Christmas Morn

We had a wonderful Christmas this year.  It was the first time, in a long time, that we haven’t had to travel on Christmas day.  This was an added bonus, as CB was more than concerned with Santa’s travel plans.

I don’t want to hear about your aching back and knees.  There’s no organized labor at this North Pole…

The puppet theater was the big Santa gift of the year.  CB was pumped, and I now know what I’ll be doing for the next year.  My first script featured a young man from a small town who was on a journey to find himself, and wound up in the battlefields of WWII.  However, I think something was lost in the translation.  Either that or the fact that I was working with a 3 yr old, a monkey and a mermaid…

One of the other big hits was an indoor trampoline.  Thank the Lord for Billy.  Between the two of us, we have the equivalent of numerous PHD’s in engineering from MIT, but this trampoline was a monster.  Luckily, with no help from the instructions we managed to get it together.

Unfortunately, we might have done too good a job.  Everything works perfectlly, including the speaker that screams in 4 different languages, and one constant volume, everytime CB bounces.

One last picture I had to share.  CB’s favorite stocking stuffer are her “Oobi” eyes.  Any of you with small children will probably recognize these.  If you don’t, then consider yourself lucky…they creep me out.

Not to be left out, MK had a wonderful Christmas morning as well.  Her favorite part…

Christmas Breakfast!

Christmas Goodness

It’s not officially New Year’s, so I’m still under the deadline for posting some Christmas pictures. 

The girls prepping for the big trip to see Santa.

“Wait a minute.  Wait a minute…I think you’re the one Big Sister warned me about”

Right Before Your Very Eyes

It’s times like these that get you misty…especially when it’s the baby of the family. One day she’s sitting up, the next she’s walking down the aisle.

Ok, so maybe it’s not that bad, but Little Miss MK has really started sitting up on her own.

Although, I don’t really think it’s that fair, as she does have a pretty serious center of gravity to work off of.

Quite a Few Silvers????

I’m not thrilled with this milestone, but Al couldn’t let it pass.  The same lady that’s been cutting my hair for awhile now made a rather disturbing comment on my last trip. 

It had been quite some time since my last trim, and the hair on the sides had gotten out of control.  She was whacking away above my ears, when she nonchalantly comments, “Quite a few silvers in there, huh?” 

“What?”   “Come on now, you’re supposed to be a professional.” I told her.  “You should be able to tell those are clearly my natural blonde roots coming through.”

She didn’t buy it, and neither is Al.

The TRUE Meaning of Christmas

This time of year you can turn on almost any media outlet and hear people decrying the commercialization of Christmas, and asking what is the true meaning of Christmas.  Personally, I could be sleeping at a manger in Bethlehem with Donner and Blitzen soaring overhead, and there’s a good chance I still wouldn’t be in the Christmas spirit.


For me, it’s not about the cards, or presents, or decorations.  None of that matters.  Nope, for me it’s all about one thing, and it’s been that way for as long as I can remember.


And last night, it finally happened.  Sitting on the couch with my girls, the Christmas Season arrived.  All it took was hearing one little boy, albeit wise beyond his years, reading from the second chapter of Luke:

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.   

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Whenever you hear Linus telling the Story of Christmas, that my friends, is what it’s all about…

Christmas is Coming

The weekend after Thanksgiving.  That’s always the goal for putting up the Christmas decorations, and strangely enough, this year it actually happened.  Probably from all the assistance I was receiving.


A girl after my own heart, CB found a way to decorate the tree and never leave the comfort of her own couch.


Al had some specific decorating “tips” for CB when it came to tree ornaments.  Actually the same tips I’ve been hearing for years.  “Space them out.  You’ve got to distribute the ornaments.”  Al has always accused me of clumping the tree ornaments, and once again, it appears that it might be a genetic condition.

I guess the spot on the couch was just too sweet to move.


This picture says it all… CB and “Oh the Drama of Christmas!”  While MK is keeping a close eye on something in the corner of the room that just might be edible.


The finishing touches…

Hi. My Name’s Mark, and I’m a Dork

4:30 a.m. Sunday Morning.  Pitch Black, 27 degrees.  Where were you?  Asleep in your warm bed, I’m guessing.  I doubt very seriously you thought about crawling out of bed to head across town and stand in a Target Parking lot for the next 4 hours.  And yet there I was.  And the fruit of my labors…

 Sad, isn’t it?  Not hardly.  Totally worth it.  For the uninformed, the Wii is Nintendo’s latest foray into the gaming world, with the big difference being the control scheme.  No more mashing seven thousand buttons and working 14 control sticks in hopes of producing some kind of results onscreen.  Nope, the only controller with the Wii looks like an average TV remote control, and to play the games, you literally have to play the game.


Tennis…grip it like a racquet and swing the remote.  Delicate drop shot, blistering back hand, it’s all the same, but don’t think you’re going to pull off those shots if you couldn’t do it on a real court, because you won’t.  My personal favorite…golf.  Hold the remote like a club and let it rip.  Just as aggravating, if not more so, as the real thing.


After the initial set-up, CB and I went head to head in a Tennis match.  Al wants it on the record that in the first official Wii game; I lost to a 3 yr old playing tennis.  But let’s be realistic, she’s not 3.  She’s 3 ½, and she’s really big for her age.  Plus she’s obviously got incredible athletic genes.


Smashing forehand…unfortunately returned by CB.


The CB-Daddy rivalry comes to a head.


Bowling.  Al and I have this long-standing rivalry, over a decade now, when it comes to bowling.  I’m convinced I should beat her every time, but she won’t listen to me, and she continues to win.  And no, it’s no different with the Wii version.


Look at that form…


Once again the first official Bowling match, a loss for Daddy.  But again in my own defense, I was holding MK on my hip while bowling, and that seriously threw off my weight distribution.


Later that day, during naptime, Al and I went at it again in the bowling alley.  This time, I didn’t have MK, and well, it was obviously impairing my game, as with my incredible athletic prowess, I had learned to compensate for the weight on my hip, and now without her, my form was just not right.  Luckily, she woke up.  I threw her on my hip and managed to rally in the last 3 frames and squeak out a win.


P.S.  After we got the little ones to bed that night.  Al managed to destroy me in the first game of bowling.  I went double or nothing and lost the second game even worse.  We switched to tennis, and I soundly took her for 2 matches…she can’t handle my serve.  If I didn’t have to get up at 5 am to go to work, we could have declared the winner.  I’m thinking Boxing tonight, but I don’t know.  She’s small, but really wiry

My Girl

It’s getting pretty scary how much CB and I appear to be cut from the same cloth.  I know it’s causing Al to really pull out her hair lately.  Al has always heard from my parents what an easy going child I was; happy, sweet, content.  Everything was just fine except for that one little trait – pure stubborness.  You know it’s a bad sign when my parents could quote Dr. Dobson’s “Strong Willed Child” like some could quote the scriptures.

My mom got a big kick out of it when she happened to see Dr. Dobson’s NEW “Strong Willed Child” laying around our house a while back.  Al and I have both read it and have been comparing stories, not that it’s doing any good.

Little Miss Caroline is one of the most wonderful things in my life, and she truly is a joy to be around.  Smart, funny, extremely compassionate, and you guessed it, the most stubborn creature God ever let live, present company excluded.

Potty training? Why she might need to go every ten minutes, IF it’s her idea.  Otherwise, she’ll hold it for, literally, 9 hours, if you are trying to force her.

When she gets something set in her head, you can forget about it ever changing it.
Black shoes for example.  Recently, we were getting ready to go to church one Sunday morning, a chore that is becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible with all the bows, dresses, shoes, etc…

We were all dressed and ready to walk out the door, when CB decided she would not wear the black shoes that went with her outfit, nor the matching socks.  She wanted to wear her Crocs.  This was no joke, and she wasn’t budging.  Al was about ready to let it go since we were seconds from getting in the car, but I refused.

She was wearing those shoes if it was the last thing I did.  CB had the converse of that position, and held with the same conviction.

A half hour later I left her room, dripping in sweat, and exhausted.  I’ve been in a bar fight in Louisiana that went better.  I closed the door, stormed out into the den as I heard a shoe hitting the other side of the bedroom door.

CB was in her room, fuming, and I was on the couch, furious.  Al and MK are looking at me like I’m nuts.  Al eventually starts laughing realizing that I’ve been battling with a 3 yr old that is in a lot of ways, very much my equal.

There’s a scene from my favorite piece of literature, A River Runs Through It, that really hits home for me now.  The 8 year old son of a Presbyterian Minister is refusing to eat his oatmeal.  “Man has been eating God’s oats for over a thousand years. It’s not up to an 8 yr old boy to change that tradition,” the father tells the boy to no avail.  The film really captures the scene well, as you see the boy sitting at the table for hours, staring into space, not giving an inch.  At the same time, the father is in the next room, in the exact same pose.  I always thought that scene was pretty funny, until now.

I thought this was just a cute picture of me and miss CB on a cow, but apparently Al has informed me that it’s a perfect shot of 3 bulls, all fighting for the top spot.  That’s My CB.  I love her…