Have I ever come to you with simple answers? No. So, here's the LONG story that goes with those questions...
I decided that after the baby's nap on Friday, we would all hop in the minivan and go tree-hunting. We have NEVER done this on our own, we are usually the passengers on Daddy's trip to hunt himself the perfect tree. You know, the kind that you could hold a triangle template in front of and it would fit perfectly within the perfect triangle shape?
We took a peek at the obvious spots for trees and they were all sold out or were down to their "Charlie Brown" variety, of which I envisioned being supremely easy to maneuver by myself...to which the kids replied, "Mom."
By the time we got our destination it was raining...ugh...three kids and mud. Yippee! :)
Within minutes we chose our tree, miraculously ALL agreeing on the same one. My two-yea old gave his vote and ran to the giant tractor wanting a ride. We wrangled him back into the car, left the side door open so all three of them could watch the two Carhart beaus re-shape our fluffy evergreen into a torpedo-shape with a gas-powered string-wrapping machine. The many uses for this machine flew through my mind as I ran into the small shed to pay for my way-too-late-yuletide-foliage.
We headed home where I unloaded the kids, made a spot for the tree and lugged it in. Holy cow, my Carhart friends sure made that part look easy. I think our tree weighs more than me b/c I felt my uterus drop as I heaved it off the top of my van and over my shoulder.
We plopped it into the tree stand and I ran to get work gloves so I could crank it like my hubby does, nice and tight. My two older kids held it firmly in place as I cranked and cranked, imagining the angels' song we would all bear witness to when I told them to let go and it stood perfectly poised within its stand.
But, what was funny and had us all in stitches is my youngest saw me with the work gloves on and ran into the kitchen. He returned with a pair of mismatched oven mitts ready to help!
After some aggravation (that is a gross understatement), cranking and re-cranking, 100 re-positions, more cranking, some jostling and smacking (of the tree NOT the kids), a whole lot of twisting, some almost-bad words and a long string tied taught in an attempt to off-set the lean, we had it sitting pretty in what seemed to be the perfect position.
The best part of this whole frustrating experience is that the baby saw the tree almost topple so many times that I am quite certain he is more than frightened of the dang thing! PROBLEM SOLVED!
We cut the strings to reveal our beautifully-shaped, imperfectly triangular tree just in time to head to dress rehearsal for the Christmas play. They were disappointed we didn't have time to decorate but I promised them we would after we got home from church that night.
I dropped them off at rehearsal and headed back home. My husband met me at the door and said, "Who got the tree?"
I smiled and gloated, "Me and the kids."
His smile grew, "All by yourselves? Your dad didn't help?"
"Nope. It was nothing."
With that, we rounded the corner into the living room and he said, "Looks a little crooked."ARGH #$%^&&*(((%^&*( Dag Nabbit!
The next morning it was leaning even further, actually supported by the wall. The baby added his own form of decor.
I left to run some errands and when I returned my hubby had come to our rescue and, like magic, our tree was standing beautifully in its stand, unsupported by the wall or any string!
But my oldest was in tears because, "Daddy changed the shape and now it doesn't look like the same tree."
Later on that evening, we decorated and everyone is happy! The baby is thrilled with the tree and has only stolen a few ornaments. We put those of the preschool-years-past variety at the bottom. He has started a small pile behind the tree of ornaments he has personally removed. But, no harm done.
So, there it is...as usual, I made a HUGE over-exaggeration of what I thought would take place and reality pales by comparison! Now, I have to get the last of my wrapping done while the baby naps and the older two watch a movie!
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!
PS...Christmas Miracle Update: I wired $2200.00 to Julian this morning! What a beautiful Christmas Miracle you all helped to create! May God bless you all!