Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! It's back to work for me, but the Christmas spirit continues on with our family, in our house. It was a good four days at home.

We started the weekend with a family trip to Bertucci's. The kids were pretty good there. We were there very early in a nice quiet corner. Hazel had a big bench to roam back and forth on. Henry made his usual three trips to the bathroom. I don't know what it is about that place, but I always spend half my time in the bathroom there because of Henry. Hazel insists on going every time too. She and I did have one cute moment in there when we dance together while Henry did his business (the music is louder in there, so she was moved).

On Saturday morning I took the kids to the Ecotarium. We had a good time there although I did have to drag Henry to the car because he was angry about not getting something at the gift store. "I don't want any Christmas presents!," he told me ... 'yeah right!' That afternoon Henry helped me cut up a big branch that fell from the mini ice storm we got earlier in the week. He had his plastic chainsaw and my bush cutting snips.

The next day after church Henry and I wrapped a big bunch of Christmas presents. He was very happy to sign his name on gift tag. I found it cute, but then realized that he viewed this tag as a magic tag that when put on a present meant the present was for him, not Evan or Liam! He was concerned I wasn't wrapping any of his presents and I told him that Meg and I would do so when he was sleeping. He left the room for about 5 minutes, went upstairs, came back down and said, "Did you wrap my gifts? ... I took a nap."

When Hazy got up from her nap Henry very willingly went with me to get a haircut. He was really excited to bring Hazel along. He got nervous when we thought we'd have to use a different stylist, but then our usual stylist came out from the back and all was well again. Henry did a great job and then it was Hazel's turn! Her first professional haircut. It was so cute. I wish I took pictures of it. She was very serious. It didn't take long at all, but towards the end of it she seemed to be enjoying it.

On Christmas Eve Meg found a good entertainment idea for us ... Pump It Up free jump time (as in no restrictions, not cash free)! Meg got an opportunity to cook multiple dishes for Christmas day while the kids tired me out (and stretched my arm out a bit) jumping like crazy in an assortment of bouncy houses and slides. I took them to a massively grocery store for supplies. I was proud of my patience in there, just a Dad, two kids and three carts (one adult sized and two kid sized). We were quite a sight! Very cute, I think. When we got home Meg astutely told me, "even simple dishes take a lot of work when you're doing three of them simultaneously." I don't doubt her. I wrapped more presents in the afternoon, this time without Henry.

For service we went to our own church. I got a promotion this year from sheep herder and "performed" as wise man #2. Greg played the part of an angel - with a speaking part. The donkey pooped, Meg managed Hazel for a full hour in the pews, it was a lot like last year. Afterwards we had dinner at Nicole's. The food was good, the kids were well-behaved and we put off opening presents to keep things more calm. When we got home the kids were put to bed quickly and Meg and I brought the Santa gifts downstairs. It doesn't take long to arrange the gifts around the tree, but I think those are ten great minutes to be a parent.

The kids were up pretty early on Christmas Day. The first few minutes of them downstairs were touch-and-go. Meg and I really don't understand all the anxieties, but they went away pretty quickly. Our presents were open in no time. Hazel opened Meg and my gifts as well as hers. I built a doll high chair for Hazel and Meg made us a breakfast treat. Before going to Nana and Grandpa's I built two Lego sets with Henry. It was a big a time thrill for me to be building new Lego sets with him. I'm sure I had more fun. It was a multiple "Lego-gasm!"

For dinner we went to my folks. There were a lot of people (Hazel pointed this out to us). I didn't get as much time to visit with some relatives I rarely see (this is a shout out to you, Aunt Carol) as I would have liked to, but the kids were pretty well behaved for most of it. Above all I became more scared of a video game system for our family than I was before. The boys got a Wii and brought it over at my request. It was addictive for all, but sure seemed complicated. I can't wait to hear how Nicole, Greg and the boys are mastering the system! We got home fairly early, but really tired. I "pushed" myself onward and made four more Lego sets. Evan would be proud of me.

I won't give out all the details just yet, but expect some big changes for this blog for 2013, including some local weather reports with detailed measurements as Meg got me a super gift I've been thinking about for years ... a home weather station! I'm pretty psyched.

We're all looking forward to more Christmas fun. Hopefully Meg and I can sneak out somehow and have a breakfast date or something similar.

8,000 halves turned up one 90% silver half dollar (1964), twenty-two 40% silver halves (1965, 3 x 1966, 14 x 1967, 4 x 1968D), one proof half (1978S) and one Dominican Republic 50¢.

6,440 quarters produced four Canadians, five US nickels, three US pennies, one Bermuda 25¢ and one US dime.

2,650 dimes rounded up four Canadians.

1,600 nickels yielded four Canadians (2 Ni), four US pennies and one Kenya 40¢ (1969).

Friday, December 21, 2012

A couple days ago it was my birthday. When I got home I got even better greeting that usual (the kids usually make a big deal of my arrival ... it is very nice). Hazel ran up to me and said, "Happy Birthday, for you!" while pointing at me and dancing a bit as if she were a Supreme. It was really cute. Henry came up to me and gave me a present he made, a drawing. That night Meg made me a special treat of ham, homemade mac-n-cheese and brussel sprouts. For dessert we had rice pudding.

The next night Meg and I went out to eat and my folks watched the kids. It tasted good and was relaxing!

400 half dollars had two 40% silver halves (1967, 1968D).

4,080 quarters turned up fifteen Canadians, two US nickels and one US penny.

4,300 dimes rounded up fifteen Canadians and one UK 5 pence.

1,440 nickels yielded thirteen Canadians (8 Ni), five US dimes and one US penny.

Overall those were some pretty lame-o coins I searched.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last night Henry told me, "Hazel had a bad dream at nap time. She dreamed a large monster was eating her ... I asked her and she said, 'Yes.' Something tells me Henry doesn't know the power of suggestive interrogation! Meg told me afterwards that Henry, himself, had such a dream recently.

This morning Henry asked me why I had to go to work today if today is my birthday. I like that idea! He also wondered why he had to go to school on such a special day ... thanks little dude!

17 small dollars had one Canadian.

8,000 half dollars turned up eight 90% silver halves (2 x 1941, 1942S, 1944, 1944S, 1946, 2 x 1964), seventeen 40% silver halves (2 x 1965, 1966, 6 x 1967, 5 x 1968D, 3 x 1969D), six proof halves (1976S, 2 x 1978S, 3 x 1979S) and one new modern mint set one for me, the 2012D.

3,360 quarters yielded five Canadians (one was a 1966, 80% silver), one US nickel, one US penny, one quarter with a cud on the reverse (2006P North Dakota) and one new modern one for me, the 2012P Denali. That's the first 1966 Canadian quarter I've found in a roll. The cud error is worth about $12. Here's a link to an E-bay sale of a very similar coin; my coin must be from the same die and is in the same condition.

2,300 dimes rounded up one silver Rosie (1946) and one UK 5 pence.

1,240 nickels produced one War Time (1945S), one Canadian nickel and one Canadian dime.

13,950 pennies yielded ninety-five Wheats, one hundred sixty-five Canadians, twenty-six US dimes, one US nickel, one Bahamas 1¢, one Guyana $5 (2008), one Australian 5¢ and one Euro 2¢.

1909(2), 1911, 1917D, 1919(3), 1920, 1926, 1928, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1939(3)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Yesterday I took the day off to take Henry and Hazel to their first dentist visit with Meg. We were scared ... three of us anyway. Meg and I were scared because we've seen what doctor and hair dresser can do to Henry; Henry was scared because, well it was something new and he was expecting something awful, "Is the dentist going to take my teeth out?" he asked us? The Bernstein Bears book about going to the dentist backfired a bit I suppose.

Well, wonders be no one had a reason to be scared. Henry and Hazel dressed without fuss, got in the car no problem, played blissfully in the waiting room (got two stuffed dolphins from the staff) and went willingly into the examination room. Henry was very shy and didn't talk much to the dental assistant, but she did a really nice job walking him through everything and letting him play with all of her tools. It went as well as it could of, better even. Hazel's turn was after Henry. She wasn't very cooperative, but they didn't try to do much with her and she held up through it all so we didn't care. "Do you guys do haircuts too?," I asked. Afterwards we celebrating with a trip to the mall food court for pizza slices and a ride on carousel.

I took a bunch of pictures of the whole experience. Towards the end of the appointment they told me I wasn't supposed to be taking pictures. So are some of the ones I took illegally with some censoring!

Here's a great piece of work Henry made at school. I think the person is supposed to be him picking up toys (it's a fantasy piece).

1,760 quarters turned up three Canadians and one Bermuda 25¢.

600 dimes rounded up one silver Rosie (1961D) and two Canadians.

280 nickels had one Swiss 20 Rappen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Last night I worked with Henry on one of his first homework assignments. I'm so glad he waited for me to get home to do it. I cut out the pictures, he glued on some and Hazel glued on others. Henry also drew various things on the sheet. My favorite drawing of his in the piece is the one he did of Hazel's doll. I know before long helping him do homework will be a big pain, but for now it still has some novelty to it! (Ironically I had spoken to my sister earlier and she was struggling with Evan and his multiplication homework ... that'll be me in a few years ... I'm sure of it.)

Henry's homework.

This is another drawing Henry drew yesterday. It includes a stop sign and traffic light.

3,080 quarters rounded up eight Canadians, one US nickel, two US pennies and one Chinese 1 Yuan.

2,300 dimes yielded four silver Rosies (1952, 1954, 1963D, 1964D), three US pennies, two Canadians and one Estonian 20 Senti. That's the first coin from Estonia for me. A new country!

1,640 nickels got me four Canadians (2 Ni) and one US dime.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Here are some pictures I've taken recently.

On Tuesday last week I had to stay home in the morning for a bit longer than usual so that I could pick up my phone at the Bank of America. I left it there over the weekend! Henry was motivated by Sid the Science Kid to do some drawings for his grandmothers and send them out via the computer. This is probably his best car drawing yet! It includes an exhaust pipe and exhaust!

Not to be outdone Hazel drew this.

On Saturday Nicole and I took all of the cousins to my grandfather's VFW Post for their annual Christmas party. The kids did really well there. In the above picture Henry and Hazel are watching the magician. A sampling of his jokes are:

"My wife asked me to take her somewhere expensive; so I took her to the gas station. She said, 'No, take me somewhere I've never been before.' So I took her to the kitchen."

(When calling up a young volunteer.) "Come on up, sweaty ... I mean sweety."

This year Evan was a volunteer helper. He did well.

Before Santa arrived Liam joined the other kids in singing Christmas carols. The other three cousins just sat and watched. Liam did really well. Nicole didn't realize he knew so many carols! After the caroling was over the emcee told the kids that she wanted them to say into the microphone what they wanted for Christmas. At this point, totally unprompted by anyone, Henry joined the group, when up to the lady with the microphone, got a turn and said, "car." I was so thrilled! Meg was too. I wish she had seen it. Liam also did well and spoke of a big Lego set. (Before the event I was totally blown away by Liam's reading! It was unreal.)

8,000 halves turned up one 40% silver halves (1969D), one token (says "Good for One Beer") and a half that's colorized for the 30th anniversary of Elvis's death.

2,520 quarters rounded up one silver Washington (1961D), three Canadians and two US nickels.

1,350 dimes got me one silver Rosie (1951) and eight Canadians.

640 nickels produced two Canadians (1 Ni).

8,000 halves produced eighteen 40% silver halves (1966, 8 x 1967, 5 x 1968D, 2 x 1969D).

18,800 pennies turned up one hundred twenty-five Wheats, one hundred fifty Canadians, thirteen US dimes, one Bahamas 1¢, two Bermuda 1¢ and three UK pennies.

1916, 1919, 1921S, 1925, 1934D, 1935, 1935S, 1936(2), 1937(2), 1938, 1939(2)