"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Thursday, December 28, 2006

In with the new

Despite the lingering sniffles and coughs (which the boys graciously shared with their cousins) we had another wonderful Christmas. We were up by seven, and the presents were unwrapped in mere minutes. There were a few blips this year.... the remote control garbage truck that Mike had to tinker with for an hour just to get it to work; the new PS2 game that wouldn't play; the hockey game that lost a stick after just two days of use. In the end though, none of that mattered. The garbage truck works fine now, we have a call in to get a new Playstation, and are ordering a replacement player for the hockey game. There are plenty of other things to keep the boys busy in the meantime. And keeping busy they are!! On Christmas Day, Sandi and Mitch came over with the kids, and we spent the day visiting, playing with kids' new toys and games, and laughing. Lots of laughing. Spencer and Paxton occasionally disappeared, and spied on us using their new periscopes. We played outside with the new sand table. Played swingball. Broke in the new sidewalk chalk. Played Spencer's new card game, Qwitch. Watched Elf. Made creations with Playdough. It was a good day, and it was just like I remembered from my own childhood.

Mike had the day after Christmas off, and the play continued. The hockey game got lots of use (until it broke), the boys tried out their new pottery wheel, and we built and created and colored and chatted. We played with the pattern blocks (one of my favorites), and did project after project with the new electronics lab. Yesterday Spencer and I made a shirt with his new tie-dye kit, and today he plans to start building a model house.

The house is a complete mess at the moment, but it's a joyful mess. Joyful messes are good.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Santa Claus

Santa is currently over Kasakhstan. http://www.noradsanta.com/en/map/index.php We'll track him all day, while we play and watch movies and get ready for tomorrow. No one is 100%, but fevers are gone, spirits are high, and everyone is looking forward to tomorrow morning.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

5 days till Christmas

5 days till Christmas and all through the house
No one is healthy, not even a mouse

Actually that's not true. I'm pretty healthy, and the rats are pretty healthy. But Everett is still congested, Spencer is a sneezy mess, and Paxton is couch bound, feeling lousy with a fever and cough. Ah, cold and flu season. My main goal (my only goal) for the week is to rest, play, and get these kids healthy in time for Christmas.

Last week was another visit that passed all too quickly, and was enjoyed by everyone, even my poor sick kids. I had grand plans to chronicle the week in detail, but alas it's not to be, at least right now. Instead, the pictures! Hopefully they'll speak for themselves. God bless Rockyou.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Winter Wonderland

Mom and Dad have safely returned back to New Hampshire, and the visit was quick and memorable. We had a big holiday feast on the patio, we walked around the zoo in short sleeves, we went hiking in the desert, and the only snow the kids played in was of the imported variety. Still, it feels like winter. It feels like a holiday.

Saturday, they came down to visit and see the house for the first time. The boys were happy to give them a tour, and we spent the afternoon visiting and catching up. Sunday we had a huge Thanksgiving/Christmas feast, complete with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, wine, pies, and all the trimmings. After we ate, we followed our annual post-Thanksgiving tradition of going for a walk, this time in a nearby desert park. The kids unwrapped Christmas presents when we returned, and it was a fun end to a great day.

Monday we went up to Mom and Dad's new house for the afternoon, for lunch, hanging out, and playing pool in the clubhouse. Tuesday was a trip to the zoo. One of my favorite things about the zoo is that no two visits are ever alike. This time our first stop was the new stingray exhibit, where we got to pet, and feed, a huge pool of stingrays. VERY cool!! We stopped at the flamingoes (Isaac's favorite), the zebras (Paxton's favorite) ,rode the carousel, and spent the rest of our stay watching the squirrel monkeys.

Wednesday was the first day of our cabinet re-facing, so we spent the day out, visiting at Sandi's house. The kids all had colds - and still have colds - but still enjoyed the swingset and sandbox as much as always. We went with them to the community center while Anabelle had her gymnastics class, and played foosball, pool, and air hockey while we waited. Spencer and Paxton both made an instant friend, who joined them in their games.

Thursday we stayed home while the cabinets were completed. On Friday, Mom and Dad came down again, and we went shopping, went out for lunch, and spent the afternoon playing water balloons with the kids.

This past Saturday, their last day in AZ, was arguably the best day yet, at least for the kids. We went to a winter carnival, complete with snow for them to play in, bouncy houses and slides, pony rides, and cotton candy. They had a great time, and it was a fun way to cap off the week.

Mom and Dad are already planning their next trip out for March, and we're counting down the days.

Here are some pictures from the week!

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

A night of rest

Tonight is the first night in a LONG time that we haven't had a project going... no painting, no hanging blinds, no unpacking, no setting up tv stands. Mike and the boys are relaxing with PS2, and in a little while we'll all retire to the other room to catch up on Survivor. We have been working like crazy people on the house, but it is finally, blissfully, almost done. Tonight Mom and Dad arrived from NH to visit for a week, and tomorrow we'll all get together for a big fancy Thanksgiving/Christmas feast.

Some worth-mentioning notes about the kids:

The other day Spencer asked me what hip-hop music was, so I found a random hip-hop band on MySpace, and they danced and danced until they collapsed with exhaustion. They've all been learning lots of Spanish, and Spencer surprised me the other day while I was coloring with Everett - he knows almost every color in Espanol. Everett has been showing an interest in shapes lately, and was naming some of them off to me while we looked at a book. He came to a heart, and called it a "kiss", which I thought was one of the sweetest things I've ever heard. Paxton and I have made about a million snowflakes for the Salvation Army at this site http://www.popularfront.com/snowdays and I'm sure will make a million more. Tuesday night we all watched Charlie Brown Christmas. It's been awhile since I've seen it, and I so loved getting to enjoy it with the kids. They loved it, and were especially in awe of the fact that it was made before Mike and I were even born.


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