Saturday, December 29, 2012

Musings from Natalie #28

Lately Natalie has had a LOT of questions about God and heaven:

"Did God create dinosaurs?"

"Why can I get everything I want in heaven, but not  here on Earth?"

"Are there bathrooms in heaven?"

"Will I have a body in heaven?"

"Are there telephones in heaven?"

"Can I be a kid in heaven?"

"When I get to heaven, can I sit on God's lap?"

"Who are God's parents?"

"Mom, this song is too much rock in roll.  I think it might be too smokin'.  Would you change the station?"

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012 Wrap-up

In our family we try to keep the reason for the season at the forefront, but I'd be lying if I said all of our holiday activities involve Christ.  We include Santa and gift exchanges, too. Though, as the kids get older, we have been able to do more things together to help teach the importance of compassion.  For instance, this year we collected and sorted canned goods for Kingdom House.  And, Natalie's Daisy troop made and delivered holiday centerpieces and then sang to the residents of a skilled nursing center; while Noah's Cub Scout Den sold Christmas trees to support the Knights of Columbus.

Christmas Pre-party 
Noah's choir group practiced once a week for almost three months in preparation for our
church's Christmas program.   
Natalie and her friend, George enjoy the music together.
The kiddie crowd showed their appreciation for the singing by raising their glowsticks high.
After the service....all hyped up and nowhere to go!
Christmas morning
No words needed. 
I'm not sure what she was expecting, but she has yet to bounce on it.
"You mean you expect me to jump on that without my feet touching the ground?!" she asked

This year the kids bought gifts with their own money.  I took them to  Five Below to do their shopping.  They were so proud of their purchases and wrapped them immediately.  Steve Claus with his new ceramic coffee mug.
Noah bought Steve a $5 gift card to Starbucks.
"Don't tell my Dad I was here," he told the barista waiting on him.
Every year Steve takes the kids shopping for me, I usually get a new pair of p.j's and slippers.
This year Natalie picked out my slippers
Noah selected chihauhua sleep pants for me.
Christmas Day
After we opened presents, we headed to my parent's house for brunch, a gift
exchange and our annual game of BINGO.

Mom tried to get Noah and Natalie to try her
"surprise rolls"...inside a meatball and cheese stick.
Christmas brunch included cinnamon rolls, meatballs, bacon and cheese omelettes, rolls, ham, scalloped potatoes, fresh fruit, cookies and Steve's famous homemade blackberry cobbler...made using the berries he bled and sweat over picking back in July.  He makes it every year.
The gang was a little smaller this year.  My sister and her family remained in CO. to
celebrate with her in-laws.
Ready, Set, Rip!
Jack squealed with delight.
A jewelry box for the girl who likes sparkly things.
Natalie bought Gma "something shiny" for her to hang in her garden.
Noah was a bit shy when he presented Gma with his gift of coffee flavorings.
"What are you going to get Gpa for Christmas?" I asked.
"A piece of steak...cause Gpa is a food person," explained Natalie.
Ultimately she changed her mind and opted for a travel coffee mug instead. 
Every year Steve and I try to out do ourselves for my brother's 12/29 birthday.  One year we gave him a
White Castles-smelling candle, another year a Redneck wine glass.  This time we found a place that sells
bacon in a can called "Tactical Bacon" 
In preparation for BINGO, we decided we needed some snacks.
Mom whipped up a batch of  spicy Velveeta cheese dip.
"Should I add a little wing sauce? asked Gma.
"Gma, wing sauce is like duct tape, it fixes everything," assured Ethan.

Our lovely Vanna/Gma shows off the BINGO prize loot.
More loot. 
This year my brother dug up items from his garage for prizes -- like this
ceramic piece he made in high school.
Natalie and Jack get their game on.
"Jack!  You got BINGO!  What do you say?!" we asked.
"Thank you" he answered quietly.
We didn't see him again after his win.  
BINGO Beauties
Perfect for family movie night!
Alicia doing a happy dance to the prize table.
Toe socks! 
Natalie doing her happy dance with Gma.
Sand art....argh
"Yes!" Ethan knew exactly what he wanted.
Mr. Moose Candy Dispenser - "A flick of the tail brings a treat"
We've decided to make Mr. Moose a new family tradition.
Steve is having a brass plate engraved with Ethan'sname and the year.
We'll bring him out for BINGO every Christmas and one lucky person will earn the right to
enjoy his treats and then have their name engraved on him.
Brian rides the pony to the winner's circle
Nice choice
Alicia and Ella show off their prizes
Nice grill, Nat
My Christmas tree is now complete...with Snooki and DJ Pauly D ornaments.
Noah shows off his moves before collecting his prize.
"I'm done playing now," he said.
Gpa shows off his loot -- a bubble gun and a reindeer candy dispenser.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Special Delivery from the North Pole

Have you ever experienced a random act of kindness in your life?  Or, maybe just a kind gesture from an anonymous source who wasn't looking to be repaid or even in need of a thank you?

Yesterday, around 6 a.m., our home was approached by a mysterious gentleman bearing wrapped gifts.

"He seemed quite surprised when I met him at the door," shared Steve.

"Did the guy have pointy ears?" inquired Noah.                              

"I'm not sure, I didn't have my glasses on," replied Steve.

"Be sure to save the cards!" said Natalie

Noah went right to work assembling his new AT-RT

"I didn't know there were fairies at the North Pole!" said Natalie
Noah even used part of the box as a backdrop for his imaginative play.

Twin Tinks = Twinkies!
Natalie had lots of adventures with her new fairy friend.  "She's tired now," said Natalie
"I think she's ready for a sha-coozie," said Natalie
Thank you super secret Christmas elves for bringing a bit of magic to our home!