The Christmas Letter that went astray

Each Christmas I include in our Christmas cards a compilation of things the kids have said and done that made me laugh.  I used to keep a journal of these occurrences, but since discovering Facebook I find it easier to publish them as they happen.  However, since many of my friends and relations don’t subscribe to Facebook, and since I actually have people asking me to keep them on my mailing list so that they can receive the next installation, I continue to include a yearly summary with our Christmas letter.

Last year, due to bad health, the Christmas cards never quite made it to the mailbox, which leaves me with a backlog of 2 years’ worth of CTTSD’s. Not wanting to overwhelm my friends and relations with overweight envelopes in their Christmas mail (and more to the point, not wanting to pay the postage on them), I have decided to publish the 2011 CTTSD here.

2011 Cute Things They Say and Do

Dec. 14, 2010 – While picking Emily up from her class at Hope Chapel today, I allowed Erin and Ryan to take the elevator down one floor while I took the stairs. I waited at the bottom for them to arrive, and when the doors opened, I found Ryan lying on the floor of the elevator as if he were dead, with Erin draped over the top of him.

Dec. 16 -“You know what I want to do in my life?” asked Ryan this morning, well before 8 a.m. “I want to be part of a protest.” I asked him what he wanted to protest, but he didn’t really have a preference. He did want me to get off the computer so he could get online and look for one that stuck his fancy.

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Dec. 24 – Emily let Ian get on the computer “for a minute or two,” saying he was a person of his word. He looked at me with an evil grin and said, “Well, I’m a person who says words.”

Jan. 1, 2011 – Today Erin learned that reheating a boiled egg (still in the shell) in the microwave is not such a good idea.

Jan. 6 – Ryan is dressed for Park Day, backpack and all. He has in his backpack a strategic plan for the usual Park Day 5-to-10-year-old-boy war, complete with diagram (not to scale). Which is fine, but Park Day starts in 28 hours.

Jan. 25 – Ryan claims not to care about his “grammarship,” which is apparently true, because he just accused me of having “dischristianlyness.”

Jan. 29 – Erin just asked for a playdate with her friend Jennai so that they can have a planning session for April Fool’s Day.

Feb. 3 – At 10 a.m. this morning I told Ryan we were going over to play with the Wilsons after lunch. “YAY!” he replied. “Let’s have lunch now!”

Feb. 16 – I told Ryan to write out this week’s Bible memory verse. He just proudly displayed to me a blank piece of paper. He wrote it in invisible ink, which can only be read under a black light.

March 8 – The hard part about blow-drying the hair of a 9 year old boy is that it’s a moving target. As long as you block the door to the bathroom, however, it is an achievable task.

March 28 – I discovered today that Google maps has some incredible new satellite shots of our neighborhood. Unfortunately, they took the photos last summer during the short period of time that our pool was a lively shade of green.

March 30Alan: (rushing into the room and grabbing the camera) You have GOT to see this sunset!  Me: (fully absorbed in reading something) Really? Where is it?

Apr. 6 – When one is constantly interrupted from the task at hand by demands from one after another of the offspring, it is amazing how quickly the answer degenerates from a polite “Just a sec, I have to flip the laundry” to “Leave me alone! I’m doing the flipping laundry!”

Apr. 7 – Ryan wants to write fortunes for a fortune cookie manufacturer when he grows up. He has already composed his first fortune: “You are about to eat a cookie.”

Apr. 20 – I was expecting Ian home any minute from his college class when there was a knock at the door. I was in the middle of trying to read something and didn’t want to have to fight with Ian for the computer, so I jumped out of my chair, opened the door and sat back down in the chair before he could get to it. He said “Hi” and went to his room. I said “Hi” and kept reading. Then he came back out of the bedroom and said, “You do know I’m not Ian, right?” It was Lije, Ian’s friend from across the street.

Apr. 24 – Today we packed the kids into the van to make the short trek to Grammie’s house for Easter Dinner… four kids, one up since 4:30 a.m., two adults, both up since 4:30 a.m. It was a lot of “Oh I forgot something” and “Where is so-and-so?” After a good 15 minutes of this, we finally got everything we needed to bring packed in the van and everyone seated and buckled, drove around the corner, and just as we got up to speed on the main road., Emily let out a startled yelp. We turned to see neighbor Lije’s head poking up from the cargo area at the back of the van. Nothing like a 19-year-old stowaway to liven up the day.

Apr. 30 – Erin wants to know how we’re supposed to use the salad dressing when it has a sticker on it that says “Keep refrigerated at ALL times.”

May 3– Ryan just asked me to explain the fifth dimension. I must have had a deer-in-the-headlights look because he sighed and asked me if I even knew what the fifth dimension was. I smiled and said, “Of course. It’s a band from the 70s.” He’s now muttering something about calling his dad.

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May 12 – Emily is so much fun to talk to when she’s distracted. Tonight we were talking about the first names of the brothers who are our chiropractors, Vicken and Sevag, and she asked me, “OH! Are they imported?”

May 21 – Emily got a “new” used iPod, which needed to be formatted, so Ian and Lije, our local  iPod experts, stepped in and offered to help. They took it to Lije’s house for an hour or so and came back with a fully-working iPod. They had even stocked it with some of Emily’s favorite songs. She was so grateful… until the next day when she listened to it and discovered that faintly discernible in the background of one of her favorite songs, a voice said over and over, “Give Ian all of your money.”

May 21 – Waiting out by the car for Alan to come out of the house, Ryan turned to me and exclaimed, “What’s taking Dad so long?” “I don’t know,” I replied, and he rolled his eyes and said, “He must get it from your side of the family.”

June 8 – At a party tonight, Emily was telling someone that she sometimes babysits her younger brother and sister, when Ryan interrupted and said, “Yeah, she used to burn off our hair. This? (gestures to his mop of hair) It’s not real.”

June 14 – Ryan was ecstatic that he won the race from the van to the front door, until he looked down and realized that his pants had come unbuttoned and were lying in a heap around his ankles while he did his victory dance.

July 3 – To celebrate the filling of the pool, I bought two pool flotation devices called “Sit ‘n Float,” which come complete with cupholders. Since only one person at a time can use each device, Ryan suggested we change the “F” in the name to a “G.”

July 5 – Ryan sidled up to me and stood very close, so I turned to look at him. He quickly wrapped his arms around me and said, “Look! I caught a Mommy!”

Leo Carillo Camping 2011 (365)

July 8 – Erin just asked me to keep an eye on the pot of water she was boiling, since she had to go sweep the porch, and then instructed me sternly on the proper way to drop the eggs into the water so they don’t crack.

July 12 – I reminded the kids that they each have to wash their plate after dinner, just as Emily was putting hers on the counter. Without a moment’s hesitation she whisked her plate off the counter and held it down for the dog to lick clean.

July 29 – Erin made an omelet to share with me this morning, but apparently had a hard time getting it out of the pan. She came out of the kitchen with two plates and asked, “Would you like Fail-On-A-Plate or Double-Fail-On-A-Plate?”

July 29– I just remembered that one day last week, Ian walked past me saying “Never try to slash a full can of Pepsi in half with a sword,” and I never really got the back story on that.

Aug. 4 – Early morning musing from Ryan: Why does the fabric of time have to be FABRIC? Why can’t it be a big red ball?

Aug. 10Emily, while eating chocolate: “Do you know who Ghirardelli was? She was a princess who rode naked through the town.”

Me: Um… that was Lady Godiva, Emily.

Emily: Oh. Sorry. Wrong chocolate.

Aug. 12 – Ryan says that the smartest thing to do, if you can turn invisible, is to do it near a volcano. That way, if those looking for you turn on their infrared goggles, they won’t be able to find you.

280 fix red eye

Aug. 21 – A few minutes ago, Ryan demonstrated how high his new super ball can bounce, but failed to notice that the ceiling fan was on. It was quite a ride. He’s still talking about it.

Aug. 31 – Ryan asked, “What’s better, a pirate or a ninja?” Then he answered, “A ninja, of course, because pirates don’t brush their teeth.”

Sept. 8 – I got a phone call this morning at 7:15. It was Alan. He was stranded in the bathroom, dripping wet, having noticed that there were no towels only after he got out of the shower.  At least he had his cell phone with him.

Sept. 15– Noises from the kitchen: Bang-bang-bang-bang-bang. Pause. SPLAT/CRUNCH. Silence. Then Erin calls out, “It’s not really a big deal.”

Sept. 29 – I’m considering getting Ian a t-shirt that says “Mom, I need a new pair of jeans.” Seems it would save time.

Oct. 18 – How is a mother supposed to diagnose her child’s illness when the symptoms are given as follows: (Emily) “It feels like some construction guy had some extra insulation but he didn’t want to pollute with it, so he came into class and stuck a hose in my ear and filled my head up with it. And then someone else shoved some hot coals up there, and then there are rocks in my stomach. And I don’t really think that insulation and hot coals are meant to occupy the same space.”

Oct. 23 – The dryer signal is beeping, and I’m ignoring it, having perfected that art years ago, so Ryan is frantically calling my attention to it. “Mom, the dryer is beeping! In fact, it must be so mad it’s cussing and it’s getting beeped out!”

Oct. 28ME, ranting: WHERE is the lid to my soup pot? I can’t find it anywhere! How do you lose an entire pot lid?  Emily: I don’t know, but I’d say it’s easier than losing half a pot lid.

Nov. 10 – Life at the Schmidts: Emily and Ryan are arguing in English accents about the location of the mayonnaise, Erin is yelping like a puppy while walking around the house finger-knitting, Mom is singing “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” loudly, to prove to Emily that it’s one of the catchiest tunes ever written despite the campy lyrics. Ian is lying in bed with the pillow clamped over his head, moaning “I hate them. I hate them all!”

Dec. 2 – Correcting Emily’s Biology test, I came across this note at the end of a very involved answer to a question about chromosomes and alleles: “Mom, if this makes no sense to you whatsoever, don’t worry. I got it right.” … yeah, that looks legit. Moving on to the next question…

Dec. 6 – I just overheard Alan telling the kids that every time they break a candy cane, an elf dies.

Dec 7 – Erin’s craft basket tipped over in the van, sending balls of yarn rolling all over the floor. “Oh, very bad words!” she exclaimed.

Dec 14 – While Emily and I were looking over college courses for next semester, she suggested she could take English As a Second Language and fake a French accent the entire time, and then we could count it as a Drama class on her high school transcript.

Dec 16 – Since Mom is out of commission, the kids did all the tree decorating work this year, which includes dealing with the boxes of ornaments. Ryan was complaining about how boring it was, sitting up in the attic putting empty boxes away, while Emily was below him on the ladder passing things up and giving him a pep talk about how it’s all part of Christmas and that he would eventually learn to not mind so much, when the lid of a box fell out of the attic and whacked her on the forehead. Without even taking a breath she cut off her sentence of encouragement and said, “I hate Christmas.”

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “The Christmas Letter that went astray

  1. Allison Morelan

    Seriously Julia, have you thought of taking your family on the road as a stand up comedy group???

  2. Pingback: A Jamison Christmas Letter: From Me to You | A Daily Journal of my Comp/Rhet Dissertation

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