Friday, December 26, 2008

Vacation entertainment

We have been fully enjoying winter break here in Fitzville, especially with the daily entertainment provided by our cast of characters.

I wasn't sure who to deem the most insane with this one... Fitz for snowblowing a 15 foot mountain of snow in our backyard...

Or Charlie for deciding to snowboard off it... Even with the melting the past couple of days, it was awfully high and steep.

And speaking of Charlie, we are all very aware of Charlie's obsession interest in Australia... he is planning to move there when he is 18. So his list for Santa this year didn't surprise us... same country, different theme. Last year was the outback, this year it's Rugby, Australia World Cup style.

And last but not least, this is that you get when you ask the youngest member of Fitzville to set the table...  (and yes, that is Charlie in the background gearing up for yet another cartwheel, maybe off the dining room table this time.) 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Do we know it's Christmas?

I have always liked the song "Do They Know it's Christmas", but for some reason it always put me a little on edge as well. I guess I had always thought that was the intention of the song... to make us think, to make us feel a little guilty for all our excesses here in the States. But yesterday, as I drove to the mall to finish up my shopping, I sat and listened to the song again. I realized exactly what it is that has bothered me all along. It's that one line... the title of the song. "Do they know it's Christmas?"

I get the idea of the song. It was a wonderful project and an incredibly successful fundraiser for a worthy cause. But how presumptuous of anyone to question whether someone knows it's Christmas just because they live in a third world country. How sad it is that we have all come to believe that we "know" Christmas because of our trees and parties and eggnog and our expensive gifts. 

Pipo arrived just a week before Christmas 3 years ago, and I know it was overwhelming for him. With the language barrier back then, it was impossible for him to tell us exactly what he was feeling, but I would love to have gotten inside his head. I am pretty sure he thought we were all nuts with the tree inside our house, and lights hanging on the outside, and the fat guy in the red suit everywhere. But the one thing he definitely knew, and knew with a faith that humbled me, was that Christmas was the birthday of Jesus.  

In the 3 years since, that faith has come through many times. This is a boy who has lived the life of all those people 'Bandaid' was trying to save back in the 80's. He has seen the devastation of Aids firsthand, he has gone without meals, he has gone without water. But he never was without faith, without God.  He had never seen a Christmas tree, or tasted eggnog, but you can bet he knew what Christmas was about, and without any English at all, he let us know that he knew.

As I sat in traffic yesterday, I wondered what someone from a third world country would be thinking if they had a glimpse of America these last few days. They would see the haggard people, standing in long lines, bleary eyed and sucking down luke warm coffee while trying to buy that last minute gift. And I am pretty sure I know what they would be thinking... they would look at us Americans and think "Do they know it's Christmas?"

Saturday, December 20, 2008


A foot of snow out there, and it's still coming down hard this morning. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... finally. 

The kids were outside pretty much all afternoon, and then at a snowfort building party at a friend's last night. We need to build an addition to put wet snowthings to dry.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

3 years tonight

Tonight we celebrated Pipo's 3 year anniversary.  It's amazing to me how quickly it's gone by, and how much he has grown and changed in 3 years. That first night, Fitz had to carry him upstairs to bed, because he was to weak to climb the stairs. This Friday, he will compete in his first wrestling match. (Well... first 'real' one, on a team... as opposed to the frequent matches in our basement between brothers!) It's hard to believe this strong, confident boy was that same weak, sick little thing that came into our lives 3 years ago.

Pipo requested Korean food tonight, so Fitz very happily took him out while we made a cake for him.

Good thing he was full of korean food... he decided to share the cake with us!
This last shot is just because. I can't believe how old he is looking.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gotta love this kid

I was out with just Tommy today for an audiology exam. It was a long test, and he was very patient, so on the way out I bought him a pack of gum. Driving home in dark van, I reached my hand back and asked if I could have some. "Sure," he replied sweetly, as I felt a wet glob being smeared across my fingers, "you can have half of mine!"

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas card 2008

So the cards have been sent, and the feedback is starting to roll in... this year's card is a hit.  I had posted earlier that I was feeling under pressure this year to come up with a good one.  The new header picture is the front of our card. It was one of my easiest pictures... no worrying about red eye, or people blinking, or even everyone looking at the camera and smiling. They were a bit sillier doing this shoot, but it just made it that much more fun...which led to the inside picture...

Peace Out!

Friday, December 5, 2008

He's 6

It's hard for me to believe that this...

Is now this...

You honestly couldn't ask for a sweeter kid. This morning, Charlie came downstairs and said "Happy Birthday Tommy!" Tommy very sweetly replied "happy birthday to you too."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cartwheel Boy

I have mentioned before that Charlie puts the capital H in adHd. He has always taken every physical outlet to a whole new extreme. His 'thing' for the past few months has been cartwheels. He does cartwheels everywhere. Cartwheels in the hallway, in the grocery store, on the sidewalk, in the middle of a soccer game... I will even throw in some pictures of Charlie doing cartwheels in the kitchen. Recently, Fitz and I met with a psychologist who is doing some testing on Charlie. She asked about his activity level, and his impulsivity. We mentioned the cartwheels to her. Later that afternoon, I stopped by her office to drop off some paperwork. I had 4 of the kids with me, Charlie included. Yep... right in the waiting area, as I am speaking with the psychologist... a cartwheel. At least it was a good example for her.

But lately, the cartwheels seem to have taken a new toll. I bought Charlie some new sneakers recently. By recently, I mean a week and a half ago. The other day I noticed some stitching coming undone. These were good New Balance sneakers, so I wasn't happy to see them falling apart after just a week and a half. So the next day I brought Charlie and his new shoes down to the shoestore. The very nice shoe man, who has been working at our small town store for decades, looked at the shoes and told me that Charlie has set a new record. If it was just the stitching coming undone, we could call it a defect. But this boy had worn much of the tread off of the shoes in several different places. In the words of the shoe guy "It's like he's some kind of machine!"

Laugh if you want... you are not the one buying shoes for this kid.