A double bowed gift and a double snowflake bedazzled gift.
Out of all the presents, I secretly wished the one with the large flowers and blue ribbon had my name on it.
As Miss Lucy was the guest of honor, she opened the first gift.
Lou with her canine delicacies. Chomp, chomp, chomp.
My name was on the Marimekko gift wrap. And inside a gift from shopping in the Town Square in Oxford at Marimekko during Thanksgiving. Love it. Thanks, J!
A stylin elf!
On Christmas afternoon, as the turkey was baking, we put the finishing touches on her New Years Eve costume, which included hot gluing spots to her unitard as she was wearing it. Everyone participated and Grandma definitely gets the vote for being the funniest!
We usually go to the tree farm Thanksgiving weekend. We didn't last year as we went to Hawaii and didn't need a tree. This year, we went down south for Thanksgiving so we weren't home to go Christmas tree hunting. The weekend following Thanksgiving was the church Christmas party. That left us with the weekend of Dec 13 or 20; at that point we decided to wait for most everyone travelling here for the holiday to go to the farm together. I called our favorite tree farm, where we have gone for years and arranged a private time on Tuesday December 23 since the farm officially closed to the public the previous weekend.
What an experience J and I had walking through and discovering what a big enterprise this farm is--much more than growing trees!
It was cold. We had decided if the temperature rose above 20 degrees we would go; it was a balmy 23 degrees and windy. Brrrrr!
Here is my mom. Isn't she the greatest? I love her with every cell of my being. I am so glad and fortunate she is my mother.
J and Lucy, our honored New Orleanian guest, contemplating the merits of this conifer.
My sister, up the hill, pointing to her possible tree. J is keeping Lucy with her as we said Lucy could decide. Haha. You think we would give such decision making power to a canine? Maybe.
Ahhhh. Miss Lou stayed with Jessica. Maybe this would be the chosen one. But we all thought it not tall or full enough. Let's keep looking.
It was c-o-l-d so my sistah was going to take matters into her own hands and cut down this little tree.
"NOOOOOO!" we all called.
We settled upon this one as it bears a gift of its own...a bird nest. We love bird nests!
Sorry Lucy, you cannot go in the lodge.
Miss Lou went stick hunting. How she had fun having full run of the farm as we were the only ones there.
"Mmmmm...this one tastes pretty good!"
It's a keeper all right. We let her bring it home!
All the while, the rest of the clan was wrestling and securing the tree upon J's vehicle for the ninety minute ride home.
Literally, the moment we hopped in the SUV, including Lucy and her stick, the skies reached their dew point and freezing rain began to pelt the earth. We still needed to stop for our annual cup of cocoa for the ride home.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
May you have a most blessed day and evening with loved ones and may we remember, celebrate and bow our heads in gratitude, humility and love for the Savior of the world. Have a way good Merry Christmas!
Christmas wreaths adorn headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. "The annual wreath laying event is the result of Worcester Wreath Company's owner Morrill Worcester's childhood dream of doing something to honor those laid to rest in the national cemetery."
"Hundreds of volunteers gather at Arlington National Cemetery to place more than 5,000 donated wreaths on head stones."
"Tech. Sgt. Scott Glassic places a wreath on a headstone."
"An Arlington Honor Guardsman walks his post past the tomb of the Unknown Solider. The tomb was one of more than 5,000 headstones decorated by volunteers."
I had been thinking of all our valiant soliders, especially those serving overseas in dangerous situations, and their families. I also heard a wonderful song on the radio paying tribute to our nation's servicemen and women and how they would not be home for Christmas. Out of the blue, I received an email with the first photo attached. I then googled "Arlington National Cemetery at Christmas" and found the above mentioned website.
I encourage you to watch a most moving video tribute (it is the one at the very bottom of the page) created by the Worcester Wreath Company for a "visual way of saying thank you-to those who serve, to those we've lost, and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms of this Country."
May we remember them especially on Christmas morning and pause and give thanks for their service and sacrifice so we have the freedom to celebrate Christ and His birth in our homes, in our country. May we always remember our freedoms came from the great sacrifice of others and their loved ones.