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).