Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Christmas

On Christmas Eve we went to Salem for the service.  It was a beautiful night of singing traditional hymns with organ and strings laced with the scriptures.  Between watching my two run back and forth between my parents and us, I was still mesmerized.  The highlight of the night was the candle lighting while singing Silent Night.  Although this happens every year, it was the first year that the girls were involved.  Madison had her own candle.  She is a walking fire hazard – she was trying to stand up on the bench, then get off the bench, then move around --- all with the candle lit in her little hands.  Ellie helped me hold my candle.  She did a great job, but made one of the funniest faces I have ever seen – eyes great big, mouth in an “o” shape, and focused on the flame.  It killed the reverie of the song, but was well worth it.  We all breathed a little easier when the candles were extinguished. 

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The girls also saw their cousins and Madison’s Columbus friend, Grace. 

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On Christmas morning we were at home.  It was actually nice to know you could just enjoy Christmas with the family and not race off to somewhere else.  Usually, we are celebrating with Yohs and Brickers, but those celebrations because of flights from out of state were switched to Thursday.  So, we enjoyed our time.  We opened up stockings before breakfast as a teaser of sorts.  Madison found one of her top gifts of the day – glasses with plastic lenses.  Ellie was excited about her Elmo bath book.  They both got new water bottles.  Then, we had breakfast – cinnamon rolls, eggs, and sausage links. 

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Then, we opened presents in earnest.  It is all over too quickly, isn’t it?  I don’t think they need more presents, just a slower process.  Ellie received a Chuggington train set, a doctor’s set, and some books. 

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Madison received a ballerina mat and dress, some clothes, and a some dress up clothes.

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We took naps after lunch – all of us, I think!  Then, I invited my parents and Luke and Steph’s family over for supper.  (My other siblings and Jeremy’s family were busy; I didn’t just neglect them!)  It was a good end to the day to be with family in a low-key way.  It was a good second Christmas celebration.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ediger Christmas

My family celebrates Christmas the weekend before the big day because it reduces the mad rush from house to house.  Although I was reluctant to the change in dates when it first happened, I now see the logic and like it.  (Mostly, I was opposed because I was single the longest and therefore, had nowhere else to be on Christmas day; so, it was all a bit awkward.)  Anyways….   We gathered for presents in the morning at my parents’ house. 

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First, the grandkids got their grandparent presents.

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Then, they traded their gift exchange presents.  Ellie had Sam’s name.  Sophie had Ellie’s name.  Ellie got a Elmo dvd which she loved so much she broke it about 15 minutes later.

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Madison had Sophie’s name.  Megan had Madison’s name.  Madison received “Barbie” dresses, which she was thrilled about.

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There were some fantastic homemade gifts in the exchange – Steph M made Paxon his very own safety vest.  (This is what I dream of being able to whip up, but I just don’t know if I have that bone in my body.)  Dad made Sophie and Chloe shelves for their grocery store that will then convert to bookshelves when they tire of playing grocery store. 

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Then, we told them to go play, so we could have a little less noise in the room as we exchanged gift cards and opened presents from my mom and dad.  We gifted mom and dad with a painting (kudos to Steph R. for making this out of the handprints of all the grandkids!).  And some money (folded origami style and presented in a rebus story… yep, that is my artistic and creative talent.  Are you all jealous?)  that will be put toward a zip line for the backyard.

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We had a delicious Christmas lunch – ham balls, cheesy potatoes, salad, broccoli and carrots, layered jello, and homemade zweibach.  Then, we topped it off with a variety of pudding desserts.  This was a smart choice since pudding can always be eaten no matter how full you are; after all, “It’s just pudding.” as my dad would say!

As we recovered from eating way too much, the grandkids opened the grand finale – their stockings!  They contained a super surprise: their bathing suits.  We were headed to Evergreen RV Park for a swimming extravaganza for the rest of the day.  (I think Chloe’s face speaks volumes!)

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The water was very warm – a bonus for me since I was in it to monitor Madison and not swim laps.  Madison was the only one that stayed in without a break from 3:15-5:30, and then went back into the pool after eating. 

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Thankfully, my sister-in-law and my mom were pool buddies for her the second time around.  The kids loved it!  Ellie enjoyed the “race car” arcade game.  She did not see any need to actually use quarters in it; it was plenty fun just spinning the wheel and pushing buttons.  Nate crushed me at a game of checkers; Jeremy and Ellie tried it as well.  We managed to win not one, but two stuffed animals from the claw machine!  We had supper there – sloppy joes, shredded chicken, veggies, and snacks.  It was a good time in a “beach” location in December. 

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(On a side note, in case you read this blog and get ideas, Evergreen RV Park is a great place to swim.  It is not, however, worth renting “privately” as it is not really a private rental as we learned.  Just go and enjoy it without paying the cost of renting it.)

I will work to get the other Christmas happenings posted in the next two days.  We have Madison’s birthday coming up, as well.  It is a busy blogging time!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Work and Sick Child

I finished my subbing position on Friday the 20th, and I am a free bird.  Really, it just feels like a regular Christmas break; it will feel more real in January when everyone else heads back to school.  My last days were hectic trying to get things wrapped up because Ellie decided that would be a great time to pick up some virus. We were juggling sitters, work time, and doctor’s appointments.  It was a little crazy.  I ended up feeling like I was sneaking out of the building Friday after a half day of work in order to get Ellie to the doctor. 

Turns out, nothing was wrong with her throat or her ears or her lungs or anything else that the doctor looked at.  He said to call if her fever persisted through Sunday or hit 104F.  Well, it hit 104.5F on Friday night, so I called the nurse line.  They, in turn, sent Ellie and me to the ER.  Their concern was a urinary tract infection; it was my concern as well.  No need to be concerned.  After disrupting a night’s sleep for her, and torturing her with a catheter, all tests came back clear.  It was just a virus – wait it out.  Ugh!  The only good thing about that was that I didn’t have to go the next day which was Christmas on my side of the family.  I would have missed most of the morning festivities. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cookies, anyone?

I have two very good cookie bakers on my hands!  I can’t believe how well this year’s cookie production went.  We started on Sunday.  I mixed the dough up.  (After seeing how well it went, I wish I would have made a bigger batch.  There’s always next year.)  Sunday evening we worked on cutting them out.  Madison did pretty well; I just worked to coach her on cookie cutter placement.  The less  you reroll the dough, the better.  Ellie… well, she worked really hard and insisted on doing it all herself with “no help me.”  I tried to let her go at it, but she would only press the cutter down enough to start the cut, but not finish.  So, I took over on a few of hers. 

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They were very proud of all their work!

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Then, tonight, I broke out the sprinkles, whipped up some frosting – yellow, blue, green, and red, and I set them loose!  When I asked if they were excited to frost cookies, this was their response (imagine loud screaming as well).

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It was, really, pretty amazing to watch them focus on frosting them. 

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And then Madison finished her last cookie.

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And Ellie finished her last cookies, and I took the frosting….

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Then, we showed off our beautiful cookies, and all was well!

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A few things I learned:

  • Ellie frosts with a light hand; Madison does not.
  • Both girls are able to resist the temptation to eat the frosting. 
  • Madison can resist frosting better than she can the temptation of eating cookie dough – like mother, like daughter!
  • This is a great way to entertain them.  I even got a salad made for supper in the middle of all this!
  • This is also a great way to get cookies frosting – a holiday task that I don’t really enjoy, but am happy that they do!

Just an FYI, this is the first of many posts.  A good many weeks have passed since my Thanksgiving blog, and I played catch-up for the past hour.  Enjoy the pictures and the stories.  What I learned?  It is not so super fun to play catch-up, but the end result IS satisfying. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season.  I will be blogging before the new year.  I will not be getting a Christmas letter out before the new year; for those on our annual list (or want to be), it will be more of a Happy New Year or maybe even, Happy Valentine’s Day letter.  But just like these blogs, I promise that it will come! 

The Live Nativity

Oak Grove Mennonite Church holds a live nativity walk-through.  We decided to go this year.  The girls loved it!  You start by registering, and then waiting for your guide to take you on the journey to find the baby Jesus.  We follow the star along the way.  We passed the angels singing, beggars begging, shepherds with sheep by a fire (really!), wise men, a marketplace to entertain the senses, lepers begging, King Herod (more on that in a minute), an innkeeper with no room, and finally, to baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in a stable. 

The girls were entranced by every stop, watching the people, tasting the samples at the market.  It was incredible.  But then, we got to King Herod, who was, in real life, a very mean king.  Well, the actor portrayed him very well.  After we were introduced and our mission was announced (to find the new king), the King stood up, threw his giant book on the ground, and yelled at us!  The girls both, simultaneously, started crying and reachgin for someone to hold them!  We apologized to the king as we were leaving.  And we were reassuring the girls.  It was a good moment for a lesson about why Jesus came – how there were mean people and sin, and He came to save us.  We assured them we would find sweet, quiet baby Jesus soon.  Ellie just said through tears, “Jesus, Jesus.”  She knew, really knew, that everything would be okay if we just made it there. 

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And it was. 

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They were enraptured at the scene set before them. 

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They soaked it up and wanted to get as close as possible, wading through the gifts for baby Jesus. 

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They didn’t want to leave. 

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It was beautiful.