Thursday, December 22, 2011


Seasonal Chic Christmas Card
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas time is here!

Hello blog reading friends!  I am officially and completely done with my master's degree so maybe more computer time for fun rather than school.  (cross my fingers)  That is one of the exciting things that has happened this December.  I will tell you this Christmas season I am so excited!  It is a complete contrast to the way I felt last year at this time.  Man, I was kind of a grinch.  To look back over the changes during 2011 I'm a little upset at myself for being that way because last Christmas was truly one to be cherished, seeing as it was the last one I had with my grandmother and the last one to celebrate with my mother in law.  Maybe that realization has spurred me to have a little more joy this year.  I am forever grateful to have had those 2 precious women in my life and I will miss them dearly for years to come.

On a lighter note this year I decided to do a 12 days of Christmas with Ansley (and Adalynn although she can't participate quite like big sis can).  I love that some moms can do the whole month of December but I know myself and my limitations and 12 days is kinda pushing it. HA!  We did start a little early so we could take a hiatus trip to Grammy and Jimpa's for a few days.  But here is what we have done so far.
Day 1- Paint a Christmas picture
Day 2- Make Christmas cookies
Day 3- Take treats to the neighbors (Ansley loves doing this every year)
Day 4- Family game night (we played a Christmas version of pictionary and charades, I was super impressed with Ansley's skills)
Day 5- is today and we are gonna make it a hot cocoa night (even though it is like 70 degrees outside)
I used to think I could never do the whole advent season but when I took the pressure off myself to make everything a big "to do" we had a chance to just enjoy the simple things and being together.  We might do these things anyway but having it as a mystery for Ansley to open is most of the fun.  I love that Jay is also reading a part of the Christmas story every night at the dinner table.

Ansley helped me decorate the tree and she did a pretty good job. Although the bottom right side of the tree is "extra decorated", I think it looks awesome.  Ansley also has already had her school Christmas program where they sang Up on the Housetop and Jingle Bells.  MAN was that place was a madhouse!!!!
Ansley during her school program

In other not Christmas related news, the girls have both had a hand, foot, and mouth virus.  Poor Adalynn!  Her mouth and diaper rash looked just awful! Ansley had it too but she didn't look as bad.  Her problem was it was in her throat and she could barely eat or drink anything for a few days.  I'm happy to report that Ansley is back at school today and Adalynn's face and bottom are back to normal.
Adalynn in her Christmas outfit before going to nursing home

Today Adalynn and I went with some of our MOPS moms to the nursing home and sang Christmas songs for them.  It was a good time and everyone there was just so happy to see the kids.  Tomorrow is the MDO program and then Friday is Ansley's class party.  It is going to be a busy week.

I'm having a really hard time waiting on giving them their gifts.  I am so excited this year I can barely stand it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

"Is Santa real?"

Ansley age 3 with Six Flags Santa
    Ansley is 5 and asked about a month ago if Santa was real.  I asked her, "What do you think?" That was only a short fix to the question because she kept asking.  She later asked, "Do the parents put out gifts?"  I told her yes but it is fun to believe in Santa so don't spoil it for other kids.  Anyway, my mom sent me the following in an email today to share with Ansley and I thought it was perfect for all the moms going through this same situation during this Christmas season.

Grandma and Santa

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid.

I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

May you always have LOVE to share,

HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care...

And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

Isn't that a great story.  
Thank you Father for the gift of your son Jesus and thank you for this time of year to celebrate what You've done for us!