A Sigh Of Relief

     Slowly, yet ever so surely, we are making our way from Christmas and vacation mode to what is more in keeping with our normal routine.  Do I hear a sigh of relief?  Copper has been home with us for a couple of weeks now.  Since crime, and those who commit it, don’t take a holiday, neither does law enforcement.  Are you thankful for that?  I am!  However, I am even more thankful that my husband took annual vacation time in order to be home with us for Christmas this year.  He returns to work this Saturday.  It’s been wonderful having him home.  It is time, though, to begin facing the fact that Christmas, and Dad’s vacations, do not last forever.


     I’ve not yet grown weary of our Christmas decorations this year, but they were packed up and put away today anyway.  It took all of us working for several hours, but it’s all safely packed away and stored in the barn for next year.












     We have a large, artificial tree, and it has fallen to Aaron the last couple of years to put up and take down the tree.












     After much struggle, complete with very silly manly sound effects, the tree was disassembled, folded up and shoved placed carefully into the box.











     The way these two worked at tying up the box, I almost thought that the poor tree was trying to escape!







     It is my usual practice to decorate with snowmen in January.  Those of you who live in snowy climes will forgive this California girl for her folly, I hope, of bringing snowmen into the house and setting them about.  This fellow on the tea cart, was a lovely early Christmas gift from Copper’s Dad and his wife.  He has delighted us all season long with his cheery countenance and warm lights. 

     This year, though, I decided to give the rest of the snowmen a year off.  I’m not sure why.  There was a longing, I guess, to begin to put my home back into order and to freshen the look up a bit with the new year.  So, as the Christmas things were put away, I resisted the temptation to just put everything else back exactly where it came from.  Instead, I’ll putter about a bit in the coming days deciding what I might like to have out and what I might like to pack away for a bit.  Switching things around.  Enjoying a new look.  Pondering the coming year.



      I’m not one for resolutions.  I’ve disappointed myself far too many times by making and breaking them.  I do  like to ponder each new year as it arrives, though, and think about what I’d like to change personally, with my children and in my home.  I opened my journal early this morning, which has been sadly neglected for some time.  





     While my family slept, I jotted down some ideas for the coming year, all listed under broad category headings such as:  Personal, the names of each of my children, my home & gardens, our homestead, financial, etc.  I’ll earmark that page, perhaps with a bit of pretty ribbon secured to it, so that I remember to check back frequently during the year.  As the year progresses, Lord willing, I will begin to implement some of these changes by working them into our days, and the into our weeks and months, bit by bit and not all at once.  I’m sure I’ll be adding a few more things to these pages in the next week or so as I pray and seek the Lord’s will for us in the coming year

    I splurged a bit the other day and bought myself a pretty set of ear buds in pink, just like these.  Oh, how I love these things!  As I worked in my journal this morning, I was able to plug the earbuds into my laptop and listen to some beautiful, instrumental music while my family slept.  My music did not disturb them, but I was able to enjoy it.  I love having music playing in my home!  I can also plug them in to listen to praise and worship music (instrumental) during my devotional times during the day, too, to filter out the noises of my home that can distract me from keeping my focus on His Word.  What a wonderful investment the earbuds have been! 


     Our winter weather has settled into what is normal for this valley – grey, wet, fog.  In the early morning, around sunrise, and then again in the late evening, the fog gets quite thick and visibility can be quite low.  By mid-day, it burns off to look like this view from my front porch this afternoon.  It’s quite cold to be out in, too.  It almost seems to penetrate however many layers we wear and chill to the bone.  Inside, though, it’s toasty warm and the wood stove has been burning cheerily all day long. 

     I confess to having mixed emotions as we wind down from Christmas and vacation time.  The season brings so many grand, fun things into our days – family gatherings, traditional outings, celebratory feasts.  It’s hard to see it end.  On the other hand, my family thrives on the routine of everyday sameness.  That routine, and sameness, of course, are what make the days of feasting and celebrating so sweet!  There is an almost imperceptible sigh of relief coming over my home.  It’s almost imperceptible, but I hear it. 

     The trappings of Christmas are put away.  The music in the CD player today returned to an all classical format.  (We enjoy a very eclectic selection of music in our home, but today I chose all classical CD’s.)  After our family New Year’s observance, meals will once again return to more normal fare.  New Christmas toys, which we allow the boys to keep in the school room, will find permanent places to be kept before the weekend.  Our days will soon return to the wonderful routine that comes with homeschooling and the keeping of our home and homestead.  We’ll once again enjoy our times of reading aloud throughout the day, and the fun of learning together.  Evenings will begin to revolve around quiet reading and movie watching will once again become a Friday night treat.  Yes, there is real comfort in the return to the norm. 

     Okay, so maybe that almost imperceptible sigh of relief I hear, is from my own lips! 

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27

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11 comments to A Sigh Of Relief

  •  So glad your hubby had time off with all of you.  I have been journaling like this also and love the pictures I find. I love music too! I also hope to get our decorations put away tomorrow. Have a wonderful Blessed New Year!!

  • I make a list of “goals” every December using different catagories as headers. I never thought of putting them in my journal. I usually make a goal poster, but this year just put them in my HMB.

    My boys had the same fight with the tree in the box…it was comical and after a while the boys won!

    So glad to have you blogging again, my friend!

  • I’m planning on getting out my scrapbook journal later this week or the beginning of next.  It has also been sadly neglected for a couple of months.

    Looking forward to another year with you and your family.  I pray for health and safety and that His angels completely surround you and you are kept in the palm of His hands.

  • I’m going to put my decorations away today.  I think I’ll leave the Christmas candles out a bit longer.

    Hope you have a wonderful 2009! 😉

  • I hear that sigh! My tree is waiting to be put away as well. Although, I don’t know if ours will try to escape as yours looks to be doing in that picture. 😉  I just had to smile.

    I love Christmas, but yes, its a bit of a relief to get back to “normal”.

    Wishing you a blessed 2009!


  • Some years it hits me like that too – “Just give me ‘NORMAL’ for cryin’ out loud!!!”
    Then other years, I’m sad to put everything away.

    I think it really all boils down to how dusty my house is!  When I live in a house that gets extremely dusty, I am ready to put away the Christmas stuff because it’s easier to put it away than to dust around it!  If I live in a house that doesn’t get dusty, I don’t mind the stuff staying out a little longer.

    All that being said…I now have jalousie windows!

    Yep!  It’s time to put Christmas away! 

    It’s so nice to be hearing from you again.  No pressure, though, just as you have time to blog – we certainly enjoy it!


  • I heard a sigh in my home , too.  I love putting out the decorations, but dread the putting away. Today, I took the 2 trees down and swept the tinsel.  I still have some pretties to put away, but I will get to them this afternoon.  It is so good to have our home in order again.  Thank you for posting again, Cheryl. It is always a joy to found that you have.

    Happy New Year, Rosemary

  • I too am looking forward to the return of “normal” around our home.  While I love the Christmas season, there is something so refreshing about a new year. 

    Many blessings to you and your family this coming year!

  • Your words are always a sweet motivator to my day. Still can’t do the artificial tree – love the real thing smell. Happy New Year to you and yours my friend!!

    Blessings, Jean

  • My goodness!  In pic. number four the look just cracks me up, that one was shot at me, amazing that you caught it on camera, it was so incredibly fast!

  • Hi Cheryl,

    We are returning back to the preholiday mode here too. Our decorations are put away for another year and we are moving into 2009. Today we did our every 6 months shopping for basic household supplies. What an adventure that was. I know with our cart full of TP everyone must have thought we had bad tummy problems. LOL It is so good to have you back blogging. Have a blessed week.