December has been a full month for us. Unfortunately in the middle of this busy season I took a tumble down the stairs and ended up with quite a few bruises and a concussion. For the most part I have since recovered from the fall. The injury to my knee will take a while to heal and my mind just gets tired from too much sensory information from light and sound. Even to write this post I had to find a writing extension that allowed me to control the light and colors on my display. Retreating to a quiet and dark room has been the only relief I can get sometimes.

November pictures:

Earlier this month my mother made her Christmas visit. She stayed with us for four days this time. She also stayed the night with the kids while my Sweetie and I went to Belterra for the Jim Beam Christmas party. I think Oldest could have stayed home with the crew on his own, but he didn’t feel quite ready to be responsible with us away over night. I think he may come next year though.

Anyway, the Christmas party had a Prohibition theme to it. We didn’t dress up, though many others did. I just could not bring myself to purchase a 1920’s style gown for one night. My husband won a tent. That was kinda cool. The kids have talked about camping out in the backyard when it warms up. I’m not much of a camper…maybe if we set it up in the family room.

While my mom was in, we exchanged Christmas gifts with her. I did all of the purchases for her this year. I have the kids make an Amazon wish list every year so it is easier for relatives to buy for them. The kids helped me pick out a few gifts for her and we made a photo calendar. She told me to pick out my own gift from her too. And wouldn’t you know she asked why I didn’t wrap the gift I picked out for myself? I didn’t know what to say to that so I didn’t say anything.

The following weekend our family friend came to stay. The kids love her and Littlest just misses her all the time. She spoils the kids like crazy. Shannon and I always think hard of ways to spoil her back. We bought several things from our trip for her. Shannon surprised me with an overnight stay away at Shaker Village while Cindy stayed with the kids. They love it when she stays with them! I’ve always wanted to stay at Shaker Village! It was a really cold night but the dinner was perfect and the room was lovely. We walked around the village and enjoyed all the Christmas lights and hot chocolate before the cold bitter wind drove us back to our room. It you are ever looking for that out of the way, a unique place to stay in Kentucky, then go to Shaker Village.

My husband’s leadership group visited several interesting places this month. They had a tour of Kentucky State’s aquaponics lab and 4H extension classrooms. Then they had a tour of the county high school’s vocational school. He was very impressed with the instructors and principal there since they all come from industry and not education. He thinks we should look into it as a possibility for Sparkles. She is an artist on the computer and they have programs to offer her that we just cannot provide at home. I hope to arrange a tour sometime next year to see if this is a viable option for her. I already know a little about the place since the Oldest’s plumbing classes meet there at night. Their next stop was a tour of Stewart Home and School. Stewart is a privately funded home for those who cannot care for themselves due to mental/physical difficulties. He was impressed with the level of care the guests receive there and the staff it takes to run the place. The place is beautiful and was once the Kentucky Military Institute and was founded in 1893.

That was the same day I fell down the stairs. I had planned to do some Christmas baking and such but had to let those things go. I even had to let my friend Camie know that her Christmas box will be sent after Christmas. Guess I’ll call it a New Years’s box. The younger three even got their Christmas break a little earlier since it was hard for me to concentrate. Though they still did a few subjects on their own. Oldest had to finish up and get his quarter work finished so we could send it in to his counselor. His plumbing teacher even sent in a small report.

Last week we went to visit the Sisters. I always love visiting with them and we laughed so hard over some old stories. I learned about the passing of Sister Paul which broke my heart. Sparkles and Littlest just cried their eyes out. I managed not to cry but that was only because I felt that they needed me to comfort them instead. But I cried when I went to bed that night. Sister Paul was fun and had such a mischievous streak sometimes. She was also very sweet. The last time I saw her she patted both of my cheeks and told me how much she loved me. Can’t really ask for a better last memory.

I went to a Christmas open house with my husband and met some of the people from his leadership group. I’ve never really mixed with the social upperclass very much. The open house was in a cool little remodeled place downtown along the river. I heard several neat ideas for revitalizing the city and downtown area. I may have been out of my usual element but it was fascinating as well.

I also went in to Kroger to fill out the paperwork to get my old job back. I only plan to work on the weekends as I’d like to get Oldest’s plumbing courses paid for sooner as to later. I think I should get free plumbing services for life. With him in classes for the next two years and Sparkles possibly going to high school we will be settling in the area for some time, I suppose.

I plan to get one more post up this year. I’ve been working on choosing a word for the year. I plan to write about it and on how this year’s word helped.

Until then, Merry Christmas.