My Heart's at Home for Christmas Daybook

Outside My Window ...
The sun is rising and there's a heavy frost on the ground.Morning has broken after the longest night of the year.
I am listening to...
Sarah breathing. Is that wheezing?
Towards rhythm and beauty ...
This week's rhythm will be to the carols playing unceasingly. There is so much beauty in this season! I'm planning on soaking in the sights and sounds and smells of Christmas right here in my domestic church.
I am thankful for ...
a baby who "knew" I was wondering and worried and answered me with a smile.
From the kitchen ...
we had dinner for 22 last night. That's really not that many when you consider that 11 of those 22 are here every day.

antipasto with prosciuttio and salami, roasted peppers, artichokes, olives, provolone, tapenade and bruschetta
artichoke and spinach dip with tortillas
spaghetti with bolognese sauce
Caesar salad
green beans
rosemary and olive bread
Texas sheet cake
pear pie with freshly whipped cream
Nicholas' birthday cake

Today, we eat leftovers. Yippee!
To live the liturgy...
Nicholas and I are going to meet Fr. Peter this morning for confession. At midnight Mass, Nick will receive Our Lord for the first time (and you can watch if you like. It will be televised on EWTN.) Nick's first Communion was delayed because of bedrest. And now that Sarah can't go to Mass until after flu season, it looked like he was going to have to wait until spring or I'd miss it. But...Mike is directing the production of midnight Mass from the Shrine. If Nicky receives then, Mike will be sure it's on TV and I can watch. Pretty cool, huh?
I am wearing ...
a flannel nightgown, fleece bathrobe and happy socks.
I am creating ...
18 boxes of fudge for Mike to take to the office tomorrow.
And I still need to blog Gingerbread Day and Peppermint Day and Nicky's Birthday and the extended family party. More retro-blogging.
Towards a real education ...
would you believe me if I told you my brain keeps going to the place where I've filed educational philosophy? I have some ideas for freshening things up in January.
Bringing beauty to my home ...
I love the way my home looks for Christmas. Michael has a nasty virus. When he's feeling better, I'll ask him to take photos for a bloggy tour of the decor.
I am reading  ...
The Gift of Faith, recommended on Faith and Family Live! This book very well may be the best book on faith I've ever read (I'm not finished yet).It's written simply enough to be readable even in translation. It incorporates Scripture,sacrament, Tradition, and the wisdom of the saints to offer a fresh perspective on the spiritual life.I'm reading it slowly and I know I'll return to it again and again. It also made my Christmas gift-giving list.
I spent a few hours in the van this weekend while my kids played games and went to Mass. Sarah and I hung out where the germs couldn't get her. I read Rick Warren's The Purpose of Christmas. It was a quick read--lots of white space and clear language. It was a nice reminder of the reason for the season and I think it will be a really good book to pass on to the young teens in my life.
I am hoping ...
everyone feels well by Wednesday.
Around the house ...
laundry is still my nemesis. Michael tells me that he can get into the dorms all during the winter break. There are 14 washers and dryers in his dorm. It's free. Do you know how tempted I am to load every last stitch of laundry into the van and go hang out in a college dorm for a couple of hours and then be
all caught up?  
Very. I'm very tempted.

One of my favorite things ...
Sarah's smile. I wonder how many times she will smile before it won't make me cry?
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
driving around to look at lights (tonight I think), a little more bustle tomorrow, Christmas Eve seafood feast, midnight Mass, a quiet Christmas day at home. Well, as quiet as it can be with nine children.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing~
Three little girls after a big party.