Saturday, December 29, 2012

Oh, what do you do during Christmas Break?

Do you....

Get dressed to go outside in your first-ever snow, and then lay on your face

And refuse to go out in that freezing mess?

Do you do the puzzle that your kids got you for Christmas last year? Whoops.

Do you get an art lesson from your big brother?

Do you organize a "Goose Party" and make costumes for each attendee?

Do you quietly explore Mom's nightstand drawer and see what kind of goodies she is hoarding in there?

So do we.

Bedtime drama.

I'm a very proficient bedtime story reader.

I "kind of" do the voices. Especially if I'm not bone-tired.

But Mark. Mark does made-up imagination extravaganzas about bunnies and pterodactyls  that have wild adventures and have in-depth conversations with one another.

Which is wonderful.

Until they ask me to do the same thing the next night.

And I give them a blank look.

And I say, "How about Brown Bear, Brown Bear?".

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Early morning sing along.

Mark and I have been getting up really early.

REALLY early.

We're talking like 4:30 am.

Mainly because it has turned into the only time we can have an uninterrupted conversation and time to read, discuss, plan or just listen to the silence.

Occasionally one of the kiddos will get up and hang out with us. Which is really okay, because the chaos only begins when you have two or more children fully lucid at a time (it really does take two to fight). Usually the early risers are Anna or know how little babies fail to value the preciousness of sleep.

This particular morning Anna woke up while I was in the shower. She was spending a little one one one with her daddy-o.

I love.

Christmas Day 2012

The early-morning quietness. The tree lit and sparkling. The presents untouched and full of potential.

The stockings are stuffed and bumpy. You know there is chocolate in there.

The kids get the 'go ahead' to explore their stockings. It's 6 am.

There are a plethora of long-skinny items in there....pringles, Sunny D, tubes of M&Ms....

Each child gets their favorite fruit. You simply cannot have a respectable stocking experience without fruit in the bottom.

Zones are established.

Presents are passed out...streamlining the process is essential.

We "solemnly swear to be kind to each other, be happy for each other and save all our bows for Mom."

The "look".

That look that says that they got their heart's desire...

Even Mark seemed excessively pleased by the work clothes that he helped Santa pick out only 2 days earlier....

And then we were on to the best part of the day...



New toys.

Dinner still in our jammies.

Officially one of the best days ever.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Jammies.

We, like many families, have adopted the tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve....the new jammies.

This year I was faced with the problem of how to get fun pajamas for 2 boys that wear basketball shorts and t-shirts 24 hours a day.



So I went with new fleece blankets for them and Megan (who has been sleeping with a nastified princess blanket I have hated for years).

They were a hit.

Aaaaand...the doggies inherited the old ones.

Laney got the birdies. She's excited to show Grandma Kathleen in January.

I noted Mark's recent uptick in wearing the color orange....

And he noted my preference for matching socks.... (also, he managed to find me jammies that aren't maternity, but could stretch over my gargantuan belly. Love is in the details...)

And then there is Anna.

She hates long sleeves. "Too TIGHT, Mama!"

So I snagged these little fishy jammies on clearance at the end of summer.

She loves them!

She's so happy!

All is well!


Who blinked off beat?

All is calm.

Christmas Eve.

It was quiet.

It was eerily silent, you might say.

It was war.

If you are hit, you lose the use of that limb....thems the rules.

If you are hit in the vital organs (chest, neck, head) you are dead.

Hide, if you can.

Or, just make yourself long as you keep your finger on the trigger.

If you need somewhere safe to be, you can always find refuge in the arms of the mother.

Or can you?

Nativity recap

This year's Nativity was written and produced by Mathew Hufford.

I'm sure you are sorry you missed it. Tickets went fast. And there were only 7 available.

It was exclusive.

So I will now give you a play by play of our play.

 The Cast:

Mary: Anna Hufford -- perfect for this because she likes horsey rides and holding baby-dolls.
Joseph: Mathew Hufford -- perfect for this because he is obsessed with the wooden dowel that I keep in the top of the closet to unclog my vacuum hose from time to time. This is great excuse to use that wooden dowel as a walking stick.... all the way to Bethlehem.
Inn Keeper: Mark Hufford -- he has a lot of practice saying "no".
Angel: Megan Hufford -- really? There is a golden dress and shiny wings.
Shepherd: Mark Hufford. He has natural herding skills.
Donkey and camel: Ethan Hufford -- he specializes in the beasts of burden.
Sheep: Laney Hufford -- never breaks character. There was a consistent "baa-ing" in the background throughout the duration of the play. It added to the authenticity.
Wise women: Maren Hufford, Laney Hufford and Anna Hufford. It seemed like a given.
Props Manager and Soother of Tantrums: Maren Hufford

 **please excuse the grainy photos. They were taken from the video which was taken by the Props Manager and Soother of Tantrums.

Mathew Hufford welcomes us all and invites us all to "pull up a chair, sit back, relax, and enjoy the SHOW!"

 The scene opens with a very tired Mary and her husband, Joseph, on a very durable donkey.

 Mary ponders these things in her heart.

She comes to the conclusion that she doesn't like this thing on her head.

The Props Manager steps in and uses her most effective weapon, "Maybe Laney wants to be Mary?"

Mary is back on board.

The angel directs the shepherd and sheep to go to Bethlehem.

They obey. As all good shepherds and sheep do.

The Props Manager refers to her script and thinks again how glad she is that Mathew wrote this and she didn't. Big kids are awesome.

The angel appears to the Wise Women and tells them to go see the baby Jesus.

Two of them take their camel and start on the long and arduous journey.

The other Wise Women departs to a better land. One with a pantry and higher quality fruit snacks.

In the final scene, the entire cast combines for a rousing rendition of "Stars Were Gleaming". Mary is back on board with her baby doll.

Mary realizes she doesn't like Joseph to touch her. She makes her displeasure known.

The singing starts out confident and strong.

The cast gets to the second verse....things start to fall apart...

The head Wise Woman looks to the shepherd for lyric cues.

Realizes her mistake and looks to the angel.

They finish with a flourish.


I bet you feel like you were there, huh?