Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Good day sunshine!

Behold, the sun! And so, the below mentioned 6 year old Walt and 5 year old Meredith went for a sprint. Or nine.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Who's in Charge Here?

Last night I gave Meredith a big hug and said "Let's just stay right here. I think 5 is old enough. Is that okay?"

Now she's used to that kind of nonsense from her dad. But I'm usually the stoic. The practical one. So I got a speech from her. She pulled back and looked me in the eye, and gently explained:

I'm sorry Mommy, but I don't control that. Did Walty turn 6?


Well then don't you think that I'm going to turn 6? And then 7? And then 8?

I promise, Mommy, it'll be okay.

Says who?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Snowy Rooftops, Glowing Sears

Self observation. We Southerners get stupidly excited about snow. But you know what? We're done with it pretty quickly. Like, say, 24 hours. Like, say, one 24 hour period per year. That'll do.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow Drive Singing

Meredith sang a rather patriotic ballad while we took a snow drive this evening. Our apologies to Native Americans, who don't seem to get proper respect in this, um, song.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Peaceful Painting

There is not much as peaceful as when Meredith and I work together at the dining room table, both totally absorbed in what we're doing. Lately, we've been discussing Jackson Pollack. I don't know how he came up in conversation; we absolutely do not sit around having erudite discussions about artists and their work. But somehow he did come up, and Meredith is fascinated and genuinely loves to look at his work online. I have to say, I'm grateful that she has not yet started incorporating his drip technique into our home painting sessions.

And just for fun, here's my new blog. It's a 365 project - I'm taking a picture from the same upstairs window everyday this year. It's terribly boring, and probably won't even approach fun or interesting until we're further into the year and I do a slideshow. But I'm enjoying it. So in case you are incredibly bored, or need just one more thing to distract you from what you're supposed to be doing, here it is:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Madeline: 21 Months

Still the huggiest baby I've ever known. Still crazy. New nickname: Madly. Sometimes, when I'm cooking, she'll run into the kitchen and do a graceful but strange dance - spinning, arching, waving arms. Music not required. Loves Barnyard Dance and Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb. Loves other mommies and will fight for their laps. Basically cannot get, or give, enough love. Mimics everything Meredith does. Everything with the exception of the really good behavior. Not so interested in that. But good in her own way. And good natured. Reminds us to feed Maggie the cat. Reminds us to pray when we sit down to eat. (But doesn't really eat).

These are post nap pictures. Otherwise, she's generally moving too fast to get a picture.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Movie

At one point, Meredith and I had a long conversation about whether or not snow was clean. I tried to explain that the water that comes from the tap has been cleaned; that which falls from the sky has not. She countered that God makes the stuff that falls from the sky, so it has to be clean. Eventually I got her to understand that people tend to make dirty that which God made clean. I said "It's fine to eat it - enjoy it! We just probably wouldn't want to eat buckets and buckets of it." From behind me I heard a full mouth say "But mom, I've definintely eaten buckets and buckets of it."

Here's a scene from our mellow morning in the snow.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Christmas in Memphis

Around here, we're still invoking the name of the holidays as an excuse for over-indulging. So don't call these pictures late. Just look at them as an excuse to go eat another bon bon.

We set a huge fancy table for Christmas Eve dinner. Everyone helped. Dad polished the above featured gravy boat 'til it shined like the top of the Chrysler building (yeah, we also watched Annie over the holiday).

I carved the turkey breast, and dad offered moral support. Or something.

As is traditional at the holidays, we all laid aside dignity and donned our paper hats. We looked gooood.

Stockings! Who needs anything else when you have Hello Kitty bandaids?

So many were missed this Christmas, but we were also blessed to spend time with lots of loved ones. Blessings abound!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas in Memphis

We've never been home in Memphis for the holidays. Traveling and seeing family from all over the country is always exciting, and we missed that. We sorely missed the folks we didn't get to see. And there's also something to be said for the total relaxation provided by being AWAY. But there's a lot to be said for being home.

The Christmas season starts (in my mind) with the observation ballet class. Parents are allowed to watch a normal class, since we're not really supposed to be peeking in the windows on normal weeks. This observation class was a little strange. They had been out of class for a couple weeks because of Thanksgiving and Meredith has suddenly (sadly) become self-conscious. She didn't really enjoy it, and afterward said it was because "I didn't really have any moves." Growing up is for the birds. Madeline was there to spice things up, though. She never for a minute considered that she didn't have a clue what was going on, and participated in almost every aspect of the class. And did a darn good job, too.

Another marker of the Christmas season: The Nutcracker at the Orpheum. Do you know that they have $5 tickets? There is probably some generous corporate sponsor I should thank for that. Because the seats are great and the production is gorgeous. And frankly, I'd pay more than $5 just to sit in the Orpheum. I fall in love with it again every time I visit.

What's better than a school Christmas party? A school Christmas party when your dad is in charge of games.

And your teacher is amazing enough to bring a chocolate fountain into the classroom...

...And you and your friends almost die from happiness.

Of course there were numerous Christmas projects and crafts, but the best might have been the impromptu scarf making session. We had been given a bag of fabric scraps, and since Keddi was in town, Meredith knew that sewing was a possibility. But then we hit on the idea of fleece scarves - no sewing required, just cutting. Meredith is a pro with the scissors, so with very little help she was able to make matching scarves for herself, Madeline, and cousin Hadley. She wrapped them and gave them to the girls for Christmas. And they were a hit. We need more of this gift making and giving for next year, but it's a start.

The kids at church did an incredible job learning a series of Christmas songs this year (thanks to Ms. Kathy!) and performed them at a nearby nursing home. Again, Madeline could think of no reason that she shouldn't join the show, and even made up hand motions to the songs she didn't know.

And here's a short video of the performance at Neighborhood Church.

Final sign of the season: family photos. We're so thrilled to have a few pictures of all four of us that don't involve bathing suits or Halloween costumes. Thank you to the talented Gretchen Shaw! (And if you're in a wintry wonderlandy sort of mood, you really should check out these pics she took.)

And we leave you with this. Our friend Jeff has a great little band, Jeffrey James and the Haul. They played a wee little Christmas show at Shangri La, and I'd say that was one of the best holiday moments for our family. Just good clean holiday joy.