home | galleries | calendars | photos | special events | family room | archives _______________________________________________________________________________

We get out our Christmas decorations and put them around the house. Emily is delighted to rediscover the stacking Santas, and remembers the blues-singing Santa from last year. She makes an advent calendar with me and carefully chooses a red-green-red-green pattern for the squares. She patiently writes in all 25 numbers. She only needs a few hints in the teens and twenties! 12/1

Emily is having a really tough time getting to sleep. We've had to implement a rule that says no visits from Mom and Dad after tuck-in time and TV privileges revoked if she yells and screams about it! Otherwise she will call us up to her room over and over. 12/2

Emily has made some nice friendships with some of the new, younger girls in her class: Claire and Kaeli. But when she talks about playing outside, all we hear about are Hunter, Cameron, Spenser, and Tommy--the all-boy-all-the-time boys she runs around with at recess! 12/4

At bedtime, Emily surprises me by reading the words, "A big box" all by herself! 12/6

I made Daddy breakfast in bed to celebrate the end of his interim Photoshop class. Emily wants to know when she can have eggs and toast in HER bed! I told her on her birthday! 12/7

Christine agrees to host the Deppers, the Duffs, and the Casebolts (Betsy is a scrapbooking friend of Susan's and mine) at her downtown loft. It just happens to overlook the route of the Parade of Lights! This is a nighttime holiday parade that features floats and dancers and marching bands all lit up by strings of Christmas lights. We drove downtown early and watched from Christine's window all the people gathering on the sidewalks as it got darker outside. The girls loved it. Emily's favorite was the flame-throwing jugglers! 12/7

Emily comes in, crying, to our bedroom around midnight last night. When I ask her what's wrong, she says, "I want to read ALL the words in my books and I CAN'T!" She doesn't remember doing this in the morning! 12/8

Emily's Wish List: Robe, slippers, watch, backpack, metal detector! 12/9

We put the ornaments on the tree tonight and Emily has a good time. Daddy says he's only putting on elves and frog ornaments this year, so every time she finds one she calls out, "Here, Daddy!" Emily got to choose which angel for the top (she chose our velvety green one this year) and Daddy lifted her up so she could put in on. 12/9

We got out the cookie cutters to get ready to make Christmas cookies. Emily is not sure she is happy with the idea of only using sleighs, Santas, and bells. She wants a dinosaur and a truck, too! 12/10

Emily starts work on her gift projects for this year. She has been waiting to do Shrinky-Dinks since the Spring Craft Fair at Fisher! She is drawing lots of different pictures in colored pencil on the plastic sheets, then I heat them up in the toaster oven! Sometimes Emily free-hands her drawing, and sometimes she chooses a Christmas-shaped cookie cutter from the table to trace and color in. She is doing such a careful, patient job, working on a few drawings every day, and showing great variety in her subjects! We will put ribbon through the holes in the tops and make ornaments to give to her family and friends.

We talk about going to visit Grandma and Grandpa at their new house. Em is sad, and says, "I like the old house." I thought that this was just a preschooler's normal knee-jerk resistance to change until she continued, "I like the blue room." She is remembering Grandma's blue sewing room with the daybed that she slept on when we visited...and the last time was 14 months ago!

Em sits on the kitchen floor and plays "hockey" with Alex, reporting the score in progress to me as I make dinner. When she announces, "I won!" I say, "Did you say, 'Good game, Alex.'?" Emily looks at me and says, "She's just pretend!" 12/12

Emily and Sarah helped me make Christmas cookies this morning. Em was a pro with the dough--she could cut her shapes and move them to the pan all by herself. She did a very careful job with her sprinkles--she knew exactly where she wanted them to go. 12/13

The girls and I were asked to light the Advent candle at church this morning. Emily didn't want to help me "read" the message, but she did want to help light the candle--at least until I dropped a bit of hot wax on her hand! Then she didn't want to do anything, but at least she looked nice in her Christmas dress! 12/15

After the Christmas pageant, my friend Jacque comes up and says, "I didn't know what to do--this is the first year Emily didn't put her dress over her head!" Emily actually did great during the children's portion of the pageant. The kids told the Christmas story by singing songs (little kids) and reading short passages (big kids). Emily had one line to memorize: "Gabriel!" Emily sang all the songs and actions and followed Miss Jennifer's directions well. She wore a new Christmas dress made by Grandma Z! 12/15

Emily and Daddy write an email to Santa to let him know we will be in Arkansas on Christmas morning. 12/17

Emily's report from school this week says, "Emily really shines when she is doing art and writing activities. She loved making animal pictures and Christmas cards. She also enjoyed making coffee filter snowflakes and painting tress to make our classroom forest." Emily liked the snowflake project so much, we did it ourselves at home! 12/20

We leave on our trip for Arkansas! Emily is a great traveler as usual. She has a few whiney moments (she keeps asking for her next "surprise" much sooner than Mommy thinks she needs one!) but overall is happy to work in her workbooks and play with her Pixter. Of course, she especially enjoys Daddy's special treat, a portable DVD player. 12/19

We are driving the last bit to Grandma and Grandpa's house in the dark after dinner and looking a the Christmas lights on the houses when Emily says, "Mom, I have a question about Santa." I say, "Yes, Em, what is it?" (Fearing the worst, of course!) She says, "How many elves does he have?" 12/20

We go to one of Grandma's libraries for a storytime and a craft. The librarian gets out a winter poems book and asks the kids what a poem is. Emily says, "It's a little rhyme you make out of words." 12/23

We all dress up for Christmas Eve services at Grandma and Grandpa's church. We sit in the front so we can see Grandpa sing in the choir! When we say hello to people after church they all say how good Emily and Sarah were during the service (which means they only wiggled a normal amount instead of a lot)! Emily wants me to make sure to tell her when we sing "Go! Tell it on the Mountain!" because she knows the words. Emily gets to put out the cookies for Santa, and asks if we can leave carrots for the reindeer, too. As she heads to bed, she says, "Don't forget to put out the fire!" 12/24

What a great Christmas Day! Emily climbs into bed with us in the morning and I say, "Do you think Santa came last night?" Emily says, "I know he did!" When I ask why, she says, "I already looked!" We open a LOT of presents, and for almost every gift, Emily says, "I always wanted one of these!" (Even when Mom and Dad never heard her mention it before!) Emily and Daddy sit down to watch Daddy's DVD of Schoolhouse Rock for quiet time in the afternoon, and they both fall asleep on the couch. 12/25

Emily has SUCH a good time at Grandma and Grandpa's house. A few weeks ago, Grandma sent a LONG list of ideas for things they could do together and Emily wants to do them ALL! Some of the things Em does this week: Help Grandpa fill his birdfeeder, go for a walk to the lake across the street, help Grandma with Christmas cookies, help decorate the tree, go to Grandma's library, swim in the pool at the fitness center, and organize Grandma's Tupperware drawer! 12/20-27

We have a little adventure on the way home from Arkansas when the van stops running! Fortunately, we run out of steam right in front of a Conoco and Dairy Queen, and just happen to have a van full of Christmas toys, so we have a fairly painless wait for our tow to Wichita. We find a Holiday Inn (restaurant and swimming pool!) 200 yards from our mechanic, but arrive too late on Friday drop off the van. We settle in to wait for Monday morning, but fortunately the girls find the whole hotel experience novel enough that the time passed pretty well. On Sunday, Emily and Sarah and I took the hotel shuttle to the Wichita Exploration Place, their children's museum, and spend 5 hours looking at all the cool stuff. Monday we find out the van will definitely need at least a day of repairs, if not more, and we decide to rent a car so the girls and I can drive home right away. We want to avoid New Year's traffic as much as we can, but we also want to make sure that we are home in time to play with Gracie Droppelman, who is visiting from her new home in North Carolina. The girls and I spend Monday night in Goodland, KS, and arrive at our house around lunchtime on New Year's Eve. The Duffs came over to help with the logisitics of returning the rental car, and while I am gone with Tim Susan fields two calls from Georgia asking if they can come over yet! About fifteen minutes after I am done with the car, Georgia and Grace walk over and the girls have a wonderful time playing together again. They wind up with three different playdates before Grace goes home again! Meanwhile, Bill has reported that the van did get fixed by the end of the day on the 31st, but decides to wait and leave early New Year's Day. He arrives midafternoon and we celebrate by opening the rest of our Christmas presents! Happy New Year! 12/27-1/1


back to top

home | galleries | calendars | photos | special events | family room | archives