Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Not the brightest bulb on the tree...

My core is almost warmed back up to 98.6 degrees thanks to my caramel latte that I actually made--I know, who would of thought? I can almost feel my toes again thanks to my green and white cozy boot slippers. Let me explain myself...

This morning I took my daycare kids to Play & Pray at my church. One of my friends informed me about the Holiday Train stopping through town this afternoon. There was going to be Christmas music, santa, etc. That sounded like a great time. I called our transportation system to see if they could pick us up. The plan was McDonald's for lunch and then head to the train with some of the other mom's---this was going to be a fun surprise for the kids. Well, the bus was late to pick us up from the church to bring us to McDonald's. I knew there was not going to be enough time to eat there...we had about 25 minutes to spare. My girlfriend loaned me her van and I went and grabbed lunch for the kids. By the time I got back to the church the kids had 10 minutes to eat their food. The bus arrived five minutes early this time, but I had them wait so the kids could finish. We arrived at the park where the Holiday Train had stopped. One of my friends greeted us as we got off and she had brought a pair of boots for me to wear. As we were exiting the bus one of my little honey's has a major melt down, not sure if it's because she saw Santa, but she was determined for me to hold her the whole time. So needless to say, I never put the boots on. As we are walking towards the box car to join in the festivities I notice that a couple of the kids don't have their mittens on. They left them on the bus...fabulous. My kind friends gave us their mittens to my little kiddos. I have ballet flat shoes on, with NO socks on and only a North Face fleece and scarf (here comes the part of me not being the brightest bulb) and I gave my mittens to the little peanut that wouldn't stop crying. Initially I'm feeling no pain since I'm consumed with getting my kids bundled, but about five minutes later I was beginning to feel the pain; I'm sure the kids were too. Thankfully two of my friend's had vans that we could all pile into to warm up until the bus came to get us again. We maybe lasted 15 minutes out there.

I learned two things from this adventure gone sour...
1) I have the best friends in the world. I was overwhelmed by their thoughtfulness and kindness.
2) It was way too cold to be outside, even if the kids had hats, gloves, warm jacket and boots. I will always wear boots when taking daycare outings. I don't always know what the day holds, and today I learned the hard way.

Thankfully when we got home the kids didn't seem to bothered about being outside. They are all snuggled away in their beds for a nap. Learn from my mistakes, if the Holiday Train is coming to town make sure you and your kids have snow pants, hat, scarf, winter boots. scarf/face mask, gloves and hot cocoa in hand. I felt irresponsible and almost out of control (since I can't control the weather) that I even brought my kiddos out. We should have just went home, but I am thankful for Jesus protecting us from frost bite and for my dear, sweet friends!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Joy to the World

This year for Christmas the daycare kids and I "adopted" a family to buy presents for. Instead of me buying the kids/families presents I put that money towards this family. I hope that I can give the kids a glimpse of what it's like to serve others and to put other's needs before their own. I know they are small and by nature we are egocentric, but I think if we start to teach them at a young age it may be easier to do later on in life.

Last Monday, myself, Twyla and Mary ventured to Target with 13 little bambinos. The family that we were buying presents for has three children so each of us took a "team" and shopped for one specific child. It was so neat to see the joy and excitement they had shopping for the other children. I was so impressed that they didn't ask for anything either. I gave each team a specific amount of money they could spend, so the kids needed to be thrifty and get the best bang for their buck.

This afternoon the family stopped over to pick up their gifts. In the morning, the kids and I baked peanut butter blossom cookies and decorated sugar cookies. We designed a large "Merry Christmas" poster to hang outside the door to welcome them into our home. When the family arrived we had cookies and hot cocoa and the kids introduced themselves to each other. I asked if they could each open one gift, and the mom agreed. My kids were excited to watch them and told them who shopped for who. The kids spent the remainder of the time playing together. After the family left, I debriefed with the kids and asked them how it felt to give to the other kids, and they all had the same response---Good/Happy. I went on saying that their joyful giving delighted the LORD. It warmed my heart knowing how thankful and appreciative the family was. That is the true meaning of Christmas. God GAVE us the ultimate gift...his one and only SON. I challenge you this Christmas season to bless someone that wouldn't expect it. It doesn't have to be a monetary gift, it could be helping them with a project, cleaning, praying for them, calling them to say how much you appreciate them or love them, etc.

I leave you with this...

"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER!"
2 Corinthians 9:7

Monday, December 6, 2010

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

This past weekend was icing on the cake for me...it's official, I"m SO excited for Christmas.
This is how it all happened...
Kourtney and I decided to surprise our mom with tickets to the BLENDERS. They are a group of four guys with amazing voices. While attending college, our family would drive to Fargo, ND to hear them sing Thanksgiving night. We always attended their Christmas Show. Of course we bought their Christmas CD and listen to it 24/7 during the holiday season. Kourtney found out tha they were performing at the Pantages Theatre so we jumped on the opportunity.

Saturday AM my mom met me in Alexandria and we proceeded to the Twin Cities to Kourtney's house. On the way there my mom was talking about how we should make the first weekend in December a girl's weekend and how it would be so fun to go see the Blenders some time. I acted dumb and led her to believe that I only thought the Blenders performed in Fargo. We arrived at Kourtney's around lunch time and headed to the General Store for lunch and to admire all of the Christmas decor and products. I found a darling plate for Santa's cookies and a Christmas Journal. It's used to record what you did every Christmas, who you were with, where you went, and a picture of the family. From there we went to Knollwood Mall & Southdale Shopping Centre to do a little Christmas Shopping. I struck gold at H&M for my little boys and found Josh some nice clothing at LEN and GAP. We ran into the Kellogg's from Wadena who recently moved to the cities. It was a fun surprise. I used to baby-sit for their kids and now they are in high school and way taller then me. We had dinner at Big Bowl in the Galleria and there is where we shared the surprise with my mom. She was so excited! Originally she thought we were going to the Gopher Game since Kourtney's brother-in-law plays for them, Blake Hoffarber, and then she thought it was a play. We all ordered the same thing at Big Bowl...we are so habitual---creatures of habit. and then headed to Minneapolis to see the concert.

Funny story (or at least it would be if you were there)...
We parked in a parking ramp and were taking the stairs down to the main level. The stairway was congested since their was a T-Wolves & Gopher game going on. As my mom was rounding a corner onto a platform she bumps the big, round, red "Emergency Button!" Now, Kourtney is leading the way, my mom is in the middle and I'm bringing up the rear. We stop and look at each other in shock and bust into laughter, everyone else has a panic look on their face wondering what just happened. We bolted out of there as fast as we could. It was almost one of those moments when you laugh so hard you almost pee your pants. We joked with my mom that the police will be looking for her and that we can't take her anywhere.

We finally arrive at the Pantages Theatre. Our seats were awesome---four rows from the front. I could see their faces so clear. The concert was amazing, as usual. They are celebrating their 20th year together so they did a mix of Christmas and their hits. Before, when we attended their concerts they were strictly acappella, but this time they had a band for some of the songs. I loved singing along to most of the songs. After the concert it official felt like Christmas!

My darling husband agreed to watch both of the boys--Logan, 3 years old, and Shane, 3 months old. This was the first time I was away from Shane over night. I missed all of them and was calling every couple of hours. I am so thankful that I have a husband that is so hands on with the kids and doesn't even think twice about watching them. I love how he invests so much time into their lives and makes it a priority to include them in his day to day tasks. Before I left he had to make a special trip to the store to buy "guy food"---fish sticks. french fries, pop, etc.

In conclusion, the weekend was so very sweet and I adored the time I spent with my mom and sister---My love tank is full! If you are looking for a great Christmas CD buy the Blenders, you won't be disappointed!

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Big Fluffy Snowflakes = Giddiness

I am full of Glee! I feel like a child when big fluffy snowflakes fall from the sky. I just want to stay outside and take in every flake. Tonight the boys and I are going to get cocoa, of course at Caribou, and then drive around and look at Christmas Lights. I'm way too excited!

This year we ventured to Wadena and spent Thanksgiving with my mom, dad, Kourtney & Adam. We had a lovely time. The food was amazing, but the company was even better. The holiday season fulfills my desire to have quality time with my loved ones---it's one of my love languages. I love to just "be" with my family and friends. Thanksgiving was great having the (little) boys to entertain us, but it wasn't quite right now having my other siblings there---Lucas, Eva and Andre. They all live out of state so their visits are not often enough. My dad gave us a sneak peak of his light show, all I can say is he had out done himself again. The drive to Wadena is really worth it. This year the program is almost an hour long. He has had to rebuild a lot of his light show since the tornado hit this past summer. He has put some many hours into the light show--I admire his passion and perseverance. He added a ten foot wreath this year with a projection screen in the middle that plays video with various songs...so cool.

Friday when we got home from Wadena we partook in the Black Friday madness. Granted it was already after 11AM, the mall and Walmart/Target were still crowded. Josh & I managed to Christmas shop for the boys while they sat in the cart. It really was a team effort to pull it off. Our strategy included two shopping carts, walking up and down all of the toy aisles so Logan can tell us what he likes and then Josh takes the boys to get wrapping paper and I go back for the kill. I came to the conclusion that anything we buy Logan he will love. This year Santa will be coming to our home. Logan wants to make sure he's on Santa's "Nice" List. He is all excited to have cookies and milk for him. The holidays are more alive with kids. It's so fun to see the joy in their faces & their innocence is so sweet. I want to make everything extra special & start to set traditions.

My darling husband walked in the door with dinner in hand so I best be signing off!
Until next time.