Saturday, 24 November 2012

Mom's here!!! Three of my kids have never seen her that they remember, so they looked her over for awhile. But within an hour, they were holding her hand and showing off to "Dawma". :) We had a nice dinner out this evening. With Richard gone, I didn't feel like starting dinner at 7pm, making a big mess, and having to clean it up that late. So we let someone else cook, wait on us, and clean it up-good plan! Well, I'm tuckered and have a huge day tomorrow, so I best get some sleep myself.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Thursday was Thanksgiving for my American family and friends. I did not celebrate Thursday in the traditional way as they did, since it was just another day in Canada. However, many things throughout that day caused me to be very grateful to God. They are as follows.
I am thankful that:

Thursday went smoothly on four hours of sleep,
I found my way to my downtown destination with no problem,
I found a parking spot right away,
God supplied the three toonies I needed for the parking meter's minimum requirement,
My kids behaved in the government building,
The elevator was not see-through up to the 11th floor, but securely closed in for my fear of heights,
I made it to every appointment that day in enough time,
I accomplished even the difficult errands with children,
God provided me with a patient spirit, even during the trying moments,
God supplied the necessary funds for the day's needs and activities,
I have a husband who listens to God, Who is listening to my prayers, Who tells my husband to leave those two toonies on the dresser for me, because He knows I will need them later that day for that parking meter mentioned above. Going downtown in a big city with one way streets, accompanied by four small children, hoping to find the destination, a parking spot, and enough change for the meter....that is a big undertaking on four hours of sleep! Thank you, God, for caring about those little things for me so I don't fall apart in exhaustion!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Come peek into my window and see some scenes from my house: here are some blips from the last couple of days.
Mommy Octopus: 2 tentacles-washing dishes; 2 tentacles-dressing babies; 2 tentacles-straightening floor; 2 tentacles-giving a spelling test and a math drill. You know what? Tentacles sounds ominous...I shall change it to "arms". Mommy "arms" sounds much more loving than Mommy "tentacles", lol! But, seriously, I wonder why octupi were bestowed with 8 arms and not Mommies. Look at that, I made a dangling looks like I said, Why were octupi given 8 arms and not 8 mommies? :D But you know what I meant to say.

 I did not realize until I went how much I needed a Ladies Night Out! Dinner, then Bible study, then coffeetime after...I came home feeling refreshed! Thank you, Lord, for Christian ladies-friends!-to fellowship with!
Being home with my children is a privilege I don't take lightly. On a lighter note, however, :) when I was leaving Tim Hortons at 11:00 last night, I was thinking with relief that I had the option of sleeping in this morning. One lady had babysitting kids arriving early. Two others had to be up bright and early for work (I do NOT miss those days!). I was relieved that I didn't have to be up for anything
 this morning or go anywhere today. Fast-forward to 2 a.m.: two little girls who think it is morning, wide awake for 30 minutes. Fast-forward again to 6:40 a.m.: two little girls who realize it IS morning, hooray for them! Breakfast time! Playtime! Um, girls? There is this little thing called SLEEP that Mommy is not quite ready to relinquish.....snore...
 Baby Jane's all snuggled up in her beddie-bye. Big boy James who voluntarily did six whole pages of preschool worksheets is all tuckered out on his big orange pillow on the couch covered up with my coat. Gabriel is impressively coloring a frameable picture of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Gracie is coloring Hello Kitty at her little table with the new colored pencils. My house is clean and quiet
. The teakettle is on. Dinner is in the oven. There's a clean, fresh snow blanketing the world. And Beethoven is creating a calm, mellow atmosphere. Just right for storytime, which is the next thing in my plans. So, to take my cup of tea and settle in my rocking chair for a good hour of reading the mystery Gabriel and I are making our way through.
 Brrrr! Boy am I glad Richard told us to stay home tonight! He said I shouldn't be bringing the kids out in this cold. I hadn't stepped foot outside this evening until a few minutes ago when the cooped up kids were begging to go outside. Against my first(and better) judgment, I agreed for only long enough to take a tiny walk 1/2 block to check our mailbox. Seriously, only about six houses long. By
the time we got to the mailbox, I realized it is frostbite freezing out there! Painfully cold. The trip back up our alley was miserable and the kids are now in a warm bath. I thought I had them bundled up well enough, but that air gets in all the nooks and's freezing out there! They asked to go out, but they were all crying by the time we got back home. You'd have thought we were at the north pole the way they carried on. But with good reason. Definitely a wise choice to stay indoors with little ones this evening. Thank you, Richard!
And, last but most definitely not least....
With four children, it is sometimes a balancing act to find individual time with each one. Sometimes, a moment is handed to you and you grasp it by its fleeting tail. Such as this morning, when the older three chose to go upstairs and watch cartoons. Which left Baby Jane happily downstairs with Mama all to herself. It blessed my heart when she grabbed my little white Bible and said, "Bible?" I asked her, "Do you want me to read it to you?" She nodded happily. We climbed onto the couch and with a great show of an exciting discovery I pointed out "her" verses....little repetitive snatches that I am trying to imprint on her heart: "Be ye kind one to another" "Walk in love" "Be ye thankful" and "Children, obey your parents" I talked to her for her two minute attention span, then prayed a tiny prayer with her. Then, while I finished my own devotions, she occupied herself quietly on the floor by pulling the papers off all her crayons. She was happy, I was happy. :)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

1. I have a zoingy little feeling in my elbow that is making two of my fingers numb, so let's hope I can type properly. :)
2. It is amazing how extremely fast I can work under pressure-WHY I'm not able to replicate this at all times is beyond me. At any rate, I'm glad to have accomplished what I did today when I knew that company was going to be here in less than half an hour. 
 3. It is not the ideal situation to have the pizza man arrive ten minutes before schedule when you've just stepped out of the shower and he walks in the front door and yells up the stairs, "Pizza man!" It leaves you feeling rather disconcerted. Thank goodness for an 8 year old son who can cover for me. Gabe took the pizza & pop, paid the pizza man, and answered the phone all at the same time. What would I do without him?
4.  I greatly enjoyed observing my two tiny girls playing together, a game of "pretend" in the grown-up world. They can both talk now, imitating snatches of phrases they hear big people use. Both girls are wonderful little mommies, taking the greatest care of their baby dolls. They were playing in their little kitchen, which is in my big kitchen. I had made them each a hot chocolate, but put Gracie's in my Mommy-sized Tim Hortons mocha cup. She felt very mature with her "coffee", as she parented her dolly with such responsibility. Grace and Jane were having adult conversation over their drinks as I cleaned the kitchen around them. Then I needed to mop. I asked them with the greatest of respect if I could set their little chairs against the wall. "It can be Tim Hortons! Would you and Jane-Jane like to take your daughters for coffee?" Enthusiastic about this new game, they eagerly, and seriously, brought their daughters to "Timmy's". And they sat there for the next 20 minutes while I mopped-I couldn't believe it! They bring such joy to my heart. I love teaching them how to be good girls, housekeepers, mommies, women(it's all playacting now, but they are adopting ideals without knowing it) on their level with their miniature versions of real life. 
5. I had a wonderful Ladies Nite Out! I did not know how badly I needed one until I went. L. and I went for dinner before heading to Ladies Bible Study. The chicken nuggets at Chicken Cottage are to die for! The Bible Study was encouraging, refreshing, thought-provoking....Thank you, God, for godly ladies to fellowship with. But it didn't stop there. Four of us just didn't want it to end, so we went to Tim Horton's (see why my little girls find it so easy to imitate Mommy in this? lol) for further fellowship. Another two hours of 'lady talk'. Our children, funny experiences, our husbands(in a good way! :D), the Bible as applies to raising our children and encouraging each other in this aspect, encouragement in our relationships with God, grocery shopping experiences, Christmas shopping.....It was nice to relax, enjoy coffee, visit, laugh, and refresh for jumping back into the daily grind--which will come all too soon, as we didn't leave Tim Horton's till 11:00!
6. Certain things imprint themselves on my mind as classic representations of my children's personalities. A painted rock, a special picture, tiny cars all in a row that you know were left there by a meticulous little James, a dolly left precariously on a couch pillow covered by a scarf "sleeping" after the dolly's mommy has been put to bed herself. Such was the case when I pulled my van up to the house tonight. Two tiny chairs, a pink and a blue, sat atop my hilly front lawn, arranged in a conversational manner. It produced the distinct memory of yesterday afternoon when four ecstatic children were bundled up and released into the fresh snow to play. Then Grace and James got cold. James arranged both of those chairs and called, "Here, Gracie! A chair for you-pink for you and blue for me." And a grateful Gracie answering sweetly, "T'ank you, Jamesie!" as they both settled prettily down in their chairs to get warm. I could still see them there as clearly as they were yesterday. It made me smile and I purposed to leave those chairs arranged just so at the top of my hill. 
6. I think I need to go remind my husband that I am home and tempt him back inside with some hot pizza!  

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Gabriel had his 8th birthday this weekend. I can't believe he's closer to 10 than 5! I say this weekend, because yesterday was technically his birthday but he had continued celebrations today. He had a nice birthday dinner with one friend and Aunt K. last night. We all went down to his new room first thing yesterday morning with a balloon and a bag full of presents to sing "Happy Birthday" and wake him up. The babies gave him their little presents that they picked out. He was very happy with the playdough I directed Gracie to, as opposed to the princess puzzles she originally picked out, lol! Today, he had three more friends come over to play games. Richard took over duty for this one, taking everybody to the park. I was done, having spent all night up with two little girls who ate too much cake and ice cream and had upset tummies. Fantastik was our friend, cleaning beds, carpets, and our room from their explosions. To go to sleep and wake up every 15 minutes for an 8 hour period is worse than not sleeping all night, in my opinion. Richard and I took turns with them, so he got as little sleep as I did. But I took morning shift and he slept till 12 or 1pm. But I was done as soon as the first kid arrived. I couldn't even think straight, so I handed it off to him and he took afternoon shift. I went to bed and didn't see the world again until 5:00. When I woke up, Richard was ready to crash again, so I took the evening shift while he went back to bed. Now I'm ready to crawl back up to my room and we both might get a decent night's sleep. I am assuming Gabe had a great time this afternoon with his friends. I heard about play sword fights with Daddy and a great trip to the park. I feel bad for missing, but really no one would have wanted a grouchy zombie mommy around all afternoon. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. There's no predicting life(or nights!) with toddlers. Well, I'm gonna run upstairs and make sure everyone's got something to wear to church tomorrow, then I'm off to beddie-bye!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Train tracks, school zones, stop signs, curbs....When all of these things become barely noticeable, insignificant incidentals--it's time to get a large iced coffee and WAKE UP! So I did.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Taking a little morning schoolbreak...Gabe is resting his eyes on the couch, the sun is shining, Beethoven is gracing our home, the babies are happily playing with their toys, I'm enjoying a cup of tea. It is nice to be home with nowhere to go during the day. Aw! I just looked over and Gracie is waltzing to Beethoven with her baby doll. :)
It was sweet to see Richard taking part in homeschooling last night. Gabe was struggling with his math page and I was going to just let it go until the next day. But Richard said, "Hop up here and let me see it." So for the next half hour, Gabe snuggled up next to Daddy and got math help. Richard was actually a natural, helping him in that aspect better than I could. They got to spend time together and accomplish something at the same time. After we sent him to bed, Richard mentioned, "I bet I could help you more with school. I could help with hard math pages, things like that." I told him that he was actually better at that than me; he was able to make math fun in a way I can't sometimes. It was like he realized he could be part of our homeschool, not just on the outside. Which is wonderful to me, because homeschooling should be a family endeavor. :)
 I think James has a crush on his preschool teacher. When I dropped him off yesterday, he took her a little picture he had made. With a shy smile back over his shoulder at me, he said, "Here, Miss Aleassa, I made this for you!" His pretty, blonde-haired, blue-eyed teacher gave him a bright smile, "You made that for me! Thank you so much, James! Here, I'll put it right here on my drawer, so every time I open it I will think of you!" James flashed her the biggest smile and looked so honored. It was adorable.
Well, I began this post two hours ago. At this point, we finished up morning school, I did some shapes and numbers with James, Grace, and Jane, we had lunch, and the babies are having their rest time now. Gabriel is working on his creative writing, learning how to express his own thoughts from his head onto a piece of paper into a sentence. This is a struggle for him but he is starting to get the hang of it. He says Second Grade is harder than First, lol. Working independently, thinking for yourself....gotta learn these skills, buddy!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Oh, what a nice birthday I've had! Just returned from dinner out with my husband. We tried a new, quiet little Italian restaurant with amazing food. Then we got a banana split to share from Peter's and a little coffee from Timmies. I had birthday fun with the kids throughout the day. They made the sweetest cards for me and Gabe 'gave' me some of my own potholders :) and a picture of himself(one of
my favorites). And they all gave me some new music--hours and hours of my favorite classical composers! I'm so excited! I miss my composers. I got four cds of Mozart, 4 of Beethoven, 4 of Strauss(my happy music!), and 4 of Gershwin(he's actually new to me, so it'll be fun to hear some new stuff). I used to have classical music playing most of my waking hours and now I can again. I'm so happy. I get a little tired of preschool music, lol!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Happy Veterans Day to the States and Happy Remembrance Day to Canada! And Happy Birthday to me tomorrow, tee hee hee! :)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

"Have you been watching infomercials again?" was my amused question when Gabe came rushing down exclaiming about "this cool thing where you don't even need a spatula for eggs or pancakes or anything!You just....":D He cracks me up, taking these products he sees on tv SO seriously! At one trip to the grocery store, it was "you gotta buy Hellman's(mayo), 'cause I'm telling you, it'll make your chick
en so juicy! They said so..." And of course, there was the self-esteem dasher when he told me about "this stuff(Proactive) that will make your face look just like his!(up popped Justin Bieber) But you gotta call NOW, while the number's on the tv!" (I've never had acne in my life, and I have no desire to look like Justin Bieber.) Gabe's a character! I think we will have plenty of discussions about the snares of propaganda as he gets older, lol. :D

Friday, 9 November 2012

I think sleep is vital to performing mom jobs. I had a big day yesterday and a bad sleep last night. When I woke up this morning, I did not even feel like being the mom. I just wanted to be left alone and not be talked to, not talk to anyone, not listen to anyone, and I especially did not want to be called 'MOM!' at the top of anyone's lungs(i.e.Mommy!I need wiped!Mommy!I need out of my highchair!
Mommy!Me too!Mommy!What's for breakfast?Mommy!I'm hungry!). I did not feel like listening to ANY two/three year old tantrums; if they started, I just cringed and wanted to crawl under a chair. While stumbling around trying to figure out what to make for breakfast, the babies kept going behind me to get into chocolate, sugar, and then a whole pitcher of orange juice dumped on Jane's head & all over the kitchen. I managed to get them all fed. Then I put up the gate and stretched out on the couch. My mommy radar that never sleeps supervised them and I rested for two hours while they played. And it's amazing what that bit did for me. I feel like Mommy again! I still have much to do, but now I feel capable of trying. I actually feel human and able to communicate with other humans instead of wanting to crawl into a cave somewhere. :) Here's hoping the rest of the day follows this positive note!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Dress one and all
Load up van(10:30am)
Doctor for Gracie
Pick up new computer at post office
Home for forgotten item
Preschool drop-off for James
Chiropractor down south
Preschool pick-up for James
Home for forgotten item
Choir drop-off for Gabe
Meet Richard at work to give him supplies
Choir pick-up for Gabe-late, thanks to snow & traffic
Home at last (7pm)
Bed for Babies
School Reading for Gabriel
Daddy home
Babies get back up to swarm Daddy
Family time
Babies back in bed
Finish reading to Gabe
Send him off to bed
Post on blog
Unglue dead husband from comfy chair and drag his 6' frame upstairs to our bed
Sleep! (or possibly, walk on treadmill and watch tv---but most likely, SLEEP, lol)
This, my friends, was a long Thursday.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

I love the randomness of a 3 yr old!  As I was snuggling with James putting him to bed this evening, I said to him, "You seem really happy to have your own room now: does that make you happy?" His face lit up with a big grin and he replied, "I brought crackers home with me from church!" Okay! From way out in left field, that must have been weighing on his mind.....LOL
(I went on to make sure he had permission to bring crackers home, which he did.)
Recently I have been reading a series of articles concerning not getting too busy to 'embrace the moments' with my children. I thought of this this morning. Last night, I stayed up until 2am folding a mountain of laundry, so this morning when the baby girls woke up early, I was very weary when I pulled myself out of bed to go change their diapers. I wanted to just set them up with a princess movie & their bucket of toys and go back across the hall to get a little more sleep. But then Gracie crawled up with her blanket and said, "Wanna sit in you lap, Mommy." Physically, my body just wanted to collapse in bed. But of course I would be heartless to refuse my baby girl wanting to sit in my lap. :) So I decided to just crawl up in her bed with her. She flopped her whole little self up over my tummy with the biggest, squeeziest hug, snuggled her little head up in  my neck, and exclaimed, "I love you too, Mommy!"--before I even had a chance to say 'I love you' first. :) It was worth embracing the moment for that memory. It definitely encouraged me to keep doing what I do best-being Mommy. :)

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

I was all pumped up about several things...until I heard the U.S.election results. Then I felt a little sick, with a nagging foreboding feeling. But truly God is in control. He knows what His plan is and is more than capable of keeping His people in His everlasting arms of protection. This is the time to live 'wise as serpents and harmless as doves'. That said, I might as well get back to my business of being happy with my day because there's nothing I can do to change the state of affairs in my home country.
I am SO excited about Christmas preparations. I have a million ideas buzzing around in my head to make Christmas special for my family and start some new traditions for years ahead. The kids are big enough now to join in and much fun! 
I just got back from helping Auntie shop for my kids. She asks me to go with her every year because she likes the company and because she likes to be sure that she's getting just what the kids would like/mom approved, etc. It's always a fun thing to go with her. Plus, it gives me a chance to sort of "preview" shop to find out what's out there, where, and what price. Just a great time all around.
So many ideas and projects......The special trip with Richard to choose the angel for our tree that will last for years & to hand choose personalized stockings for each of our kids, also to last for years....The project of making a front door Christmas wreath with the kids....Picking out paint and potpourri to make a new set of Christmas tree balls for our tree-my special project, two different kinds of color-coordinated balls....a dolly bed to make for Grace....a package of preemie diapers to buy, so the girls can use them for their baby dolls(much cheaper than buying dolly diapers!) photos to distribute with Christmas cards.....Where am I going to find the time to do all of these things? I have no idea, but I'm sure going to try! This is our 'family year', to start establishing holiday things for our family. So exciting!
Well, in order to begin these projects, my housework must be swept out of the way. So, while Richard is in the basement cleaning up junk, I'm going to go tackle the mountain of laundry on my bed--so we can SLEEP sometime tonight! :)

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Tomorrow is the day after Labor Day, right? Because the settled routine that was supposed to start then is finally beginning tomorrow. No more sickness. Crazy traveling is under control. House is finally rearranged.We are starting fresh tomorrow as if it was September. June and July are going to be killers, but we'll make do. School has taken quite a few punches trying to get going this year, my goodness!
I have my whole school week and errands all outlined; sat down and did that this afternoon. Made my copies for the week of math. Have a general loose schedule to follow to establish a routine during the day. I'm praying that it will work! I NEED life to settle down now. Well, I have to run off to finish the last bit of preparations for tomorrow.

Friday, 2 November 2012

You know you're getting through to your kids when you overhear things like this from the other room: James, stopping in the middle of playing to lead Grace in this prayer, "Dear Jesus, He'p us be dood for Mommy today. In Jesus' name," and they both shout, "AMEN!" Completely random and voluntary, this shows he gets the idea that praying is just talking to Jesus. :)
That was a happy little happening from earlier today that warmed my heart. 
On a different note, I have conglomerated in my brain several thoughts/principles that stand true: 
1) "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."
2)Some people really don't care what God, their Creator, thinks. They just want to live like they want to without ever having consequences. 
3)A wise person(which we all as Christians should strive to be), whether he rage or laugh, whether he answers or doesn't answer, will not get through to a fool(see point one). You just can't win for losing. Your logical answers gently showing God's wisdom are flouted back in your face with foolish, illogical arguments.
4)At some point, after you have gently stated your point, you have to graciously bow out because there is simply no point in continuing a discussion with a foolish person. 
5)You just have to pray that some of God's truths, not your own opinions, will stick and ring true in their ears at a later date when they need something to grasp. Because, seriously, God will hold them accountable for that one time someone presented the truth. I've been there, I've been the one not listening. But the truth was always there, in the back of my brain, and helped later. However, about today, it isn't a nice feeling, it's discouraging, to be put down for standing up for what's right! :{ It's like stating your piece and then being attacked like you're in the midst of a bunch of vicious hyenas. You just have to hope you pleased God with how you told someone about Him; hoping you had the right attitude and spirit and words. 
I say all that because I got in a discussion with some people about the issue of abortion today. When it comes to innocent lives of babies, I don't sugar coat or pull any punches. I state it like it is-respectfully-but I don't beat around the bush about it. Those babies need someone to stand up for them! I actually had an uncaring person encourage an abortion with one of my pregnancies. Of course, there was no question whatsoever in my mind--I met that person with a shocked look and a resounding "NO!Never!" Whatever decisions I had made in my life to get me to that point in time, it was my job to own those decisions and face up to the responsibilities. It was not the fault of that innocent, unborn child inside of me that life was not looking too convenient for me at that moment! God is the giver of all life, planned or unplanned. When I finally handed Him back the control of my decision making and placed my hand in His, He was able to lead me along a brighter path. HE is the One Who blessed me with that beautiful boy, and He has taken care of us every step of the way, even when we were all alone. Eventually, God put all the pieces together and blessed me with a wonderful husband and three more beautiful blessings. So when the subject of abortion comes up, I feel like shouting out for the babies, "NO! Whatever else you've done, abortion is not the answer! Value life, respect that baby's rights!"

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Ah! I can feel it-we are getting better. Sigh of relief. I am so sick of being sick. Yesterday, I pulled a classic "Hey, I'm better" and jumped in full swing trying to clean and do school and, and, and. Only to land myself back in bed most of the day. But with lots of rest, I'm actually much better today. I took the kids out this morning for a couple hours to do some unavoidable errands. The kids behaved  beautifully. And it didn't wear us out. We came home and completed a full day of school. Richard is bringing dinner home and we are going to move furniture around in the basement to make room for his NEW PLOTTER! Yes, he finally got it, a nice big one that will greatly cut down on his time for completing side jobs so he can spend that much more time with the family-and not wear himself out from working such long, hard hours.
 So last night was Halloween, and we usually hang out in the downstairs den watching movies or make plans to be elsewhere so we can avoid the trick-or-treaters. (We don't celebrate Halloween) We would have normally been at Wednesday night prayer meeting. But we're all sick, and we were very much home, upstairs, with the lights all on. In fact, my cabin feverish wild children, who didn't LOOK sick o
n the outside :D were climbing all over the couch looking out the big window to see what they could see. I knew that the trick-or-treaters would definitely be coming by, and I didn't want to seem like the bad guy with no candy and risk any teenagers' nasty tricks as a result. So I posted a sign on my front door"No candy here, Sickness in the house, One recovering from pneumonia, We won't open the door, Don't want to get you sick" Which was all very true. I mean, who wants to reach their hands into a candy bowl from a house that has been coughing, nose-blowing, sneezing, & just returned from the hospital?--And then, the doorbell rang! Huh? I looked over and my neighbor was motioning wildly through the window. I opened my door a crack and rasped out(because I can still barely talk) apologetically, "My kids are all sick..." But he held up a bag of candy and said in his broken Romanian accent, "For YOUR kids, because they can't come out!" Aaw! What a sweet gesture. I accepted it graciously for the kids and told the kids later they'd have to make him & his wife, a nice little Romanian couple from across the street, a big thank you card.
I have done it-bought my first Christmas present and first Christmas 'supply'! Bows were the first thing out for Christmas for $1 a bag, so I bought two bags. We are starting from scratch for almost everything Christmas this year, as most of our cheap old Christmas stuff wore out and died last year. Of course we still have the beautiful family decorations from both sides. But, the cheap stuff-bows, wrapping paper, garland, balls, that sort of thing-is all starting fresh. And it is a momentous year--the year to carefully choose a lasting angel for the top of the tree. I think we used a makeshift light thingy that was about to expire last year. But we both want a beautiful angel this year. 
Well, the honored individuals who will be the recipients of the First Present Bought are: my baby girls. :) Gracie enjoyed her baby doll stroller so much last year, she literally used it to death. It died last week. It bore baby dolls, stuffed animals,and....brothers and sisters. Yes, I think the brothers and sisters did the poor contraption in. In fact, the girls, being almost the same age and interests, had many, um, "discussions"-"differences of opinion"-"disagreements"--oh, bother, forget what adults call their arguments!---they had many plain, ole fights over that stroller! :D So, Richard and I decided the most peaceful plan was to get them EACH a stroller this year, especially since they're both such good little mommies and will truly love them. And, today, for some reason, I found them extremely inexpensively priced at WalMart---the exact same quality, as far as I could tell, as the one we got last year. $7.94 apiece! I had Gabriel distract the babies in the toy aisle while I hid them amongst the groceries. The first Christmas presents will be wrapped and topped with new bows by tonight! Merry Christmas, everyone!---Oh, wait, half of you haven't even had Thanksgiving yet, Lol! :D