Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Sammy-Man

My middle child, my Spiderman fan, my big boy is turning SIX in just under four hours! We had a surprise birthday party for him last Saturday. First my husband took the two eldest kids to our favorite children's museum so I could prepare. I wrapped gifts, decorated our dining room in Spiderman theme decorations, and picked up the Spiderman 3 cake from Safeway. Our adopted grandmothers arrived. They are friends of mine who've taken on that role since we don't have any around here. My father drove 2 1/2 hours to surprise him. He was quite surprised. He opened presents first...both his birthday presents and Christmas presents from my dad (and my grandmother and aunt who live with him). There was a LOT. I think his favorites were this HUGE 2 1/2 foot Pirates of the Caribbean ship with 5 action figures and his new CD boom box (he hates begging his sister to use hers and being denied). Then we watched a 25 minute photo slide show I set to beautiful music...all photos of my Sammy-Man from my pregnancy to now. He loved it. Then we sang and ate his birthday cake. It was a good day.

Today I took him to Best Buy and Toys R Us. At Best Buy we had to return one of his Christmas presents. I bought Pirates 2 by accident. He's happy to have Pirates 3 now. At Toys R Us, we took advantage of their birthday club. They send the kids a birthday card with a $3 gift card in it, Geoffrey calls to say happy birthday on the phone, and in store they give the birthday child a balloon and crown. Our rule is that the kids have to use their own money if they spend over $3 there since they already got presents from us. He picked out a mini Spider Sapien toy he wanted. It was on sale for 50% off so he only had to spend $4.87 of his own money. For dinner, we had chicken and Spiderman mac and cheese. We are letting the kids stay up tonight...if they make it...and Sammy is happy to be able to stay up for his birthday. He was born at 11:30pm.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Multitasking While Breastfeeding

Ever wonder how us nursing moms find time to blog? We buy laptops. This is a common...daily...sight at my house:

There are some things I like about breastfeeding and some things I hate about it.

I chose/choose to breastfeed my kids for many reasons like...

It decreases my risk for breast cancer by at least 50% and ovarian cancer by 1/3.

It lowers my daughter's risk of breast cancer by 25%.

It increases my children's intelligence and academic performance.

I'm lazy and don't want to wash, warm, and prepare bottles day or night.

It contains immunities and antibodies to help my kids remain healthier than they might be otherwise (think colds, flu, RSV, ear infections, meningitis).

It helps me to bond better with my children.

It comforts my baby so they are happier and cry much less.

It changes composition (nutrition, fat, calories, antibodies) to meet the needs of my nursing child at that time.

It protects against many diseases, including Crohn's Disease and diabetes.

It reduces my children's risk of developing allergies and asthma.

It reduces my children's risk of developing certain childhood cancers.

It costs a whole lot less than formula.

I only have to carry a small diaper bag.

I get plenty of sleep, even in the early days, because I tend to fall asleep while nursing in bed.

I don't have to worry about what it is made of (genetically modified foods, chemicals, contamination, etc.).

Their diapers smell better, in fact, they hardly smell at all.

God designed breasts to make milk so I figure I should follow His design since He DOES know better than me.

On the other hand, I hate breastfeeding for several reasons...

Because I don't pump, baby has to go with me literally everywhere for the first 8-9 months or so.

Babies eventually get teeth and have to be taught not to bite. In the meantime, I get bit.

I have to do ALL of the feeding day and night.

I hate being stuck...on the couch or bed...nursing rather than up doing what I want to do.

It's that last one that has always really bugged me. I get really antsy when I'm nursing. My skin crawls because I can't get up. I tend to be always moving even when I'm being lazy. I don't just sit and watch TV; I sit and watch TV while reading, emailing, surfing the Internet, knitting, writing a letter, etc. I fidget....A LOT.

Getting a laptop has helped me a lot. Now I can email, surf the Internet, edit photos, write letters, plan homeschooling work, pay the bills, and blog...all while nursing. My youngest son doesn't know what it is like to nurse without a laptop on top of him unless we are in bed. LOL In fact, can you guess where he is now?

I love my laptop which my wonderful husband surprised me with for our last anniversary!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Unconscious Mutterings #2

To see other Unconscious Mutterings participants and get the weekly lists, go here.

  1. Memorable :: This year.

  2. Resolution :: My DVD project (all my technical problems with the program I was using are resolved)

  3. Goal :: Soccer

  4. 2008 :: Next Year

  5. Sensational :: My DVD Project

  6. Popular demand :: Back by...

  7. Old :: How I feel

  8. Music :: Songs about children growing up that make you cry

  9. Intense :: My feelings of happiness, content, and love after viewing my DVD project

  10. 2007 :: It's been a long year with lots of downs but lots of ups too

Ok, so I referred a lot to my DVD project. Today we celebrated my son's 6th birthday. His actual birthday is on New Year's Eve. As a special present, I created a 25 minute photo slide show set to music showing pretty much his entire life thus far. I've been emmersed in photos of my kids (especially of my son) and songs about children growing up for about 4 days straight. I have photos, memories, and songs stuck in my brain and there isn't much room for anything else right.

The video came out awesome! He loved it and had the BEST smile on his face as we watched it. I want to upload it and embed here but it is too large to upload to You Tube. I'm hoping to find a way to compress it so I can upload it. I really don't want to edit out photos to make it smaller..I'd have to edit out 1/3 of the video.

PhotoHunt: Messy

This week's photo hunt topic is messy. I've been going through some old photos and came across a perfect one for it. Here's Mika and Sammy at ages 4 and 2 painting with lovely purple and green fingerpaint. It was definitely messy!

Go to to see more photo hunter participants and their photos.

Friday, December 28, 2007's a Surprise!

It is days like this that makes me wish I wasn't so much of distracted procrastinator. If I were just distractable, I'd probably be less behind. If I were only a procrastinator, I'd probably be doing ok. It's when you put it all together that I get into trouble.

Today I'm working on a birthday surprise for my son that has to be done before 2pm tomorrow. I also have to go to the grocery store, find a present, wrap a bunch of presents, decorate, cook dinner, take Sammy to taekwondo, buy DVD-RWs, burn a DVD, and take care of three children while I do all this.

I've been on hold for 28 minutes trying to get an answer to a technical question on a program I'm trying to use to complete said surprise and I just don't have time for this because...see first paragraph.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

13 Things About My Wonderful Husband

I decided to do an additional Thursday Thirteen post. A bonus thirteen! How cool is that?

13 Wonderful Things About My Husband

1. He knows and accepts that PMS is a real thing.

2. He knows and accepts that I'm really, really, really distractable and forgetful. He may make fun of me but he doesn't hold it against me....too much.

3. He totally supports me homeschooling the kids and gently helps us get back on track when my distractable self gets us off track.

4. He supports my many adventures into new and exciting hobbies even though he knows that it is probably just a passing fad and all that new stuff I bought will start collecting dust after the next new and exciting hobby discovery is made. At least it keeps me busy!

5. He cooks dinner sometimes even though he has just gotten home from work and I've been home all day with the kids. It seems so backwards but I get tired, bored, and/or unmotivated sometimes and he's a pretty good cook.

6. He does laundry when my distractable self forgets that the mountain in our bedroom is actually dirty clothes that need to be washed. (Now I just need to train him to fold, hang, and put it all away...Shhhhh.)

7. He's a great dad...taking the kids on special dates, playing GameCube with them, enjoying board games with the kids, rough housing, teasing, teaching, going on field trips with us, being the "mean parent" (but not too much), etc. etc. etc.

8. He works hard to pay the bills, feed us, house us, clothe us, buy everything we need, support my many adventures into new and exiting hobbies....

9. He loves animals ALMOST as much as my daughter and I do and will remember that when it is time to add to our zoo. : )

10. He enjoys fixing my computer every time I break it...I mean every time it breaks all by itself, with no help from me whatsoever.

11. He supports natural homebirth, attachment parenting, child-wearing, co-sleeping, and breastfeeding.

12. He supports me going to weekly ACA meetings every Monday (and watches the kids) and bi-annual, 4-day retreats (and watches the kids) so I can stay somewhat sane.

13. He gave me permission to post this photo of my surprise stocking stuffer to him. I love it when he plays along with my silliness.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy and fun!

13 Memories of 2007

We've had a busy year! Today I'm sharing just thirteen of the exciting, happy, sad, fun, humorous memories from this year. There were so many to choose from it was hard to choose just thirteen to represent the past year. As a homeschooling family, we go to so many really cool and interesting places...all in the name of learning...on school days. : )

We started the year off anticipating the arrival of Joshua. After refusing to join us, he was rushed into this world via induced labor on February 28th. The coolest things about his birth was that we got a really awesome doctor, my closest friend was there, and the kids witnessed the whole thing. Mika burst out in happy tears, alarming everyone in the room, and Sammy thought it was "cool".
Then just 2 1/2 weeks later, Josh came down with a fever on the way home from church one Sunday. A call to the doctor sent me to the children's hospital ER. It wasn't long before they told me we'd be staying for 2 days so they could treat a urinary tract infection via IV. Not long after that I was told it would actually be 4 days so they could also treat RSV. We arranged for an awesome friend to take the kids (We love you Susan!) until my father could come up and Scott joined us at the hospital. We ended up staying a heart-wrenching 8 days while we watched our poor, very sick, newborn baby struggle to breath. We were soooooo happy to leave and I'm still paranoid about running noses (I freak out because I don't want Josh anywhere near a child with a runny nose for fear he'll get RSV again.)

In June, we took a field trip to the Pioneer Farm Museum. This place is cool and this was our second visit there. The kids got to learn all about what life was like for the pioneers. They kneaded bread, ground coffee beans, dressed in pioneer clothes, carded wool, washed laundry in a wringer, chased chickens, visited barn animals (including the above horse), watched a blacksmithing demo, sawed some branches, and took a short wagon ride. There's more but that list was getting long! We also visited their Native Indian tour on this trip. We played indian drums, made arrow heads, played indian games, and tried weaving. We enjoyed every minute of the trip.

Every summer, we participate in the library's summer reading program. When the children reach their reading goal, they get a free trip to the Pt. Defiance Zoo. The special program this year was a rather unusual and odd drama group, Umo Ensemble. The show was extemely weird but left us in stitches nonetheless.

In August Scott's niece, Rachael, came to visit. We had never met her so we had no idea what to expect. She is absolutely awesome and adorable. Since she had never been to Washington, we gave her the grand tour of western Washington. Well, as much as we could in one week. One of the many stops was the Space Needle, of course. We had a tiring but very fun week and can't wait to see her again.

One of the places we went to with Rachael was Long Beach. She wanted to see the Pacific Ocean. We surprised Mika with a horse ride on the beach. After getting over her initial fear that the horse was going to take off with her, she loved it.

Labor Day weekend we took our annual camping trip to Cannon Beach, OR. The kids love spending time playing on the beach and visiting with Papa. We also enjoy burying our dog, Zach. He doesn't mind at all. In fact, he lays there patiently while we do it and stays there for quite a while afterwards. He gets lots of attention from people walking by. When he's had enough, he just stands up and shakes the sand off. I think he likes it.

On the beach, we also dug ourselves a big moat and then stood on it while the waves came in. We stood safely inside our moat on our little island. When we left, we saw two other groups of people enjoying our island. We want to do that again in 2008.

One of our field trips this year was to Camlann Medieval Village. It was a quiet day as we went on one of the weekends after the summer festivals. It was still interesting and quite a learning experience. We want to go back next summer during the festivals. My 7 year old daughter snapped this photo of the potter apprentices' hands working some clay. Isn't it a wonderful photo?

It doesn't look like it in this picture but the kids are enjoying cotton candy at the Puyallup Fair. We go every year because we absolutely must! We have our caricatures drawn by one of the artists there each year. We have 9 years worth of carictures and it is a family tradition. Even during years money is tight, we find a way to get to the fair to get our mugs drawn.

I think the best field trip of the 2007-2008 school year so far was our trip to the Pacific Science Center. It was the kids' first time there and they LOVED it. After 5 hours there, they still didn't want to leave. I think they loved it all but the dinosaur bones were probably a favorite.

Sammy started taking Taekwondo classes this year. He loves them. We can provide these classes thanks to Columbia Virtual Academy. CVA is a public school-homeschool co-op of sorts. It allows me to homeschool under the supervision of a certified teacher and they provide a good-sized student fund to pay for curriculum, supplies, classes, and field trips. This program is VERY homeschool friendly and hasn't cramped our homeschooling in any way. We still homeschool exactly the same way we did before we found CVA only now we get to do more because we have the funds. The kids like that.

Ok, I said I'd never get a gaming system. Never ever. Here's the kids enjoying the new-to-us GameCube on Christmas Day. Scott got it in trade on a laptop he sold. He was going to sell it but a friend of mine gave me a good reason to keep it so we did. The kids say, "Thank you Susan!"

Josh loves his new walker. He'll be walking for real in no time.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy and fun!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My Christmas in Review

I decided to do a little Christmas review. Next year, I'll be able to look them up on my blog archives and remember what I wanted to do again and what I wanted to change. Thes are the answers to my own questions. If you want to answer them too, see my post below or here.

1. When do you normally decorate? Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Eve or somewhere in between?
I normally decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving. I like getting it up early for two reasons: so I don't have the added stress closer to Christmas and because I want to get Christmas decorations put away before my son's birthday on New Year's Eve (so the two can be separate occasions). So far my son has requested that Christmas decorations be left up for his birthday.

2. Do you like all your decorations? Are there any you wish to get rid of? Are there any new ones you wish to purchase?
I like almost all of my decorations. I have a wreath that I made myself for the door and a matching one for my table. I hope they survive a long time because I just love them. I do NOT like our star for the top of our Christmas tree. It tends to slowly fall over because it is too heavy for our tree. Hopefully, we can find a better tree topper for next year. I'd also like to find some kind of garland or ribbon to go around our tree.

3. Which traditions were your favorites that you want to make sure you keep for next year?
I have several that I want to keep for a long time. We try to go to some sort of show as a family every year. This year we went to a holiday concert at the symphony. We buy a new special ornament for our tree to commenorate something that happened that year. This year it was a baby's first Christmas ornament. We also get the kids a new ornament that they'll take with them when they move out. We always give the kids new jammies on Christmas Eve. I also don't put the presents out under the tree until after the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve. It's more magical for them to wake up Christmas morning that way. The kids and I usually go to The Coats Christmas concert with a friend every year but didn't this year. We were all sad every time we thought about missing it. We'll be sure to go next year!

4. Is there a new tradition you tried or saw on another blog that you would like to see next year?
I'd like to figure out a Christmas menu to make into a tradition. I'd also like to find an Advent countdown that works for us.

5. Is there a tradition that you wish to give up next year for some reason? Maybe it took too much time or energy. Maybe no one really enjoyed it.
I'd like to work towards making Christmas more about family togetherness and less about the gifts. I'd like to reduce the amount of gifts and the amount of money spent. I've wanted this for a couple of years but I'm always afraid that the kids would be disappointed. My husband and I have reduced the gifts for ourselves. We generally do not buy for each other. Instead, we help each child buy something small for us so they can feel the joy of giving.

6. What was your favorite Christmas recipe or meal that you like to make every year? Did you try anything new this year? Did you see any new recipes you want to try next year?
We do not have a traditional Christmas meal. I'd like to find one...but not a huge feast because it usually is only our immediate family. Usually I make certain treats that I don't make during the rest of the year: chocolate peanut butter bars and fudge are two of them.

7. What was your favorite gift given?
I put a certain pair of boxers in my husband's stocking. They were spiderman boxers; spidey blue on the back, spidey red on the front with black web and spider on the red part. His look, once he realized that they were for him (and not accidently put into his stocking by mistake), was classic.

8. What was your favorite gift received?
I'm thrilled with the gifts my kids got me!

9. How do you spend Christmas day? Do you want to change this next year?
Usually we unwrap presents, detangle toys from their hundreds of twisties holding them in, and then be bored the rest of the day. This year we bought the kids very few toys; they mostly wanted electrics stuff. We had no twisties to untwist this year! We spent the day playin gamecube games together which was more fun than the usual Christmas. I want to find a new tradition to fill in the post unwrapping part of the day.

10. When do you put away decorations? Right away or do you wait awhile?
My goal is to have it all pulled down, packed up, and put away by December 29th or 30th so my son can have a non-Christmas birthday. So far, he has asked for the Christmas stuff to be left out for his birthday so I oblige him and work on getting it put away before my daughter's birthday (January 15th). If he ever changes his mind and wants his birthday totally separate from Christmas, I'll be ready to have Christmas put away in time for his birthday. I like this plan.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve

I'm done! I'm done!

Well at least as done as I am going to be. In an ideal world, my house would be total clean and I'd have a special breakfast for tomorrow (homemade cinnamon rolls perhaps) ready and waiting to be baked. But I don't live in an ideal world nor anything close to it.

Earlier we all changed into Christmas jammies (we give the kids new pjs every Christmas Eve and got mom and dad involved this year) and settled down to watch a Christmas movie while the kids kept track of Santa on Norad. Before putting the kids to bed, we gave Josh his medicine which he promptly threw up. He no longer has Christmas pjs on. Mom is only wearing the bottom half of hers with a sub top half. Poor kid! His tummy doesn't like this medicine.

We got the kids to bed. As soon as they were asleep, I got busy being Santa. I was going to clean up a bit more but I'm not feeling too well tummy-wise myself and I have a headache. Figures. I'm off to bed. Hope ya'll have a wonderful Christmas morning! I can't wait to see the kids' reactions in the morning...especially Sammy's initial one since we traded out his stocking for a new Spiderman 3 one. He's gonna love it! (See Scott's blog for a photo.)

Menu Plan Monday ~ December 24

I've got so much going on right now I don't even want to think about menus. I've still got wrapping to do and my kids want to bake for Santa. I have to run out to the store for something I forgot and I need to get ready for my son's birthday next week. So, I really haven't thought this out much yet but I'll put something down in hopes I'll actually follow some of it. Visit Organizing Junkie for more menus!

Sunday: Steak Nachos

We love nachos here. Our nachos include refried beans, steak (usually ground beef but sometimes we do steak or chicken instead), cheddar cheese, chili con queso dip, fresh tomatoes, sour cream, fresh guacamole, and salsa. My husband adds olives and jalepenos if we have them.

Monday: Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy & Corn


Tuesday: London Broil Steak with Baked Potatoes & veggie

It's just family so I don't feel like doing a big feast. Besides I still have enough turkey leftovers to make about 6 more pots of soup. I'll be making an awesome Crab and Clam Dip for crackers to munch on during the day.

Wednesday: Turkey Noodle Soup with Homemade Bread

Made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

Thursday: Turkey Burgers using Homemade Rolls

I have lots of ground turkey I got marked down.

Friday: Leftover Buffet

Saturday: Not yet planned

Desserts: We'll be baking Chocolate Chip Cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve using Nestle's recipe. I'll be making Chocolate Lover's Cheesecake for Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Unconscious Mutterings #1

Ok so I found another fun thing to blog...this website lists ten words every Sunday and you just type whatever comes to mind first.

I say ... and you think ... ?

Health :: Want it
Tacky :: Am not!
Heels :: Red
Yay! :: Why?
Model :: Airplane.
Gather :: Together
Best gift ever :: That's what the kids will say this Christmas when they open the surprise gift.
Clients :: Hopefully Scott will have lots and lots.
Stomp :: Am not!
Clothing :: Need some but then hate everything I try on.

Ok, a few of these could use some explanation...

For health, I just want Josh to get healthy again. He's been battling some kind of infection or illness for over 3 months now. I can't explain my answer for tacky. I saw a woman at church today wearing an interesting pair of red heels. I could stop looking at them. I kind of liked them and I kind of didn't. Why are you saying yay? Model airplane? Well, duh! Gather together? Another duh. I can't wait until the kids sing praises on Christmas for THE gift. I'm hoping Scott gets lots and lots clients for his new job since he will be paid partly in commission. I couldn't help picturing a toddler stomp and say, "Am not!" Tacky that is. Yes, I need clothing. My wardrobe is pitiful but ever time I try to remedy it I spend hours at the stores and bring back nothing.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Salvation Army Giving Tree

Visiting our local Salvation Army Giving Tree is becoming a family tradition for us. We've done it for several years; now we take the kids and let them each choose a tag. Being children, they prefer to find a child of similar age and gender as themselves. Then we go shopping for the item wished for and return it to the volunteer manning the tree to give to the child on our behalf. We are thankful that we can give a five year old boy a play dough center and nine year old girl a vanity set for Christmas. Fortunately, the kids' tags are nearly all gone.

Our local tree needs people to pick up senior tags. There were many still left on the table. These men and women usually ask for something simple: some gloves, a hat, bed sheets, or a book. There is still time; the trees are up until Christmas Eve.

If you can, would you consider venturing out into the crowds to bless someone in need this Christmas?

We Are Blessed

Lately, our kids have been proving to us that they don't realize just how blessed we are. How could they? They have everything that they need and most of what they want also. Suffering, to them, is eating a home-cooked healthy meal consisting of food they don't care for or waiting six months for that cool new toy they really want. We've been increasingly bombarded with "gimme" and "yucky". So, we took drastic measures to ensure that Christmas in our house is a little more thankful this year.

We went to Africa, Mexico, and poor America. Well, we took a pretend trip there. We woke up in the dark (we do have very short days here in Washington during the winter) and stayed in the dark. We had no electricity. No electricity meant no lights, no TV, no computers, and no heat (we turned it down to 65 so not to freeze us completely). We lit a couple of candles for light. We had no extra clothes. I chose older, outgrown clothes for the kids to wear and we cuddled for warmth. We did not have a large house. We confined the kids to a portion of the living room about 8 feet by 10 feet on the floor because we no longer had furniture. It was a bit cramped. We had no running water so we went outside in the rain with a soup pot for a bucket and drew water from our "well" (the outside spigot). Our feet got cold beause we had no shoes. For breakfast we at nsima, a staple in Africa, plantains, and mangoes. The kids and I did not like any of it nor were we looking forward to having it again for lunch and dinner. The kids each were allowed to choose one toy that did not require batteries and that was all they owned. Scott and I were prepared to go through this for the day, until night came at 4:30pm and we put the kids to bed on the floor of our living room. It did not take that long to get the point across.

At first, the kids thought it was going to be by candlelight. Mika broke down at breakfast. She, like her mom, is a picky eater. She left her food pretty much untouched and the thought of having nothing else but nsima and plantains for the rest of the day was too much for her. Sammy didn't take care of his one toy and lost it. Having no TV, computers, or toys was the hardest for him. That and he was cold. They were both crying and begging to be done within a couple of hours. We talked about our experiences and had them write about them as well. Mika hates to write so we stayed in our new life an extra hour. Turns out that writing isn't so bad. We're done now. We came home with the knowledge that we'll go back if we need to.

What are we going to do now? In a little while, we are going to attend a potluck at Sammy's taekwondo dojang and see his instructor break a bunch of bricks. Then we'll go to the mall and pick some kids from the Salvation Army giving tree and go shopping for them. We'll see Santa while we are there and then maybe going see a light display at a local park. We'll appreciate all of it too.

We are blessed to live here in America. We have a father who works hard to support us. We have a home, even if it is just a modest one. We have electricity. We have heat. We have a large variety of healthy food. We have people who love us. We have lots of toys and fun gadgets to entertain us. We get to learn and we have the right to do so from home, enjoying lots of fun projects and field trips. We have a good God who love us and provides for us. We have Jesus' birth and sacrifice on the cross. We have everything we need.

Check out my husband's blog for his post about our morning adventures. You can read Mika's essay here and Sammy's essay here.

Friday, December 21, 2007

PhotoHunt: Light

I think memes are lots of fun so I went in search of one for Saturday and found . Since I like blogs with lots of photos, this one just seemed like a perfect one to participate in. You simply post a photo that represents the theme; this week's theme is "light."

These photos were taken at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. What a fun place!

This beautiful butterfly does not weigh is rather light.

This Goliath Beetle is the least light bug there is...1/4 pound!

Merry Christmas

Above you'll find a fun Christmas greeting from my family to yours. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

13 Years of Memories

It was Christmas 1995. I was feeling pretty down. I was 21 years old and feeling alone in the world. I was not speaking to my family, I had lost my apartment, and I was living in the basement bedroom of a friend/co-worker. One day the Mountain Man candy lady came into my workplace like she did periodically and saw this cute Frosy ornament. I bought it, deciding right then and there to start my own Christmas tradition of buying myself a special ornament every year. And I have... This was my first ornament. Frosty. Because he is cute and I like snowmen. 1995.

The year 1996 was the year I met my husband. We broke up for a few weeks right before Christmas (we got back together on Christmas day) so I wasn't in the mood to buy an ornament. Luckily, a friend gave me this cute little doll. She's now missing a black button foot.

My husband bought me this cute Precious Moments ornament for our first Christmas together in 1997. We had a Precious Moments cake topper on our wedding cake too.

We spent Christmas 1998 surrounded by boxes as we waited for our first house to close. It finally closed two weeks late in 1999 but we thought that this house ornament was still appropriate for 1998 since we were up to our ears in closing stress and boxes.

I was pregnant with our first child in 1999. That summer we went to a big, outdoor boating event in a nearby city. Not only could you look at tons of cool, wooden boats but they had tons of vendors and food. I saw this salt dough pregnant woman and had to have her for Christmas that year. She lost her foot a few years ago. Last year, she lost her falls off so she can't hang on the tree. I want to either find the lady who made her and get a new one or try to remake her myself.

Our first child celebrated her first Christmas in 2000. I just love these teeny Precious Moments shoes. They have her name and birthday written on the bottoms.

In 2001 we chose to commentorate September 11, 2001 with this ornament. I was going to say something about praying the families affected have peace this year but there are just no words...

The year 2002 was our second child's first christmas. We chose this cute ornament for his first Christmas.

In 2003, the wife of a former coworker of my dad sent us this hand made ornament. This spider is so pretty and came with a story about how the spider covered a tree with its webbing and how Santa turned her web into tinsel. Cute story. We have no tinsel on our tree though.

A family friend gave each person in our family an ornament for 2004. Here's mine: a cute fabric bag with a snowman. Its begging to be filled but I don't know what to put in it.

This little puppy ornament reminds us of the year my husband's boxer suddenly became ill and had to be put down because she had advanced cancer in her liver and gall bladder. She never showed any signs until it was too late.

In 2006, my husband's boss took everyone to Disneyland. The kids loved it, I found this ornament in a shop on Main Street because I knew a Disney ornmaent would be perfect for our tree.
One month after Disneyland, I became pregnant. The kids had been wanting another sibling so everyone was very excited making a second ornament for 2006 necesssary.

Our third child is celebrating his first Christmas this year so my daughter picked out this ornament for him.

One year I realized that I wasn't going to give up my yearly ornaments as long as I live. My kids would have to come home for Christmas if they ever wanted to see them again after they move out. This led me to decide to start them a collection as well. I start each child's collection when they are about 4 or 5 so we can tailor them to their activities or likes. This year my daugher has a gymnastics bear and my son has a black Spiderman.

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