Saturday, November 29, 2008

'Tis the Season

Seeing Santa is a wonderful tradition, and everyone seems to do that--as evidenced by the lines at every mall and store that Santa frequents. But it's kinda like a bowl-game. It takes a lot of building up.

Check out the following vocabulary to help explain the rules of visiting Santa:

Football = child who must visit Santa*
End Zone = Santa's lap
Runningbacks = parental units who overcome great adversity while attempting to carry and deposit the ball into the End Zone
TouchDown = a successful visit with the man in the red suit
Coach = the photographer, who consistently yells commands, demanding the football's attention, while simultaneously yelling commands to the Tackles
Tackle = photographer's assistant, whose job it is to get the football's attention, and also tackle said child before he runs into the crowded mall, screaming and crying better than a victim in a horror flick

Do you need a quiz? Or are you comfortable enough with the terminology to proceed with the full explanation? If needed, consult the above glossary at any time during the explanation.
*Note: many Runningbacks play with multiple Footballs; however, the below demonstration only includes one football. Be creative in adjusting the following prep-steps for your personal needs.

Preparation includes a lot of talking and analyzing (well, a 2-year-old doesn't really understand X's and O's on the blackboard, but he can read stories to help him better understand).

Watching videos of successful games is very helpful.

And lastly, a key prep for the big game is getting into the other team's head. You have to think like they think. What will their reactions be? What is their default move? And so we practiced with John, encouraging him not only to say what Santa says, but also to assume the jolly, low tone of voice.
All of this to prevent a screaming child running away from the camera, the parents, and most especially the man in the red suit. It helps if Santa is enticing the child with said child's most precious lovey (a.k.a. BeBe). Hey, it's not a foul, or even a recruiting violation. The MSVA (Mall Santa Visitation Association) has no rules against such behavior.

Finally, a win. The end result is worth all of the preparation.

Note: prior wins, especially a single win, do not guarantee future wins. It is essential to continue training and preparation for the full football season (mid-November through Christmas).

I hope the above ideas help all of you other Runningbacks in your quest for a Touchdown. Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sucked in

Any one else struggle with addiction? And I'm not necessarily talking about drugs and alcohol. Addictions can range from buying a new pair of shoes every other week to eating chocolate everyday to... a good book. Oh yes, I am here to stand up and say, "My name is Alli, and I'm addicted to the Twilight series."

But, I can't go any further in the "steps." Call it denial, call it whatever you want, but I completely blame my friend Meredith for my problems. If not for her, I would not have been up past midnight last night. And I would not have stayed in bed until (gasp) 10:45 this morning. If you don't want to be temporarily stricken with laziness, then DO NOT READ START THIS SERIES. I'm not sure if it's the fun of going back to the high school days, or if it's related to my fear/fascination with vampire stories, but this read is gooooooooood. Now, how am I gonna convince Rob to take me to the movie? Meredith, want to go again?

PS- In honor of President Bush's recent pardons, I am going to pardon Meredith for any part she had in my addiction. I will also place part of the blame on my friend, Katelyn, who had told me how good the series was long ago. And lastly, Sam's deserves to be blamed for having the first book on sale for $4.88. Thank you Meredith, Katelyn, and Sam's for a nice diversion.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dear Jesus....

Rob usually says prayers with John when he's home. But when he's out of town, it's my job. So, after reading The Little Red Caboose (twice), this is how it went down:
A: So, who do you want to pray for tonight?
J: Daddy
A: Who else?
J: Mommy
A: Ok, let's pray. Clasp your hands... Dear Jesus
J: Dear Jsss
A: Thank you for Daddy
J: Danke Daddy
A: Keep him safe.
J: Safe
A: Thank you for Mommy
J: Danke Mommy

And here is where I paused, to see what would happen. I've never done this before, but maybe I should have because John continued on his own!

J: Danke Mema
Danke Biddy
Danke Kacky
Danke hut-two-tree!

Haha! I just about rolled in the floor. But instead, I prompted our ending "I love you Jesus, Amen." And he copied me.

I know this requires an explanation. See, we ate dinner at my grandparents' tonight. At one point, John marched around the house, after recruiting Mema and Kacky to join his ranks. This is a scene from Jungle Book that we replay all the time--at home, in Wal-mart, and even in the library. John becomes Colonel Hathi, who yells "Hup-Two-Three-Four" and then later "Haaaaaalt!!!" And the recruits are always expected to march along, singing "hup-2-3-4" until... John yells "Halt" and everyone crashes into one another.

We should all be thankful for the little things, for the fun times. So, tonight, thank you Jesus for "hup-two-three," thank you for little ones' imaginations, and thank you for endless entertainment. Amen.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Caught in the Act

Have you ever gone to the fridge to get the quintessential ingredient for a cheeseburger (that would be cheese, for those who may not be fans...) to find that there is none? But you knew there should be some there. You just bought some recently. But... none.

Crime: Cheese theft

Alleged criminal: John Robert DeArman

Evidence (as entered to the Family Court):

Ruling of the Jury: Not guilty (gasp) since criminal intended to cook for the rest of the family.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween all summed up

This is going to be a long one. I'm including everything we've done all week, from the Pumpkin Patch to fall festivals (we visited 3) to Halloween night, so there will be lots of pics.

Sunday night (26th), we went to the Crosspoint fall festival. This is the church we've visited for 2 weeks now. They put on a fabulous show, complete with praise band, lots of food, lots of games, and 4 or 5 inflatable for ages 5 and under (there were more for the bigger kids in a different location). Here's a shot of my big kid and little kid going through one of the bouncies:

Monday, Rob took off so we could take a trip to the Pumpkin Patch. Time ran away from us, and the month was almost over, but I refused to miss this tradition that we started last year. Rob was overloaded with vacation anyway, and I love to force relaxation on him :) We went to Hayden, and it turns out that almost everything is free for 2 and under. So, we did it all. First, we visited the petting zoo and then let John ride a pony (because he wouldn't let us do anything else). Then, we took a hayride out to the patch, where John picked out his own personal pumpkin in addition to our big one. Then, John got to bounce in the inflatables for a while (yes, he loves to bounce). Then, the ponies again, and finally a choo-choo ride. Whew! we were all tired after that busy day.

John loves horses, and I wish we had a ranch so he could ride and be around them more often! Maybe lessons are in his future :)

John loves bouncies. He also loves for his parents to enjoy the bouncies. He'll do it alone, but it's much more fun when we slide too. (Obviously, we don't enjoy it at all.)

Wednesday night, we were heading out to get a treat, and we spotted another festival. It was cold, and I felt under the weather, so the camera and I stayed home while Rob took John. I did get 1 snap of John's Roll Tide face-paint. Not sure whether this was Rob's idea or John's. Probably a bit of both.

Just in case anyone thinks it's mooching to hit up a random festival... in our defense, we did try out this church one Sunday. And it's a block from our condo. Yeah, I know those are weak excuses.
Thursday, John had a "Book Character Dress-up" party at his school, Noah's Park. In this pic, John is pretending to enjoy the party food with his fellow "book characters," while they are really waiting for the cupcakes. He had a special "first"-experience while at the party, but that is for another blog, since this one is getting rather long.
Friday night, I took John next door for Trick-or-Treating, and then he went to DeDe's neighborhood with his Daddy (while Mommy got a night out--heehee!). From what I've heard, my child welcomed himself into every house he stopped at. I guess I need to work on manners!

Superman (a.k.a. John) and Batman (a.k.a. Matthew) sized one another up. Superman accepted Batman as a fellow superhero, but Batman wasn't so sure the duo could ever fight crime together. Yes, I know there is a snake in the picture (it went Trick-or-Treating with John). I'm not really sure why John is obsessed with snakes. Here, he seems to like them. But, we actually have to skip the Creation story in his Bible because he flips out over the snake, afraid he will bite Adam and Eve. I want to explain that the damage the snake did is worse than a snake-bite, but I think that's a bit over his head.

Here he is peeking in one of the doors. Those manners! Where is his Mama and what is she teaching him? I'm sure he was thinking, "If no one is home, then let's get on to the next candy-giver!" Not that he really cares about it, because he's only eaten a couple of nerds and half of a Reese's cup. So... Rob and I are getting fat!

Finally, Saturday, I took John to yet another festival at Springville Road Church (DeDe's and Pop's church). Here, he enjoyed more popcorn, and more bouncies. We didn't find out until almost the end that there was a little toddler room inside the church for little-people games.

John didn't stick around long, but he took time to share some Smarties with Aiden Johnson. By this, I mean he "took" the Smarties from Aiden, who was nice enough to share. Again, MANNERS! At least Heather taught her son to share.

Before we left the little room, he took a few seconds to milk a cow. Where did my child learn that?!?

Even though there was a lot of other entertainment at the festival, John's favorite thing was the jungle gym that is there year-round. Who says it's expensive to entertain a child? Give him something to climb and hang from, and he's happy.
Whew! Thanks for hanging in there for the super-long post. But, hey, this was more efficient than 4 different posts!