Tuesday, January 06, 2009

For the Holidays, You Can't Beat Home Sweet Home

I'm so many blog posts behind. I still need to blog about our Thanksgiving trip and our trip to Disney World. Those are coming. But I want to tell you first about our wonderful Christmas as it is definitely going to be our diamond in the rough.

We had an absolutely wonderful, relaxing Christmas! Yes, I said relaxing.. Who knew that could happen? Last year, we flew to TN on Skybus' very cheap flights that were apparently too cheap since they went bankrupt. My parents picked us up in Chattanooga, and both Adam's parents, sister, and my sister came to my parents. While it was wonderful for us all to be together at one time, with a 2 and a half car travel on each end and then a plane ride in the middle, it was exhausting. In years before that, we drove to Alabama and jumped from one house to another which was even more exhausting. Well, this year, I kind of dug my heals in and claimed the right since we've traveled so much in recent years. My parents came and brought my grandparents and Adam's parents are coming in a couple of weeks. It was so nice to have our children in our own home for Christmas and I'm very thankful to our families for indulging us in our desire to stay home for Christmas.

It was such a treat to have my grandparents with us on Christmas. I can't really point to anything earth shattering and I think that is what made it so wonderful! Conversations reflecting on the past, stories about my dad as a child, and thoughts about the economy, future, etc.. Completely and totally drama free.. No car trouble, no sick children.. I so enjoy the chance to talk to my grandmother as an adult. After the death of my mom's mom, I am very aware of what a blessing that really is. It was so heart warming to hear her talk about her children and grandchildren and know the joy she feels when she sees the succeeding. I know that the time that we spent with them this Christmas will be memories that I cherish forever.

As far as my parents go, they were the normal doting grandparents that they always are. My mom, playing like she's a kid herself and my dad, patiently awaiting Chloe's next shower of kisses. She has such an attraction to graying men! She gets that from her mom ;).

Though my lightening fast trip to Illinois, made it difficult to get my original Christmas plans together, I did manage to pull some of them off.

Our tie dying pajamas turned into tee shirts well, because I was trying to not spend a lot of money. I failed to get a picture of myself but you can see by Adam's and the girls, that they existed. I didn't get them done in time for them to dry completely so they pretty much came out pink with a little green. As you can see, Adam is such a wonderful daddy and wore his pink, tie dyed, not so Christmasy Christmas shirt proudly.

We made various Christmas crafts, watched a few Christmas movies and spent many hours teaching Emma to play UNO after Chloe went to bed. She's not too bad I might add.

The highlight of our Christmas activities was our Disney trip revealing scavenger hunt. (Sorry for the details on this but some I have talked to are waiting for specifics).

I don't have pictures of this because we were video taping it but this is how it went.

We put a present for each of them under the tree. When they opened it, they were Minnie Mouse ears with a note that said, "Put these on your head and look under mom and dad's bed"

Under our bed, were packages with Winnie the Pooh coloring sheets for Chloe and Tinkerbell for Emma with a note that said, "Winnie the Pooh loves you and Tinkerbell does too, look in the place where you'd find a shoe".

On top of Emma's shoe holder in her closet were packages that had various little figurines of Disney characters with a note that said, "The next surprise is the biggest by far, look in the place where mom parks her car".

In the garage on top of my van was a box that had two sets of plush mickeys and minnies (which, I paid 25 cents a piece for at a garage sale. They looked brand new and still have the tags... Go me) and in that box were brochures of Disney World and a note that said, "A family present, for mom, dad, and each girl, next week we're going to Disney World".

It was funny. I don't think Emma got it at first and then it kind of hit her in waves. Chloe, was just glad to get the stuffed animals :0).

I must have done an okay job because Emma is still saying that she only wants a family present next year. Even though, that isn't exactly what happened this year. We caught wind that she had asked the Santa at school for an angel costume. Not ready to completely let that fantasy die, Adam, being the wonderful daddy that he is, hunted down an angel costume last minute.

Best of all, because of our friends and families support, we received cash as gifts and some generous donations to the "living water" project that we have become so passionate about and we were able to make a pretty hefty donation to our churches challenge of raising $8000 dollars to provide clean water for a whole community. You can check the organization out HERE! For all of you that contributed, I want to thank you for your support! If you'd still like to contribute, we're still a ways from our goal as a church so we'd definitely take your money :).