caroling with the youth, gingerbread houses with the cousins, family time, the fire pit, and 2 more visits to van’s school…
Archive for December, 2010
van is always “girl trapped” when we go places as a family, but every once in a while it’s just him and dad in the car. van loves it when it’s just the boys.
i’m not sure exactly what goes on because apparently it’s secret “boys only” stuff, but i’ve heard that rockin’ out to ‘dead or alive’ by bon jovi is a huge highlight and stopping for a treat is required.
this time the boys went home teaching and delivered some Christmas treats, but van came home with the same “i’m cool” look on his face. he walked in the door holding a bag of funyuns in one hand and hot cocoa in the other, his clip-on tie removed with the top button undone, and he seemed to have grown up a bit. i guess boy time in the car makes one become more of a man.
we had this tradition when i was growing up, where we would make care packages and drop them on people’s doorsteps- ring the bell and run. we didn’t do it every year, but i loved it when we did.
i specifically remember the smell of banana bread baking in the oven and my mom bustling around the kitchen helping us wrap the boxes with Christmas wrap, and decorate them with old Christmas cards to look festive.
“this box needs a few more oranges, and put this in that box” she would say, as she handed me a loaf of banana bread wrapped in saran wrap topped with a red bow. this continued until each box was arranged just right and filled to the top with fruit, homemade bread, and goodies.
then, all 9 of us piled in the suburban as my dad loaded the boxes in the back. i remember the feeling of excitement after ringing the doorbell, as we tried to make it to the car without being seen. i imaged their surprise when they opened the door to find the package, and the wonderment of- “who left this here?!”
i still carry a vivid memory of the feelings i had from those experiences, and i know that it instilled in me a love for others. thanks to my mom and dad for teaching us that important lesson. i want my kids to experience that too, so this year we picked a family in need and started making plans for our surprise.
monday night we went shopping and picked out presents for the 3 kids, filled stockings with toys and candy, wrapped everything up, filled the box with more goodies, and headed out.
it was dark when we drove by the house to scope out our escape route. dad and mia were to wait in the car around the corner, and our plan was to run straight to the car after we knocked.
so jasmine, van, and i got out of the car and carried the packages to the door through the crispy leaves and cold air. we could hear voices inside and we got a little nervous that they might see us, so we quickly arranged the presents on the doorstep, then got in position to run.
i waited til the kids had a good head start, knocked real loud, then jumped off the porch and started running. as i was running something caught the corner of my eye and i noticed van hiding in the darkness of the open garage. i whispered loudly,
“van what are you doing? we’re supposed to run to the car, c’mon!”
his nervous excitement was making him second guess our escape route, and after hesitating for a split second, he quickly followed me back to the car.
we jumped in the car, our hearts racing from excitement. we pulled forward a little to see the silhouette of someone on the porch picking up the packages. we gave a sigh of relief as we drove off. project ‘Christmas service’ done, undetected.
on our way back home, we started teasing van about hiding in the garage. “what were you doing in the garage van? did you want to do a little extra service in there? maybe fix their car or something?”
then we all laughed and van chimed in with, “yeah, i was going to fill up their lawn mower with gas, or maybe find some tools and fix their roof!”
we all had a good feeling as we laughed and talked on the car ride home. it was that same feeling that i had as a little girl. now i recognize it as the the overpowering love for all of God’s children, and how important it is that we serve one another.
we decided that this will be our new family tradition.
we’re not even 2 weeks into december and it feels like we’ve been doing so much. i figure i’d better hurry and blog everything before i get too busy with Christmas stuff and can’t catch up.
here are some things we’ve been up to…
first off, we were so excited to get all our lights up outside. it’s a lot harder than it looks, and we didn’t even put any on the house! i held the ladder for the tall monkey man, while he draped the lights around the trees. and since van’s room has the front window, he was lucky enough to get his own Christmas tree up there. he was pretty excited about that.
old town little elm had their lighting of the Christmas tree and festivities. van and mia loved looking at the lights and playing in the leaves.
driving around looking at lights is a favorite around here. there are some way cool houses in frisco with tons of lights. one even has their lights synced to music that you tune your radio to while you’re watching. hot chocolate at 7-eleven is a must, and of course we have a huge can at home for the daily dose.
and it was a complete pleasure to have savannah, millie, and toccoa over for a couple of days while paula was bringing jefferson into the world. van found himself “baby trapped” a lot which he wasn’t too happy about.
jasmine’s Christmas choir concert at the jr. high was great as always
but the best thing we’ve done so far has to be when we went to the “nativity” at the church. i couldn’t take enough pictures, everything was so gorgeous. there was an amazing display of hundreds of nativity sets, pictures, trees, lights, poinsettias, with choirs and musical numbers playing in the background. they had a scavenger hunt set up for the kids, so jas and van had fun finding things like- a nativity made out of a coconut, or a nativity with a buffalo and bear. they had a lot from different countries and we even found one from brazil! it was really amazing, and there was a beautiful spirit there. we ran into the missionaries too and it seemed fitting to include them in my collage. those guys are awesome.
so that’s it for now. we’ve got gingerbread houses and service projects in the works…
if you’re thinking of some service to do this Christmas, there’s a sweet little girl in utah that got in a car accident 2 weeks ago who needs donations to help pay medical bills.
go here to read her story http://www.maddisized.blogspot.com/
you know how every once in a while you have a moment where everything in your world is perfect- at that moment, and you just want to capture the feeling that you’re feeling and bottle it forever? i was having one of those moments last night. jasmine hooked up her ipod to the speakers in the living room, and we turned up the music and danced like crazy people. it was awesome.
that’s why i love my blog, because i can sorta capture my feelings through pictures to keep forever, and share with friends and family. as long as i live, i will look at this picture and remember that feeling of happiness i was feeling- at that exact moment.