Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Decor

Since Thanksgiving was so late this year, I decided to put up my tree the weekend before Thanksgiving, the week I normally put it up.  So, I dragged everything from the top storage rack in the garage which was a feat in istelf considering how stuffed our garage is on the "main floor".  I couldn't get the ladder close enough to the bag o' tree, so I had to step up past the warning label of DO NOT STEP HERE OR YOU WILL SURELY DIE. And I had to use some stick-like apparatus to grab the bag's handle to get it close enough to me.  After letting everything drop from the top level to the floor, I got down and pulled everything into the house. 

Before I could even start putting up the tree, I had to remove one of the end tables and all the piles of books and extra bags (we seem to acquire a new tote bag every time we leave our house!) and straggling toys that were caught underneath.  When I was finally done with all that, I plugged in our meager pre-lit tree and zero lights were working.  They were all burned out.  I wasn't too surprised because we've had the tree for several years. 

I put a string of the outdoor garland with large, colored lights on the tree hoping to fill in the gaps between branches (I did say meager, didn't I?).  After I wrapped it all the way around, painstakingly ensuring that it was even and trying to be patient with my five-year-old who was "helping", I plugged it in.  About 50% of the lights were working.  Yahoo, that's improvement! 

So, I ended up taking it off altogether and tossing them in the trash.  Let's face it.  They're outdoor lights, for OUTSIDE the house, and we all know that's not going to happen with how our schedules work out normally.  So, they were tossed.  I vowed to hit Menards the next day and get lights.

Well, I did get the lights and I even bought a few extra strings to put up in the front windows.  But it still took me a few days before we got the lights on.  In the meantime, the kids were oh-so-impatiently waiting for the ornaments to be hung and I kept catching them opening the ornament box and trying to hang them up.  One night, I was watching my friends' kids that are close to my kids' ages and they just love playing together.  They were in the playroom playing with music stuff and cars and superheroes, just having a grand ol' time.  I walked to my bedroom for about a minute and when I come back, they're all at the tree trying to hang up the ornaments! LOL!!  The youngest one was bouncing the ornament bulbs on the floor, probably expecting it to bounce back to him like a ball. 

It's a great thing that I'm too cheap to buy nice, glass ornaments because that would've been a fun trip to the E.R.  It was pretty funny, though, and I would've loved help putting them up but I had to wait for the lights to be up first, so I just thought it would be such a waste to do double work.

Finally, we had the lights on and Benji helped me with the ornaments while the little kids were in bed.  But it still took me a couple more days to get all the other clutter out of there so the tree could have elbow room and not have to share the limelight with my dusty junk.

The meager tree in all its glory

We've been reading The Advent Book before bed most nights
The boys love opening the doors on each page of the Advent book every night.  I'll show some photos of the pages in another post. 

Our "mantel" (the shelf above the TV) was still decorated with pumpkins and gourds:

So, I threw them out and packed up the rest of the decorations.  Here's how it looks now with the Disney ornaments that my grandma had for a few decades (at least) on a "photo" tree I won at a white elephant exchange last year:

Aren't they cute??
After I took these photos, I received some awesome-smelling cinnamon
potpurri in the form of pine cones and decorative balls, so I stuck those in here too.

After having read the first half of this post, I'm sure you're thinking to yourself, Wow, the quality of these photos could not POSSIBLY get worse!! Well, you were wrong!  Don't worry, it happens to most all of you us.

This is our front entryway area.  I put some decorative stones in the bottom of the hurricane and filled it 3/4 of the way with water.  Then, I gently put the candle on top.  I looks cute in person.  Just pretend like you can tell from these horrid photos.

I tried. I really did. I even put new batteries in our Canon, but it just will not power up for some reason, so I'm afraid we're stuck with these blue-tinted android photos. Boo!

But, I won't let that ruin our Christmas cheer!  This weekend, we had snow, so the kids and I went outside and played in it and shoveled the driveway.  They insisted in cleaning off my car (I promise!! Don't call the Child Labor Department!):

What a fun effect - Is my camera doing this or is Blogger adding it for me??

We didn't get any pictures of us playing but I did shoot a short video of when we first went outside.
The Aftermath - I love this mess

By the time this post is published, we will be on our way home from what looks to be an awesome weekend at the Dells with our family and some good friends.  I'm so excited to be together for a whole weekend without having to rush around to do anything.   Hubs has been working nights the past two weeks, so we're both exhausted! Speaking of, let me just give a quick shout out to all you single parents out there.  Raising kids is hard enough with two parents but to have to be on call 24/7 with no relief (except to go to your job during the day) is a major challenge physically, emotionally, and mentally.   So, props to you, single mom, single dad.  You are a great blessing to your kids every single day!

Merry Christmas everyone!

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