Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cute Christmas Pics

This is Reid. Emily just finished creating a CD with pictures of the girls for my Grandma. I saw some cute ones as I reviewed the CD and thought I'd post them here for all to see. Merry Christmas!

Emily made these matching dresses for the girls. I'll let her post
a picture of all three girls in their dresses later.

Playing with the fake snow under the trees at my work party was
the highlight of the girls' night.

I was clearly the most excited person in our family to see Santa.

The big girls in their Christmas snowman pajamas.

During Thanksgiving, it snowed and the girls and I
made this snowman.

Sub for Santa

I have so many things to do right now, and the thought of doing a single one of them overwhelms me, so i'm going to blog. I've put off so many things till the last minute, b/c the last 10 days have been consumed by a Sub-For-Santa project we did this year. With the help of about a bizillion people, we were able to "adopt" two families this year. It's taken over my life for the past 10 days. but it's been an awesome 10 days. I have about 2 minutes to write about something that has been a life-changing experience. Although I did most of the leg-work for this project, it was because of all the donations from friends, neighbors, friends of neighbors, neighbors of friends, etc that we were able to give so much to these two deserving and needing families.

talking to the families, trying to get a "wish list" was harder than you might think. For example, when talking to one of the 12 year old boys, i tried to get him to tell me what he wanted for Christmas, and all he could keep saying was "I just need pencils and paper, that is all." I asked him if he'd seen any commercials on TV that advertised something he wanted, and it was very clear that it had NEVER crossed his mind that he could request something that he saw on TV. He had no idea how to ask for a want. It was the same way when i talked to the moms of these families. All they wanted were shoes, jeans and warm clothes. can you even imagine? i mean, the fact that you have a computer and are reading this blog using the internet that have $$ to pay for monthly means that you, like me, probably really can't even imagine it. Well, we finally pried some other requests out of them, sent out some emails, and got such a HUGE response--it was AWESOME. I spent the next days collecting items, sorting toys, clothes, etc, and then we had a 6-hour wrapping party on Tuesday night. we were up until 1:30 am, but it was so much fun!!

I foolishly thought that we could fit all the gifts in our van with all the seats removed, but about half way through the loading process, we realized that wasn't going to happen

So, we loaded the trunk of our small ford escort, and still had more gifts in the house...
So, we loaded the back seat of the car, and still weren't done....
so we loaded the passenger's seat, and it just barely fit.

We set off last night, after the big girls were down and our dear neighbor was here with them, to play Santa. The first family we delivered to was so sweet, so humble, and of course had a FULL ON DINNER waiting for us when we went to drop off the gifts. She really didn't know how to thank us with words, (which is why she made the dinner). She kept thanking us for the visit, and for our time, but never thanked us with words for the gifts. I have no doubt that she was extremely grateful for all we dropped off, but she just couldn't say it. She was so sweet and kind and simple. It was really great to visit with their family. But because of dinner we were really late getting to the second family, where the 6 year old boy was anxiously staring out the window awaiting our arrival. This family seemed a little better off than the first, but still with so little. We had a fun time visiting with them, talking about their family and their traditions, and teasing the kids about not peaking at their gifts, especially the 3 bicycles that were in their front room :)

I could write for hours and hours about this experience and all that i've learned, and ways my mind has changed about things i used to think. But i don't have time!!! I just have time to say that this has been the best Christmas EVER and with a little more time, and better planning, next Christmas is gonna beat it!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the gift that keeps on giving

My wonderful mom wasn't sure what to get Eliza this year. I told her not to get her anything because we have everything we need. but she went ahead and got her the BEST present EVER!!! I had no idea when we opened it just how awesome it was. It's this adorable mini-Christmas tree--fully lit and decorated, and an ADORABLE little birchwood container!

Those adorable ornaments are hand knit and painted--by someone else...the tree skirt is handmade by me :)

Since we had decided not to get a tree this year, this gift was even more welcome!! And the best part is that it smells AWESOME! No, wait, that's not the best part. The best part is that we can either a) plant this in the spring, and it would forever be Eliza's tree, and years down the road we could drive by and show Eliza the tree we planted when she was a baby or b) we can put it in a slightly larger pot, let it grow another foot or two, keep it on our porch and use it year after year after year as our perpetual Christmas tree!!

You can't imagine how much i love option B. It solves all Christmas tree problems. We don't have to spend $45/year to have a real tree (reid won't budge on the whole artificial tree thing, and i'm kinda with him) and we don't have to go get a tree every year--we can just bring it in from the porch. And i've never really been sure how i feel about just cutting down these big trees and then just tossing them--so now i don't have to fret about that, either!!! it's the gift that keeps giving and giving and giving...and someday, if decide we want a bigger tree, we can always plant it!! Thanks, Mom, for the greatest gift ever!!!

This picture was taken at midnight the other night (it looks like daylight outside cause of all the snow) as Reid and I laid on the couch and listened to Carpenter's Christmas Album, and watched the snow fall--a perfect moment w/ the perfect Christmas tree!!!