Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What a Week!

In the last week:
  • we baked more kinds of Christmas cookies than I can even remember;
  • we made it through a Christmas pageant dress rehearsal where more than 1/2 "the family" were home sick and then the actual pageant where, about half way through the service, just after my daughter did her "Gabriel" speech, a shepherd knocked an easel onto the head of the littlest angel who was singing "Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem";
  • my church school classes raised more than $8000 for organizations working to prevent the spread of malaria, bring high school education to a part of Africa where less than 1 out of 10 children are currently given such an opportunity, and provide blankets and socks to the homeless poor of New York City;
  • we caroled at two nursing homes as well as to folks from the congregation who have a hard time getting out and around these days;
  • we had one of our cars break down from "old age" (135,000 miles) while the other is out of commission for the next several weeks with a broken rear axle and body damage after someone from the Greenburgh Nature Center ran their van into Kathy on her way to work this past Monday;
  • I finished grading students' projects and blogs and turned in my course grades for the semester;
  • we were able to spend a few hours talking with friends we only get to see once or twice a year;
  • our older kids decided that, as they waited for dinner after opening gifts, the best way to spend their Christmas together was in a poker game.
Between work and home, it's been a whirlwind of a week and I feel more than ready to settle down with a few books, videos, and games and just veg out for a day or two. But SuperMario Galaxy, Big Brain Academy, the rest of War and Peace, and The Nine will have to wait until I'm back in the US. If all goes well, tomorrow I'll be watching some episodes of the TV show Friday Night Lights (which lots of friends have recommended) and reading some paperbacks on a plane to Lisbon where Becca, Kathy and I will spend a few days following the advice of Jose Saramago as wel walk through the Alfama, visit Sintra and participate in one of Becca's favorite pasttimes --shopping--, hopefully improving our extremely minimal Portuguese along the way.

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