Sunday, December 30, 2007


This was the best Christmas yet with the boys. Not only did they seem to understand more about why we celebrate this time of year, but they played so well with their cousins, aunts and uncles, that Eric and I thoroughly enjoyed some time to play games and chill with his relatives. Elijah, Maggie and Gracie (Rex and Lynn's twin 4 1/2 year old girls) played all afternoon and until midnight Christmas Day! 0 arguments or tantrums... it was a new day. He felt very grown up being allowed to stay up until midnight. Micah and Isaiah did well all day too- Micah playing with the twins and Isaiah playing mostly by himself as he always does these days, but they went to sleep in Aunt Becky's bed at their normal time.

The only unfortunate part of our holiday was that on Christmas Eve, while the van was parked in Nana and Papa's driveway unlocked for 2 hours between trips, someone stole our portable DVD player and digital camera. They also took my purse, but upon finding no money they dumped it in the neighbor's yard. I'm really thankful that they returned my purse as replacing all those cards and things can be such a pain. Yes, we learned to keep our van doors locked even in broad daylight, and sadly, we won't have any Christmas pictures to post. So, if anyone has an old digital camera that you'd like to sell or donate,... :)

Merry Christmas everyone! If you didn't get a copy of our Christmas letter and you'd like to have one, leave me a comment and I'll send it on to you. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

O Happy Day!

I think I've attempted cookie baking and decorating every year since Elijah 18 months old. I've tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to get the boys involved in the process in the hopes of creating a longstanding family tradition.
Finally, this year will go down in infamy as the first truly successful Christmas cookie baking and decorating event. Things I've learned along the way:
1. Only involve willing participants. If all 3 kiddos don't want to use the cookie cutters, don't cajole, bribe or beg, just invite them to join in if they show interest... and everyone will show interest in icing.
2. Bake a small batch. Attempting to supervise 3 toddlers with icing while continuing to bake additional pans of cookies is a recipe for icing in hair and under chairs while 2 dozen sugar cookies get eaten by 3 children.
3. Short bursts of activity. Fun with cookie cutters, then go play while cookies bake and cool and Mommy makes icing and cleans up. Kids return when all decorating supplies are ready. Yes, this means washing hands and faces twice, but the result of overworked cookie bakers is disastrous.
4. Have individual supplies ready. Each child gets their own 3 cookies to decorate, 2 dixie cups with small amounts of colored icing and a plastic knife that stays in each cup. The icing is different colors so trading is encouraged and welcomed.
5. Get all family members involved. Being prepared enough so that Mommy and Daddy could both sit down too went a long way I think.
6. Age matters. An 18 month will probably not see the beauty in a decoratively iced cookie- but a 2 1/2 year old just might. :)

A River Runs Through It

OK, maybe not a river, but certainly a healthy stream. After several days of rain, our new favorite afternoon excursion is to the park at the bottom of the hill, not to play at the park, but to explore all aspects of the stream that runs behind the park. The boys and I went one afternoon, and we took Daddy along with us this past Thursday. To our northern friends, you will notice that the date WAS December 20th, and we WERE playing in a stream wearing sweatshirts- no jackets, mittens or hats. Crazy.Isaiah is fishing with a weeping willow branch. No bait, no hook- the best way to fish in my opinion. They usually end up swatting at those little bugs that glide along the top of the water with their willow branches.
This little rock ledge is a favorite spot, and when the boys and I go without daddy, our rule is only one kid on the rock at a time for obvious reasons. Since Eric was there to carry home a wet kid if need be, we risked it, but everyone stayed dry. You think we'll have a white Christmas?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Santa pics

I think Micah's looking a little GQ in this picture- skillfully avoiding looking directly at the camera- "show me wistful..good. yeah.. now apathy... good.. good..."
Isaiah... just looks old- so grown up. Where oh where did my baby go?
Elijah. He hesitated just for a moment this year before hopping up on Santa's knee. He glanced at us with a look that hinted, just for a second, "Am I too big to sit on this strange man's lap?" Who knows, this may be the last year for his Santa photo.
Wilmore Old Fashioned Christmas strikes again. Such a lovely little family tradition. We learned from last year, and timed our walk from our house to Santa downtown so as to avoid the rush. Isaiah was much more confident this year as well. For a peak at last year's event, click here.

First Basketball Game

Elijah came home from school a few months ago asking to play on a basketball team, so we signed him up for YMCA basketball. Two practices, a team T-shirt and group picture later, he had his first game.

Elijah's team is the Heat and they have 8 players. Four of the players are 6 year olds and 4 are 5 and it is obvious who is who. The six year olds dribble with ease and shoot at EVERY given opportunity. The 5 year olds are expert defenders, shuffling from side to side with their hands up, but if the 6 year olds ever follow the coach's advice and pass to the 5s, they inevitably drop the ball and there is a mad scramble as 8-10 little bodies go scampering across the floor to reemerge with the ball.

Some questions I had going in-
1. Q- How do you determine when a 5 year old is traveling and what do you do about it? Most of them hold the ball and run until the coach reminds them to dribble.
A- The ref blows his whistle for the player to stop (if he's not dribbling), and tells him to pass the ball. I guess the message is that if you can't dribble yet, become an expert passer.

2. Q- Will any of them really make any baskets? The baskets are 8 feet high.
A- There was one "Shaq" on each team. They don't keep score but my guess would be that our Shaq- Christian- scored about 5 baskets. The other team's Shaq- Brady- scored probably 3 or 4.
If you know Elijah, you could probably guess that he had no idea what the score was nor did he care, and while the other kids were asking the coach "who won... did we win?" he was busy eating his poptart. He did prove to me today though, that it is possible to enjoy a sport when you're not very competitive.

3. Q- Quaters? How long will they play, and will Elijah be disappointed about not playing as much as the 6 year olds?
A- Four, 5 minute quarters I think- although the last two seemed to go a lot more quickly than the first two. They started with a jump ball for each quarter and Elijah got more than enough play time. In fact, twice he asked to go back to the bench citing injury as the reason. Truth be told, I think he was having as much fun hanging out with his buddies on the bench as he was on the court. At one point their team made a basket and the coach turned around to high five the 3 boys on the bench. They were so involved in whatever they were laughing about that they didn't even notice the basket. Coach just smiled.

Their coach is great. He has been really encouraging to Elijah, telling him that he's improving a lot. He works with him one-on-one quite a bit and Elijah really listens and follows his directions- well, until something more entertaining comes along.
So that was our day.

We'll keep you posted on his athletic development. :)

Simile Metaphor Collection

Elijah after running: My heart is beating like a coconut rolling down a hill.
Elijah on urination: Pee is like horses galloping out of the gate. Once they get started you just can't stop them.
Elijah: If school were a human I'd give it a wedgie.
Elijah: I am like a hot rod and I just want to be a plain old Ford
Elijah on the fruits of the spirit: I've got them all covered except self-control. Its like a tiny green tomato and the rest are all big ripe ones. Especially love. Its like the biggest tomato we saw in the garden tonight.