Merry Christmas!

I don't know if Christmas will ever get better than this. Actually I take it back, it's going to be great for many years to come.

Our kids have reached that perfect age where Christmas is simply magical. We played and enjoyed our presents all day and just loved being together. We are so grateful for these fun, interesting, and delightful people who we live with (and also happen to have created). 

We are also grateful for the people we don't live with but who we love and think about (all the time, but especially) during this magical season. 


Tuba Christmas

We loaded our family on the train and took them downtown on Christmas Eve for Tuba Christmas, a live performance of 220 Tubas and Euphoniums (with a surprising number of Sousaphones) playing an hour of traditional Christmas carols. Paul and I had a great time. The kids mostly complained about the cold. But they did like the train ride. And the Thai food we ate for lunch afterward. 


All About that Bass Pro Shop

So, I read somewhere that Bass Pro Shops has a lot on display for Christmas.  I wasn't really expecting much, but it was worth trying anyway. Plus, I have this weird obsession with camping gear. I love camping gear. I want to buy it all. Do I camp? No. Do I want to own a queen sized cot and three room tent? Yes. And also all the gadgets. All of them.

So, even if the Christmas displays were a bust, I could always enjoy browsing the camping section. 

Well, they were so not a bust. We had a great time. They had games and carousel rides and pictures with Santa (Max and Isaac were not interested in sitting with him.) And all of it was completely free. Amazing. And fun. I didn't even have time to make it to the camping section. 


Isaac's Blessing

Well, he's only three months old, but he weighs in at about twenty two pounds so we were lucky to have so many good friends and family join in his blessing to heft that chubby baby in the circle.

There was no way he was going to fit into Max's blessing outfit, which Max was really too big for at six weeks. So we put him in the blessing gown I wore as a baby (and Charlotte and Ella). It is decidedly a dress. But if dresses are good enough for the Catholics, they're good enough for us. 

Richard and Jess, Paul's brother and his wife, are now in the same ward as we are due to some boundary changes. There have been fewer mixups than I expected sharing a name with someone in the ward, although they are not nonexistent. Mostly we are just glad to be so close to family, and it does make church convenient when Jeff and Susan visit.  Plus our kids love each other, and it's fun to see them excited about seeing each other at church each week.

Because of the recent formation of the Carrollton 4th Ward, many of our friends joined us from other congregations (our last ward was scattered between three wards). This group has representatives from all three. 

In order, by family: Bass, Graham, McNeil, Christensen, Wilde, McGee


Ella and I made a nativity today. She sketched the characters and I cut the wood on my scroll saw. She sanded (some of it) and I wood burned the faces she drew on. It was my first time using my wood burner, so I didn't let her try it, but I think next time I will let her do it.  It is (very) hot, but not really complicated to maneuver.  

All in all, it was a fun and not terribly time consuming project, so that is always a win. If it takes too long, it rarely gets finished.

Incidentally, I do take full credit for the elephant, which was not originally part of the manger scene, but I worked on that today, too, and it does kind of round things out.  Plus, he doesn't have any friends to be with yet. 

I love power tools.