Advent means preparing. .

And I am sadly still unprepared. Oh, spiritually, we aren’t doing badly– I made it to Reconciliation with the boys, we have been praying our special Advent prayers around the wreath each night, and even on days when homeschooling is a sad little afffair, we have been reading our chapters in their religion texts. It’s not perfect but it is progressing.

Commercially, I am a total loser. Only a single DVD and a lone cd are stashed in my closet. With seven offspring expecting presents, this could get a little messy.

I have been battling an extra dose of pain every day since the week before Thanksgiving, which cut my maternal effectiveness in half. Right now, we are hoping it is just reactive arthritis from some stray virus. The other options are icky– rheumatoid arthritis or lupus or something in that mode. Still waiting on lab results.

I’m hopeful, though. I’m better. I managed to hoist my giant cast iron Dutch oven into the oven today, full to the brim with pork and beans and other bits that will, please, form a tasty feijoada in a couple hours. I couldn’t heft the turkey on turkey day, so it is an improvement.

So, anyway, I am pushing the boys to get caught up with their schoolwork. At this stage, that means that I am reading aloud for hours but the results are pleasing so far. Their handwriting is a horror story but intelligent, interesting, analytical thought is peeking out here and there.

I am starting to press the 8 year old Ninja to write his responses more, but it’s a struggle with his joint laxity. I’m going to buy some various pencil grips on Amazon and see if those help. It’s no fun to be your own occupational therapist but the only other option is dealing with the school district. After fighting with this particular bunch for the past nine years, you can guess how appealing that sounds.

Ok, someone has to cook the rice to go with my authentic peasant version of feijoada. It’s totally authentic in that I threw in whatever pork products I could find with some black beans and hoped for the best, as generations of peasant cooks have done. I will update again soon. Honestly. I got a new phone but only installed the app today. My actual computer is now in our schoolroom and lost to me. I should have seen that coming . . ..