It's been an eventful week or two around here. Just after Thanksgiving our family was toying with the idea of going back to SC for a "quick and dirty" trip to visit and celebrate Christmas with family and friends. And by "quick and dirty" I mean like taking 1 day to drive there, 4 days to visit, and an overnight at Niel's in Lousiana on the way home. We toyed with the idea and got excited for about 4-5 days. Since we don't have a money tree in the backyard it would mean that we'd really scale back Christmas gifts and the spend a lot of time making each others' presents. We'd even skip having a tree this year (remember our redneck tree last year that broke?) to save money for the trip. The kids were okay with this, if only we could go to South Carolina for Christmas.
But as sometimes happens when you're praying for something you want very much... the Lord says no. And so we broke the news to the kids. Although we were all disappointed, we reminded the kids that when the Lord says no he usually has a very good reason that we can't see. And if we listen to His advice, we'll be much better off than if we went ahead and did it anyway. And so we decided to stay in Oklahoma.
However, we still didn't have a Christmas tree. We had put up all of our other decorations around the house, but the ornaments had been packed away back in the Christmas box and put in the shed. Although we still planned on getting a tree, we really didn't have the money to get it right away.
What is so amazing about making the choice to live within your means is that it sometimes allows God the opportunity to touch someone's heart so they can bless your family. And that's what happened on Saturday morning. Our sweet neighbors , Terri and John, came by and dropped off a brand new (prelit!!) Christmas tree. Terri knew we didn't have a tree yet and they felt inspired to get one for us. So that afternoon we pulled out the Christmas tree ornaments, turned on the Christmas music and decorated that tree. And it finally... finally... felt like Christmas. What a great blessing.
Now about the bruises... and no, you smart alecks - they aren't mine. We had some music on the other day, and the girls had started trying to break dance in the living room. Kelsey, in particular, likes to try to spin on her head. (Connor has been watching her and tries to do it, too - hilarious!) This quickly evolved into Olivia trying to do a tripod. That's the thing she learned in gymnastics where she stands on her head and rests her knees on her elbows. If you'll look at the picture, you can see Kelsey deciding to do it too. Right. Behind. Olivia.
What I don't have a picture of is the moment where Olivia decided to put her feet straight up into the air like a headstand and Kelsey sat up. Seconds later, Olivia was falling backwards and kicked Kelsey in the eye. O-U-C-H.
Fortunately, she appears to have escaped an actual black eye. It was puffy and swollen all day long, though. Poor little darlin'.