Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Know I Shouldn't

I needed to get all 3 bathrooms cleaned. I always put it off. But with Aunt Pam coming for the day on Friday and my Dad and Suzy coming for a visit this weekend, I had no choice. I grabbed all my gear and got to work.

Emily wanted to help me. My initial thought was, "Great, this will take 2 hours now instead of 1." Then I realized if I ever want her to do this by herself one day, I need to encourage her cleaning not discourage it. I gave her some kid friend solution of water and vinegar in a squirt bottle and a towel and told her to clean the bathtub and shower.

This means that Ben was relatively unsupervised for an hour or so. I'd respond if I heard crying, screaming or the sound of something breaking.

I heard nothing, so I decided I should check on him. This is what he was doing:

What? He was using his imagination and acting like a bird.

I know, I know, I should not encourage this sort of thing, but I did make him do just one more time for the camera.

Then, his sister got in on the action.

All flights have been cancelled, at least until the next time something needs to be cleaned.

Thank God we don't have bunk beds!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Funny Car

Our kids are a mix of different nationalities. David's Mom (and David) are from Canada. David's Dad is from Mexico. My Mom was born in the USA, and my Dad was born in Italy. So, the kids have 4 grandparents from 4 different countries.

My brother got Ben this truck for Christmas that is just hysterical. As Ben would say, "It's a funny car!" This is kind of taking our Mexican heritage over the top, but I can't help but laugh whenever this low rider goes stomping by.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Too much?

It's definitely time to pack up Christmas...

The other day Ben said, "There's a candy cane on that fwag!"
He was pointing to the American flag.

We've got all the decorations down from inside the house. I just need to do the outside and we'll be done. It's always sad to pack up Christmas. But, I must say, my house looks so empty and uncluttered. It feels so clean. I love it!

Until next year...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Day

On the way home from my Dad's, Emily fell asleep. Ben watched Jungle Book. Ten minutes before home, Emily wakes up. Crap. This is our child with sleep issues. An hour nap at 8:30 at night is not a good idea.

We put both kids to sleep and all seems to be going well. It's about 10:15 and David and I are watching TV in our room. I think I hear Santa come. About 10:30, Emily comes in our room. Whew...she just missed Santa. She can't sleep. We put her back in her room. She comes back into our room. Finally, I go into her room alone. At least one of us (me) can get some sleep. David said she didn't fall asleep until after 1:00.

Sometime in the shuffle she managed to see the presents under the tree that Santa left. It's a good thing he wrapped everything. I imagine she spent hours awake that night wondering what Santa had left her.

David was up early, like always. The rest of us were up within 10 minutes of each other.

Here's Ben when he saw all the presents for the first time.

Emily tearing into her first present.

Ben ripping open a truck.

Ben got a new game from Grammie for his new VTech.

Emily looks cute here, but what I love is Ben's tushie in the background. He's looking for more presents for himself. Um, he can't read.

The unwrapping was done in 30 minutes. Now came the hard part. The disassembling of all of those gifts. Here's my arsenal. I was armed and ready with AAA, AA, C and D batteries. A razor. Scissors. Wire cutters. And, Mr. 7 hands which is 7 screwdrivers in one, an essential Christmas tool.

It took 6 hours. Yes, 6! To unclip, unwind, put batteries in, screw in, add stickers and assemble all of their toys. I almost long for the days when all they want is an Ipod. Open the box. The end.

Here's Emily in her glasses from her Doctor set.

Emily got a new Smart Cycle from Papa and Grandma Suzy. It's a video game, but you have to pedal your way through it. Look at my house in the background!

Here's Ben in a sugar coma from too many lifesavers and Reese's.

Emily got a new kid friendly camera from Papa and Grandma Suzy. She was lining up all her new dolls for their first picture.

Here's Emily and Ben playing doctor.

Emily giving Ben a shot in his mouth!

After all was said and done, I was ready for a shot in my mouth, of vodka! :o)

It was a long, exhausting day. Nobody got out of their pajamas. The house was a complete mess. David made a delicious pork roast dinner. The kids played the entire day. They were ridiculously happy.

I wouldn't change a second of it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Chirstmas Eve

First, I have to say that I have the sweetest husband EVER. Read the post below and you'll understand. It's nice to know that I'm loved and appreciated. We all need to hear it from time to time., on to our Christmas Eve. We always go to my Dad's in Phoenix for the day. My whole family goes there. My Mom even comes which is great since they are divorced. My Mom and my Dad's wife, Suzy, get along really well. It certainly makes life a lot easier on all of us kids. We aren't running from Dad's house to Mom's on holidays like so many people out there. Just another reason we are so blessed.

We get to my Dad's early per his request. When we lived in Phoenix, we'd see my Dad and Suzy 3-4 times a week. It was hard moving up here and seeing them maybe once a month. So, we always arrive early to get in a little quality time before everyone else. Suzy let the kids open one present before hand. Which was good as Emily was chomping at the bit.

It was a roller coaster. Yes, a roller coaster. The kids love it.

Then, the kids played outside for a while before everyone showed up.

We had some delicious lasagna. Then, we all opened gifts.

They got so much stuff. Toys, games, trucks...

Then, my Dad and Suzy hand out the gifts for the older kids, my nieces and nephews. They are all in their teen years and only want money. They get what they want with it, so that's good, but it's rather boring. This year, my Dad and Suzy put their money in a little ceramic gingerbread house the size of a Christmas ornament. It makes the gift at least fun to open. So, the kids open their houses and are thrilled with $100. Then, my Dad throws out, "If you bring these houses back to me in 20 years, I'll give you $10,000." What? How much has my Dad been drinking? My kids got gifts, not money in a gingerbread house. Then, Suzy runs over to her Christmas village and hands me these 2 deer. The deer are now their $10,000 ticket in 20 years. They might not look like much right now, but I'm locking them up in my fire proof safe.

Then, my Dad throws out that anybody to finish college and present him with a 4 year degree will get $20,000. Seriously, what has my Dad been drinking? If that isn't incentive for my nephew to get his butt in gear, I don't know what is.

On the way home, I called my Dad and asked if I could be grandfathered into that college deal since I only got an associates degree? He laughed, of course, and said, "sure, sure." And, that's my Dad....happy and broke!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Christmas Blessing

As all who read this blog can attest, Gina chronicles everything that goes on in the lives of the Galeana’s. Though our lives are quite routine and sedentary in many ways, there is always enough excitement to go around in our little corner of the world worthy of noting for our children to read and reflect on years down the road, as they grow older. I trust that Gina has already documented enough to this point that when Emily & Benjamin one day show the interest, and take the time to review these stories, they will be extremely grateful to their mother, as I am; these days and memories of ours are priceless.

I wanted to spend sometime blogging about my wife, since so much of what is blogged about casts Benjamin and Emily into the spotlight. I woke this morning, and the first thing I thought of is Gina and what she means to me. I really have no words or manner of expression to draw upon that would describe how much she has shaped my life, surely for the better. I often do a rather poor job of expressing that to her, since I tend to get hunkered down under the mental burdens or perceived burdens of my own anxieties, be they work related or otherwise. In truth, I owe Gina everything. When I first met her, I was searching for a life partner, and really had nothing to offer that I was really confident would add anything to her life. I remember the first time walking into her home, learning what she did for a living and of the responsibility that came with her work, realizing she was a very mature and put together woman, and thought to myself, there’s no way this was going to work. “She’ll quickly see through my fa├žade”, is what I thought. Very fortunately for me though, we hit it off from the beginning, and from that day until the present time, I have never looked back, except to fondly reflect upon the past years we've spent together.

Gina has always been easy to be with. She adds no stress to my life, only peace, calm, and much joy. Now I know Gina will read this and say to herself, “Yeah right. How about all the times you roll your eyes at me, turn and walk away, or flat out argue with me? Am I adding joy to your life in those moments?” First off, we are not perfect; not that that even needs clarifying. We have our ups and downs as is the case with any couple; but when I reflect upon my less than positive responses to her, I realize that my responses are often borne out of a reluctance to be anything more or to do anything more than what I prefer at that moment. Truth be told, I have a proclivity for laziness, I prefer to stay close to home, and to not socialize. A lot of my eye rolling, or sarcasm, or flat out arguing is an attempt to resist Gina getting me or us to do something that would break me out of my complacency. I do thank God quite literally that she is generally the opposite of what I am in that sense. Our life would not be as it is, if she had not been as adept as she is at coaxing me out of my shell. I owe her so much. Certainly, the fact that we have 2 beautiful children would not be possible.

I look around our house, at our children, I remember where we were, where we’ve gone, what we’ve done, and where we are now. There is nothing I can think of or see, that would have ever been without Gina. She manages our finances, pays all the bills, she does our grocery shopping, she does our laundry, she was the one who made sure Emily attended pre-school this year and last, and makes sure she gets there on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. She helps Emily with her numbers and letters. She joined a few Mom groups, certainly not because she needed more friends, but to ensure our children had some playmates their own age. She takes all our family pictures, knowing full well I am terrible at focusing. She fixes Emily’s hair everyday, a skill I have yet to acquire; she makes sure the kids have snacks and something to drink before we head out anywhere, as she knows that will make them and their tummy's happy. She prepares close to 100% of all our dinners, and with nearly equal percentage, she is the last one to sit down to dinner, making sure that everyone, including yours truly, first has something to eat and drink. She potty trained both our kids, sees to it that their routine medical appointments are made and kept, takes care of them at home, and generally waits on them hand and foot, no matter how she feels. When I jokingly ask her how the “job” is going, she tells me the pay is lousy. Of course, I know her love for me and the children, regardless of the personal sacrifice to her, is something she would never want to give up. She knows what love is and what it looks like. It is not a feeling, but a willing decision to give, self-sacrificially, followed by action. She does this exceedingly well. During the wintertime, she refuses to turn on the heat in the home, except at night; when I shiver, she tells me to throw on a jacket, to suck it up, and assures me that “roughing it” will only build my character. Ha! If ever I lose or can’t find something, I can always rely on Gina to know where it is--always. I sometimes tell myself, “she’ll never find it; I’ve looked all over the house.” Of course, I am always amazed when she does what I generally consider to be the impossible. I would also add that it is a good thing she’s as an intelligent and sharp minded woman as she is, because unfortunately for her, as every year goes by, she is forced to do more of my thinking and remembering, in addition to her own. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that she is still the most beautiful woman in the world to me. She was a fox when I met her, and she remains so today.

On a very personal note, I have to say thank-you Gina for still looking at me with genuine love and desire, for always having a kiss and hug for me, for making me feel that I am the center of your life. You have always been true to your marriage vows to me, never casting doubt in my mind of your loyalty and devotion to us as a married couple. At this time of the year, this season of giving, I just want to thank-you Gina for giving me, our children, and our family everything you have, and on most days, probably more than you thought you had. I appreciate you always giving 100%, even when your “tank” is running on fumes. I love you Sweetheart, and Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Out to Lunch

Everyone always says, and I believed, that dogs from an animal shelter are always the best. Somehow, they seem grateful that you rescued them. I've heard this time and time again. I've had no experience getting a dog from a shelter until Roxie.

I don't know if she was out to lunch or on a walk when talk about being grateful was passed around the shelter, but she definitely missed the memo.

Before my Aunt's party on Sunday, David had taken Roxie for 2 walks in 2 hours. He wanted to make sure her bladder was empty and she was thoroughly tired before we left.

She's had issues with peeing on our carpet. We can't put her outside because she escapes. We can't put her in a kennel as that experience cost $100 at the vet. She's also been known to get destructive in the house. The gingerbread house, going through trash and knocking over chairs are examples of her bad behavior.

The good news is she did not pee on our carpet while we were gone.

The bad news is she ate 4 presents.

Well, she nibbled on 3 boxes until she found what she was looking for.

David's chocolate covered cherries. She ate the entire box. Literally, I think she ate the entire box.

David was panicked that she would die because of the chocolate and was ready to rush her to the vet. I thought the dog will probably just go into sugar shock for a few hours and maybe get diarrhea. We were both wrong. She didn't show a single sign of downing a dozen sugar balls.

I guess life really is like a box of chocolates, at least with this dog.

You never know what you're going to get.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Round 2

On Sunday we went to another party. It was at my Aunt Cathy and Uncle John's home. They live here in Prescott by Thumb Butte Mountain. Their home is truly spectacular. I don't think I have ever been in such a lovely home. Antiques everywhere, yet it's so cozy. They also love food and always have a delicious spread at these parties. We look forward to it every year.

Here's Ben & David before the party. Ben thinks this party is #1.

I spiked up Ben's hair and it just cracked me up. It's so cute. Emily looked adorable in her party dress.

Here is the moose above the fireplace. My Uncle John did not kill it.

Now, this is worthy of "Oh, Christmas Tree!" Wow!

Emily being cute on the stairs.

This was an original Bob's Big Boy. They were a popular hamburger joint out here. I guess not that popular since they closed years ago.

Ben in an antique plane.

My Aunt lives 25 minutes from our house, but it's almost 900 feet higher in elevation. She got blasted with snow last week in the storm. I know where to take the kids next time we get jipped. There was still lots of snow left on the ground after 4 days! David and the other kids had a huge snow ball fight. He was throwing them hard. He was like a 37 year old kid. The other kids were 9 and 5, and he was sneaking up on them and pegging them with snow balls. It was actually fun to watch. I love the picture of the kids in the snow. Notice the prickly pear cactus behind Ben. Snow and cactus...go figure.

The kids put on a concert for us. They were singing all sorts of Christmas carols. It was cute. Yes, Emily has chocolate across her mouth. It was after dessert.

It was a wonderful party. I grew up with this family, so it always feels like home being around them. They actually aren't really my Aunt and Uncle. My mom and my Aunt Cathy have been best friends since they were 6. I guess that makes her as close to an Aunt as if she were blood related.

We were driving home and I was feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Such a great weekend. We are truly blessed.

Then, we got home...

I'll save that for the next post as Emily is begging me to get off the computer.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

An All Nighter

Last night was the annual Rampley Christmas party. Our good friends, Amy and Colby, host this party for our "gang" every year. We eat way too much. We talk. We fondue. We play a game. We laugh. We drink. We are kid free. We thoroughly enjoy ourselves.

We look forward to this party every year. My Mom came up to watch the kids. We went down to Phoenix for the party. I almost don't know what to do with myself when I can just sit in a car, listen to music and talk (without interruption) to my husband. I caught myself once or twice looking back to see if someone needed water or more goldfish crackers. Realizing we were alone, I took a moment to take my husband's hand and soak up the silence. The drive down and up from Phoenix is just an extension of our date.

Did we pull an all nighter? Heck no! We were yawning by 9:30.

We got home at 11:30 to find Emily and my Mom on the sofa watching Iron Man. Emily had taken a nap that day, so she was ready to stay up late. Ben was asleep.

I had given my Mom the basic instructions for the kids before we left. I always think she is only half listening. I've tried writing it down, but that doesn't seem to work either. I just figure, she knows what to do. This isn't her first rodeo after all.

I'm the last to roll out of bed at 9:00 this morning (my Mom was still snoozing), which is usually the case on weekends. I go out to the living room and Ben and Emily run up to give me my morning love. I'm holding Ben and notice he does not have a diaper on. I ask David if he already took it off him. I specifically remembered telling my Mom that Ben sleeps with a diaper on. She shook her head okay. I even told her they were in his drawer like always. Still, Ben was diaper free. David hadn't removed it. I looked around the house because Ben has been known to take it off in the morning. Now that he is diaper free during the day, he doesn't like a wet diaper. I couldn't find it.

My Mom wakes up and I ask her about Ben's diaper. She gasped, "Oh no, I forgot! Did he wet the bed?" Nope. Ben did his first all nighter.

Not only that, but he was up for 2 hours before I woke up and he still didn't go to the bathroom. That's like 12 hours! I would kill for that bladder. After 2 kids, I'm up 3-4 times a night.

I'm looking at the unopened box of diapers from Costco in Ben's closet. At the rate of 1 a day, that's a 6 month supply. I'm thinking we don't need it. I'm going to return them and get my $37.99 back.

We are done with diapers.

I guess my Mom not listening to me turned out to be a great thing.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Skip The Lecture

I was standing in the line at Starbuck's (in Safeway) today to get a few gift cards for Emily's teachers. The kids were in one of those shopping carts that have the little cars on the front, basically a mini bus for any Mom who has to steer it around. The kids like these carts, so I make my way through the store, taking out a few end caps here and there, to make them happy.

I parked the cart/car/bus about 5 feet from me as I didn't want to be in anybody's way while I waited in line. Of course, it is by a table that has some Starbuck's merchandies on it. Ben reaches for it.

"Ben, get back in the car."

He doesn't listen and goes for the ceramic mug.

"Benjamin, don't touch the mug and get back in the car."

This is when the man in front of me decided to give me some unsolicited advice.

"You should be grateful your children are healthy and not scold them."

I, being a healthy child who was raised with manners, simply said, "You're right. I am blessed."

What I wanted to say was:
"Listen here old man, I'm grateful every day for my healthy, spoiled rotten children. Just because I am blessed doesn't mean I shouldn't discipline my children when they are doing something they shouldn't. It's my job as a good parent to teach my healthy children right from wrong."

Because they are healthy, I should just never reprimand them?
Just let my two year old play with a bunch of ceramic mugs until he breaks them?

Maybe next time we are in line and you butt your nose where it doesn't belong, my healthy child will tell you to "mind your own business old man." But, if I raise them right, hopefully, they will just grin and say "Merry Christmas."

Here are a few pictures of my healthy spoiled children in the bath:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Get Out The Shotgun

Emily has been mentioning a boy at preschool named Cody. At the Christmas program, I had my friend Dakri point out who he was. Dakri had to stay in the classroom every day for almost a month to help her daughter, Alanah, because she was in a cast. So, Dakri figured out a lot of the ins and outs that us parents usually don't know. The good news was Cody was one of the nicest and kindest boys in the class. Not a surprise, a girl always looks for a boy like her Dad.

When I asked Emily what she did at school on any given day, I always get the same reply.

"I don't know."

It's rather frustrating as she has a memory like an elephant. She is just choosing not to tell me. I always have flash forward to her teenage years at these moments and pray for help with those years. Yes, it's 10 years away, but just think of all the prayers I'll have racked up by then!

Dakri called me the other day to tell me that her and Alanah were talking about preschool over lunch. Alanah informed her that Emily is Cody's girlfriend.

What? What? What?

Me: "Emily did Cody ask you to be his girlfriend?"
Emily: "Yes."
Me: "What did he say?"
Emily: "I don't know."
Me: "Did he say, Emily will you be my girlfriend?"
Emily: "No, he said Emily be my girlfriend."
Me: "What did you say?"
Emily: "I shook my head."

And, it's official. She has her first boyfriend at 4.
Maybe we should seriously think about getting a shotgun.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Trick Up Your Pants...

Emily loves playing games, especially Candy Land. She wanted me to play with her the other day and I was really involved trying to find just the right word to beat my Mother in law in online Scrabble. So, I told Emily to set up the game and I'd be right there.

And she did.

We start playing and Emily tries to slyly pull the "ice cream cone lady" card out of her pant leg! This is the card that sends you almost right to the finish line.

Where did she learn that? I assume some horrible influence (like my husband) has taught my innocent daughter to cheat. I questioned her.

Nobody taught it to her. She wanted to beat me, so she set me up for failure and herself up to win.

Cheating at 4? Really? Already?

Maybe I shouldn't look at it as cheating, just using her imagination to win.

In any case, I'm checking her pant legs and sleeves before our next match.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh, Happy Day!

This picture is probably the funniest thing you will see all day. Seriously, you laughed right? Look at my face. If you didn't at least chuckle, call the doctor and get some Prozac. I can't stop laughing. This confirms it. I'm a total dork.

We are preparing for our first snowfall of the winter. Snow is on the forecast almost every day for the next week. I know, I know, Aunt Linda in Chicago and Amy in Maine are laughing at me. But for us desert rats, this is exciting!

This year, we are going sledding! We have a great park next to us that has a mighty hill. It's big enough to have fun, but not so big that we dread walking up it. We are going to go down (and up) that hill a few hundred times this winter.

My great friend Dakri (like strawberry daiquiri) loaned us all of her sons winter clothes that he has outgrown. There is a pair of black bibs for Ben and Emily. So cute! And even cuter since I'm not out $50 buying them something that we will only use a handful of times and won't fit next year. When I saw the black bibs for the kids, I got to thinking about the pair of black bibs that I used to wear. You know, before kids, before the dreaded 10 pounds that I can't seem (or don't care) to lose.

I hesitantly opened the guest room closet. There they were. Staring at me. I peak inside to take a look at the tag. Why set myself up for certain doom? I had cut the tag off. I looked at them thinking surely my ass won't fit in them.

It did!

Oh, happy day!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not To Be Confused With The Greatest Show On Earth

About an hour north of our house is a train ride to the North Pole based on the book Polar Express. This is an event that runs twice a night for almost 2 months and sells out a year in advance. It's the toddler equivalent to Celine Dion.

The kids wear their pajamas (some parents do too). The elves serve cocoa and cookies. They tell the Polar Express story (next time I'll bring a copy to follow along).

Ben was not feeling great, a bit of a head cold. Although, he would've had the same expression even if he were super excited.

The train pulls up to the North Pole and Santa is waving to everyone on his sled with his reindeer. The train goes back and Santa is gone!

While waiting for Santa to come through our train, we sang Christmas carols. David was really enjoying this part.

After some chanting, Santa showed up.

He gives each kid a bell just like in the movie.

On the way back to the depot, Emily learned the art of breathing hard on a window and writing her name.

We had a great time and we'll definitely make this a tradition for the next several years. That night as she was brushing her teeth, Emily told said, "You know that show tonight? It was the greatest show in the whole wide world."

And it was.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Is it so wrong?

I'm like every other stay at home Mom. I'm always tired and my back always hurts. I trained the kids to drive their cars over my back. "Act like Mommy's legs are a race track." It's only semi-effective, but doesn't actual relieve any pain. Plus, they get bored of the race track in about 60 seconds. Emily thought it would be fun to walk on my back the other day. Wow. Now this feels good. 40 pounds of pressure moving up and down my back. I am liking this.

Sometimes she just stands there and I need to remind her to move around. Sometimes, she loses her balance (hence the hockey stick) and drills the ball of her foot in my back. What kids really need is a class to teach barefoot massage. Why not? There is a class for everything else. We might as well teach them a skill they can use forever or at least until middle school. It's a complete win win. Because we all know if Momma aint happy, nobody's happy!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Rachel Edith Allen
Alisa (David's sister) and her husband Daniel just had their first baby. Isn't she just a doll? She was born on Sunday and weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces. I so wish I were in North Carolina so I could hold my beautiful niece.
Gosh...I miss baby smell.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

A New Pack

Emily loves to color. She has crayons, colored pencils and markers which are almost all dried out because she won't put the caps back on and I refuse to do it. When Grammie was here, they sat down at the table to color some Thanksgiving pictures. Grammie was looking for a purple crayon. We have a container that has about 100 crayons, but do you believe not one was purple? Then, I got to really looking at them. The majority of the crayons were blue, green, red and yellow and they said "Olive Garden" or "Red Robin" on the side.

I was at the store the other day and I picked her up a brand new pack of 96 Crayola's with the sharpener built in. I was saving it for Christmas. Today she wanted to color and I couldn't even find the crayon container. I caved. She was so thrilled to see all the colors. I felt like I was depriving her of the joy of knowing colors like vivid tangerine and robin's egg blue.

I imagine she'll live.

Choices, choices, choices...

We all remember the smell of a new box of Crayola's. Emily is just like her Dad and smells everything. It was the first thing she did when she took one out of the box.

I told her how special these new crayons are and that we need to take care of them. I walked in 10 minutes later and steel blue metallic was broken in the pencil sharpener and she tried to put 20 crayons in a box that clearly only holds 16.

Maybe I should've just went to Olive Garden again.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Program

Last night was Emily's Christmas program for her preschool. As parents, this was our first show! I was so excited. My little baby is on stage for the first time. I almost cried. Emily was one of 8 little candles and she had a small speaking part. She said, "Light me too, so I can see." We rehearsed it for weeks. She spoke her line so well and then when the teacher called the next little candle up, Emily did her line again! It was cute. I didn't capture that on video as I was taking pictures, and David was using our old video camera. I don't know how to upload that onto the computer, actually, I don't think I even can. So, in between taking pictures, I'd do a little digital video on my camera, so I would have something to upload here to my blog. I did this for you Gwynne!

Here's Ben looking rather uninspired by it all. He kept asking when it was his turn. Next year sweetheart.

This is Emily and Alanah, her best friend. They were both candles.

Emily and Alanah.

Santa made a surprise appearance at the end.

I was so proud of my girl. She did a great job. We all had a wonderful time
We capped off the night with Ben peeing on a tree in the parking lot. He's out of diapers except for at bedtime. No more diapers for us! Now, that's a Christmas Miracle.