Tuesday, February 09, 2010

November 2009

Here we are hanging out for my thirty-fifth birthday. I don't care if it sounds cheesey, but my one wife and four kids are the best gift! They make me smile and laugh, and I'm thankful I get to care for them and inspire them. And eat cake with them. And play MarioKart Wii!

Grandma Karen came over to blow out some candles to celebrate her birthday. We won't say how many flames should have been flickering on her cake, but we're glad she could blow them out in one try!

A favorite way to wind up an evening is by the fire. And tell stories. About a dragon. Named Bob. I'd spin my yarn, and then each kid would go around telling their version. Each one got more and more ridiculous, usually some outlandish adaption of my original account of Bob the dragon. 

It was a fun surprise to have Troy and Tammy Ray hang out with us for the evening. Elena and Josiah had fun playing around with our crew!

A highlight of every November is helping Aunt Shirley and Aunt Faye set up their outside Christmas decorations. This year we went a few weeks early to get the work done - it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I'm sure glad we listened to Tara. This time.

As you may know, Tara and I will never have a pet dog or cat in our house, despite the fact that our kids are fond of them. Much to their delight they found a stray cat roaming the alley, a cat that loved to be picked up and hauled around. Kitty now lives with Shirley and Faye, but the kids are the "owners"!

Thanksgiving at Grandma Karen's house! Emma insisted on getting dressed up. We're glad she did!

Thanksgiving at Aunt Shirley and Aunt Faye's!

Part of our Thanksgiving tradition is to spend the night so that we can set up the outside decorations on the next day. Friday events have evolved over the past twenty years. For about a decade we would get up at the crack of dawn and hit the stores for Christmas sales. Sometimes we'd travel to Fort Wayne, usually Marion, or we'd stay in Huntington. We'd get hungry - especially as chubby middle schoolers, so we'd go out to eat for breakfast. Nowadays we shun early-morning shopping and prefer to stay in our pj's all day. We sleep in, we make cinnamon buns with icing and then made-to-order omelettes! And Wii all day. This all helps us feel very thankful!

Our final Thanksgiving of the month was with Papa Jim and Grandma Naomi. The kids always have fun with the toys in the basement and the trainrides!

Of course we had to get Papa Jim a Wii!

Papa Jim is notorious for his jokes. And I'm Mr. Gullible. He gave me a cup of coffee, which was nice of him. But when I drained it dry, I let out a mild yell: there was a nasty looking cockroach in my mug! The kids were a bit nervous about peeking inside the contaminated cup. Good times, good times.

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