Christmas found us with a cedar tree from the pasture. Since Husband decided we were going primitive with the tree, I decided to go primitive with the decorations. We put up lights, popcorn/cranberry strings and paper chains. I had forgotten how frustrating it is to string popcorn. Husband wanted to hang ornaments, but I decided since I get to take the tree down by myself, I was not going to do any more than I had to. Frankly, I think it looks pretty nice. I was opposed to the whole cedar idea, but we “aged” the tree two weeks in the garage, and most of the smell had dissipated by Dec. 23, when we brought it in. Pine has a nice scent. Cedar smells like you could make vodka from it.

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Jane got the fish she asked Santa for. A close look at the aquarium will reveal what genetic modification can do. Unless they came up with a fish tattoo… Regardless, we overheard something about “fwopping on my bwankie” from the other room. A quick count revealed all four were back in the tank, but one still looked pretty nervous. We had made the mistake of leaving the net beside the aquarium, and the temptation was too much for Jane. Remember this is the kid who likes to experiment. I guess we will keep the aquarium in the kitchen. I could put it behind the computer and use the light for a desk lamp, it does get a little romantic in this corner. I am a little afraid that Leo will be tempted. He is a climber.

Fish with heart

Leo was completely enthralled with his Little People Gas Station. He is a fan of anything on wheels these days. I took everything out of the boxes and constructed it several days ago. It took me 30 minutes to get the garage out of the box and about 20 to put it all together. Altogether, I came out nearly 30 twist ties ahead, but I lost nearly an hour of my life. Toy packaging has gone from obnoxious to plain old evil.

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Santa got each kid a toy, and we bought each kid a toy, so we didn’t accumulate too much. Mae was a little lost, I think she was hoping for something more, but she didn’t know just what. She got her train and a doll with clothes. We got the ladies Groovy Girls dolls. Mae fell in love with Laila Ali this last spring while she was on Dancing With the Stars. We even wrote her a fan letter, but she didn’t reply. I got Mae a darker skinned doll and a sparkly gown.

The biggest hit was the flashlights. We play safari sometimes before bedtime. I take a bunch of stuffed animals and hide them around the living room. I then turn off the light and let them look for the animals with flashlights. This is huge fun, but the best part is our grownup flashlights will still be operational should the power go off.

My favorite gift was the one from the person who had the least understanding of Christmas. Paul slept from 11:00 until 5:30, and in his bassinet! Husband got me something I really didn’t need, or have room for, but he did put thought and effort into it, so I won’t complain. He got me plates, about seven or so. My dishes were premiums at grocery stores or gas stations in the 1940s or 1950s. They are nothing special, you can find them in antique stores all over. They usually run about $7 each. I have 12 plates already. This means I can go a looong time between washing dishes! He was looking for a butter dish, but didn’t find one. I would rather have a teapot, but they are maybe $100 or so, and pretty rare.

I got Husband a cordless drill. That is what he asked for, and in that many words. When he opened it, he cautiously mentioned that it didn’t have certain features he wanted, like being ½ inch and having more volts or whatever. I showed him where the receipt was attached and explained that I had about 30 to choose from and knew he would be taking it back. No harm no foul.

My sister-in-law and her friend came over for dinner. It was a nice meal, but not too big. The friend ran interference with the kids so we could get the meal put together. I made a homemade sour cherry pie. MMMmmm. She brought leftovers from her meal last night. After dinner, we loaded the dishwasher and looked at the pile still towering on the counter. I told her it wouldn’t bother me a bit to let them sit until the dishwasher was empty again. She was ok with that, so now I have to get them washed.

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Sledding in Nebraska.  We live in a river valley, so we don’t have hills, although Nebraska does have lots of hills.

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Paul’s birth announcement picture.

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