Taking the Scenic Route

Christmas Day 2004

28th December 2004

Christmas Day 2004

posted in Uncategorized |


Christmas Day

What a beautiful Christmas Day!  It was cold outside, but our home was warm and happy.  Upon waking in the morning, we cheerfully exclaimed “It’s Christmas” to Zane, despite our serious lack of sleep.  He looked more puzzled than excited.  We took him into the living room and showed him the tree and his full stocking and he maintained his “I’m not totally awake yet” gaze for a while, so we unhooked the stocking and showed him there were goodies inside.  As he began pulling out the contents, he started waking up and becoming more and more excited.  It took a while because he took the time to explore each item as he removed it from the stocking.  What he found was a collection of Little People “Noah’s Ark” collection of animals (we don’t have a Noah’s Ark yet, but hope to get one this spring), some Crayola “first write” pencils (large barrel pencils that are easier for little hands), some Crayola twistable, erasable crayons, and a “Count to 20″ Dot-to-Dot book. 

The Christmas Stocking

After the stocking was explored, Zach & I got to work.  We had so many little bits to get done for the dinner, even though we had done the bulk of them the night before. 

The food:  (Not the conventional Christmas dinner this year.  Everybody wanted their favorite comfort foods, so we just did that instead of the traditional thing)  Zach’s Six cheese crabmeat lasagna (picture on left; gooey, cheesy, and much requested specialty), Potato Knepp (German-Mennonite dish – potatoes, thick noodles, bacon, cream), and Chicken Noodle Soup (home made - the stock was made Christmas Eve Day with lots of fresh veggies & herbs and a hormone free chicken) as the main courses.  Rolls, green beans with bacon, raw carrots & broccoli, baby dill pickles, and other assorted little things for the table.  (I had also made homemade cherry pie filling and crust, but never got to compiling the dessert in the morning and nobody was even remotely hungry for pie after all the food, candy, and home made fudge, so I still have the unfinished pie makings in my fridge right now) 

Everybody started arriving around noon.  My maternal grandma was well enough to make it (although she did have to lay down in the afternoon for a while), my folks, and Steve, my brother and his wife Joy.  Joy had also been ill, so we were glad she was able to make it.  We ended up setting the table up in the living room since we didn’t have enough chairs for everybody and used the couch as some of the chairs.   As Zach and I were finishing up the meal in the kitchen, Zane was getting hungry and entertaining everyone with his antics.  He would go to the couch and get a fork or spoon, use it to scoop something out of a dish (like a pickle), balance it on the utensil and crawl under the table carefully balancing his treasure, and then coming back up the other side to place it on his plate. 

After dinner, we cleared the table and moved it back to it’s normal place, filling it with nuts, nutcracker, raw veggies, pickles, candy & home made fudge for people to snack on.  Then we got to the presents.  It was so much fun this year because we were able to get things for Zane with our own money for the first time.  We have been getting things here and there ever since Zach’s first paycheck.  We knew we did a great job of picking things because after opening each gift, Zane could not be distracted from playing with the object for a while to open the next present.  Mom & Dad got him a selection of hand made simple wooden trucks and cars they found at a farm auction, then he started opening the Thomas the tank engine engines we got him (Gordon, Percy, James, Salty, a milk tanker, & Toby the Tram).  He then got to the Fisher Price Castle accessory set (with a tree house looking thing and a dragon in a little cave), and the Petting Zoo accessory set (with a Zebra and some other animal with 4 pieces of fence).  Zane also got this great Melissa & Doug (oh, I just love their stuff) chalkboard/magnetic board/whiteboard with magnetic alphabet & numbers.  It was a good fit for Zane!  Joy got Zane a gigantic, yellow, remote controlled HumVee.  Joy was really excited to get it for him since it is her dream vehicle.  I am not sure if Zane will be able to work the controls for a while though…it is a pretty complicated thing.  The thing even has headlights, back up lights, and little side mirrors. 

The wooden vehicles from my folks


Some of the Thomas the Tank Engine vehicles


Mazes, Coloring Book & Dora book


Steve & Joy setting up the figure 8 track – much harder than it would appear.  (you can see the Hummer from Joy in the background)

Close up from above photo that gave me a big smile.  Steve examining a “hot wheels” car we got Zane.  That was always his favorite repeat gift over the years.  The look on his face was just priceless.

I was able to finish only Steve & Joy’s scarves.  I had started both Dad’s hat and Grandma’s scarf, but hadn’t gotten finished yet, so I still have some work to get done fairly soon.  I overestimated the speed at which I could knit this Christmas.  Mom gave me her traditional gift, calendars.  I got a “Mr Rogers” calendar I just love, and Zach got the “Dilbert” calendar.  Zach’s dad also got us “The Power of a Praying Parent” book that I am looking forward to reading (as soon as I finish my knitting, lol)  We also got some “folding” presents which helped a great deal with some things we were really wanting for Zane…specifically, some storage shelves for him since his room was a mish-mash of containers for his stuff lined up along the walls.  It seems like there was something else too, but I am forgetting just now. 

Ok ***drum roll please*** now for the really big gift for Zane, the one we knew he was going to go nuts over.  Mom and Dad got him a Thomas-compatible octagon train table from Sams.  He got pretty excited just seeing the box!  The words “some assembly required” simply didn’t describe the product well.  We opened the box to find probably HUNDREDS of peices.  It was a good thing that there was a Mechanical Engineer (Steve),  an engineer mind if not the title (Dad) and a Scientist (Zach) in the bunch.  lol.  It was a group effort to put the thing together.  At one point, when Steve and Dad were analyzing the wisdom of some of the instructions, they decided it would have better structural integrity if done slightly differently than the instructions.  We all had a good laugh when Steve declared ”I know the people who write instructions like this…trust me, they don’t always know the best way to do things.”

The table was much larger than we anticipated.  (major understatement there)  Zane studied everything they guys did and even helped a bit as they assembled it.  He also had a ball crawling through the holes and walking over the rails as the table was being assembled.  Once the table was together, Joy, Steve and I helped Zane get the rails set up.  It took up our entire living room with barely enough room for the adults to walk around it.  The thing was HUGE!  lol.  Zane was beside himself with excitement.  He is a pretty good natured kid for the most part, but he was absolutely giddy.  The engine that came with the table is a battery powered engine and Zane really got a kick out of watching it go around the track. 

The box illicits much excitement

Helping to build the table

In an oft repeat phrase in our family: “It sure didn’t look that big at Sams!”

Aunt Joy helps set up the tracks

Zane and his trains


Zane and Great Grandma (my maternal grandma)


After my family had left, Zach’s Dad called and the phone was passed around at that family celebration, so Zach got to talk to a lot of his family from down there.  It sounded like everyone was doing really well.  Among other news, Kirsten is pregnant.  I think Zach said she will be due in July.

Playing with the letters from the M&D board while Zach was talking to his Dad’s family.


Later that evening we were releived to get a call back from Yvonne.  Kaz had called earlier in the day stressed out because they had taken Grandma to the hospital.  Grandma has NEVER taken any pain meds in her life (including OTC meds like tylenol) and hadn’t even taken an antibiotic until 2 years ago.  She NEVER complains about anything.  I imagine it took some doing to convince her to go.  She has been having hip problems for a while now, but a fender bender last week really aggrivated it and she was in enourmous pain.  They were able to get some pain relievers perscribed to her and she went home for the night.  Yvonne (and maybe others, don’t know) left some time after the meds had kicked in.  She is doing much better now…such a releif.

We got Zane’s table moved to his room later in the evening.  It was causing major traffic issues in the living room. It is just HUGE!  lol.   He was absorbed in his playing most of the evening.  I am not sure we will ever be able to get a gift that so thourally delights him again.  I hope so, but finding something that perfect is rare.

The HumVee batteries finally charged up and Zach tried it out.  It almost plowed over our Christmas tree and was able to climb the crib mattress (we had to remove the “diaper storage” crib to make room for the trains and it was laying in our living room) and that was on low speed.  The thing was far too fast for our little apartment.  It completely freaked out Zane, who clammered up my lap, and was shaking while he nervously and half heartetly laughed.  Once it stopped moving he was ok with it again, and pushed it around like a giant tonka truck or something, but I don’t think we will be playing with it much until we go out to the farm and a 10 mph vehicle has some room to move.

The evening, as a whole, was much like Christmas Eve, except with trains and sitting down instead of making food.  We found some Sacred Christmas Music programs and had that playing as we went around our day.  One of my favorites this year was a handbell chorus done by a group that has the largest collection in the world. (Raleigh Ringers maybe?…not sure of the name)  We also found some combined choral and orchestral music that was just beautiful.  Made for a comforting backdrop for the evening.

It was such a wonderful day, filled with family and one very happy child.  It was relaxed, laid back, and fun. 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 28th, 2004 at 4:50 AM and is filed under Uncategorized. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 3 responses to “Christmas Day 2004”

  1. 1 On December 28th, 2004, home.aspx?user=SereneTabbie said:

    Potato Knepp, yummmm drooolllll! I love that *sigh*, although the used to be vegitarian in me cringes, and the health nut inside screams in horror. I love your pictures, everyone looks so happy :) I thought of you when I found some Little People at a (late season) yard sale (Yes,I bought them all, I am insane, but for $1 how could I not?) I love M&D stuff too, and my kids got some under the tree too! Glad to hear you had such a lovely Christmas Jennifer.

  2. 2 On December 28th, 2004, home.aspx?user=feebeeglee said:

    Such a great entry Jen. I feel like I was there.

    I. Want. The. Lasagna!

  3. 3 On December 29th, 2004, home.aspx?user=Jfers_mom said:

    The day was such a wonderful family time. Thats so important to me. I’m so glad, too, that my mom could come. It’s so hard on her to stay anyplace but her place for that many hours. Her damaged spine hurts so badly, along with her sciatica. She can be such a trooper.

    The food was heavenly. It almost made me wish I were like a cow with 4 stomachs, but then you wouldn’t have had so many leftovers. hehe. It was hard to stop eating. (Serene Tabbie, thats what makes this so special, we don’t eat like that any other time. Zachs lasagne is heavenly!! I have turkey sandwiches and lots of water for most lunches!)

    Zane has really grown up in the past few months. His progress is wonderful. I think you’re past the ‘twos’ stage. He’s a doll!!!

    It was so cute how he HAD to take all the letters off of the M&D board before we could go on to another gift.

    I’m so glad that Zach could talk to his families. For me, family is a very important part of the celebration of Christs’ birth. It always has been.

    I think the things you might be forgetting are those things that dad and Steve were playing with. They were supposed to be from a farm and they converted to ‘monster things’. I’m not even sure what they were, except that dad and Steve sure got a kick out of them.

    Thanks so much for sharing your home and family with us. It was so enjoyable, after a hectic season at the retail shop. I know it was stressful for you guys, and I appreciate it so much. You guys are the best for doing that!! It couldn’t have been better.

    You make the family what it is supposed to be.

    Love you!!!


    P.S. That Train table DIDN’T look that big at Sams!!!

  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 22 years, 3 months, and 17 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 18 years, 3 months, and 21 days old
  • Random Quote

  • We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. — Martin Luther King Jr

  • Subscribe

Spread the Word

 Log in