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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking (not recipes) (10/16/08)

TITLE: Sweet Notes
By Janice Fitzpatrick


Sweet Notes

“Dear Daddy, I miss you. I’m helping momma make cookies and we’ll give you some. I know you like chocwat chip and peanut butter da best but we made wots of sugar cookies too.

I made a baby Jesus in the manger. I fwosted it gold. “You know why?” “Cuz Jesus is King and he needed it to be the best. My Sunday school teacher says that he was bone in a stinky stable and that his bed had scwatchy stuff in it.” He should have had bwankets and toys.

“I also made a star just like the one we made a wish on before you went away daddy. Have you seen any camels? I like camels. I think they’re cool but momma says they spit. If I spit I’d get a time out, huh?"

"Pwease email momma and me.
Love, Jaden.”
Karen tried not to laugh as she carefully typed exactly what their pint sized baker dictated.

She had hoped for his sake that his father would reply yet today. Soon the pajama clad speaker now was tying a cushion on his back and walking across the dining room on all fours. “Look, I’m a camel momma.”

Karen grinned and wagged a warning finger, “You better not be a spitting camel.” Jaden giggled loudly. “No, I belong to the wise guys.” “Ah, the wise men.” Karen corrected him gently. “Yep, like the ones we made.”

“Mr. Camel, I need to go outside but I’ll be back in a minute. “Ok,” the padded animal plodded down the hallway. She headed towards the door.

The sun came in patches across the solemn oak trees that stood as silent soldiers beneath a crowded sky. The cold bit at her bare cheeks as she headed out down the long driveway.

She felt like a child again, full of anticipation of a long awaited gift, as her steps became swifter through the fresh fallen snow.

It seemed like just yesterday that Ryan and her had first settled into the tiny cape cod house with a new bundle of hope and joy. Before long he was assigned to Iraq and the brief leave he was given two years ago was the most recent memory she had of him.

Caring for Jaden, sending parcels of baked goods and writing
helped to ease the pain and gave her a sense of purpose.

All of a sudden a loud cry interrupted her thoughts. “Wet me get it.” Before she could turn around a small whirlwind of flour, frosting, and oversized camouflage hunting boots stomped past her and arrived at the mailbox.

Thick mittens made it difficult to grasp the stack of letters and they landed in a heap on the ground, along with the cushion.

She brushed some of the snow off as eager eyes watched her sift through the handful of mail. Her heart raced. She could only hope.

They had been conversing through email when possible, in between the letters, but she hadn’t heard from him for weeks.

“Did we get a wetter from daddy?” Puffs of wonder filled the brisk morning air. She saw the familiar writing. Sgt. Phelps “Yes honey,
we’ll read it together while we’re waiting for the cookies to cool.”

They headed back into the house where the warmth engulfed them with invisible arms of sweetness. Karen hoped that her husband and his company experienced the same feeling when their packages arrived.

Between bites of the sugary coated treat Jaden carefully looked at the photos that daddy had sent while Karen began to read the note.


How’s my girl and my little man?” “Are you helping with the chore’s son? It’s been a long week. We ran into some trouble but God is watching over us. J.T. says to please make your Christmas goodies early.

“Is this J.T.?” A blue and yellow frosted finger pointed to the young
man clad in uniform, who stood next to Ryan and a few other guys
in the photo. “Yep, he was the best man in our wedding.”

“Then I’m going to give him the best.” She smiled at her little chef
as she logged onto her email account.“I think I’ll make J.T. a golden baby Jesus cookie.” He held the cutter high as his high angel voice filled the air,”We Three Kings of Oreo are, sharing gifts, we twavel so far….”

Karen’s heart skipped a beat. A new message came across the screen." Hi, it’s your favorite soldier.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Melanie Kerr 10/25/08
A sweet story. I liked the idea of the notes. It must have been a challenge for the mother to type the dictated note without correcting the spellings! Cute!
Joshua Janoski10/26/08
We often forget about the soldiers who will be spending their holidays away from their families.

I thought the letter at the beginning was cute. At first I wondered why the mother didn't correct the kid's speech while she was typing, but then I saw where it was intentional on her part. :)

A heartwarming story. I appreciate you sharing this with all of us.
Holly Westefeld10/27/08
Delightful! The child's voice was great.