Wednesday, December 12, 2007

blog Catch up - Sunday Style

Some of the best things this year have happened to me on Sunday. But because it is also my busiest day of the week I never seem to find the time to write about what made these Sunday's so great. I put it off each day thinking I will be able to catch up but then another Sunday comes and I have more great things to write about.
So here is my attempt to catch up on the past two Sundays.

Finding a parking spot on the street used to be such a pain to me when we first started going down to church. I have never gone to a church that didn't have it's own parking lot. But it is now one of the fun challenges. We see new scenery each Sunday depending on whose home you park in front of .
Two Sunday's ago Annie Kate said, that this row of homes was her favorite to park in front of.

Two Sunday's ago was the first football game after one of the Washington Redskins had been killed. the home we parked in front of that day had his number and a balloon in honor him on their porch.
getting ready for church is exhausting to me. The girls bedroom is really too small to have all three of us in there trying to get them dressed. So on Sunday's it seems easier to just grab everything and get dressed in the front room downstairs. Must get, dresses, soupies, coats, socks, diapers, underwear, hair bow and do it all in one shot - these kids just hate getting dressed and I have to gear myself up for the fight.
I seem to have one photo a month of Caroline in the deep sleep on the way to church. Having to wake her up to get out of the car is soooo HARD. and she is extra cranky. Which makes the next three hours of church quite difficult.

I had to take a photo of this weeks stash. (and am really sad I have not taken weekly photos of this) My neighbors and friends in my local ward have been so generous by always giving me clothes and items that they have cleaned out of their home to take downtown to the members there. Our car is always full of wonderful fun treasures to pass out. It is like being Santa every week of the year. This week we took 20 men's dress shirts, 3 large bags of kids clothes, shoes, dishes and the red bag was full of....
wrapped chocolate Advent Calendars for all of the primary kids. I was so excited to give these to the kids. The next Sunday when I asked how it was going opening a door each day I was impressed that only three kids had gone home and eaten the whole thing in one sitting. (My sally jane did)
Sally Jane wore two big bows in her hair that day and seemed to like the helicopter action she could get from swinging her pony tails around.

Before we left church the Bishop of our congregation asked Annie Kate if she would sing a solo in two weeks for the final song of the Christmas program. She will be singing Silent Night. She is not the best singer and they said they felt very strong that they wanted her to finish the program that day. It will be an awesome experience for her. She has never done a solo like this before.

Last Sunday...It was cold enough to pull out Grammy's Christmas gift from last year and have the girls wear their monogrammed dresses. Oh ya, Annie Kate cut 6 inches off her hair last week.Sweet Sally Jane seems to have turned into Sill Sally Jane. She no longer cocks her head and smiles for the camera but now makes funny faces.

Even though the stripped socks didn't really go with the dress any reason Caroline can find to wear these she will.
I made an arrangement for the chapel and was thrilled at how it turned out. This is not something I am very good at. In any other ward I have been in I would have been the last person they asked to decorate the chapel, and this is why this experience has been perfect for my S T R E T C H I N G year.
My car again was full of gifts from other people to take down there. An interior decorator in our ward had donated many floral arrangements for our building and gave us some for Christmas. Such a blessing.
This Sunday was munch and mingle(the dinner after church) I made a double batch of frog eye salad. I love stuff.Before I wrapped it in tinfoil I gave the kids some sharpies and told them to decorate the foil for Christmas. They had a blast. I did this post bath, so their fingers were covered in permanent markers all day.I was excited to bring something else down. Our 12 days of Christmas nativity giving will start this week. We think we have decided who will do in our neighborhood but so wish we could do one of the families downtown. Then the idea of all ideas hit me a few days ago. I went and bought another Nativity (they are now 60% off and only $10.00) put in a large bag with a roll of wrapping paper, scissors, tape and gobs of ribbon. We picked one family in our ward and gave them the bag. On the card inside we explained our tradition and that our gift to them was giving them the opportunity to feel the joy we feel each year. Before we left church I was doing a little more explaining about it to the family. The little girl then realized that by Christmas the whole nativity would be gone and they would have given it all away. I told her that is why it is so wonderful the feeling you will get each day by serving someone will last so much longer than the nativity will. I told her to give the baby Jesus on the last day. She said, "Oh they are going to watin' for the baby Jesus, it is the best piece of the set!" I felt so good inside giving this to them. I have thought about how great I have felt this month organizing so much of the giving for the members of our ward and if giving truly is more powerful than receiving - then giving someone the opportunity to give could be better than the gift itself. I can't wait to see them on Sunday to see how the first few days went.
driving down to church solo is tough! The kids were hungry, we had to leave an hour early because I had a meeting, Jeff had left at 9:00 am for two meeting and then off to pick up his boys for church. The kids were cranky and Sally Jane kept finding items to chuck at me from the back! It sounds funny now but on Sunday - me not laughing.
then forget what I said about it being cool to park on the street. I had so much stuff to bring in to church, plus the kids, (Caroline coming out of her deep sleep was now extra cranky) and I was 10 minutes late to my meeting. This is the double stroller packed full of flower arrangements and only room for one kid and I still have to cross a busy street and bring in two pans for frog eye salad. Sally Jane was screaming because she wanted to get in the stroller. Taking to seconds to take this photo is probably what saved my life. It gave me a second to calm down and realize I will look back on this and laugh. The power of photography!
So there I was crossing the street, holding Silly Screaming Sally, pushing the stroller catching the poinsettias that are falling off. I get into the building rush into the meeting and my kids are just screaming. I sat down for seriously 10 seconds, stood up and said, "I think I need to go outside and get myself together before I lose it!" I could not get myself together until 3 minutes before the meeting ended. Luckily someone had taken all the arrangements and put them in the chapel because by the time I got up there I had already missed the opening song and prayer and church was well on its way. I sat down and saw Jeff for the first time since 9:00 am and we both looked at each other - I thought, as tired as I am and have already done church is just beginning we still have 3 more hours.
Sacrament meeting was awesome. It was the last Sunday for the BYU students who did Washington Seminar the past 4 months. They are a huge loss when they have to leave!! One of the power couples taught the Sunday School class with all of the youth. They could have an ABC after school special made out of the turn around they gave that Sunday School Class. They are awesome people.

Then off to munch and mingle. Our local ward young women came all the way downtown to put on our monthly dinner. Annie Kate was so excited to see everyone from our other ward there. The girls all wore Santa hats and served an amazing ham dinner. We have never had too much food and always run out. But the food and goodies just were never ending. There was such an amazing spirit in the room as well as the Christmas spirit. It was great for the girls to be on the "turf"of our youth and really have a chance to get to know them. Our girls all left with their phone numbers and emails and excited to see them at the next stake activity.
We again came home exhausted and just feeling so blessed to have this experience! This Christmas I know will be one we will never forget!


Jessica said...

I love hearing about your Sundays. Of course I'm not driving as far as you, but I do have to get my 4 young kiddos ready by myself every week (hubby has early meetings), and I laughed when you said you brought everything in the family room for the girls! I have 3 girls and do exactly the same thing, you really need that extra elbow room sometimes!

Creole Wisdom said...


What an awesome calling you have! I don't know about you, but I think callings are supposed to streach us quite a bit.... And I would think YOU would be the ideal person to ask to decorate ; )

Laurie said...

Sally Jane's bows are perfectly cute. I love the home makeover you did for your friends that year and the reminder of the 12 days nativity. Thanks for the inspiration.

Kristi said...

your posts make me cry! you have such an awesome opportunity to serve all the time! I want to find someone lodally that I can help out this season- reading your blog makes me want it more and more. your girls are adorable btw!

Shauna said...

Great post! I am exhausted and energized at the same time from reading of your experiences.

carlo said...

oh your Sundays are amazing and it is wonderful you can see the good (and feel the good!) instead of focusing on the crazy getting there.

your family will never forget this experience...

wesley's mom said...

This is the second time this week I have been in tears from your posts. What an amazing experience you and your family are having. Thanks so much for sharing.

Kristen said...

Oh how I love your "ketchup" posts!

Your girls are to die for cute! I loved the monogrammed dresses.

crystal said...

I love, love, love Sally Jane's bows! I'm a sucker for the big bow.

You, my friend, are going to be seriously blessed for your downtown Sundays. I'm just saying.

The way you describe your ward makes me think of that dvd "Sisterz in Zion." Have you seen it?

LJ said...

Absolutely loved this. Sounds like Sunday was a handfull but totally worth it. Tell AK I LOVE her new doo!

Jill said...

The amount of work, time and energy that go into your Sundays is unreal, especially now that you and Jeff have to take separate cars which means you're flying solo with the girls. The overwhelming feel of all of your posts about this DC Ward is the desire to give. What a blessing you're being given and how amazing for your girls to get to experience this at such a young age.

I'm sure you feel like you can't do it one more week, but then are overwhelmed with the goodness and gratitude you are able to give and receive. Wow, wow, wow.

Holly said...

This was a wonderful treat to read. The way you described it, even though I don't really "know" you, I could see you driving, trying to park, your girls, etc. Even though it may be exhausting, it certainly is making an impact on so many. Thanks for sharing your Sunday experiences--they impact me too!!

Barb said...

There you are bridging your local ward and your mission ward with the YW visitors and the bags of clothes.
Do you spend all day Monday in recovery mode?

michelle said...

I just cannot get over your Sunday posts -- I am exhausted just reading about it! That photo of the bags of donations is wonderful, and I love the girl's reaction to the nativity set!

(also, if I had socks like Caroline's, I would want to wear them every day too!)

Claudissima said...

oh wow...kristi...I also have been getting a stash ready because we are going to tijuana..and there is just soo much need there. It has been marvelous reading about your posts because I can totally relate to the need of the people. It is admirable service and one that will carry you for a long long time. Your little girls are adorable, just plain adorable. i LOVE MONOGRAMED THINGS AND right on!