Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Christmas Box

Having three girls means we can reuse clothes, which is nice, because it means we can save some money. Any clothes that aren't currently being worn are washed, dried, and put up in big Tupperwares according to their size and/or the season.  I save all our Christmas attire in a separate box altogether, since it is usually fancier and the fabrics that make these dresses and sweaters will not sit nicely in a box with a bunch of jeans, etc.

Naturally, I usually have to buy a dress for the oldest, biggest daughter, unless she doesn't grow too much in one year. And a few times I have had to buy a dress for a littler daughter, because she grew enough to make last year's dress too small, but she did not grow enough to actually fit into the next size up in our collection.

After thirteen years of doing Christmas with daughters, though, I usually have a dress for my little ones and it's only been worn once or twice.  So it's a very exciting day in December when I pull the Christmas box down and we try on the dresses and assess what we need, if anything.  Avril, my middle daughter, is already eyeing the black lace/ white tulle dress that her older sister wore many years ago that she would like to big enough for next year.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Some Photos and Memories from Christmas 2017

Norah added Mary and Joseph to the manger scene she made last year. 

Avril made a Nativity from Legos. 

I made one with items in our yard: moss for the roof and the bed and different pieces of quartz to represent the characters in the holy family.

The littles and I made a ton of ornaments. 

Dwayne wore his ugly sweater to work on the last day before vacation.

Avril did most of the Advent reading each night, while Norah took on a more supportive roll. 

Adele and Avril both knew the story so well by the end of the month that they were able to put on a puppet show for us.

We attended Christmas Eve service. The kids sang songs they had been practicing in Sunday school for many weeks.  Adele was dressed as an angel and Avril held a sign.

The girls in their dresses. 

Dwayne and I all decked out.

The girls in their new Christmas pajamas. 

We woke up to a white Christmas.  And the snow was still coming down as we woke up, had our coffee, and made breakfast, so it was just magical.

Norah and Adele snuggling on the couch Christmas morning

After we opened gifts and played a while, we made a big ham with sides and had Dwayne's brother, my sister-in-law, and their kids over for dinner, gifts, and then we all went to see a movie.

The day after Christmas (today), the girls are wearing pajamas my family sent and eating the last of the gingerbread Norah made yesterday. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

After the parade, everyone gathered at Nana's stand for cookies and coffee.

Ramone wanted to introduce his new friend to Nana. "Santa, you have to meet my Nana. She makes the best cookies."

As Ramone approached the cookie stand, he waved and yelled, "Two coffees, Nana! We're famished! And you have to meet my new friend..."

Nana, of course, pours a cup of fresh coffee right away and then turns to greet Ramone and his new friend.

When Nana actually sees Ramone's new friend, the color leaves her cheeks, she stares for a long, intense moment, then whispers in disbelief,


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Ramone used his new snowmobile to take Santa through the park for the Christmas parade to greet the kiddies and throw candy from his bag.
How nice, Ramone. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Ramone talked Nana into getting him a snowmobile for Christmas.  

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Once the old tree was gone, the elected officials had to decide what to do with the town square.

Planting another tree seemed too mundane and unsophisticated, so they asked the press to survey the public and see what the regular people thought about "the problem."

"What should the city officials do now that the tree is gone?"

Since every single person out of the first three hundred interviewed answered, "They should plant another tree," the press decided they weren't asking the right question.

Instead they started asking, "Do you think a Christmas tree in town square is inclusive enough?"

Now this question really got people thinking...

People would actually hesitate for about ten seconds before coming to the same conclusion and saying, "They should probably just plant another tree. Everybody loved the tree."

So the story made national headlines, naturally.

After six years of debate, the city officials were proud to announce that they had commissioned a Holiday Statue that only cost the tax-payers five hundred thousand dollars.

At a press conference called for the purpose, the city officials stood and thanked themselves for this "stunningly beautiful, progressive solution."

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Then some sicko with an axe to grind (no pun intended) came in the dead of night and cut down the the city's Christmas tree!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Ramone and the other volunteer firefighters helped with the community tree lighting this year. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

And after his new firefighter friends introduced Ramone to their flight supervisor, Lolita, Ramone felt certain flying was his true calling.

He asked Nana for the money to start lessons right away.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Some of the guys on his crew at the firehouse also work part-time on the rescue copters that fly in and out of the state parks picking up the wounded. These guys swap stories about the idiots who get themselves hurt trying stunts with their friends out on the slopes.  Ramone laughs nervously at these stories, feeling a little self-conscious. But now he is thinking about getting his pilot license.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

When he isn't on shift at the firehouse one day a week,

or at the ski park,

or playing Xbox,

or Ramone has taken to building pinewood derby cars in Nana's garage.

He likes to stay busy, you know.

Nana always says, "Idleness is Diablo's workshop."

Friday, December 15, 2017

as a volunteer firefighter. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ramone decided to go on a cruise before he started his new job

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

There's a new park ranger at the ski park. Her name is Luciana.

The thing about Luciana, you'll notice, is she only knows how to do her makeup one way and that's all the way!

Really, what happened was Luciana only ever took the time to master one You Tube video tutorial when she was in middle school, so now she has no "everyday" look.

Luciana's all smoky-sultry all day.

But it's working for her, so she still goes with it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

To make ends meet while Ramone is out of work, Nana opened a coffee stand at the park where so many of the youngsters spend their free time.

Nana brought cookies, of course. She always brings cookies.

At first, Nana was just giving a cookie away with each order, but then people insisted on paying her for her cookies, too!

People seemed to like her cookies even more than her coffee!

Word kept spreading about this Nana and her perfect cookies and her sweaters...

Nana's such a dear, she even tells the young men how to do their hair in a perfect bun.

Now she's so popular, there's talk about a Food Network deal!

Whenever she gets asked about it, Nana just chuckles and waves her hand and says,

"All these folks making such a fuss, I'm just tickled by the whole thing."

Monday, December 11, 2017

The next morning, Ramone's buddies texted him from the park.

"fresh dusting. u coming?" the text read.

Feeling like he really ought to try to get some fresh air and exercise, Ramone went snow boarding.

For six hours.

He even built a snow man to use as an obstacle on the course.

When he got home, he was so beat, naturally, he couldn't even bring in the mail for Nana.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

In addition to that new sled, Ramone purchased a massive, remote-controlled drone. 

Of course, there are federal laws about manned and unmanned air craft. 

And there are state guidelines and licenses and fees and fines if you fly too high or too low. 

And there are country sheriffs who arrest anyone they find in the empty fields outside town.

And there are city ordinances, naturally, that prevent anyone from using a drone near Nana's house. 

So, basically, Ramone can't use his drone practically anywhere. 

Hashtag Merica.   

Saturday, December 9, 2017

While Ramone was still recovering from his accident by watching Netflix on the couch all day, Nana had to do some of the harder jobs around the house like the snow blowing.

"I wish Harold were still alive to help with this mess," she thought to herself as she struggled out in the cold.

Interestingly, Nana's late husband's name wasn't Harold like you'd think. Papa's name was Bruce, so I am not sure who Nana is talking about.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Nana came to visit Ramone in the hospital.

She brought cookies.

Nana's a dear and everyone loves her. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ramone bought a new sled with his first workman's comp check. 
"A sled sounds like fun," he thought.  
It was delivered and in his nana's garage before he even was even out of the hospital. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ramone was discovered by the receptionist shortly after he fell unconscious and he was flown in a medical plane to a local emergency room that could treat him for hypothermia, exhaustion, and accidental poisoning. They couldn't do anything about Ramone's stupidity.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Nouns exist because we are actually real. 
Verbs- because God gave us freewill. 
Pronouns- because, blessedly, we are more than our names. 
Prepositions- because we are made for relationships. 
Possessives- because we are stewards of creation. Adjectives- because we were made in God’s image. 
Adverbs- because we are unique. 
Superlatives- because God is most holy! 

Insights into the nature of reality from my study of Latin   

Coffee, even with cream and sugar, wasn't enough, so he ate the gingerbread house that was out as decoration. He got most of it eaten before he realized something was amiss.

The icing wasn't actually icing, it was a mixture of toxic glues and paints, so Ramone, sadly, poisoned himself.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Ramone warmed up, then realized he was starving from three hours of exercise in the cold, so he helped himself to some of the free coffee in the lobby.

Christmas Crafts 2017

I don't know what has gotten into me, but I have been in the mood to make Christmas crafts with the littles this year. I usually hate crafts, naturally, because I hate messes.

But we went all out this year. And by all out, I mean that we used the most basic supplies to form every possible variation of the same ornament, basically.  

So now our fake Christmas tree is covered in tiny sticks, cardboard, and dry grasses, various forms of kindling, and it could probably go up in flames as well as any real tree.

Behold! the ornaments we made: