Life in its merry way has turned December on its head for me. I fully expected to be blogging in a new site by now, but here I still am. All throughout the joy sprinkling challenge I've had days when circumstances prevented me from being able to sprinkle as planned, but that seems especially so right now. And I have not been writing as much, so I have a big backlog of sprinkles to tell you about.
I have decided that for the rest of the challenge, instead of posting by day number, I am going to post by sprinkle number. More often than not it coincides to a day, but it just feels wrong to "back date" a sprinkle when it has had to be postponed.
Last month I focused on expressing love to some of my children's special teachers, and this month I decided to think about people in my community for whom I am thankful. I made a special treat and delivered it to our local Children's Advocacy Center, thanking them in person for the hard work they do serving abused children in our community.
I host a monthly bible study for mamas at my house and I was very tempted to ask someone else to host this month, as I was just returning from our family's vacation. But December tends to be a busy month for everyone, so I decided instead to simplify it and still have it here. We had a lovely evening enjoying one another and discussing having a servant's heart.
I surprised the younger children with a new nativity that is durable and ready for lots of play. It has always been important to me that my little ones have their own nativity set to play with during December, and we have had several. I like to avoid plastic, opting for durable wood or cloth, but even our wooden and cloth nativities have been broken, ripped and lost over the years. Playmobil seemed just the thing. They were so excited, and spent hours assembling all the little accessories and acting out the story over and over. In the evening, I asked the Princess to set it up on a side table they could reach in the morning. She went all out and even made the angel float in the air! :-)
Busy. That is what I am. Busy busy busy. There are vastly more items on my to-do list than are hours in the day to accomplish them. But when Little Warrior invited me to have a picnic with him on the playscape, I took a deep breath and said "Yes!" We gathered our supplies... a sheet, apple slices, popcorn and crackers, and we sat together enjoying the fall crispness. It was one of those moments that he and I will both remember, and it took at most 30 minutes from my day. Startling how little we mothers need to offer for such great reward. God is the great multiplier.
This is going to sound silly, but it was another moment when I decided "I don't want to do this, but it will bring joy to my children, so I am going to." We have lots of Eastern Red Cedars on our property, and every year we cut one down for a Christmas tree. This year, right around the time he brought in a newly cut tree, The Bard started sneezing and having a sore throat. And the house smelled terrible. Needless to say we suspected the tree. So he removed the tree for a few days to see if he felt better and the smell diminished, then brought it back in again. This whole process began on a Wednesday, and by sprinkle day #80 it was Sunday and we still had an undecorated tree. Sunday was filled, and finally at 7:00 we were done with our day's activities. The children asked if we could decorate the tree. I mostly wanted to go to bed, but I agreed, we pulled out the boxes of decorations and they set to work. They were so happy! It was delightful the next chilly morning to sit by the fire and look at the twinkly little lights.
An unplanned sprinkle... my favorite! I made a little treat for the folks who run our local Pregnancy Center as part of my "thinking about community" theme for December. I was on my way to a stop before dropping off the cookies, when I drove past a man with a big backpack, heading down the access road of the highway. I just knew the cookies were for him. I stopped the car in a parking lot and ran out. It took a bit of effort to get his attention, but he was cheerful and friendly when he heard me. It was a very different interaction from the one that happened on my country road. He was on his way south, having started in upstate New York. He introduced himself and we chatted briefly. Then off he trekked, cookies in his pocket.
Continuing the community theme... I sprinkled our local yarn shop lady with a treat and a note thanking her for being a blessing to our community and helping me get back into knitting.
Sprinkle # 83
A young friend has just not been feeling up to snuff, and I knew she had a special favorite that I make. So I whipped it up and dropped by her house, leaving a surprise on the door.
Another community gratitude sprinkle. This time I got some cookies all the way to the Pregnancy Resource Center. And thanked them for their labor of love for the unborn.