Wrapping Up 2012

Obviously, a ton of days have already passed since Christmas, so I guess it’s time to recall everything that happened back then and get it permanently recorded on the blog, before I realize that HEY!  ST. PATRICK’S DAY!  AND WASN’T I GOING TO PUT CHRISTMAS PICTURES UP A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO?

I tell everyone that once our boys are grown, they can use their space-age technology to access the ancient, dusty Internet and find their mama’s blog.  Then they’ll remember everything we did, and they’ll have a record of it all, since their mother isn’t a scrapper and can’t put a scrapbook together without wanting to light something on fire.

Mainly, a Camel.

And she doesn’t even smoke.

But then reality strikes me, and I realize that HEY!  THEY’RE BOYS!  And boys grow up to be men, and men don’t really care about scrapbooks and preserving memories through pictures like girls do.  So I guess I blog for my boys’ wives, who will look back on this and say, “Goodness!  Weren’t you a cute little 6th grader?!”

But first… before all the Christmas snapshots… I have to show you these pictures that came in on my cell phone this week…

Hubs and I packed a suitcase for the boy that was full enough to make people believe he was heading on a research mission in Antarctica.  He had the long johns and the snow pants and forty-six pairs of wool socks and eighteen pairs of windpants and enough sweatshirts to outfit an elementary school.  And then we put him into the truck with our friends, Deb and Tony, and a pack of teenagers, and we sent the boy on a ski vacation halfway across the continent.

Or at least it FELT that way.

The boy has never been skiing a day in his life, because his mother doesn’t love skiing.  The general rule at the Jedi Manor has come to be that if Mama doesn’t like it, it doesn’t happen.

Raw tomatoes?  I hate them.  We never have them.

French toast?  I’m not a fan.  I can’t remember ever having it here at our house.

Skiing?  It’s too cold, and it makes me want to swear when I fall and roll down the hill like a giant snowball picking up momentum, so we don’t go.

The end.

But Deb and Tony ski, and lots of our other good friends ski, and when they said, “WHO WANTS TO GO ON A SKI VACATION,” the boy threw his hand up in the air faster than Thing 2 can eat cat food.  I played my baby card.  I said, “Oh, I’d love to, but… I have a baby.

Whew.

And that is how the boy came to be a skier for the last week.  He is staying with a couple of dozen people in a giant condo at a posh little ski resort, and the word on the slope is that he loves skiing.

And by loves skiing, I mean he called me one night to check in and practically shouted in my ear, “Mom, I love skiing so much, I want to buy my own skis and ski every weekend until all the snow melts!”

I guess we’ll have to evade the child labor laws a little bit, because the boy is going to have to begin working after school to pay for this new addiction of his.

And now… Christmas.

Every Christmas Eve, Hubs and I make a pot of soup, and my parents, along with Sister and her family, all come over for dinner.  And then we go to the candlelight service at church, which is very possibly my most favorite thing to do all year.  Church on Christmas Eve makes my heart explode with all the perfectness.

Especially this year, since we took our 21-pound, greased-with-the-Crisco squirrel with us, who had zero-point-zero interest in sitting still in our laps.

Precious times.

But look at him!  It was Thing 2’s first Christmas Eve, and Hubs and I couldn’t resist dressing him up right.

Both of our boys looked downright handsome on Christmas Eve.  I made them pose for some snapshots.

(I bet you didn’t see THAT coming, did you?!)

After church, when our hearts were full of the true meaning of Christmas and our bellies were still full from soup, everyone came back to our house for the Annual Making of the Reindeer Food.

Without reindeer food, we’re not sure whether Santa Claus can find your house or not.  Dasher and Prancer smell that stuff from twenty-seven miles above the earth’s surface.  It’s like catnip.

The recipe for reindeer food is very easy.  Take whatever you have in your pantry, and measure it and mix it and stir it.  The boy and Cousins L and K have the recipe committed to memory after all these years of making it.

And I LOVE this next snapshot, because look at my precious twelve-year-old!  He’s still smiling for the camera, giving his mama some holiday cheese in his grin, while everyone else threw the camera under the bus to focus on THE RECIPE!  I love that kid!

If you just happen to have a box of Cheerios leftover from summer camping, that may or may not have gotten a little moisture in it… well… the reindeer don’t mind.  Throw the chunk of heart-healthy, whole-grain oats into the bowl.

Aren’t Cousins L and K simply adorable?

Of course, someone just had to slip a chocolate chip out of the mixing bowl to Thing 2, and he ruined his dress shirt, good and proper, with it.

(Don’t worry.  His mama had some magic laundry potions, and the shirt was saved.)

Even Little H helped make the reindeer food.  She was very good at licking all the measuring cups off.

When the recipe is complete, and the bowl will hold no more sugar and oatmeal and paprika and sprinkles and Cheerios, you take it all outside in the blizzard and throw it all over the street.  This will insure that the reindeer smell it and head straight for your house.

L and K and Little H took half of the deer-luring concoction home to sprinkle in THEIR driveway later.

And then!

Christmas Eve PRESENTS!

While the kids are outside throwing the reindeer food all willy-nilly, a surprise gift for each of them is put out on our coffee table.  The boy has been calling them Coffee Table Presents for years, because he’s quite creative with names.

As it so happens, he got a little Lego set.

SURPRISE!

I cannot even tell you… cannot even give you a decent estimate… as to HOW MANY TIMES I have seen my boy in exactly THIS position, building with plastic bricks, over the years.

Thing 2 decided to swipe a piece out of Little H’s new puzzle, so she simply gave him a REMINDER PAT on the back that said, “Take another piece, and the PAT will be done with FORCE and MALICE.”  She was not at all happy with him taking her Christmas loot.

On Christmas morning, the boy was out of bed at 5:15, because WHY NOT?!

When our house sufficiently resembled an explosion at the North Pole workshop, we left it all behind, without stacking anything neatly this year, and we met Sister and her family at Mam and Pa’s house for breakfast.

And for more presents.

There’s the Fabulous Five, all together on Christmas morning.  I DO love a group shot, you know!

We ate too much breakfast… we laughed… we hugged… we giggled at the babies… we sat around and watched the kids have a marvelous time with all of their new gifts.

It was a perfect time.

Sometime in the mid-afternoon, we loaded the boys up, and we drove the twenty miles out to Small Mountain Town, to have Christmas with Hubs’ side of the family.

There was MORE FOOD.

And MORE GIFTS.

And MORE CHRISTMAS TO ENJOY WITH EVERYONE.

Miss R was there, looking especially cute.

Miss A set the 2012 record for LARGEST GIFT RECEIVED.  It was a giant beanbag chair.

Brother Joel’s girlfriend, Amee, was there with her sweet kids, C, B and R.

R may have been a TINY BIT EXCITED when she discovered an iPod inside the wrapping paper!

There’s Cousin W…

And Cousin B…

Hubs’ sister, Aunt Pink, knitted all the kids adorable stocking hats this year.

I even managed to sneak in a snapshot of the elusive Big Cousin H in HIS stocking cap!  (Big Cousin H is seventeen; teenagers are as difficult to capture on the camera as Big Foot is.)

Thing 2 enjoyed playing in his new toy box…

We eventually waddled home, after having consumed too much of Aunt Pink’s White Trash Crack dip.

I’d love to call it something else, but that’s what the name of it is on her recipe card.  It involves cream cheese and Jimmy Dean sausage and this and that, and it’s melted in a little crockpot and served hot on crackers.  It’s so addicting, you cannot stop eating it.

And every year, I eat it… and I come home with a severe gut ache.

This Christmas, when I dumped it onto my plate, Hubs said, “You know you’ll be sick later, if you eat that, right?”

Yes.  Yes, I knew it.  But somehow I managed to convince myself that THIS CHRISTMAS I would absolutely NOT get sick on the White Trash Crack.

We had been home on Christmas night for exactly seventeen minutes before I told Hubs, “I think I’m going to die.  Why did you let me eat the White Trash Crack?!”

People, it’s delicious stuff, but the crack and I don’t get along.  I love it, and it hates me.

And that, people, wraps up Christmas of 2012.

I probably won’t see y’all before the new year rings in, because Jedi Mama, Inc. will once again be closed for the holidays, so that our staff may enjoy time at home with their families.

I’d like to leave you with some serious words of what I learned in 2012… or what I hope to achieve in 2013, but the honest truth is… I’m absolutely drawing a blank.  I’ll just say that I know I want to pray more in 2013… and I want to clean the garage… and I want to worry less about things like housework and laundry, so that I can spend more time with my boys, doing things that MATTER.  I want to listen more… and talk less in 2013.  I want to do random acts of kindness for others.  I want to say NO to more extra projects and committees and YES to more evenings in my pajamas, with a little boy on each side of me in the coming year.  I want to remember to give thanks for everything I take for granted, month after month, and year after year.

Y’all have a very happy new year.  We’ll see you back here in January.

1 thought on “Wrapping Up 2012

  1. Love how you talked about playing the baby card ” oh I’d love to but I have a baby” haha because I have used the same baby card many many times… I still try to pull it here and there but my son’s now three so no one buys it anymore!

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