Friday, November 30, 2012

a friday game

 My camera doesn't do very well with far away action shots, but we enjoyed the game.

 He didn't particularly like the squeaking of tennis shoes against the wood floor, and he didn't like the whistles or buzzers either.

 Ahh, Lizeth and Julia hanging out.

James is the guy in the orange shoes.

There was a spaghetti dinner and silent auction, a fundraiser for the basketball team--easy-going, pleasant evening.    Fridays, my favorite.  love, Val

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

a trip downtown

About four in the afternoon, I had the idea we should go downtown to the Macy's Santa display.   Jay made a horrible face like I'd suggested a root canal, but after a little while he warmed up to the idea.  When Joe came to pick up the baby I posed it to him, and he had that same bad look for a second.

Jay teased him, "It could be a father-in-law/son-in-law bonding experience."

He said, "Let me talk to Heidi."

 I called the other kids too, but it was pretty last minute and everyone else was busy.

Winter evening are so pretty in the city.

 The Christmas display at Macy's was Santa's Workshop.

 This is the reindeer stable.

 We had a few minutes at the end to talk to Santa.  p.j. was a little nervous, but did not cry or flee.  While she watched, Maria said, "That brings back memories!"  She was referring to how terrified she was of Santa.

 He did talk to Tim also, but I didn't hear if he asked for anything.

 Heading back to the car:

On the way home Julia asked me if that was the real Santa.  I said I didn't know.  He looked kind of scrawny for Santa.   But if he's getting old and skinny, that's not a polite thing to mention.   Jay said maybe he bulks up right before Christmas.   Julia said, "Yeah, I couldn't ask him if he's real or not.  That's just too rude."     Wow, maybe she is growing up.

As we drove home, the car felt like a little warm dark cocoon, cruising along a river of lights.
    love you kids, and your little dad too,   MOM

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

from aunt pam: the dogs that sing

This trio of dogs was on the kitchen cupboard when I came home late in the night.

Early in the morning this girl arrived, and you can see how she feels about the dogs and their singing.

After this, she and I went back to bed, mostly because I was cold.   I put Curious George on the TV and she tucked the trio of dogs in bed between us and pulled the covers up to our chins.

Kind of a perfect early cold morning, actually.   love you little girl, and your Aunt Pam too, Val

Saturday, November 24, 2012

the day after thanksgiving

Thanksgiving morning it was close to 60 degrees out.  By evening, it was sleeting and snowing.  At this point Friday morning it was about 20 degrees with a stiff wind.   Twenty degrees will feel fine to us in a month, but we are not used to it yet.

 We drove to the town where Dannell grew up, and cut a tree at the tree farm.    Click on the picture above to enlarge if you want.   It looks like a fine tree.

Well when we got home, and Jay started cutting the base to fit in the stand, the tree more or less fell apart.  He showed me in the driveway, and I've never seen anything like this before, and we stood there staring at the whole mess for a long minute.

Then I said, "Throw it behind the garage and let's move on from this problem.   We'll eat lunch and then go to Malmborg's and get another tree."

And that is what we did.  So this whole lovely adventure in the woods was a waste of time and money.

That's the way it goes sometimes.   Thanksgiving leftovers in the microwave and on to tree #2.

 This tree had no difficulties, thank goodness.

 And then this:

 Last night when I was done working and came home, driving down our street, I saw the lights and thought, "Oh, pretty!"  THEN I realized it was MY house.   While I was gone, Jay put up lights outside, and on Thanksgiving night I put the candlestick lights in the windows and it's all very festive.

 And this was inside the house.   I love all the light on these long dark days.

And then, this is a little funny.   I thought, "Hmm. I wonder if I can catch the end of Saturday Night Live?  Or maybe Austin City Limits is on."    I came to the room and flicked on the TV.

It wasn't Saturday night, only Friday, dur.    I had to go find the kids, laugh at how mixed up the holiday has made us.   They said they kept thinking it was Saturday all day long too.

Onward!   Christmas is a month away!    love, Val

Thursday, November 22, 2012

pretty awesome

 Yes, the inflatable Santa!    Here they're putting in the stakes and air is filling.

 I told Joe I hadn't been to Walmart since I bought it, don't dare to!

Who knows what I might buy, what I'm capable of?

 (I never have this problem at Target.)

 Here are some excited individuals watching from the door.

Ta da!  And there he is!   See Little Jay standing beside him?  Jay is at least 6'4".   Woo Hoo!    love, Val

thanksgiving, 2012

 Lydia is working on the table above.

Below is the little girl who was running wild yesterday while we got ready for the party.  Here she is, missing half her clothes, with food on the shirt, and snot dried on her face.   Dog hair was stuck to the snot.

Her grandpa intervened and said, "Come on Little Girl.  Time to get cleaned up.  You look like an urchin."

She did. It's true.
 Back to Lydia, carefully working.

 The eating began at noon.

These guys know all about the refrigerator in the office, and the Moo Jr.s in the freezer.  My sweetie said, "Come with me to the office.  I can't reach."  He brought back enough for the others too.

And these two, just too dang cute for their own good.  To Thanksgiving, she brought Cowboy Caviar and I love that salsa so much.   I liked it even more than the stuffing, untraditional as it is.

Here is my little brother inspecting Julia's barbie car.  Not sure what he's looking for, but we had a nice day, hanging out with his family and my parents.

 What is so funny?
Here we all are, photos taken my my parents.   There was some intense hollering at one point and the little table is about to be kicked over, but that's okay.

 These two:
Okay, up in Lydia's room is an oven from when the house used to be a duplex. There's a big sink in there too and some cupboards.    Anyway, Jay wanted the extra oven space, so he took food up there to cook, plugged in the stove and threw in the food.  Soon the house smelled like some kind of toxic smoke.

We ran up there, opened windows and the door onto the flat roof, trying to get some ventilation, and then we went looking for melted Barbies.  (Barbies had been stored in the oven, but Jay thought they were all out.)

John said he thinks this is a bad idea. Who stores Barbie dolls in an oven?

The Barbies in the drawers were perfectly cool, and in the storage compartment next to the oven.   But inside the oven, stench.   Finally he realized there was a sheet of clear plastic on the oven rack, melting.

It was removed, order was restored.   Weird problems.   Always with the weird problems.

But not these two, and not us today.   It was a beautiful holiday, as good as it gets.    love you all so, Mom