Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, we went and picked out and purchased the 2009 Friesen Christmas Tree.
We do purchase a real Christmas tree each year. We both grew up always having real Christmas trees. While I'm not totally opposed to fake trees, Marc insists on having a real tree. I'll admit, however, that the real pine smell in our house in nice :)
For our first Christmas together after being married, we literally opened up the phone book and randomly picked out a Christmas tree farm. We ended up at Nativity Pines.
We've been back every year since then. We've always been able to get a really nice tree. The teenage boys that help with the process are wonderful, hard-working, and friendly. The owner is wonderful to talk with. They take you out to the tree "farm" on a hayrack. You pick out your tree. You saw it down yourself (with one of the teenage boys assisting, if needed). They haul you and the tree back on the hayrack. Simple....And, the one of the biggest things for us is that it's not too "fake." In other words, there's not a lot of secularized Christmas stuff to deal with.
We've just really enjoyed the place each year. Can you tell that we can't say enough good things about it?
Here are some photos from this year's "outing."
Since Luke is still not walking more than two steps, we carried him around most of the tree area. He does enjoy riding on Marc's shoulders.
We looked around a bit....found one that was a definite "No." (This photo is just for fun, by the way).
This year, we actually found the "right" tree for our home fairly quickly. So, here's a photo of Marc sawing it down (Marc's on the ground). The wonderful guy helped us out a bit -- by catching it when it was sawed off.
This photo is definitely more for us because it was very cute in person. But, here's a photo of Luke watching Marc saw the tree down. He was pointing at Marc and talking, though we're not really sure what he was saying at the time.
Here's a photo of us with our newly sawed tree -- the 2009 Friesen Christmas Tree.
On the hayrack ride out to the trees, Luke sat on Marc's lap. On the way back, however, Luke didn't want to sit on a lap. So, we carefully let him sit between my legs -- making sure he suddenly didn't try to dart to the ground while things were moving.
After you get back, the guys unload your tree and shake off the dead pine needles. Then, if requested, they'll trim the bottom for you...which we needed a bit to better set up in our home.
Then, you go inside and pay for your tree (while they're finishing up with the tree). Afterwards, you go back outside. The guys will match your receipt up with the correct tree.
Then, they'll load it on your car, truck, etc....
Nativity Pines is about 30 minutes from our home. Fortunately, Luke is starting to do better in the car...It used to only be that he was good for about 10 minutes in the car. Now, we can go a bit further before he wants loose of the restraints of the carseat (which absolutely NEVER happens when the car is moving). Here's a happy photo of Luke in the vehicle on the way home.
Marc and I actually decided to decorate the tree after Luke went to bed. He is really not able to help with that yet...Next year, we know that'll be different.
So, here's our finished product....
Marc made an interesting comment after our tree was decorated....I've been thinking about it very since. He said, "Each year, our tree has had some imperfection about it. But, that's what makes it so neat. It's not perfect -- just like we're not perfect." (This year, our tree has a couple of "bare" spots, and it leans slightly).
It's soooo true -- that statement. Because of sin that dates way back to Adam and Eve, this world is sooooo very much imperfect. Absolutely nobody on earth currently is perfect. Only one perfect person has ever walked this earth -- Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Changing subjects slightly but still on the subject of Nativity Pines --
Last year, Luke was a mere four months old when we went and purchased our Christmas tree. The owner saw us with our baby. He started talking with Marc about the importance of being a Godly father. He recommended a book to Marc....The Heart of a Tender Warrior by Stu Weber. (Click HERE)
I ended up purchasing that book for Marc or Christmas last year. Marc really enjoyed that book, and it spoke to him a lot. He's held onto the book because someday, Lord willing, he'll be able to pass it down to Luke if he becomes a father.
So, this year, Marc sought out this owner. When he found him, he reminded him of who he was and told him that he really enjoyed his book recommendation from last year. Marc then asked him if he had any more book recommendations. Yep, he sure did...
So, here are the recommendations.
Raising Kids for True Greatness: Success for You and Your Child by Dr. Tim Kimmel (Click HERE)
The Centurion Principles: Battlefield Lessons for Frontline Leaders by Colonel Jeff O'Leary (Click HERE)
Taking the High Ground: Military Moments with God by Colonel Jeff O'Leary (Click HERE)
Launching a Leadership Revolution: Mastering the Five Levels of Influence by Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward (Click HERE)
If anybody needs any good gift ideas -- perhaps any of those books might help????
Now, do you see why we really enjoy such a simple place to get a Christmas tree? Each year, we leave there with not only a tree, but also some sort of life lesson.
And, one last thing (I promise)....Here's a photo of our family from last year at this same tree farm. Luke was a M.A.J.O.R. spitter-upper until about 5 months. So, I chuckle when I looks at this photo with the burp rag on my shoulder. It's amazing how now that the spitting up is over, it doesn't even matter anymore. But, at the time, Luke's massive spitting-up was rather troublesome sometimes.
Thanks for reading my once again long post!
Buried at Dauphin Island
16 hours ago