Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our Christmas Story

Here's hoping that everyone was able to share in the Blessings of the Season and to celebrate with those with whom you hold most dear!
We had a wonderful time celebrating and took our time to just soak in the bounty of our family and truly praise the joy that they are in our lives.  It was such a special time.

We got up early on Christmas Day and headed over to Michelle and Shawn's house so that we could be there when the children came downstairs to see their gifts.  We arrived around 7:00, Michelle had called and said that she and Shawn were up already and to come over.  When we arrived they had just woken the kids up!  They were clammoring to come down, but then Bella asked me to come upstairs and see her tree and to look at her special Advent gift, which I was all too happy to do.  Then they were ready to go down and see what awaited them!  Here they are waiting for their cue to come on down...

The excited duo!
Opening a joint gift.
Aiden's turn..
There were so many gifts! 
Santa brought gifts, Michelle and Shawn had their gifts for the children and for each other, Shawn's parents came and brought their gifts for the children and for the grandchildren, we brought all of our gifts for Aiden and some of our gifts for Bella and then Tim came as well and brought his gifts for Bella and Aiden too.  Like I said, lots of gifts!  The little ones were so excited though, it was so much fun to watch them and to be a part of it. The only sore spot was that Aiden had to be at his Mom's house by noon, so we had to say good-bye to him.  Although we all understand it, it would have been nice if the children had a chance to play together before he had to leave for the day.  But, it was a very nice morning.
We then went  home and I put dinner in the oven and Tim opened his stocking and the three of us enjoyed each others' company for awhile.  Mr. Wonderful gave me my gift-a new body for my camera!  I was thrilled, as I have reallly wanted one.  This one has 18 megapixels and is much lighter weight and also takes video.  Can't wait to play with it!

 After a while, Michelle, Shawn and Bella came over and we all opened our gifts to each other.  Bella was super surprised by her new American Girl doll Kit.  I think she was a hit! 

Tim tortured his sister by wrapping his gift to her with 30 feet of tape, making it nearly impossible for her to unwrap and impossible for her to unwrap it neatly!  Shawn was surprised as always, by the extreme nature of our home-in terms of sense of humor, attitude, and well-everything.  Ha!  He is still getting used to us, but I think if we haven't scared him away by now-he's going to be sticking around. 
It was good to have Tim home, even if it was only for a short while.  He was happy to see his dogs and they were happy to see him.  Of course, he and Bella are always thrilled to see each other!

And Bella, well....

We've just got to do something to cheer this child up!  Too bad that she's so shy and camera shy!
Hope you  all made it Merry!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"C" Minus 5!

Me speak for Christmas is in 5 days!  EEek!  Where does the time go!  Just dropping in to say that I am still alive and fairly well.  Haven't totally crashed-yet.  Ha!
Been running like a maniac and trying to get everything finished in time for the holiday.  Somehow, time just seems to get away from me.  I can't quite put my finger on why though.  I work only work between 9-10 hours a day, plus the drive there and back which adds another hour and a half to two hours to my day.  So I get up at 4:50 in order to get ready for work and make it in on time.  Then after I get home I try to visit with Bella for a bit before she goes home, let her read to me if she hasn't already read to Mr. Wonderful.  After that it is dinner time and then I clean up the dishes and head upstairs for a couple hours of boxing, wrapping, tagging and organizing presents.  I've also got to fit in the Christmas card making, writing, stamping and mailing.  Gift buying.  Home baked/made gifts for the neighbors and co-workers as well as holiday visits with family and friends. 
Oh and by the way, Mr. W. has been taken out temporarily with Bells Palsy brought on by Lime Disease so he hasn't been quite up to snuff and not his usual self.  He has been trying his best to help out and to his credit he has been, just in fits and starts. 
Add to all of this that I have already had to return, yes you read that correctly return gifts and you can say that I've been a little busy.  Really, returning gifts before Christmas?  Who does that?  Well, me!  That's who!
I had to return just about everything that I bought for number one daughter because someone else bought the same things for her and then think of something else to get her.  As if that wasn't enough, after I had bought and wrapped gifts for the soon to be number one son in law, someone else got  a few of the same items that I had gotten him.  So I had to find them by unwrapping five of the gifts I had gotten to find the two I needed to return.  At this point no-one is to question my sanity!  I mean it! 
Did I mention that work, which is usually very slow at this time of year has been extrordinarily busy?  No?  Well, it has been.  And I am working like a lunatic.  So busy that the days are just flying by, which I guess you can say is a good thing. 
What I am saying is this: I've been really busy, going crazy, everything hurts and when I finally sit down at night I fall asleep.  No time to write.  Sorry.  Try to catch up soon, but can't promise much. 
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ushering in the Holiday Season

One of the best things about a tradition is passing it down to the next generation and it seems as though that is something that we are doing with now with Michelle and Bella and the Sweetest Place on Earth.  I am of course, referring to Hershey Park.  Every year for the past twenty some years, Mr. Wonderful and I have taken the kids to Hershey after Thanksgiving as a way of ushering in the holiday season.  It is just beautiful up there this time of year and so much fun!  There is plenty to do as many of the rides are open, including a special trolley ride through the town with a 'special' visitor, Chocolate World, over 2 million lights decorate the park and if you stay at one of the Hershey properties, there are special events all day and evening long that are very family centered.  It has always been a very special time for us and this past weekend we were able to share it once again, this time with Michelle and Shawn, Bella and Aiden.  What a blessing!
Friday evening we went up right after school let out for the kids.  We checked into our hotel and grabbed a quick-and I do mean quick!, dinner.  Then we headed over to the Hershey Theatre to see Disney's Phineas and Ferb Live on Stage.  The kids were totally mesmerized by it and I have to say, Jim and Shawn really enjoyed it too!  What is it about men and cartoons?  Long after Bella has left the room, Jim will still sit in front of the television watching her TV programs and if I should dare turn it off!  Well, let's just say I've learned my lesson.  Ha!

Then on Saturday morning we got up and headed over to the park to have breakfast with Santa.  Another tradition that we look forward to and were lucky enough to share this year with the grands kids. It's so much fun to see their faces as they sing songs with Mr. Music and watch as the Hershey charaters come in for photo shoots with each of them and finally as Mrs. and Santa Clause arrive and take the time to speak to each child.  The joy and wonderment in their eyes is much to behold! 
After breakfast, we went out into the park and played!  We rode rides-mostly we watched as the kids rode rides, but that's what we wanted to do, we went to a show at the Music Box Theatre, we went to a story time, we even visited the zoo!  We had a blast, but it was chilly.  Later in the evening, after the sun had gone down all the lights came on and the park was all lit up for the holiday season and it was beautiful!  We had a great time and by the time we called it a night, we were all tired.  Some more than others!  Michelle who is always thinking ahead, had the kids' pajamas ready and on hand and had the kids change into them in the car and got them cozy and snuggly warm with their blankets in their car seats and both kids slept all the way home.  Once there, it was easy to get them to brush their teeth and jump into bed for the night. 
For that matter, I jumped into bed when we got home too! 
Christmas will be here soon!