Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It really is. You just have to stay on pace and keep your sanity, so that you can enjoy it. Which is no less than one of the year's biggest challenges, every year.

It does help if you have a fabulous family. By rights, I should be absolutely bonkers right now. We've had company staying with us more days than not in December, and have had my brother's wedding, my sister-in-law's graduation, and the Sugg family Christmas to entertain us. But because all of the extended family are unusually precious, it has all been a joy. And I realize that's a lot of sentiment to share, but if I can't do it now, when can I?

So, for those of you still out there, here's what we've been doing.

First, we celebrated as these two got married. After all, if you tuck your jeans into your boots, even as a joke, you're lucky to find someone as awesome as Lyndi.

They got married at this church.

And these two were among the solemn witnesses.

Then, we celebrated as this one graduated from the U of M. We're proud of you, Wiff.

We also enjoyed the company of ALL of those who came to celebrate said graduation. But Kayle is usually first on the list of adored Lareaus.

Then it was time for the school Christmas program...always a joy, and usually one of the hardest laughs of the year as well. Since I'm feeling sentimental, I'm going to share the video that took place before she started stretching her dress over her chin and wearing her reindeer antlers over her eyes. I'll entertain you with that during the dismal weeks of February, or somethin'.

Here's a picture from that day that I like to call Crazy Southern Girls.

Later that evening, the precious Huddlestons came by to visit. Rest assured, the craziness continued.

And then it was time for Sugg Christmas.

First we read the Christmas story. We'll assume that Mer's look of barely subdued glee has as much to do with the story of Jesus as it does to do with the presents. But she's only 3.

The grownups will teach the little ones how to share, as Chris and Matthew received a router. They're working out a visiting rights schedule. And, yes, that's Matthew's happy face. And Chris' manly face.

Lyndi (Ninny) performed her auntly duties by removing the Cabbage Patch from it's wrapping. It took about an hour and a half to get through 3 layers of cardboard, 20 plastic straps, and 72 twist ties. I am so glad it wasn't me.

And now....Now we're fixin' to relax for 36 hours before Round Two. See you soon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Caroling with Three Year Olds

First they have to argue over the lone instrument and then they try to spread some Christmas joy. At an appropriate volume. Oy. That big silver bell is going to be hidden away as soon as I finish this post.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Trimming the Tree

When we first started the tree trimming process, Meredith felt that the tree should be a surprise. She kept hiding in the closet, or covering her eyes. After about 20 minutes, we were finally able to convince her that it was going to be awhile, and she might want to participate in the process.

The boys needed a little coaxing to participate this year, and I don't think they ever did stop texting, but they got into it eventually.

Meredith served the traditional Christmas cupcakes. She had already had a considerable amount of strawberry punch. And then there was ice cream. Way way WAY too much sugar.

She was more than a little anxious about this task, but she pulled it off.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 01, 2008


It was a peaceful and warm Thanksgiving in AR. I took a random assortment of pictures. Here goes.

Mer made herself several pretend meals, and prayed before every one. She loves having unlimited access to Keddi's drawer of paper table settings.

Our family does party crackers at every possible occasion. You pull the ends, they make a popping sound, and out flies a tiny prize, a paper hat, and a little piece of paper with a really bad joke on it. This activity ensures that we look very sophisticated for the remainder of the meal.

Meredith painted ornaments. Uncle Mamoo is not one to miss such fun.

This holiday will be remembered by many as the year that Chris finished The Conspiracy of Fools - the story of the Enron debacle. It was about, oh, a million pages, and apparently it was incredibly compelling.

Here's Meredith and Mamoo at the appetizer table. Mamoo has cast his eyes heavenward in hopes of retrieving the meatball that he threw about 20 feet into the air. Meredith enjoyed her apps with a bit more sophistication.

This is what you get when you cross a 30-year elementary school teacher with a mom that wakes up at 4 in the morning...a carefully printed list of Thanksgiving assignments.

Mer missed the big Thanksgiving meal -- just crashed and didn't wake up til it was all over. But she woke up ready to go. Below, she's being a monster.

Happy with the pumpkin.