the christmas craziness is upon us! it's like every year, i wait til we are out of school to really hit it hard with the shopping. i had done some, and also a few things online, but i am not nearly done. i have a horrid cough, so my voice is almost gone, and the contractors showed up at 8 this morning to take our old oil furnace out of the kitchen. The upstairs also had a big square column in it that hid the chimney to the oil heater, so they took that out too! i was shocked-i did NOT think they would touch it. we have a grant through HUD to update some things, and it only goes up to $25,000. i thought it was maxed with the heating system and new roof, plus electrical updates, but apparently they had enough left over to do it. it really opens up the upstairs a LOT. the kids will be happy because it makes their room look bigger. it's been a real struggle for me...all of the upheaval, and i can see why people freak out during home remodels. i think for me, it's the idea of all of the cleanup and putting back what they have moved around and packed in boxes. we never put the nutcrackers up for christmas because of all of the dust, and i am thinking there may not be much baking going on in my kitchen! it's just like moving. the kids are enjoying having time off, and so far have gotten along pretty well. i'm thinking i will take them up snowboarding after christmas. this week is going to be catching up on shopping! i feel very fortunate to be able to give them a nice christmas, and after seeing some of the families at school who are struggling, it makes me appreciate it even more. my husband picks up a second job for the holidays, so we are lucky. hope you are all having a fun season...i'm going to make myself slow down a bit and enjoy it more!