Our game of delivering "gifts" to the North
Pole was just the beginning of our Christmas fun.
Hunter and Brianna took a box of special
ornaments and decorated a crape myrtle
tree in the front yard.
The next day Claire and Evan similarly
adorned a little redbud tree at our back gate.
As Judy observed, when people notice that
all your ornaments are within 48 inches of
the ground, they know you have grandchildren!
Moving on, Hunter had a great desire to be
in a book. And here is a Christmas book
that he literally got inside. It's actually an
advent calendar with pop-out windows
throughout its folded pages.
Next, carrying on an old family tradition
(Former students, do you remember this?)
we decorated "gum drop trees." These multi-
stickered bushes are actually called hogapples,
and are native to the Sandhills. But they're
not as common as they once were.
Later, while Bri and Grandma stayed in and
did some Christmas art, Hunter and I went
exploring. The stream was still up from a
recent rain, and we saw deer tracks and other
interesting sights. We even found a large
gum drop tree for another year! YES!
It doesn't show up very well, but in Hunter's
hand is a mountain-crafted gingerbread man.
By alternately pulling his two cords, Hunter
raised him to the top of the door. That's what
we call a physics lesson.
The next day, Evan also wanted to be
in a book. He had a slightly different
interpretation of that concept. To each his own.
And now for the second gum drop tree.
All four children have learned by experience
how to carefully place the gum drops without
getting pricked in the process. In the interest
of conservation, I harvested both gum drop trees
from the same bush, and the bush is still living.
Trying to do my part to preserve the species.
We'll see if the "pruning" helps.
As with anything she undertakes, Claire
applies the artist's eye and a delicate touch.
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well, right?
And here's yet another way to enjoy that book.
As well as cookies and fruit.
My friend Andrew at church gifted me with
this musical tie. Don't be surprised when you
see me with it. I can already play Do-Re-Mi!
For some reason, I can't get my
camera to focus on our Christmas
tree, but this fuzzy picture will
give you a general idea of it.
Our typical cedar, cut right beside
our driveway, it was already the
perfect height and was a few inches
shy of our nine-foot ceiling.
This P-47 Thunderbolt ornament, a tribute
to my Dad, is one of my favorites, and
well-loved by the grandkids, too.
Grandma and Hunter have Ninja Santa
battling the dinosaurs. Or something like
that. Don't miss the video later.
Meanwhile, in the other room, Bri was
creating digital ornaments on the computer.
Hunter had a great time with Grandma's
Bri and Hunter recently went to see "The
Nutcracker," and the Nutcracker was very
much on Hunter's mind today.
He can really make that thing dance!
This is another Christmas game I devised,
but Hunter is the only one who has played it.
We each choose two characters from Santa,
Frosty, and a pair of elves.
You roll the die and move your
character up the ladder the appropriate
number of rungs. When one makes it to
the top he gets to go "down the chimney."
Grandpa is usually the slowpoke in this game.
Bri now gets into the Santa and dinosaur
mode, but she even adds Mary, Joseph, and
Baby Jesus into the scenario. Please don't
give Hollywood any ideas!
And of course, the sequel is "The Nutcracker
to the Rescue."
We have some over-sized Tinker Toys
called Fiddle Stix and this was the first
time any of the kids showed much interest
in constructing something. A year ago
the pieces proved too frustrating to connect.
How do you like Brianna's three crosses?
I love them.
I also like Hunter's colorful "wheel and axle."
I'm not sure where a passenger would sit,
but Hunter sent it rolling back and forth across
the living room's pine floor many times.
Hunter uses Roly Poly Santa to spin and
knock dinosaurs off their pedestals.
And Hunter has learned a magic trick.
He can put these six spheres together, but
not attached, and turn them into six
connected spheres. The video is #1 below.
Video # 1:
Video # 2: Following directions on the
Sit 'n' Spins. Silly directions, like fall off
and cry like a baby.
Video # 3: The Trailer from Hunter's
"Santa Visits Jurassic Park." Or something
Wow. Three weeks till Christmas.
Lets hurry up and play some more!