This morning Tim and I ventured out to the stores to do some after Christmas shopping. It has kind of become a tradition for us. Every year after Christmas, we go out and buy Christmas stuff for the following year. Usually we hit the jackpot and get stuff at somewhere around 75% off. This year, we weren't so lucky. Maybe we waited longer last year - maybe it was closer to New Years by the time we made it out shopping. All I know is last year we got small trees for each of the kids' rooms for 70% off. A bunch of ornaments for each tree, some little decorative things, and of-course candles... I think all for 70% off. I thought for sure, after the weekend rush, that things would be 70% off by now. Nope... everywhere we went, it was 50%. Some places didn't even have anything. But, we still got some good deals. I got a cookie tray that is absolutely beautiful. The best part about it, is it isn't really Christmas themed. I can use it year round. It's something you could use for cookies / candies or something like that. I love it.
We bought another tree last year, so we have one upstairs that you can see through the huge front window, and then we have one for downstairs on the main floor that we put the gifts under. So, this year we just had the tree upstairs with lights on it, but no ornaments. I was going to buy ornaments for it before the holidays, but thought "why spend the money now, when I can get at least twice as much for the same price in two weeks". So, I waited. The tree will be full of ornaments next year. I just bought colored balls. All silver and then threw in a box of red to add some color. It'll look nice next year. I was looking for some lighted garland, but didn't find any. Oh well....
My blog friend Lori asked about my camera.... no Lori, you didn't miss it... I never said which one I got. I got the Canon Rebel xsi. It's really nice. Tim got it from godigital.com and it came with a huge accessory package. If we bought it in the stores around here, we would've only gotten the camera and one lens. For the same price we got:
a carrying case
two 8 GB memory cards
a USB card reader
an external removable flash
and probably some other stuff that I don't even know about yet. As I'm learning how to use it, I absolutely LOVE IT!!! If I had to rate it, I would give it 5 out of 5 stars. Sure, it took me some time to learn how to use it, but I'm a novice. I'm used to a camera where you just open the box, slap in a couple of batteries and you are good to go. This is definitely not that kind of camera. I kind of wanted it to be when I opened the package (only because I wanted to use it right away) but as I am learning how to work this, I'm LOVING it! It definitely wasn't the cheapest camera in the world, but it surely wasn't the most expensive one either. But it takes great pictures. Probably they will be even better when I figure out what I am doing! I guess the best part was that it really was a good package deal. I highly recommend getting one off of the internet rather than in a local store. It was brand new, in the original intact packaging, and delivered to my door within probably 5 days of Tim ordering it. And I love it. I seriously can not wait to take it with us to Ethiopia..... I can just imagine the beautiful pictures I will get there. Not just of my Sara Joy either!!! I can't believe that this may actually be the year that Sara Joy comes home!!!
And to my dear blog friend Lori - I know you may not want to hear this right now, but I have to say it, because it is the truth - you are an incredibly strong person. Your family has touched my heart. Your strength and trust in God during this very difficult time in your life is amazing. Your Matthew.... just precious. My first born is my son, and I can't imagine him not being here with me. I imagine you could never imagine it either... and yet you have to not only imagine it, but live it. My heart breaks for you when I think about that. No mother (no father) should ever have to endure such heartbreak. I'm sure it's pain that I can not imagine. I hope you don't mind that I linked to your web page - your story, how it unfolded and how it continues to unfold, is inspiring. How you respond in the face of such pain is incredible. It should be shared.
Well, now that the after Christmas shopping is done, I pobably need to start thinking about just when is going to be the perfect time to bring down all of the current holiday cheer... uuggghhh - I really dislike that task.