Friday, December 31, 2010

The Seven Days of Christmas: Christmas Day and Beyond

This final chapter (finally!) is brought to you by LEGO. For weeks Isaac had talked about getting toys for Christmas. When asked for specifics, he replied "Just toys". As he says, it's not like he didn't have a room full already, but he just! With two doting grandmothers, three grandfathers, and adoring parents to help, Santa had no trouble fulfilling this wish. In fact there were plenty of toys for everyone. Jill got a new bike, so she can keep up with her kids. We gave Irene and Isaac a puppet theater with an assortment of puppets.
We were told to be there Christmas morning at 7:00 AM, so we were. We had to lay on the doorbell to get anyone to let us in. We woke up the house.
We opened stockings, then had our Christmas breakfast before opening gifts. Isaac had saved his new Star Wars Lego's from the day before to entertain himself while waiting for the new round
And now, here we go!
Space Lego's! This is a family devoted to, and expert on, the space shuttle program. I believe that box says 'for ages 16 +', but Uncle Jake is there, eager to help.
Irene got Castle Lego's, complete with a princess.
Uff. One big box!
Containing Rapunzel's tower.
R2D2! He is voice activated, but a very smart toy that had us outsmarted at first. It was discovered that he is quite sensitive, and was eventually sent to his (Isaac's) room, to a more quiet environment, to recover from being over stimulated in our noisy household.
Time to try out the new stuff while the turkey is cooking.
Grandpa got some great new pop up books to add to his collection.
Jake takes a break from the Lego Construction Business.
We had a delicious Christmas dinner about 3:00. Then Corey was off to work, on patrol for the Morgan County Sheriff's Department. The rest of us had toys and left overs to keep us happy for the rest of the day.
Sunday was a day of rest, except for Jake, who "had" to oversee the construction of a space shuttle.
We watched football half heartedly, as both the Seahawks and the Broncos were bad, again. Irene and I went out for a walk again in the sunshine.
That evening we watched the third of the Star Wars Trilogy. It has been a long time since Tom and I saw these movies, so it was almost like seeing them new again.
Monday brought the completion of the shuttle, external tanks yet to go.
Jake was now recruited to help build a castle, while Isaac labored on.
We staked out time to play another round of Creationary. This is a great game, a Lego version of Pictionary, where you construct instead of drawing. All of us could play it together, from 5 year old Irene to Grandpa.
And as time was drawing near for us to depart, completion of the space shuttle was achieved.
Before our long drive to the airport, I took the kids outside to play. And then I snapped one last photo, of the blue sky, to bring back home with me for those rainy days we will be having here in the Pacific Northwest.
I called Jill on Tuesday. She and the kids were busy working in the kids' rooms, sorting toys, packing up those to save in the basement and those to give away, making room for the new abundance.
Yes, we all know how fortunate we are. And we do also know that it is the people more than the presents that make the season bright. But as Irene said of Christmas on the day after, "It was a wonderful day!"

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Seven Days of Christmas: Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve day has finally arrived. It's time for the partying to begin. With his other grandparents coming for brunch, and bringing PRESENTS, we actually got Isaac out of his pajamas before noon! John and Andrea arrived at 10:00, from their home in Fort Lupton, about an hour away. Jill takes orders: shrimp and mushroom quiche or Cheddar-ham-broccoli quiche. John, of course, said "Both!" Cookies for dessert! (Notice the Lego "centerpiece") Do you know about ZuZu Pets? They are a great way to have a pet hamster without the feeding or the pooping or the tendency to die.
They roll around in their ball or play in their habitat. Very entertaining.
Andrea always gives what she calls a 'care package', full of items like toiletries and little niceties. Jill found the hat she wanted in there.
In the afternoon, after John and Andrea were gone, I helped Irene set up her new Barbie house.
We did some more cooking in preparation for Christmas dinner the next day, and then broke out the hors d' oeuvres, followed by steak and crab for our candlelight Christmas Eve dinner.
After dinner entertainment included watching Rudolf and Charlie Brown's Christmas, and last minute wrapping and assembling. Packages began appearing under the tree about 10:00, and we stuffed stockings and headed 'home' to our motel about 11:00. Jake reports that Jill had everything arranged just so, Santa having come, about midnight.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To Clarify...

We returned home to Seattle Monday night. It is only since then that I have begun posting pics.

The Seven Days of Christmas: Christmas Preparation

We arrived at the Denver airport about 2:30 Tuesday after an uneventful flight. Jill and the kids met us, and a little after 3:00 we were on our way to Denver. We had an early dinner at an Appleby's and then headed to the Denver Zoo for Zoo Lights.
We were prepared for the cold, crisp weather with our layers of fleece and jackets. The moon shone brightly through the bare trees.
There were lots of light created animals, and even a few real ones. The real task here was to lot lose your kids in the crowded darkness.
Wednesday we were busy getting ready. There were gingerbread cookies to make.
And in the down time Jake and Isaac played with last year's Legos.
The whole family got into the act with sprinkling the sugar cookies.
Each day I went for a walk in the sunshine, usually with a kid or two, and sometimes Tom. On Wednesday we walked to a nearby park to let the kids play and "get the wiggles out". That afternoon there were naps.
Wednesday evening we began our Star Wars film fest with the first of the original trilogy.
Each evening Tom and I would take the moonlit walk under bright stars back to our motel, three blocks away, to our bedroom and retreat.
Thursday the big kids were going to go skiing, but Jake was still recovering from a sinus infection (and a miserable flight) and Corey was battling a cold, so we all stayed home. There were more walks, more Legos, and the gingerbread cookies to ice.
Both days, we would slip away, one or two at a time, to wrap gifts in the wrapping station Jill had set up in the garage. We had all of our on-line shopping delivered to the Gibson's house, so we had lots to do.
Jake got help from the kids to wrap a few of his.
During the day I also worked on making the Swedish cardamom bread we would have Christmas morning. After braiding half the dough into a wreath, Irene and I made rolls from the rest. She loved the feel of the smooth, soft dough.
Thursday evening we settled in front of the TV for the second in our Star Wars film fest, The Empire Strikes Back.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Is All Sewed Up

I hope you will allow me to be a bit self-congratulatory in my first Christmas posting, but I know that my regular followers like to see where my sewing projects end up.
The Christmas tree skirt is there, under the tree, but Santa's abundance has completely covered it.
Tom's cone wreath and my table runner grace the dining table.
Irene found her jumper under the tree early on, and changed out of her pajamas and into the new outfit.
She selected the print tee, and matched the photo Jill had sent me.
She later teamed it up with hot pink tights! Isaac had to be coaxed away from new toys to try on his vest and tee, but once he did, he said "I have to get some jeans!" and scampered off to complete the look.
The kids used the pet pocket pillows as homes for their new Webkinz pets.
I didn't show you this project, because Jill reads my blog, so I kept it a secret. She asked for "fun shopping bags", so I studied a Safeway bag to see how it was constructed, purchased some double faced, pre-quilted fabric on sale at JoAnns, and wah-lah!
She liked them.
Irene will always have time for pretty clothes, but she was already wearing her new jumper when she opened her dress, so
she wore it the next day.
And not to be left out was Tiger, the kitty. I used some scraps and a test sample and put together a little gift for him, too.
I can safely say the Tiger adored his catnip puff!