Sunday, December 28, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow snack

What better snack to have on a cold, winter day than a build-your-own snowman?


Nativity Creativity

Along with the many "firsts" the boys are participating in this year, setting up and playing with their own nativity scene has been great fun.  Inspired by our friend Heather's post of her 3 year old's creative interaction with their nativity scene, I thought I'd start keeping track of all the different arrangements they've come with up for ours.

This is entitled "The Flying Bethlehem Circus"
Perhaps there was such a large crowd that night that everyone had to stand on each others' heads just to get a glimpse of baby Jesus?
At some point a second baby appeared in the scene.  My mom helpfully suggested that it must be baby John, just visiting his cousin.  Please note that a pirate (and extra horse) have also been added to the joyful group.
This is entitled, "The Bethlehem Parade"
This is actually one of their favorite ways to arrange the people (still including the pirate - he is now an inseparable part of the story).  They love lining everyone up to come see the baby.
Did you know that the 3 wisemen arrived in 3 racecars?  Here they are on the approach.
You can see Mr. T's mouth in "zoom" position as the 3 wisemen do a drive-by gift drop off through the stable.  They did have a long trip home...and had to avoid Herod...so it is understandable that they were in a hurry.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

O Come Little Chainsaw

Not sure why I alluded to a lack of drama and comedy in the last posting...we got plenty of it from Mr. T. last night at the church Christmas program.  I guess I should have been prepared.  He was obviously MUCH more comfortable with the audience.

The filming in this is wobbly because I was laughing so hard as we watched this drama unfold.  Jim and Jill (Jack's parents - he's the long suffering one holding the unfortunate tree) were sitting behind us laughing as quietly as they could and making totally unhelpful comments which only fueled the hilarity.

All I can say is, if you give a boy a chainsaw and stand him next to a tree...expect trouble.

I especially like the part where he joins back in again with the last word and proudly holds up his manger/chainsaw, loudly singing "DAY!" as if he's been leading the group the whole time.

Another contrast to the preschool program is that when this little group got up on stage, Mr. T loudly announced, "I singing now, okay guys? Okay?" much to the enjoyment of the congregation.

video

Christmas program

Here's Mr. T with the 2 preschool classes that attend his preschool:

Since he wasn't anywhere near as animated as his cousins Luke and Peter in their Christmas program , I had him sing 2 of his songs at home again.  Here are the results (I knew he knew the words and motions!):

Away in a Manger (a duet with guest singer O Boy) - I promise that holding hands was THEIR idea, not mine!



Up on the Housetop (he knew the words better than I did - and I had words in front of me!)



And what program is complete without a bow?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Just because

I remember someone sending this to us last year and it popped up again. It's always fun to watch.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Decorating the Christmas tree

This was the first year I actually remember the boys fully participating in the whole tree experience - from the cutting to the decorating.  The only problems were:

O Boy took each of his ornaments and put them almost ALL on one small section of one small branch at the bottom of the tree, which was soon touching the ground. He firmly resisted any attempts to broaden his scope of ornament placing. Occasionally he would step away from the whole process and say, "You guys do it now. I'm just watching." A good future delegator. Here you can see how meticulous he was in placing each ornament in just the right spot.

Mr. T's only range of placing ornaments, on the other hand, was "WAY UP HIGH, DAD!" So he would take an ornament, shout, "WAY UP HIGH, DAD!" and get lifted "way up high"...but once he got up there he wasn't too keen on getting close to the pokey needles so Dad usually ended up putting the ornament on after all. But at least it was way up high.


But the real reason we get a very tall tree...
Is so that Dad has to get a ladder and so that we get to play fireman with our vacuum hose.  Again and again and again and again and again.  The ladder was much more fun than the tree decorating project itself.  And, should there have been any fires at the top of our tree, they would all be out by now.  


Every little boy's dream

One of our favorite aspects about raising 2 little boys in Petersburg is that we live right by the airport (well, everything is relatively "right by" the airport!) and twice a day usually get to see the giant jets take off and land.  One of the best places to watch this happen is at Sandy Beach, where the descending jet comes in right over the beach!  Very exciting for any little boys who happen to be in the vicinity.  Our new church is actually right in the flight path as well - but when the jet is even closer to landing.  So on Sundays Phil may get interrupted at around 10:30 as the huge roar of the jet passes overhead.  This picture was actually taken at least a year ago by a playgroup mom who just sent me this photo of her little boy, another playgroup friend, and Mr. T. (in blue).  They were pretty thrilled to see that jet zoom overhead.  As a matter of fact, they still are.  The thrill just never seems to go away.  Even these days as we hear the jets take off and land, they'll run from where ever they are in the house to the front windows to see if they can catch a glimpse of it disappearing in the sky.


Looking back and looking ahead

This post was motivated by the fact that I discovered 2 previously forgotten snapshots of O Boy as a tiny little guy with me apparently taken when I was trying out our Photo Booth program.  Then the boys discovered the new (to us) baby car seat which came into the house in preparation for the newest Smith's arrival in a few months.  They thought it was a fantastic new toy for THEM to play with/in.  So here are a few shots of looking back at the boys as babies and looking ahead to all the fun new things that they'll get to play with when we have another baby in the house to entertain them...(and us).







Saturday, December 06, 2008

Playgroup Memories 2006-2008

Here's a slideshow I made for our playgroup website of just some of the great photos we've taken over the years.  We've done a lot of fun things!  The slideshow goes very quickly from picture to picture, so look fast! It's fun to see how much Mr. T and O Boy have changed in just 2 short years. Click on the link above or to the left if you'd like to visit our playgroup website. On it you'll find recipes and descriptions of many of the things we've done over the years.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Thanksgiving funny

Many of you have probably seen this video (it's been around for at least a year). I had to post it on the blog because it just cracks me up each time I watch it!

A future concert violinist?

video
After I stopped taking this video, Mr. T informed me that he was "playing the violin" for this song.  Apparently it is about a monster who goes to the airport and I think I heard something in there about seeing Mimi and Papa.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The annual Christmas tree lighting parade and ceremony

I know, this is a crazy picture (it was on the wrong setting), but because of all the lights I thought it came out looking kind of neat. Here we are in the annual Christmas tree lighting parade. The protocol is: line up in front of one of our grocery stores at 5:15pm and get a free light stick (kids) and candle (adults). At 5:30pm, the whole assembled throng, plus Santa in full regalia, marches down the street past any assembled onlookers who didn't make it in time for the candle hand-out. Then we all gather around the tremendously huge town Christmas tree and watch as it, and all the lights up and down the street, are lit up. Then the high school chorus and band typically do a few Christmas numbers. A very Petersburg way to start off the Christmas season! This year it was an absolute downpour so it was an even more typically Southeast Alaskan experience.
Here's what the picture was supposed to look like! (in focus!)
Here we are at the end of the parade (down the street) in front of the tree.  You can see how absolutely drenched we got in just a few short minutes.  My candle got snuffed out it was raining so hard!  O Boy is looking a bit the worse for the wear due to a no-nap day.

The phone is my friend

Here's Mr. T chatting away with Mimi and Papa...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The big Christmas tree hunt

The day after Thanksgiving we actually saw a tiny bit of sun appear in the sky so we called up our friends Ray and Lyn Fish and invited them and their 4 college aged friends (visiting Petersburg for the weekend) to come out the road and join us on the yearly epic hunt for the perfect Christmas tree.  This was definitely the first year that the boys understood what was going on and fully participated in the excitement of the day.  Thanks to Lyn for taking most of these pictures and capturing the fun we had so perfectly.

So many trees, such a difficult decision...

"C'mon, Mom and Dad! There are thousands more trees ahead!"

Wonder how deep that puddle is?  Dad will test the waters...

Heading to forge the stream

Ray helpfully trims a few branches away from the surrounding trees so that we can see prospective tree #3 a bit better.  This is obviously something you can only do in a national forest...Of course it's also something you'd only need to do in a real forest where what appears to be one nice, thick tree more often than not turns out to be 3 growing closely together.  Time to move on and look for a new tree...

O Boy gets some help getting through the thick underbrush.

The "make sure you smile for the camera" pep talk

Quite possibly our first family picture with EVERYONE smiling at once.

Yep, this year we finally brought along a tape measure.  !!

Ray and Phil debate the pros and cons of yet another tree.

Ray is thinking, "This may finally be the one!!"

The highlight of the day: the chainsaw gets fired up.

Gotta catch every move Dad makes with that chainsaw!

A true Alaskan pastor must not only be able to wield the sword of the spirit, but a chainsaw as well.

THE CHAINSAW!

Or maybe stomping in a puddle is just as fun as checking out the chainsaw. It's a hard call.

Checking out the freshly cut tree

Second thoughts?

The final result.  Very tall, narrow Scotch pine.  We'll see if it sheds fewer needles...

Logging roads provide miles and miles of endless running pleasure...provided you don't meet up with a bear or a porcupine!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Do you live for politics?

If so, check out John Piper in the video clip below for some biblical thinking on politics and elections.

Friday, October 31, 2008