It takes a child to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas:
While driving home in the car today, I was telling the boys about our plans these last few days before Christmas. I exictedly told them that SANTA was coming to mommy's WORK and there was going to be a children's party! My ever cynical 4 year old asked suspiciously, "Is it the REAL Santa, or a FAKE Santa?"
I was shocked. We never talked about a real vs. fake Santa? Crap! What do I do?!
My wise 7 year old came to the rescue.
"Well, you know, it might be the FAKE Santa. But that's okay, the FAKE Santa's are here to remind us to keep the REAL Santa in our heart. "
Merry Christmas. May you always have the REAL Santa in your heart!
Today was a busy day and a perfect example of a mother's multi-tasking skills. We were up at 6:20 am-breakfast for the boys, get them ready for school (thank God for school uniforms!) and then-oh yea! I have to get ready, too! (I wish I was in a uniform today...I hate regular clothes.)
Christmas presents for the teachers? Check! Backpacks and lunches? Check! Homework. library books,and signed forms? Check! Payments for whatever is going on at school this month? Check! Kids in car? Check!
Finally! On the road-
Kids have their jackets and schoolwork and backpacks? Check! Mom has camera, gifts, and school nurse stuff? Check!
Now-run to the classrooms. Dante gives me a kiss at the threshold, Jonah pulls on my arm to get him to preschool. I drop him off, stay a few minutes to chat up the teachers and give them their giftsand then off to Mass with Dante.
After Mass-unlock the nurses office, take attendance and then run to St. Clare's hall have breakfast with Jonah and Santa and the rest of the preschoolers, pre-k kids and their parents.
Back to the nurses office for recess boo-boo-s and owies and general hugs from and to the kids.
To Dante's class with gifts for the teachers.
Back to the nurse's office to orient a new volunteer and clean up the space for the Christmas break. (No Christmas mice in the Health Office!)
Lock up, wish everyone a Merry Christmas and pick up Dante. I was hoping to leave with empty arms but I received back as many Christmas goodies as I gave! Trudge up the hill to preschool to pick up Jonah and then to lunch with the kids. (We always go out to lunch when it's half day at school. Our tradition...) Home for nap and then some down time! Yay! I think my days at the school are just as exhausting as my 12 hour shifts at the hospital. I can't quite figure out why...
Here are some pictures of the past two days at school. Merry Christmas to all of you!
After a week off for Thanksgiving break, Jonah was very excited to go back to school. He hung up his backpack and raced inside the classroom. He opened his arms out wide and announced, "Good Morning, Ladies. I'm HEEEERE. "
BuyNothingChristmas.org is a great link to a frugal and meaningful Christmas. Celebrate the REAL reason for the Season-Hope and the birth of a new world in the midst of a dark one, the blessing of family and the spirit of giving our Time, Talent, and Treasure to those who need it most. May we always remember the hope and expectations of the Holy Family as they witness the miracle of Life. Merry Christmas!
Well, we all have this Thanksgiving week off! It seems we have been so busy lately we haven't had any good family time or day trips together. So after Jonah's nap, we packed some snacks and drove over to Jack's Pond. I've heard about this little park with a trail system through San Marcos, but have never been out there. It is a cute little park! There is a Nature Center/Barn which is open on Saturdays with activities for the kids. There is a trail that takes you to the pond, about a 1/4 mile away. Jonah brought his Indiana Jones hat, Dante his light saber and Captain Rex Blaster (Star Wars is still big in our house!) and we were on an adventure! Here are some pictures:
Jonah and I had a nice morning while Dante was in school. We met Ana, who used to be our nanny, at the park. (Now that both boys are in school, I don't need her anymore. We sure do miss her, though!) I always forget about Libby Lake Park. It's probably one of Oceanside best parks. It has a very large pond in the middle of it with a fountain and lots and lots of ducks. A nice trail skirts its periphery and there are also many benches around the lake for sitting, relaxing, and enjoying the view. I guess I forget to come here because it is in the middle of a not so great neighborhood. Actually, it's a BAD neighborhood. I would never want to be here at night. NEVER. Yet as I looked around, I didn't see any graffiti, trash or any truant kids posturing on the playground. It was quite peaceful. Maybe the neighborhood is turning itself around. They have build a preschool across the street from the park, and the community center around the corner is recently remodelled. It would be great if this little corner of Oceanside starts cleaning up. It would be good for it's residents, it's children, it's schools, and the city in general. Even though times are unstable for all of us, the winds of change are coming. Even to a poor neighborhood in a small suburb in Southern California. I can feel it. And for the first time in a long time, I am hopeful.
It's the middle of November for Cripes Sake. And it's hot. Africa Hot. Dry, crunchy, gritty hot. The Santa Ana's blow in from the northeast bleaching the already beige landscape. It billows up dust like dancing petticoats as the trees nod their approval. It fills the air with grit and every part of my body that sees the outdoors feels like sandpaper. My eyes are dry and scratchy. My lips feel bruised and chapped. The boy's skin is ashey and Jonah's lips and nose peeling and cracked and red. And we are crabby. Not just us, but everyone. The whold town is in edge. We watch the horizon for the telltale signs of smoke. It's too damn hot! But the wind doesn't care. It continues to howl through the valley, oblivious to the the fire tail it most often leaves behind. Maybe not here, but soon. And near. We will just continue to scan the sky with worried faces, watch for smoke and pray for rain.
We did manage to take a few hours to go to the beach. It just seems wrong though, to really sunbathe in November. We didn't bring the sand toys or an umbrella. We didn't even bring bathing suites. We thought the water would be too cold for swimming. Apparently we were misinformed. It doesn't matter what the calender says, if it FEELS like July, well then-it's a beach day! The sand was dotted with umbrella and blankets as if it were a summer weekend. They boys were quite disgusted with our lack of knowledge. Okay fine. The clothes will dry. Especially in this windy heat.
We spent the afternoon in Valley Center. We haven't been to Bates Nut Farm the past two years and thought it was high time we took another trip out there. Bates is a working farm and seasonal tourist attraction. It's always very popular in October for the pumpking patch. They also have a hay ride, corn/hay maze, petting zoo, pony rides, jump houses and various food vendors. It's very festive and family friendly. We were amazed at how quickly the afternoon escaped us. It was hot-typical for southern california this time of year-but the breezes kept it tolerable. The boys were so excited for this day, it felt like Christmas! We hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed spending the day at Bates Nut Farm. (www.batesnutfarm.biz)