The primary productive thing I did was that I finally finally FINALLY got Sean's first year photo album designed and ordered. Ryan's and Morgan's were ready at their first birthday parties, so I'm only a little bit behind with Sean's. :/ But Sean gets the fancy-schmancy album, since I did it all online at Snapfish and made it all cute and adorable. So it'll all even out. Or perhaps not. But it's done! And now I've got to do the 2010 calendars for the grandparents and great-grandparents, and if I hurry, I can get them at buy-one-get-one prices. I love the first year albums and I think our calendar is a perfect gift for grandparent-types, but boy am I sick of looking at, editing, uploading and fiddling with pictures. For reals. Expect pictures from Christmas to go up on the FamBlog sometime around Valentine's Day.
Can you believe Christmas is NEXT WEEK?!?!?!? It really is. Go look at your calendar. I'm nearly ready--still need things for stockings, and food for our guests and such things. It helps this year that Brendan and I have opted out of all gift-giving of the adult-variety. We are on a budget tighter than anything we've done in a LONG time, and we simply can't afford to get gifts for all of the parents and siblings, even if we do a name-draw system as we've done the past few years or so. We got a family gift (Beatles Rock Band for the Wii!!!!) and we're getting the kids gifts, of course. And we also paid for the kids to get each other gifts, to foster a spirit of Good Will Towards Sibs (where Ryan picks out gifts for M and S, etc.). The 2010 calendars for the grandparents are "from" the kids. For everyone else, we got Christmas cards and are offering lots of cheer and good will! :o)
I have to admit--I'm enjoying opting out of the adult gift exchanges for more than just budgetary reasons. For one thing, Brendan and I don't really actually NEED anything. I'm in get-all-the-crap-out-of-the-house mode, and have been for a while. And while it's fun to get a gift for someone you love, it also takes time and energy and then the person may not even really like the gift (although they do appreciate the thought, certainly). I have quite a bit more free time this holiday season since I'm not shopping (online or in 3D-land) and wrapping packages and taking them to the post office, etc. That leaves time to plan fun activities for our guests who will be here and do fun things like have Bake Cookies Day with the kids (that's next Sunday).
This is our last week of kid activities until after the new year, and I'm planning a post soon on how things are going at our homeschool. (In a word: GREAT!) I think we're all ready for a bit of a break from the regular routine.
And now I've got to go set up history class for Ryan. He's been very diligent about listening and will be disappointed if he doesn't get to listen to at least one lecture before taekwondo tonight. Bye for now!