I was up at 4:00am. I decided to read Victor Hugo rather than get up. I put a load of Jessie’s clothes into the washing machine.
I knew Jessie would be awake, so I went upstairs to wish her good morning. I told her to sleep a while longer. She did, but came downstairs early. I made her breakfast while the rest slept.
The family stirred about 8:00am. Without oldest sister, there’s no one to declare “all hands on deck.” Next sister tried, but doesn’t like the job.
We piddled around for a couple hours.
Finally, we went to get a Christmas tree at Lowe’s. They were picked over but were half price. Ryan, the checkout guy, was a good sport.
We put the tree in the stand to let it dry. It was raining when we got the tree.
We made paper chains with Jessie. We made more Perler snowflakes and candy canes.
The guys who installed the windows came to fix the broken window and to caulk the window they missed.
Lunch was the favorite ramen noodles. We had gotten two cases for the occasion of the invasion.
The first set of sheets arrived and they are the wrong color.
We got a second couch out of storage.
Several went back to bed for long naps.
Jessie was never trained to nap so she’s an ever-ready bunny of energy all day long. So, it requires that someone keep up with her all day.
About 2:00pm, we put the lights on the tree. By 4:00pm, it was trimmed and ornamented. It turned out really cute for a tree that has no store-bought ornaments. Jessie can truly say that she was a significant helper in the decorating of the tree.
Jessie’s violin lesson was at 5:00pm. Jessie was a bit too happy to double down for her lesson. But, since when is happiness a sin?
After lesson, we ate Skyline chili.
We went to Sam’s Club to get cheese.
Back at the house, we played hide-and-seek. We turned out the lights, gave Jessie a flashlight, and we hid. The first round, Jessie found everyone quickly. The second round, was a bit longer.
We read Bible together and prayed.
Since everyone was having fun visiting, we stayed up a little longer.
I took Jessie upstairs and we read Anne of Green Gables. Leslie has decided to go ahead with Dick’s surgery. I hugged and kissed her goodnight.
Oldest sister returned. What a trooper. Two four-hour trips, two hour-long trips to and from work, work, and in about 24 hours she was gone and back.
We had take-out Skyline waiting for her.
All but one of the children are home as day 202 ended.
Blessings: People say that home is not a place, but rather wherever you choose to make home. We are living in a place that did not exist in our minds four months ago, but as look around the room at our family and hear the laughter of those gathered, I see the reality of home. As a father, I am humbled to have been able to create a place that’s home for Jessie. To have a decorated tree and presents and food and smiling faces at such a time as this, I am repeatedly humbled by God and His grace.
P.S. The last child comes home on Tuesday. Stay tuned.