Fa, la, la, la, la

December 22, 2012

Lilah has been singing "Deck the Halls" for about a week now.  She is so ready for Christmas to finally get here and I have to say that I am, too.  Today I'm going to get the dough made and chilling for sugar cookies and tomorrow Mom is coming over to attempt candy-making with us.  Turtles are on the agenda and no one has ever made them but Gram.  In fact, I can only recall one time when I actually watched her make them, so we only have a handwritten index card to go by.  That one time was really special because she made a few that were only caramel and nuts since I asked her to.  That's just the kind of Gram she was.  Mom sent me a text last night telling me she had made strawberry bread and that made just a little sad for a second.  But, Mom said sad was not allowed, so I didn't go there.

It's been a hectic first few days of Christmas break.  Wednesday I tied up loose ends on the girls' shopping with my friend Sara who tied up loose ends on her boys' shopping.  We had a plan; we executed the plan; and we even stopped for nourishment along the way!  I felt a little guilty leaving my kids at home with strict instructions not to disturb their sick father (sick to the point he went to the doctor!), but that shopping wasn't going to finish itself.  Our three gift rule is great -- until I start worrying about stockings.  Let's just say this years stockings are very good and probably overstuffed. 

I was also preoccupied Wednesday with my sister's surgery.  I didn't go on the day of the surgery as she had Mom and Rawlon and Rawlon's family there that day.  Instead I went up Thursday so Mom could come home.  You might remember that after Cora was born, Anna suffered a collapsed lung.  That collapsed lung led to some visits with a pulmonologist and several tests which revealed "walled cysts" all over Anna's lungs.  One was of particular concern as it was the size of a grapefruit and had moved when the lung collapsed, causing her heart to shift its position a little.  Needless to say, they had to come out.  There was no worry of malignancy, but the doctor felt that if her lung collapsed again, her heart could move again and that would cause a new set of problems.  This was a pretty invasive surgery and recovery has been tough.  Hopefully she will go home today.  I got to spend Thursday afternoon loving on my sweet niece who is the best baby ever!  She is so good and she is entering that smiling phase and trying to coo.  That little mouth gets to moving and every now and then a little coo will come out.  Sweet, sweet, sweet!


The girls and I started a new tradition yesterday.  We've decided the 21st will be our official wrapping day from now on.  I don't ever like to put gifts out too early because, well, they're just a mess.  I panicked for just a second when I couldn't find something I'd hidden really well.  In fact, Parker complimented me on my hiding skills this year!  I was the kid who always hunted for my gifts and even unwrapped/rewrapped after they were under the tree, so I'm pretty good at anticipating what the child who is just like me will do. 
Wrapping gifts properly is a life skill.  I was reciting that in my head yesterday evening as I was watching my girls cut crooked lines and not press down edges very crisply and try to curl ribbon and wrestle with the tape dispenser.  They have to have practice, though, and that is why the gift tags may need interpretation -- Lilah wrote the names on them.
Here's something funny.  I feel like the only "right" place to wrap Christmas gifts is in the master bedroom.  I think this is because in Home Alone, the parents' bedroom had rolls of wrapping paper and all the trimmings lying around and I love that image.  Secrets!  And, if you know me at all, you know my almost obsession with that house.  Parker was wrapping her Angel Tree gifts.  I'm pretty proud of that girl at the moment.  She used her own money to get her own angel this year.  A young girl who goes to our church will have a new outfit and perfume for Christmas.  Sometimes my kids affirm that we've done something right in raising them and this was one of those times.
I have one other piece of news that is big for us.  We bought a new car.  By new I mean a 2013.  We have only ever, in our 19 years of marriage, bought one other brand-new vehicle and that was a 1994 Ford Ranger.  Jamie has wanted to trade his truck in for a while, so thought trading it in on a more family-friendly vehicle would be ideal.  He will drive the white car until he gets a motorcycle to commute with this spring and then, this summer, Parker will drive the old white car after she gets her license.  We did our research and came up with a Dodge Journey.  We wanted three rows, but in a crossover-type vehicle rather than a larger SUV.  I've never had or ever desired to have a Dodge before, but this was just a great value and has a great warranty.  I plan to drive this 8 to 10 years, so this car will get both big girls graduated from high school and possible college!  I really do love it and all its features. 
Great picture, huh?  I feel kind of "braggish" even posting it.  I know some of you get new cars all the time, but this is a TREAT for us.  One really awesome thing about it is the 90-degree doors.  I have always hated feeling like if I could just get that door to open one more inch I'd have enough room to stuff whatever I was trying to stuff into the backseat in.  (Nice sentence!)  These doors open wide and that is nice, especially when your hands are full.
Well, this turned out to be long!  I didn't even tell the funny story about Lilah and Parker's gift of "boots, I mean books" that she helped wrap.  We have laughed a lot the past few days and that is wonderful. 
Hope you have a wonderful weekend before Christmas and that you are able to stay far, far away from retail establishments!

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