Thursday, December 22, 2011

More Nativity Adventures

I know you are really curious to know what's been happening in the the creche.

Let me tell you things over there are hopping.

Although it is worth mentioning that as soon as I stopped telling Miss Thing that
she couldn't play with all my toys she has seemed much more interested in 
finding Harry George who she loves to find but absolutely will not touch.

I think she may be afraid.
I have to admit after thumbing through this site I can say that I blame her.

So, Baby Jesus apparently is still into flute playing angels.

Who wouldn't be?




And Joseph is sleeping on the job.




It's bad enough Mary had to change swaddling clothes, but for Joseph not to help...
that's just not cool.



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's important to learn your math facts

Hero Husband and I went to Las Vegas

We played lots of games.

Yay for me, I didn't stink at blackjack.

It had nothing to do with the dealer going really slowly and teaching me how to play.

So when we got home and the Wee Ones were getting frustrated with their math homework
I had an A+ parenting idea (see the school connection there)

I would teach my kids how to play blackjack to help them with their math facts!

Our "chips" were edible and sadly at the end of our lesson 
someone was going to have a small snack compared to the others.




Miss Thing apparently got my beginners luck




And once she had won everyone else's snack she was happy to 
stay.




By the end they were rattling off their math facts like little goldfish eating calculators.

My lesson was a success!

Now I just have to figure out what kind of math lesson can I use poker to teach.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

More Nativity Adventures

I decided shortly after this interaction with Miss Thing
that the things she says and does are much funnier, entertaining and
more worthy of remembering than keeping my nativity set unbroken.

Yes one of my sheep is already missing an ear.

This is a retroactive coping mechanism.

Mama, This shepherd is a girl.

Shepherd's can be girls.  For Real.




She's going to tell that King to get out of her yard
cause her sheep don't like kings.




Meanwhile the Baby Jesus is enjoying some music with his afternoon snuggle.

Can I have snuggles tonight at bedtime?




Yes my darling you can if you can tell me where the rest of the sheep's ear went.



Monday, December 19, 2011

Its the most wonderful time of the year


Hero Husband and I started a tradition.

It was kind of an accident.

For the last fourteen years we have 
ventured forth sometime after Thanksgiving
to choose a Christmas Tree for our home.

Each of those years we have gone to the Christmas Tree Farm just
outside of town and cut down our own.

The first year we went cause it just sounded like fun.

And then we liked it so much we just couldn't help
ourselves, to stop going now would break tradition
and we have been going back ever since.

Super Son and Miss Thing have enjoyed this
tradition each of their Christmases.

Some years the tree was shorter than others
but each year the hunt for the perfect tree has been a family adventure.

And this one was no exception.

We made it out the first day they were open, the day after Thanksgiving, and were
happy to find a tree that is perfectly tall.

Which is my way of saying, Honey grab the 16 foot ladder and 
why don't you change the lightbulbs in the ceiling fan while you are up there.

Which of course meant he brought out the 8 foot ladder
and proceeded to reach and lean while I held my breath.

Super Son and Miss Thing hung ornaments,




Polished the star




and Hero Husband placed it in its rightful spot.

Do you see the leaning?




I think for the topper on our first few Christmas trees we had a bow
or something equally mundane.

That was before I had actual decorations.

This tradition was on purpose.

Growing up I had an ornament for every year.

My Mom wouldn't let me have them 
until Hero Husband and I tied the knot.

And once I got them my tree was born.

This is one of my favorites.

She is missing a wing
and her snowflake is secure courtesy of some super glue.




So when Hero Husband and I celebrated our first Christmas together
I bought us this.




And every year since then we have an ornament

for us




 and for each year he has been in the department.




We have the set of art glass ornaments that my parents gave us 
the year we were married 




and with our Wee Ones we have added to our
decorations the handcrafted treats that our kids bring home from their 
adventures in the world.




But my favorite part is opening the box and going through them all

one by one

and remembering the special story behind each one.

Like the year I was pregnant with Miss Thing and while I would sleep away our
weekend mornings Hero Husband would take Super Son out
for a little treat and let me rest.




Or the year that Miss Thing wore pansy hair-clips nearly every day to keep her 
lovely long hair out of her eyes and we found a fairy
wearing the exact same flower.




Or the year that Super Son "flew" everywhere.
Including off of pieces of furniture I pleaded with him not to climb on 




And the year that he learned to ride his bike and she followed behind on her tricycle




They each have an ornament of their own
for each Christmas and when they grow up and move out I will 
refuse to let them have them for their own trees.

They can use bows too.

Because while I hated it at the time my Mom actually gave me one of
the traditions I am most excited to pass down.

The tradition of their first trees where I give them the ornaments
I have collected for them over their lives.

That is a Christmas where my tree will be very bare,
maybe my Wee Ones will loan me some bows
and you can bring me a glass of wine. 

I will definitely need it.




Friday, December 16, 2011

Hand-me-down


Miss Thing was on the playground with her cousins recently and 
one of them was wearing a jacket handed down from Super Son,
to Miss Thing, to Cousin J and then to Cousin K.

(Thank you Old Navy.  I think I got my moneys worth out of that one)

I sighed (and maybe whined a little) at the sight of the tiny little 
remembered jacket keeping my niece warm while she hopped about.





Miss Thing, hearing my sigh, gently explained to her cousin

"It's okay, it just hurts her heart when we grow up so fast."

I laughed a little at her simple understanding.

Yes sweetheart it does hurt, but don't worry.

It is a welcome hurt.  

One that I wouldn't trade.

One that makes me smile.

One that comes as my heart is stretched,

as it is continually molded and reshaped
and made into something more and more beautiful.  

Something in the shape of you.

For you my children, I'd hurt any day.




Thursday, December 15, 2011

Flea Market

Hero Husband heard from a friend who
knows a lady who had a neighbor who
bought some really great fruit trees
at the Flea Market just outside of town.

After the deer ate all of my peaches off the tree this year
I was happy to take a field trip and get some trees to plant in the
back where the deer can't get them.

The Wee Ones have never been to the Flea Market
and I haven't been in more years than I am willing to admit
cause it will date me and we can't have that.

Hero Husband laughed at me as I grabbed my camera.

We are here for trees you know.

Yes I know, but you don't know what other interesting things I'm going to find.

Just watch me.

Miss Thing promptly found the shiniest thing in the place.




I was less impressed by the shiny and more impressed
with anyone who could walk in these things.

Not to mention be taken seriously.

Although I must say the purple plaid might have been
even more impressive than the sequins.




I thanked her for her help and told her that
my next find would be more awesome than hers.

Green velour couches apparently don't count as awesome when you are 6.




but a rainbow of fully petticoated dresses do.




I loved the copper pots.




and she countered with a dancing monkey.

Man I have taught this girl well.

The vegetables were interesting and very colorful but she objected
because she didn't want to eat any of them




Finally we neared the end and it was down to the battle of the awesome.

Miss Thing's table of baby Jesus'




versus

Mamma's real live fortune teller with crystal ball and red velvet drapes.




Okay I'll admit it

She has an eye for the uncanny and awesome.

At least I get credit for being her Mom.

The Tree Guy was actually the first booth we saw when we got there
so by the time we saw everything else we stopped to choose our trees
on the way out.

Miss Thing picked a Plum tree

Super Son an Apple

Hero Husband chose a Fig

and I chose the Pear.

After winning the contest of awesome Miss Thing begged
and pleaded for a rose bush or twelve





but understood that I was very likely going to kill it
maybe even before we got it home.

Roses + Mama = Very bad things

and she was content to snack on a corn
during the ride home.




If these trees bear fruit we will definitely be back next year for more.




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A first time for everything

There are lots of things that I have never done.

I have never gone skydiving,

bungee jumping or 

played laser tag.

But this year I have done lots of things for the first time.

Thinking back on it I'm a little impressed with myself,
although some I would just assume never do again.

I pulled out someone else's tooth
set my face on fire with a marshmallow,
went to a Hall of Fame induction ceremony 
watched roller derby
went on a date with another woman,
fell down a flight of stairs, 
rode on amusement park rides until I was nauseous
went on a cross country RV trip with my family which by itself includes
cooking dinner at 80 miles per hour, seeing a lava field, horseback riding in the
Colorado Mountains, visiting the Grand Canyon, riding in a pink taxi cab 
I also swam in the dark and howled at the moon
became a pin-up girl
shopped in the best antique store in the whole wide world,
drove through the night with my best girls for a good cause
played Gay Bingo and envied a drag queen's boobs (Hi Jocelyn!),
survived the end of the world (although in all honesty I'm not sure that this is a first), 
took a painting class
rescued my husband from himself (although this too is probably not a first),
saw Jewel in a private fancy schmancy VIP concert,
and chased a rattlesnake into the bushes (admittedly not my smartest first).

Considering that the year is nearly done this may be my last first thing for the year.

Are you confused yet?

Yeah Me too.

A few weeks ago, for the first time, I went to watch a body-building competition.




And was completely blown away by the focus and 
the dedication that these people put into everything they do.




and their willingness to wear such tiny britches (these aren't really bathing suits are they?)




I feel very naive to not have known what a huge industry
this is and how good you have to be do do well in it. 





So I had the kids with me on this little adventure because we were there
to cheer very loudly (and somewhat obnoxiously I'm sure) for a very specific competitor.

Miss Thing couldn't help herself from going looking for him.

"Uncle Michael?  Where are you?"

All being spray tanned the same color put her at a disadvantage.
I don't think she could tell the people apart.




Hurry back Miss Thing!  There he is!




Yay Uncle Michael!  Woo Hoo!  AHHHHH!

This is where I would have wolf whistled if I knew how.

Hero Husband's brother was competing in the Physique division
of the Central Texas Showdown.

He has been working tremendously hard for this 
and true to form he won the whole darn thing.

Congratulations Miguel!

We love you and are so crazy proud of you!




Excuse me I've got to go to the gym now.


Fiesta

In case you had any doubts where my Wee Ones get their weirdness.

Apparently it is a genetic thing.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A new church

Our parish has been building a new church




A few weeks ago they opened the new space for us to tour




And it was truly beautiful.




The light, the craftsmanship, the thought behind every detail.

Even the pews were comfortable.




Walking in for the first time it was truly breathtaking.

In it's physical beauty sure, but for me it was more the realization 
that this is the place where Miss Thing will take her first communion, 
that this is very likely to be the place where Hero Husband and I will watch our 
children make the same pledge before God that we did when we married.




The community that we share in there is generous, warm and familiar 
We may move during our lives, but this parish 
will always be a home to our family.
 And it's new home is a truly magnificent thing.


Nativity Adventures

I have a nativity set that makes an appearance
during each hdoliday season.

It was collected over a number of years
and I am very fond of it.

I also have young children.




Meaning there has been a standing rule

No Touching.

Imagine my surprise to come into the kitchen shortly after setting up
my lovely creche to find this




Miss Thing, can you please explain to me what happened here.

Well Mama, this guy died and then God made him new.

Then this one died and God made him new too.

See them all new over here.




Okay, but what about the duck, the turtle and the bow?

Well they are just making everything fancy.

Okay then.