Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I filled this out courtesy of my old high school friend Patti who hopes maybe one day I will actually do one of these. Well for your persistence here you go!
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? coordinating wrapping paper
2. Real tree or artificial? always real
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually first weekend in Dec
4. When do you take the tree down? I just keep vacuuming the pine needles until there are none left!
5. Do you like eggnog? LOVE it!!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Probably my Cabbage Patch baby. That or my Miss Piggy sleeping bag - oh yeah!
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Several. I have one my sister gave me from Benin - it stays up year round
8. Hardest person to buy for? Husband
9. Easiest person to buy for? Alexia - she always wanting something I won't buy any other time.
10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? Vacuum cleaner (for real)
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mailed 'em
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a Wonderful Life - husband can't watch with me because he makes fun of it too much.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? October, but I'm not done until a week or two before Christmas.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I'm sure I have, I just can't think of a specific one.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Eggnog, peanut brittle, gingerbread cookies, thin mints in my stocking...the list goes on!
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear (the colored lights on our tree this year is another story)
17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night or Away in a Manger
18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? We have in-laws, we have to mix it up.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Yep...including Rudolph.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One on C-mas Eve the rest in the morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? People don't celebrate the real reason for Christmas
23. What I love most about Christmas? People have a change in heart and want to help others.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
We did a little early exchange of Christmas gifts with my family. The best one is that my brother was home from Iraq - not to go back any time soon!!!! Alexia's big hit was a Barbie scooter. She got caught in a downpour when she went to try it out! (Not that I am complaining about any rain mind you.) Caleb is very possessive of all of his new toys. I think his two favorites are a kitty cat keyboard with a microphone and a kiddie "MP3 player" that plays songs from the Wiggles. He loves his music!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Going backwards through my weekend, we went to our monthly adoption support group as I call it. First Fridays is a wonderful group for those who have adopted from China as well as for anyone anywhere in the process of adopting. It was started by Dan and Susan who have adopted from China and are in the process again of adopting. It is always a great time of fun and encouragement. This week was especially touching. We had a speaker, Amy Eldridge, who is one of the founders of Love Without Boundaries. This is a volunteer organization created to improve the quality of life of Chinese orphans through various medical, nutritional and foster care, as well as education.
She mentioned several stories that really shook my way of thinking of orphaned children in China. Just as every person has their own story so goes the individualized stories of abandonment. She told of one heart breaking story while they were on a cleft repair mission. A woman came to them with her small newborn. She pleaded and cried for them to give her child the surgery. Unfortunately the baby was under the 10 pound criteria needed to ensure a safe surgery. The mother continued to beg and intercede for her child. She finally went on to confide that in 2 days her mother in law would come to the house and see the baby for the first time and demand that this child with cleft lip be taken away from the family because it would bring bad luck. Her story impressed the American that she gave her enough money to hide for a few months time until the baby put on more weight then go have the surgery. There was another about a father shedding tears over having to give up his albino son because the wife said they "could not keep him as he was". Thankfully that father was so moved by his love for his child he came to retrieve him three days later.
These children are not given up easily. It is difficult to think that I may be taking someone biological child that they want, but cannot afford, or was taken by extended family because a physical defect brands them as unlucky. But we have a commitment of giving this child a good home with lots of love. It was wonderful to hear of Amy's organization and see the level of commitment she has to orphans a world away. I was also once again happy to see my own child Alexia running around and playing so happily with so many little Chinese girls that she knows her sister will look like one day! I need to bring my camera next time because it is so cute! I am SO thankful to have this great group of people and the support that they are to us.
This weekend we took the kids to our town square and park where we like to go see the local Santa Claus. Well, I didn't have the highest confidence in Caleb when he told me he would go in and talk with Santa. Sure enough, as soon as we stepped into Santa's little cabin, he bristled and screamed! So, Alexia had to tell the good fellow what Caleb wants (a Thomas the Train umbrella.) Caleb did have fun however playing on the choo-choo train at the park. So it was a good day and hopefully Caleb's breakdown at the sight of Santa won't effect the outcome of his gifts this year!
After our visit with Santa on Sat. Erik walked by a sports collectible store and saw that one of his childhood sports idols was there It was Dale Murphy a former Braves player. He took the opportunity to go in and meet him up close and in person and grab a picture. After all these years...!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
My dad's family has owned property on Lake Lanier since he was a young boy. We have all enjoyed this lake in many ways for about 50 years now. Several generations have learned to ski and fish. We have spent many holidays there and it holds many memories. These are some of our happier days this past summer.
This is what our cove looks like in just a few short months time. This is the same dock as above. No water. This is Atlanta's major drinking supply and we are literally running out. Please pray for rain.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
As we unpacked all the Christmas stuff from the atic this weekend - all the fun Christmas crafts and memories come back. The kids went through all their ornaments and handprint crafts with excitement. I pulled out a few fun Christmas pictures and I had to share a pair of them. This is Alexia last year as she was watching the Santa on our town square. He spotted her and they ended up in a little chit chat. It was pretty cute! She is six now and not quite sure she believes in the jolly old man anymore - kinda sad, but we think she is holding on for one more year!