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Christmas Spirit in the early 1900s

December 16, 2012

I love how our kids, on their own accord, think to leave little notes for complete strangers. I love how Katie (who started the tradition a year or so ago) knows the value of serving others. I love how Michael doesn’t hesitate to join in the thanks, in his own way!

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Nate & I were so delighted to retrieve Clare mid-morning from her godparents. She’s never been away from us overnight and we were missing our little girl. Now, mind you, we all commented how nice it was to have some time without her antics, but we were all happy to have our munchkin back. I must admit, that I was so relieved to find out she enjoyed her time with her godparents and they enjoyed her. We were told she was perfect and beyond that, she didn’t even cry once. I’m not sure we really believe them, but I’m delighted that our kids (and I’m sure all kids to some degree) have an inherent sense of having to be good. Thank God for grace and thank God for the generosity of friends to care for and love on her so completely! They tease us though about having to rent a uhaul to load up all her gear. To be fair, they also teased me about the manual of details I left for them. In fact, they kept it saying they were going to give it to her when she turned 20. Very funny!!

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From there, we were off to celebrate a little Christmas cheer at the Atlanta History Center. Oh how we love the Atlanta History Center! They definitely didn’t disappoint today in the caliber of this year’s programming. What an incredible day! The member’s only lounge was an added bonus…crafts, cookie decorating, and Santa Claus.

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(Nate with a note on why Santa is sitting on the floor with Clare: This was the second attempt at a “Clare picture” with Santa. The first attempt did not go well. Sara tried to simply put Clare on the floor at Santa’s feet, while the older two kids stood on either side. But Clare would stand up immediately and walk toward Mommy. About 30 minutes later, Clare walks toward Santa on her own, turns and sits at his feet! And rather than lift her to his lap, Santa moves to the floor, allowing Sara to take the picture above. Also, Santa remembered her name, saying, as she walked toward him, “This is Clare, right?”. Sara and I both felt very blessed.)

With an hour left in the day’s programming, we visited the Swan House and entered the year 1933.

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The Inman chauffeur shared stories of his racing adventures and cross-country trips with Mr. Inman.

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We also heard from one of the African American maids who was interviewing for holiday help. I did not realize that the grandchildren (who moved in after Mr. Inman’s death) would have eaten in the butler’s kitchen with the servants as they did not yet possess manners suitable for eating with the adults in either dining room.

Michael had seen the Swan House gardens from the Master bedroom/bath and wanted desperately to walk them.

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Who am I not to oblige when it’s 59F in mid-December? (I’d like to edit this post later this week and include a photo of KT and Michael on this elephant from 4 years ago. We’ll see if I get the hard-drive out though to actually do it.)

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The Tullie Smith farm has always been of the kids’ favorites, and today, Nate declares it his favorite also. The kids got to dip their own candles. The wax was actually animal fat as beeswax required a bee farm which was not present on the Tullie estate.

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However, the real highlight, for everyone was getting to watch the blacksmith.

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We actually visited his “shop” twice…once at the beginning and then got some one-on-one time with him at the of the day’s programming. The kids were asking as many questions as Nate & I. It was really interesting. Although, what he crafts in these demonstrations are later used on the farm itself, he was incredibly generous and let the kids have an over-the-door hook that he made while they were watching. FUN!

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I love that the day was both fun and educational…for all of us! I love that Clare, even without a nap, seemed to enjoy the day outside as much as the rest of us.

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I think this picture says a lot! I consider it a great day when the older kids look like they need a nap, and as if on cue, our little Energizer Bunny just keeps on going.

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Thank you Atlanta History Center for hosting us today. We can’t wait for your next programming. It just keeps getting better!

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