Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gettin' ready for Christmas

Our first week of December started out with a concert featuring our Grandson, Noah's school choir. I still can't believe he is in 5th grade. He chose to be in the special choir that meets before school starts. You could see on his face when he sang that he loves every minute of it. He puts his whole heart and soul into his performance. His face shone like an angel. You could also see that he enjoyed sitting between 2 pretty girls. It was so special for Noah to have both sets of grandparents at the concert. With myself and Mike are his other grandma and grandpa, who are a very special couple. I feel so blessed to share our grandparent ship with them.

And, so on to the next activity....while watching Abby & Jack, we decorated the traditional gingerbread house. They asked me if it was ok to sit on the table because in their house it was against the rules. I told them I have a rule in my house that when you decorate a gingerbread house, you have to sit on the table. Jack was more interested in eating the gingerbread and playing with the little candies in the bowls. Since they already have a gingerbread house at their house, I put this one on my piano. It turned out great.
On to our next activity, which was last Saturday. We boarded the "Santa Train" in North Judson, IN., which is only about an hours drive from our house. Nate, Elsa, Abby, Jack, Grampa & Mimi were delighted by the little train station and gift shop while we awaited to get on board for our 45 min. round trip ride. We picked Santa up on the route and he made his way starting in the back of the train, to each child. He sat in each seat and asked each child what they wanted Santa to bring them. We were one of the last ones to talk to him since we were at the very front of the train. Jack told him he wanted "Thomas". Jack loves trains. We got him the Thomas take along train set for Christmas, so he will get "Thomas". When it was Abbys turn she told him she wanted Barbie dolls. He gave each child a little treat bag filled with goodies.
This picture of Jack and Grampa is one of my favorites. I told Jack to put his arm around Grampa and he put the opposite arm around him and faced the wall of the train, with his back to me. We got a laugh out of that.

We walked around the little town by the train station and ate lunch at a little Bakery/Cafe. Jack loved making faces while waiting on his lunch. He keeps us entertained.
The night before we went on the Santa Train, Steph and I went to Chicago to see the Nutcracker. I wish I had a picture to share of this exciting night. We ate at our favorite restaurants, Grand Lux Cafe. It was a perfect evening.

So, as you can see, my December has been filled with lots of fun activities and it has only begun. I wish things would slow down so I could catch up. I want to savor every second of making new memories with my family. I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year. We are all going as a family to a candlelight service on Christmas Eve. This will be a very special time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Whatever activities you are doing this month, enjoy them and capture the memories. This will be the first Christmas without my dad but I know he would want us to carry on and celebrate as if he were here. And that's just what we will do.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Welcome Home Lilly & Halle

Who would have thought that 3 weeks after losing our precious Penny girl, we would be doubly blessed with these beautiful mini sister Dachshunds, Miss Lilly and Miss Halle. I knew it wouldn't be long before Mike searched out another lap dog. He would go on-line every night to rescue sites to seek out that perfect four legged friend who deserved a loving home. He found these 2 on a rescue site in Woodstock, IL. They came to live with a lady, who works for an animal hospital because the owner of the dogs lost her home and couldn't take the dogs with her. She left them in her basement and other people were taking care of them, until they ended up with the lady we got them from. She made sure they were up to date with all shots and even had their teeth cleaned. I broke down and called about them and emailed the lady and eventually we set a time to meet them and would go from there. Needless to say, on Saturday morning, Dec. 3, we made the 95 mile trip to Crystal Lake, IL where the dogs were. At first meeting, Lilly was barking at us and was stand offish. Halle was more brave and sniffed us out. After about 15 minutes of feeding treats and talking baby talk, Lilly was warming up to us and Halle was my best friend. I look over and Halle jumped up in Mikes lap, which made him melt. Then Lilly jumped up in his lap. It only took about 30 minutes and we were in the truck ready to make our journey back home. We knew as soon as we saw them that they had a forever home with us. On our way home, Mike stopped at McD's to get them a biscuit with egg. They were thrilled and gobbled it down.
God works in mysterious ways....
We couldn't believe that Lilly is a dapple daschund. We had a dapple daschund named Lily before we had Penny. After Lily passed away we got Penny. It is very rare to find a dapple daschund that someone is getting rid of.
The lady loaded us up with their belongings and in 1 large bag was a wardrobe with 2 each of everything. From hooded coats to Christmas dresses. When Abby & Jack came over for us to babysit, Abby had the best time playing dress-up with the doggies.

Abby & Jack immediately fell in love with their friends.
Look at Miss Thang in her Christmas dress! I will be taking them to have their pictures taken soon! Stay tuned for more styles.

We do feel so blessed to have found these little angels who needed love and lots of petting. It's a Merry Christmas for everyone!