Monday, December 27, 2010

Biggest Surprise!

This Christmas while opening gifts I had the biggest surprise yet! 
I was watching the girls open gift after gift when Ainsley passed a small gift to me. 
When I opened it up I was elated!
  It was the Family Tree necklace that I had tried to order myself from Vivian Lane Jewelery.  When I messaged Laine she had told me she was too busy to do Christmas orders and would have to get back to me in the New Year.  (Which was fine with me, I have a birthday in February to celebrate : p )
My sister-in-law, Kim, had ordered the necklace for me before I even had the chance and told Laine not to sell me one.  Then she had it shipped to my father-in-laws to be wrapped and delivered to me on Christmas morning.  Kim and I talk long distance almost EVERYDAY!  How she ever managed to keep this secret I'll never know but I LOVE my necklace!  Thank you so much Kim!!

Green peridot for Ainsley's August birthday
and Orange citrine for Ava's November birthday

Re: Done

Today is Boxing Day and all is done!  Really done, even my anxiety & guilty conscience! 
My kids had an amazingly ridiculous Christmas!  I must of unleashed atleast a dozen Zhu zhu pets in the last 48hrs.  Wayne LOVED his new jeans and his work socks, as well as his new barber kit.  I was super pleasantly surprised to receive not just a new camera (finally lol) but also a beautifully fleeced lined wool sweater that I have been wanting for years!!
My father in law was ECSTATIC to receive his basket of preserves and photo books of the grand kids...but most of all he loved the calender that I filled out with all of the kids, spouses & grand kids birth dates and anniversaries.
Christmas was enjoyed by everyone!

Wayne received a 22lb fresh turkey with his Christmas bonus on Thursday so I cooked that on Christmas Eve and we invited my younger brother & sister to dinner in addition to my sweet niece (who lives with us) and her boyfriend.  We had a nice relaxed meal complete with all the fixings.  Turkey, stuffing, gravy, carrots, potatoes, yellow beans, squash, cranberries and rolls.  { Thanks to Wayne for peeling all of the veggies for me while I stuffed the turkey} Then we went out visiting.  My Aunt & cousins and then best friend & her family.  Then we put on our brand new Christmas jammies and tucked the girls into bed.
Ainsley had lost a tooth early in the am so I searched the house for a dollar and then Wayne & I started the daunting task of putting the new Little Tykes Kitchen set to together for the girls...and putting the others gifts under the tree.  I don't think I got to bed until almost 2:30am by the time all was said and done.

But at 8:30am it was all worth it!!
The grand parents came to watch the girls open gifts (a tradition that was started when we purchased our first house 3 years ago) and then we had a quick brunch before heading to the church.  This year we had the opportunity to help out a local charity, The Joshua Group, serve a Christmas dinner to the less fortunate.  What a humbling experience!
 I am so glad that my family were able to do a little something to make a difference in someone else's day.  We all got our hands involved in something from plating food, to lugging boxes or serving drinks.  Ava (3yrs) climbed up into a chair next to a gentlemen named Fred and started a conversation with him and was excited to make a new friend.  Fred, who frequently stays at our local Salvation Army, had offered his only Christmas gift to Ava and it just opened my heart so much....A man who received just a small shopping bag of necessities on Christmas morning offering up his only possession just makes me want to do more and more however and whenever I can.
The Joshua Group's founder, Robert Hayes, inspires me to get involved in my community doing anything and everything I can...and doing it together as a family!  I hope that in 2011 us Clark's can be a help to Bobby (Robert).

Christmas 2010 is officially DONE!!!  ...and I am happy for EVERY minute of it!
I hope everyone has a Safe & Happy New Year!