Thursday, December 31, 2009

a kid at kidscommons

Matthew and I visited kidscommons in Columbus yesterday, along with lots of other grandparents and grandchildren. I guess it was the place to be on a snowy day during Christmas vacation. There are lots of things to do there, and it was a fun place to spend a few hours. Matthew enjoyed the activity table with magnet sets and other neat things with which to build.

He spent some time shooting hoops...

and working the pedals with his hands.

The bubble room was very cool.

He tried hard to put himself inside a bubble. Almost there!

His favorite part is the ExploraHouse, with the world famous giant toilet. Here he is climbing in.

Getting set.

And down he goes. It even makes a flushing sound. No water though, which is fortunate. It ends with a slide that takes you downstairs in the house. There are all sorts of nooks and crannies where kids can climb, and they can even go up the chimney to the attic. He made a friend, and I spent a good bit of time wondering where he was!

It is a neat little museum, and all the kids were having a great time. There is a climbing wall, built to look like the front of the building, which was a very popular activity. They were getting ready to lead an art project just as we were leaving, which looked like fun as well. With one more trip down the toilet, we left a fun place that was not too "draining" on either the nerves or the budget. :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Full Boxes, Full Tummies

After a busy day packing at Dave and Jamalyn's, I thought I would get Jim to take me to El Reparo for dinner. Dave and Jamalyn planned to have a picnic with the kids as a sort of "last supper" at their home in Milroy. When they realized, however, that they had very little food left in the house, and that the dishes and utensils were all packed, they decided to join us at El Reparo. Ruthann met us there with the kids, and we had a great dinner and enjoyed good food, good drink, and good friends.

Nathan was a hungry boy, refreshed from his 3 hour nap at Ruthann's, and ready to dig in to the chips and salsa.

Margaret and Jamalyn discussed strategy for chip eating, and Margaret quickly discovered that the salsa was HOT!

Dave and Nathan share a secret.

Nathan loved the cheese dip, and dug in with both hands. YUM-MEE!

Who needs chips for the cheese?

After dinner, Margaret waited for her daddy to bring the car around. She looked so pretty in her red coat. Just like Belle.

The moving van will come today to pick up those full boxes and take them to their new home in Indianapolis where they will be welcomed by a new congretation at St. Luke's UMC. We hope to visit soon as they unpack boxes and memories to fill the "green house"" and make it their home.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

On Christmas Day in the Morning

We were up bright and early on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought. Matthew waited patiently on the stairs for the signal to come down.

He checked out the toys from Santa: a castle, a space shuttle, and a dinosaur. Matthew must have been a very good boy, since Santa left him things in several locations this year. That Santa is quite a guy!

Jim opened a new coffee maker.

Matthew checked out the castle to discover all the secrets and sounds.

He opened a puzzle from Granny. It's an Under the Sea puzzle, and it's four feet tall!
Next he opened Granny's favorite gift,

and tried it on. Lookin' good!

Who Dat!

His jersey went along with my gift, a signed Drew Brees photo.

Andrew and Matthew warm up by the "fire."

Grandma and Grandpa Stewart, and Nana and Boomie came in time for breakfast. We enjoyed egg casserole, biscuits and gravy, cinnamon rolls, and several flavors of coffee from Jim's new coffee maker.

Even Mackey got in on the gifts, and he modeled his new Snuggie. Too bad it didn't come in black and gold. We could have made it a Drew Brees Snuggie.

Shylah helped Mackey show off his new duds. Not sure how he felt about wearing clothes. :)

Matthew helped with a new chalkboard design. I love his picture of the Christmas tree and the couch. It helps send heartfelt wishes to friends and family near and far, "Merry Christmas, everyone!"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Time is Here

We gathered at Nana and Boomie's house on Christmas eve eve to share pizza and family time. Ted, Evan, and Dara came, as well as Michael and Jenny, Jenny's mom Becky and her husband Mike, Andrew, Darci, and Matthew, Adam, and Jonathan (last to arrive). Along with Jim and Jere', and Jim and Susan, it made a full house.

Jim, Andrew, and Matthew tried out a new game we found at a little toy shop in New Orleans called Jishaku. There are 18 strong magnets, and the object is to take turns placing them in the foam without allowing them to "grab" another magnet. It's harder than it looks!

Jim puts his magnet down.

Then it is Andrew's turn. Be careful!

Ted brought the awesome book he made in honor of Evan's soccer team. It is a journey through the Zionsville Eagles' State Championship season, complete with stats, photos, and color commentary. Of course, Evan is the star of the book, and it is a truly special keepsake commemorating a very special season.

Boomie and Nana received their own copy, and Boomie was eager to take a look.

Matthew especially enjoyed hearing Evan's take on the book, complete with "unwritten" additions to the story. I think Evan had a new best friend that night.

Nana has been doing some shopping at the hospital gift shop this year (since she seems to like visiting there), and found this cute puppy named Roffle. That is just what he does... rolls on the floor laughing... get it... rofl. :) It was quite entertaining, and what a laugh.

Michael was eager to give a gift to Matthew, but first Matthew had to sit on the chair, put his finger on his nose, put a finger in his nose..... before he got his present. That's enough Michael.

The bulldozer Lego set was "just what I needed" according to Matthew. He was thrilled with it, and stay tuned to see the finished product. Matthew is very good at Legos. Of course he is.

Michael received a belated birthday gift. As seen on TV, the ShamWow! I'm sure he will find a multitude of uses for the whole supply.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

As promised, Matthew was up bright and early on Christmas eve to work on his Lego bulldozer from Uncle Michael. Here he is checking the next step in the building process.

And proudly showing off the finished dozer. He did have a little trouble remembering that is is a Lego bulldozer, and not a Tonka. :)

In the afternoon we again gathered at Nana and Boomie's house for a late lunch and a grab bag gift exchange. The tree looked beautiful, and Nana sure enjoys the new decorating method in which lights and decorations stay on permanently. No watering either.

This little bear angel is another one of her hospital gift shop finds. She moves and sings "O Holy Night." Matthew was not overly impressed. I do think it will be a reminder of the time Ted and I sang a duet at church of that very song. That is, of course, after Ted corrected the accompanist who had started playing another song when it was our turn.

After lunch it was time for the grab bag. The gifts were carefully arranged in the middle of the room. Numbers were drawn to see who would get to select first.

Shylah had the honor of going first, and carefully decided on a bag.

Matthew was number 11, and waited a long time to grab from Shylah. That bag had 10 dollar bills in it!

He carefully counts to be sure it is all there.

Matthew opened a train set from Nana and Boomie. Aunt Shylah helped him put it together, and it was soon running smoothly.

Matthew also received a remote control spider, and after a little challenge in battery installation, David and Adam were soon enjoying it on the entry hall floor.

I think it could be a bit frightening if you came upon it without warning. In fact, I saw a tarantula similar to this one on the side of a building in Haiti. Except it was alive. Fortunately, this one is not.

Our Christmas Eve service at church offered some special activities a 6 p.m., prior to the start of the service at 7:00. Refreshments, communion, and the opportunity to light a prayer candle were among the special things folks could do while enjoying musical selections on organ and piano. The sanctuary was beautifully decorated, and we are so blessed to have Pastor Jimmy Moore here at our church to share Christmas with us for the first time.

A very special part of the service included the portrayal of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus by the Bainbridge family. Baby Adelle played her role well. As Pastor Jimmy said, "Isn't that the most beautiful baby Jesus you've ever seen?" We are blessed to be able to celebrate the birth of our Savior with music, scripture, and the traditional lighting of candles. In the busy days of this holy season, I treasure the chance to sing again of the "Silent night, holy night."

Home from church for soup and sandwiches, stories, and games before bed. Matthew carefully selected some treats for Santa AND a carrot for each reindeer, including Rudolph.

Grandpa read one of his favorites, "The Littlest Angel" as Matthew listened. Then teeth were brushed, prayers said, and visions of sugar plums danced in his head.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!