Month: December 2007

  • Babysitting at Nana's...

    This afternoon Beth and Alex packed up and moved themselves and the girls to Beth's mother's for the night; Don and I followed, intent upon spending a little more time with the poppets by helping to care for them as their parents went out to dinner on a date night.  Anna kindly fixed us supper, including one of my favorites of hers, asparagus wrapped in ham ("That sounds more like an appetizer," protested Alex; "Eat enough of 'em and you've got dinner," I pointed out) and a delicious pasta salad.  Here she is with Faith:


    And here's Faith trying out her moves!  She's so anxious to stand she can scarcely bear it:


    Tell you what, she's going to be crawling 'ere long; check out this action, and her not quite four months old:


    Hannah Handful was there, of course, and here she was, playing with Grandpa:


    At one point we wondered where she'd got off to, and I found her in the bathroom:


    She was trying to get her hair out of her eyes, she told me solemnly, and thought a headband would work.  That bathroom was the site of a fair amount of activity as Faith implacably refused to take a bottle and was shrieking with rage.  Finally we realized she likes to play in water:


    It was a terrific evening (even though the Giants lost, thus giving the Patriots the first NFL perfect season in 35 years)!  We're hoping to be able to get over to Beth's father's house sometime next week to see them again before they return to Japan.  They aren't planning upon returning to the States until Alex is released in fall of '09. 

  • This evening I finally had all six children together!

    But I didn't think of taking a picture of them until after Charles had left.  

    And little Kirsten was babysitting, so she wasn't there.

    Still, I snagged a few photos, including this one of the Younger Seven:


    For those who need a program, they are (from left to right) Brianna, who is holding Hannah, Bryson, Benjamin holding Faith, Bethany holding Bridgette. 

    Here are Don and me with the tiny ones:


    Wherever Uncle Alex is, serious roughhousing is, too:


    BTW, the girl in the hat is Lillian, Bethany's best friend from across the street.  While the craziness was going on in the playroom, Hannah played sedately in Bethany's room:


    While the children were rushing pell-mell through the house, often screeching at the top of their powerful lungs, Dmitry and Dan were firmly entrenched on the sofa, alternately watching football on TV and chuckling at photos on Dmitry's cell phone:


    Faith is working hard to crawl (at FOUR months!), to the enthusiastic encouragement of her cousins:


    It's not every baby that has her own cheerleading squad:

    It was a great evening.  ;^)

  • Not wanting the blog to sink under the weight of Christmas photos, I'll post some favorites.

    Since the 23d I've taken upward of 500 photos, including a couple of hundred Christmas Eve and yesterday.  On Christmas Eve, since we'd had our Ivy family celebration the previous night, we mostly stayed home and quiet, although Dmitry and Dan went out with their friend, Elveera, for a bit.  Beth's relatives had provided some gifts they were to open that night:


    Christmas Eve jammies, a tradition in her family.  Hannah and Faith had matching sets.  ;^)  There was also time to play with Grandpa some:


    The next morning they were up bright and early to see what Santa had brought:


    Why, even baby Faith got into the spirit of the thing:


    Hannah and Alex trying out one of the toys:



    Finally Faith had had as much Christmas morning excitement as she could hold:


    And she wasn't the only one....

    Christmas Day 2007 001

    That afternoon we went to pay a visit to Don's brother, Richard, then it was off to my sister Jeanne's for the Gambill gathering; here's a delighted Marebear holding Faith:

    Christmas Day 2007 003

    Swiftly followed by Kirstin:

    Christmas Day 2007 011

    The children played a rousing rendition of "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" (under Aunt Jeanne's supervision):

    Christmas Day 2007 036

    The D's were present for a short while, before Charles kindly shuttled them to Carolyn's house for her family's Christmas celebration:

    Christmas Day 2007 039

    Faith with her mama, Beth:

    Christmas Day 2007 093

    Here's Alex showing Faith off to his grandfather:

    Christmas Day 2007 043

    And here's Faith with her grandfather and my mother:

    Christmas Day 2007 078

    Where Uncle Alex goes, can craziness be far behind?

    Christmas Day 2007 113

    Christmas Day 2007 146

    Above is Bethany getting spun in a circle by him.  I'll try to upload the video I made of him spinning Benjamin.  He spun Bethany, Benjamin, and Hannah!  Most exhausting.

    Bethany apparently telling her Uncles Charles all about something or other:

    Christmas Day 2007 158

    A feature of our Christmas gatherings is the Chinese Christmas;  my bro-in-law, John, made out like a bandit because he scored the beautiful throw Elaine made (he's the one holding it up, so cannot be seen):

    Christmas Day 2007 129

    Here's Jeanne, our kind hostess, showing Hannah the various musical things she collects:

    Christmas Day 2007 171

    It was a lovely Christmas here, and I hope the same was true for you. 

  • One last picture from yesterday, before I get to today's photos:


    Naturally the ICE! exhibit is in danger of melting due to the high wattage of Dmitry's smile. 

  • What a neat experience!

    This afternoon Don, Dmitry, Dan and I drove to the Gaylord Texan Resort
    to see the ICE! exhibit which, according to one of the employees, takes
    over a month to carve by hundreds of Chinese ice-carvers.  

    I believe it. 

    Here is Beth with her mother and baby Faith:


    Here she is with Faith and me:


    And you will not believe who was there.....Santa Claus!  Is that a coincidence or what?  Naturally the poppets took advantage of this serendipitous situation:


    Where Santa is, naturally his reindeer are as well; here was one of
    them taking a lunch break; apparently it was a hard trip down, seeing
    as how one of his antlers fell off:


    After waiting for quite a while in line it was finally the 3:30 group's
    turn to get togged out in resort-provided parkas in preparation for the


    BTW, Beth is indeed large with child, as she has Faith tucked away under that coat.  ;^)

    Dan kindly took this photo of Don and me in an ice sleigh:


    If there's one thing the ICE! exhibit understands, it's the desirability of photo op spots; here are Alex and Beth taking advantage of one:


    And Don and Hannah:


    Why, even Dmitry and Dan were coaxed into position:


    A real eye-popper and crowd-stopper is the life-size manger scene, carved entirely of ice:


    That doesn't begin to do it justice, either the quality of work or the scope, as there is a lot missing from the above photo.  After one leaves this area one is in the slide room, where two ice slides await eager sliders;  Hannah loved the children's slide, going twice:


    Not only Hannah, but Dmitry, Dan, and Beth's mother and aunt went down the larger slide; I managed to snag Dan at the top:


    I hadn't been expecting Dmitry to come down yet, so wasn't prepared for his ride, darn it.  Anyway, it was a lovely afternoon!  This evening Alex and Beth and Faith have gone to Olive Garden, Dmitry and Dan's friend Elveera (also part of their Bright Futures' camp) came by to get them so they could go to the movies, and Don, Charles, Hannah and I are kicking back at home.

    It's a nice evening, following a great day. 

  • He's HERE!!! Back on Texas soil at last.

    This afternoon Don, Charles, Dmitry and I headed to the airport to meet up with Beth and the girls, plus her mother, father, and Aunt Betty to await Alexander's arrival at Terminal D, the international terminal.  Here's Charles with Hannah, whom he hasn't seen since her last visit in February:


    The group, waiting....


    Finally, there he was!


    Alex rapturously greeted Hannah, with Charles holding Faith:


    Alex gets his turn with Faith:


    In the parking garage, Charles yet again strives to deduct years from his mother's life by playing around with Hannah:


    Off we went to Don Pablos, where Alex got to meet his newest niece, Bridgette:


    Baby Faith and her admiring audience:


    Part of the Ivy Bunch at the table:


    Here's a precious photo of my eldest and youngest grandchildren:


    BTW, those braces come off in less than two weeks.  Kirsten's gorgeous with braces; can you imagine the stunner she'll be without them? 

    Beth with Bridgette:


    Uncle Jonathan said something to amuse Hannah and Brianna:


    Later at home, the present opening began in good earnest; here's Dmitry inspecting a neat radio his grandparents gave him:


    Amazing how the babies are growing!  It won't be long before Faith walks:


    It was a lovely evening, only missing Kirstin and her family.  

    Oh well!  There's still Christmas Day, right?  

  • Does anyone have one of those "clapper" things?

    You know the thing of which I claps one's hands to turn appliances on and off.

    Presumably only one appliance can be attached to it in each room, or two if you want them to be turned on and off at the same time, yet the commercial (okay, Cindy, Wheel of Fortune's on) tends to show people enthusiastically clapping their hands and turning lamps, televisions, and I don't recall what all on and off.  Can't you imagine some poor schnook not thinking this through and buying several of them to go in one room, and the expression on his face as clapping to turn on the lamp simultaneously turns off the television? So he claps again to turn the television on and the light goes out?

    This mental image always amuses me. 

    Of course, I'm easily amused.  e-ghost

  • Wow, I've been silent, haven't I?

    Not much to talk about, actually.  Been shopping, wrapping, and - intermittently - tidying up, preparing for Alex's arrival on Sunday afternoon. 

    Have I mentioned our plans, BTW?  I don't think I have.  Well, on Sunday Kirstin and her family will be returning from south Texas as Alex will be flying in from Tokyo.  Some of us - exactly who, I'm not sure - will be at the airport to greet Alex as he sets foot on Texas soil for the first time since late August, 2006.  The entire Ivy family (including Kirstin, Matt and their children, who probably won't have gone home yet) will gather at a Don Pablos here in Fort Worth for dinner, as that's what Alex requested as his first meal in Texas, then afterwards repair home to have our Christmas tree.

    Can't wait!   e-banana

    Well, except I've not finished my shopping, wrapping, de-furring, or tidying yet.  Or planning menus.  Or much of anything, really.  Haven't even been able to manage a blog post, for crying out loud. 

    Ho ho ho. 

    Speaking of Christmas trees, having been driving regularly past the Optimist Club's tree lot for the past four weeks on my almost-daily trip to SuperTarget, I'm wondering what happened to flocked Christmas trees?  There's a tent as usual, but I've yet to see any flocking going on.  That used to be the height of decorating elegance, to have a flocked tree.  Did they turn out to be emitting poison gas or something?  Or did fashion change, thus relegating flocked trees to the level of avocado appliances and shag carpet?

    Also speaking of Christmas trees, but this time in terms of the gifts found under them, one of the most annoying television ads has to be the commercial for some jeweler or other, which features a guy crooning (singing wouldn't really be an accurate description) a song that starts like this:

    "I think I'm possibly, maybe falling in love with you."

    Well, be still my heart.

    When you've come to a decision, get back to me.

    In the interim, though, leave the diamond.  e-batting

  • Faith riffing on the rocker her Nana bought, and her Uncle Dmitry assembled: