Monday, December 12, 2011

where to start, where to start?

how do i always find myself in a {Christmas} pickle?

our last two Christmases have been Georgia we hadn't met anyone yet and in idaho we were in the middle of no where.  so, we spent Christmas together, alone.

it was rushing around, not a million presents to buy, no to-do list ten miles long.  ahhh...the simple things in life.

but, of course we missed our family.  and friends.  and lights.  apparently no one in georgia decorates with lights outside and well, we didn't see any elk decorating pines in the mountains.

now that we are home, there are friends, lights and family galore! AND, we've tried to apply the "mountain Christmas" method:  no stress.  easy.  less shopping and decorating {thanks, Kim for lending us your table top tree!} and way more quality time.

and so far it's working.  we've had tons of people over for dinner, breakfast, to visit and we've been elsewhere visiting.  it's been fun.  i haven't missed the usual Christmas pressure.


this is why, my friends, i say i'm happy mountain man puts up with my wild ideas...he actually says he's blessed to be married to me!  it's really the other way around for the record. 

here's the story.

the kids raised about $200 with their charity sale...they even made it in the local newspaper {my grandma would be so proud, she had a way of showing up in surprising ways as well!} 

so..we were at the feed store.  we love the feed store.  call us hillbillies if you wish.  country bumpkins, okay.  my feelers won't get hurt.  anyway, they had an angel tree for a local nursing home.

i grabbed a list for "charles" : gold bond lotion, t-shirts and sugar free candy.  easy peasy! 

of course i went on to describe nursing homes to the kids...the residents are stuck there, they can't drive.  some may not have family or friends to visit them. 

that's where it started.

what if not all the people get adopted?  and how on God's green earth can i turn my back on an old lady who's asking for gospel music and posters to hang on her ceiling so it won't be boring...imagine staring at a blank ceiling all the time?  what if they don't have a present to open??? my imagination was running wild {my dad is laughing right now as he read this, he knows this about me.} 


so we waited a week or more to let other people "adopt" a nursing home resident.

and then...

you guessed it...we marched right in there after speaking with the manager {he prayed all the people would be adopted} and took each and every wish list off that tree.

there were 18 left.  {so much for less shopping}

have you ever shopped for 19 people you've never met?  what in the world is Chantilly and picking out boxers for someone other than my husband is, i daresay, a bit odd.  

okay, i can do this.

then i got sick.  that's right, me and boo, some kind of  throat/cold /achey bones nonsense.  mountain man stayed home with boo {from work!} while i had to go finish the shopping feeling puney to meet the deadline.  i didn't feel sending mountain man to buy knee highs and zip-up dresses was appropriate.

after going to two different wal-marts about six times, michael's, mardel's, dollar general, family dollar, dollar tree we are DONE!!


deodordant, perfume, bath spray, nightgowns, footies, candy, games, paint by numbers, posters with scriptures, dr. pepper {no kidding!}, CD's, headbands and much more are packed with love ready to be dropped off in the morning.

the kids made pictures that say "Jesus loves you, Merry Christmas" for each package and we prayed for those sweet, dear people.

and if i ever, ever want to get myself in another Christmas pickle please, don't let me.  tell me no!  hogtie me if you must. 

oh yeah...and it was fun and we were totally blessed to be able to do something nice for some don't let me fool you ;)

in other news head on over to thoughts and whatnots for a great giveaway...homemade vanilla and infused sugar anyone?  yeah...Leanne's cool like that!

the end. 


  1. you are an inspiration. :) i do hope you're feeling better by now, but i'm assuming the good feeling is coming from the inside out! :)

  2. That is one of the sweetest, most thoughtful things I've ever heard! You are a dear heart and I know you will be blessed for this kind act of caring and giving.

  3. This is the best story ever! How wonderful for your kids and the folks they blessed. If you ask me this was the best pickle to get into!

  4. well, I think this is the kind of 'busyness' we should be doing this season. What an example you are....and Mt Momma? The enemy was doing every thing he could to distract you by you feeling sick....way to persevere and showing your strength in your weakness. WAY.TO. GO!

  5. Aw, what a cool idea! I'm sure they will enjoy it so much.
    Hope you feel better!

  6. The simplest things can sure make a difference at Christmas. I'm not sure who gets the biggest blessing out of your generosity - your family or those sweet folks that will receive the gifts you bought.

  7. Wow! That's amazing! Praise the Lord for using you and your family in this wonderful way.

    You are such a cool mom!

  8. You are a wonderful person, and a great role model to your children.

  9. You made me laugh,.... you are just the sweetest!!.... You truly are showing what a True Christian walk the talk girl!! and WOW what your children are learning and have already learnt!!...You will and are truly BLESSED and sharing all those blessing!

  10. You are an amazing person. I wish I could be half of you!!!
    Your family and all those around you are blessed to have you in their lives.
    One never knows what an impact knee highs and Dr.Pepper will have on a person:D

  11. You all are so sweet... the people you have blessed are gonna be so happy. Merry Christmas.

  12. We love going to the feed store, too. Matter of fact, we've had many a date night to one! I love that they had an angel tree for the nursing home, that is awesome! May God deeply minister to each (often forgotten) elderly one you prayed and bought for.

  13. oh my goodness... How could I hogtie you when you and your family are the hands and feet of Jesus.. Seriously!!! I love you all so much for this!!!!

    We took the kids off the tree at Starbucks.. my 9 year old, who can be a bit materialistic said.. "Mom, this girl, my age, wants a new winter coat. That is all..why would she not want an ipad" it was great shopping for needs and learning how to bless others...because we are blessed.

  14. A beautiful act of love, and beautiful hearts to give! Years ago, I worked in nursing homes, from my experience, I am quite sure your gifts will be GREATLY appreciated. And, no sorry, I won't be restraining...I'm the either the one on the bench cheering you on, or the one next to ya on the field, doing something 'crazy' for Jesus!

  15. My eyes are wet reading this. I love how you and your family have hearts SO BIG! Thank you for being a wonderful example of simple, big, unselfish LOVE. I know you will be BLESSED and so will the receivers of those gifts. I love it. I am sad that I have let the craziness of "life" steal my real joy this season. I will not let it have another day.
    Thanks so much for sharing ;)

  16. lol@ picturing ur man picking out knee highs and zip up dresses....

  17. We like quiet holidays, too – not too much hustle and bustle – we are very laidback about the holidays.

    We do like lights, though, lots and lots of lights. I can’t believe they don’t do lights in Georgia – what about southern hospitality…I thought southerners were big on decorating, but I have never been to Georgia during any holiday – only once was I there in summer; however, I did eat at the Sundial restaurant.

    Great project – so nice you all were there for all those people.

    ☺ Hope

  18. What an incredible project...and such a blessing to all receiving the gifts!

  19. I love it!!! Two years ago we were told sories about how people in our church were so moved and touched by delivering presents as part of an outreach ministry. One man told us that you would never know it was Christmas by their homes. They had no money for decorations. Remembering what that was like I felt moved to help. So our church was giving out clothes and toys to 150 kids. I told my husband I wanted to do something extra. We volunteered our time and money, but I bought 150 stockings, put their names on them, and filled them with what had to be hundreds of pounds of candy.
    Going though it I was so overwhelmed and frustrated with myself got opening my big mouth, but that was an awesome Christmas. I have been told by many that they still have their stocking and the scripture I slipped in each one.
    So good for you. Hindsight is always better. I know you are glad you did it. ;)

  20. Oh Mama you are such a great Mom your kids will know the real reason for Christmas. They are going to be as sweet as their upbringing.
    I think those people in the nursing home will never forget that someone did this for them. I truly think you are the most amazing family.
    I am so sorry you and Boo are sick. I do hope by now you are feeling better.
    By moving from the hills God gave the gift of you and your family to so many. Smart man. B

  21. That's great what y'all are doing for Christmas! Doing stuff like that gives you allot more joy than doing stuff for yourselves. God bless you for it!!

    We're SOOO excited about y'all coming in February, we cannot wait!!
    Love and miss y'all. Hope you have a wonderful, blessed, Merry Christmas!

  22. You have got to the heart of what this season is all about...the giving of oneself in love and compassion!
    I am very touched by the kindness you've showered on those elderly and frail souls.
    May the Lord bless you and your family real good!!
    love in Jesus..Trish


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