Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Cookies

I am not sure if it was all the gingerbread house and gingerbread men ornaments that I have or the gingerbread man game on starfall that got the boys interested in gingerbread cookies. But they begged me to make gingerbread cookies. Gingerbread cookies isn't a cookie that I grew up with. So I had to search for a gingerbread cookie recipe. I found a recipe in my Southern Living cookbook, added the ingredients I needed for the cookies to the grocery list and was geared up to make the cookies from scratch. With list in hand, strolling down the aisle at Wal-Mart I was pleasantly surprised to see the Betty Crocker had a special edition Gingerbread cookie mix! Thank you Ms. Crocker! Less mess and less stress for me! So the Monday before Christmas, the boys and I along with two of their friends, Greg and Haley, made and decorated gingerbread cookies for Santa.

The kitchen help!

The benefits of mixing the batter.

Haley creating a masterpiece.

Luke put more icing in his mouth than he did the cookies.

Run. Run. As fast as you can. You can't catch me, I am the Gingerbread man!

Luke didn't spare any red hots on the cookie he decorated for Santa. We had to leave Santa lots of chocolate milk to wash down this cookie. It also ended up with about four candy corns on it.

Jedi Eli excited about decorating cookies

Haley showing off all of her cookies.

Jedi Greg happily taking a break from fighting the Empire to decorate cookies.

Still eating the icing and candy.

Eli decorated these three cookies for Santa.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kids say the darnedest things

I started this post on November 29. I am finally getting around to finishing it. The past few weeks the boys have been keeping us entertained with their thought processes and conversations. I thought I would share a few of the funnier and cuter ones with you all.

The Wish List and Angel Tree

You need a little background information for this story. Eli is obsessed with Star Wars this year. Each year since he was two, he has had an interest in some particular character. When he was two it was horses and cowboys. At three it was LarryBoy. When he was four his interest turned to more toward Spiderman and then into Transformers. This year as I mentioned is Star Wars and Bibleman.

The top items on Eli's Christmas list this year is a Star Wars vehicle called an AT-TE. When he first saw it and started talking about it, I decided to see how much it cost. I was SHOCKED. It is $99.99. A toy, that will eventually end up in pieces, costs $100. No thank you. Then I saw that Legos had a Star War line, I thought this would be the answer to the problem. I assumed that they Lego AT-TE would cost around $30. I was wrong - way wrong. With its 798 pieces, the Lego AT-TE cost $89.99. It is absolutely ridiculous the cost of Star Wars toys (and for toys in general). But that issue is for another post at another time. So now that you have the background, here is our conversation.

Eli has the Wal-Mart, Target, or Toys R US toy ad, which is tattered and worn from constant use, that each store mails us at least once a week starting in November. He is looking at the Star War two page spread.

Eli says "Momma, I want this AT-T for Christmas. It is 99 dollars." (He never says the E that is at the end)

I say "Eli, we have told you that Santa doesn't always bring you what you want. He has lots of boys and girls to buy for and that AT-TE is very expensive."

"Well Momma I really want it." says Eli

"Baby, I have a feeling that Santa want be able to bring that for you this year because it just costs too much money."

Eli says, "I think I will just get an angel." as he waves his hand over the 2 page Star War spread.

"What do you mean?" I am thinking he wants a Star War angel, of which I had never heard of.

Eli says, "You remember last year, when we bought toys for the boys and girls who were Angels?"

"Yes" I replied. Our Bible Fellowship department sponsored an Angel Tree and some of our church members just gave money and the boys and I went and bought the gifts.

"Well," says Eli,"I want to be an Angel so someone will buy me what I want."

I had to hide my face behind Seth, who was in my lap, to muffle a laugh. The boy was schemeing ways to get what he wanted. I knew then that we were going to have to work on giving and generosity.

Operation Christmas Child

To help with our generosity issues, we decided to participate in the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. We packed a shoe box for a little boy that Eli decided needed to go to a 5 year old.

I found a video online on how to pack a shoe box. Before we left to go to fill our shoe box, I had the boys to watch the video. I wanted them to see what we couldn't give fighting toys. Luke lost interest and walked off, but Eli stayed around. I told him that this little boy either didn't have any toys or very little toys. I said he MAY not have a mom or dad either. Notice that I said MAY.

Well we are at Dollar General picking out items. Eli picks a Speed Racer car that he wants the little boy to have. Luke picks out a Tigger figure to put in the box. I found a set of Lighting McQueen playing cards that I asked the boys if they wanted to put in the box. We ended up with too many items to put in the box, so we find an aisle that isn't busy and pull out all our goods to pick through. Even after the "we are only buying for the little boy" talk before we went in, Luke wanted the Lighting McQueen cards for himself. I told him again that we were not buying for ourselves. We were buying for the little boy.

Eli in his big brother way, tried to console Luke by saying "Luke, when your parents die, maybe someone will buy the cards for you."

Once again I had to muffle a laugh.

That night when we were eating supper, they told their Daddy all about shopping for the little boy. The boys kept asking when we were going to the little boy's home to give it to him. Kevin and I tried to explain that he weren't going to his home. We didn't know where he lived. After we said that, Luke in all seriousness said "He is going to be SO mad."

I asked "Why is he going to be mad. We got him some cool things."

Luke said "We need to go get him because he doesn't have a mom or dad."

(sniff sniff) Finally, a little generosity.

Making a New List

Each month our Children's Department at church has a virtue of the month that they learn about. This month is the virtue is Generosity. (coincidence? I think not.) Each week in Bible Fellowship, Eli gets a weekly devotional guide, called God Time. We start our school time each day by doing the God Time devotionals. On Tuesday of this week, the devotional was on Acts 20:35, which is the passage where Jesus says "It is more blessed to give than to receive." The activity of the day was to make a new list of what he was going to give others this Christmas rather than a list of what he wanted.

I got a little notebook and wrote down his list of what he wanted to give the members of our family. Here is his list and some of our conversation.

Luke: Bibleman and Wall-E (I had to remind him that he needed to think of things for Luke that Luke would like, not things Eli would like. I had to do this because his first answer was Star Wars.)

Seth: a Little Einstein video

Daddy: a Crusoe gun, shells for gun (Kevin watches the new show Crusoe with Eli and Luke. Eli loves Crusoe's gun)

When the list came to me, Eli told me not to look. He took the pen from me because I had been writing down all the items up until this point. So with pen in hand, he sits and starts to write. He works on it for a little bit and then comes and asks for help.

He said "Momma, I need you to help me write this but close your eyes and don't look."

"Okay" I took the pad and pen and closed my eyes a bit. I needed to see a little bit so I could tell where to write.

Eli said "write light"

I wrote it with my eyes half way closed. I saw that he had tried to sound it out and had written "LIE" for light. When I opened my eyes and gave the pad back to him he had the biggest grin on his face. He told me "You need your own light to help Daddy when he shoots. All the lights we have are Daddy's." He was referring to the hog killing incident a few weeks back when I held the spot light for Kevin to kill the hog.

A Tall Tale by Luke

Last but not least, is a tall tale by Luke. Luke is quit the tale spinner. He is always telling us he has shot a deer, a bear, a snake and so forth. The other night we were at the supper table and he tells of his latest kill, a snake. He is talking about how the snake bit him and then he killed it. He were just giving him a little of our attention at this point, because it was a story that we had heard a thousand times. Well the story got interesting when he said that his son was eating the snake. Kevin and I started asking about his son. His son's name is Luke Sidney Dickey. And his name (that is Luke) was Daddy. After asking if he had any daughters, Luke (or should I call him Daddy) told us he had 5 daughters. He told us the 5 girls were at the house cooking chocolate. He told us that he lived in a tree house (I am guessing that came from Crusoe). When asked about the mommy, he told us she was at Wal-Mart buying food for the baby. Then he told us the baby was in her belly. So if I am adding correctly, in this tale, Luke has 6 kids and has one on the way.

And as Luke is telling the story about the mommy having a baby in her belly, Eli chimes in by saying "Congratulations." Luke says "Thanks".

Really there is never a dull moment around here. Sorry this post is so long but I wanted to write down these stories so that I wouldn't forget them.