Checking it Off the List

I woke up yesterday with my big “to-do” list swirling in my mind.  Every item seemed vital and screaming to be done, so I shook my head and gave it a bit of thought.  I asked myself what was the number one most pressing task I had to accomplish – what was the one thing that would make me feel the most relieved when it was done.  Christmas cards?  No, they could wait until next week.  A good school day?  Yes, but even my school kids were hardly going to do any work that day.  Baking?  No, we’re waiting for Sweet Pea to get home before we kick into high gear with baking. Shopping?  Yes, the thing I was getting most worried about was the need to buy gifts for a number of the kids.

We live in a relatively small town, so our shopping options are not great.  It takes a trip all the way to the big city of Spokane to do serious shopping.  But nearly everything I needed could be purchased online and  if I worked quickly, I could get it all done and everything would arrive in time for Christmas.  So, I did.  I got the girls off to school and Russ off to work, cooked eggs for the little boys and sent them outside to play in the pitiful amount of snow we have, shut Ladybug and Sunshine’s door to let them sleep late, and sat down with my laptop, a cup of coffee, and my Christmas notebook. I followed my own advice and purchased a number of items from my Top Twenty Toys list and Twenty Real Life Tools as Gifts.

I thought I would knock shopping out in the morning and turn my attention to other things in the afternoon. That was completely unrealistic!  Have I ever mentioned that I have eleven children and a son-in-law? Or that I was trying to do this while also meeting the needs of my younger kids, making an emergency run to the university to drop Noah off at a final, answering the phone, feeding kids lunch, having a long discussion with older kids, and well, life?At least a toilet didn’t overflow today, that was earlier this week.

Our gift giving is not elaborate; each of the kids receives a book, a Christmas ornament, a main gift, and sometimes a smaller gift.  Simple, right?  Well, not really, it took all day to get it done!  I still have some small gifts I need to buy in person, but other than that, I purchased everything on Amazon (I’m a huge fan of free shipping).  I wish I could tell you the books I ordered and treasures I bought, but my kids will read my blog and Christmas morning won’t be very fun.

My family is still sleeping, but the sky is getting rosy and the day is going to get rolling soon.  Ladybug and Sunshine have a piano recital this afternoon and I have lots to accomplish before that.  Mimi and Andrew are hosting their Supper Club tonight and she is cooking Beef Wellington – she is creative and ambitious!  When she told me they had started a Supper Club, it hit me that she really is a grown-up.

One more exciting thing, Rusty’s well is only $23.80 away from being fully funded!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to each one of you who contributed.  If you would like to be the one to complete this Christmas well, please go to the The Water Fight and make your donation.  Any additional funds will go to the next well project, which we’ll announce this weekend.  If you haven’t seen it, Rusty wrote a great post earlier this week, Thirsty, explaining The Water Fight and his purpose in starting it.

#551 – 560 giving thanks

a deep rosy sky

Russ home last night

continued blessings for Sweet Pea as she interviews and travels

Ladybug waltzing and polka-ing with friends last night

a child learning of forgiveness and the peace that follows

Christmas cards arriving from friends

two new pillows on the old, worn sofa – they help – a  little

girls making Christmas cards

your outpouring of encouragement to Hailyn

my church cookbook – a faithful companion in the kitchen

Have a fantastic weekend!

[This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]


This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Mama D's Dozen
    December 17, 2011

    I am going to have to explore Amazon for gift giving next year.

    I've always enjoyed a couple of days of Christmas shopping, usually 1 day in November and 1 day in early December. However, we spent $80 on postage to send packages to our Big Kids across the country. Yikes! Next year, I'll order big kid presents online and have them shipped directly.

    Hope your weekend is BLESSED!


  2. tlj6575
    December 17, 2011

    Just donated the last little bit in honor of all my young friends at AHOPE… especially my 17 cooking class kids who will soon be entering the "real world"… please tell your son, I'm so impressed with him!!

    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 17, 2011

      Thank you so much! He will be so happy. I love the AHOPE kids – our girls are both from AHOPE. I would love to hear about your cooking class and time in Addis.

  3. Mary
    December 17, 2011

    Lisa, I thought of you today. The dishes were everywhere. Toys everywhere. Laundry everywhere. A sick dog whining. An event at 2 pm approaching, me in my sweats and the thing I HAD to do was rock my girl. I had been missing her needs for a few days and unfortunately only realixing it when she was asleep at night. Today, I tuned in faster, thanks to the rocking challenge. It was her favorite part of the day, and mine. (and the dishes got done, toys picked up. We were late to the event and I just wore a hat).

    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 17, 2011

      Mary, I love that. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of slowing down and giving my children my time and attention.


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