(Or maybe we could, but we just couldn't find the place to do it).
Anyway, I (thankfully) realized that we would be driving past our traditional Christmas tree cutting area just a few days after Thanksgiving or, in other words, at the perfect time to cut down a Christmas tree. So on our jaunt home from Colorado (if you can call an eight-hour drive a jaunt), we stopped to chop. When we found a good spot to go look for a tree, Asher yelled, "Let's go chop down CHRISTMAS!"
Unfortunately, our "good spot" was not actually so good. We loaded everyone back in the car and drove further. No luck. We turned around and drove to a spot before the first place we'd stopped where we saw another car actually stopped. And with a tree on top. Bingo.
We wandered for a while until we found the perfect tree. Ryan did the hard work while I wrangled the boys. And, of course, the boys got to help with the last inch or so of cutting, per tradition. Ryan hauled the tree back to the car and we (okay, he) tied the tree to the top.
We stopped ten minutes later to re-tie the tree down.
Then we got on the freeway and stopped another five minutes later because the tree was getting too much wind under it and was lifting like crazy when we got up to speed. Finally, the tree situation was under control. I would look up through the sunroof at intervals to make sure nothing crazy was happening, but I thought we were finally going to be able to just drive home.
I was wrong.
About 45 miles away from home, the battery warning light came on in our car and the warning screen told us that the battery was not charging. A non-charging battery did not seem like an ideal situation, so we made a quick call to Ryan's dad to see if he had any insight. What I learned from Ryan's dad was definitely sobering: if the battery weren't charging, we were running solely on the power it had. So we might make it all the way, but there was no way to tell. And, when the battery ran out of power, the car would stop working. Which wouldn't exactly be ideal.
I hung up to conserve battery life--my phone was dead and Ryan's had 6% battery and we knew that we very well might be calling a tow truck in the near future. We immediately said a prayer during which I barely held it together. After the prayer, Reed, half crying, asked, "Are we going to be okay?" Talk about a broken heart. But it was a good opportunity to talk about Heavenly Father and how He would help protect us even if the car didn't make it all the way home. We then turned off the dash lights, the DVD player (much to Asher's dismay), the air, and anything we could think of that was pulling power (unfortunately, it was dark outside and we needed our headlights, or those would have been off, too!). Then we did what anyone would do: started singing Christmas songs, of course. Asher requested Jingle Bells approximately 8 times in a row. Reed wanted to sing Christmas Bells are Ringing and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. We played the ABC game. Anything to distract the boys and Lila, who cried whenever we weren't singing or playing.
And in the middle of the sing-a-long, Asher said, "MOMMY! I know! We should say a special prayer that our Christmas tree won't fall off the car!!!!!" We said a special prayer, even though I was long past worrying about the tree. And we made it all the way home. Ryan looked at the car the next day and found out the alternator needed to be replaced, which was something he was able to do (thankfully). I am so grateful that we were able to make it home safely and know that we were watched over.
And, on a lighter note, when we cutting down our tree we thought we had 10' ceilings. We came home and discovered we have 9' ceilings--which wouldn't have been a problem, but our tree was 9'4". Nothing a saw can't fix!
|Happy doll during our outing.|
|Asher discovered that snow is a good medium for drawing pictures.|
|Asher helping cut the tree.|
|Reed helping cut the tree.|
|The part of the tree that didn't make the "cut" haha.|