Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve Day

We're having a tropical heat wave of a Christmas this year. Yesterday was Christmas Adam and the children spent half the day playing outside in the rain. We had the missionaries over dinner that evening and our dinner conversation was accompanied by pouring rain, punctuated by loud blasts of thunder. I made the kids start White Christmas with me while Andrew was running the Elders around, and the kids thought it was so funny when the train stopped in Vermont and someone remarks, "We're still in Carolina!" because it was a mild winter with no snow.

The kids loved the movie, though it was a bit long for them. Miriam wants to be a famous dancer like Judy, while Rachel was drawn to Betty's character. Benjamin loved both of the sisters. He did my hair up in a million barrettes and proclaimed, "You're looking pretty good, Mom! You're looking like a Haynes sister!"

Today it actually stopped raining for a while (miraculous, really, with the deluge we've been getting) so we went to the museum to burn off some of our cooped up energy. It's been pouring every day so Andrew's been taking the van to campus which means the kids and I have been stuck at home all day every day. We were happy to have an outing.

We played inside for a little while but eventually the kids were begging to play at the new Hideaway Woods (of course). Benjamin lost a "moon stone" this morning and was thrilled to find out that the bottom of the creek is literally lined with moon stones! He wasted no time filling his pockets with lunar rocks (aka regular ordinary gravel).

Here's Rachel taking a tremendous leap over the creek:

And here's Benjamin asking me if I can help him stuff these "porcu-porcu-porcu...I mean pimecones" into his pockets:

And here's a picture that Rachel took of the little "beaver hive" he made on the trail:

According to Benjamin bees live in hives and beavers live in hives and bears live in hives. I had to ask him about it a million times because he says it so cute: beezuh hize. I almost thought about telling him it's actually called a beaver dam but figured we can wait on that part until he can pronounce beaver. Or maybe I'll just never tell him that it's a beaver dam and his wife will look at him really funny one day when he mentions something about beaver hives, kind of like a certain someone I know who suffered decades of confusion about the word levee.

I gathered the kids up on one of the big climbing trunks for some pictures and I think they turned out darling!

Then we went back to play in the creek because what else are you going to do on a balmy Christmas Eve?

Here's Zoë testing the waters:

Rachel managed to catch this picture of Benjamin falling down, though it was in the shallow part and he didn't mind too much:

 Rachel had a lot of fun playing photographer.

These next two pictures crack me up because Zoë and Miriam are making the same "what are you taking a picture of me for?" face:

While we were taking those pictures Benjamin slipped and fell in a deeper part of the creek. He was hurt and embarrassed and completely drenched. He wanted to go home to find new clothes, but we still had an hour until the museum closed and his sisters didn't want to go home yet, so I rooted around in the diaper bag and found a fresh pair of underwear and pants, but no shirt.

Here's Zoë wondering why he's crying:

He wanted a clean shirt, too, but I told him I didn't have one. He didn't want to wear his wet one and he didn't want to be naked in public. He was quite upset about life but I told him I'd figure something out and that cheered him up a bit.

This is what we figured out:

 At first he loved it because he "uvs ions" but then his sisters started teasing him and he started feeling a little self-conscious. Still, wearing a receiving blanket was far better than the alternative (going shirtless), at least in his mind, and he continued to rock this look the entire afternoon.

 We got a few stares but I really think it's going to be the next big thing!

 Here are the kids posing at the cutout board. The older three were happy to oblige:

The youngest one was a little unsure about why, exactly, we wanted her to shove her face through a hole:

She fell asleep for the dinosaur walk, which was good because she hadn't napped the whole day.

We spent most of our walk looking for dinosaur footprints and rescuing slugs, rather than learning about dinosaurs, but that's okay.

It was nice to get out of the house, even if we did end up a little soggy. When we came home we were treated to a lovely Middle Eastern meal that Andrew had whipped up while we were gone (we left him at home to write and cook).

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