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December 1, 2002

I was so sad to say goodbye to Kevin and Dallison and their kids today.  It was such a wonderful visit!  Dallison took me on a quick driving tour of the Capitol on the way to the airport - what a spectacular city!  I've never been there, so to see the Capitol Building and the White House was quite a thrill.

December 3, 2002

Happy Birthday Patch!

Surprise, surprise!  Patch opted to have his birthday dinner at Race Rock!

I had a rough time at dinner last night.  Mark said to Patch, "This is the last dinner you'll have as a 3-year-old."  And Alex said, "That's right.  You'll never be 3 years old again."  They might as well have put a knife in my heart!  That's my little baby they're talking about!

 Mark and Patch playing tic-tac-toe while waiting for our food Happy Birthday to ME! You're gonna have to blow harder than that!  My three goofballs

Well, ain't he just full of himself!

December 4, 2002

Alex's golf teacher took him out to play 9 holes today.  The boys were playing with play dough before we left, and Alex made a golf course!  After we got back home, he made a green and some balls and he and Patch played against each other.  It was hilarious!

Complete with sand trap, water hazard, green, and even the player and his club and ball! Healthy competition

December 7, 2002

Mark's parents drove over today to give Patch his birthday present, and we had a wonderful visit.  Patch absolutely loves his present - a very cool remote control car! 

We then went back over to the Kids Gym for Clara's birthday party.  As I'm sure you've gathered, it is sometimes difficult to determine who's a dad and who's a child on our block.  Well, the dads got just as involved as the kids on the equipment at the party, and Mark ended up doing a flip wrong on the trampoline and has done something to his ribs.  He's walking around like an old man, and I must say, given how he hurt himself, I'm having a great deal of difficulty mustering up sympathy between my laughs!

How long do you have to sit on that thing before it hatches? Boys will be boys!

Present time Looks sweet huh?  Actually, they were pushing as hard as they could against each other to see who'd fall first.

Florida sledding Parachutes are the best!

December 8, 2002

Patch finally had his birthday party today!  We had a wonderful and remarkably calm group of kids.  It was a terrific party!

Cute Story:  We went out to dinner tonight and Patch had chicken fingers.  He was watching me cut my meat, and then took his knife and fork and stuck the fork in the middle of a chicken finger.  Then he grabbed the end with his fingers and started to cut in between the fork and his fingers.  The fork was just hanging there wobbling around while he cut!

Showing off his swing It was the most orderly pinata attack I've ever seen

Yes, I'm shamelessly showing off my creation!

Looking way too cute while we sang to him The poor kid just can't blow out candles for his life!

NOW can we open the presents? Oh goody!  PRESENTS!

The Bucs helmet and uniform were a HUGE hit with the Finster boys. Alex was so excited about the helmet he was jumping up and down saying, "thank you, thank you, thank you!"

The cutest blocker you'll ever see!

December 11, 2002

After two agonizing days without a web page or email, we're finally back up and running.  I'm trying very hard to curtail my nasty thoughts towards the company who inadvertently canceled us!

Since Patch has had such a rough year with his asthma and allergies, we begrudgingly decided to get an artificial Christmas tree this year.  I must admit, though, that the one we got is gorgeous!  Of course, the kids thought the box was MUCH more exciting than the tree itself!

POP goes the Alex! Alex is IN the box and Patch was pushing and rolling him around.  Then they switched places.

December 12, 2002

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The first ornaments Merry Christmas!!!!

December 13, 2002

Tonight was Gingerbread Nights at the preschool.  The entire family goes and makes a gingerbread house together.  Alex has been particularly excited to head back to his old school for a visit.  Included in the bag of goodies for the gingerbread house is an ice cream cone, which is usually used to make a Christmas tree in the yard of your house.  But Alex decided to put it on the roof as a steeple, so we made a gingerbread church!

Can't you just gobble him up?! Everybody loves Cheryl, the school director.

Telling Santa what they want for Christmas Showing off their creation

December 14, 2002

The four of us went to see the Nutcracker tonight.  It was a local dance company's production and was wonderful.  It started at 7:30, so it ran pretty late for the boys.  Patch was ready to go home well before it was over, but Alex loved every minute of it!  He followed the meaning of the show and was impressed with the dancers and asking me what instruments were making different sounds in the music - he just soaked it all in.  At one point, he said to me, "I don't think I'd be brave enough to get up there and dance in front of all of these people."  I was impressed that he recognized how tough that could be.

Then there were Patch and Mark.  Patch started to get bored about half way through.  Leave it to Mark to make it entertaining for him.  They were pretending that the dancers were different things, like ducks or football players.  Right about then all of the dancers put their arms above their heads:   Touchdown!  And then there was the ballerina being spun by the male dancer.  Mark told Patch that they were drilling a hole in the stage.  Right about the time that Mark was stating with mock agitation that he'd better pick her up before the hole goes all the way through, he picked her up.  Patch loved it!

December 18, 2002

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  Tis the season to be busy!!  I wore a path between the schools today.  I dropped Patch off, then ran to the store to get the teacher a gift from his class (I'm room mom), then went back to school for his class Christmas party, then drove to the elementary school to do my usual work in the art class, then back to the preschool to pick up patch, then back home just in time to meet Alex at the bus.  Whew!  I am soooooo in love with all of the kids in my boys' classes.  I walked into the art classroom today, all frazzled, and four kids ran up and gave me hugs.  That makes all of the craziness worth it!

Alex being goofy in his art class Making a necklace out of Fruit Loops

December 19, 2002

Alex's class did a bunch of holiday crafts this morning, then had holiday snacks in the afternoon.  Of course, you couldn't keep me away!  The kids are getting more and more wild and crazy - and entertaining - as Christmas day approaches.

They made ice cream cone Christmas trees as part of their snack Everyone made a Rudolph mask

December 21, 2002

We've had quite a day.  The festivities started this afternoon when we went to the children's theater to see the play, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day."  It's a relatively small theater.  The stage is not raised, and the audience seating goes right up to the stage.  The actors run up into the audience, so it's a really neat, up close experience.  Alex loved it, Patch didn't.  I think he was a little overwhelmed and intimidated by it all.  But before we even left the theater, Alex was asking when we can come see another show.  We then went home and had an early dinner because . . . .

Santa came to our neighborhood tonight!!!!  He drove through the entire neighborhood in a horse-drawn sleigh, and a group of us rode ahead of him in a hayride singing carols and tossing candy.  Then we had a party at the end of the route where the children got to visit with Santa and have sleigh rides.  Travis, our neighbor, was Santa, and you should have seen the kids' faces when "Santa" knew their names!  Alex immediately knew who it was, but easily accepted that he was one of Santa's helpers this year.  The other kids, including Travis' own children, were completely duped!

After we came back home, Greg, our next-door neighbor, had a cousin over who had a bubble "snow" machine.  The kids were as happy as if it were really snowing!

Alex got two of his favorite people in one - Travis and Santa!

Our little carolers Alex and his friends on the sleigh ride

I think Alex and I need to move up north Patch enjoyed it, but was still a little timid

Is there an Alex under there? Still as happy as can be, yet not quite as snowy as his brother

December 22, 2002

 We spent the day doing last-minute Christmas stuff - yee haw.  It was a gorgeous evening so we roasted marshmallows over a fire in the chiminea.

Hmmmmmm - maybe I need to buy some longer skewers!

December 24, 2002

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner with my parents tonight, and then back home to transform into Mr. and Mrs. Claus after the kids were asleep.

Decorating Nana and Grandma's stepping stones

December 25, 2002

Merry Christmas!

Mom and Dad came over this morning for what is becoming our traditional Christmas breakfast.  Then it was time for presents!

Attacking his stocking presents

David sent some samples of his nature photography.
Do ya think she's a proud mother? We finally have true, bonafide art work for our walls!  And it's a David Bradley original!

Santa brought a Razor Scream Machine for the boys!!
Patch had a little trouble getting started

Alex immediately figured out how to do a spine out He could barely reach the pedals, but that certainly didn't stop him!

Then we packed up and headed to the River for Christmas with Nana and Papa,  John, K.C., Stacy, Preston and Danielle.
Of course, Preston loved the boxes! Isn't she adorable!

December 26, 2002

The cousins played wonderfully together the entire visit.  It made me think back on all of my wonderful visits with my cousins. 

Our three amigos She is truly a happy baby - even her Uncle Mark can make her smile!  ;-)

Mark and I went to the mall, and when we saw the bungee jumps and climbing wall, we went right back to the house and picked up the kids.  They were true to their personalities:  Alex carefully planned his route up the wall, and Patch just plowed up until he fell and rode the rope back down.
Alex climbed about 15 feet or so Patch made it up about 10 feet

Now this is more up Patrick's alley - reckless abandon! He did back flip after back flip after back flip!

Bedtime at the River
I'm not too sure who's happier! Boudreaux sure picked himself a nice pillow!

December 27, 2002

We had one last day of fun before heading back home.

Preston is trying to make his fingers go like Alex and Patrick's

The Pied Piper Roasting hot dogs over the fire for lunch

December 28, 2002

The boys went to town enjoying their Christmas gifts.  Mark and I spent the day trying to restore some small semblance of normalcy to our household!

Cute Story:  The boys were playing football out front in their new uniforms and helmets.  I came out to take a few pictures, and Patch said he wanted to go inside and brush his teeth.  They got spinning toothbrushes for Christmas, so he's been brushing his teeth every chance he gets.  I told him to play a couple more plays first so I could take some pictures, and he reluctantly agreed.  He then proceeded inside and Alex said he'd wait so they could play some more.  Patch said he didn't want to play anymore because he'd have to brush his teeth again.  Come to find out on the last tackle, he'd gotten a mouthful of dirt!  And here I am making him play more!

I think they've discovered a new favorite game Bad picture, but I wanted to capture how much they love football

December 31, 2002


We had our usual neighborhood block party for New Years Eve, with a slight modification - we had to move into the neighbor's garage when it started to downpour.  Of course, that didn't stop the festivities!  And the rain actually made the kids a bit more willing to go to bed before midnight.  ;-)

My little pyromaniacs Way too much giggling!