"Hey, Andy, ya want me to lean on a shovel or something?"
Small men-children with sticks. What could possibly go wrong?
Uh-oh. Hansel realizes he forgot the bread crumbs.
Oops. Put this one in twice.
I cut up small, toddler sized pieces of turkey for the Moose. He hollered, "BIG CHICKEN!" cuz he wanted the drumstick. What baby wants, baby gets. Come to Papa, big chicken, come to Papa.
If you're impressed at my sudden photography skillz, it was Mrs Kohler's camera.
Last week was our annual Christmas tree hunting, stalking, butchering, expedition to the North Pole. It just isn't Christmas until near death experiences have been lived, tempers have flared, marriage vows have been stretched and re-thought, small children have cried, and my Charlie Brown tree is safely kerplunked in my living room. For those of you who enjoy killing the spirit of Christmas and making Baby Jesus cry by purchasing a plastic tree, I will pray for you. But golly, you are missing out! Only a few things went wrong this year:
We nearly ran out of gas. Halfway to Mt Crumpit we have to make the decision: push forward, put in the last dollars out of our checking account, or turn back for the company car. Anna's oh-so helpful suggestion? Why doesn't Daddy just go back and get the other car? Yeah, Daddy! Why don't you just walk 30 miles and return in a speedy fashion? Maybe you could bring a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer while you're at it?
We nearly slid on ice to our deaths. Ok, not really. But it was hilarious when Mike pulled over and rolled down his window to talk to the Kohlers who were in their car and they kept driving right by us. "Hey! Stop driving!" my exasperated husband shouts. "We're not driving!" Genesis yells back as she hangs out the window, "We're sliding!"
I can't speak for anyone else, but I nearly got lost. There is a fine, thin line in the forest, between I-know-where-I-am, and I-am-fairly-certain-that-I-can-retrace-my-steps, and I-suddenly-hear-nothing-but-the-wind-in-the-trees, and if-I-go-one-more-step-I-will-officially-and-utterly-be-lost-and-on-the-five-o'clock-news. And I don't like being on camera. I freeze. I don't even like speaking when there's more than three people around. Even if all I have to say is my name and where I live, I panic. Those are easy questions. I should know the answers without getting all clammy. I really don't want to be interviewed about being dumb enough to get lost in the woods of Laramie while searching for a Christmas tree.
Afterwards we learned that there apparently is a small RedBull stand manned by Christmas elves in the forest. This is the only explanation for the two feminine youngsters who had absolutely NO energy for tree hunting and whined approximately, oh I don't know, THE WHOLE TIME, and yet were bouncing off the seats of the minivan like mexican jumping beans the whole drive home while their little brother was trying to nap. Actually, I'll give it up for Anna - she came wandering around the mountain side right as I was navigating that fine, thin line I was telling you about and quite possibly saved me from certain starvation, exposure, and being eaten by wild bears. Together we sawed down our tree and kept each other from back flipping and somersaulting and triple axle-ing down the hillsides. The only excuse I have for Cora is that she must be on the verge of teendom or something because that kid sleeps for like, 12 hours at a time, eats like a lumberjack, and still complains of being tired.
Now the tree is up and Christmas can begin. The cards are almost ready to be picked up at WalMart. The shopping is...not even started. Our eleventh anniversary is next week. I'm getting a taste of what it's like to have four children as I babysit the Quinnster for a whole week (stay tuned for what I hope is gonna be some Kodak moments this week). Jobs are being applied for and sent off into cyberspace where they're never heard from again. Holiday movies are organized by importance and order of viewing. Santa letters have brought unbelievably adorable joy to the small kids faces. School is on the back burner as we do crafty holiday things instead (who cares if my kids become adults who can't balance their checkbooks, they can thread a sewing machine and make chocolate truffles)! If you want a Christmas card of my cute offspring to stick to your fridge all year 'round, make sure you send me your address.