Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Joyeux Noel!

For all 4 of you that are still rushing out to your mailboxes each day in hopes of finding our usual Christmas card there, I implore you to go back inside and make yourself some warm, soothing eggnog. I had high, high hopes of getting them out this year, but when Jeff got home from Asia last Saturday, it became readily apparent that we were not going to be able to take a decent family picture. By decent I mean one in which he had his eyes open. And considering I can count on at least 66% of our brood to be staring the other way, violently squirming, or grimacing from the sheer pain of being asked to look happy 20,000 times, I think at the very minimum that both adults should have their eyes open. I know. It's a lofty goal. I do wish I could lower my expectations.

Also, there was a teeny, tiny little problem with the cards. I ordered them at the end of November back when I fully believed in my ability to independently move our Annual Holiday Salutation to the Masses all while enduring an extended absence of spouse. My card selection represented that unshakable optimism, hence instead of buying cards that read, "Happy Holidays", or "Season's Greetings" or something reasonable that implies one has at least until January 1st to get them in the mail, I went with a cheery, JOYEUX NOEL! It was proclaimed four times on the inside of the card, so obviously it really wanted the recipients to have a MERRY CHRISTMAS! MERRY CHRISTMAS! MERRY CHRISTMAS! MERRY CHRISTMAS!, as sincerely do we. But alas, Joyeux Noel has come and nearly gone and even if I sent them all out tomorrow no one would receive them by today. It's a pitiful predicament, isn't it? Always practical, Jeff suggested that we just save them to use next year, but not only did I purchase cards clearly intended to arrive before Christmas, they also have 2007 plainly inscribed within. Now that is some smart shopping, if I do say so myself. Prudent procurement if you will.

As an aside, when my sweet husband proposed to me almost 9-years ago, he read Proverbs 31: 10-31 (aka: Hymn to a Good Wife) aloud as part of his, hmmm...wind-up, let's just call it. Suffice it to say, if my inability to deliver on vs. 13's requirement to "shop around" is any indication, the poor guy really got gyped. But I scored, so all is well. Maybe had he sung the hymn...sadly, I guess we'll never know.

I leave you this fine Tuesday evening with a few festive photos that will undoubtedly bore everyone but our childrens' grandparents to the point of...oh, who am I kidding? The entire blogsphere no doubt LOVES to scroll through pictures of the most beautiful, smart, kind, loving children in the world making Christmas cookies. That's why all 14 of you so frequently log in, right?

Griffin is pretty excited about the whole frosting prospect, as you can see.

Carter, like his father, takes a very thorough, methodical approach to cookie decorating. He'd be better at it if his own mother would remember that he's left handed and put the frosting bowl on the other side of the table for him. He's like a lefty we've unintentionally mainstreamed.

Griffin, like myself, is more about efficiency. He just grabs a handful of sprinkles and loads the cookie up.

We've been known to take the two-fisted approach if one hand isn't fast enough.

Whereas Carter's mission is to cover every square milimeter of the cookie so that the yellow frosting is completely void of light. But I believe the payoff for him might be a tad greater.

This is what ecstasy looks like to a 4-year old. And in case you didn't get that...

Now if you will all pardon me while I go find the DustBuster.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's a Kind of Love That Frequently Requires a Ladder

Say Hello to Larry.

Larry is my Father-in-law. I believe my Mother-in-law would prefer I refer to him as my Father-in-LOVE, but I just can't. get it. out of. my mouth. Without kind of smirking that is. But I do love him, really I do. And I have reason to believe that he loves me in a way that reaches beyond that of my own father, my brothers, and certainly that of my husband.

It's a kind of love that says, "I'd love to hang your Christmas lights, Melanie." And you know I've never heard those words out of Jeff's mouth.

Well, in all honesty, Larry didn't actually say them out loud either, but he got right up on the ladder and therein lies the difference. Also, as you can see here, he looks genuinely happy about it. And that was after he replaced a critical outdoor electrical outlet in order that my high voltage dream might live. Action with a smile. Now that's love. My female readers know what I'm talking about.

This is Griffin. When he wasn't trying to use the drill, he was trying to reorganize all the hooks, and bolts Larry needed to hang my lights. He was helpful in a way only really energetic three-year olds who refused to take an afternoon nap can be. Okay, he wasn't helpful at all, but he was enthusiastic.

Here Griffin is wondering why Babu didn't hang the wreath higher...or where his mother hid the drill.

Here Larry is just being thankful that we didn't buy the McMansion we were considering earlier this year. And contemplating why he didn't just say no to his Daughter-in-Love's ridiculous request for illumination so merry and bright. (Oh, I know. It's because I didn't grow up at your house and you're afraid if you deny me my electrical wishes I'll stop filling my freezer with ice cream when you come over.) I plan to milk that barest hint of uncertainity for the rest of my married life.

This is Griffin. He's scratching himself with a rake. And Carter. He's wearing every piece of headgear he owns at once. Per usual. This picture pretty much sums up my life with the two of them. Thank God for Peyton or I'd probably be scratching myself with a rake too by now.

See how Larry loves me so much that he races to LEAP up on the ladder with his hands full of lights. (It's an action shot, ya'll. That's the only thing my old Canon S30 takes these days.)
And here is his finished product. Finished for today that is. We went on a drive to see lights after dinner and the boys mutually do not feel that we've put up enough. And since they mutually agree on so little these days, I may have to accommodate their wishes for a few more.

But probably not this many more. Although, just out of curiosity, I'd like to know how much ice cream this would cost me.

Larry? Larry? Where did you go, Larry?