We had a great Christmas! We started on Christmas Eve with our traditions of getting ready for Santa - opening one present (it's always pajamas), milk and cookies, reading The Night Before Christmas and putting out reindeer food.
Kayci woke up first at 6am. Actually, Kristi and I were awake laying in bed. We heard her feet hit the floor, then we heard her quietly open her door and tiptoe into the living room. A couple of minutes later, she came into our room and "woke us up." "Santa came!," she said. We got up and let Noble sleep a little extra. She picked through her stockings and the things that Santa had left out for her while I made coffee.
After a little while, she could hardly contain her excitement anymore and asked if we could go wake up Noble. That's usually a pretty bad idea, but since it was Christmas, Kayci was confident that a "Merry Christmas, Noble. Santa brought you presents" would do the job without him having a meltdown. And she was right. He didn't want to walk out for some reason, though. He wanted me to carry him. It took him a moment when we came around the corner and saw the train table and the Thomas the Train track and playset Santa had left for him, but he quickly broke out in a huge smile. The first thing he said was "Daddy- play Thomas Train with me!" We looked at the train set for a few moments and then started digging in to the stockings and playing with other things that Santa had brought the kids.
Kayci distributed presents while Noble helped himself to some of his Christmas chocolate, and the kids started open their presents from me and Kristi. According to Kayci, it took two hours and fifteen minutes to open all of our presents. That's not because there were tone of presents - it's because when we open presents we always open them one at a time, and we frequently open them and play a little as we go. And surprisingly, Noble didn't really want to open his presents. He was very content with what he already had open. We practically had to beg him to open the next present a couple of times. Having a little kid who doesn't want is really nice. And having a big kid who seems genuinely appreciative of the things she unwrapped is something we could have only imagined. I know I wasn't that kid when I was her age.
While the kids played with their toys, Kristi and I started getting ready for the day. We had our traditional buttermilk crumbcake breakfast, played some more and started getting dressed to head to Pflugerville to see Kristi's brother and his family (which has become another of our Christmas traditions).
This Christmas was special for us because it was all about our little family. I had some vacation time left, so I was able to take the week off, so we got a lot of time to just hang around and be together. Hopefully, the kids will remember times like these when they look back on their childhood Christmases thirty years from now. I know I'll count it among my favorite Christmases.
So from the Pharaon family to yours, we hope you had a very Merry Christmas!
Here's a translation: "Dear God, thank you for our muffins, thank you for our honey, thank you for our food, thank you for Backyardigans, thank you for TV, Thank you for Daddy's work, Daddy, and our family, for Reagan and Madison (?) and Grandma and Ronny and Cat and Gavin and Amy and Reagan and trampoline and Daddy's truck and Mommy's car.
You just never know what's going to come out of that kid's mouth...
Christmas has been a blast so far--Noble is 2 1/2 (really 3/4...) and is LOVING everything about this magical season. It's fun to see it through Kayci's eyes, as well, as she explains things to him. I think she's having *almost* as much fun as we are!
This week their favorite Christmas song is "Santa Baby" (thanks, T Swift!)...but neither of the knuckleheads knows the lyrics. So they sing..."Santa Baby...sing it with me!" over and over. Or, in Noble's case..."Santa Baby...sing wiff meeeeee!"
You'd think we'd get tired of it, but not yet. I'll let you know next week. :) Kayci just pointed out that tomorrow will be 10 days 'til Christmas.
Some of you may have received several posts from the blog this morning. These were posts that were caught up in a server-side spam filter somewhere that I just found. So don't adjust your set - it's not your imagination - yes, these posts go back to Halloween. Sorry for the inconvenience and the anachronistic holiday posts.
Last night was the Brenham Lighted Christmas Parade, which has become one of our family traditions. Once again, we rode in the parade on the Germania Insurance float, and we had an awesome time. The theme of the float this year was "Polar Express," so the float was decorated to look like train cars. My truck pulled the float (because it's black like a train engine) and featured a working smokestack. And best of all, there was a snow machine mounted onto the top of the truck that made it snow onto the train and in the streets of downtown Brenham! It was a lot of fun watching the kids along the parade route excitedly enjoying the snow as the float passed. The wonder and joy on their faces was simply moving.
After the parade, we went to the Brenham Olde Town Bakery for some cookies and hot chocolate. It was a great way to cap of the night. Hope to see you here next year!
Skip Leigh passed away on Thanksgiving. His family did a great job paying tribute to his life this week--Skip would be embarrassed to be the center of attention like this, but at least he can rest assured that nobody got up there and told lies about him. :) Skip was a good guy. He was a man who lived a simple life, worked hard, loved his family, and served his God. We would all be wise--and lucky--to be a bit more like him. Please keep Kate, Melissa, Cathy and the rest of the family in your prayers.
On December 1st, we always kick off our Advent activities with a book about Jesus' birth. This morning we were reminded if the difference in our two kids: as soon as we were done talking, Nobley grabbed Baby Jesus and started flying him around.
That's what Noble said when he saw this picture. Turns out, he DID sit on Santa's wap...and he told him what he wanted for Christmas (Thomas de Twain). Kayci told him she wants books. :) When we walked away, Noble kept turning around and looking at Santa. He got my attention, "Hey, where my toy?" He thought he'd tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas--and get it! This Christmas thing must be so confusing for our literal little guy...but so far, so fun. He reminds us so much of Kayci at this age (minus the screaming and behavior issues and messes) when he starts telling stories in his sweet little voice.
We'll have to catch up--Daddyboy has taken some amazing pictures this past few days--but I thought I'd share that Noble did, in fact, climb into Santa's wap instead of giving him a high five. How brave! He got a kick out of the Christmas lights...I can't wait to see what he thinks about our decorating when we get home. Kayci can't wait to set her Christmas tree up in her room. I can't wait for cider...for getting the tree...all of it! It will be a fun weekend...and I can't wait to hear Kayci explain it all to her Bubby. :)
On Thursday, Kayci sang in her school's annual Veteran's Day program. When we arrived at the school, we walked toward the cafeteria and started looking for her. Much to our surprise, she was standing in the cafeteria entrance handing out programs. I thought that was really cute, so I tried to take some video of her, which made her embarrassed... which was even more adorable.
Then the program began. There was a color guard, pledge of allegiance, introduction of veterans and a reading of a book called America's White Table. And, of course, there was singing.
Here is some video of the songs. Kayci is on the left side of the stage in the third row, directly up from the teacher. She's wearing a white shirt with red sleeves.
Today we went to see "Megamind." It sold out, so we stuck around for the next showing, which was in 3-D. Keep mind, I avoid 3-D because of motion sickness & Noble has yet to attempt to wear the glasses successfully. Imagine our surprise when a) it turned out to be a really good movie and b) Noble sat in his seat--a first!--wearing his glasses--another first!--for the entire movie. As much as it pains me, he's growing up.
This evening marked another milestone...we packed up the toddler bed. He sleeps in the full size bed with Kayci, anyway, and we really wanted to make room for her desk in their room. She loves to write and create, and it's sometimes hard to do that wither desk in the public space that is the office. Every visiting friend ends up at her desk, and it's been getting to her. So, as of today, she has her own space again (in their shared room, of course, but it's still progress).
(notice all of her notes & stuff taped to the wall--I always sword my kids wouldn't do that. Sigh. So we compromise--she has her own painter's tape!)
And last but not least, once again the office has grown with us and changed a bit. I redid the shelves (added new boxes for Noble toys, reorganized & rearranged to reduce clutter) and we brought the cart in from storage to hold the random toys that lived on the buffet (the dining room is now officially a toy-free zone!) and moved the easel to be beside Noble's desk...we'll see how it all shakes out. I will say that everyone else was right--reducing the sheer number of toys available has lent itself to much better play...not just throwing toys around. Again, we'll see...and be open to change.
If feels good to clean stuff out and organize what's sticking around. Maybe someday I'll tackle those kitchen cabinets...
This morning I'm thankful for memories. Sitting there eating Cream of Wheat with my Boy and the knuckleheads, I was reminded of many mornings at home, with Cream of Wheat prepared by my Dad. You had to be up early to have breakfast with him back in the old days, which seems so funny now.
We had a great Halloween! First, we got a surprise trick-or-treat from Jihido and Nahia. There was pumpkin carving, dinner with the Dahlmeyers and trick-or-treating in the neighborhood! Then it was back to the house to give out candy, which I think the kids enjoyed more than walking around getting candy. Click on the image above to view the slide show or view the set on Flickr.
Due to a policy change, Kayci needs a couple of shots. Long story. Noble's having a hard time understanding that this visit is NOT about him...he keeps insisting that he has an owie and requires shots, as well. We'll see if he changes his tune when the needles come out! :).
(She's 75th percentile for weight and height, if you're curious. Average is good!)
Noble and I went for a bike ride last night and stopped at Dairy Queen for some ice cream. He was in classic Noble form, so I shot a couple of minutes of video of Noble just acting, well... like Noble.
Over the weekend, Kayci learned how to ride her bike! This video was shot over four days as she learned and got better. It's Kayci, so there were a lot of crocodile tears and wailing and gnashing of teeth, but she kept trying and refused to give up. We're so proud of her!
This morning Noble was being Noble, hanging out on the kitchen counter. (Okay, fine...he was drinking his coffee and enjoying powdered donuts. Call CPS already.) Anyway, he called me in to show me his calendar entries. I asked him what he'd written, and he pointed to various blocks on the calendar: "Stay home this day...and this day...my home this day...this day...stay home..."
It's almost as if he's trying to tell me something. Nah...off to Houston we go!
Stay tuned for some awesome video of Bitty conquering life on 2 wheels!