Just have a few quick moments to write, but wanted to get some memories down before they fade away forever. While packing the ornaments today, I got to thinking how FAST time flies!! It has been a beautiful December – perfect really. We got snow the day after Thanksgiving & had a white ground cover the whole month long. Today it warmed up for a one day warm snap, melting all the snow. It felt like spring today. : / Sure not ready for that!! It’s supposed to get back to our regularly scheduled winter here by tomorrow.
Highlights of the Christmas season:
– Spending Christmas Day with a game fest. The kids are at the perfect ages now to really have great fun playing board games. The games this year were: Apples to Apples Jr. edition with the cousins, Speed any time of the day with Nate (he still hasn’t beat me), then later four rounds of Clue with Mom at our house.
– Having the gift buying & giving DONE by the middle of November so we could really focus on everything else! Isabelle came the first part of November, so we had our exchange with her then. We also knew we were giving the kids iPods this year, so decided to just give them to them so they could get an extra 6 weeks of fun out of them before Christmas. So glad we did! We gave Jack a set of Woody & Buzz pjs – he hasn’t hardly taken them off since!
– Giving the kids an opportunity to buy for each other this year. It had been a couple years since we tried this. One year we did Secret Santa at the local school & it was great! Since then, including this year, we’ve been too busy when they offer it for us to do that again. We heard Mt. G had one, tried it, & promptly left. It was not anything like the other one. But, in keeping with his reputation, Nate had bought three gifts in the two minutes we were there! I was a bit annoyed thinking he jsut blew his $$ & didn’t get the idea behind the whole thing – to put some thought into the others gifts, etc. We took them later to a few dime store type places to get their gifts. I was SO impressed with how well they knew what to get! Without a second thought, Anders knew he wanted to get Jack a helium balloon with Woody & Buzz on it. PERFECT! Jack LOVED it! And Callie wanted to get Anders a whoopie cushion. EXCELLENT choice! Anders couldn’t have been happier. And Nate? What of those three quick gifts? They were all wonderful as well! For Anders, he had scoped out a beaker of goo. For Callie, he found a big beautiful “diamond” ring – gorgeous! And for me, he found a sweet pewter-esk angel ornament for me to put on the tree & always remember this perfect Christmas. : ] He IS a thoughtful guy, not just the big spender after all! (Fyi, Anders got Nate a cap gun, & Callie some Webkinz stickers & the perfect shade of nail polish she’d been hunting for months to find, & in a cute little snowman bottle to boot! Nate got Jack a green shiny gift bag stuffed with bling – cheap rings, beads, etc. And he got Keith a pink flamingo Hawaiian looking bag (in honor of the shirt Keith wore the first time we met) with a metal water bottle & two Christmas ties. Callie got Jack a Strawberry Shortcake coloring book (he loves SS right now), and Nate a set of four gel pens – perfect!) Callie & Anders pooled their money to get Daddy the game of Clue – the one we played Christmas Day.
– Other odds & ends: caroling at the hospital, making candies with Rome & later with girl & boy cousins SEPARATELY, painting the basement for the boys’ future bedroom, hair cuts!, looking at zoo lights together, delivering the Neighbor News Christmas Edition along with homemade treats, taking the kids out for pizza & ice cream, going to the Holiday Pops with my honey for our 16th anniversary, Callie & Keith finally going on their long awaited Nutcracker date, taking the boys to Sonic while they were out, watching The Nativity & The Christmas Carol together, Christmas Eve service (Anders was part of the heavenly host while Nate & I sang in the Heartland Christmas Eve Carol Choir), coloring under the tree with Anders (he took TWO of our masterpieces in for share time in class).
– I saved my gifts for last because in my opinion, I made out like the bandit. My family so knows & loves me! Callie wanted to blow her wad on a beautiful bouquet of Christmas flowers for me – red & white. Anders got me a LARGE mocha frappe as well as a card for a few more later as needed. As I said before, Nate’s ornament couldn’t have been a better choice! To top all of that off, Callie made me a wad of coupons: “12 free foot massages. Expiration date = March 16, 4025” , “8 free vacuum trips. Expiration date = April 15, 8052″, 16 free read alouds. Expiration date = June 3, 8001”, “3 bubble baths while I control Jack. Expiration date = July 1, 12800”, “8 free room clean ups. Expiration date = May 20, 3000”, “5 shoulder rubs 1 and a half hours long. Expiration date = January 19, 4003”, “7 board games with you. Expiration date = February 2, 9000”. These each have little boxes to check off as I use them up – she’s thinking! All I can say is, I better get crackin’!! Those exp. dates are fast approaching! I am one blessed Mama. : ]
– To top it all off, Keith & Nate went to their youth group outing for New Year’s Eve again this year. They had a kid from school go with them who has been on Keith’s heart for about a year. When Pastor Chris gave the Gospel, he made a decision to receive Jesus as his personal Savior! Yeah!! Pray for this young man with us, will you? Please pray for protection from the lies of the enemy in his life. Pray that the seeds planted will take DEEP root quickly. He had a rough year last year. God is at work in his life. The adventure begins!