Guess I should update to say we are now warm and toasty in our own home. It took four days and just as we were getting the hang of how to live life away from our house (with awesome meals prepared for us, other people's towels to use, and wifi), the power returned.

Giles cried. His cousin Chaney just got home for Christmas break from college, and they were having a blast.

But it's good to be home. The limbs are sort of cleaned up, except for about two million tooth pick sized twigs from the neighbor's oak. The fridge is sparkling clean and refilling. The freezer is full of venison (I'm cooking up a stew for Stan's fam this weekend). The laundry is caught up. The fish survived. And being away from my home computer and forced to check my webmail prompted me to trash more than 5,000 accumulated emails. That felt good.

It was a weird week. It was kind of tricky to handle the "out of power" life and related chores with the normal life. I never do that well anyway. I got one of the biggest shocks of my life when I discovered the world did not stop when I had my first baby. Everything went on ... and we were expected to truck right along. It took to the third kid to realize, no, we can get off the truck and live life differently ... slower.

It was a weird week and a weird year. Weird. Good in so many ways. God has revealed much. He's stirred up much. He's helped us grow. But it's been, well, weird.

I blame a lot of that on some of the books I've read this year ... books that challenged my thinking (or challenged me to think) on such topics as home educating, immigration, taking care of the poor, sweat shops, whole foods, slavery, war, civil rights, Jesus, his apostles, and more ...

Someone ... get me a dimestore novel.