Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jeff Duncan and the Santa Dilemma

As a kid I believed in Santa. Wholeheartedly, I might add. From pictures, to letters, to cookies, to movies.. Santa was always alive in our house at Christmas time. Memories of dad saying he thought he saw Rudolph's nose in the sky (which got me and my sisters totally amped), my sisters and I gathering in one of our our rooms on Christmas morning (usually at the crack of dawn.. we were excited) to wait for our parents to wake up. Dad always had to go "check" to make sure Santa had come before we were allowed to go to the living room. Those are just a few memories. It was such a marvelous and fun time.

Until 3rd grade.

I don't remember what we were talking about in class that fateful day, but I remember VIVIDLY what my fellow classmate , Jeff Duncan had to say about whatever it was:

"Well, its just like how Santa isn't real. It's your parents."

My little world was shattered. My spirit was crushed. After almost 30 years I still remember it like it was yesterday. One of those defining moments, I guess. I remember many night for months I would just cry in bed. I didn't want to talk to my parents about it because I probably still hoped what Jeff said wasn't true. I am not sure when I told them, but I do remember being being really sad the following Christmas.

Over time I got over it. I never was mad at my parents (I do know some people who felt lied to by their parents over the whole Santa thing). Although I will never forget how I found out, I am not permanently scarred (really...)!

Fast forward to today. I am now a parent. A Christian parent, who wants her child to fully be aware of and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. A parent who doesn't want to lie to her kid. Doug didn't "do" Santa as a kids and feels like he turned out okay (I guess I'll agree on that one.. heehee), so he isn't as torn about it as I am. We have been talking about it and praying about it. We have been asking opinions of friends/parents we respect. Lots of great ideas to keep Santa in the picture but having Jesus being front and center. What to do? I don't want her to "miss out" on the "awe" of Santa.. the feelings I had as a kid. I also don't want her to be the "Jeff Duncan" for someone else. Yet those feelings I had as a kid were about something not real. Jesus is real.. that's what I want her to know most of all. She is already very interested in the Santa stuff she sees.. it is everywhere! She is so smart and doesn't miss a thing. We need start talking about it, whatever IT is, now.

We have "sort of" decided to go with the "Santa is pretend, Jesus is real" idea with Evelyn. Is that the right thing? We have no idea! UGH! Man, parenting can be tough! :)

I would love opinions/ideas if you have them.....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Things Pondered, part II

(for the first "Things Pondered" post, click here)

My baby is 2.
I really can't call her a baby anymore, but I know I will.
I have been teary quite a bit this week.
Some sad tears.
But mostly happy tears.
Thankful tears.
Grateful tears.
Proud mommy tears.


December 2007












Happy Birthday, sweet pea!
What a special blessing you are in my life!
I love you, Evelyn Joy!

"... and Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart" Luke 2:19

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Oh, (whoppin' huge) Christmas Tree...

Last Sunday we went with Jody on our annual Christmas tree hunt/chop. This year we went to Hagg Tree Farm and really had fun. It was beautiful outside, which was an added blessing!

Ready to go hunting! (I was holding E's hands cuz' she kept putting them in her mouth!)
Jody and Evelyn
Evelyn taking a walk in the woods!

They had animals there, too.. and Evelyn loved feeding the goats...

..after giving them a once-over first. Check out her face! :)

It's funny how things always seem smaller out in the woods! We brought our tree home and as we were undoing the twine around it, we started to panic at the size our tree appeared to be. We were hoping to avoid a "Clark Griswald" moment (remember "A Christmas Vacation"?)! Thankfully our tree, although big, is PERFECT in our front room. My handy and handsome husband made a "riser" for our tree, too, so it would look even taller! I love our tree!!

Evelyn standing in front of the "kimas tee". She "helped" decorate.. by taking a long nap! :)

The finished product!

I love sitting by the lighted tree at night (with all the other lights out) with a cup of tea of cocoa listening to Christmas music. It is therapy for my soul and usually makes me cry. What an awesome time of year.. celebrating the One who came to seek and save the lost!

As the song says: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!! YAY!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What a difference a year makes...

Here is my sweet girl one year ago today, 11/30/07. I am overjoyed at how she is growing and changing, but a bit teary, too, as she is REALLY no longer a baby! She turns two in 10 days!!

I'll get a picture up in this year's Christmas dress soon!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

I know, 2 posts in 2 days.. its a record! :) I am sitting here at the computer with a very full tummy and a very thankful heart! It is my sincere hope that you had a lovely day and can think of many reasons to be thankful!!

We had a lovely day with Doug's family. His Aunt Mary hosts every year. She lives less than 2 miles from us, which is SO nice! Any, we all were there and had lots of good food, good conversation, and good laughs. If my daughter didn't turn into a grumpy pumpkin when she stays up later than her usual bedtime, we might still be there! :) It IS nice to be home, tho.. we are looking forward to getting our tired bodies into bed soon!! But first, some pics. (FYI.. yes, I took pictures, but I didn't get any of all of us at the table or of the "hostess with the mostess" Aunt Mary...ugh!)

Here is Evelyn with Doug's sister Debbie. We think she is pretty special! Isn't Evelyn's grin the best? :)

Here they are again, but with cousin Gregory (31/2). He is ALL boy.. and calls Evelyn "Elefan"! :)
The "big kids". My nephews Ben (almost ten.. *sigh*.. he's my "first" nephew!), Mitchell (almost 8) and Zach (7)

Mitchell LOVES Evelyn and she thinks he is pretty neat, too!

Ben and the boys put on a magic show for us. Here is "The Amazing Ben". HILARIOUS!

Since the whole Morris family was together, we decided to celebrate Evelyn's birthday, too. This may become a tradition, who knows! She had fun opening presents and playing with her new toys and book. Below is a video of her being sang to by the vonTrapp's.. uh, I mean, the Morris'. Its hard to tell in the video, but they do, like, this 18 million part harmony with the "birthday song". It always makes me cry when they sing it. AMAZING! Evelyn just looked at everyone in awe, but in the end really enjoyed it. Then she tried to burn herself on the candle.. but it was all fine in the end! Enjoy!

Time for Christmas music!
Time for pepperment mochas (I only have them between Thankgiving and New Years Day)!
But first, time for bed!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

For Aunt Pam...

I know.. it has been SO long since I have posted. Almost a month.. that's a record, I think! We talked to Doug's aunt and uncle in Arizona last night (uncle Ron is recovering from open heart surgey). Pam said she checks in on my blog at least twice a week and always hopes to see a new post. Sorry, Pam.. I have been a slacker! This post is for you!! :)

What have we been up to? Apparently things that don't involve pictures because I have taken hardly any pics the past month (*gasp*)! That's not true.. I have had plenty of picture opportunity but didn't take any. I really need to work on that!

Anyhooo.. here is a quick rundown of the month:
  • I organized a surprise 65th birthday party for "Pa Kettle" (my awesome father-in-law). I was SO excited to get all of Doug's siblings to Dallas to celebrate! We has so much fun and it made the birthday boy cry!
  • We all got sick with colds.. I got the worst of it, I think. It was not a happy place around here for almost 2 weeks.. UGH! I am thankful we are now all healthy!
  • My aunt Sharon passed away after a long battle with cancer. Her funeral was this past weekend up in Washington. I could do a whole post just on this, but I don't have it in me right now.
  • Evelyn knows her alphabet and can count to 10. And she is SO into music and singing! Her current favorite.. Go Tell It On The Mountain. :) Good thing Christmas is coming soon! We are amazed daily at how she is growing and learning.
  • Doug thought he had 11 days of vacation left this year. He was going to take this week, Christmas week and the week after Christmas off, as well as Evelyn's birthday. Well... turns out he only had 5 days left! UGH! Oh, well.. we are thankful he has a job so we will just enjoy the vacation time he DOES have!
  • Speaking of Evelyn's birthday... she turns 2 in two weeks! AHHHH! I have been busy organizing birthday gatherings with family and friends. I am not nearly as stressed out about it as I was last year.. yay!
  • I am looking forward to Thanksgiving with Doug's family. It is always a special time. I took this "What Part of Thanksgiving are You?" quiz and I'm "mashed-potatoes": "ordinary, comforting, and more than a little predictable. You're the glue that holds everyone together." I guess that fits.. but I wouldn't necessarily call myself the "glue".

That's about all I have. I will leave you with one of the few pics I took this month. Evelyn was singing and wouldn't stop to smile.. but it is still pretty cute!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Ten Cannots

My friend Jonathan posted this on his website and I thought it was really cool. Lots of good things to think about/encourage/live by as we go into this new era of President Obama. You may or may not agree with all of them, but they are food for thought....

William John Henry Boetcker (1873-1962) published in 1916:


1.You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

2.You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

3.You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.

4.You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

5.You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

6.You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.

7.You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

8.You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.

9.You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence, and

10.You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

(The above words were quoted by Ronald Regan in a speech he gave at the 1992 Republican convention in Houston. It is known as “The Ten Cannots”. Originally published by Boetcker in 1916, it is often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln.)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Happenings...

Halloween has come and gone once again. I'm glad it only comes once a year... it is fun, but it can be exhausting, too! Maybe I'm just getting old... :)

Last year we really struggled getting Evelyn used to her costume, but once she did, she had SO much fun visiting everyone and trick-or-treating in out neighborhood. This year it was just the opposite. She had fun in her "candy corn" outfit her grandma made her, but didn't have so much fun doing "the rounds". Overall it was a good day, tho!! She isn't smiling in many of the pics below.. but she DID smile today.. I promise! :)

First stop, daddy's office. She usually LOVES it there and runs around like crazy. This time all she wanted to do was "go home, mommy"! :( She just sat on daddy's lap and looked scared. Poor thing. Doug's co-workers love her and still gave her "treats"!

I then braved going to the hospital with her to visit Jody and my other old co-workers. She actually did pretty good and seemed to have fun, but was ready to go home when the time came! Here she is with Darcie, me and Jody.

"Mommy, take 'piker' evie and mommy?" I obliged! This was the ONLY one with both of us looking at the camera! :)

Later in the afternoon we stopped by Grandma and Grandpa Doug's house. She had been wanting to see them ALL day.. so was happy when we did. Then, they bought dinner for us. That was a real "treat"! Thanks, mom and Doug!!

When we got home, we wanted to take her trick-or-treating. Nope. She very politely said "no, home" every time we asked. So we stayed in and she played with the candy and had fun admiring other kids' costumes.

And hanging out with her daddy! (BTW.. the black socks are not part of the costume.. I put them on so she wouldn't slip on the wood floors with her tights!)

Another halloween over... many more to come. Again.. I'm glad it only comes once a year!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

More Cousin Time...

My sister and her kids came over today and we took a walk to the park. It was such a gorgeous fall day! We had a blast.. all of us!

Cole(27mths) and Evelyn(22mths) held hand along the way.. OMGosh it was SO cute!

Throwing leaves was a highlight!

As was trying to cover themselves with leaves!

My beautiful niece Regan (4mths)

Evelyn sitting in one of her favorite spots in the park!

Cole pushing his sister on the way home. He is a good big brother!

Thanking God today for sunshine and family!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cousin Time

It has been so fun lately to watch Evelyn and her cousin Cole play together. They are only 41/2 months apart in age (Cole is older). They both get SO excited to see each other these days and will actually play together for good chunks of time, too, not just the usual parallel play. Yesterday my sister came over and Evelyn and Cole were playing peek-a-boo thru the a hole in the play structure outside. They were both laughing so hard.. it was SO sweet! The pics aren't the best.. they both are movers and shakers so it was hard to get anything good.. but you can get an idea!

I am so glad Evelyn has Cole for a cousin!! We love him and ALL of the cousins!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Great Pumpkin

As I have mentioned before, both Doug and I aren't really halloween people. However, we still love a trip to the pumpkin patch every fall. I am not sure why, but we didn't go last year. So this year we made certain to take Evelyn out on her first pumpkin adventure. It was a glorious day today, in many ways.. but especially when it came to the weather! So.. off we went!

Here's where we went. Right off Roy Rogers Road in Sherwood. I prefer Sauvie Island, but this was closer and just as fun!

Hi, mommy! Thanks for the chocolate!

Excited to see the baby goats!

She was SO excited about the hay ride... until we got on! BIG tears!

Then we saw the pumpkins, at it was all better!


Not sure what this is about... :)

She really did look for that perfect pumpkin.. and then found it!

She had SO much fun.. can you tell?

We stayed out there most of the afternoon just letting her run around the farm. Needless to say she went to bed really easy tonight! :)

Happy Fall!!