Monday, December 26, 2011

Breezin' Along With Bri

The Friday before Christmas Brianna and
Hunter spent a few hours with us.  I've already
posted a blog about Hunter's activities. Here's
the heads-up on Bri's busy day.

First, we have a hungry baby.  Bri sets
the table and starts to round up some vittles.

"Mine tastes a little gritty. 
 How about yours, Baby?"

"I think I needed to sift the sand a little longer."

Bri has played on the glide swing at Claire's
house, but today was the first time she showed
much interest in this old relic of ours.  But
she climbed on all by herself and pumped away.

This hobby horse is even older than the
swing, but still has enough bounce for
this two year-old.

Hunter's not the only one who plays ball.
And Bri had the most fun kicking the ball
through a pile of leaves.

Off to the front porch to see what's going
on.  Bri cradles a plastic Baby Jesus from
an old nativity scene.

Let's pull this musical wagon around
for a while.

Meanwhile, Hunter wants to see if he's
big enough to navigate Bri's tricycle.
It's a real challenge with the handlebars
turned backwards.  And you'd have to
be a giant to reach those pedals!

Fortunately, big sister is always there
to lend a helping hand . . .
and I do mean always!

Bri had a love/hate relationship with
this plastic spider we found in the garage.

When Bri agrees to a ride in the double
stroller, she gives very specific instructions
for draping a blanket over the top.

Her riding partner, Hunter, laughs,
"So you think you can stroll me to sleep?  Ha!"
(See previous blog)

When Grandma and Hunter head inside
for a while, Bri leads Grandpa to one of
her special places and sets up a reading
corner in -- our canoe!

Everything has to be laid out just so
for the reading magic to take place.

This vintage Santa Claus pop-up book
fascinated Bri for a good while.

Merry Christmas to All!
"Yeah, that's what I thought he'd say."

Can't stay in one place for too long.
Might get sleepy.
So Bri hauls her reading chair 100 yards
to the sand pile.

I think she must be expecting an extra guest
for this holiday tea party. Or whatever.

You've heard of re-fried beans?
Well, these are re-raked leaves.
They get raked over and over again by Bri.

Bri found a single un-mated work glove
of mine and I decided to show her all
my other work gloves.

That included a pair labeled with a big
capital "A."  Those were Mommy's
(Amanda's) first work gloves back when
she was "Daddy's Little Helper."
I see a little family resemblance.  And
Amanda, you can take those gloves home
for your little helper anytime!

Having a Ball with Hunter

Hot on the heels of a wonderful Christmas
with our family, I'm sharing some end-of-year
photos of Hunter today.  I'll blog more about
Christmas in the near future-- but ours isn't
over yet!

As I loaded these recent pictures, I noticed
that almost every one featured Hunter with
a ball.  Hence, the title.  This wire basket
served as a rudimentary "practice hoop"
for indoor basketball.

He's up over the rim and . . .

he slams it home!  TWO POINTS!

Uh huh.  Are you beginning to see a pattern?

Even in his swing, he keeps working
on his jumpshot technique.

YAY!  That one went forward!

"Um, could somebody help me lift this
over my head (a little heavier than the
beach ball he warmed up with)?"

"Kitty Cat, would you mind fetching that
basketball for me?"

"Thanks, Grandpa.  I forgot Kitty Cat
doesn't fetch (or anything else that
hints at servitude)."

Hunter works on his Fisher-Price basketall
hoop while Brianna tries out a mini-football.

Yup.  You guessed it.  It was less than a
minute before Hunter ventured into a
new sport.

At half-time, Grandpa Loyd called us
from Atlanta.  We sat in Judy's prayer
garden swing and chatted.  One of us
decided to catch a few winks.

"Grandpa, I don't think I can make it
out for the second half.  Just tell 'em it's
naptime and I forfeit."
That's okay, big guy. 
There will be other game days in 2012.
Lots of 'em.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pre-Christmas Special: Evan and Claire ... and Kitty Cat

It's almost 10:30 on Christmas Eve and this will be posted before Santa arrives.  I doubt if (m)any of my readers will see this tonight, but Merry Christmas, anyway.

Just like Santa's toysack, this blog is a mixed bag (eclectic, ya know).  It has Evan and Claire and Kitty Cat and Dasher and Dancer and Prancer ...
WHOA, WHOA, WHOA.  I'm getting ahead of myself.

Okay, let's start with Evan.  He's giving some of
Grandma's chocolate chip cookies the taste test.

"Uh, Grandma.  I think I'll need to sample
another one before I render a verdict."

Claire: "Evan, if you eat 'em fast, they forget
how many you've already eaten."

Of course, Evan is versatile.  He can down
a banana in record time.

Surrounded by a roomful of Christmas
icons, Claire snuggles up to Grandma
for a Capri Sun and an airplane video.
Yeah, that's right.  An airplane video.

Evan, on his little beach chair, wonders
how to get from here to there.

Claire shows Granny some of our
Christmas playthings. Like candles . . .

and Santa ornaments . . .

and a tic-tac-toe board with
Santas and Frostys.

Evan: "Santa can't have as much cool
stuff as Grandma and Grandpa!"

Speaking of Santa, isn't it about time he
rounded up Dasher . . .

and Dancer . . .

and Prancer?
I'm just kidding.  All three of those
were Dasher.  And he left for the
North Pole in plenty of time.

Now, for a bonus, because you've been
very good.  Here's a video of little Evan.
Again, he's in his beach chair.  When
Claire and Grandma decide to head to
the kitchen, he wants to follow, but spends
a little time figuring how to climb down.
Then he has to acquire his blanket plus
inspect the camera before he takes off
to the kitchen, where the action is.

And now for an EXTRA-SPECIAL
SUPER DUPER bonus, allow me to
present Kitty Cat.  If this post wasn't
already eclectic, it certainly will be now!
This was recorded a few days ago when
Kitty Cat had to take an anti-biotic.
The way it revitalized him-- filling him
with kitten-like energy and playfulness,
I wonder if some of us humans might
like a dose of our vet's magic elixir.
Anyway, I hope you get a kick of this.

Now, regular readers, I'm sure you noticed
the absence of Brianna and Hunter in this post.
That's only because I took SO many pictures
of them Friday, they'll need a post of their
own.  Coming up right after Christmas!

One and All!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Has Its Cradle and Easter Has Its Lord!

The miracle of Christmas is not an end in itself.
We must see it as the fulfillment of prophecy that it is.
God's divine wisdom had fore-ordained this moment
from eternity past to lay out a path to eternity future.

To find and follow that path we must know not only
the baby of the manger, but the Christ of the cross.
One of my favorite Christmas carols is now
"Christmas Has Its Cradle."  I thought of this song's
powerful words as I saw new stained glass windows
installed in my church this week.  I hope the words of
the song and these beautiful images are an inspiration
and source of hope to you as we celebrate our Lord's
birth.  This central event in human history is still
transforming lives each day.  Because our Savior lives!

Christmas has its cradle, where a Baby cried;
Did the lantern's shadow show Him crucified?
Did He foresee darkly His life's willing loss?
Christmas has its cradle and
Easter has its cross.

Christmas has its cradle, shepherds came to see
Little Son of Mary, Lamb of God to be;
Had His Father warned Him,
none would grant Him room
Save in the Christmas cradle
and in the Easter tomb?

Christmas has its cradle, wise men came to bring
Myrrh and gold and incense, off'rings for a King;
Myrrh alone stayed with Him,
death's balm for this Boy,
From the Christmas cradle and to His Easter joy.

Christmas has its cradle, where that Baby cried;
In the Easter garden, Christ lay, crucified;
When death's pow'r was conquered,
God's life through him poured;
Christmas has its cradle
and Easter has its Lord!

Luke 2: 1-40

Matthew 28: 1-20