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December, 2011:

The Hunt For The Perfect Tree

After we got back from our Turkey Week trip to MN, we took a snowy day and headed up to the forest to cut down our perfect Christmas Tree!!!

…For those of you who are appalled by us going into the forest to cut down a live tree, I offer some information. There are designated tree cutting areas where you can go. They limit the area so you thin the area of the forest that needs it. You can’t cut down a tree with a diameter more than 6″, so you’re helping thing out the smaller trees and make the forest healthier. You have to buy a permit to do it, so the forest service makes a good chunk of money while we help them improve the health of the forest…

We were a little worried about the roads because we’d had a snowstorm earlier in the week, but it turned out not too bad.

We drove around the forest road for a while before we saw these people tying an awesome tree to their roof, so we turned around and parked in their spot after they left. We got all bundled up and headed up the hill on the trek for the perfect tree! It really didn’t take us too long to find our tree. We got to the top of the hill, and when we looked down, we saw this beauty right in the middle of the forest . . . just waiting for us.

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Do you see it? Our perfect tree? Of course we wanted it and it would fit perfectly in our basement tree spot! So the kiddos hopped on the sled and took off down the hill toward our tree.

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When they got to the bottom, Hubby asked them to stand next to the tree so we could do our anual measure to make sure it was big enough, but not too tall. Of course, the kiddos were clueless to his ultimate plan :-)

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Yes – they are under there :-) Good thing Princess was holding on to the sled so she could find her way out!!! We of course had to get our family photo with our perfect tree in the forest before the kiddos chopped it down.

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Like always, Dude had custody of the saw and took the first shot at the trunk.

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He eventually surrendered the saw to Princess, but was less than thrilled that he, the Boy Scout, did not get to cut down the entire tree!

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They finally got the trunk sawed through, knocked the tree over, and loaded it onto the sled for the trek back to the FunRunner. It’s amazing how much smaller the tree looks in the forest next to all those giant trees! Check out how long the tree is compared to the FunRunner.

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Hubby and Dude did the tree tying, making sure to use new rope instead of old twine . . . they did not want a repeat of last year, when the twine broke and the tree flew off the roof of the Jeep (which I still giggle about uncontrollably when I think of it!). Princess was too short to help, so she stomped around the area, playing with whatever she could find :-)

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We made a pit stop in Woodland Park for some warm drinks. Turns out, The Donut Mill is right next door to Starbucks! So while I went in and got mochas and peppermint hot chocolates, hubby and the kiddos went next door to get some of the yummiest donuts on the planet. We had an awesome drive home, without the tree flying off the roof at Interstate speeds, which is always a bonus.

Turns out, the tree was a lot taller than we thought. We knew we’d have to cut some of it off to fit into the house, but we didn’t think we’d have to cut 4 feet off! We love our tree, which is wedged between the floor and the ceiling – definitely not going anywhere even if Tonks does decide to go for a climb :-)

Our one bummer for the tree? Dude has gotten even more allergic to the live trees. You would think we would’ve known that before now . . . we did know. But every year it has seemed to get worse. So, sadly, this will be our last live tree :-( Dude didn’t get it – how can we live in the forest with a bazillion trees but he’s allergic to the tree in the house? Well . . . he IS allergic to the trees outside, especially when they polinate in the spring, but his winter allergies really flared up when we put a live tree in the house with all the windows closed and the furnace on blowing the tree stuff right out his bedroom vent.

Hubby and I ended up buying a new prelit artifical tree for next year already. We found a couple that we liked for 50% off, so we went for it :-)

Hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Sleeping Princesses

Princess was very tired when we got home for our Turkey Week trip to MN; however, she had missed her Tonks. She just had to see and love and pet Tonks before bed.

Apparently, nature took over and made her actually sleep while allowing her to pet and love Tonks at the same time :-)

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This is the First Time!

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Hey! This is the first time I’ll play my trumpet with braces!

Wow! This is the first time I’ll eat lunch at school with braces!

This is the first time I’ll go cut down a Christmas Tree with braces!

This is the first time I’ll go snowboarding with braces!

This is the first time I’ll jump on the trampoline with braces!

This is the first time I’ll decorate the Christmas Tree with braces!

This is the first time I’ll sleep with braces!

This is the first time I’ll pet Duma with braces!

This is the first time I’ll ride in the FunRunner with braces!

This is the first time I’ll blink my eyes . . . brush my teeth . . . walk . . . think . . . with braces!

 

It’s amazing how many “firsts” an 11 year old can have :-)