Domestic Bliss

Today is our day off, and it's been a great day. This morning Troy and I went into Madrid and met Kelly for a quick breakfast and then a gander at the Christmas market in Plaza Mayor. It's an interesting mix of Christmas ornaments, everything you need to build a huge, complex Nativity scene (see photo) and funny wigs, hats and gag gifts. Not quite sure why it's all there together, but it's definitely a part of Christmas in Madrid.

This afternoon we had a nap, then went to get Meg and go to the "euro" store to get stuff for the Christmas shoebox we put together. This is the first year her school has done that, and I was happy they started it. I think it's great for kids to learn to give instead of always thinking about what they are getting. Nic definitely needed to learn that lesson as he walked around the euro store asking for stuff for him!

Then we came home and I made pasta (animal tricolor noodles for the kids, spinach and cheese tortellini for Troy & I) with mushroom, onion & sauasage red sauce and a fresh loaf of crusty bread. Then we turned on the Christmas tree lights and sat and ate in the living room while we watched the new version of Miracle on 34th Street.


My Community Group

Thought you might like to see some photos of my community group and some of their artwork they have been doing during our response time after our Advent Godly Play. They do some amazing work!
(left to

I didn't get pics on anyone else yet.


The Economy of Christmas

When I was a kid (a missionary kid) the bounty of Christmas always depended on the checks that good-hearted people sent us. Christmas was always beautiful and meaningful in our home. I think that's why I still love Christmas so much.

Today we got a Christmas check in the mail. Earlier in the day, Troy asked me what the "Christmas budget" was. I told him that after payday next week I needed to sit down and take stock and I would let him know :) When I opened the check I said "Here's our Christmas money!"

Then I checked our Spanish bank balance and found out that (as usual) they have paid the telephone bill without me knowing so that now I owe the bank all but 30 euro of the Christmas check. Bah humbug!

Finally got our Christmas letter finished today. Hooray! I can cross that off my to-do list.


Sunday night at the (mental) races

When I used to have a non-ministry job (one that required me showing up somewhere in the morning and staying until the end of the afternoon) I used to get the "Sunday night blues." With some of my jobs the blues were worse than others. I would get downright whiny about having to go to work the next day. It wasn't pretty.

Now that we're in ministry, I don't really get those blues anymore (there are new and different blues to enjoy!) but my brain does go into administrative over-drive as I try and prepare for the week ahead. It usually happens late on Sunday night, after I get in bed. I start to think of everything I need to get done during the week, and trying to remember everything. You know the story. It's crazy! Often I end up staring at the ceiling, wide awake and more often than not, worried about things. Like needing to take Meaghan and Nic to the dentist (Meg needs braces, Nic has a doozy of a cavity.) Like finding a new place to live in the city and all the unknowns of that. And a million other things. So I don't get enough sleep, and I end up dragging on Mondays. I really need to break this cycle!

Last night I was awake really late because I was waiting to see if Meg's fever was going to break. It was really high and I didn't want to go to sleep until it seemed to be coming down. And then I got annoyed because I had arranged to walk with Sarah this morning, and it never fails that as soon as I try to get organized and actually get off my butt and do some exercise, things happen. Like high fevers keeping me up at night so I don't get enough sleep and wake up dragging and don't want to walk.

But this morning, I did it anyway! I got my butt out of bed, went to meet Sarah, and went for a walk. So there.

I spent most of the rest of the day sitting on my bed again hanging out with Meg, but I did get a little done!


The Weekend

It has been a great weekend. Saturday started with a much better feeling than Friday night, that's for sure. Everyone was in a good mood on Saturday because Daddy was coming home. We got in the car and put in Harry Connick Jr.'s Harry for the Holidays and headed for the airport. Everything is just better when Dad's at home! We enjoyed our afternoon together, and today has been great too. We puttered around all morning and then a few friends came over for lunch and Christmas movies. We watched A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life while we ate lunch and pumpkin pie by the fire. A great afternoon! Later on we read some books; basically we've just been hanging out by the fire with friends all day.

I had to run someone to their babysitting job, and the sunset was glorious tonight. As I was arriving back home the sky was dusky deep rose with black lace trees and the outlines of mountains against the night. Beautiful.

I find myself sitting in my darkened room again with a sick kid; this time the other one. Meg had a headache earlier this afternoon. She went to bed but then called us later to say she didn't feel well. She had the chills for awhile and couldn't stop shaking. I think she is asleep now as I write this. We'll see what happens as the night wears on. I hope she's OK in the morning.
Hope you all had a great weekend too!