Welcome Sully!

Day 1 & 2 of the 25 Days of Christmas

We’ve had just a bit of excitement the last couple of days so my daily post is already behind – but for good reason! My sweet God-daughter was born yesterday! 🙂 Little miss Gentry Beth was ready for the world at 38 weeks so I wasn’t quite expecting her yet. She is a tiny, beautiful little princess! I’m so thankful that God put her mom (my best friend) into my life a few years ago at college. That lovely little family makes my heart so full and I’m so happy that Gentry helped make the world brighter with her presence.

So yesterday was Dec. 1 – the first day of our 25 Days of Christmas. First off… Sully has returned for his second year with the Stultz clan!

Those cute little “Elf of the Shelf” guys are so popular. I always said I would NEVER do that… but I also said I’d never eat an onion. Needless to say, we have Sully and he graced us with his Christmas-y presence yesterday! The kids have asked about him periodically throughout the year and they were so excited to see him!

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Santa, of course, mailed him to us… in our new mailbox at our lovely home site. Sully also brought some special treats for the kids. Sully also brought our first gift to open for family time. Prayers for Children by Eloise Wilkin . It’s a super cute book from Little Golden Books with simple prayers for kids.

For Day 1 of Giving, we decided to support a new gift program: Holiday Heroes. It’s not really a new program, just new to us! We usually support the Angel Tree program but I was turned onto Holiday Heroes from an old classmate. We try to help local kids or families during the holidays and the Holiday Heroes program was no different.

Holiday Heroes is a program with KVC for foster children that helps provide Christmas gifts. I was informed there were over 650 kids in Southeast Kansas in foster care. That number completely astonished me. Caleb and I have always talked about the possibility of adopting but it wasn’t until I looked into this gifting program that it really hit me. While adopting isn’t in our immediate future right now, buying holiday gifts is! We decided to sponsor 4 foster children (1 girl- age 4, 3 boys – ages 2, 2 and 1). It’s always fun for me to get all those gifts ready.  The kids don’t like it… at all. They don’t understand why they have to pick out gifts for someone else and why they don’t get any. Each year, I am more proud of their patience though. To be honest, I wish we could see the kids’ faces when they receive their gifts. I understand why we can’t but I’m the mom that wakes up hours before the kids just so I don’t miss seeing their sleepy faces first. I want to be the first thing they see and I ALWAYS record their expressions on Christmas morning when they see their gifts. Not kidding – I’m up at 4 am… and usually (somewhat secretly) wake the kids up early to get the day started! Either way, we love doing this. If you are curious about programs to donate to, look into Holiday Heroes here at the Adopt Kansas Kids website. Here’s our packed bags of goodies!

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Day 2: Today, Sully showed up with a little gift for the kids – coloring packs of himself. He admitted to being a little conceited and asked the kids to color a picture of him. They very willingly agreed 🙂

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For our giving today, we kept it simple: Salvation Army buckets. This isn’t something we limit to one time during the holidays. Each time we visit a store, the kids love to add to those shiny red buckets. Some days they put in a good sized donation, other times it’s just a few pieces of change. The point is – they WANT to. Caleb and I always dig around as we leave the stores too – even if the kids aren’t with us.

Here’s a somewhat funny-ish story: I was a bell ringer in college. That’s not the funny part – but it is true. The honor society I was in for the Accounting department at Pitt State volunteered to ring bells during the holidays. We had a good group participate but as the society President, I picked up a lot of the leftover shifts – I didn’t mind at all. One day, we were ringing at Wal-Mart. I decided to do a little shopping after my shift was over. I had to return an item we had previously bought and got $70 in cash back. At this point in our lives, my husband and I were both full-time college students, parents to an infant and we both worked part-time jobs (as well as extra-curriculars at school). We were busy with limited funds. That $70 was kind of a big deal to us. Anyway – I will never forget that dang shopping trip. The cashier gave me back a $20 and $50  bill for my return. I had a few dollar bills in my wallet also. As I walked out of the store, I said goodbye to my fellow bell-ringer and stuffed what I thought was a couple dollar bills into the kettle. I left and drove 30 miles home. I went to get my money out of my wallet and only saw the $20 bill. Yes… I generously donated $50- what would have likely been diaper money to the kettle. I frantically called our contact – with whom I was familiar with since we volunteered – and tried to get the money back. I didn’t…. and as flustered as I probably sounded, they may have thought I was crazy – or lying. They had a strict no-kettle-opening policy. I instantly cried and dreaded telling my husband that I accidently donated that much. To my surprise, he blew it off and was not angry or worried at all. He simply said “I guess God knew someone needed it worse than we did.” He was right… everything was fine with the world. I guess my point is that things happen… and for a reason. We always donate to those kettles.. although I do pay a little more attention now 🙂

Day 2 of family time… was less than desirable. I’ll be honest – today was one of those “blah” days. I absentmindedly forgot about getting my Infusaport flushed. Basically, I have to go to the hospital every 4 weeks to get the port flushed to prevent it from clotting – if it hasn’t been used. Well, I have a procedure at KU Med in two weeks…. but that would have been 6 weeks after my last use of it. ANYWAY – going to the hospital was NOT on my agenda this week, but I had to ‘pencil’ it in. I hate getting it flushed…. not because of the nurses or the hospital, or because it hurts (it doesn’t – although today was a little worse than normal and the cold doesn’t help). I hate it because it reminds me that it’s there. I know that sounds stupid – it’s a protruding device implanted near my clavicle… it’s always there. Every time I have to go to the hospital to mess with it, I’m reminded of the crappy summer I just had and these nagging health issues. Each time I park the car in the hospital lot, I instantly get cranky and sad. Today was no different – but on the way home, I did realize I have come a long way – even if it’s hard to see some days. My crankiness carried over when I picked up the kids – who were also cranky. Everyone was cranky, which made for cranky dinner time, cranky play time and cranky family time. We ended up reading a few books, watching Wreck-It-Ralph and drinking cocoa. That seemed to cheer everyone up a bit.

I’m always happy for the time we spend together but I sure hope everyone is in better moods tomorrow 🙂 But hey, no one is perfect! Get excited for tomorrow’s update – it could involve a benefit to you! 😉

 

 

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