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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Adventures in Believing in Santa

Because of our circumstances this year, we chose not to get gifts for our children or each other. We chose not to go into debt over a few gifts that the girls probably wouldn't remember even in a few years from anyway. I guess the first part is a bit of a lie; in a previous month we budgeted in some money to buy books from the Scholastic book club through Adelynne's school, and then I spent $13 at the dollar store buying them a couple of useful items that I know they'll not only love, but will actually get a lot of use out of them (pencil crayons, markers, etc.).

For me this decision was both easy and difficult. Easy because Ben and I have chosen and believe that by becoming financially free, we will be able to bless our children (and others for that matter) with far better things than a few toys that will be forgotten about in a few years to come. Difficult because Adelynne has been showing this absolute love for Christmas. I want to give her a full, joyous Christmas, where she experiences all aspects of Christmas, and as a mom, part of that is giving a gift to her. I wanted to bless her with something that I knew would make her heart happy. I was trying to fit in the time to make the kids something, but with looking after the 3 munchkins, trying to keep up with house-wife role, as well as trying to complete my 2nd module for school, it just wasn't working out so well. However I was doing the best I could with giving her a full Christmas experience: we have a decorated tree (that she helped decorate), I've been showing her all of the lovely Christmas cards we received, we've been doing our Advent activities, and we've been talking about how Christmas is actually Jesus' birthday and how we're going to have a party for Him. And the girls we're blessed with a couple of gifts from not only their Grammy & Grandpa, but also a good friend of mine and her parents; so really, they weren't going to be empty handed come Christmas morning!!

As most know, Christmas Eve can be a really busy day, and our home was no exception: a good cleaning up needed to be done (mostly that darn kitchen - I am patiently waiting for the day where I once again can enjoy the beauty of a dishwasher!), a pie and a birthday cake was to be baked, errands had to be taken care of, showers had to happen, some school work was on the agenda and a Christmas Eve service was not to be missed! Oh our plans! And oh how it is rare that our plans ever stay what we plan.

Adelynne ended up falling off the couch some how (I'm not sure of the details here as I didn't see it, I just heard the crying) and hurt herself so bad we decided that Ben should take her to the emergency room. This is exactly what we were secretly hoping for on Christmas Eve: to spend hours in the emergency room (mind you this isn't the first time since Ben & I have been married that we've done that...) UGH. Off Ben and Adelynne went to sit and enjoy some quality time together, and to leave me with the mass amount of dishes, dessert duty, running the errands, showering, homework, and making sure we're out the door on time for the 4pm service. Well, most of the dishes got done, one pie was made, the errands got run, I squeezed in a shower, and we made it to the 6pm service! But that wasn't without some excitement...

Once Ben and Adelynne got home from the hospital (broken collar bone, I'll write more about her story tomorrow), we began to hurry to get ready to go. Showering, eating, getting dressed. In the middle of getting Adelynne dressed, the doorbell rang, and I assumed that it was my friend who was going to be dropping some stuff off coming by early, but to our great surprise it was not.

There was a man at our door, dressed in a red suit, a red hat with bells on it, with a big giant white beard, carrying a very full red sack. We're pretty sure he told Ben his name was Pete, but the girls recognized this man as, yep, Santa Clause. The interesting thing about this, well, I guess there's more than one interesting thing about it, but, we've chosen not to "do" Santa in our house. I've been working on teaching Adelynne about not only the reason why we celebrate Christmas, but who Saint Nicholas really was, so when Santa showed up at my door, I was a little taken aback.

So down sits Santa, the girls not afraid of him because he had presents in his bag, and he starts pulling out presents, and he continues to pull out presents. He gave five gifts to each girl, four to Uriah, and one each to Ben and I. Crazy. He also gave me a card, with no signed name. Everything was from Santa. Ben was trying to figure out if he knew this man, and since he didn't he assumed I would but I too hadn't any idea who this man was.

While Ben and I have tried to guess who it was that came - as we know that there were really only a small amount that kind of knew about our Christmas choices this year, and not that many actually know where we live, as I usually put down our mailing address for everything - Adelynne believes that a real Santa came to her house. She doesn't think about how it's just a man dressed up in a suit, she believes that there are many real Santa's, like the one in the movie we watched, and the one she sings about, and the one who actually showed up at her house.

As I watch my little, beautiful, three year old daughter, I ponder the things that she believes because she is a child. The magic and beauty of Christmas. The awe and wonder. The excitement and thrill. A few Christmas's ago I was struck with incredible story of Christ, our Saviour, born as baby, wrapped in the same cloths that they wrapped the dead in. This babe, our gift, from our Heavenly Father. And now, this Christmas, I am amazed and struck with the blessing of Christmas. Christmas truly is a time of year for awe and wonder. God doesn't always choose to bless us in ways that we think He should, but rather, He chooses to bless us in ways that He knows are not only best for us, but in ways that draw us closer to Him. I draw closer to Him as He has called to me, as He as chose to honour our financial decision, and as He chose to fulfill the desires of my heart through a child-like manner. So thank You Jesus, for sending Santa Clause.

Our first "Santa Picture" 
My hope & prayer for each of you this Christmas is to experience the true meaning of Christmas through the eyes of a child. May you be blessed, and once again believe in the magic of Santa.


 Hugs for Santa!

Our very full Christmas Tree


Merry Christmas to you all!
Love, The Little Schartner Family xo

Friday, December 5, 2014

Adventures in a Third Birth


Three weeks ago today our newest family member joined us. Making his grand entrance on November 14, 2014 at 4:14 a.m. on a chilly Friday morning, Uriah Johann Gabriel weighed 7lbs 10oz. He came quickly, like the other two, letting me know that he was ready to come out at 12:33 a.m. and then once he was really ready, he joined us within a matter of 2-3 minutes. I for one am
extremely grateful for how quickly, and I guess one could say, efficiently, my little babies decide to join us on the outside.

We had assumed that Uriah would decide to join us early like his big sisters did; it wasn't until closer to his due date that we had learnt of the "wild-card rule" of the third baby. I would have loved to have heard of this "rule" much earlier as we were really hoping that he would arrive early!