Christmas is less than a week away and what am I doing and what am I not doing? Lemme tell you.
1. I am super bad about the Christmas rush but probably not the way you think. I really do not get that panicky sense that other people get because, I mean, really. Christmas lasts for twelve days, people, it only starts on Christmas! It is not the twelve days before Christmas. There is time, people! So if you get my stuff late. Yeah. It is not accidentally late. Actually, it is usually on purpose. In many Latin American countries, gifts are not exchanged until Epiphany or Theophany, the 6th of January, which almost perfectly coincides with old calendar Orthodox Christmas, anyway. My in-laws used make gentle reminders but I think they have given up on that. I am pretty sure that I have not heard anything about in at least a decade. I take this as a sign that either I am making headway in broadening the appreciation of the twelve days a sign that people are just giving up on me as a hopeless case. I am okay with that.
2. So while I will patiently wait for the twelve days, I am hoping super hard that you will, too. Imma ordering more stuff from our amazing monks (see their online store HERE) so our moms and sisters and my best friend's family need to know that the monks are super busy. I told them that it is cool with me that our stuff can be the very last in line because, twelve days y'all. Twelve. Days. The cool thing about the monks right now is that they are expanding their candy making room and gift shop area. This is very good because on busy days in the summer, people line up out the door and down the highway which is uber not safe. Having a larger area for people to shop and wait in line is a good thing! Also, Father Ephrem hand makes all the glorious truffles that come from the shop and demand is high and he needs more space. More expansion on the kitchen means that the monks will be able to shrink their production time which in turn gives them more time to be, well, monks. More time for prayer and services is the goal and they really could use the support just make sure that you let them know that you are totally cool with the twelve days so that you do not stress out my monks or I will have to lay down the bidness, peepo.
3. But what I am totally not cool with waiting on is for the oldest to come home from college. Today was the last day of finals but traveling craziness being what it is, he will not be here until Monday. The wait is agonizing. Really. I wish I had like a sci-fi laser beam travel device so that Joseph was here tonight, reading the girls favorite bedtimes stories. Sophia is four now and she wants her brother to see how high she can count and how many letters she knows. She is really sweating it! I have no idea why. It is not like those two are not thick as thieves already and there is pretty much nothing she can do to lose the shine. I am thrilled for all my other mom friends who's kids are home from school right now but I would be lying if I did not tell you that it did not make me a little sad. Laser beam travel, why can you not be very real right now?
4. That cool photo at the top of the post is my son, Raymond, all decked out for working outside and holding the most awesome ice lance of all time. The wood burning boiler out back gets these awesome icicles on it sunny days when the snow melts off and the freezes in the frigid overnight lows. We went from a three day stretch of glorious high temps in the low 40s and then back into the teens. The sun was shining and the snow was melting and we were desperately soaking up some sweet, sweet vitamin D. So Raymond pulled off this ice lance and asked me to photograph it. That is one lethal looking icicle but no worries, it stretched to the ground and could not have fallen and stabbed anyone. Raymond has some mad skills, buy the way. He can run the tractor and blower and clear snow like a stone cold pro which makes me super grateful because it snows here and we need to get out sometimes. Ever read The Shining? Yeah. Me, too.
5. I have new project for next year. I am working on a full length cookbook with photography. I am writing a book about family friendly Eastern Christian fasting and how to do it affordably and without pulling out your hair. I am planning on having a whole chapter devoted to kids who hate beans because, yeah, your life is way too hard already. There are no shortage of good vegan cookbooks out there but often, they have recipes designed for a one or two and are short on sack lunch ideas and planning ideas. Families, particularly large families, have real needs that are just not being met out there and I see it when people frantically ask me for recipes and tips. I did not start out wanting to write this book. I had all kinds of ideas about the things that I wanted to write instead! Yet, time after time people suggested it and when someone who is quite possibly world's most awesome Byzantine nun suggested not just once or twice but three times, I started to listen. So here I am embarking on a big real book and not like my smaller eBooks of before. It is scary, but a good scary. I think this is what I am supposed to be doing.
6. I need to order some science dissection specimens this week. Another home schooling family is going to come over and we are going to do a dissection day with several different kinds of specimens and all of our kids. It should be fun! Joseph will be home from college so there will at least one other big people around to balance out all these little people because I am honestly concerned about the ratios. I mean, a lot can go wrong with 13 kids in the house and a mess of scalpels. I am planning on employing a series of baby gates and the electronic babysitter, you know what I a saying? I know you do!
7. In case you have not noticed, "peepo" is pretty much my new favorite word. I use it constantly because it makes me happy. It is a corruption of the word "people" as so eloquently spoken by the tiny daughter of a crazy talented and insanely beautiful woman in my photography constructive criticism group. The group has been very good for photog skillz because these women throw down but less so for confidence in my appearance because we did a self portrait challenge and there are some freaking gorgeous women in my group. For real. I am very ordinary in all ways. They are not. But, in the end I stay because they are also awesome and I need to learn from their magic and mastery but probably because they are also awesome. Like way awesome. Anyway, I use "peepo" in any sentence I can get away using it. It will become a trend, I am telling you. I am throwing it out on Instagram and Facebook all the time and you know at some point some trend setter is gonna see it and take it for their very own. Just remember you heard it here second and from Amy's daughter first. Let's be honest about this, peepo.
I have decided to make a more regular habit of hanging out at Seven Quick Takes and you can, too. Just pop over HERE and see what all the action is about.