Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy Holidays

We had a fun and busy Christmas time. We enjoyed activities with members of both Dale's and Andrea's families. We missed seeing Dale's mom and Aaron's kids. All of Andrea's siblings and their spouses & kids made it through crazy weather conditions with outrageous (but true) travel stories to tell. It was wonderful to have everyone together:

We tried to purchase our Christmas tree this year at a tree farm just a few miles from our home. However, we arrived just as the last wagon had left. So we drove to a tree farm in the town where we used to live that we have always had good luck in getting trees late at night. Hooray! They were open! In the dark with five children, carrying Sophia, and slogging through mud, we searched for the perfect tree. (Kind of difficult when you can't really see the trees.) We found one that looked nice, chopped it down, payed way too much for it, drank hot chocolate with candy canes, and went on our muddy way. Jolie then proclaimed that she had lost a scarf and a stuffed animal. Who brings a stuffed animal to a dark, muddy tree farm?? Anyway, our van was heavier with a tree but lighter a toy. It didn't take long to realize that the branches on our tree were SHARP. Painfully so. Not a great selection for a home with young children... Who knew that Blue Spruces have sharp needles? (Not me.) However, since it was pruned to a nice, thin shape, it fit well in our not-so-big family room, and gifts around the tree buffeted passersby a bit. All Christmas season tree injuries were quickly recoverable. Hooray for the Christmas tree!

I bought pretty dresses for the three oldest girls, and they looked great (IMHO) the Sunday after church. I didn't buy dresses for April & Sophia, since they have a lot, but I felt bad about that. Luckily, my mom came to the rescue, and gave them these adorable dresses. They have hats (beret-style) that go with them, as well as over-dresses. They look super, and they received many comments at church. They aren't wearing the hats, because I asked Dale to take this photo while I hurried to prepare food for company, and Dale is all for no-fuss dressing... which includes no hats.

I'll write more about our December later. Suffice it to say that Christmas activities were a great distraction to some really hard things. It's great that, even when bad things happen, good things continue to touch us all around. (Sometimes we just have to make sure we are looking in the right direction.)

Happy 2009!