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Christmas Angel

It was back in 2004 and I was at church when Pastor Tom spoke about a thing he did called Christmas Angel. For the 12 nights before Christmas you pick someone who may be struggling, had a bad year or just need a lift at Christmas and drop off presents. The first night you leave one of something, and the second night two, and the third night three etc. But there is a catch, you drop the present, ring the doorbell, run, and try not to get caught. Of course if you have your children help, they can do the ringing and running and you drive the getaway car. He had this done to him by a mormon family who never revealed who they were. He said we shouldn’t tell either but if someone did that for me and never said who it was, it would bother me forever. So on day twelve I always left a note revealing who I was. Although he said this was a way to bless others, over the years it has been a big blessing to our family.

The person or people I have chosen were always picked by God. He put their name on my heart at some point during the year. Some years it’s really early like April or May and sometimes its been as late as October. Now God doesn’t talk to me in an audible voice for that would surely make me a crazy person but I just get the feeling this person is the one. Most of the time it is a patient I have cared for, but sometimes its a friend that doesn’t know this secret about me. This year I received a little push back from who I chose, to the point I started questioning myself (and God). But in true God fashion I got the answer loud and clear on day ten of dropping gifts off. I received a note saying this girl had a bad year and every night she had to have painful dressing changes and knowing she would be receiving a gift made the discomfort less. I started crying when I read the note. After all it is the exact reason we have done this every year since 2004.

This is the first Christmas we had without Emily. She is working out in California and ended up spending Christmas with the Lindsay’s. If she had to not be at home, she was at the second best place in the world. After all had Brian and I both kicked the bucket, our kids were willed to them. There were times they threatened to kill us so they could live with them. Emily was very sad that she didn’t get to Christmas angel with us. Allyson said to me she liked houses that were farther away because we had more time to talk. So I started thinking about some of the highlights and I shared some of them with this years girl. I decided to blog them tonight for my girls.

The very first year I worked evenings so I had to drop the gifts off during the day. Since I worked the first three days I dropped them off during the day. Apparently that person worked during the day so finally on day three I made my sister call from her work and say this is your Christmas angel please check your front porch. The next year we did my neighbors I had as a child. She was convinced it was a neighbor down the street and each night would yell thank you and say the lady’s name. She never once thought it was me. One year the family lived in De Soto. We arrive in the dark and not one single mailbox has the address on it. None of the houses do either. I attempt to get on google earth but the houses are blocked by trees. By this time I am freaking out, screaming and cursing when the husband walks out to check the mail. Last year the guy I did was convinced he had a stalker and almost called the cops on us. He also had no numbers on his house so my oldest went rooting through his mailbox (which was attached to the house) to see what address was on the mail. One year we did Allyson’s friends who are twins. The first night she was at their house so I had to deliver by myself. I knocked on the door so loud that the guy across the hall opened his door also. I scared them all so bad they bumped heads on the table they were under. Before I had a smart phone I had to use map quest. I arrive to the street I was supposed to turn on and it had turned into a QT with no way to get through. I had to call Brian who had to get out his street guide to get us to the correct house. One year we pulled up to the house and Kayla says they are in the garage. I say no they are not, deliver the gift. She gets out starts to walk and I hear them in the garage. I say F**k they are in the garage, get back in the car.

This year was no different. The very first night I had worked and went by myself. There were no numbers on this house so I had to walk up to the neighbors to see their numbers. I ring the doorbell, hit the second step and my ankle goes sideways. I almost fell and I said oh hell no, I am not getting caught on day one and made it down the steps. One day just as I was getting out of the car, they came out of the house to go somewhere. I jumped back in the car and hid till they left. Then became paranoid they would forget something and come back and catch me. On the eleventh night just as Allyson was crossing the street a van pulled up into their driveway so she came back to the car. We did a lap around the subdivision and then she delivered. But the thing we will always remember is the stop sign in the middle of a street with houses on each side of the road. No cross-road or anything. The sidewalks are on both sides of the streets as well so we couldn’t figure out the purpose. On the last day I was actually going to ring the bell and wait (I’ve only done this one time in all these years) but they were not home.

So what started out as a way to bless others has turned into a Christmas tradition that we all love and look forward to each year. We’ve had great family talks and great family yelling. We’ve brightened 19 families over the years and hope to do 19 more. Although sooner than I care to admit, it will be me by myself so I better keep on running so I don’t get caught.

 

Mole Moral ~ Ding dong ditch still seems wrong even when leaving fun little presents.

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Mama Mole’s Birthday

Birthday’s and Christmas’s are always interesting around the Mole house because one never knows what Brian is going to come up with as a gift. This year my birthday fell on Mothers day so anyone who is thinking it’s a double score would be wrong. Brian tells me every year “you are not my mother” and doesn’t even get me a card most years. I have many people share with me either their own father said that to their mother or their husbands say it to them so at least I am not alone.

Brian and Allyson had planned to go to our property on Saturday to plant the persimmon trees Brian received from Indiana this past week. Side note, he decided to plant these next to the plot he and Johnny (his best friend and co-owner of the property) tilled up and planted to feed animals. These trees fruit attract even more critters. Talk about a cheating way to shoot a deer. He denies that it is cheating so I call unfair advantage or something. On Thursday Brian was informed he would have to work Saturday which messed up all the plans. I assured him he and Allyson could still go on Sunday, it was ok a little alone time isn’t a bad way to spend a birthday and mothers day.

I slept in on Sunday and woke up around 8:30. Brian had left for the lake an hour before and woke me up two or three times asking me stupid questions. I played on my phone for about thirty minutes before I ventured out into the kitchen to see what my present was this year.

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Let me do a little explaining and start with the gift bag. It’s a known fact we never have the correct paper or bags for the occasion so we usually use whatever we find first. I asked him about the Diet Dr. Pepper because he knew I gave up sugar and fake sugar a week ago. He says well I thought you could have a couple of glasses to which I said and go through withdrawal again, no thanks. This week is national healthcare week and the unit is celebrating all weeks so my co-workers will enjoy it. I have eaten all the bread and butter pickles three different times before he could get any. So he bought me them. They are really good but have some sugar in them so I told him I can only eat two or three a day instead of the entire jar in two days. (Not a bad thing, really). I asked him to buy sunflower seeds so we could plant them. Well I discovered I could grow the dwarf ones in flowerpots so that sent me to The Home Depot around noon. I picked out six nice sized pots and said oh heck no they aren’t staying this ugly neutral color. I whipped out my paint and am painting them. I think it’s going to take six coats of paint before the base coat looks right. Then I plan to decorate each one. I am considering one to say The Moles and then the other five done in ways that describe each of us. I haven’t decided of sure. So that two dollar gift is turning into a fifty dollar project. I am sure everyone is thinking forget that stuff what is the cigar all about it. Back when Kayla and I visited Missouri State and ate at Lambert’s cafe my meal came with a cigar. It has been laying around the house ever since. Anytime I work day shift (as in leave the house at six in the morning) Brian will find some bizarre obscure object and put it in my lunch box when I am not looking. Here are some example of stuff I have found in my lunch, a small pumpkin, a hair bow, a lighter, an eraser, and Kayla’s inhaler among other things. So I was not surprised at all to find a cigar in my birthday present.

We had a fantastic dinner the night before with Brian making the steak and I making stuffed mushrooms. Of course Allyson didn’t like any of it, stating it was all too fancy. I had strawberries and cream for dessert. It was really tasty. Brian said “you are eating like it’s your birhtday”. To which I replied, “it is tomorrow and that’s close enough.”

 

Mole Moral ~ Sometimes the best gifts come stuffed in a Christmas bag or your lunch box.

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Coming out of the closet

imageAllyson has wanted a bearded dragon for about three years now. This year I decided to look on Craigslist to see what i could find. The first person I contacted had already gotten rid of theirs but the second one still had his. He wanted 150 for the entire set up including a brand new 50 basking light, the dragon, a cricket keeper, cricket food, calcium, bearded dragon food and sand scooper. Due to Furfest it was two weeks before I could go pick him up in Collinsville. The guy said the cage was too heavy and I would have to come to his residence to pick him up. My mother in law told me not to go by myself because I would be killed for the cash. So I talked my friend Holly into coming since she was out on medical leave and on home oxygen. I figured if he tried anything, I would just pop him with Holly’s tank. The guy actually ended up being very nice and very helpful. When he lifted the hiding thing up and I saw the size of this guy I said oh my God, he’s huge. Then I said I mean that’s fine, I just thought he was much smaller from the picture. My in-laws agreed to keep him but I didn’t want to burden them with him so I decided to hide him in my closet for two weeks. And yes I ran an extension cord into the closet so that I could run the basking light 14 hours a day like I was supposed to. I was putting his hiding hut back in when a piece broke off and the thing hit him. He super stuck out his beard and if he could hiss, he would have hissed at me. It would be four days before I could get him to eat anything. He won’t touch his bearded dragon food. I finally got him to eat some Kale. I know you are all thinking that Allyson would find him before Christmas. However, my kids know the Christmas presents are always hidden in my closet and they don’t want to ruin Christmas so they never go in there. Emily yelled at me this year for telling her what Kayla’s ornament was and told me I was ruining Christmas. So Christmas afternoon came with the Moehlmann side of the family and after all the presents were opened and Allyson didn’t get anything from grandma and papa or Jeff and Teresa we told her to go look in my room. She finally found him and she was excited but mad at me for keeping him in the closet for two weeks. She told me he was touchy and in a bad mood. We moved him into her room and she informed me he had to be off of the floor. So I said you mean like a TV stand or something and she said yes. He didn’t like people towering over him. So this morning we went to Wal-Mart with no luck so I got the grand idea to go to IKEA. I had never been there and the store was really cool. We found a dresser that would fit the tank on top of it. This worked out perfectly as Allyson has never had a dresser but has shared Kayla’s triple dresser in Kayla’s room. Brian worked extra today so when he got home he got to assemble the dresser. Allyson also did not like the sand that the previous owner used so I bought reptile carpet to put in the bottom. It can be washed and reused. I bought one for a 50 gallon tank and wouldn’t you know it was too long and too skinny so I whipped out my sewing machine and pieced it together. imageDuring this time Allyson had to get him out of the tank so that i could vacuum the remaining sand out of it. He was kind of being a bully so I texted the previous owner to find out how old the dragon is. He’s a year and he said that the dragon acted all tough with him and just ignore that behavior. He was fine after Allyson got him out and as you can see he was quite interested in the dog and kept moving closer and closer to her. She managed to lick his face. Allyson had fed him five crickets before we got him out, so she was rushing me to finish the carpet so that he could digest his food. She said he needed the lights to do this. No pressure or anything. She had no problem picking up a cricket and putting it in his cage. Yeah I thought it was fairly gross but not as gross as at the pet store. We asked the guy about meal worms and he said he had to get them out of the fridge for us. He then informed us that if they stay room temperature, they will turn into beatles. I think I puked in my mouth just a little. Of course Allyson held one of the worms and was not afraid of it at all.

Because Allyson got a dresser, we had to rearrange part of her room. The girl is a pack rat and I bet I spent two hours working on it so that I could vacuum. I made her go through all her drawing papers and recycle those that she no longer wanted. The recycle people will love us this week. We moved her bookshelf and put the dresser where the bookshelf was. As soon as we got him up there, she announced he was much happier. He watched Brian put the dresser together and was very interested. I have already moved Allyson’s socks into her dresser.image I had been keeping them on my dresser because she wants hers to match and Kayla never does so she didn’t want Kayla wearing hers. So now my room is less messy. Score!

 

Mole Moral~The simplest projects turn into big projects. Who would have guessed a bearded dragon would lead to a new dresser and a trip to IKEA.

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It’s just hair

imageAllyson has been asking me for at least a month to let her get her hair cut. She sent me a picture of what she wanted and I almost had a heart attack. I had to tell myself it’s only hair and it’s her hair and it grows back. So when I shared with Hollie (who does my hair) what she wanted, she almost had a stroke as well. Hollie does not like cutting long hair to short much less super long to super short. So Hollie and I talked and she decided to do a short bob and then have Allyson come back in a week to finish.

So five days later we arrive and Hollie asks Allyson a lot of questions and they look at pictures. Hollie then announces she’s just doing it all now and forget the two step process. Allyson is thrilled and I’m a bit freaked out. Hollie is having a nervous heart attack. She cut off to shoulders first and the whole shop about had a stroke. When Hollie broke out the clippers they all freaked. The haircut took an hour and by the end Hollie needed a shot and a bottle of wine but Allyson loved it and that’s all that mattered. Before Hollie started she said, “it’s only hair and it will grow back”

Brian really liked it and wanted to know why her hair was so soft. I said because she doesn’t use head and shoulders shampoo. Smoking grandma had a bit of a hard time. Kayla hated it and Brian’s mom said it looked like mine. Emily announced that the mole girls can really pull off the lesbian hair cut. After all my girls have called me Lizzie for four years. They are as funny as their father.

Mole moral ~ Allyson is amazing as she does not feel compelled to conform to society and is her own person, comfortable in her own skin.

Merry Christmas! The best gifts do not always come in wrapping paper and fancy bows!

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The Christmas Spirit

IMG_6422Something crazy happened to me this year and I got the wild idea to put up Christmas stockings on all the patients rooms on WH. At first I was just going to cut them out and hang them up. However, one day at the rec center I came up with the great idea to put the Christmas Story in bible verses on all the stockings so that if you started at 2301 and walked around in room order you would read the entire thing. Now with the great invention of the internet and biblegateway.com this was rather easy.

 

IMG_6428Women’s health has 2319 as a room so of course that required a special monsters inc stocking.  It took a while for me to figure out how to upload the pictures and what size to make them so they would all fit. But I did it and it was my favorite stocking.

Over the past three weeks every Monday when I work 2 of the stockings have disappeared. 2301 went missing twice so when I made a third one, I taped it to the door hanger because I thought maybe it kept falling off. When I came in yesterday 2319 was missing. I did learn that it was taken as a reminder of the patients stay on WH. Now I really did not think anyone would want to have these because I give myself no credit for being creative. So today I spent an hour redoing 2319 because not only did I not save any of the pictures but I had a heck of a time remembering what size. But it’s finished and will return to the room door shortly.

Mole moral: Always save pictures and the size they were printed, one never knows when they might be needed again!