Monday, December 29, 2008

On the fifth day of Christmas...

I have been too busy enjoying my Christmas visitors to blog, but it's quiet time and the munchkins are reading or sleeping so it's a good time. Tara and family stayed from Christmas until yesterday, when we celebrated Lauren's birthday, which is usually the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Since it fell on Sunday this year the Feast of the Holy Family took precedence.

Christmas was a great adventure with fifteen around the table and two high chairs. I think that was about the limit at the table unless we get some long benches to squeeze everyone together. I love all the Christmas decorations, especially the stable which we set up early in December with the manger empty and waiting for the Christ Child.

We put up the Christmas tree on the 23rd. This was the first time since Alice was old enough to help put ornaments on the tree that we decorated it alone - kind of sad. But so many ornaments have memories attached that, despite having no children, we basked in the warmth of Christmases past.

One big adventure of the holiday visit was Rachel climbing our big weeping willow, getting out on one of the branches and losing her nerve. We thought we might have to call the Fire Department to get Rachel out of the tree but David climbed up and guided her backwards at which point she could have climbed out herself but enjoyed the adventure of using the ladder to climb down.

Larry has been giving football clinics to the older kids. Alex is blocking Brendan.

The little ones who are too young for football ride bikes, and enjoy the swings. We had incredible weekend weather with temperatures in the upper 60s. If that's global warming bring it on! We went to the park on Saturday (I forgot the camera and missed some great shots on the tire swing). We also enjoyed back yard fun on Sunday before Tara and Lawrence left.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Visit and a Birthday Party

Brendan was scheduled to have a birthday sleepover in early December so lucky Gramma and Paka had two potential party crashers come to visit. Lauren and Ryan are always lots of fun and we had a great time playing Sesame Street Dominoes, reading books, and watching one of Brendan's favorite videos, Rikki-Tikki Tavi, Rudyard Kiplings story about the little mongoose and his battle with cobras in the garden. I have to admit it is one of my favorites as well and I always sit down to watch it with the kids.

One of our projects was baking a cake so we could have another birthday party for Brendan when his mom and dad came down with him and baby brother Sean to pick up the siblings. Lauren got the job of putting the candles on the cake and did a good job! Brendan almost set off the fire alarm with all that smoke!

We had a hard time keeping up with Sean who was crawling all over and pretty determined to climb the stairs. He is pulling himself up and was clearly getting ready to walk. The next time we saw him (about a week later he actually took one brave step before dropping down). He was very fond of the chocolate cake, but cleaned up nicely after dinner.

Ryan beat me at least four times at Sesame Street Dominoes and has been crowned king and was very proud of himself. I think Lauren beat me once too. Gramma was not doing well and I wasn't letting them win either! I'll have to teach them to play Scrabble. I think I still have the advantage there -- temporarily.

Lauren enjoyed playing with the doll I made for Tara for her sixth birthday. I don't remember if she has a name but she lives at our house for the time being and will come down to play with Lauren and go back up when Lauren leaves to wait the next visit.

Jamie and Jonathan came over to join the fun with little Marianna who was dressed in a little bear snowsuit. Let's see, at Halloween she was a dragon. (or was it a dinosaur?) And she has several other animal hats. Yesterday she when she came to visit while Mom and Dad went shopping she had on her bunny hat. It keeps that little fuzzy peach head warm until she grows a little more hair.

Can't wait until the next visit which will probably be Christmas when we will have a real houseful with all the local families. Can't wait!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sailing, Sailing over the Bounding Main

Well, he isn't sailing yet -- he's in school, but Chris graduated from basic training and is now in another school studying to be a submariner. Just thinking of it gives me claustrophobia. Chris looks great in his uniform and seems pretty happy with the way things are going. Good luck, Chris!