Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Weird Age

When we wished her a happy 14th birthday, Tayta commented with her ever present smile , "it's a weird age." At 14 one is not really a child, nor is one considered an adult. And, as the youngest child I suppose that Tayta has witnessed a fair amount of 14-year-old-weirdness in her siblings. She informed me that 15 is also a weird age--16 is moving into normalcy.

Tayta enjoying her weird age

Happy Birthday, Tayta!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...the Fourth of July??

Tayta's meant-to-be-red-and-green-Christmas apron was indicative of the challenge to deck our halls, trim our tree, and bake our usual abundance of Christmas treats this year. Given our just-visiting status and our temporary home, we didn't put up a Christmas tree but instead the kids helped Grandma decorate hers. Tayta designed a two foot by two foot Christmas corner (poinsettia, candy canes, and few ornaments) for our basement apartment--and giving up even that small surface was a sacrifice.

Constrained by space, we had to simplify our baking efforts and so I instructed Tayta that she could make only gingerbread this year--gingerbread men and the pieces for the house that has become a tradition for her and Artist Son to design and make together.

Tayta's Merry Men

2010 Gingerbread House

With everything else that is going on as we transition back to Jordan, it has been nice to simplify the holiday preparations this year. As we celebrate Emmanuel, God with us, with family and friends on this side of the world, we are comforted by the reminder that where God was homeless, we are at home.

Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 13, 2010

On-the-Road November

And, in the air: it took us only four four flights to get from Boise to Springfield, Illinois, where we made a 48 hour stop to visit Dear Husband's family, and another two flights to Oberlin where we enjoyed meeting Oldest Daughter's friends, her beloved teacher, and attending her junior recital.

Oldest Daughter, her teacher, and her dear friend, with whom she performed her recital

Returning to Boise, we planned to make a quick turn around (kiss the kids hello, re-pack, sleep, and eat) , and head out the next morning to drive to Bozeman, Montana to spend Thanksgiving with more of Dear Husband's family. We were so very thankful for the loaned Ford Expedition we were driving as we set out in blizzard conditions. Arriving in Idaho Falls, the roads closed behind us and before us and at 0 degrees (or lower) we were grateful for the Shiloh Inn and their special stranded travelers rate: Room for five plus breakfast--$65. I think it must have cost at least half that just to heat our room and water, it was so cold outside.

Dear Husband prepared our stranded traveler dinner: microwave nachos (with real cheddar cheese--not the icky saucy stuff) and I curled up to enjoy Active Son's latest read while the wind howled outdoors. Cozy!

Highway fifteen opened in the morning and we were on our way--much better driving than the day before when we had witnessed over 20 cars off the road.

Active Son and Artist Son get a lesson in shoveling snow from their cousin. He's had lots of experience.

Artist Son zip-lining from the backyard fort to the back of the house

Lots of cousin fun

Thanksgiving feasting

Hanging out by the fire with Grandpa

So much fun sledding! I find the screaming that one must do as one must do as one comes down the hill, especially when one's sled turns backwards, to be exhilarating.

The boys grew tired of "normal" sledding and decided to try some stunts.

This was the first one--pretty tame--just holding their sleds together.

The pyramid looked a little risky, but they made it down without spills. Artist Son's good balance came in handy here.

Next, they tried what I call The Dogsled. The "dogs" ate snow but I think Artist Son had a pretty good time.

A Happy Family Thanksgiving