Puppies, Jokes & counting down

So I’d like to say I have a really good excuse for falling behind on my 25 Days of Christmas….. but…. I don’t

Well, I do – but you know what they say about excuses right? I won’t share what I’ve heard but google it and I’m sure you’ll get a good answer 🙂

Seriously, we’ve been CRAZY busy. It’s almost amusing that we are so looking forward to Christmas because we will actually be getting a “break” from running around. Yeah…

We had my husband’s Christmas work party last weekend – which included his job anniversary dinner on Friday and the actual full blown holiday party on Saturday. It was in Branson so we decided to take the kids with us and my mother so we could make a little mini vacation out of it. It was a really good time and the weather was unseasonably warm for December. Other than a little rain, no complaints here! We were able to do a little shopping, went to an aquarium/reptile center, raced some go-carts (I’m a terrible driver!) and went to a nice church service at the Lady of the Lake parish.

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When that was over, we were able to stay at home one night and then we had to go straight to KU Med in KC for yet another procedure. I had a couple scopes to see how things were going. Short story – results were good. As far as we know, there wasn’t any new inflammation or new causes for concerns so that’s promising. Basically, it means that what we’ve been doing is at least starting to work. All the 30+ daily supplements, the insanely restrictive diet, the extreme caution, “house arrest” –  to make sure my puny immune system isn’t compromised, never eating out (and always cooking our own food) and praying… lots of praying. All of the sacrifices and “annoying” things we do are MUCH easier if we know they are for a purpose. For a while, we were wondering if we were doing anything right – which makes it hard to stick to things. I can accept our lifestyle a little easier on those bad days if I know it’s for a good reason 🙂 We are still waiting on more results but we are optimistic. We know these health issues are a lifelong challenge but we can manage!

We’ve had a lot of family time and will have even more with school being out and my husband getting to use up a lot of vacation days. We’ve had movie night, game night, book, night, etc. Our favorite night lately was “joke night”. We took turns telling each other silly jokes. Here’s a few of the big hits:

  • Harper: “Why Santa didn’t get through the rain? Because he got in trouble!”
  • Lane: “Why did the tomato chase after the other tomato? Because he was trying to ketchup!”
  • Dad: “Knock Knock. Who’s there? Noble. Noble who? Noble, that’s why I knocked!”
  • Mom: “What do you call an alligator in a vest? an investigator!”

After returning home from the doctor, we picked up a new family member – Gus, the Border Collie. He’s super fluffy, smart and has really sharp puppy teeth. Little Miss seems to like him most of the time – except when he’s super playful and wants to use her as a chew toy. My sweet boy has never been one for pets so he acts as expected – like whatever – but he’s coming along. The big surprise was my husband… who swore we’d never have another pet – especially a dog. However, he was also the softy who decided the puppy could stay in the RV with us (in the kids’ room), who gets Gus as soon as he wakes up, who snuggles him every night. It’s so cute! I’m pretty fond of the little fella myself- he is very well behaved and was literally potty trained in a couple of days. Crazy.

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As far as our typical 25 Days of Giving – we’ve been busy! We made cookies for family and friends. We took gifts to Lane’s teacher and some of his favorites at the school – admin, traffic guard and his Kindergarten teacher. Our church had the annual potluck and the kids got a visit from Santa. Remember those candy cane sleighs we made? We passed those out to our PSR (church) teachers, public librarian and some friends. One thing we did (over a couple of days) that was really rewarding was hand out Starbucks gift cards. I grabbed a 3-pack of $10 gift cards and decided we would hand them out at random to whoever we thought needed one. One went to Lane’s teacher as she very much deserves a treat! The second was delivered by my husband to the parking garage attendant at KU Med Hospital. We see them more often than we’d like but they are always pleasant. I hate paying to park for a short amount of time usually BUT I know they probably have to deal with people who are rude. Caleb said the attendant was very surprised yet thankful. The last card went to a Salvation Army bell ringer at a local Wal-Mart. I had seen this man volunteering before and he is SO cheerful and friendly. He always says “hello” or “Merry Christmas” and “God Bless”. He looks as though he could have lived a rather hard life but his attitude is infectious. Honestly, I saw him and acknowledged his positive attitude but we were running late and we weren’t planning on putting our usual donation in the kettle. We rushed out the door and little Harp says “Mom, we forgot to put monies in the red bucket!” I started to explain that we were running late and didn’t have time to mess with it… then I stopped. It was MY fault we were late and SHE reminded me to be generous. I stopped in the middle of the road and headed back to the store entrance. I gave the kids some money to put in the bucket. While they were doing that, I reached into my purse and felt the last gift card. I asked the man if he liked coffee and he said “well yes I do!” So I handed him the card and told him “Merry Christmas and thank you for your kindness!” He was actually speechless which surprised me. He sincerely thanked us and we rushed off. As we were walking away I heard him say “Wow. Well I’ll be.” As if he was so surprised that someone would think of him. He was the one standing out in the cold helping raise money for others – it was the least we could do. THAT is why we do all of this. It’s not about how much we spend or how many gifts we give or who we help, it’s just the fact that someone out there needs a little brightness. If we can provide that light in some way, then I feel that is our duty.

If you’ve wondered what Sully, the elf, has been up to, here’s a quick snapshot of the last few days! He’s been ornery for sure! 🙂

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