Thursday, December 4, 2008

Let It Snow...Please?!

Earlier this week, the weather people predicted that we were going to get some snow. I mistakenly had on the evening news when my 7 year old was in the room and she heard the word "snow". She went absolutely crazy - which in turn made the little 2 girls equally crazy. They were all running around the house cheering for the "snow" that we were "supposed to get during the night."

Guess what?

We got nothing. Nada. Not a flurry. Not a piece of ice. Just wet, cold rain.

Now, let's be honest. It's cruel to tease a child in ALABAMA with snow. I've only seen snow about 10 times in my life (excluding ski trips, etc. to places like Colorado where it's supposed to snow), so it even makes me excited. I have an ongoing promise with Mary Emma - if it snows during the night, even on a school night, and I see it, I will wake her up and we'll go outside and play.

So far, we haven't been through the torture of had the privilege of playing in the snow at 2 AM.

I think that in places like Alabama (and any other of the tropical states), the weather people should be required to refrain from mentioning snow until they see a flurry with their very own eyes. The possibility of snow should have its own code word that you don't get to know until you are an adult. If the weather people here had mentioned a possibility of...say..."hydrangeas," my kids would've never run around like they were jacked up on caffeine, and my 7 year old would've slept with her blinds closed so she didn't wake up every 3 1/2 minutes to check for snow.

So take note, weather people, snow prediction is a serious, serious business. Especially down here in Alabama. Shape up, please.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas With Kids

I can't even believe that Christmas is around the corner. Literally. Wow.

2008, you have been a fast little buggar!

And we are yet at another speed bump in the road called "How Much Is Santa Allowed To Bring For Christmas?"

Because the economy was better in the past, and because we were a lot more stupid in the past (can I get a raise of hands of those who were stupid about gift buying for their kids? Anyone?) we Santa has brought entirely too much. On several occasions, the sheer amount of new toys has brought about some twitching and abandoning new toys to play with comfortable old ones, and we have (on more that one occasion) given away toys that have only been played with once or never.

We were so stupid.

Thanks to Ye Olde Economy (which was "officially" reported to be in a recession, yeah, thanks for the update genius economists...I kinda got that on my own), and due in part to us being a little less stupid this year, we have set pretty defined limits on Santa.

I mean, he's a jolly old soul and a merry old man, but he needs BOUNDARIES, people.

This year, the kids are allowed to make their lists for Santa. Mary Emma literally sits in front of the TV and writes down every single thing that comes on every single commercial. Her list is pages long. Tait and Camille are too little to make lists, but Tait is understanding "Santa" for the first time this year. She's 3. Anyway, their lists can have 246 items on them, but Santa chooses the 5 gifts that HE thinks they would love and play with the most. Only 5. They still get to ask for stuff, but they are also still surprised on Christmas morning. They also get one gift from Spencer and I, and one gift from the other 2 sisters. That will make 7 total on Christmas morning. We can also control the budget on these gifts. Mary Emma's list contains some EXPENSIVE stuff that Santa is choosing not to bring this year.

I have to tell you about Tait's "list". She technically doesn't have a list, but she has asked for 2 things. 1. a vacuum 2. a brown baby. A "brown baby" is an African-American baby doll. Now, before any of you get all riled up, this is as innocent and non-racial as can be. A couple of months ago, the girls went to "Family Fun Day" at my dad's church (he's the pastor). They had a bunch of games and you won prizes with each game. At the end of the day, and because the girls were the pastor's grandkids, church members gave them a bunch of leftover prizes. AKA, jackpot for the kids. Most of them were little prizes like temporary tattos, pencils, but one lady gave them the last 3 baby dolls. 2 were Caucasian, 1 was African-American. Tait and Camille got the Caucasian dolls and Mary Emma got the African-American one. Tait absolutely LOVES that doll. She confiscated it from Mary Emma. You can generally find it hidden under the covers in her bed. She calls it "Mary Emma's Brown Baby". Now, remember, she's 3, knows NOTHING about race, and is learning her colors. To her, it's a brown baby and she adores it. So she has asked Santa for her own Brown Baby. The vacuum? No idea where that came from. But every store around here is sold out of play vacuums. Wonderful.

As for grandparents. Lord have mercy. Their only "requirement" is to not overshadow Santa. And for my mom, no toys that require additional rooms to be built onto the house. And I'm not even kidding. Love ya, mom.

I'm curious as to how you handle Christmas. Do you limit Santa or is it a free-for-all? Do you spend equal amounts on each kid? I have a hard time with that because older kids obviously have more expensive toys. I'm sure they'll get to an age where I can spend equal amounts on each of them, but I'm not there yet.

Let me know what you do - I'm interested.

And much less stupid. :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

I Need Africa: Part 2


I talked a little last week about Mocha Club's campaign. Well, today is Dec 1 and you can find out how you can help.....

Keep reading.....

Barrett, the brain/super amazing guy behind Mocha Club wrote this....

When I think of Africa, the following images immediately come to mind: Starvation. AIDS. Child soldiers. Genocide. Sex slaves. Orphans. From there, my thoughts naturally turn to how I can help, how I can make a difference. “I am needed here,” I think. “They have so little, and I have so much.” It’s true, there are great tragedies playing out in Africa everyday. There is often a level of suffering here that is unimaginable until you have seen it, and even then it is difficult to believe. But what is even harder is reconciling the challenges that many Africans face with the joy I see in the people. It’s a joy that comes from somewhere I cannot fathom, not within the framework that has been my life to this day. [read more]

Watch this "I Need Africa" video....

Check it out. Think about it. Pray about it. Is it something you want to be onboard with?

I do.