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December 30, 2010

Holiday Traditions: My Mother's Charlie Brown Orphan Tree Adoption Program

A Christmas tradition thru the eyes of my teenager:

Ahhh Christmas time. Cookies, Cards, babies pretending to be Jesus in the church play, and family get togethers. Time to go to the basement and assemble the fake tree! Wait a second… we don’t do that…My family likes to head out in the old front wheel drive sleigh to pick out the symbol of Christmas! Noo… not the stupid tie with the Santa Clause on it! The tree! But… my family doesn’t do that either….


We go to the tree lots with the scrawny, dead, overpriced trees that have no true meaning of Christmas!!!

Why you might ask? When we could bundle up in our carrhartts, and drive to the local Christmas tree farm, pick out that special tree without forgetting the true real meaning of Christmas, and throw it in the back of the pickup, and head home to drink hot coco?

Because of my mother.

“THE ORPHAN TREES!! THE ORPHAN TREES!! WHAT ABOUT THE LONELY ORPHAN TREES?!”

My mother’s philosophy on Christmas trees is why cut down a tree and leave one that is already cut in the Christmas tree lots in town to spend Christmas cold and lonely with no loving family placing presents to share under it!

We have the answer to her philosophy:  She forgot the true meaning of Christmas.

We want to do what our forefathers did, and dig it out of the ground ourselves!!! Bring it home roots and all!!!

Cause going to town, with just mom, arguing on which dead, scrawny tree we want isn’t exactly what I call “fun”. (You might call this fun, if you do give me a call and YOU can go with her next year! You will find it is not.)

If that isn’t enough we have to watch HER put the lights on. HER put the star on. Cause it has to be done RIGHT. (The only way to do things right mom’s way, is to let her do it) Oh she does let us put on the ornaments - but I know when our back is turned she rearranges them!  And don't even think about asking her if you can put on the tinsel - that just wouldn't be pretty!

My dad isn’t one for Christmas trees… or Christmas itself. So he sits and watches mom do all the work! He has never picked out one of our trees… EVERRR… Mom says my first Christmas one of Dad's good friends took Mom and I to get a tree!

So our holiday tradition is getting an orphan tree in a Christmas tree lot in town… OH if only we could cut down one at the farm…. It would sound much nicer…. if our holiday tradition was going to the farm, picking out the perfect Christmas tree and bringing it home to decorate as a family together. But alas! This is only my dream…

Oh well. The Campbell family has adopted and saved another Christmas tree from being sad and lonely this year!!!  I guess that would be a lesson learned about the true meaning of Christmas.


authors disclaimer:
*Some of this may sound stupid if you don’t know all the lines from Christmas Vacation*






Be sure to check out ALL the traditions!!!!

December 26, 2010

1 old snowmobile + 1 combine tire intertube = Tons of fun

 
 Especially when you throw my brother into the equation!

There is nothing like spending a snowy cold afternoon with family!

We rode the John Deere TrailFire (a gem in it's day), the Kitty Kat and a combine tire tube!  Drank hot chocolate, played with cousins and ate chili!  What a great way to spend the day after Christmas!















I love spending time with family - we are a close family for lots of reasons - but that is a whole other post!

December 25, 2010

The Reason For The Season

We have one Nativity Scene in this house - we have had it for at least 10 years, my Mom bought it for me way back when we started having kids!  It is my favorite Nativity Scene I have ever seen (2nd would be Willow Tree, which I will never be able to afford)!

It is the original Fisher Price one - it is very simple but most importantly kid friendly!  It has always set on out fireplace hearth (where the kids can get to it) because they do love to play with it!

I took this picture of it today -
However upon closer inspection I realized that an elf had taken the place of Mary and the little boy in snow clothes probably was not originally there when Jesus was born!

I immediately demanded my children to round up the lost souls of the Nativity Scene for a photo shoot!
Mary was found under the stairs (If I had just ridden hundreds of miles on a donkey and then given birth in a barn I would of run off to hide under the stairs by myself as well);  the camel hadn't made it out of the basement this year (pretty sure he hid on purpose - as many years as he has been around my kids he knows what to expect);  the calf, lamb and donkey were just trying to lead a normal life with the other Fisher Price livestock!
But once everyone was reunited, I took a new picture:


This Nativity Scene is definitely "loved" (which is what I refer to toys that are played with)!  I managed to locate this picture from 2001 -

The donkey got a break this year - for the whole season Mary and Joseph drove the baby Jesus around in a gator! (Ignore the half eaten apple on the carpet)

This is the year we moved into a rental while we added on to our home - the girls were 7 and 3 and were very concerned with how Santa was going to know where we lived now and how he was going to get into the rental house with no chimney - so we built a "fireplace" to hang the stockings on and it worked perfect for our Nativity Scene!


I look forward to many more years with the Fisher Price Nativity Scene - it will always be out at Christmas, even when the kids are grown!

December 22, 2010

Our Christmas cards went out!

Pretty Patterned Ornaments Holiday
Shutterfly has elegant holiday invitations for your party.
View the entire collection of cards.
I gave Chris a choice between two different cards - this one and one that was a close-up of the family and very little tractor showing - he picked this one by saying to me "I just painted the tractor not the family!" - gotta love a farmer!

December 20, 2010

Bring On 41!

Happy Birthday To Me!

Last year I turned the big 40 - and I told Chris earlier in the year what I really wanted for my birthday was to take a big hike - I got the go ahead from Chris to start planning and in September of last year (2009) that is exactly what we did!  The following is the pictures and text from my Shutterfly book that I made about the trip.

Before I turn 40 . . . . . .
. . . . . I decided that I would like to take a hike!  Originally my thought was to hike part of The Appalacian Trail but upon revealing this to my sister - she informed me that it was buggy and muggy and wouldn't it be much more fun to hike in the Rocky Mountains!  Upon giving it some thought (well not really) I jumped right on the idea - and decided to hike from Crested Butte to Aspen - 14 miles climbing to 13,000 feet!  I talked Chris into going with me and we booked the tickets in april for our Labor Day Weekend Trip!!!!


Chris and flew out early on a Thursday morning for Denver!  As soon as we arrived we got out rental car and headed toward Leadville!  In Leadville we stayed at The Delaware Hotel, went to the mining museum and walked around town.  We had supper at Quincy's, now our favorite restaurant - the was incredible and only three choices to make (no menu - they only serve one cut of steak):  size of steak and way cooked, salad dressing and what to drink!  The next day we took our time driving thru the mountains to Gunnison.  Did a little pre-hike hiking, watched some guys round up cattle on horseback (the guys were on horseback not the cattle), stopped and drank a beer in a little town while sitting on the deck looking at the mountains!  It was an awesome two days just Chris and I, it had been a long time since we had done anything for just the two of us!










Let's Hike!
We got to Schofield Pass where the trail head is at 5:30am, it was so cold and so dark!





Self portrait of me bringing up the rear!  I like to think I was last because I was spending all my time taking pictures of some of the most beautiful scenery!






This is Alisha, Tom and Pam at the TOP!

My sister at the top!

Chris just getting ready to the summit!



I MADE IT!!!!!
and yes my lips are blue from lack of oxygen - mostly because there isn't any this high!

At the summit of West Maroon Pass - 12,700 feet above sea level - we started hiking at 10,000 feet!



 Headed down the other side towards Aspen!











 I MADE IT TO ASPEN - 14 miles, climbing almost 3000 feet and back down!
And yes, I am crying - I was exhausted, elated and very proud of myself!

Alisha, My Favorite Sister, at the end with The Maroon Bells in the background!

Chris and I!

Exhausted on the couch in the hotel lobby!

Once we got into Aspen we ate at a great BBQ place but truly all I wanted to do was lay down and sleep!  After we ate we checked into a really neat hotel and I slept for 3 hours!  We did go out for a little while that evening but I was much more up for a little sightseeing the next morning!  After an amazing breakfast of a Bloody Mary, Eggs Benedict and pancakes (Yes I ate every bite) prepared especially for me by Wally and Michael, we took the gondola up to the top!  It was beautiful, especially since I didn't have to walk to the top and Chris thought he had found heaven because there was a Blugrass band playing there.
The whole experience was more than I could of imagined and I am so thankful that I got to do it and that I had such great company to go with me!



 My birthday wish last year was that the next 40 years are just as amazing as the last 40 - and so far I am off to an amazing start - I TRULY LOVE MY LIFE!