Playing Band Hero at Best Buy, originally uploaded by MCuthbert.
This is the only reason my girls tolerate going to Best Buy with me.
This is the only reason my girls tolerate going to Best Buy with me.
We didn't send out Christmas cards this year, so a blog post will have to do.
Our family had a wonderful Christmas. Our celebrations stretched out over several days -- from decorating the house, to the party we hosted with Misty's family, to our church's Silent Night worship, to a staff party for the church, to early exchange of presents with Misty's mom, to Christmas day itself, to a post-Christmas visit with my parents in Atlanta.
Being surrounded by friends and family this season, we're reminded of how blessed we are. We hope that your lives have been blessed this year as well.
Merry Christmas to all.
We made our annual visit to see Santa at Brookwood Mall this evening.
Kendall's wish list was no surprise. She told him she wants a "big, big dollhouse" and a princess castle. She's been repeating the same two things for months.
Emily, on the other hand, threw us a curve. She told Santa that she wants a bulldog. This is a request she's been repeating as well, but not as a Christmas gift. She is well aware of the restriction we've imposed that we will not get a dog until she's seven. But apparently, Emily thought she could circumvent the waiting period by appeaing to Santa.
"Santa's not going to bring you a bulldog," Misty told her. "I'm sure he doesn't want to break our rule."
Of course, this caused a brief panic from Emily. "But I didn't ask him for anything else!," she said.
I promised her we could e-mail Santa tomorrow.
Greenwood Elementary held their holiday music program last night. Emily has been practicing her songs for weeks, which included "Sweet Treats" and "Little Angels." She'll stand in front of the fireplace at home and sing for us, then once she gets through with a song she'll say, "Now with motions!," and add in the gestures the kids do during the performance. It's adorable.
Here's video of the songs from the kindergarten classes.
I am loving my new cell phone (which, by the way, is also my first cell phone)! I took this picture with my phone yesterday afternoon at the fountain in front of the courthouse in Homewood. Within seconds, I was able to e-mail it to have it automatically post to my Flickr page. How nifty!
|I Fight Dragons - "Zelda" theme, live at Bottletree|
I took Emily out last night to see a concert from one of her favorite singers, Meiko. Actually, it was a Jewel concert where Meiko was the opening act, but Emily didn't care -- she was only interested in seeing Meiko anyway, and the short six-song set we got to hear was perfect for a 5-year-old's attention span.
We carved jack-o-lanterns last night. Kendall's is the one one left; Emily's is on the right. Misty did most of the carving and design, though. The girls and I just scooped the seeds and other goop out of the pumpkins.
Last year we carved our pumpkins too early, and by the time Halloween arrived, the faces had sunken in. Surely we won't suffer the same fate this year, having waiting until only two days before Halloween.
After carving, we sat in front of the TV for another time-honored Halloween tradition -- watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."
During my lunch break today, I headed over to UAB's campus to witness their annual Zombie Walk. It was much more exciting than sitting at my desk to eat.
Here's a slideshow of my photos from the event and also a short video I put together chronicling the zombie attack.
|Zombies Attack at UAB|
With Misty still potentially contagious, I took Emily and Kendall to Trunk-or-Treat at church last night. It broke Misty's heart to miss the event, but we were sure other parents wouldn't want us to risk having her around their kids. She reminded me several times that I was to let the other folks who work in the church office know that she has walking pneumonia.
The girls and I had a fun time. Emily went as Snow White, and Kendall went as Cinderella. The two of them were remarkably well-behaved. They never ran off, and didn't get into their candy without checking with me first. We hung out with the members of our Core group for much of the evening. Emily paired up with Tatum (who was also dressed as Snow White), while Kendall was glued to Ashlyn (who was dressed as Belle). It was cute to see all the princesses walking around holding hands.
I tried to take plenty of pictures for Misty. As we were browsing through them on the Wii later on, Emily alerted us to trouble in the kitchen. Kendall had broken her streak of staying out of the candy, and now had four things open at once and was going to town.
|A Fine Frenzy - 'The Minnow and the Trout,' live at Bottletree|
Since Emily didn't feel well when Misty and I attended the "Wild Rumpus Party" last weekend, we returned to McWane Science Center last night for a "Wild Things Camp-In." Basically, you eat dinner at the cafeteria, see the movie on IMAX, play in the museum after hours, and spend the night there.
I didn't care much for the movie, and neither did the girls (Kendall said it was too scary, and Emily just kept asking, "Can we go play now?" and fell asleep during the last 20 minutes). We did have fun hanging around McWane late at night, though. The girls decorated crowns and got to pet a chinchilla (they skipped touching the snake and hissing cockroach). There weren't too many people there, so it was like having the place to yourself. With no lines, I finally got a chance to ride the High Cycle (it wasn't bad, but I wasn't about to look down).
We didn't make it to the overnight part, though -- as it got later, the girls were getting pretty cranky, and I wasn't quite ready to stay up until the designated lights-out time of 11:30, either. Luckily, all the girls really cared about was playing in the museum, so they didn't object to going home early.
Here are a few more photos from the Wild Things Camp-In.
We drove the girls up to Hayden, Alabama yestday to visit The Great Pumpkin Patch. It was cold and windy outside, but we still managed to have a good time.
We rode the hay ride out to the field to pick out our pumpkins. The girls enjoyed traipsing through the patch and examining each speimen to see if it met with their strict standards. Their standards weren't very high, of course -- Emily wanted to find a big one, and Kendall wanted to find a little one -- it was Misty and I who had to veto a number of selections that had holes or were rotten.
Once the girls settled on their pumpkins, we rode back with and let Emily play on the inflatables for a while. Kendall claimed she wanted to play, but retreated with fear almost immediately. Instead, Kendall opted for a pony ride. She almost backed out of that too, but once she realized Misty could walk alongside her, all was OK. She was so proud to be sitting on that pony, riding around in a circle.
Here are more pictures from our pumpkin patch adventure.
|Kid critics review 'Where the Wild Things Are'|
This was the scene this morning as the girls and I lined up at the Galleria for the grand opening of Alabama's first Lego store. The store has actually been open for a couple weeks already, but today they were giving out exclusive Birmingham-themed Lego sets to the first 300 customers spending $35 or more. Thus, the line you see here.
Emily attended her first school dance tonight. That's right -- a school dance... in kindergarten. It was a fundraiser for the elementary school, though -- nothing too strange. She and Kendall were both really excited about the event, counting down the days until they got to dress up fancy.
When we got there, we ate pizza in the cafeteria and met another girl from Emily's class who was there with her mother and little sister (who was 2, just like Kendall). Once the girls started racing around the lunch room though, we knew it was time to herd them into the gymnasium where the real action was taking place.
Despite the fact that the decorations consisted of a single string of white lights strung across the edge of a stage, Emily stopped short at the doorway and gasped, "It's gorgeous!" If only we'd known sooner, putting up Christmas decorations could have been a lot easier.
Overall, the dance was a pretty low-key event, but the kids sure had fun. There's nothing like a bunch of 5- to 10-year-olds cutting lose on the dance floor with no inhibitions. Misty shot some video because the kids were just cracking us up.
We stuck around for about an hour while our girls danced along to such age-appropriate pop tunes as "Blame It (On the Alcohol)" and "Womanizer." Oh, well -- the kids don't pay any attention to the lyrics, anyway (I hope). At one point, Emily broke away from dancing with Kendall and busted out some wild choreography that made us question just how much sugary soda she'd had to drink. Observe...
Yesterday I became an uncle. My brother Jeff and his wife Kim are now the proud parents of a little girl named Miriam.
They never had a clear ultrasound where the baby's gender could be determined with certainty, but some over-the-counter home test they did had them leaning toward the assumption that they'd be bringing a boy home from the hospital. Obviously it wasn't as accurate as Misty's homemade gender-prediction test, where she peed into a cup of Draino. We're glad Miriam turned out to be a girl, though.
What a beautiful baby!
When we picked Emily up from school, she was sitting out front with all the other kids. She saw us but didn't get up. Instead she made a face and turned back around. We waited a couple minutes, but she continued to sit there. I was hoping this was because she simply didn't want to leave her new friends. Wrong!
Upon asking Emily how her first day of kindergarten went, she immediately got weepy and said, "kind of horrible."
It seems that their class did not get to play on the playground today (big surpise -- it was both hot and wet from rain). Worse, Emily did not get to look in the classroom treasure chest today (from what I understand, only one student per day gets to pick something from the chest). She also reported that a boy spit at her hair (raspberry) and another boy threatened to rip her leg off during nap time (I don't know what that kid's problem was).
Nevertheless, she's excited about going back tomorrow, so something must have gone right.
Misty and I looked over the syllabus for the class' first nine weeks, and it's all stuff that Emily knows how to do already. I'm not too disappointed by that. At least it confirms that we're doing things right at home, and I know they'll move on to more advanced topics soon enough, once the teachers assess what each student is capable of.
One thing's for sure, though: The girls in Emily's class are going to have to stick together -- there are only five of them, while there are fourteen boys.
After school, we went over to Misty's mom's house where Kendall had been spending the day. Cathy and Aunt Wanda were also visiting, and all of us celebrated the first day of kindergarten with pizza and cupcakes. As you can see, Kendall really got into hers.
Misty and I went on a tubing trip down the Cahaba River today with Fresh Air Family. We both agreed that it's one of the best events we've attended with the group. The water was the perfect temperature, and the trip was so relaxing.
At a few points along our route, the water rushed over rocks and there would be a sudden drop or surge where you'd smack your bottom on a rock, but most of the time, if you saw those areas coming, you could prepare yourself well enough to cushion the blow. Nothing too intense, really -- the occasional surges were fun. Misty came away with a couple of bruises, and I got sunburned on my arms and legs, but it was well worth it.
I took the risk of bringing along our camera, double sealing it in Ziploc bags. Here's a slideshow of our photos from the trip, or you can view the entire Fresh Air Family group set.
|The Rebel Kings - 'Syphilis,' live at WorkPlay|
|Fans join Wild Sweet Orange on stage for 'I'm Coming Home'|
Regina and Nick's Big Dance from Mark Five Productions on Vimeo.
|2-year-old Parrothead dances to 'Cheeseburger in Paradise'|
|Future Pop Stars|
|Future Pop Stars, part 2|