Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas, Again

We were able to get out of the driveway on Sunday to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family.

Jack loves his lion Pillow Pet!

Alice got some fun things, too--and more pictures than the last time.

The Curious George zoo game has been a big hit. We've played it multiple times each day.

Alice has enjoyed playing with her new purse. Yes, she is definitely going to be getting some stereotypical girl things.

She's not too sure about the bath fountain Santa brought, though.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

By the Power of Grayskull

Christmas Eve was spent preparing for Jack's big surprise. Jay has been collecting He-Man toys for Jack for the last five years, but Jack thought you couldn't get them anymore unless you had a lot of money. Yes, we told him that.

When Jack went to bed, Jay started building.

What do you think the castle knows?

When he had it finished, we put it in the school room under a box.

They never made a toy of Cringer, so Jay made one.

Christmas morning was very exciting for Jack!

The whole gang all together. Jack (and Jay) have spent a lot of time with these guys this week!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We left Santa his milk and cookies last night.

I was afraid to let Jack hold Alice on the bricks, so here is the proof that she was up to leave Santa his treat, too.

Once the kids were in bed (well, really just Jack, since Alice hung on until almost 11:30), Jay got the rest of the presents out and had some work to do.

This morning, Jack was up around 7:00 and ready to get started.

Things were looking good even in the stocking.

And they just got better under the tree.

Jay got a Snuggie from the kids. I think it makes him look like a wizard, but it should be nice in the freezing cold guy room.

The fun continued at Jay's sister's house. My brother-in-law scored two Zhu Zhu pets for Jack, not even realizing how popular they were.

This is the best shot we have of Alice with her presents on her first Christmas--and it's cropped from another picture! It kind of makes me glad Christmas with my family was delayed so we can take better pictures next time!


We've had a bit of crazy weather the last few days. The week started off fairly warm, and Wednesday afternoon we had rain showers.

And even a rainbow!

I'm guessing that Oklahoma is one of the few places you'll see a weather advisory like this.

Thursday (while Jay and Jack were out finishing up shopping), the rain turned to sleet...

,,,and then to snow. By bedtime, we were in the middle of a blizzard warning.

It had stopped by the morning and everything looked beautiful. This is the view out the front windows.

And here is the back yard.

Jack played outside for a while.

Jay worked on digging out the car. It wasn't going to happen. Eventually, my brother-in-law, Kevin, came to get us in his giant SUV.

It's a good thing he did, because this was the scene in front of our house. I don't know if you can see it well, but in the middle of the picture is a guy about to try to tie his truck to the phone pole to get out of the ditch. It took us almost an hour and a half to get to my sister-in-law's house--usually a 25 minute drive. My nieces counted close to 30 cars in the ditches on the way.

Once we got there, the kids spent a bit more time outside. Since it's not supposed to be above freezing for a few more days, I think the snow boots are going to be put to good use!

O Tidings of Comfort and Joy!

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy!

May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's A Wonderful Life

Ten years ago today we got engaged. I've sort of told this story before, but I thought I would go ahead and write it down in case I lose my mind before telling this story to my children. With a teething baby in the house. my sanity is tenuous at best.

On our fifth (dating) anniversary, Jay gave me a pearl necklace and a puzzle piece with my first name on it.

On my birthday (the next month), he gave me a watch and a puzzle piece with my middle name on it. I told him that I really hoped this was not a long puzzle sentence making fun of me or something.

That fall, Jay said we should have a contest. If you know Jay, he does not do this kind of thing unless he is sure of something. Just ask my mom. Anyway, the contest was going to be who could come up with the best surprise, which would be given at Christmas. The loser would have to pay the other person $700. I have no idea why he came up with $700. Knowing that he's really good at this kind of thing, I planned on writing a check and enjoying my surprise.

In the mean time, the time was coming for Jay to make a decision about the last half of medical school. He could either stay where he was--two hours away--or finish the last two years at the campus nearby. I didn't want to influence him either way, but I was really hoping he was going to move. I did go ahead and get my own apartment, even though he said he thought I should just keep living with my parents.

December rolled around and all I could come up with was a fishing trip. I called around about a hot air balloon ride, but I couldn't afford it AND the $700. I was getting curious.

On the Monday of Christmas break, Jay and I went to Captain D's for lunch. I was sure that if he was going to move back home, he would have told me, so I said, "You're not coming back, are you?" He nonchalantly popped another hush puppy in his mouth and said, "Nope." To say I was crushed would be an understatement. The fact that I was getting the flu didn't help me to be so rational, either. As I started tearing up, he said we'd be fine and kept on eating. Really. (A year or so ago, I told him how I had thought he was being such a jerk and he was genuinely surprised, which surprised me.)

That week he went back to his city and I stayed home, sick. On Christmas Eve, my mom called and said I should come over because my dad wanted to order Papa John's for dinner. (This should have been my first clue, since my dad has refused to get Papa John's since they would not take his walk-in order at a Santa Fe location a few years earlier. They wanted him to call it in. From right there in the store. Seriously. I think we had sandwiches that night.) Anyway, I went over to my mom and dad's house. After I got there--and there was no pizza--Jay called and said we should meet at my apartment to exchange gifts, so I left again.

When I got to my apartment, Jay was sitting on my couch. As a single woman living alone, there's not a lot that can freak you out more than coming home to find someone in your living room, even if it is your boyfriend. I could not figure out how he got in unless I left the door unlocked, so I was a little concerned. He just wanted to start the presents.

I gave him his presents and told him about the fishing trip. He seemed mildly interested.

When it was my turn to open my presents, he gave them to me one at a time. I can't remember the exact order, but I got an It's a Wonderful Life book, ornament, poster, and DVD. When I opened the DVD, I said, "Oh my gosh! Is my surprise a DVD player?!" (Ha ha! How very 1999.) "No," he said, "I just thought we could watch it some day." I'm going to be honest here. At this point I was thinking, "Oh, yes. We can watch it after one of my many two hour drives back and forth. How fun."

Each gift had a card on it with a picture from It's A Wonderful Life and inside was a quote from the movie. The presents were nice, even if he wasn't moving back.

Then he said he had one more present and pulled out a small box. As soon as I saw the picture, I knew what it was.

Inside, the card said,

"Now you listen to me! I don't want any plastics, and I don't want any ground floors, and I don't want to get married--ever--to anyone! You understand that? I want to do what I want to do!"

And in the box was a ring, and the third puzzle piece, with his last name on it.

He never actually asked, and I never actually answered, but ten years later I don't think it much matters.

And I still owe him $700 and a fishing trip.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tis the Season!

You know how you can find all of those Christmas open houses on blogs? The ones where everyone's home is decorated like Dillard's and all the lighting is perfect and soft? You're not going to find my house on there this year. I actually put away some decorations already since I realized I just wasn't going to get them put up this year. In the mean time, here are a few Christmas season goings-on...

Above is the plate Jack painted a couple of weeks ago. I need to remember to coat his hand with paint next time since here it kind of looks like the ghost of Santa.

Who's looking so festive on that parade float? Yes, it's Jay! We had to dig out his BDUs (actually, ABUs, but whatever) so he could ride on my cousin's son's Cub Scout float.

We went to see the scenes from The Nutcracker Suite last week. They have been around since I was a kid!

Christmas lights at Myriad Gardens

Decorating the Christmas tree--we got a new one this year.

We've been baking, too, with a little help from Alice.

I hope you are enjoying the season, too!

In Praise of One Ply

When we moved out of the city, we moved away from the sewer, too. Even though our neighbors were able to have regular septic systems, our ground did not perk (which maybe should be spelled perc, since I *think* it's short for percolate, but I'm not positive), so we became the lucky owners of a more expensive and more sensitive aerobic system. At least I think that's what it is.

The biggest change this has meant for us in our day to day lives is our toilet paper. One ply only. It took some getting used to, but as of today, we've lived here exactly two months, and I just changed the roll in the upstairs bathroom for the second time. Seriously. Granted, we do have twice the toilets we had in our old house, but one is virtually never used since it's in front of a cover-less window, and the master bathroom isn't used a whole lot, either. I got a pack of 30 rolls at Sam's last month, and at this rate, I may not have to buy any more until next Christmas. I think that's worth an extra ply, don't you?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gingerbread Morning

We spent this morning doing some gingerbread activities. For math, we did some gingerbread man estimation.

We decorated a gingerbread house. Some moms are very domestic and make their own. I, on the other hand, just about did back flips when I realized that this kit had the house already assembled for me.

I mixed up the icing and let Jack go to town.

The finished house.

And of course, we read Gingerbread Baby!

All of this was accompanied by some hot chocolate. Jack has never cared much for hot chocolate, but he was lured in by the snowman marshmallows.

He even drank enough for a hot chocolate moustache!

It was a wonderful day at home. All day. Jack didn't get out of his jammies until it was bath time tonight. It made me wonder why we don't do this more often. Apparently I'm not the only one thinking this today. Stop on over to see what Melissa and Rachel have to say!