Weeknotes 23:45

December 30, 2023

Week of December 24–30

Celebrating Christmas

I enjoyed celebrating Christmas on Sunday and Monday. We went to church on Sunday morning and then were back later in the day for a candlelight service.

I had a nice quiet start to the day on Christmas morning and enjoyed reading before everyone came downstairs. From there, we opened our stockings, enjoyed baked oatmeal for breakfast, and then opened presents.

We started doing a Secret Santa gift exchange about five years ago so that each person only has to buy for one family member. Each year, the gifts are very thoughtful. My youngest got the prize for the best gift given as she crocheted a wall hanging for my wife.

A crocheted wall hanging with 8x8 squares of purple and pink flowers alternating on a green background. My daughter made it for my wife for Christmas

We enjoyed a Christmas dinner of ham and then enjoyed a lazy and restful remainder of the day.

Taking time off

One of the things I try to do each year is to take off the week before or after Christmas to enjoy time with my family. It is a nice way to end the year and be ready to hit the ground running once the new year starts.

This year we are spending a good deal of time helping my son prepare for his semester abroad in Spain. He will be studying at Elisava Barcelona School of Design and Engineering this spring. Besides getting him ready, we are trying to enjoy some quieter moments with him before he is away for four months.

Post each day challenge

With this post, I have met the challenge of posting each day for 30 days this month. Only one more day to go tomorrow. Here are the things I wrote about this week:

Broadening my musical tastes

I have taken some time recently to broaden my musical tastes by listening to a couple of artists that my youngest daughter is into. It started with Stray Kids. I had bought the new Rock Stars album for her for Christmas. She has been watching some K Pop on one of the Samsung Plus channels that we now have access to on our new TV. I spent some time this week listening to the Rock Stars album on Spotify.

Next, my daughter introduced me to Laufey this week. She is really excited about seeing Laufey perform in Nashville in April. She played a video on our TV of a mini concert Laufey did for NPR. I also listened to the Bewitched album on Spotify on Friday.

Articles I read

Books I am reading

I set a goal to read 36 books this year. I read 33 so I didn’t meet my goal. I had blown away my goals the previous three years. I got bogged down in a couple of books I ended up abandoning. I resisted the urge to read through some books to give more time to think about what I was reading.

  • Trusting God – I finished reading this one this morning. It was my fourth time reading it in a period of 35 years.
  • The One True Light – I really enjoyed this Advent devotional.
  • A Craftsman’s Legacy – I finished my second reading of this book about mid-week. I really enjoyed revisiting it and it scratched an itch that I had.
  • The Jayhawk – I finished this one as well. I enjoyed understanding the story and history behind my alma mater’s beloved mascot. Rock Chalk!
  • The Loveliest Place: The Beauty and Glory of the Church – I am about halfway through this one. I have been resisting the urge to hurry up and finish this one before the end of the year.

What I watched

What I played

I got to play more this week as I took time off after Christmas. I enjoyed a very lazy afternoon on Wednesday where I played MLB The Show and then several games of FIFA 23.

Yandy Diaz with a RBI single up the middle to start the scoring in my 6-0 win on Saturday.
  • MLB The Show 23 (Rays) – I lost the first two games of the week. In my loss on Sunday, I made a bone-headed decision to pinch-run for my second catcher (who had just entered the game as a pinch hitter) after I was going to pinch-hit for the starting catcher. I had to put a player at catcher for the last three innings and he dropped several balls that led to three runs and I lost 6-5 in extra innings. I then got creamed by the Astros 12-1 in Houston before taking the final two games of the series. On Friday, I creamed the Yankees 18-1. All nine of my starters got a hit in their first at-bat and I scored 10 runs in the first frame. I ended the week beating the Yankees again in New York 6-0. I am currently on a 4-game winning streak and have a 1 game lead in the Eastern division.
  • FIFA23 (Manchester City) – I played 4 games of FIFA on Wednesday and Thursday and won all four. I won the last game on Thursday by scoring a goal in extra time to pull out a 2-1 win.

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