Taking the Scenic Route

Wonderful Christmas

25th December 2009

Wonderful Christmas

The weather cleared long enough for my parents and Steve to make it here.  (although it wasn’t clear enough for Steve to go where his heart was this year.  ;-)   ).   It was low key and relaxed, as usual, and we all had fun.  The food included the 6 cheese crabmeat lasagna that has become the tradition, bone-in ham and green beans with bacon, lots of veggies & some dip, fudge, toffee, and almonds.  (and sent a lot of planned leftovers home with everyone)

By the time Christmas got here, I think we were more excited for it than the kids so we could see their reactions to things.  We did almost all our buying the week before Christmas, and with that, you would think we could find everything easier but we still ended up on scavenger hunts all over the house trying to find a few missing items.  (stashed too quickly, without thinking beyond “will the kids find it here”).

The kids woke up to their stockings and Santa gifts on the mantle.  I know that it took his elves a lot longer than they were anticipating to put those suckers together and did not get the sleep they were anticipating, even though everything else was wrapped.  lol.

Zane LOVES marble runs, and Zora loves having toys like her brother’s (and she likes marble runs too), so this was a huge hit.

Stocking booty!

When everybody arrived I was pleased to see that both kids were more interested in giving their gifts to grandma and grandpa than they were to open their own.  Grandpa got a beeping tire gauge with a big readout screen (easier for his eyes) and Grandma got a butterfly stepping stone the kids made for her flower garden.  They were so excited about the stepping stone, and Zora told grandma all about it several times, but since she can’t speak very clearly, and Oma didn’t have a reference for it, “bu-by tone” (butterfly stone) wasn’t making any sense, so she still didn’t know what she was getting, despite Zora’s inability to keep a secret.

The big hit of the day were the gifts that Steve and Dad made, and Mom decorated.  I sent them this idea I had seen in a few therapy catalogs a few months ago, with the comment that I thought the kids would like it, but how insane the price was for a relatively small woodworking project.  They came through in spades.  They were awesome.  They not only made it, but they made each kid a one-footed one and a wider two footed one, PLUS a balance board.

Shortly after this picture was taken, Zora stomped on it hard and the ball smacked her in the face, so I went to our massive ball collection (for a few years, that was the only toy Zane would really play with, so we ended up with quite the collection of them) for some lighter balls and they used those instead of this heavier one.  They also use them by making an obstacle course where they walk over them and all sorts of other creative uses.  They really are a great open ended toy.

Here Uncle Steve made Zane a very happy kid.

And Zora LOVES her new cars from Uncle Steve too.  This time he got her a convertible Mustang so that she didn’t have to break out the windows to stuff her little play figures in the car. She also got an RC car, but we need to get batteries for it.  (off to the side you can see those boards…Mom actually drew a Mario on Zane’s wider board…I was impressed.)

Now, I knew the kids were taken to a “paint your own pottery” place here in town to make us “something”, and Zora’s inability to keep a secret let me know that it was a cup, but I just was not prepared for the tear-jerking presents that they presented.  Mom had been telling me that Zane was VERY SPECIFIC about what he wanted to put on each of our cups, but not what he put.  (One side of the cup is Zora’s handprints, the other is Zane’s specific picture).  Get ready for the kleenex…..

The big gift for Zach Zane, a Lego Mindstorm Robot kit.  In a year Zane can join the Homeschool Robotics team, which uses Mindstorm robots (although presumably they are much bigger, more elaborate sets for the team), and we thought it would be good to get him familiar with them so that he had half a shot at participating.  Plus, and this is the main reason we went ahead and put the money in this year instead of waiting, the robot is programmable.  Now, for kids it has a drag and drop type programming interface because Mindstorm competitions have more emphasis on building the robots, but it can be programmed in C (and others most likely) and it has a host of sensors on board (and with a mechanical engineer brother and a Radio Shack, we can add anything else we need), so Zach can use it to continue his autonomous robotic programming research.  I think Zach about went crazy waiting for it to be opened.  Zane was very excited too.  It was one of only three things he asked Santa for, and was very thrilled and spent a lot of time exploring all the writing on the package as soon as he opened it.

The happy aftermath.

Other notable gifts:

From Grammie:  A big playmobil horse farm/stable thing for Zora, Magna-Tiles building toy for Zane, and both of them got an Etch-A-Sketch.

To me from my folks:  2 covered pie plates…one pumpkin, one cherry/apple and a hat to match Zora’s hat & a cool coffee themed apron.

To Zach from my folks:  a propane tank for the grill.

It was a very nice, comfortable Christmas.  We are very blessed.

There are also more gift coming with Grandma Zandra, who planned on driving up this Christmas with Great Grandma Jackie, but wasn’t able to make it because the weather got so horrible.  We were disappointed she wasn’t able to make it, but it just wasn’t a good idea to drive through a blizzard that was in between us and them.  Hopefully she will be able to make it out soon.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 25th, 2009 at 8:49 PM and is filed under Christmas, Extended Family, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), The Kids. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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