Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas

We had a great Christmas celebration here. It started off a little rough because Lily had been feeling sick for a few days. She had an earache on Tuesday, so Amanda took her to the Urgent Care. They diagnosed her with a double ear infection and sent her home with a prescription for some amoxicillin. As always, once she started taking the medicine she felt fine. That was good because it would have been a very tough Christmas day otherwise.

 I also wasn't feeling great Monday evening, so we ended up not going to our church's Christmas celebration. We hated to miss it, but we also know that it was going to be a lot of work to attend it. I think by Monday evening the only person with the energy to do it was Noah.

We went to the McKenzies' for the family Christmas celebration on Tuesday. We had a lovely meal with ham, mac and cheese, and various other trimmings. A wonderful time was had by all.

Of course, to the kids all of this is just a warm-up for Christmas morning. My videography was not quite as extensive this year, but I did capture the highlights. Lily had a hard time coming up with gift ideas, so we got her a refurbished iPod Touch. Now she has her own device with a camera and won't have to clog up ours with her "artsy" photos and videos.

Noah got a lot of stuff through my involvement with Amazon Vine. He still doesn't know that his big gift is a series of golf lessons with me. He was happy just to get this basketball hoop. He also got a batting tee and a big net that you can use for hitting balls. He also got a few new games for the Wii. It's pretty nice that the Wii is an old system and the games can be had fairly cheaply now.

We ended the day with some standing rib roast, which came out really good. We kept the meal simple with roast, roasted asparagus, and mashed red potatoes and gravy. Nobody seemed to mind the simplicity. 

Everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Although I tried to do this at dinner, I think that we need to do a quick refresher of why we give gifts. After all, the incarnation of Christ was the ultimate gift to everyone who believes. So as we enjoy our new stuff, we need to remember that:

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

I hope that you and yours had as nice a Christmas as we did. Now that I'm off for over a week I look forward to catching up on some stuff and just relaxing a little bit. That and hitting golf balls.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Birthday Trip

We took a trip to Ohio to celebrate my 40th and Dad's 70th birthdays. We left on Wednesday after school and drove to Charleston, WV. We stayed at what has become our favorite hotel in Charleston and had a good night's sleep followed by a lovely breakfast buffet. The whole family enjoyed the pool for about an hour and then we hit the road to Ohio. It's not every day you get to swim in a warm pool while you can see it snowing outside. That did make for a cold run back to our room since the hallways were a bit chilly by comparison.

We had lunch in Marietta and got some coffee drinks for the road. It was in the low teens, so we decided to forego the riverwalk until another time. We got to Wadsworth and had a fun evening with Grandpa and Bubbe along with a great meal.

Friday was kind of a slow morning and then in the afternoon I went shooting with Dad while Amanda took the kids to see Frozen. After that my stepbrothers took me out to dinner, which was really fun. Of course, since this was a 40th birthday celebration and not a 21st we were still in bed at very reasonable hours.

Saturday was the really big day. While Uncle Mark went to the gym to run on the treadmill Aunt Jen took us to the local farmer's market and to the West Point Market. We got some goodies and then went home to get ready for Grandpa's birthday party. The video below was taken before lunch on Saturday.

What started this was Uncle Mark convincing Noah that he had to shovel all of his driveway, the neighbors, and the street (but only to the stop sign). Of course, Noah bought it. He and Lily enjoyed doing the driveway and even made a few bucks. Later that day when Lily saw Uncle Mark snowblowing the neighbor's driveway she exclaimed, "He has a snowblower?!?" She doesn't understand about keeping up when there is just a little snow.

We had a great party that everyone really enjoyed, especially Grandpa. It was fun to have him as the guest of honor and we even got to celebrate on his actual day.

Saturday night was fun because the twin cousins spent the night. They all slept in the same room and I think that everyone got to sleep fairly well. Lily had some trouble sleeping and she woke up one of her cousins to see the clock turn to midnight. The good news is that Lily was able to nap in the car on the way home.

Sunday morning started out a little rough because Noah threw up a couple of times. He didn't have breakfast, but his stomach seemed to settle down because he was fine at lunch and dinner. He also was fine today.

Now it's back to reality, at least for a week.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sick Day

It's been a slightly rough day here. Last night Lily was really congested and complained about some symptoms that sounded like the onset of a bad cold. Today it was confirmed and she stayed home from school. The problem is that Amanda is now starting to show some early signs. Fortunately, it is nothing too debilitating, but Lily is going to stay home tomorrow after having a 102 fever tonight. The good news is that the little Peanut is pretty resilient and doesn't really seem to be too bothered. Right now they're watching The Voice.

This came at the end of a really fun weekend. Of course, Thanksgiving was fun with family and good food. Friday night the kids spent the night with the McKenzies so Amanda and I could go see Catching Fire, which was excellent.

On Saturday they brought the kids back and we all watched the Michigan game, which ended up being much more thrilling than we thought it would be. The McKenzies went home and then there were a couple of naps during the first half of the Auburn game. We all watched the end of the game together over a makeshift dinner and everyone agreed that it was well worth our time to watch it.

On Sunday we had some new friends over from our new church. There is some Polish heritage with Amanda's friend, so it gave me an excuse to make stuffed cabbage. It was a little risky making something new for guests, but between an online recipe and my own intuition I have to say that it came out great. I'm pretty sure the secret was including some good kielbasa from the Meat House. Nothing like a house that smells like cabbage and garlic!

The good news is that Noah and I seem to be OK. I feel slightly off, but I think I'm going to dodge this. Noah seems completely nonplussed. The highlight for him is that we spent time yesterday and today working on a video game. Good times for Pook.