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Cheryl's Parenting Journal

Entry 14 ~ December 9, 2008
~ Our First Snow of the Season

Annie and our snowmanIt's December 8th and Rhode Island received a nice pre-holiday gift this past weekend-our first snow of the season. Living in the Ocean State means one of two things-we will either have a frigid winter or a mild one! It seems that each year, we get less and less snow, which is fine for most of us, but a huge disappointment for the kids. I knew last year we probably wouldn't get much because we bought 8 new sleds and I made sure everyone had brand new snow boots etc. This year, however, I haven't given a single thought to replenishing our snow gear-so that could only mean one thing-it's going to be a snowy winter!

Now that Annie is a newly turned "three" she was more than ready to get outside with her older brothers and make snowmen, build snow forts (out of the 3 little inches we got!) and has already mastered getting all bundled up and then asking to come back inside to either go to the bathroom or because she's cold 5 minutes later. Some things never change.

I do have a major confession to make, though, as long as we are on the topic of snow! For the first time in probably 10 years, we do not have a single decoration out or up for Christmas as of right now. Our tradition of taking the 20 plus boxes of indoor and outdoor decorations out on Thanksgiving weekend was squashed due to my new business venture with Chocowits. This chocolate adventure of mine has been moving so quickly I haven't had time to go to the bathroom, never mind pull off Christmas for 8 kids! Yikes!

That said, tonight I have PROMISED my kids that we will head up to the attic and unload the boxes and get that organized so we can begin decorating by Wednesday evening. We always put our tree up the first weekend of December but again-Chocowits has taken over that as well. We will head out to our local tree farm and get a tree some night after dinner this week.

Thank goodness for on-line shopping-it is going to save me this holiday season! The UPS man and I will be seeing more of one another than Brian and I will for the next two weeks-but not to worry-I have the perfect Chocowits gift for he and his family!

We do have our favorite holiday tunes blasting away and our holiday baking has slowly, but surely been going at a steady little pace, so at least the house smells good and sounds festive, regardless of the lack of decorations we have up at present.

Starting a small business in such a short amount of time has truly changed our family's day-to-day life. My kids are used to my "writing world" where I interview people for articles, write my columns and work under pressure to meet my deadlines, but they are not used to seeing me running to lots of meetings, shows, being on the telephone non-stop and frantically working with my business partner to fulfill orders. They are quite curious about where this will all lead (believe me, so am I!) but what an awesome gift I've received already for Christmas this year-all of their support! Between Brian and the older kids, things that I manage on a regular basis are still getting done (even though it's not how I would do it-but beggars can't be choosers!) and I do believe they are all proud of me. It's exhausting work but so exhilarating to see how our line of witty chocolates is growing right before our eyes.

I'm hoping my order of Christmas cards arrives this week. That's another story all in itself . . . our traditional "posing after Thanksgiving Mass" for the annual holiday card fell by the wayside this year, too. Thankfully, we had several great photos we took of all 8 of them while at Disney not too long ago, so that will have to suffice this year. Who knows, next year they may all be posing with chocolate! Ha ha

No matter how tiring this season can be, it's still such a magical time of year-the season when it seems that all things are possible. I know that in just two short years, our oldest daughter, Brittany, will be off to college, so the times when they are all still living at home will be gone before I know it. That is why I am so grateful for times like these when I do have a crazy house full of 8 kids and a feisty dog (not to mention a busy husband!). Time is precious, and no matter how busy life can be for all of us, I realize how very important it is to appreciate our family time-regardless of whether our best-laid plans happen as we had intended or not.

Here's hoping you all are enjoying the Holiday Season so far, and that you're also enjoying perhaps a little snow and other seasonal touches that will add to the joy and magic of this time of year!

Take care,
   ~ Cheryl

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