Time

The past is just a memory. The future is unforseeable. All we have is right here, right now. 

This very moment. 

I’m hearing stories of my father-in-law. 

Of how he grew up with a twin sister and they were the second youngest of 17 kids. 

Of how his first job working at gas station, he made $25 a week and would give most of it away to kids for new shoes, or to go to the circus, or for fries and drink, or to go to the movies. 

Of how much he loved kids, particularly his grandkids. He would walk for hours to get a granddaughter to sleep when her father just couldn’t do it. He always had a joke or would act a clown to make them laugh. He would pass them his spare change. He always had a treat for them.

Of how he knew so many people and touched so many lives in big ways and small. Whether through an act of kindness, the giving of a nickname, or just talking their ears off, he was an influence far and wide. 

Of his use of the English language. There were no swear words in his vocabulary, though he swore enough to make a sailor blush. To him they were just verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. 

Of his days working as a welder.  I’m told that whatever job he was on he was always one of the best. Though that doesn’t surprise me because he always took pride in his work. 

Of how he loved company. He truly believed the more the merrier. He’d invite friends and tell them to bring their friends. It wasn’t uncommon for friends to arrive with their friend’s friends. Then he would start up the BBQ and feed you. 

Of how some animals liked his home better than their owners’ home so they’d come live with him instead. He adopted stray cats. He adopted a bearded dragon that couldn’t travel with his granddaughter. 

Of how he would bail kids out of trouble. He would give them a place to sleep when they were tired. He would feed them when they were hungry. 

Of how much he gave. His money. His time. His tools. His Jeep. A listening ear or an earful. His home. 

He gave me his greatest treasure… His daughter and his family. For that I’m forever grateful. 

His memorial service was Saturday. There was food and a few swear words, the place was packed, memories shared and laughter rang through the tears. 

Parenting vs Baseball

It’s America’s pastime.

Even though I live in Canada, I’m not really a hockey fan. I don’t have a favorite team. Kids in schools ask me, “Who do you go for?” (translation: Who’s your favorite hockey team?) I always give the same response just to see the shock on their face. “I don’t watch hockey.” I usually have to pick their jaw up off the floor. After a few minutes they regain the use of their voice.

My favorite sport to play is soccer. Those hockey kids in school know this from all my days subbing in their gym class. Otherwise, baseball is where my loyalty lies. Particularly with a certain black and orange bird.

We’re now 11 days from pitchers and catchers reporting to the warm climate of Sarasota Springs, Florida. We’re also 25 days from their first spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Argh…

This means we’re also not far from our friendly, family rivalry as DW and Bang are Blue Jays fans.

All this talk of baseball makes me want to compare the game of baseball with raising a family…

1. Training

It’s all about creating and moulding the best team possible. Mind you, I won’t get fired for having too many losing seasons, but I’m still responsible to do the best with what I’m given. Just as the players are responsible for improving their game, we’re responsible for being better than we were yesterday. Perhaps it’s teaching the kids a new skill they need for school or sport or life. Perhaps it’s improving ourselves to be better at whatever it is we’re trying to improve upon. We’re always striving for the next homerun…

2. Patience

There are roughly 150 pitches thrown by each team. Some crazy level of patience is needed to get through the 3+ hours it takes to deliver all 300 of them. Multiply that by 162 games per season and you’ve got 48,600 pitches to watch. When kids are throwing temper tantrums, you’re spouse isn’t paying attention, and you’re afraid your house is so messy it’ll appear on the next episode of Hoarders, you need patience. Though, unlike baseball, parenting isn’t a summer game. It’s all day, every day with no hope of winning a world series and the pay sucks.

3. Coaches

A baseball team needs lots of specialities. There are managers who oversee the whole shebang. There are also pitching coaches, hitting coaches, bench coaches, bullpen coaches, first base coaches and third base coaches. A household works much the same way. I’m the cooking coach. Not because DW can’t, but because I enjoy it more. DW is the paying bills coach. Nobody likes that position. I’m the cleaning coach because I’m home more often. DW is the snuggle coach because she’s so snugly.  

4. Bases

Speaking of bases… 1st base is kissing. 2nd base has something to do with boobs. I’m fairly confident that you can figure out 3rd base and a homerun. Without the homerun, without “scoring”, we wouldn’t have the families we have. No kids, anyway. May you all hit homeruns tonight without gaining extra players on your team…

 

Questions I Asked My Kids: Would You Rather…

So apparently I’m doing this blogging this all wrong. DW shared an article with me about a lady who is making over $50,000 a month with her blog. A MONTH! I’d be happy to make that in year, let alone 30 days. She also spends 40-60 hours a week on her blog. I might spend 7-10 if I write every day. 

1. Would you rather drink lemon juice or eat a cricket?

Crash: Drink lemon juice
Bang: Eat a cricket
Mom: Drink lemon juice
Dad: Eat a cricket 

2. Would you rather have stupidly huge hands or huge feet?

Crash: Huge hands
Bang: Huge hands
Mom: Huge hands
Dad: Huge hands

3. Would you rather have your grandmother’s hair or her first name?

Crash: Her Hair
Bang: Her hair
Mom: Her hair
Dad: Her name

4. Would you rather be the best player on a team that never wins or the worst player on a team that never loses?

Crash: Worst player on a team that never loses
Bang: Best player on a team that never wins
Mom: Best player on a team that never wins
Dad: Best player on a team that never wins

5. Would you rather have feet for hands or hands for feet?

Crash: Hands for feet
Bang: Feet for hands
Mom: Hands for feet
Dad: Hands for feet

6. Would you rather be blind or deaf?

Crash: Deaf
Bang: Blind
Mom: Deaf
Dad: Deaf

7. Would you rather be horrible at a job but get paid alot or be perfect at a job and get paid a little?

Crash: Horrible at a job and get paid alot
Bang: Perfect at a job and get paid a little
Mom: Horrible and get paid alot
Dad: Perfect and get paid a little

8. Would you rather be able to only whisper or only shout?

Crash: Shout
Bang: Shout
Mom: Only whisper
Dad: Only whisper

9. Would you rather give up electronics or junk food?

Crash: Junk food
Bang: Junk food
Mom: Junk food
Dad: Junk food

10. Would you rather have an elephant trunk for a nose or a giraffe’s neck?

Crash: Elephant trunk
Bang: Giraffe’s neck so I can go through the ceiling
Mom: Elephant trunk
Dad: Elephant trunk

I encourage you to ask your family member these questions. Bonus points if you can guess their answer!

Being God

Perhaps Jesus was God’s son. Perhaps Jesus was God himself. Either way, it is said that when Jesus walked our mortal Earth he was a worker of miracles. He could make the blind to see, cripples to walk, dead to live. I’m not here to preach to you though.

Then it came to me…

We parents are God, too. Think about it…

Jesus healed the sick. We know that having a sick child is miserable for everyone. So we do everything we can to make them better. Snuggles. Cool baths. Medicine. Lots of sleep. A trip to the hospital to see a doctor if warranted. We bestow upon them our powers of healing. Granted, it’s not as instantaneous, but still, we, too, heal the sick.

Jesus clothed the poor. From their very first breath outside of their mother’s womb we put clothes on our children. We plan what outfit they’ll wear home from the hospital. We buy clothes month after month after month after… as they outgrow outfits faster than they can put them on. WTH? They just tried on those pants at the store and they outgrew them on the way home! And our kids are dirt poor so they need us for clothes.

Jesus fed the hungry. Sometimes with fish and garlic bread. We feed the hungry, too. Sometimes with hotdogs and macaroni and cheese. Sometimes with pizza. Most times with veggies, we hope. We can’t keep food in the house. “Can I have a snack” soon evolves into “I’m hungry” which eventually becomes a shortened grunt, “Imungry“. They eat a full meal and minutes later they come back looking for a snack. They seem to eat their way through a dozen grocery bags of food on the way home from the grocery store.

We may not have all the patience of The Shephard, but we do what we can for our little sheep. We heal them, we clothe them, and we feed them month after month, year after year whether they worship us or not.

21 Questions I Asked My Wife

I highly encourage you ask your spouse these questions. The laughs you get will make it well worth it. I’m not even sure where I found these, but here they are for your enjoyment (and mine). 

Q: Would you rather I be completely hairless or as hairy as a gorilla?
A: Completely hairless

Q: What actress would play you in a movie about your life?
A: Katie Holmes (or Emilia Clarke or Megan Fox if Katie isn’t available)

Q: Who would play your love interest (aka, me) in a movie about your life?
A:  Kelly Slater or 
Howie Mandel or Billy Zane (from The Titanic) (she also named Mr. Magoo)

Q: Would you rather our children grow up to be 8 feet tall or 3 feet tall?
A: 8 feet tall

Q: If you had to go a week without your phone, what would you miss the most about it?
A: Wunderlist (our grocery/to do list)

Q: What do you like most that I do in bed?
A: Scratch my head

Q: What was your first impression of me? Did you ever dislike me?
A: My first thought was “Wow, he’s really short.” and “Why’s he’s wearing a trench coat?”

Q: What’s your favorite memory of our wedding day?
A: Seeing how excited you were when the bagpiper piped us into our reception

Q: If you woke up tomorrow as a man, what would be the first three things you’d do?
A: Stratch my junk, play with my junk, and pee standing up

Q: Would you rather use whipped cream or hot fudge?
A: Depends on what we’re using it for… 

Q: What do you think is your best physical feature?
A: My smile

Q: What do you think is my best physical feature?
A: Your bum

Q: If you could be on any reality TV show, which one would it be?
A: Gold Rush so I could drive a bulldozer or a big digger

Q: Have you ever obsessed over anything? (toys, movies, projects, people, problems)
A: New Kids on the Block

Q: What were your nicknames growing up, including the ones you didn’t want to stick?
A: Smurfette, Shit-heels, Pissy-Liz, Bimp, Boo, Snugglebum

Q: If I let you dress me, what would I wear on our next date?
A: Dark jeans, brown shoes, and a nice button up shirt (she knows I hate brown shoes)

Q: Would you ever role play in bed?
A: Yes.

Q: Yoga pants or skirts?
A: Yoga pants

Q: What song would you sing for your audition on The Voice?
A: As I Lay Me Down by Sophie B. Hawkins or The First Cut Is the Deepest by Sheryl Crow

Q: Is there a food that reminds you of me?
A: Hearty Chicken Bake

Q: Is there a memory you have or me that always makes you laugh?
A: Holey underwear

Jars of Positivity

Positive outlooks sometimes don’t come easily or naturally. Sometimes they aren’t readily visible. With our lives often hectic, looking for the bright side is like looking for a dolphin in the Sahara. We’re too busy. We’re too frustrated. We believe there is no bright side. Regardless of what we believe, there’s always a bright side. It may not be as bright as we want it, but it’s there. We just need to find those calm, brief moments to understand the positives in that situation. 

One way we found to help us find the positives was to leave each other secret notes. They were short – whatever could be written on a 2 inch by 3 inch post it note. A couple years ago DW set up 4 small, glass vials on the living room window sill. On each one was a letter respresenting each of the four family members. Also by the window was a pen and a pile of small post it notes. The idea was that we could write each other little notes at random and leave them in the jar for the family member to discoer and read. After reading them we’d place them in a bucket to keep for later. The jars were there for quite a while, maybe six months, and we accumulated a buckful of positives. For a year after we stopped writing, our secret notes sat in the small bucket behind the TV. During tonight’s run in the snow it came to me that I should take a look back and see what we wrote. I also thought I’d like to share them with you. 

  • You are loved XOXOXO
  • We love you because you helped build the park and give back scratches and I give her hugs
  • Thank you for filling the peanut feeder and keeping our crows, blue jays and grackles fed.
  • Santa loved your turkey soup!
  • I love you
  • You are the best mom ever!
  • I love the mudder cuz she builds a track with me and I love her wiff her glasses adn earrings on and I love so so much in all the world and I put my earrings on like the mother. And I actually snuggle her.
  • Santa was wondering if you could give him a push or two if he gets stuck when he comes on Christmas Eve. 
  • Love you lots- millions and billions to infinity and beyond! XOXOXO
  • Great job on your first day of school!
  • Even though you drive me crazy, I am thankful for you. Luboo millions xoxo Wifey
  • Thanks for getting the car sold!
  • You have a cute bum. Can I grab it?
  • You are mama’s awesome little helper!
  • Happy birthday Dad!
  • Santa was really happy to hear how well you played with your brother after school yesterday.
  • Have an awesome 8th birthday! Love you!
  • Luboo millions and billions! XOXOXOXO
  • Even though you drive me crazy, I am thankful for you. XOXO Mom
  • I love you!
  • I only drive you crazy because I love you. Happy turkey day!
  • Mrs. Claus thanks you for your cookie recipe. She is making some right now!
  • You are loved. XOXO
  • Mom, I love your boobies. They’re so cute. (from the then 3 year old)
  • Santa is really happy to hear that you aren’t stomping and screaming
  • Happy birthday to my hubband. I don’t say it enough (out loud) but I am grateful that we have you in our lives. Love you more!
  • Is the weather good for fishing? (refrence to “Number the Stars by Lous Lowry)
  • You have a cute bum! Love you- have a good day!
  • I love you XOXO Capten Mims
  • Thank you for my first day of work flowers and for cleaning the house and making supper while I’m gone and still lubbing me after 10 years even though I’m fat! Luboo millions xoxoxoxo
  • n Iaokd iiHaK (the 3 year old wrote his own note)
  • Happy 4th birthday my baby boy!
  • I love you!
  • Great job telling truth about breaking your cousin’s sword. Now we will work on replacing it. Proud of your bravery xoxo mom
  • Happy 10 year lover! XOXO luboo millions and billions
  • I love you. You’re my best boyfriend and my best brother and I like him to play trains (Bang to Crash scribed by Mom)
  • I like when we go in the zipper and we bounce on the tramperline wiff us and wiff daddy (by the 3 year old)
  • Happy Halloween! (fr:Crash)
  • Happy grading day! On to grade 3  – way to go! XOXO
  • Thank you for great notes from school. Keep it up! 
  • Great job listening and getting ready for school this morning when asked to get ready. Love you! XOXO
  • Great job mowing the lawn – it makes us happy when you help around the house!
  • I love Dad and he builds a track and plays trains with me and I love him so so much all the world, Love from Bang
  • Thank you for feeding my flowers and watering them. Luboo millions XOXO

    Whoo! I got this post written and published before midnight! (I still have 4 minutes to go)

    The Conversation to Delay Bedtime…

    The lights were off. Star frog was casting his glow across the ceiling. A certain 5 year old was nestled under the covers, his little head on the pillow all ready for a good night’s sleep. Then this happened…

    Bang: In a long long long hundred and 500 million days Laurie (the bus driver) was trying to say “Who’s this hat?” but the radio was coming on and on and on. He couldn’t even say it so he didn’t say. He just kept the hat.
    Me: Ohhh… Was it his hat?
    Bang: No. He wears all his hats. But only his light brown. It could be just dark brown. I don’t care. And I really really love Laurie and the bus. 
    Me: Why?
    Bang: I don’t know. Do you know why I love the bus?
    Me: Why?
    Bang: Do you know why I love Laurie?
    Me: Why?
    Bang: He drives so fast and I love going fast. And I like his hat, too. 
    Me: Ahh
    Bang: Guess why I love the bus
    Me: uhh
    Bang: Because last time I was little I couldn’t even see out the window. The windows were high high up and I couldn’t see out the window so I was looking at these black thingys and now I can see out the window a little bit. Why do we get new busses every day?
    Me: Just depends on which one Laurie is driving.
    Bang: Are some broken?
    Me: Sometimes.
    Bang: And why do bus drivers say you can sit in the back?
    Me: Just letting you know you can go to the back. You don’t have to sit in the front.
    Bang: No because last time the bus driver girl (a substitute driver) she said the little boy can go in the back. He did. *YAWN* Is there anything with police officers and trains? Do trains speed?
    Me: Sometimes, but they don’t get in trouble for it unless they crash.
    Bang: What happens if they crash?
    Me: It makes a great big mess and it costs a lot of money to clean it up. Then the train driver gets in trouble for going too fast and he doesn’t get to drive trains any more.
    Bang: What happens if you uhh….. I know how the builders can get in trouble. 
    Me: How?
    Bang: They build the wrong tunnel and on the edge of the tunnel they build a wall instead of a tunnel. Then they would go to jail. 
    Me: Mm hmm.
    Bang: I know how else.
    Me: How?
    Bang: When someone is on the track, the trains usually stop but they never stop. Is that how they could get in trouble?
    Me:…
    Bang: And how else? If someone is on top of the train?
    Me: Mm hmm. Then the person on top gets  in trouble.
    Bang: Well then, uhh… actually. Are you allowed going backwards in trains?
    Me: Yeah.
    Bang: Well what if they have only one engine? Err How else can they get in trouble?
    Me: By not stopping at red lights.
    Bang:There’s no caution lights. 
    Me: Sometimes they have to stop because there’s a train coming from the other way and it needs to switch tracks. If they don’t stop in the right place the trains will run into each other if they don’t switch tracks in time.
    Bang: Oh yeah! Just like Thomas!
    Me: Mm hmm.
    Bang: They have red lights and green lights. But do they have caution lights? 
    Me: No, just red and green.
    Bang: What happens if they’re too big?
    Me: Then they can’t pull their cars and they’re stuck.
    Bang: No, if they’re too big and they knock down the caution light. 
    Me: Oh. The caution light doesn’t go over the tracks. It’s beside the track.
    Bang: What happens if they hoot? If it gets jammed. They jam it with something?
    Me: (I missunderstand) Then the sign breaks and they have to fix it.
    Bang: What sign breaks?
    Me: The caution sign.
    Bang: No. Like the hooter. When you jam the….
    Me: Ohhh. The hooter. The hoo hoo.
    Bang: Yeah. When you pull that and jam it with a tack, is that how you get in trouble?
    Me: Yep. That’ll get you in trouble. You need your hoo hoos to warn cars that you’re coming. When there’s a road across the tracks?
    Bang: Yeah, I know that. Just like running. (I go running pushing him in a jogging stroller to where train tracks cross the road)
    Me: Yeah. And they have to blow the horn before they cross the road.
    Bang: Well then it’d be honking all day if you jammed it. 
    Me: Mm hmm.
    Bang: What happens if you put something down the hoo hoo?
    Me: Uhhh… It’ll go down into a big tank of water because that’s where it makes steam by boiling water.
    Bang: Well how does oil make steam?
    Me: It doesn’t.
    Bang: Well then what makes steam?
    Me: Water. When it gets hot it boils and makes steam.
    Bang:  Just like potatoes?
    Me: Yeah!
    Bang: And broccoli?
    Me: Mm hmm
    Bang: What happens if they put the biggest rock like it can fit down the hoo hoo but not into the tank?
    Me: Then the steam can’t get out and all the pressure builds up inside the tank and it explodes.
    Bang: Oh my God! What happens if you let the train go and there’s no one inside?
    Me:  Then it’ll go too fast and it’ll crash.
    Bang: No. Not like just too fast….Is there buttons in trains?
    Me: Yeah.
    Bang: Why do trains talk?
    Me: Just the Thomas trains talk.
    Bang: Why?
    Me: Because it’s a cartoon.
    Bang: Why do our trains talk?
    Me: What do they say?
    Bang: Hello Gordon!
    Me: Okay. Time to roll over and go to sleep.
    Bang: How else can they get in trouble?
    Me: I’ll answer all your questions in the morning.
    Bang: I know that cars can speed.
    Me: Mm hmm
    Bang: *spells something in a whisper then growls to clear his throat*

    One minute and 7 seconds of silence later…

    Bang: I need to pee…

    This was an 11 minute conversation. I recorded it on my cell phone so I was able to transcribe it verbatim. This is a nightly occurrence. After writing it all out I have discovered something interesting. You can see he’s full of life in the beginning. Animated. Long sentences. More complicated questions. Then towards the end his sentence start getting shorter and his questions aren’t as in depth. You see sleep taking over.

    He was asleep just minutes after his pee break.

    e091102e4273837297d2effe01181b80

     

    A Very Giving Advent

     

    hands

    “Hand”made

    Are you tired of the “gimmies” or the “can-I-gets”? I sure am. Especially when they’re so prevalent at this time of year with every asking, “What did you ask Santa for?” Teaching gratitude and empathy aren’t easy lessons. We’ve found a way to lighten the burden, bring joy, and provide a life changing experience. What nice little gift!

    DW is brilliant. Have I ever mentioned that?

    Well, she’s shining bright again with this fantastic idea. Granted, it wasn’t technically ‘her idea’ but she has adapted to our family to make her idea. Then she brought the idea to life. Well, technically, Woody and Elfis, our house elves, brought it to life.

    We aren’t doing the Advent calendar this year. No tiny piece of chocolate every day. We’re not skipping it because it’s “unhealthy”. Who doesn’t enjoy starting the day with a yummy piece of chocolate after breakfast? It’s a tasty way to count down the days until the Jolly Ol’ Elf himself comes.

    One little girl of 3 years of age was told that when the chocolates in her advent calendar were gone it would be Christmas. Later in the day they couldn’t find her. They knew she was in the house, yet she was nowhere to be found. Not with her toys. Not in her room. Not in the bathroom. She was in the closet and had eaten all her chocolates. She proudly announces, “It’s Christmas now!”

    This year our elves have delivered a special gift, a package of tasks to be completed. There is one act to be done each day. Every single one of them is a random act of kindness.

    So far the boys have:

    • Donated food to the food bank
    • Shared hugs and smiles
    • Paid for an order at Tim Horton’s
    • Made a new friend (sat and talked with an older gentleman at Tim’s)

    Today’s task was to buy coloring books and crayons and donate them to a doctor’s office. While I would LOVE for the boys to be the ones purchasing these items (usually from the dollar store) they currently don’t have enough in their wallets. Crash can’t even afford to pay attention. Bang, on the other hand, has plenty, but it’s not exactly fair to make Mr. Penny Pincher pay for all the donated stuff. However, the food bank items they did pay for themselves. They each had been given $5 gift cards by the grocery store (thanks a million Superstore!) They spent it on food for the food bank.

    I’ll leave a link to the files if you’d like to do your own Random Acts of Kindness. It’ll be my gift to you. I mean, DW’s gift to me that I’m regifting to you. Spread across 5 pages, there are 25 acts in all. The last page contains a few blanks so you can add your own. Just click the image to download it and print it!

    The first rule of Christmas is “It is far better to give than it is to receive“.

    raok1raok2raok3raok4raok5

    Click to download
    Random Act of Kindness 1
    Random Act of Kindness 2
    Random Act of Kindness 3
    Random Act of Kindness 4
    Random Act of Kindness 5

    My Two Buddies

    Some people love ’em.

    Some people hate ’em.

    I’m a love ’em sorta dad. Since today is December 1st we made sure to haul out the Christmas decoration yesterday. Fortunately, the boys were home from school. Not because of the two inches of snow we got but because it was an in-service day for the teachers.

    We began the day by buying snow boots. It’s amazing how fast feet grow between March and November! Then we played in the snow. Bang and I built a snowman. The snow was so wet and heavy that he ended up crushing himself (the snowman, not Bang). He was mad because he couldn’t figure out what to use for eyes. Crash attempted to snowboard down the driveway. The snow was so wet and sticky that he did more scooting than boarding. He got mad and stormed inside because he was “frozen”. I told him to “let it go. let it go. Don’t hold it back any more”.

    Anyway… back to where this was going…

    Where were we going, again?

    Oh yeah… Christmas decorations. The boys and I hauled the stuff up from the basement. The Fisher Price Little People nativity scene is erected. Bang likes to pretend it’s a train and pulls baby Jesus all over the house.

    img_3182

    Yes. That’s a wise man where the Angel should be.

    The “winter scene” is arranged on the bookshelf.

    img_3184

    All the beautiful angels are watching over the cozy house and the 3D printed snowmen.

    Both boys homemade and schoolmade handmade decoration are up. I’ll share these in the days to come. These are the special pieces. They’re irreplaceable. They are priceless items that could never be replaced because they’ll never again be the age and size they were when they made them. Unless I find a Delorean and 1.21 gigawatts.

    The lights were put in the window and the Christmas tree was put up. Mind you, it wasn’t decorated because of a SNAFU (I love that spellcheck doesn’t underline that word). It’s weird how you when you unplug the Christmas tree in January all the twinkly lights are shining happily. Yet, when you plug it back in in December half of them burned out. WTH? How do they burn out when they’re not plugged in? I have one guess.

    The elves did it.

    You see, we have two mischievous elves who LOVE Christmas lights. They return to our house with joy and excitement every year when they see our lights beckoning them. So if you’re looking for elf ideas or just a simple reminder to move them (right Anxious Mom?) you’ll find that here. As I did last December, I’ll have my regular post plus an Elf update. I already have a few idea for Woody and Elfis. Crash found them at 5:45 this morning. Bang woke at 6:30 and came bounding down the stairs to find them. To be honest, I’m as excited as the boys to see these two back in action.

    The magic is working.

    elves-day-1

    Elfis in the penguin cup because Bang stuffie at night is a penguin. Woody is in a Moose cup because he has an uncle who has called him “MOOOOOOSE” since he was born.

     

     

    My Thankful Post

    Once upon a time there was a family who celebrated Thanksgiving on a farm. So many family members attended that two tables were needed to sit everyone. There was so much food, two tables were need to hold it all. One of the seats was a church pew. There was much talking and laughter. There were bumping elbows and food stolen off plates. There was always one dish getting passed the wrong direction.  Through the years we ranged in age from newborn to grandparents.

    After a hearty meal, the table cleared off and the dishes cleaned and put away, there would be football and parade watching on TV. They would doze in and out of tryptophan comas.

    Well rested, the boys would gather in the front yard for some pigskin tossing and tackling. “Down 42! Blue! HUT HUT HUT!” Just like they were a Pittsburgh Steeler or a Dallas Cowboy. On warmer occasions, the girls would participate and it would become a family game of two hand touch .

    Today, while the table remains, not as many gather around it this Thanksgiving. My grandfather, having passed away many years ago, no longer steals food from my mother. My brother and his family are now in South Korea. I and my family are now in Canada. My cousins are scattered up and down the east coast from Florida to Maryland. Some are travelling the world. There is no more football in the front yard.

    The times have changed and nothing seems as it was in the “good old days”. Our gratitude, however, remains healthy and constant. Forever are we thankful for those days together. Thankful we could share a table with so much family, with so much love. Differences were set aside for a few hours of food and fun. Quarrels were ignored in the spirit of the holiday.

    The newborns are now great grandchildren. Grandparents now outnumber children. Blessings outnumber worries. And we’ll celebrate American Thanksgiving here.

    Happy Thanksgiving…

    md-happythanksgiving_11-2012