Friday, December 19, 2008

Updated: Sharing Christmas 2008: A Salada Holiday

So many of you have asked about the Noah's Ark Christmas tree. My parents found it for me at a Plow and Hearth tent sale four or five years ago. They don't carry it any more, but a quick Google search found this result. My parents bought it for $5 or $10 and it was originally $50 at Plow and Hearth. I will say that I don't believe the quality warrants the higher price. It's cute, but it's not very durable.

Original Post:

Last year, I participated in Megan's Sharing Christmas event. Well, she's hosting it again this year and even though I'm a day late, I figured I'd join in!

To start with, I'll remind folks that our last name rhymes with the word "holiday," so my post title is a bit catchy.

Our home looks a bit different this year even without all of the Christmas decorations. We are thankful to have been able to do some redecorating this past October and November.
Let's get down to business!
Since our nativity is very child-friendly, it usually looks something like this.

Our Noah's Ark Christmas tree is also a favorite plaything. Therefore, the animals aren't always arranged as Mommy would have them!

We once again made gingerbread houses at my sister, Karen's, house. This is Amelie's marvelous creation. (If I get time, I'll post more pictures from our adventures with gingerbread.)

This is the debut of our dining room on the blog. The floor used to be carpet, but now, thanks to Duncan's craftiness, it is laminate. We LOVE it!

In the center of the table is a wreath made of live greenery from our yard and a Swedish angel chime. When you light the candles, the angels twirl around, making the bells ring.

Because of our furniture rearrangement, our tree is in it's new spot. I LOVE having our tree in the front picture window!

A new addition to our tree is this skirt. In the late 80s or early 90s, my mom made latch hook tree skirt for herself, each of my siblings (who were all married by then) and my grandparents. I was still living at home and had no need for my own. Since my grandparents both passed away last December, my mom offered me their tree skirt. I LOVED the one we bought at Target several years ago, but this one has meaning and I'm thankful to have it.

Another change is how our Christmas cards are displayed. I cannot take credit for the idea. I stole it from MckMama.

I hope you've enjoyed a little peek into our home this Christmas. I also hope you head over to Megan's blog to enjoy even more decorated homes.

May you know the love of Jesus this Christmas. After all, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." -Linus van Pelt in A Charlie Brown Christmas

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Letter to the Editor

To the fellow residents of My Hometown:

Isn't Christmastime wonderful? I love the decorations, the sense of anticipation. The preparation we do as a family to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Telling the story of Jesus' birth to our children. Imagining. Answering their questions. Driving around at nighttime and seeing all of the decorations. Which brings me to the purpose of this letter. My request; my plea, if you will. While putting huge blow-ups in my yard is not a choice I would make, I'm thankful for their presence (in seemingly more and more home displays each year) in that they delight my children. I recognize that they are fairly easy to set-up...easier, at the very least, than the wrestling match my husband had with our icicle lights this past Saturday. They are festive and cheery. I get all of that. What I don't get, however, is the failure of most of their owners, or caretakers, to inflate them during the day. It's not like we wouldn't be able to see them during the daytime. Quite to the contrary, we see them. In puddles. Flat on the ground. Having small children during the surge in the use of said blow-ups has caused many a stress-filled car ride around town during the Christmas season. "Mommy, what's wrong with Santa?" or "Oh, no, Mommy! Frosty fell down!" You see, small children don't have the ability to discern between animate and inanimate just yet. Seeing some of their favorite Christmas characters splayed out on your front lawn can be quite distressing for both the child and the parent that already answers 6, 279 questions each day. And that's just before lunch.
So, I'm pleading with you, begging even, that you would consider my plight. If you are going to purchase a large blow-up holiday decoration, please have it "up and running" both day and night. Please don't allow your blow up to lounge around all day. Make sure he's standing tall and proud! For the sake of the children!

Mom of three under five

Monday, December 08, 2008

Luxury is...

Violet and Linus playing contentedly in their seats while Amelie quietly read Boxcar Children as I cleaned up the lunch dishes and did yesterday's hand washing. (Luxury is also a husband who at least partially empties the dishwasher nearly every morning before he leaves for work. Have I ever mentioned I loathe emptying the dishwasher almost more than anything?) Now, Amelie is helping Violet color Christmas ornaments while Linus plays happily on the floor. Life is not usually this calm. While I love all of the craziness that life with three small children brings, I'm thankful for little moments like these when they sneak up on me. God is so good to me. And now, the someone that just crawled up next to me smells like he needs a change.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Family and Friends

Did you know that Duncan has four step-brothers? He only ever lived with two of for any significant amount of time, since they are a good bit older than he.

Way back on the last weekend of October, we headed on a short weekend jaunt to visit with one of them and his marvelous family. Doug and Nancy (yes, it causes problems since Duncan is often referred to as "Dunc") have nine children. Their oldest was married last May and their youngest is two months older than Amelie. Their second youngest is just a couple of years older than Amelie. Needless to say, the four little girls had a ball with one another. Duncan's mom and step-dad met us there and we had a delightful visit lasting a bit more than 24 hours. We talked, laughed, ate cookies, and had a wonderful time.

Here's a (almost all) family shot. Doug and Nancy are on the right. Seven of their nine children are pictured here as well. As I wrote earlier, their oldest is married and the youngest must have been somewhere with Amelie. (Violet is is the lion costume at the bottom right and of course, Duncan is in the center.)

Linus with his Ducky (what we call Duncan's mom).

Violet, aka Cinderella, pauses to hear a story from Grandpa Bob. (Doug's dad and Duncan's step dad, if your at all confused by the relationships.)

The little girls spent most of our time together in Fiona's (#8) and Natalie's (#9) room.

Amelie and Natalie...just two months apart.

Natalie and Violet aka Pooh Bear.

Fiona and Amelie.

Linus had some kissy time with Fiona.

If you were counting, Violet had on three costumes in these pictures! The girls played dress up the majority of the weekend, I think.

We had such a great time. We hope to spend more time with Doug and Nancy's family as the years go by. They are such a blessing to us!

So thankful to count so much of our family as our friends too.