We got a new Christmas tree. It was a difficult decision for me. Cody has been the tree guy the last few years. Our tree, which I had bought for Kimmy about 12 years ago at Toys R Us when I was working there, was falling apart. Cody had brought this to my attention the last two Christmas', but did his best to make it work.
But I heard him. I surprised the bambini Thursday, having put it together before picking them up at school.
Today, we decorated it...
The kids carefully unpacked all of the ornaments that Kim and I had collected together over the years...stopping to read the ones with inscriptions like "Our First Christmas Together" and "Baby's First Christmas" stopping quietly at one they had made for Kim and I two years ago "27 Merry Christmas' Together!" before hanging it high on the tree.
We have one for each of the dogs we've had as part of our family. A giant carrot for Cajun, who would 'sing' for carrots. It was a high, warbling, cry she would emit in her excitement.
The bambini each took turns hanging their favorite ornaments. Tonio stretchin' out as high as he can reach!
Aut stuck to more reachable levels.
Cody giving me his 'c'mon Dad, pictures? Really?' look - but he sincerely enjoyed helping.
And Breanna, bambini #4, was a big helper!
These two work so well together - they are so cute.
They were thoughtful when placing each ornament. Hanging, then stepping back to check their placement. I could see Kimmy in their approach.
They made sure that I got to hang a couple of ones they new Kimmy had picked out for me. Like a Cal Ripken Jr. ornament...and one from the beach, made of shells...
They did such a loving, caring job...it was fun for me to watch. And, hanging above the tree, the star of Bethlehem that Kim's Dad had made for us over 20 years ago...Andrea hung the star there for us last year and I just left it up the whole year - holding the tree's place, so I knew I'd have the tree in the right spot!
We unpacked all of Kim's snowmen that she loved to collect. A new one for each Christmas...I let Autumn pick a new one out last year and she's already asking to go to Pier One to pick one out for this year "While they still have good ones left." she tells me, so Kim-like. Also, placed all of the rest of the decorations she had chosen for our family over the years - each kid finding the perfect spot around the house for them.
Breanna hangs one of the ornaments that Lorena Sutton, who taught Cody in 4th and 5th grade, had made for us out of one of Kim's dresses...
The laughter of the kids, as they hung ornaments, placed decorations and unpacked our Christmas, warmed the house. When they were done, they turned the 'Sports Room' into a little Afghanistan tent city and popped in 'Dark Shadows' starring Johnny Depp...Kim and I shared the same nightmares from the t.v. series 'Dark Shadows' that we saw as young children back in the early '70's. The movie is more of a comedy - we always loved when Tim Burton and Johnny Depp collaborated on a movie. The kids have seen this movie at least 5 times now (including Breanna, who saw it in the theaters with us twice).
After school - I finally got to Tonio around 4:15...his teacher, Leesa Irwin, had him help at a Student Council meeting...
Kim, Cody, Carole and Ken (Kimmy's parents!) on the back porch of the house she grew up at in Bethlehem, PA.
Her Dad built the shed behind them - after going shopping for sheds one day, Ken came home and declared 'I can build one better for less than 1/2 the price of the ones I looked at today.' This shed was built about 14 years ago - I bet it is still in great shape!
Ken, Cody and Kim - matching conductor hats!
My favorite laugh...
Kim and Cody at the Colorado Rockies Spring Training - Kim sporting her Dodgers, Mike Piazza jersey!
Christmas season has started...the bambini decorating the house was our official kick off!
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cN4fNaUAMbA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe