Friday, January 9, 2009

Festivus for the rest of us!

Ah, Festivus. The kids started this tradition. I'm not sure what year we started it but here are a few of the earliest pictures I could find along with some of this year. For some reason the kids wanted to go to the garage for something. Then I guess they just wanted to go outside barefoot. Naturally, I didn't want them to (get some boots on! wear a coat!) but once they made it clear it was a competition...well, that's different. Far be it from me to discourage my children from attaining a goal. Then of course they had to see who could go the farthest. Here Kristjan makes for the basketball hoop. This was in 2003 so I guess he's 9.

And here he is this year completing a walk all the way around the house with Danny and Brandon.

Here I am on my very brief dash. I like to participate but I have no delusions about winning.

I went farther this year but I'm still last.

And here's Nastassja, I guess she's 13 here - definitely beat me.
And once again, Nastassja takes the ladies division by storm - she even went twice...

Here's the toughest part, at least in my book. The AFTERMATH. You think it's over, but no. The snow is stuck to your feet - now we keep towels handy to get it off as fast as possible. It doesn't really help. Oh but the exhilaration of another successful Feats of Strength!
We usually hold Festivus on Dec. 26th (Daddy's birthday) but this year we bumped it up to New Year's Eve since Nastassja, Anthony and Ray wouldn't be there until Dec. 28. We kicked off the festivities with Mexican food - enchiladas, the kid's favorite. Then Nastassja and I went for our walk. It was a little hazardous this year since we had had a couple of warm days in wich the snow melted and then refroze. Then it snowed again - about 6 inches, so there was powder with a layer of ice underneath, nice. Oh, and the temperature was 12. When we finished the boys took their walk around the house. When they got back there was some dispute about the winner. I had declared Brandon the winner since he was last, even pausing for his photo to be taken after Danny and Kristjan went in. Some declared there was too much, um, complaining during the trek ( I believe the accusation was "Brandon screamed like a girl the whole way") So the boys decided to take it to a new level by making snow angels with their shirts off. Then they decided to do it face down! Too much fun....

A reader wants to know "what about the airing of grievances?" No dear reader, we don't do the airing of grievances....unless one counts "screaming like a girl" while walking around the house. Oh, and I must point out that the girls didn't "scream like girls!"

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Important note! Font has been changed at the request of a faithful reader...
Dec 25, 26
The 24th  put a dent in our snow. It was about 45 degrees and we got some rain. We were glad to see the temperature drop and snow falling on the 25th but we didn’t get much accumulation from it. Just enough to make things look nice. We went over to Aunt Joie and Uncle Charlie’s to visit on Christmas Day. We had a wonderful spaghetti dinner with them and then had a rousing game of scrabble. Kristjan emerged the winner.
The next day we went to Buffalo to pick up Kristjan’s friend Brandon who was flying in from Virginia Beach (he didn‘t know Brandon was coming). I have to back track here and tell you  how we pulled this off.  Last year we(that’s Danny and I and Brandon’s parents) wanted to surprise the boys by flying Brandon up here during Chanukah but because Chanukah was in early December Brandon would have had to miss too much school so we couldn’t do it. We wanted to try again this year but we knew if we told them about last year’s attempt we wouldn’t be able to pull off the surprise. So we kept it secret (ALL YEAR - aren’t we good?) and this year  on Christmas Eve when Brandon was opening his presents the last one he got  was a suitcase with a ticket in it. In order to surprise Kristjan we had to come up with a pretty good story (and Brandon had to refrain from texting him until the 26th when he arrived). We told Kristjan that his cousin Eric was flying in to surprise his grandparents (our Aunt Joie and Uncle Charlie) and we were to pick him up. He had no idea…. It was great. I’m putting two pictures of it here. Normally I wouldn’t post  an out of focus picture but it was funny to see their identical reaction. After picking up Brandon we went to The Anchor  Bar, home of the original Buffalo wings. They had quite a line so we got take out, stopped at Walmart to do some grocery shopping and then came back up here. After dinner the boys played Madden and consumed an entire pack or Oreos and 4 cokes each - blah! Naturally they also stayed up pretty late, or I guess I should say early. They seemed unaffected the next day and had fun sledding and shooting the BB gun and throwing the football. 
Dec. 27, 28
Brandon woke up sick and spent most of the morning throwing up. Danny and I went in to town to get him some Pepto Bismol, Gatorade, chicken noodle soup and crackers. We left Kristjan in charge of looking after Brandon and we gave Brandon a cowbell to ring for attention. Not hat he needed it since they were both in the same room playing video games but it made it fun for Brandon. He was feeling well enough to have soup at dinner time and was much better after a good night’s sleep.  The next day I finished cleaning upstairs and getting the bedrooms ready for Nastassja, Anthony and Ray. They got in around midnight. Ray  had a bit of a stiff neck from being in the car seat - he looked so cute walking around with his head cocked to one side. He’s been enjoying the house and playing with the toys and books he got for Chanukah from the Grandparents and Great Grandparents. Technology is his favorite thing though. He loves anything with buttons. Typing this has been a real challenge as he continually dives for the keys! I’ll probably get one more blog entry out before I leave but most of my posting will have to wait until I get back to SC. More pictures then too and I’ll update the Chanukah website. 
Dec. 31
After a couple of warm days ( in the 50’s - yuck!) we got some cooler weather. Gave the snow a nice crunchy top layer.  We decided to hike up the hill across the road from the house. It doesn’t look very high but of course once you get to the first rise you see that it goes higher. The toughest part was that when you first took a step you only  sunk in a little because of the ice crust but once you put your  full weight on your foot you sunk through the ice into deep snow.  Danny and I gave it up about halfway up the hill - we were sinking in deeper than the kids were - go figure. Nastassja, Kristjan and Brandon made it to the top. Last night it started snowing again and we’ve gor 4 or 5 inches now and it’s still snowing. Hard to tell the exact accumulation because  we’ve had some drifting. Kristjan and Brandon went out in it for a little while and now everyone is sitting around playing video games or having soup. Zaydie is showing Ray how the old record player works.