the house) to play in the church nursery while he works on updating the church’s financial records on his laptop. That’s nice in a way, because sometimes Sara being (literally) underfoot gets old – but I miss her being around, too. I just wish their absence wasn’t because I’m going to have a day to relax, but because the house is a mess, the paperwork is piled up, and to top it off, there’s Christmas prep work to do.

I don’t mind the Christmas stuff at all, and it’s not like we’re going to have so much company here that I need to have the house in tip-top shape. But there will be visitors sooner than I expected, as we have now invited Kathy and John Prokopchuk and their four kids and my friend Audrey Mark over for Christmas Eve snacks and games, and even if they weren’t coming (in just — eeks — two days!), I just have a hard time relaxing and enjoying myself when the house is in shambles, even if I’m the only one who thinks it looks that bad.

Sigh –- I thought it would be easier to get ready this year, but here it is Dec. 22, we’ve had the tree for over a week, and it’s still just standing bare and forlorn behind Sara’s baby gate, sucking up jugs full of water, and there is so much else to do besides….

So here is my remaining list, tucked away for posterity….

Urgent pre-Christmas preparation tasks and regular life commitments:
1. upload and process Nancy and Robert McKenzie’s wedding photos, burn CD and bring CD over to Timea DONE
2. HOUSECLEANING (and all that entails…) DONE
3. get caught up on my Christmas journal entries GETTING THERE…
4. Weight Watchers meeting DONE
5. finish up paperwork for maternity leave income statement and talk to Service Canada rep
6. find out about donations and volunteering with Scattered Site project for the homeless DONE
7. finish wrapping gifts for Bryan’s side of the family DONE
8. edit, print photos and assemble brag books

Enjoying the season:
1. continue with my Advent Bible studies
2. continue taking photos, writing daily thoughts and answering prompts for this journal GETTING THERE…
3. read Mousekin’s Christmas Eve, A Visit from St. Nicholas and Nativity story from children’s Bible to Sara
4. read The Northerner‘s Christmas edition
5. decorate our tree (and get photo of me and Sara hanging up our angel ornaments) DONE
6. decorate house
7. set up nativity DONE
8. attend Christmas Eve service at church DONE
9. get house ready for and host Christmas Eve get-together with Prokopchuks and Audrey DONE
10. enjoy gift openings with family HALF DONE
11. enjoy Christmas feasts DONE
12. help lead music for long-term care Boxing Day worship service
13. munch on Bryan’s homemade cinnamon rolls and butterhorns

After Christmas Day:
1. get library area cleaned up and ready for Mom and Dad to sleep during their visit
2. Sara’s pre-op appointment for her CT scan (get paperwork signed for neurosurgeon)
3. Weight Watchers meeting
4. mail out remaining Christmas cards once they arrive
5. meet with Kelly and Timea to work on church vision document
6. finish and mail baby thank you cards
7. finish dealing with or filing remaining household paperwork
8. write letter to our sponsor child in Indonesia
9. continue taking daily photos for Project 365 (and start work on actually compiling them)
10. wrap gifts for each other, Sara and my parents
11. get stocking stuffers for Sara
12. set up savings account for Sara
13. set up Registered Education Savings Plan
14. invite Kandis Riese and Munsons over
15. sign up for “One Little Word” class at Big Picture
16. work on income tax revisions to include medical trips and home renovations
17. massage appointment for my back issues
18. wrap up on-line commitments (postcard swap and month-long challenge)

Maybe next year…
1. make gingerbread house
2. finish my homemade wreath
3. get some sleep!


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