Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Disconcerting Things My Kids Say

I was doing some laundry in our basement when Scott poked his head down the stairwell and said, "Mom, I have a question for you. Have you written your will yet?".
I told him that yes, I did have a will and he scurried away hollering excitedly, "Bekah! She HAS already written it!"

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Vacation Schedule

After spending our Most Wonderful Day of the Year at home together, the rest of vacation has quite a lot of comings and goings for us.

Today: Bekah to Grandma Linda's, Alarik's friend Gage over for a play day, Corrine picked up by Jesse after work for a double-header sleepover with Bekah
Wednesday: Mom to work, Alarik to Grandma Linda's, Bekah, Scott & Corrine have the run of the house for the day, then Scott to a movie with Dalton's family
Thursday: Scott to Grandma Linda's, Corrine heads home, evening get together with the Hersh family
Friday:  No plans, no comings, no goings! Maybe we'll get out spearing.
Saturday: Gross family Christmas in Northome, some sort of New Year's Eve celebrating in the evening
Sunday: church, no plans otherwise
Monday: No plans

It's a good thing these are all fun and fantastic plans, otherwise it would be daunting. Alarik has been asking for months when he will get to have a friend over. Scott has friends over often because it's convenient with Caden R. right next door and Dalton able to come over after school anytime. We try pretty hard to get plans made with Corinne when there is a school break or an open weekend. That is getting harder as the girls get older but it's still important to them and their friendship is such a positive thing that we are willing to go out of our way to make sure they get time together.  Christmas break was the perfect time to see if Gage could come over for a day. Alarik's been missing him since school started and Gage went to Kindergarten.  The boy to girl ratio is rather boy-heavy today with Bekah gone and Gage here, but I'm trying to block out the crazy noise and running and fake fighting and just let them enjoy the boy time. 
Grandma Linda had called yesterday to see when the kids might want to come spend some time with her. They wanted to split up and go on separate days. Hopefully that's not more company than Grandma bargained for!

My day at work tomorrow is going to be full but I'm hoping to crank out payroll and water bills so I don't have to go back until next week when the kids start school again.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Most Wonderful Day of the Year

Bekah and I are both big fans of the day after Christmas. And it fits the definition of Alarik's coveted "free day off". He asks me every morning if that day is a "free day off", meaning no work, school or daycare.  This morning the answer was YES!  I try to do the minimal amount of chores possible, though I can't really relax unless at least the dishes are washed and the countertops are cleaned off.  But really we have more important things to do.

There are new games to play,

new toys to imagine with,

new PJs to cozy up in and new books to read,

new blankets to cuddle up under and new movies to watch.
Yes, the pressures of the day-after-Christmas schedule around here are heavy, but we're up to the challenge! 😏

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Chistmas Day

Christmas is...

...mixing up biscuits for breakfast in my new Kitchen-Aid mixer!
...little boys with new watches updating me on the time every couple of minutes (or even more often - Scott's watch shows the seconds too and he just told me, "Oh, it's seven seconds after 10:01.  Oh, it's ten now!")
...Jesse opening "War and Peace" and reading on the couch for the next hour.
...Bekah gathering and organizing all her gifts into a neat pile immediately after opening everything.
...listening to rain on the roof after making it back from Remer - what a crazy winter storm!

Here is Scott looking puzzled and disappointed as he zones in on Morgan's Pupperoni treats and fails to notice his own Santa present.
 And there he finally saw the Muck boots and watch from Santa...whew!  😃
Muck boots for both of the big kids.
 Alarik's family of Christmas giraffes grows by one thanks to Santa. This one's name is "Giraffe" to go with "Gigi" and "Jaja".  We were thinking they would be a family of three but Alarik has already decided they are brothers and is thinking of two more names "for when I get their mom and dad".  😊
 Stocking time: here are some of their favorite things from their socks.

 Harry Potter loot for Bekah from her brothers.

Buck knives from mom and dad. He deemed it the Christmas of "Muck and Buck".

Jesse made gravy to go with the biscuits I had made and we enjoyed breakfast and coffee while the kids played with all their new stuff. We started what I hope is a new tradition of having It's A Wonderful Life playing in the background while we enjoyed the slow pace of the morning. That slow pace is one of the best things about the scaled-back Christmas we've been working toward over the last couple of years.

After breakfast we braved the already icy roads to head to the annual Christmas meal and gathering at Great Grandma Helen's in Remer.  The kids table was all set up in Grandma's beauty shop just off the kitchen and the meal was ready to serve.

A round of present opening was followed by a round of the dice game.

Scott had his eye on these tins of popcorn because they made a handy chair as well as a delicious prize. He only ended up with one of them but he had them both at one point.

All the Christmas excitement made for a long winter's nap on the ride home for Alarik. He didn't even wake up when we stopped for gas in Deer River.
We made it home before the rain/ice/slush storm had started in earnest and stayed cozied up for the night in front of The BFG, Alarik's other gift from Santa.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

Last night was Storlie family Christmas at the Morse Town Hall.  We went to Grandpa Tom and Great Grandma Lorraine's afterwards for a few more presents and visiting.  We managed to get a photo of Grandpa Tom with all five of his grandkids.

Christmas Eve was a very laid back day around here.  I attempted to nap more than once but never managed it.  There were too many board games to play and meals/snacks to be eaten.  I spent an hour in the bow stand. I intended to spend two but it was just too cold up there in the breeze. I froze out after the first hour.

It's tradition to open one gift on Christmas Eve. It's usually a new pair of PJs for everyone, but this year I didn't do that because the boys rarely wear PJs.  So this year, inspired by Bekah's intense desire to get two pet donkeys, the gift was a book, "The Christmas Donkey" and a donkey ornament for the tree.

Neither Jesse or I had even though about a dinner plan and the kids were hungry after we read their new book. Scott stepped up and grilled up some cheese sandwiches for us all.
 What a guy!
We went to the candlelight service at church this evening, laid out cookies for Santa, and now the kids are all in bed.  Jesse and I are just about ready to make the last of the preparations for morning and then we'll hit the hay too.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Bring on Christmas Vacation!

Yesterday was the last day of school before Christmas vacation. It wasn't a very school-like day, especially for Bekah's class who got to spend the afternoon at the GR Middle School pool after having a game party in their classroom in the morning.

 Last night we hosted a Gross family dinner so that Matt would have a chance to see us since he can't stay for Gross family Christmas on Dec 31st. Everyone was there except Nicolle, Josh and Conor.

Today has been a lazy, hanging around the house day. The boys pulled the Zoobs out and have been having a great time with them again, creating armor, crowns and weapons.

Alarik received a paint set and paper from Auntie Stephie's daycare. Though he's not usually much for drawing, he is LOVING this gift and is well on his way to filling up that paper pad already!

I took today through January 2nd off to spend at home with the kids. I will have to go in to work one day next week to do payroll and water bills, but other than that, I plan to be truly on vacation.  Jesse has today through Monday off.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Alarik and Jesse were having great fun with the boys' stuffed deer mount.

Alarik decided to pretend it was a reindeer so he could play Santa Clause. He hopped in his green laundry basket sleigh and was off to deliver presents.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The 5-year Old's Vocabulary

Alarik has just the best vocabulary for a 5-year old! He is always using the more complex word to describe what he is talking about.

Recently when the remote control wasn't working for him at my mom's house he said, "Grandma, this thing is not responding!"

He jammed his pinky roughhousing a few days ago and informed me that his finger was "injured".

When I had to have a talk with him about behavior at daycare and said I was sure he could do better the next day he quickly said, "But by tomorrow I probably won't remember this discussion."

We've had some mice in the house lately and one was in the dog food bin a week or so ago. When I sent Alarik down to fill the dog's bowl this morning he said, "If there's a mouse in there I'll probably come scattering up without the dog food."

And while adding an ornament to the Christmas tree that he had just made he asked, "Could you please hang my ornament somewhere more noticeable?"

He says "vehicle" instead of "car" or "truck" and he almost always says "as well" instead of "too".

Love it all!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Church Christmas Program

Bekah was a sock-footed angel in the annual Christmas program at church yesterday. A sock-footed angel with mis-matched socks, of course.

 Alarik was Joseph and Scott was a shepherd.  He used the ol' classic line from Linus, "Every year it's the same thing. I'm always a shepherd."

Monday, December 12, 2016

Deer in the Garden

I should still be bow hunting. There have been deer in the yard a few evenings and even in broad daylight yesterday. We didn't get the beets out of the garden this fall and they are loving digging them up.

Check out the Kool-Aid mouth on this girl:

There was a buck among them the first night they came into the garden. You'd think I would be super motivated to get out there after seeing him, but that's not the case. A big part of the reason I wanted to get into bow hunting is so I could hunt when it's warm and nice out and stay in the house during these cold, windy, winter days.  So I'll just enjoy watching them from my window for now, let that buck get another year bigger and try to find him next fall!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Trimming the Tree

Our Christmas tree is up!

It was Alarik's turn to put the star on top. I try to get a picture of this part of the process every year if for no other reason than to avoid a fight about whose turn it is!