Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our Christmas

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Ever since my brother, Bruce, passed away... my mom has always burned a candle for him in the window on special occasions. Now, since Aaron passed away, I burn a candle and my mom burns two candles in the window on special occasions. Here are our three candles that we burned on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Aaron Jr.'s new PJs that he opened on Christmas Eve. They are cowboy style... thanks Sue. They are so cute.

This is Me and Aaron Jr. on Christmas morning. I got up around 10:00 am because I heard my parents and my brother, Spencer's family out opening their gifts. Then, Aaron Jr. followed close behind me and went right back to sleep on my lap. He could take it or leave it... he was too tired.

I finally had to get Aaron Jr. to wake up to start enjoying the Christmas morning. Here we are with our stockings this year. I have some neat stockings that my sister and mom made for Aaron and me a few Christmases ago, but I had left those at our own house. These stockings are special because the one Aaron Jr. used this year is the one that Aaron (Daddy) had when he was little. Then the stocking I am holding is one that Aaron made for me the year Aaron Jr. was born. We had decided that Aaron Jr. was our Christmas that year, so we weren't doing anything for each other. Well, when I was sick in bed, Aaron kept coming to me and asking me how to fix the bobbin in the sewing machine. He brought the sewing machine TO ME so that I could fix it while he held it next to the couch. I woke up the next morning to this 'Aaron-made' stocking hanging on the closet door filled with my favorite candies and cough drops and shampoos and conditioners. I LOVE it. It has become one of my most treasured possessions. It was so thoughtful of him. I filled Aaron Jr's with candy and kids vitamins. He has carried the superman kids vitamins everywhere he goes ever since Christmas. The lid is child proof, don't worry. :) He calls them his 'bitamins'.

These are the gifts Aaron Jr. got Christmas morning. A DVD from Redbox. We had rented a kids show for him a couple of months ago, but then it got lost at our house, so it continued charging us for it until it reached $25.00, then once it reaches that much... Redbox stops charging you and the DVD is ours to keep. SO, since it was a kids show, and that is a lot of money, I wrapped it up for Christmas.
The next gift was a book called 'Danny and the Dinosaur'. That book was a childhood favorite of all of the kids in my family. We all read it growing up... so I bought it for Aaron Jr.
The next gift is another DVD. He LOVES the show 'Wonder Pets'. I think it is on Nickelodeon. So, I bought him a DVD of a few episodes. HE ADORES it.
The last photo is of some mystery gifts. He is standing on one of them that he already opened, then he is opening the other one. These were brought to my parents house on Christmas Eve by an anonymous person. I am so grateful for whoever brought them.

Last year, and throughout the year since Aaron passed away, there have been things done for us anonymously and not anonymously that have been so helpful and SO kind. I wish I could thank everyone who has been so generous and loving this past year. This is the best I can do, I guess. Hopefully people read my blog who have done so much for us. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I am truly grateful for the generous spirits of such wonderful people. Thank you all.
You all know who you are... those who have been so kind to us.

This gift is from Aaron Sr. (Daddy). He bought this for Aaron Jr. a couple of years ago, but the age says 5 and up. So, we never opened it for him. It has been floating around our house for those two years and when I found it again, I wrapped it up for Aaron Jr. so that he would have a gift to open from his Daddy. He bought it because when I was in labor with Aaron Jr. in the hospital, ever since then, Aaron has reminded me that there was a documentary on the TV about sharks. He always brought that up when we saw anything to do with sharks. So that is why he bought this for Aaron Jr. Plus, the shark's name is Bruce, that doesn't hurt... since that is my brother's name who passed away. :)
I loved having him open this gift from Daddy this year.

When my sister Lisa and I were little, all four of us girls in the family got a quilt that was made by our mom. A Holly Hobbie quilt. The two older girls were old enough to know to take care of their quilts. Lisa and I were little, so they came with us everywhere. Sooner than later, they were raggety and falling apart and had to be discarded. Well, a few years ago, we were talking about this with our mom and telling her how sad we were that our quilts weren't around anymore because they were treasures. This Christmas, Lisa and I were given these as gifts. My mom went online and found a pillow that was shaped like Holly Hobbie and cut it apart to make these quilts for us. She used an old photo of the quilts to make sure everything was as close to the original as possible. My mom told us that these two little quilts are the last quilts my mom will ever hand quilt. What treasures these will be. Thank you Mom, these are priceless.

On a side note: a few years ago, I was telling Aaron about these quilts and what had happened to them. Well, that Christmas under the tree were wrapped two of the same pillows that my mom had found. He ordered them on eBay and gave them to me for Christmas. He had never heard of Holly Hobbie, so for him to remember that and then look for them online... was so thoughtful. I have those pillows still and they will be displayed with this quilt. I am surrounded by such thoughtful people.

Aaron Jr. EXTREME close up. Love it.

Here is the Nativity at the Harkness home that night.

Aaron Jr. as Joseph.

Here are the PJs that Aaron's parents gave to all the grandkids this year. The girl's were all red and white and the boy's were all green and white. They looked SO cute.

Aaron Jr. and Leslie (me).

Here is Aaron Jr. getting ready to drift off to sleep. He was being so sweet that night, I had to take a bunch of photos.

Leslie and Aaron Jr. This is our Christmas photo for this year.
Christmas was good. It didn't feel like Christmas until Christmas Eve. When all of my family members started showing up to my parents house, then it started to feel like Christmas. Without Aaron here, it is just so difficult to really get into all of the holidays throughout the year. Aaron continues to be missed each and every day. Our memories that we have of him are treasures that we will be blessed with forever.
Christmas was a beautiful day and a wonderful day for us to remember the birth of Jesus Christ and his amazing life that he lived... for us.
I am grateful for FAMILY. Family is a treasure and I am grateful for all the people in my life that I can call FAMILY. Thank you all.

This is our last Christmas photo with Aaron here.
Christmas 2006. We love and miss you, Aaron...
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Karlyn said...

I remember that you always had a candle lit for Bruce on Holidays, that is such a great idea. I am glad to see that you are doing too.

I have to say, you really are incredible!! I loved this post. I love that you got some anonymous gifts and that you had a gift from Daddy. So special. You are such a great mom.

I love the picture of you and Aaron Jr. where he is straining his eyes to look at you!! You can just see the love.

Valeri said...

So precious! I LOVE the stocking story! That is just so so sweet. I can totally picture Aaron needing your help with the bobbin. What a tender memory that must be for you. I'm glad you had a good Christmas.

It was so nice seeing you earlier this week!

Tawnie said...

loved the post. Where does Mom fit in all the grandkid gifts AND those hand stitched???? quilts?!!! What!!! She is so amazing!!! They are darling. Love ya!

The Kimball Herd said...

Merry Christmas Leslie- Sending love from afar!
Love us

Kristi said...

I am so glad that you and Aaron stayed the whole time we were here. It was fun having you guys around. I am so bummed to be leaving tomorrow.

Tabitha said...

Gorgeous photos Leslie ~ I am so glad that you enjoyed Christmas with all your family!
I too loved Hollie Hobbie when I was younger and my sister and I both had Hollie Hobbie dolls ~ so those quilts brought back happy memories for me.
Take care my friend.
Love and hugs Tabitha XXX

Liz said...

Aaron was truly a very thoughtful person. You look so good to have just woke up.

Mindy said...

I love that Aaron made you a stocking and bought you the holly hobbie pillows! What thoughtful gifts! I also love the quilts your mom made. I still have a raggedy ann doll that she made for me when I was little, and I will always treasure it.

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