Today was a pretty quiet day at home. We cleaned up the basement so the kids would be ready for their Christmas Eve sleepover. We played games—Miriam cried and cried about Phase 10 but ended up getting second place (I lost). Zoë and Alexander were so patient while the rest of us were playing; they made all sorts of beautiful Christmas pictures (most of which ended up under the tree, I believe), so when we were finished playing Phase 10, I played "The Santa Claus Game" with them (which takes a lot of patience for me to play).
All the while I was texting a neighbour who contacted me on Nextdoor to say that she had some books she'd like to get rid of and would we like them. I told her that we definitely would! I did not tell her that I had no idea who she was!
Here's the thing: a few months ago I put out a plea on Nextdoor to see if anyone had access to a lot of scrap paper (because my kids—they draw all the time, see? But I'm an environmentalist and can't give them fresh, good paper to draw on because they draw all the time). We got our paper. And some other random lady sent me a message saying that sometimes she goes through her things to pare down her belongings and would I be interested in any things she comes across? So I said, sure—keep us in mind.
So I thought, maybe it was this mystery lady messaging me now.
But she was being very vague. She was like, "Okay! I'll just clean them up a bit and leave them in the garage. You can swing by and grab them if you want. The door is always open."
So I was like, "Sure thing. What's your address?"
And she was like, "This is Michele. Two doors down. Two trucks in the driveway..."
And I about died!
I mean, I knew it was Michele, but the thing is, I didn't know this particular neighbours' last name and, well, there are a lot of Michel[l]es in the world! So it just didn't click that it was that Michele. And for the record, my directly next-door neighbour's name is also Michelle. So there's that. I mean, this Michele could have been anybody! But she had books...so...
That was a fun message to type.
"Oh, that Michele! Yup. Totally know who you are!" is what I did not type, but I assure you my message was just as bumbling and awkward.
The little kids (Benjamin inclusive) and I walked up—in the cold, sleety weather we had today—to get them books but the garage door was closed. We rang the doorbell but no one came so we headed home. Halfway there Benjamin noticed Michele waving out the window to us. Evidently her husband had close the garage door (because it was sleeting, probably) and she hadn't realized. But we got the books and took them home and the kids immediately tore into them (she had a copy of Ripley's Believe It Or Not! in there and whether or not you believe it that is right up Benjamin's alley).
Andrew and Rachel made beef stew and latkes for dinner, which were divine. We're all very excited for leftovers tomorrow (when Andrew will also make tamales; traditionally his family has fried burritos but...I don't really like fried burritos, so I'm happy Andrew has figured out the whole tamale thing).
After dinner we settled in for a reading (and acting out) of the Christmas story. The kids anticipated this and assigned all the roles and came for scripture study in full costume. Here's Alexander patiently waiting for the nativity to start:
The wise men were warned in a dream to depart the city another way (without going back to report to King Herod), so they did so. And Mary and Joseph later fled to Egypt. But before they did, they took a few quiet moments to snuggle their sweet baby.
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
What can I give Him, poor as I am?If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.