Sunday, December 26, 2010

Crash - I Meant, Creche

Christmas weekend was filled with a jumble of emotions.  Some really joyful highs intermingled with a handful of bitter lows.  I have a very emotional blogpost composed in my head, but I'm far too lazy to push my fingers across the keyboard tonight, so instead I'll leave you with the show you have all - er, who am I kidding? - both, been waiting for. 

The backstory:  my father-in-law always read the Christmas story from Luke to the kids on Christmas morning before presents, so in order to offset the gaping hole of his absence this year, we decided to put on a play, telling the story ourselves.  Of course, we had the usual dramatic problems you would expect with any James Cameron movie or Broadway production:  42% of our cast members were too young to read, my diva daughter refused to be a wise man and instead insisted on being Mary because it was a way more glamorous role, and my mother-in-law's family heirloom was sacrificed as an offering to the Baby Jesus in the chaos of it all. 

But it certainly was fun, we learned many lessons for our future productions, and we know Grandad would have been proud.

Without further adieu...

The Christmas story, a la Thomas-style:


Friday, December 17, 2010

We Stank You

Christmas is tied for first place as my favorite holiday. 

None can match the celebration of my Lord and Savior manifesting here on earth as a tiny baby, except of course, said Lord and Savior dying for my sins and defeating death three days later.

But Christmas.  I love it.  I just love everything about it.  The scent of fir trees (or fir candles if your weenie wonderful husband manufactures a convenient allergy to Christmas trees-- whatever), the carols, the snacks, the Christmas flavors at Starbucks, and the mail.  Oh, the mail!  I get such a rush seeing our mailman chug around the corner, pull up to our house, and deposit stacks of glittery, multicolored Christmas cards in my mailbox, knowing what soon awaits me:  the ability to sit at my kitchen table in silent, arrogant judgment about which one of my high school friends or college sorority sisters has the cutest picture of their kids, or in some cases, which one has made the most unfortunate of fashion choices.

I hope that doesn't get me kicked off anyone's Christmas card list for next year. 

But come on?  Do I lie?  We all do it when the mail arrives.

This year, as a family, we've been trying to focus less on the commercialization of the holiday and more on the tradition and the ultimate reason for our celebration.  Part, nay, most of that could be that we deeply miss a beloved and vital member of our family.  And the rest is due to the ire that engulfs my husband when we spend money unnecessarily on junk, simply because some people (ME) like to have a full stocking on Christmas morning.  So what if it's full of junk?  At least it's full.

So we've been really trying to focus on our blessings this year.  Of which, there are many.  Too many to count.  A list which would make my head explode were I to try and name each and every one, but I'm going to try anyway because it's Christmas, and I'm all caught up in the spirit now.  And possibly a little wired on Starbuck's holiday flavors.

At the very top of my list of blessings are these three things in no particular order:  1)  Jesus Christ, and the freedom and liberty to worship Him;  2)  An incredibly loving, close, supportive, beautiful, healthy immediate and extended family;  and 3)  A roof over my family's head, food in my children's mouths, Bibles by their beds, kissing the noses of my babies every morning, waking up next to a man I love, going to a job I love, being surrounded by friends I love, and the wet kisses of dogs I love. 

Was that more than three things?

Speaking of blessings, Aria has apparently learned a new one at school.  This was news to me because until about a week ago, we were saying the same one I've said in the Wood family my whole life.  Which, according to my dad is a Moravian blessing, but sadly, this means nothing to me.  I don't even know where Moravia is.  If I had to guess, I'd say it's that imaginary country in the Princess Diaries that Anne Hathaway gets to be ruler of, but I'm guessing since I've been saying this Moravian blessing my whole life and I'm one or two years older than Ms. Hathaway when she made that movie, I'd probably be wrong.  Google wants me to think Moravia is in the Czech Republic somewhere. 

Here is what I do know:  the Moravian people make really tasty flat ginger cookies, and they passed down a blessing to my parents' parents that still gets said around the dinnertable every night in Plano, Texas. 

Until last week.  Now, Aria insists on saying this new blessing she's learned, which is apparently a hybrid half-poem and half-song diddy, at least to my three-year-old, because she starts out reciting it, and finishes up singing the last two lines to a catchy little tune.  I haven't quite figured out the words yet to write them down for you, as they seem to change daily, but the last part is the refrain, "We thank You.  We thank You." 

But my little princess is tongue-tied.  Literally, she really is.  She has a tight frenulum and her tongue is heart-shaped, which causes her to say words that have "TH-" in them as an "ST-"-sound instead.  Therefore, the "We thank you" part of her blessing comes out as,


Ohmagawsh, it's the cutest thing you've ever heard.  Chris and I melt into peals of laughter every time she says it.  And she's so earnest, too, with her little head bowed and hands folded in prayer.  So, so, so cute!

And of course, it's caught on with Mommy and Daddy, so now we say, "What is stat?", or "I'm Stirsty", or "Stank You so much".

I'm stinking stis will go down in Thomas family lore.

Oh, and speaking of STANK? 

Allow me to segue:  I've noticed there is a funny smell coming from my daughters' play kitchen.  It's not a bad smell, just not what one would expect emanating from a plastic toy.  Odiferousness (yep, just made up that really cool word)  isn't a totally odd finding in and of itself in our house lately, as pretty much everything my daughters get their hands on ultimately results in some sort of aroma

They have the olfactory Midas touch, if you will.

Come to find out, though, when I investigate the kitchen smell a bit further, I discover that my resourceful three-year-old has been using REAL SPICES to "cook" in her "kitchen".  Spices that have clearly been pilfered from Mommy's kitchen.  Yes, celery salt, garlic powder, and pepper are all commingling in the pink Barbie plate simmering on her stove.  When I ask her about it, she happily proclaims, "I'm making you some yummy pancakes, Mommy!"


However, in the spirit of the season, I even give stanks for the imaginary delicious celery-garlic-pepper-pancakes in the pink Barbie plate, and most especially for the brilliant little chef who made them for me.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

An Early Christmas Gift

There has been a dirth of blog posts lately not for lack of material, oh no, but because of the exponential increase in the number of things to do around the holidays.  And also because I was sometimes writing these blogs at work.

That is, unless you are reading this and you happened to be my lovely, wonderful, and extremely understanding boss, Tracy, who has such a good sense of humor; in which case, ahem, girl, I would nevah, evah blog at work; I spend my time reading medical texts and journals, and contributing to my knowledge of premature babies and such. 

Nonetheless, were I to even want to blog at work lately, it would be impossible anyway, as it has been so stinking busy, I'm lucky if I even get to eat my lunch before 4 pm. 

And then at home, well, my cup runneth over between 2 and 4 pm.  Naptime.  Also known as my favorite time of the day.  Time that used to be reserved for ME and my friends and family in blog-land.  Time that is now devoted to ordering from Amazon (free shipping, no tax, are you kidding me?), addressing Christmas cards, and wrapping presents that my little ones are not supposed to know about.

So, instead of boring you with stories about how tired I am, or how busy we are, or how taxing it is on my tiny brain to remember to move the stinkin' Elf every morning, I'll instead let you peruse some pictures of the Lovelies.

Oh, wait!  A disclaimer to my immediate family:  I'd like to warn you that by looking at these extremely beautiful photos, you will also be previewing your Christmas gift from me and therefore ruining any surprise. 

Just sayin'.

Merry Christmas!  Don't say you weren't warned...