Today at work we were doing an activity about guessing household items. These included things like band-aids, hair dryers and birthday candles. I told the kids that there was a family moving and talking about items they were holding but the students had to guess the name of the item. For instance: The Mom said, “I’ll put these in the bathroom cabinet. If anyone gets a scratch or a cut you’ll know where to find them.” (The kids figured out the item was a band-aid.)
A few items later, there was a question that said: The Dad said, “I’ll put this up in the bathroom. We’ll be able to put our dirty clothes in it when we get cleaned up tonight.” One student said the washer, another said the laundry and a third (I call him the honest one) said the floor. I told them they were close, but then asked them “What would the Dad be carrying into the bathroom to put dirty clothes in?” One kid said a basket and another one yelled out, “A HAMSTER!” As I was trying to clarify the word hamper another little girl, who just turned 6 said, “Ohhh, I have wanted a hamster my WHOLE life!!” ☺
I think everyone has lots of traditions at the holidays and sometimes we do not even realize how important they are to us until they are gone. I guess I have been learning this lately because a lot of my traditions seem to be either changed or gone completely. I noticed one this weekend while we were at a get together for people at our church. It was held at a beautiful home and catered with fantastic food. Everyone was welcomed and cheery. Our kids got to have free run of the basement, including a pool table, foosball, art projects, games, books… and many other kids to play with. The adults were milling around and talking, enjoying the food and the open bar. The fireplaces were blazing and everyone was joyful and cozy!
The last hour of the party was singing Christmas songs. I am not a good singer. Never claimed to be. But I sure like Christmas songs. When I was a kid we sang Christmas carols at my Grandparents house after dinner. Most years Grandma even talked us into going to her neighbors and singing for them. I actually enjoyed doing it (we almost always got invited into the neighbors houses for a cookie or eggnog, plus they clapped and cheered for us so there was never really a downside) The last year I remember going my Grandmother actually pulled my cousin and I aside and gave us each a couple dollars because she appreciated us “teens” going out to cheer her neighbors… we took the money, even though we would have done it anyway. (We couldn’t let our Grandmother know we actually LIKED going…. we were teens!)
Sitting around the other night with lots of friends and singing songs from my childhood was a great way to remember the way I enjoyed caroling for Grandma’s neighbors. Since it’s a Christmas story I thought a bible verse would be fitting: "Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and your children's children." (Deuteronomy 4:9) Hmmm, makes me wonder if I can talk my kids into caroling around our neighborhood if I gave them a couple dollars. ☺
In the car the other day the kids were talking about phones. Macy was impressing us by rattling off everyone's phone numbers very rapidly after I said that kids do not have to remember things like we used to in the "olden" days! It reminded me of the first time I called home to talk to my Mom after heading off to college. I dialed the number and was disappointed that it wasn't my mother that answered. I could not tell which one of my sister's had answered so I just said,
"Let me talk to mom."
The response was: "No!"
"Quit fooling around, just get Mom" I said.
"Who is this?" Now I was getting angry. I hated when my sisters played this game. I'd only been away at college a week. It was soooo funny to pretend they forgot me.
me: "Very funny, just get Mom."
"Tell me who this is"
me: "fine, this is Ilene, now get Mom."
"I don't know an Ilene"
me: "Would you quit?! This is your SISTER! Just get Mom!"
"I don't have a sister."
me: "What is your problem? Is she there?"
"My Mom is here, not yours"
me: "What is your problem? You know this is not funny at all, right?"
"Its my Mom, not yours. I am an only child"
me: "What? Who is this?"
I was slow, it is starting... (just starting) to sink in that I might have the wrong number.
me: "Is this number 234-5678?"
me: "That's MY number!"
"No, its my number"
It now, (suddenly and finally) occurs to me that I am far from home.... in a different AREA CODE!)
At Dad D’s family Thanksgiving gathering, everyone gets a Santa Wish List form that we all fill out. It says things like what toys, electronics, house wares and clothes would you like for Christmas. Then it asks for sizes and colors that are preferred. The last question is what do you really NOT want. After dinner everyone looks through catalogs and newspaper fliers and talks to each other about things that they might like for Christmas. Our kids are accustomed this form and know exactly how to fill them out. KC found it a little challenging and did not know the “unspoken” rules of the family.
This picture explains the situation perfectly. She innocently wrote down that she did NOT want a hooded towel for Christmas. Immediately, Dad D’s sister dug one up and had it on her! She will probably get at least 1 or 2 gifts wrapped in hooded towels! Welcome to the family KC! ☺
Pepper and I spent most of the day today at a swim meet for Dill... tomorrow Pete has a meet. Last Thursday we had Macy's swim banquet. We've spent lots of time around chlorine lovers!
I love these shirt sayings.... but if I had one on today it would have said: "I am swim Mom so I have sore buns from sitting in cramped bleacher seats all day and a poor disposition right now because is it hot and crowded in the stands... but look, look, that's my kid, watch this!" ...but all that probably wouldn't fit on a shirt... :)
Our family took a recent trip to Frankenmuth to have their famous chicken dinner. Everything tastes great... the only problem is that there is SOOOO much to try that you practically have to be rolled out! Dill expressed how we were were all feeling when he wrote us a message on his menu: "My tummy thinks I don't feel good!" :)
Pepper and I were walking in the halls of the high school heading to Macy and KC's conferences. We were talking about now kids had more 'attitude' nowadays than when we were in school. I laughed and told Pepper that I thought we probably had some attitude back then too. She quickly replied, "Oh, no I did not. I had nuns for teachers.... we couldn't talk back or give them attitude. They would have sent us right to hell!!"