Sunday, November 16, 2008


We broke all tradition tonight! It's true...we put up a Christmas Tree before Thanksgiving. {Gasp!} I know, you are thinking we are horrible, unthankful people! More confessions? We've resorted to artificial. {Gasp!} Yep, two of them! This would have never happened to us in Washington or Virginia. I've always dug my heels in and insisted on a fresh, evergreen scented, pine needles everywhere type of tree. How can you have artificial when you are surrounded by the real thing?
And, we've always waited until the day after Thanksgiving when we'd put our boots and gloves on, pack the car with a saw and some twine, find ourselves a U-Cut Christmas tree farm and pick out the most beautiful tree we could find. So what happened this year? I've just got the bug even though the sun is still shining brightly, there is no sign of snow or inclement weather and I haven't even made a single Christmas present purchase. So tonight we lugged the Christmas tree box off the top shelf in the garage, pieced the tree together like a puzzle, fluffed it's branches, plugged it in and voila, we've got ourselves a tree! A little different that what we are used to, but the kiddos still had the "It's Beginning To Feel a Lot Like Christmas" smile written all over their faces!

Of course, the webkinz had to make it into the picture too!

Oh, I guess I'd better confess this too... I've been listening to 99.9FM for all you locals. Hey, they are playing it and I'm listening to it! I know Mom, I'm breaking a BIG rule!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Participating in Democracy

Election day is always a fun and exciting day. Going to the voting booth, knowing the endless commercials are coming to an end, and the excitement of watching the results come in as the polls close help make the day unique from the other mundane Tuesdays. This year it was especially fun for me to share it with Tanner and Alex. They helped us fill out our mail-in ballots, with each of them taking turns completing the arrows on the ballot for the candidates we were voting for. It was also fun answering their questions about the various topics, and seeing their surprising enthusiasm for certain candidates. The best part was watching with the boys as the results came in from across the country. We had the TV on and the Internet up. As the results started to trickle in we watched the map of the United States change colors, and followed the count of the Electoral College. It really surprised me how interested and excited they were to see how this whole democracy things works. We talked about the math involved that's necessary to win the election. Minute by minute as new results surfaced they would yell for each other to come watch, and Alex would run into the other room declaring, "Mom, we just won Texas." Tanner counted up the minimum number of states a candidate needed to win the electoral college and thus the presidency (btw, it's 11). Alex started to keep his own tally of the electoral college so he could take the results with him around the house to tell others. He did it in the margins of his kindergarten coloring and writing assignment, and as you can see from the picture he had to keep erasing and updating Barack Obama's count so often that he actually wore through the paper. I was so proud of their interest and basic understanding of how this process works. Hopefully they'll remember the fun of participating in the experience and also how to accept victory and defeat while being a "good sport." We can savor our victories, and if we don't like the outcome, we can work harder to change it next time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lest we forget that Hallowed Eve...

Alex's Pumpkin Bat

Transformer (Alex), Cinderella (Madison) and Star Wars dude (Tanner)

The Princesses
The Princess and Fairy

The Wicked Old Witch (or Mom, whatever you prefer)and the beautiful Cinderella!
I'm thinking I'll go dark next trip to the Caldwell salon! What do ya think Crystal? Maybe not!

Crashing after the sugar high and enjoying a flick on the Martinez driveway!