2010: The Wrap Up

This year can only be described as blessed.  As we move into 2011, I find myself feeling filled with anticipation.  What will this year bring for our family?  What blessings?  What heartaches?  What new challenges and opportunities?  What joy and laughter?  How will the kids grow and develop?  How will Lee and I grow and develop?

In looking back on 2010, I have seen some definate areas in my own life that need improvement.  I enter 2011 aware of those and prayerfully seeking the strength and discipline to implement the necessary changes.  I look forward to a fresh start.

I also look forward to another 12 months of blogging and laughing with you all.  Because what fun is life if you can’t laugh…a lot!  So in order to look back at the fun this year has brought, I give you the official 2010 wrap up.  It’s been a hilarious ride!

January

The Minivan Mom Runs: Remember when I decided to take up running again?  And then I quit.  But then I decided to take it up again?  And then I quit.  This fall, I took it up again and I was actually doing quite well.  I was actually enjoying it.  Then I got pneumonia and the cold that wouldn’t end and haven’t been able to run in a month.  Good times…

Battoning Down the Hatches…or something like that: In which, like a modern day Ma Ingalls, I survive being snowed in alone with three kids.  This was during our Little House on the Prairie kick.

Feburary

From his perspective aka A really bad idea: Lee decided we needed to change our life insurance policy, which meant a scary nurse lady came to our house and jabbed me with a needle.  I was too afraid to consider not having the children watch.  Sloan thought I was being put to sleep…

Sometimes sticking to your guns is hard:  The one where I had to defend my position on vaccinations in a very uncomfortable manner.  Ugh…

March

The Dance of the Little Bee: This post still makes me laugh.  This is my reminder that my son, already a Ladie’s Man, is growing up far too fast for my taste.

My Stud Muffin with his Stud Muffie: The video of my hot husband and my youngest child and their mad basketball skillz.  That’s right I said skillz!

April

The confidence to walk away: Sloan was bullied and my mother’s heart was broken into tiny pieces, rolled in broken glass, doused in alcohol, then lit on fire.  He’s emerged a stronger kid, though, and for that I am beyond proud.

Tia Tales: The Four Year Old Edition: I got my magic camera this month, and thus my pictures got so much better.  And Tia?  Well, there’s always a story to tell about my crazy middle child.

Girl Meets Boy: I began a series entirely dedicated to the love story I share with my husband of a decade.  It was so much fun walking down memory lane with him.  You can read the entire story here.

May:

He had to be first: The month we experienced our first broken bone.  We just finished paying that sucker off.  Good times…

Disturbing: My son’s addiction to coloring on anything but paper freaked me out…a lot.  I threw that doll away, incidentally.

June

Just call me MacGyver: In which I got creative with Kotex.  Don’t ask.  Just read…

Toy Story 3: Better Titled “Let’s Tear Mom’s Heart from Chest and Stomp on it.”: I took the kids to see Toy Story 3.  Then I bawled my eyes out.  For days.

July

Lemonade for Haiti: Sloan urged us to let him have a lemonade stand for Haiti, so we did.  And in the process, my son once again taught me a valuable lesson in giving.  Later that summer, he got to hand my uncle the envelope with $120 in it for Haiti relief.  He’s quite a kid.

The Photo Session: We spent three weeks in Florida last summer.  And I lived to tell the story.  I almost didn’t though.  Despite it being just a tad too much together time, we had fun.  And I managed to get some great pictures of my kids – with a few outtakes.

August

The Wedding:  My cousin Whitney got married and Sloan and Tia were her ring bearer and flowergirl.  The cuteness was over the top.

Ice Cream Surprise: We surprised our kids with an after bed ice cream treat.  It is a great memory and gave us a hilarious video.

This I Pray: I sent my son off to first grade.  We had our first experience with a full school day and I grew increasingly aware of the need to bathe him in prayer while he was gone.  It was good for me to re-read this post and be reminded of that again.

Phew. August was a fun blogging month.  I had a hard time narrowing it down.  That was the same month I admitted to not showering on a daily basis, I went to New Orleans to cover the Katrina memorial and I posted more than one random post filled with bizarre little tidbits. 

September

This is the month Lee and I took the trip of a lifetime through Switzerland, Austria and Italy.  We talk about this trip almost every day – sometimes multiple times a day.  It was that amazing.

Hallstatt – A Day in the Life of a Postcard Town: I still can’t believe we made it to Hallstatt.  It is truly the most beautiful place I have ever visited and was our favorite part of the trip.

Italy: Austria was by far our favorite country, but Italy wasn’t half bad either.  I mean…we weren’t complaining or anything.

A Different Kind of Mountaintop: We came home after ten days ready to be with our kids.  Rocking Landon to sleep the night we got home was a different kind of mountaintop experience.  Read with Kleenex…

The Day we Spent $127 on Soap: We made a very stupid American mistake in Hallstatt.  It’s funny now.  A little…

October

He is Dad: The one where I made my dad cry.  Then he made me cry back.  All mushy, mushy…

The day I questioned everything I know to be true: I cleaned out the back of our minivan.  In the process I doubted whether Minivans were actually Hot.  My faith has been restored in the hotness of minivans, just as long as I never go back there again!

November

Cry me a Freakin’ River: We took down the crib and in doing so tore a piece of my heart out.

How to go from Reverent to Irreverent without even really trying…: Sloan brings us to church when he prays.  Tia brings us back to reality.

December

The Brawl: I think this might be my favorite post of the year.

Celebrating Christmas: We started what I hope will become a great tradition for our family.

So there it is.  My 2010 list of favorites.  This is not an exhaustive list and these certainly aren’t all my best posts, but they represent my favorite moments of the year.  I’ve tried to keep it light and fun, but there have been some heavy moments too.  Thanks for sharing them with me.

As I thought about what my favorite photo was of the year, I had a really hard time narrowing it down.  I think I got it down to two…okay that’s not true.  I have 478 favorite photos from this past year.  But I’m just going to share two:

Me, my man and an Austrian mountaintop. Just an awesome moment...

Me, my man and an Austrian mountaintop. Just an awesome moment...

I love those faces.  And I lov ethis picture. It captures them perfectly...

I love those faces. And I love this picture. It captures them perfectly...

 

Happy New Year to all of you!

My post-Christmas brain

I’m feeling the need for a bloggy break.  I simply can’t think of anything to write about these days.  Oh sure, there’s the fact that I’m going on 3 weeks of being sick and I’m pretty sure I’ve got the black lung, but that’s not a blog worthy topic.  My house looks like Christmas vomited all over it and I simply don’t have the energy to do much about it, but I’m sure you all feel the same way.

Nope.  I simply don’t have a decent blog post in me.  I am enjoying this post-holiday break, laying low, coughing up my one remaining lung, playing games with the kids, watching the “plays” they put on each morning for me and watching FRIENDS at night with my equally sick hubby.  We got the last four seasons for Christmas and have been laughing down memory lane every night before swigging Nyquil straight from the bottle and falling into bed.  Uaully only to be woken by Landon one or four times throughout the night…

So all that to say, I’m sorry but it’s going to be slim pickings here this week.  I need my holiday brain to regain a bit of function.  I did write up a review this morning at STL Family Life for a Build-a-Bear giveaway.  Hop on over and enter to win, if you please.  Or just read about the hilarious experience I had in the store making my bear…

Okay, I need to go.  There are wails coming from the basement and Tia just walked by, dragging one of the kitchen stools with her to the back of the house.  That’s never a good sign. 

So in the words of my seven year old who is too cool for school – “Peace out, Yo!”

The one with all the Christmas photos

It was an idyllic Christmas in the Stuart home, complete with a winter wonderland outside.  We enjoyed a long, relaxing weekend and are now all refreshed, rejuvinated and…well, the kids are already tired of each other as evidenced by the fact that they’ve been sent to different rooms and it’s only 7:45.

Whatcha gonna do?

By order of the decree of Mom Bloggers United, I am contractually obligated to share a few Christmas photos with you.  If I don’t, I could be voted off the island.  We wouldn’t want that to happen now, would we?  And so, without further ado, I give you Christmas 2010.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

When did this child turn into a little girl?!

When did this child turn into a little girl?!

A rare moment

A rare moment

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Santa came and left behind a new bike for Sloan (which he declared was tubular!), a CD player for Tia and a Jessie doll for Landon to complete his set of Toy Story toys.  Santa ate most of the cookies (they left him a plate-full for cryin’ out loud) and he apparently tripped over the fireplace grate.  But all in all, Santa did a magnificent job this year.

Landon's baseball helmut, which has hardly left his head since Christmas morning. He looks like the Jack in the Box kid running around here.

Landon's baseball helmet, which has hardly left his head since Christmas morning. He looks like the Jack in the Box kid running around here.

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If any of you have school age boys and you don’t have Snap Circuits, I highly recommend them.  They’re great!  It teaches the kids about energy and electricity while letting them build and create.  If the circuits are snapped together correctly they can make a fan blow, a whistle ring or a song play.  It’s seriously hours of fun.  I’m so glad we invested in these. (Hint: You can get them at Hobby Lobby.  Print off their 40% off coupon online and you get them for much cheaper.)

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Tia received her first American Girl doll, which is apparently a rite of passage for little girls these days.  I’m just old enough to have missed the American Girl phase.  When I was a kid it was Cabbage Patch dolls.  I gotta say…these dolls are cooler.  Tia got Kit and she came with purple glasses and a set of matching pajamas.

I wasn’t sure how my tomboy of a daughter would react.  Would she like it?  Would she cast it aside? 

She loves this doll.  It has brought out the girly girl inside her.  I kind of love it.

All in all, it was a wonderful day for everyone.  We didn’t go overboard on gifts, which means the kids only got things they really wanted.  My parents bought us a rockin’ new video camera, which I’m thrilled about because we’ve had our old camera for ten years, which means in video camera years it was, like, 429.  It wasn’t even worth it for me to drag it out most of the time.

But the piece de resistance, the creme de la creme, came about mid morning when my parents gave us the most creative gift I believe we’ve ever received.

Do you hear the angels singing?

Do you hear the angels singing?

When we were in Italy, Lee and I passed several Gelateria’s with these huge cans of Nutella in the window.  We commented more than once how we wished we could bring one of those home.  We never mentioned that to my mom, but somehow she managed to track down a shop in New Jersey that sold these 12 pound jars of heaven.

60,000 calories.

My New Years resolution to lose 10 pounds is going to be a little bit tricky…

While Christmas was easy and happy for us, our sister-in-law, Becke’, and her family had a traumatic and terrifying Christmas.  Her younger brother, on his way to her parents house for Christmas morning, hit a patch of ice on a bridge and rolled several times.  He ended up with a shattered femur, a broken wrist and some serious head injuries.

They almost lost him.

Thankfully, he will ultimately be okay, but he is in for some grueling months of rehab.  This accident came as they near the third anniversary of Becke’s younger sister Kiley’s death.  Needless to say, Christmas was not as idyllic for that precious family.  Would you join me in praying for them?  Particularly her brother Kirby.

Follow Becke’s blog for updates and specific prayer requests.  And to be blessed.  Becke has a heart for the Lord and a gift with words.  You will be blessed by her blog.

There.  I have officially fulfilled my Mom Bloggers United obligation.  I can keep my member card for one more year.  Phew.  Merry after Christmas everyone!

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours – Merry Christmas.  What a joy it has been to share our 2010 with you.  God Bless and I pray tomorrow is a blessed day for all of you!

Lee-Kelli 10 (2)-14

And for my Russian and Ukrainian friends: 

Zhelayu vam schalivovo Rozhdestvo!  c Novim Godom!

The Star, A Book and A Monkey…not necessarily in that order

Monkey has been a part of our family for two years now.  He was adopted on Landon’s first brithday and it was love at first sight…or bite – whatever.

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Since that time, Monkey (sometimes referred to as Steve) has been a mere extension of Landon’s skinny little arm.  Two peas in a pod, they are.  Napping together, playing together, living together.  Yes.  They are the best of friends.  Bosom buddies! 

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Recently, Monkey (Steve) had a bit of a medical crisis.  His leg began separating itself from his body.  It was touch and go there for awhile.  We didn’t know if he would make it.  The unfortunate snag stretched from mid-knee to the under arm.  We prayed, we said our goodbyes, we prepared Landon for the worst.  But he refused to give up hope.  He believed in Monkey and so the rest of us did as well.

But just to be safe, we adopted a knew Monkey.  Larry.  Just kidding.  The new Monkey doesn’t have a name. The new Monkey looks exactly the same.  Except, of course, for the fact that he doesn’t smell like spit and pee.  And his leg is fully attached.  And his color is even throughout.

Landon took one look and with utter disdain tossed new Monkey aside.  Like a red headed step child.  Unwanted, unloved, unreturnable because I lost the receipt…

We decided to give Monkey (Steve) one last chance at life.  Thanks to the skillful hands of his surgeon (Grandma Bebe) Monkey pulled through.  In fact, he’s as good as new.  You know, besides the fact that he smells like spit and pee, his leg fluff is distorted and thin and his coloring is extremely faded.  It doesn’t matter to Landon, though.  He loves Monkey (Steve) unconditionally.

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Switching gears – abruptly.

Sloan is in public school.  This is not a decision we took lightly and we spent a lot of time discussing this choice.  And we are, for the most part, very happy with the choice we made.  It’s right for our family right now.

However…

It does require quite a bit of vigilance.  I knew this going in so I try not to let myself get overly exasperated when I feel…well, exasperated with the public school.  Since Sloan began reading, and reading quite well, I’ve found myself more and more annoyed at the books he brings home from the library.  In fact, I can’t think of a single one I’ve been happy with in several months.

It started with the book about Werewolves he checked out around Halloween.  Nice.

Let’s begin by discussing The Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  I get it, these books are popular and in general, I don’t think they’re bad.  BUT.  My kid is seven.  Does he really need to be reading about the nuances of middle school?  And the material in and of itself is just so silly and trivial.  Why are we dumbing down books for our youngest readers?  I don’t get it.  What happened to writing books that were filled with adventure and imagination instead of potty words and stick figures?

Lee and I did read through the Wimpy Kid books and ultimately decided Sloan could check them out, but we are talking through them with him, discussing issues such as the boys trying to hide things from their parents and how that’s not something that we agree with.  It’s lead to teachable moments, but I still find it annoying to have to deal with such nonsense.

THEN *deep breaths* he brought home this gem.  A book he will promptly be returning to the library with firm instructions not to ever bring home again.  We made it clear that he wasn’t in trouble and that it wasn’t his fault, but that some books just aren’t worth the time.  And a book about a giant piece of p00p that punches people?!  Definately not worth the time.

There’s no easy way to put this: THIS BOOK IS STUPID.  It’s stupid and I don’t even understand why a school library would stock it on their shelves.  Most of the words aren’t even spelled right (Laffs for Laughs, Akshuns for Actions).  Seriously?!  Am I the only person who finds this somewhat appalling that an early reader would be allowed to take home such nonsense?

Then there’s the small little “subliminal message” they hid on Page 76: “Think for yourself.  Question Authority.  Read banned books!  Kids have the same constitutional rights as grown-ups!!!”

Oh sure it’s all tongue in cheek, but here’s the thing…IT’S NOT FUNNY NOR IS IT CUTE.

Let’s just say I’m talking myself off a cliff right now.

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Switching gears – let’s get happy again.

I had two separate conversations last week that brought a smile to my face and laughter to my heart.  The first went like this:

“I need to reschedule our meeting for tomorrow.  My daughter’s preschool is doing a live Nativity play and she is the star.”

“Oh really?  Your daughter is going to be baby Jesus?”

The second conversation went like this:

“Tia was the Star in her Nativity play last week.”

“Oh really?  Tia was Mary?”

Nope.

She was The Star.  Literally.

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She was The Star and yes.  She was the star!

Peace Out.

Celebrating Christmas

For three or four years now I’ve determined that I would throw a Christmas party for the kids.  I usually come up with the idea around December 24.  Because I’m that awesome.

This year, I determined somewhere around August 25 that I would actually, indeed, for real, throw a Christmas party for the kids.  I planned ahead…in my mind.  In reality, I sent invitations out somewhere around December 12, a whole thirteen days before Christmas. 

I am growing as an organizer.  Try not to be jealous…

If I’m being honest (and I am) I would have to tell you that most of the invitations were sent via email.  The rest were hand delivered.  No stamps.  I don’t believe in them.

So with all of my awesome forethought and planning, I wasn’t entirely sure we would have a large turnout.  But, to my surprise, we did!  And despite the fact that I’ve had a severe bronchial infection (most likely pneumonia – you know…no biggie) I managed to put together a decent enough gathering of children.

Read: M & M’s in a crystal bowl and cake.  I mean nothing was handmade or anything.  Let’s not get crazy, right?

I did print out the story of the Candy Cane and made a cake.  With Betty Crocker’s help.  It was the kids that made this party a delight.  They played, they laughed, they ran and then?  They sat and listened.  And this is where the simplicity of the party was key.  The totally planned simplicity…

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They sat and listened as Papa Lee read of Christ’s birth from the book of Matthew.  They raised their hands and answered questions about the manger, the Magi and the wise men.  They discussed why we celebrate Christmas and how we can honor Jesus on His birthday.

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Lee did a great job.  He kept it short and sweet but packed in a beautiful lesson.  I was proud of him, and of the kids who managed to sit still and quiet and intent the entire time.

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Another reason I was proud?  The kids went above and beyond in giving.  We asked everyone to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to charity and these families took that seriously.  They purchased wonderful toys, which we will deliver this week.  And as we talked of what Jesus did while He was living on this earth, we stressed to the kids how Jesus gave to others who were in need and how we can do the same.

The sweet hearted children that sat in my living room embraced giving and it brings tears to my eyes to think of their tender, moldable little hearts.  What they gave will be used to bless others.  And it took minimal effort on my part. 

An email and a slice of cake.  Who says we can’t change the world?

My Christmas Baby

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 December 16, 2007

My Christmas Baby.

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 The boy who almost wasn’t.

The one who wasn’t planned.

 The sweetest oops there ever was.

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 The boy who was adored from the moment he arrived.

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 A child of a thousand expressions.

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 Joyful and full of laughter.  You light up a room. 

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 You’re a mama’s boy. 

 I’m okay with that.

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 I’m kind of head over heels for you. 

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 You have a special relationship with your dad.

 You bond over sports. 

 I love watching this relationship develop.

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 You are a lover of baseball, basketball, football, anything with a ball.

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Today you are three.

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 Not five ( or seven) as you are prone to tell those who ask.

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Happy Birthday, Landon.

Lee-Kelli 10 (2)-23

You are loved.

Compassion International: Christmas Giving

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Last week, I attended a monthly Bible study led by Carol Prosser, the woman who runs my kids preschool and my second mom growing up.  Her daughter, Lindsey and I were joined at the hip as teenagers so I spent as much time at Carol’s house as I did at my own.  Lindsey and I had many adventures together (galavanting through Ukraine, crashing my car, crashing her car, pulling middle of the night pranks, all around acting spastic…) and she remains one of my dearest and sweetest friends.

Outside of my own mother and mother-in-law, I believe Carol has had the greatest impact on me as a young mom.  In addition to pouring into my kids, she also pours into me (and all the other moms at the preschool).  She offers encouragement and support and is a wealth of knowledge on how to raise and train children who love the Lord.  I am truly grateful for her influence in my life.

At last week’s study, Carol encouraged us to find ways to serve others with our kids this holiday season.  One nugget she placed in my heart was donating to a worthy cause with the kids.  Several wonderful organization were listed as places where you could purchase a well for a needy family, or formula for hungry babies, or goats or chickens for families living in poverty.  This got my wheels turning and I began to search for a way for us to donate as a family.

As I looked, I found myself wishing that Compassion International had a place where such donations could be made.  Not that the other organization’s listed aren’t fantastic, but I have a heart for Compassion and what they are doing and wanted to be able to donate through them.

And lo and behold, one day later I received an email about Compassion’s Gift Guide offering people the chance to help release a child from poverty/sickness/despair in Jesus’ name.  It was an immediate answer to an inner prayer and I was thrilled to jump on board.

We’re making this fun and a little bit unique.  I don’t want to give all the details because it will spoil the surprise, but we will be purchasing a goat or two tonight.  We’re going to let the kids choose exactly what they would like to purchase.  I’ll post an update in a couple of weeks with all the fun details but I can tell you this – when we told the kids we were thinking about buying a goat for Christmas they were stoked.  I believe Sloan’s exact words were “Oh my GOSH – that. is. rockin’.” 

They were slightly disappointed when we told them the goat wasn’t for us.

But they loved the idea of helping out those who are in need.  I’ve already told you about my sweet boy’s tender heart here and here.  He truly has a heart for others and I love to see how it manifests itself in his giving.  And I’m beginning to notice the seeds of compassion take root in Tia’s heart.  In general she is less aware of others than her brother.  I think it’s partly the nature of her personality, partly the result of being a second child and partly caused by being constantly overshadowed by her older brother.

But recently there has been a bit of tenderness that has seeped through her rough and tumble little heart.  Sloan is so much like his dad – so willing to give, so conscious of others.  Tia is more like me – she’s introspective and guarded and she has a tendency to guard her emotions. I love watching her process the plight and need of others.  It’s very sweet to see the way she quietly lets all the information soak in.  That is when it’s not floating in one ear and out the other, of course… 

Gifts!

Giving is very easy to do.  Simply click this link to send a gift to a family that needs your…well…compassion.  There are several different gifts you can choose – from a mosquito net, which will protect a child from the spread of malaria, to a small business start up, to a water well and so on.  Make it fun for everyone! 

This is a new holiday tradition that we want to start with the kids each year.  And I’m excited to see how it affects the way they view the holidays, especially as they grow older.

So what about you?  What do you do during the holidays to make them fun and special and memorable?

Image credit

Oh the weather outside is frightful…

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Game Night

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On my one night at home in a nine day stretch, I wanted to soak up as much of my family as possible.  So we agreed to have a family game night complete with a completely ridiculous kids game that, in my opinion, makes little sense but whatever.  They like it so I like it.

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We finished dinner and homework and got bedtime clothes on and pulled out the board.  This is only a four person game so Lee and I shared our turn.

Wait.  Scratch that.  I played alongside the Board Game Nazi.

There are a couple of things you should know about the man of my dreams.  Besides the fact that he is all kinds of good looking, of course.

  • He is hyper competitive.
  • He controls his competitive tendencies really, really well and you would hardly know he was competitive and hated to lose unless you were, in fact, the one with the misfortune to come home with him after he loses.
  • He is particular and leans toward perfectionism.  This means he wants everything in order.
  • He hates when people mess around and waste time – especially when playing a game.

 

So we bring out the board and lay out the cards and we commence to playing.  We play four rounds.  Everyone gets a chance to draw first.  Midway through round one I notice my husband’s hands tremble slightly.

“Sloan…don’t bend the cards!”

“I’m not bending them!” comes the protest. 

“Yes you are.  See the crease?”

“But you bend them when you shuffle!”

“No.  Well, only slightly but see how they go back to straight when I let go?  You leave a crease.”

“Yeah,” I chime in.  “Like the creases on daddy’s forehead!  See how they stay there even after his eyebrows go down?”

Ahem.  Play on…

Then his breathing shallows a bit.

“Landon…don’t touch the pile!  Just leave it alone.  No!  Don’t mess with the carpet.  Your’e knocking the cards over.  Just sit still!”

A vein begins to protrude from the side of his head. 

“Tia, this isn’t a guessing game.  We don’t have to guess which card you drew.  Just put your card down and lay your chip on the board!  Come on, now!”  *clap, clap, clap*

At this point, I’m laughing.  Right at him.  No holds barred.  The kids are laughing too.   

Lee joins in on the laughter.  But it’s more of a ha-ha-I’m-laughing-to-release-steam-but-I-don’t-really-think-this-is-funny sort of laugh.  And then, my husband attempts to teach the kids strategy.

Have any of you ever attempted to teach a four year old strategy?  What about an almost three year old?  Anyone? 

The object of Sequence is to get four of your own chips in a row either horizontally, vertically or diagonally.  It’s mostly a luck of the draw type of game, but there is a bit of strategy in where you place your chips.  Tia, who happens to be the luckiest child when it comes to games, was constantly one chip away from winning.  In this case, a strategically placed chip would have set her up for victory.  Lee, being ready to end the game, was trying to help without helping.  The conversation went something like this:

“Tia, wait!  Don’t put your chip down yet.  Look at the board.  Do you see a good place to lay your chip?”

Tia shrugs.

“Look closely at all the chips.  If you put your chip here, do you think that would help?”

“I don’t wanna put my chip there,” she said.  “I wanna put it over here.” Points to a place that would not be helpful at all to ending the game helping her win.  I notice the vein pop just a little more.

“I understand,” Lee said.  “But if you put your chip right here, do you see how it would help you out?”

“But I don’t waaaaaaanna…”

*sigh*  “Okay, put your chip wherever you want.”

The next turn, Tia draws a card that would have won her the game if she had listened to the wise counsel of her father.  I’m pretty sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

And then, the vein starts muttering.  “O.M.G. If you had just listened to me you could’ve won. Mumble, mumble, mumble…”

Wait no.  It wasn’t the vein mumbling.  It was Lee.  He was shaking his head and his hands were all a-flitter with pent up energy.  And me?  I just burst out laughing again.  The vein frowned at me, then receded as Lee himself started to laugh.  A real laugh this time.

“You’re going to blog about this tomorrow, aren’t you?” he asked.

Yes, dear.  Yes I am.  Smile for the camera!

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