October 31, 2005
On Friday evening the children and I drove to the Las Vegas airport for the long-anticipated arrival of Ted from his 26-day trip to Texas! It has been a long month, but we are so thankful that he is home again. We were so blessed by our church family, though we are so new to the area, as they provided meals for the children and me the last couple of weeks Ted was away, plus sent a housekeeper to clean the entire house the day before he arrived home! Wow! Being separated is always a growing time, at least for me, as I must rely solely on my Lord to carry me through every decision and every difficult circumstance. And believe me, with our three kiddos, there are difficult circumstances daily, if not hourly!
Saturday evening we had a small family celebration for Arden's 2nd birthday. He was so enthralled with each and every gift that it was hard to pull him back to the stack o' presents to unwrap more! Looking back on this, I am thinking that in the future we should not save up all the packages that arrive in the mail from family members and have our toddler open them all at once. Instead, it would probably be better to let the wee one open a package every morning during the whole week of celebration so he can savor each new treasure along with the joy and delight of having a special celebration. Still, Arden's party was a fun time for our whole family, made even more special by Daddy's presence. (And Mom is happy to have some new toys to swap out with some older ones for the "toy library!") You can see Arden enjoying his new blocks from Grandma and Grandpa Keist here.
Sunday afternoon was the long-awaited Princess Party for Charis' 5th birthday. Seven little princesses arrived to help celebrate the occasion. Glitter, tiaras, and swishy dresses were everywhere. We played "Pin the Crown on Cinderella," had a coloring contest, made star wands, ate munchies and birthday cake, listened to "The Princess and the Pea," and went on a treasure hunt. Charis was overjoyed, and her shiny eyes, plus the oohs and aahs of the other princesses, made me feel the time and effort that I spent in planning this party were definitely worth it. I remember special birthday parties at home that probably weren't any big deal to the average onlooker, but they were super special to me as a kid--even the corny games were fun! Now, here I am, playing silly games with my daughter and her friends, and feeling almost as delighted as the Birthday Princess Herself!
So, Ted is home again, our October birthday boy and girl have had their celebrations, and life will now begin to settle back into a routine. Oh, how I love routine! I am looking forward to completing a specific daily schedule for the children and myself as I work through the Managers of Their Homes book and worksheets. The last week and a half or so has had us completely off track as far as daily activities, including (and especially) school. While we have still been "doing school," it has not been as consistently and orderly as my type-A personality would like, and while I appreciate that I can have flexibility while home schooling, chaos is not exactly my idea of being flexible! So hopefully the next week or so will find us settling back down into a more predictable schedule. I think this will help tremendously with the boys' behavior issues that were erupting like mad, especially toward the latter part of Ted's TDY.