Merry Early Christmas

December 7, 2009

For Christmas this year, instead of giving presents, we decided to give one big, huge family gift.

A trip to California to experience Legoland and Sea World.

All of our children are now wearing diapers because of the excitement-levels inherent in these two extraordinarily high-priced theme parks.

After 82,000 hours of searching for a rental house to…… for the week, I found one that totally rocked, except the agency wasn’t exactly jumping up and down with excitement about renting it to a family of 11. 

Nine of whom are kids and not sober, couch-sitting, theology-discussing adults that we are claiming as dependents on our taxes just so we can bring them along with us on vacations because, ya know, wouldn’t THAT be a ton of laughs!


The house we’re renting is in an exclusive, gated enclave of homes that costs more than we will ever make in our lives.  Unless we live to be 5000 years old.

And we were able to afford this house because it’s the off-season.  Plus, I wanted a house that was in an enclave because that’s a cool word, isn’t it?

Needless to say, we don’t exactly fit in.  You know what I’m saying?

When we arrived and were unpacking the van, a generic can of refried beans fell out of a box, rolled down the driveway and out into the street.

Way out.

And do you know how big of a redneck I was, running out into the street in my Goodwill clothes, behind me our van with the dent in the bumper, and my nine kids inside the house, squealing and sliding around on the marble floors in their socks, yelling at me to come see the two ovens and the huge fridge and the fountain in the side yard and the TV screens so massive they could be used as stretchers?

We so don’t fit in here.

And then, this afternoon, we were getting ready to take the kids to a playground in this area, and I put on my running skirt in case there was a track nearby, but I didn’t put on my weird Five Fingers shoes because it was a little chilly and I don’t have socks to wear with them yet.  So I had on a long-sleeved t-shirt, my running skirt, and my favorite socks in the whole world…..striped Smartwool kneesocks.  Basically, I looked like a 40-year-old Pippi Longstocking except with brown, short, curly hair.   And 15-Year-Old told me that I looked like a total dork, but in a fairly-respectful way if that’s possible, so I told her that there was no. possible. way. that I was NOT going to look like a dork in this exclusive enclave with nine kids, a 15-passenger van, southern accent, and thrift store clothes, so I really wasn’t going to try because I really don’t care AND I’m used to not fitting in anyway so I’m just going to be comfortable and warm because what’s the point?

But I AM livin’ it up and enjoying every minute of the enclave.

See?  I told you it was a cool word.

Except now?  I just looked up the word “enclave” to make sure that I’ve been using it correctly this whole time and here is what the definition was…..

A detached mass of tissue enclosed in tissue of another kind.

Boy, that’s embarrassing.


8 Responses to “Merry Early Christmas”

  1. Susan said

    What a great Christmas present. Sounds like you are all having fun.

    And what a gross word.

  2. l.ann said

    What a great Christmas present! I bet the kids are just bursting at the seam with excitement. We don’t give our girls birthday “presents” anymore. We’ve been giving them experiences – and have thought of doing something of the same for Christmas too, but aren’t creative enough to come up with a *cool* idea!
    So, Susan has snow and you have that cool *enclave* (lol) PLUS Legoland – I think today is a day of envy ;o)

  3. Patti said

    you have a RUNNING skirt? I’m new-ish. Explain the fascination with skirts.

    • oliveplants said

      There is a new running fad going on called running skirts but they are mostly very short skorts or something similar. I have an exercise skirt that comes to my knees and has attached shorts underneath. I love it and that’s what I run in. My fascination with skirts? We are trying to promote femininity and modesty in our girls and add a little girly-ness to society in general. It’s amazing how men act differently around females in feminine dress…..chivalrous and gentlemanly. Very nice! (Or maybe it’s just because they think think I’m old enough to be their mom.)

      • Patti said

        love it! At church, the ladies and girls ALWAYS wear skirts or dresses and the menfolk wear ties (and everything else that goes with ties), but you take it to the next level, which is much tougher. I like dresses in the summer because they are WAY cooler in the heat. Takes a real woman to wear a skirt/dress in the winter–even though you live in AZ where there is no such thing as winter…I tip my hat!

  4. Oklahoma Grandma said

    Would love to see a photo of your family (and you) on your blog! I have family in Tucson too. Since finding your blog, I check it daily. You have a wonderful gift for writing.

  5. Old friend said

    Enjoying your blog! We are old friends from early college days in NC. So happy to hear that you & BH are happy & fruitful!! (Wow…9 kids & homeschooling?! You are an amazing woman!) Enjoy your trip, it sounds fabulous! Merry Christmas!

  6. mama olive said

    Funny! And I totally relate. We recently stayed at some golf club/resort thing, and it was a very similar feeling.

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