Dana asked about Chrisco hampers, and I was a little surprised, as I was sure it was an American invention! :)
Chrisco (double click the word to see an example) is a company that puts out a catalogue of hampers, as in a wide selection of goodies, from which to choose.
Then, once you have selected the hampers you want to receive early the following December, the Chrisco comany direct debits a set from your bank account every fornight. At the end of 26 fortnights, you have a ton of food supplies that come just when you need them, the cost of which you barely noticed leaving your wallet all year.
One buddy told me that her family hardly shops for 3 months after getting their Chrisco hampers, but for the bare essentials.
So I am giving Chrisco a go this year. the regular hampers don't really appeal to me, as a lot of the stuff we wouldn't really buy normally. That is why I chose a plain meat hamper, a fruit juice hamper and the children's icecream hamper, all things we will want for our hot Christmas season.
Anyway, more later; just back from the kids end of year concert and am utterly exhausted. (I was up late last night wrapping presents for 8 teachers and 2 school bus drivers, and writing letters of heartfelt gratitude to the teachers. Then coaxing my nearly comatose Hubby to hold up a limp hand and sign his name to each letter! *chuckle*)
At the end of the concert, the precious staff all congregated on the stage to sing Before the Throne of God Above. I must admit I cried.I defy you to listen to this song and not be moved! Though I know that MamaMentor's Mary could do a much better clip to go with the song.
I am not really an emotional person(as far as having extreme highs and lows, or crying at the drop of a hat), but this morning as I drove into our kids school, a real wave of sadness washed over me, and I think I actually had a mini-panic attack driving home. Tomorrow is the kids' last day of school there. And what an amazing blessing the school community has been to us. It seems so surreal that they won't be going back. So surreal. To have a school that has backed up the Christian teaching they have been getting at home has been something I have taken for granted a little, but I am indebted to the teachers for their Christ-like attitude in all areas of interaction with our kids. Two of Topsy's friends are over for the day today. Because our Kid's Club wrap-up party is on this afternoon, they all helped me whip up a huge double batch of plain cookes that the kids can ice and decorate (and of course, ultimately, eat!) I will be sadder than I can put into words to bid farewell to the Kid's Club kids. Another ending. though I know that the new minister will keep it going.
Hubby's parents were up on the weekend, and very kindly turned a blind eye to all the chaos that is us at present. We had a big Christmas dinner with them. We feasted on: Glazed Ham Roast turkey green bean casserole Sweet potato casserole ( big hit) peas carrots And for dessert: steamed vanilla pudding and apple pie. all very good. Oh and Linda, we ate that yummy broccoli salad the night before. so good. My new signature salad! :)
Other quick tidbits:
What I am Reading: : Financial Parenting ( a most amazing book that doesn't just deal with teaching our kids about being wise with money, but covers all sorts of Biblical truths and how to apply them to family life, with practical atcivites and fun things to do with your kids to re-enforce it all. I am just loving it!
About to read: (when Hubby is finished, and we do a swap) : Thrilled to Death (how the endless pursuit of pleasure is leaving us numb)
Buying: Both our cats have turned into awful birders, as in they are very good at it. In fact the yellow one, catches them to bring and lay at my feet.
I am the kind of person who can't drive past an animal that has been hit on the road, without checking to see if it is alive, so we have all these poor half dead birds in boxes, that we keep and try to revive. Sounds funny, so have a chuckle but the reality is that I get so stressed by it that I have considered having the cats put down. Well, thankfully Google gave me a kinder solution: The Cat Bib. So far, it is working well. Only a couple of baby birds have been caught since.
Wasted money on:expensive, but poor imitation of the real deal flea treatment. This stuff was only slightly cheaper than Frontline, but it did not work. I ahd to resort to also using flea shampoo and washing all three animals.
Puss #2 got a little frantic
and swiped me across the lip accidentally. Lucy was a breeze after doing the cats....
This shampooing didn't work either, so I had to fork out for Frontline anyways. Grr.
Trying out: Chrisco. I am trying out ordering my first Chrisco hampers, paying a little off all year, and then just before Christmas 2008, I should have a full pantry! I ordered a meat hamper, a fruit juice hamper and a cold ice-cream hamper ( we have very hot Christmases here!)