29 12 2008

We have had a nice christmas this year in our home.  The highlights to me have been the simple things my kids have enjoyed:

  • My oldest was in his first school program, and he sang out and did the motions with all the other kids.  In the past, when he has been in a program at church, he has just stood there with his arms crossed and a scowl on his face.
  • My younger son sang in front of the church for the first time this Christmas.  He decided to get down on all fours (for no reason at all) and jump like a frog
  • I loved watching my kids open their simple little gifts and seeing their eyes light up.  We didn’t give them anything extravagant, but their simple happiness was so much fun to be a part of.
  • My wife put one of the gifts inside an old diaper box and wrapped it up for my younger son.  He unwrapped it and said “DIAPERS!!!”.  My wife said, did you want diapers for Christmas? and he said “YEAHHHH!!!”.  Of course he was even more excited to find what was actually inside.
  • My daughter has enjoyed the newness of everything; this being her first Christmas.  She got a stuffed panda and seems to really like it.  She giggles a little when I play with it with her.  She is just gotten so alert lately too and loves to smile and interact with people she knows.
  • My boys played with their cousin in the leaves out at my aunt and uncle’s house.  Talk about enjoying life’s simple pleasures!
  • And, of course, I can’t forget the Jubilee Kids Club Christmas party and seeing all the smiling kids faces there.  I posted about that here.

The simpleness of Christmas was the highlight for me this year.  Of course the greatest gift of all entered the world in the most simplest of ways so many years ago.
Here’s a gallery of the best shots from Christmas day.  Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions.


christmas stockings

22 12 2008

dsc054871My oldest son amazed us 3 years ago (at the age of 22 months) by very quickly learning who each stocking belonged to in our extended family.  As far as we could tell, he went through them one time with my mom, and then he simply just knew them.  And he never missed one.  Different people would quiz him on who random ones belonged to and he got it every single time with no errors.  Somehow his mind is able to look at a these tangible objects and learn it’s assigned person and lock it in his brain.

Each year since, when we pull out the stockings out of storage, we ask him which stocking belongs to whom and he is able to recite them down the line with no assistance.  This year was no exception.  I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised anymore with the feat, but I can’t help but be shocked by it still.

I have a smart kid!

Go Speed Racer

19 05 2008

Speed RacerMy brother and I used to stay up late playing with our hotwheels. We would line them up on each end of the corridor in our house and race them up and down the hall. We used to have cars that could fly, cars that could go underwater, cars that could jump and tunnel and swerve and roll.

My mom got us each a red plastic container to keep our cars in and we weren’t allowed to keep the cars just lying around the house. The rule in our house was, we were to put them away when we were done playing with them. So, as a result, I still have all my old hotwheels to this day…they are still in that nice red container. In fact, my boys are now getting to play with them again 30 years later. (I only wish I did as good a job of making them put the cars away when they are done!).

This week, the pest control guy picked up one of the cars that my kids had left lying around. He brought it to my wife and said, “You might want to hang on to this one…it could be worth something since there is a new SpeedRacer movie out”.

She showed me the car when I got home and sure enough, it’s a SpeedRacer car from when I was a kid. I had no idea I even had it. To be honest, I never was really even into SpeedRacer as a kid. I think this particular car must have been given to me as a baby because my wife looked it up and it was made in 1976, the same year I was born. She also checked it’s value on ebay and one sold for about $25 (although it was in considerably better condition).

Well, I just happen to have an 8 year old friend who is a huge fan of SpeedRacer. (You can read about his fascination here). He has several SpeedRacer cars from the last few weeks already and I thought this would be an awesome addition to his collection. So, Sunday night, while over at his house, I gave it to him. His eyes lit up like saucers and he came over quickly to inspect it. It wasn’t but a few seconds before he started asking me all kinds of questions about the car. I had to tell him honestly that he already knew more about this car than I ever had and that’s the reason I wanted him to have it! He was ecstatic!

I told him he could keep it as long as he took care of it. I told him I had kept it in decent condition (that might be a stretch) for over 30 years and that if I could do it, so could he! I hope he gets as much use out of it as my brother and I did.

One thing is for sure, it is definitely better to give than to receive. That look on his face and the excitement in his voice as he started to ask me questions about it was worth a million dollars! It was one of those rare moments when I was able to give the perfect gift to the perfect person at the perfect time. That doesn’t really happen very often and I will certainly remember this moment for a long time!