I’m attempting to write this on Christmas Eve morning in a house filled with people, animals, cooking, laughter, and a general low hum of noise. Finding it difficult to concentrate I am struck with the fact that I am blessed beyond measure.

Last night I slept in a 2-bedroom house packed full with 7 adults, 2 teenagers, and 3 12-year olds. Bodies were draped over EZ Boy recliners, sprawled across couches and roll-a-way beds and stacked up on the floor. There have been arguments about what to watch on television, who gets the next turn on the computer and who ate more than their fair share of bacon (which many of us believe should be punishable by law). It seems that none of us can come to a consensus about what constitutes neither “good” Christmas music nor the volume at which that music should be played.

There is a meal to be cooked, Christmas candy to be made again (since 12-year olds seem to survive only on peanut clusters, sugar cookie cutouts, Chex mix, and hot chocolate), and dogs to be walked (and by “walked” what I really mean is attached to a leash and dragged down the sidewalk so them may stand on alternating feet in the frigid below zero air). So far we have had one trip to the ER and we have one kid on crutches (ironically, not the same kid).

I’m honestly trying to figure out a way to tie this all back to the Mandt System, especially Chapter 1 – Building Healthy Relationships. I want to do that as quickly as I can because I want nothing more than to get up and put away this laptop and dive back into all the chaos. So, as a good instructor; as an educator of adults; or, as the easy way out (interpret it as you will) I challenge each of you reading this to make your own parallels and to draw your own conclusions. Then I will tell you to get off the computer and get back to your people. That’s what I’m doing ☺

Nikki Wince – Mandt Faculty