Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Up Early Every Day

I have been checking off each thing I have to do as a countdown until our oldest daughter and her family arrive.  First thing Monday morning I was up peeling sweet potatoes and getting them into the oven for a funeral at church.   I then got myself ready for my bunco group's Christmas luncheon.  We dropped off my pan of potatoes then proceeded to the most exclusive area of where we live, complete with a guard to check us in!  The amazing thing about the folks where I live is that for most, it doesn't matter where you live.  Everyone is included and welcomed.  I always joke that some may think they are in their walk in closet when they come to my patio home!

Brenda's house is overwhelming in size and decorated beautifully.  After much oohing and aawing by all, we had our gift exchange followed by a delicious lunch at tables set most elegantly.  We all had a good  time and thanked our hostess for her efforts to make our party fun.  She did a terrific job.

Ted always stays outside and loads my car with the food donations everyone brings for the food pantry and then takes it all there for us. This year he had one more job.  Brenda asked if he would open the bottle of champagne for her, which he did.  Then he went to the gun club to shoot. Last evening he loaded up my Expedition one more time with the six bags of wrapped presents and the tricycle that goes to the Women's Shelter Gift Distribution location where I am working this week.  I have a case of water to take too for the workers.  And people ask why I drive such a big car.  

I finally learned why we have a day between intake and distribution for the shelter.  I had only worked distribution in the past so didn't know what transpired before that.  Besides accepting the gifts for the families, there is Shelter Santa donations.  These donations are not strictly for Christmas but will also be used throughout the year; however, we were advised they never last that long.

A dozen or so long tables were set up and marked for Infants, Boy Clothes, Boy Toys, Ladies, etc.  It becomes a challenge on some items how to classify them.  By the end of the day we had to put baskets under the tables for overflow of toiletries, hot wheels, Barbies, socks, crayons, PJs, etc.  The next day the shelter employees boxed everything up by category to be moved to their facility for storage and use as needed.

Our busiest time was when 17 Corvettes from a club came as a caravan loaded down with gifts, an envelope of gift cards and a check for $1,000.  All of that arriving at once kept us hopping for awhile.

Our 54 family gifts had arrived by 4:30 so we left an hour earlier than expected.  

Wednesday I had an early morning dentist appointment then used the day to get caught up on my own stuff.  Thursday I was back ready to help distribute the family gifts.  I hate to admit it but two 8 hour days on concrete took its toll.  I was so tired when I got home but after dinner I proceeded to make meatballs and spaghetti sauce from scratch for our company on Friday.

I met one of my best friends for breakfast Friday morning.  It was raining but we both ventured to a new coffee shop anyway.  We spent about 2.5 hours together visiting by ourselves.  Usually we are out in a social situation and conversations and folks are all around us.  I am glad we took the time to spend time alone this holiday season.
We had Terry and Carol for dinner Friday night and exchanged our gifts.  One of ours was a gold ornament that says "Donna and Ted   50 years   1965-2015", our first anniversary acknowledgement that we will celebrate next year in April.  They all joined the clean plate club so dinner was a hit.

Saturday was hair appointment day, pick up of my secret project and our neighborhood dinner complete with friends who had moved to Florida that were back for a visit.  This called for a strawberry and spinach salad and now I am finished!!  No more special cooking until the kids arrive.

Here is the secret Merry and I worked on together.  Framing was done at Michael's.  Since Kelly will transport it to Michigan I was only able to email a photo to Kara and Bill.  They loved it because now all their momentos are in one place and preserved.


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