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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Climbing Our Way to Christmas

I almost just want to make this a photo-journal post of Corwin's many summits, but I have a few other cute things that need to be said. Corwin is walking more and more and is happiest when he is on top of something.

He loves loves crayons. Unfortunately, he wants to eat them, but occasionally, he likes putting them in small crevices for me to retrieve. He doesn't want to stop at the chair, but will continue onto the table and attempt a scramble to the top of the art holder. By the end of the day, I'm pretty whooped from all of the scrambling to get him down off of things and from my climber prevention measures!

See heeyah, it's curtains for you.

Basically, if you leave anything on the floor near anything else, it will be used as a step to the top.

Ready or not, grandmama, here we come to your house...

When NannyKim innocently asked the kids what they like about Christmas, they immediately said, "Christmas Cookies!". And that clued me in to the fact that I'm in for it for the next 20 or so years.

But, I must say, this has been the calmest cookie year yet. Just look at this guy taking it seriously.

I also have to say, I am still horrible at doing this with others. I guess I am way to micromanaging in cookies and gift-wrapping. I like to go about it slowly and methodically, not with people constantly starting new things, or needing help, or asking questions, or picking noses, or nearly piercing their eyes out with scissors. By the end of it, I am usually grumpy. I hope I will improve in this area before they are too old or wise to want to do it with me.

As you can see, they got a little creative. The round blob is Rhianwen's attempt at baby Jesus (she ate him...I hope this is not sacrilegious), and the long things are worms by Alden (he just did not want to make them into candy-canes). Rhianwen told me, "I love food! I wish I could eat as much as mooses eat!" (that would be at least 40lb./day).

Decorating. I now slap it on and hope it's done in 15 minutes. We also made gingerbread men, and Alden decorated them while Rhianwen and Daddy went on their date (to Behold the Lamb concert). He put chocolate chips on them, and told me, "He's peeing.", each time he put one down between their legs. It finally dawned on me what he was doing, and I asked, "Peeing? Is that his ti**n*kle?." "Yeah," said Alden. We have many that are peeing.

We've been enjoying the advent tree just as much this year as ever.

Here's Alden in orange putting up one for the day. (He loves wearing ALL orange even if it's Clemson orange with Tennessee orange...ick!).

Each year we go to the bookstore and let the kids pick out one Christmas book per child. Alden got one that plays Hark the Herald Angels Sing (his favorite carol which we have sung for a year and a half straight at bedtime). This year I also got a book from the library about Christmas traditions around the world. I was reading about Mexico's, and read, "In Mexico, Christmas is called Navidad." I turned to Alden and said, "Can you say Navidad?". He said, "No." "No?", I said, "Yes you can!". Alden said, "No, I can only say Bob." And therein lies our problem...

Thank you, Aunt Clara, for the fun Christmas plates and cups!

This year, the NCMLS did not do their typical Christmas exibit, but instead, had an entire room full of trains travelling through a NC winter. They made many of the replicas out of natural items like leaves for the rooves, acorn caps for cups and the tops of masts etc. It was very neat, but I don't think it stays true to the museum which is really supposed to be hands-on.

Watching the trains. You can tell he just wants to jump the fence.

We've been memorizing Luke 2. Rhianwen has done a fabulous job. I get worse as it goes b/c I have heard and memorized it in so many versions!!!

(This video is long, so don't say I didn't warn you).

We are Nutcracker crazy here. They love watching and dancing and drawing and reading about it! We are finally breaking down and giving her ballet lessons as her Christmas gift (secret...so don't tell her yet!!!). She's been persistently asking me for them for a year.

Merry Christmas! Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! (Is. 60:1).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ice Ice Babies

Aw yeah. We had some fun at Averett and Jaime's wedding. After a weekend of keeping the kids in check, we loved letting loose on the dance floor. I'm sure I looked as awkward as I felt, but you have to dance anyway. The most fun thing I did that night was to copy every move Rhianwen made. It gives me a taste of what she feels each day when she dances...it's really uplifting!

A video of the true ice babies (you don't want to miss this):

Cousins. It was so fun to see them play together.

Back at home, I frequently lose my kids and new strange beings appear in their place. They come into the kitchen and say, "Mommy! It's not us!" or "It's not Rhianwen and Alden! Is this a good disguse?". It's really hard not to laugh. I say, "Oooh! Who is it?" or "Where did Rhianwen and Alden go?" and then I get an explanation like this:

Corwin has really upped his exploration skills. He loves finding new place to climb up or into.

Alden threw in a couple of trucks for good measure. I love how these 2 play together! Wally and I were watching the ACC Championship (Clemson won!!!), and on it 2 players were celebrating by one player slapping the other's helmet side to side. I said to Wally, "That'll be Alden and Corwin in 20 years." Wally said, "20 years! They just did that today!".

Supper time is family time in our house. We don't answer the phone, and we enjoy each other (mostly). I'm so thankful for this time and see how all that research confirms its importance. I've noticed that many of our pictures and videos occur around the supper table. One night recently, Wally started showing the kids "magic tricks". The best one was where he blew on a coin and it appeared across the room in various places. It actually made Rhianwen cry b/c in her mind this made NO sense on many levels. I could just see her thinking, "This is my daddy? He knows magic? How did I not know this? Who is he??? That coin couldn't have just appeared somewhere and disappeared from daddy's hand just like that. It just isn't possible! But it seems like it did. Aaaahhhh!". We didn't give away the secret, but we did try to explain that it wasn't really magic. I think she felt a little better after that conversation. She even tried her hand at it, but to no avail.

Then we trotted off to my fam's for Thanksgiving. This was the first time we staying in my parent's condo, and it actually worked out well...for us anyway. I won't ask my brothers what they thought of sleeping on the couch and floor....ha ha! Rhianwen and Alden slept on air mattresses and sleeping bags for the first time, and they were thrilled.

Enjoying a stroll with NannyKim.

Finding cypress knees. At first Alden didn't believe that trees had knees, but by the end of our walk, Grandpa had him convinced.

Alden had fun being a robot with Matt, an old friend with whom my brother and I played Heman and Shera (when we were 5, not recently...) among other things.

We found out Corwin knows how to go down a slide. He repeatedly climbed all the way up, turned over on his tummy, and slid feet-first down without a tutorial! He's finally mastered our one indoor step too, so maybe it all clicked. I think he may have learned it from his cousin during the earlier wedding festivities.

Playing by a watchful Uncle Christopher. So nice to have someone else bang their head on the playground equipment for once.

We finally got to see one of my best friends after something like 2 years. I hadn't even met her newest one who is now 18 months old! The kids had fun...I think. I was more concerned with catching up a little with the adult populous.

On the way home, we took a detour after traffic came to a standstill on our Hwy. We figured since we were at the exit which took us to a tree farm, it was better to get a tree than sit in traffic. We were rewarded with a beautiful tree and sunset.

Plugging their ears as the worker chain-saws the tree down.

Getting a ride back to shake the tree. Alden could have watched the tree shaking all night. They shook ours, then put someone else's on the shaker, and he stood transfixed. We could have left, and he probably wouldn't have noticed.

They even got to go for a "train ride". I'm hoping Wally wasn't looking too closely, otherwise our 50 gallon barrels may be transformed into something similar here at home. They were pulled by a riding mower.


My "bub-bub".

Can't resist some decorating shots.

We put all unbreakable stuff on the bottom. But pretty much it's always off of the tree b/c of little boy Cor-baby.

The finished product. They look like they are up to something...

Look who's walking!

I love how he "claps" at the end on the floor. He's mainly limiting himself to 3-4 steps, then sinks to his knees to crawl.

Playing with a train decoration. Something tells me he's going to be thrilled on Christmas morning when he gets his train table. Shhhh. Don't tell!

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