7 quick takes

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1. Last Sunday afternoon at nap time, I tiptoed down the hallway with a sleeping baby and stood in the doorway of the little ones’ room, watching my husband read “The Littlest Angel” to Alex and Julianna. As he read the last three sentences, I heard his voice change, quiver, and thicken. How can you not adore a guy who chokes up reading a children’s Christmas story?

2. Last Friday I was forced to buy McDonald’s for myself and the kids. (I know, big deal; everybody eats out…but we don’t. And I HATE McDonald’s.) Ten pieces of chicken, two tiny yogurt parfaits, and a bag of fries cost me TWELVE DOLLARS. This reminded me of our trip to the Lake this summer. One morning we paid $16 for breakfast for four at McDonald’s, and were all hungry within two hours. The next day we went to Shoney’s and paid $12 for an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. And the food was way better!

3. Last Sunday evening we had a Christmas caroling party. We invited our choir over and went door to door in our neighborhood. This year we asked for canned goods for the local homeless shelter. I expected people to give us one, maybe two cans. Instead, at virtually every house, we got an entire plastic bag’s worth. Our little Radio Flyer wagon couldn’t hold one more can. It was an amazing experience—as you know, I always feel called to do something for the homeless, but I never seem to have the guts.

4. Speaking of choir, yesterday’s Advent Calendar activity was supposed to be a family singalong—but one of our altos set up the choir to sing next to the Salvation Army bell ringers. So we decided to substitute one singalong for another. Last year, our Advent Calendar didn’t have enough service opportunities in it…this year, it seems that we have one every other day. I can’t tell you how uplifting it is, especially while I’m working on my Advent book for release next year.

5. “Westward leading, still proceeding.” This was me on Wednesday afternoon, barreling through heavy traffic on I-64, homeward bound, trying to outrun my sleepiness. I was following two tractor trailers, one passing the other, when suddenly the one in the left lane braked hard and jerked over into the right lane, leaving me staring at the rear end of a big orange truck proclaiming, “LEFT LANE CLOSED AHEAD.” And he was … stopping. I had just enough time to make a hard stop, in the left lane of I-64, and thank God nobody ploughed into me. In the half second before I turned to look over my shoulder to try to get around him, ten cars whizzed past in the other lane. By the time the crush eased, there was a long line of honking cars behind me, and those at the back were starting to pull out. At last I realized that the only way I was going to get around was to nose around half over the line. At least the adrenaline rush was good for several minutes. Thank you, IDOT.

6. Speaking of IDOT, I just have to share that every time I see their logo, I think it says IDIOT.

7. This is how we keep our baby entertained (and corralled) while decorating the Christmas tree:

I will be 9 months old tomorrow! Happy birthday to me!