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There are times that I really do feel like The Little Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe. I even call our little house "The Shoe". I am a stay at home mom. I do really think that was my calling. My kids are 13, 10, 10, (yes they are twins) and 5. Our life is an adventure, most times it really is a beautiful adventure.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Tweed Festival of Trees

    I'll be honest, I don't ever remember a year where my kids were constantly sick.  The skin has not yet grown back on their hands (that's weird you are saying to yourself.  It is not just weird, it's really, really gross, it's also part of the Scarlet Fever), and last night Gracie was up all night throwing up, followed by Elly this morning. I am starting to wonder if there is any point in making plans, or if there will ever be a day that I do not have a child home sick.  I am thinking that maybe it would be wise to buy shares in Lysol.

    My plan had been to take all of the kids to the Tweed Festival of Trees on Sunday (you will notice that I said "I", because apparently looking at pretty things and getting into the Christmas spirit is not manly enough for Christopher).  It is a holiday tradition.  The vomit duo cut back our numbers for this year.

The kids are looking at the wreath that I made.
    Every year a group of really dedicated ladies work their behinds off to give our community a beautiful event.  The ladies are a group called Beta Sigma Phi.  They work all year round to bring this big event together.  Over the years that they have been doing this, they have raised almost one hundred thousand dollars that they have put back into the community toward youth initiatives.  Please Keep Me Warm This Winter (my charity) has benefited by their generosity a few years.
    Local business and individuals sponsor the event.  They either make a donation or they purchase a tree, wreath or swag, and decorate it.  My friend Jane Patel owns the local Motel (Park Place Motel), and every year she purchases a wreath and I decorate it.  I love to decorate it. (I'll share that tomorrow).

    This morning Riley and Rowan and I went to the Festival of Trees.  It was beautiful.  We purchased $20.00 worth of tickets.  Each ticket is $2.00.  The kids eyes were huge as they looked at all of the trees and wreaths.  I love to step back and just watch them.  To them this is all magic.  Each ticket to them represents hope.  It's the hope of winning that tree.  They planned where we would put that tree, and how we would get it home when they call us to tell us that we won it.  

This tree was sponsored by BMO.
It was covered in mini-stockings full of money.
Needless to say.... we bid on it.
    Rowan and Riley wandered around the building wanting to put their tickets on every tree.  I kept telling them to be patient, we should look at all of the trees before we decide which one they want to bid on.  It took all of their strength.  I enjoyed that part too.  It was fun to see the looks of concentration on their faces as they tried to decide which two trees to bid on, it was almost torture.

I bid on this one.  I can just see it on the mantle
of my new fireplace.
    For me I was just as bad as the kids.  I carefully looked around, picturing what those items would look like in the house.  I saw the above swag, and knew it would be perfect for my new fireplace.  I looked around at the beautiful trees my own eyes wide with wonder.  I wanted to start skipping around, tossing my tickets willy nilly.  It took really strength to walk around, and think about what I wanted to bid on.

    Before we left for the festival I told the kids that if we won anything we would all share that item, it would not belong to just any one of us.  There's nothing quite like the power of positive thinking.  It seems a little silly to brief the kids in the event that we should win anything.  In my entire life I have won two things.  I would not win if I was the only person in the draw.  There is still hope, hope is my middle name.

    Part of the price of the admission includes a warm beverage and a cookie.  The kids were pretty excited as the sidled up to the window.  They both knew in advance that they wanted hot apple cider.  I think that they could taste it before they even got to the window.  As the volunteer handed them their little styrofoam cup, I could smell the apple and the cinnamon, I would actually even smell the heat of it.  That smell is the smell of the holidays, well one of them.  We stood there happily eating our treats.

    As I have been sitting here writing this, every five minutes I have had to stop.  Two very excited children keep asking me if they have drawn for the trees.  They keep reminding Grace and Elly, that "when" we win we all have to share.  No one dares to use the phone, because what if they call and the line is busy?  The phone just rang, and I answered it.  Rowan ran up to me after I had hung up, 
"Did I win my tree, the toy tree?", "Nope, that was Dad."  The suspense is killing them.  I sure hope we get that call.

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