Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

My sister in law was telling me about their Christmas morning and how nice it was, they awoke at eight, watched each other open each gift and it extended over a long time, and was just pleasant.  I have to just smile and nod.  That sounds nothing like Christmas morning at this house!  I think holiday arguments start in your childhood.  Someone from that home, marries some one from a home like ours, and you have disaster before the wedding ever took place!  The McAllisters in this house have a general gift free-for-all that begins around 6 a.m. and lasts for about 20 minutes tops, tearing the wrapping off everything in site and yelling to each other to congratulate on each new present. Spontaneous celebrations take place helter skelter and mom dives in and out with a camera, taking bad angles of everything that appears promising.  Wrapping paper piles about our ankles and small children plaintively hold up their gift with the armor-plated packaging for assiatance in vain until all the unwrapping is accomplished.  Here, then, are some of the bad angles we wanted to highlight.

In the beginning, the children check out their stockings and all is still quiet and controlled.
Unwrapping begins in earnest.
Some dancing to music provided by the "Rescue Pack."

General excitement and good will abound.
 Seth's new puppy, his name is of course, Rex.
 Party just heating up....
Look at that floor!
 Jacob grinning about getting the Planet Earth series. Ethan trying the heft on his METAL baseball bat.  Last year he wanted a baseball bat and Santa was dense enough to get plastic, so this year his request was very specific. :)
 Nathan with all his long missed, stinky cheeses, olives and salami.
O' Yeah. Nerf fest!
 Super Seth.
All is right with the world.  We had a marvelous Christmas morning. Hope yours was as festive!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ho, Ho, Ho! Who Wouldn't Go?

Today Seth's preschool class had a special visitor.  I think this is Seth's first experience up close and personal with Santa.  He was a little shy, but not enough to keep him away.  He told Santa he wanted a Batman mask.  Santa told Seth that he was a Batman fan too. :)

It was interesting to me to be in the classroom with the children.  Santa had a gift for each of them and would call them up by name.  "Atticus", he called out (a good, strong-sounding name, I thought).  But where was Atticus?  Clinging to his mother's neck at the back of the room, not willing to get closer than 15 feet from the red suit.  Other children were sweet to watch.  One little girl was so trusting, just like Santa was an old friend, went to the front with awe and belief so prevalent in her face it made me get teary eyed.  What a precious thing!  Such trust and belief are fleeting in childhood, I just wish I could hold on to that for my children a little longer.  Merry Christmas, Seth!  And all of my children, big and small.  I can't wait to spend another holiday with you.  You fill all my days with joy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sledding, and Other Happenings

I'm not even sure where the time has gone since Thanksgiving!  I did make it home to Idaho for a visit with my family.  The children and I faced the slick roads alone, and the longest time it has ever taken me to make the trek.  We spent an hour and a half between Fort Hall and Idaho Falls!  But it was worth it!  Good to see family and wonderful to go black Friday shopping with my sisters and Diane!  We left Dubois at 3 am to be at Target in Idaho Falls by 4!  We hit 12 stores and started the drive home at about 1 pm.  Crazy and fun and good deals!  We were able to join Natalie's family for Dallin's baptism and I saw my aunt Vonda there.  She is one of my favorite people. :) Nathan stayed home to work on homework and have Thanksgiving with his family.  We missed him and he missed us, but Rex was glad to not be left entirely marooned.

After Thanksgiving came my birthday.  But Miriam had oral surgery that day and I'm not even sure where my birthday went!  A bit sad, really.  I was remembered by several friends and that was nice.  And I treated myself to Death By Chocolate cake which makes everything alright.  Miriam was swollen for 3 days and we didn't even get any photos!  Poor thing, but now she is back to feeling well and it is all behind us.  (If you are interested, she didn't grow several of her baby teeth and made up for it by forming extra permanent teeth, so now that she has had 6 teeth extracted, she should be left with something our orthodontist can work with. :)

Now I find myself in the midst of Christmas!  Camille's band concert was last week and we have attended two Christmas parties at the church.  I think I am just about finished with the shopping.  Phew!  It is always a big sigh of relief when that part is over.  Now I am still working on a few gifts that I am making, then will come the FOOD!  (Guess which part is my favorite?) 

Last Saturday we took a few minutes to go sledding at the park with the kids.  We had a nice time. I only traversed the hill once and then insisted on staying at the bottom to take pictures. :)
 Jake and Caleb make a train.
 Leslie with her braids flying!
Another train, quite popular this season.

Jake and Seth

 Seth and Nathan
 Ethan was afraid to get on the sled, so he would slide down the hill on his bum. Ouch!
No photos of Miriam and Camille because they went out before us, and were ready to come in before we arrived.  Just imagine them at home making cocoa.

Photographer.  Disheveled, splotchy, but for the record, I was there. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jake and Rex and the Snow

Some of you know that Jacob aspires to be an Arctic explorer, or something almost as adventurous.  He has been sleeping out in the back yard in a tent for two weeks now, and last night was the first snow on the tent.  This is what it looks like this morning:

I'm just glad the tree didn't drop that limb on him!  He says he slept quite well.  We have a foot of new snow this morning and there is much rejoicing. 

 Rex seems particularly fond of the snow.  Jake will make a snowball and throw it for Rex to fetch.  Rex tears off after it, and then has to nose around in the snow trying to find it. :) Cute dog.
Best Friends Forever.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All I want for Christmas.....

Ethan lost two front teeth just the other day. I noticed that the two new teeth behind had actually surfaced already, so Ethan started wiggling and Jacob helped pull the loose ones. The toothfairy, showing rare punctuality, came through with a dollar.  Now, to convince Ethan that what he really wants for Christmas is teeth. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Soccer 2010

We haven't had any kids in soccer since Jake played when he was 9 (seven year break). So, this year we were excited to find a league just our speed and Caleb, Miriam and Ethan all played.  Their last game was on Saturday, and Leslie took photos to remember the season.

This is Ethan.  His team is called the Tigers.
Here the Tigers are trying to remember which goal is theirs. :)
Miriam played on a team with a lot of other little girls her age.  She had a great time.  Their team was called the Panthers.
Miriam is in the center.  She can really run and is quite competitive at heart. Fun to watch her play.
This is Caleb in an action shot (far right).

His team was the Burnt Marshmallows.  They were one of only two teams in this age group, so they battled each other every week.  This is saying "Good Game" to the Orange Crush.
All the kids had a great time and we enjoyed cheering for them.

Now we take a break until spring! Phew!

Friday, November 5, 2010


  Camille and Leslie have been playing volleyball this fall with the girls from our ward.  Last night was the last game, but the first one I was able to watch.  They are great girls!  Photo highlights follow:
Way to go, girls!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2010

 Carving pumpkins
Ethan and pumpkin
The crew.  Jake stayed home to give out candy, but this was his costume for the big school Halloween dance.  Jake is a Man in Black, Leslie a pirate, Camille and Miriam are both the Dread Pirate Roberts.  Caleb is The Doctor (Doctor Who?). Ethan the vampire and Seth is Batman.

We had a visit from Grandma McAllister this year, she was the Paper Bag Princess. (A story I adore.)
Much candy was pilfered, many unsuspecting citizens frightened, and we were all pretty happy about it. :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Seth Goes to School

Taylorsville High School has a preschool program where the students learn about child development and teaching young children.  Historically, this is my favorite kind of preschool for my children.  Not too serious, just some structure and some fun.  Seth started preschool this week.  I am not emotional about my youngest going to school unless you count the dawning realization that I could potentially have two hours to myself a couple times a week and that makes me ecstatic.  :) (I say potentially, because Ethan was a preschool dropout. So you never know.)
Seth's First Day of Preschool

Seth and his buddy Michael.  The second day of preschool was a Halloween party.  The kids were able to wear their costumes and parade around the school for teachers and high school kids to appreciate their cuteness.  They also did a bit of trick or treating.  Please take a moment with me to appreciate Seth's costume for what it really is: A too-small T-shirt with the batman logo combined with a cape from the dress up box and Seth is convinced he is Batman.  He zooms around in the cape and convinces most on-lookers, I am sure.  To me, I love how a suggestion of a costume transforms a child in their own mind, becoming their reality for a moment.  Childhood is precious. What I am learning over time is that we are all still in there, the little child in our heart still loves a good Batman shirt once in awhile, can still appreciate the whoosh of the chocolate as it cascades from the trick or treat bag onto the floor.  I'm grateful for my children who allow me to still enjoy Halloween.