Memories from Christmas break:
After most of the presents were opened, Sophie hands me a slip of paper that says “go look at your desk.” I went up to find several notebooks full of her stories. For the past few weeks whenever I would go in her room, she would yell for me not to look at the left side of her bed. Apparently- she had been busily preparing her work. Titles included: “A Year in the Life of the Schafers”- a big family whose older brother Ben comes home from his job as a “construction worker” and his sisters like “Rita Book” and “Petunia” go trick-or-treating. Other titles included “Jolly Old St. Nick” and “Write”.
Sophie and I went to see Little Women. She snuck little upward glances at me especially when she noticed me sniffling during the scene with Jo and Beth on the beach. My favorite line was when Marmee told Jo “There are some natures too noble to break and too lofty to bend.” Sophie ate M&Ms and I drank a giant diet coke and the winter air was warm as we walked back to the car. I squeezed her shoulders and said “That was so fun.” (Sophie is watching me type this and she just asked: “Why do moms squeeze shoulders so much in serious books?)
Some great quotes from Everett:
(After opening his fifth dinosaur shirt/ slightly rolling his eyes and sighing): Why I keep getting dinosaur clothes?
Looking outside this morning: “Hey- it’s sunny! When t-ball start?”
Responding to Mae’s delighted and giggly observation that we were in Chicago as we drove back from the planetarium. Mae: “We’re in the city!” Everett: “Everbody know that Mae-Mae”
Looking up from the downstairs as Jacob comes down in the morning and notices crumbs around his mouth: “Somebody left the chocolate chip cookies out.”
Walking out of pantry (on multiple occasions) after we can’t find him for a few minutes. (Smacking lips): “Uh- I had uh Oreo”
We must have asked him 50 times before Christmas, “What do you want Santa to bring you?”, knowing full well that his response would be a “mighty pups tow-uh” On Christmas morning we were poised and ready with the camera as he opened a large box, his last present of the morning. As soon as he pulled down the paper, Sophie and Ellie quickly claimed “Oh- it’s not a mighty pups tower. It’s the lookout.” Jacob and I exchanged glances. Apparently Santa had goofed- there’s a difference between the look-out and the mighty pups tower?? For the next two days we faced Everett’s upturned brown eyes questioning “Why I not get a mighty pups tower?” Thankfully, he’s moved on quickly and is content to play with the look-out. When he plays with Marshall you can hear his little voice say “I’m ready for a wup wup rescue!”
We made Christmas cookies one of the first weekends in December– the same weekend our washing machine broke and Jacob was down for the count with a fever. As my dad was helping us install the washing machine, he’d occasionally glance back into the kitchen and notice the flying flour and the demands for the rolling pin and the food coloring staining everything. At one moment he looked straight at me and said “You’re brave.” Or very very crazy. But we were going to make cookies! Cohen made Santa a “pizza cookie” and Sophie made classic holiday favorites like “Nancy with the fat lips” and “Bob the cranky old man in suspenders” and “Jimmy the super smart guy in green underwear.” Everett and Mae ate plenty of dough. Ellie made a pair of mittens that Mae sneezed all over. Aside from the mittens- the cookies were utterly delicious.
Everyone but Cohen taking a thousand selfies on our echo show. Everett made his classic “raised eyebrows pursed lip” face that made them all laugh.
We went to breakfast with Santa at Cary-Grove. Cohen asked for Jedi Fallen Order, Sophie asked for a real dog, Ellie asked for a stuffed dog, Mae asked for a frozen castle, and Everett asked for- you guessed it- a mighty pups tower. We were the first family to be called, but Mae would only go at the end of the event, after she had watched all the other kids go up.
Since Christmas has come and gone, we’ve enjoyed having no where to be. I’ve found myself breathing deeply a lot. We have time for nerf battles after dinner. We’ve played more rounds of Chick-A-Pig, Dutch Blitz, and Bugs in the Kitchen than I can count (Ellie, Soph, and Everett’s favorite games respectively.) We watched Lord of the Rings and ate Chinese on New Years Eve. Sophie made up a game with a time listed on little sheets of paper and we all had to search for our matching “Time” and when we found it we got the candy that was attached. The big kids made it to midnight and we watched a suspender-clad man doing circus tricks on a long metal pole on the Chicago NYE special. He looked like he stepped out of Fiddler on the Roof, which made the circus tricks kind of odd. Sophie and Jacob have now affectionately dubbed it the New Years Eve of the “1830s Jewish pole dancer.”
After the Merry Cary Parade, the kids performed a show to all the songs of Frozen 2. Sophie directed from behind the scenes, shouting things like “louder” and “speak up” and “everybody on the set!”– earning her the gift of a megaphone at Christmas. Halfway through Everett walked on set in a giant pair of construction boots making everyone burst into a fit of laughter. Cohen was the camera man, filming everything.
Mae pronounces “ka-sert” and “ka-jamas” for desert and pajamas.
Christmas night we sat around a bonfire at my parents. We didn’t need coats– the air was so warm. There were lights strung across the top of the pergola, and you could see the stars. Sophie stumped me with “Into the Unknown” as we played hangman. The cousins ran around the back yard playing what Ellie eventually dubbed “tree tag”, hopping from ice chunk to ice chunk in the grass.
Soph says my last line to this post should be: “It’s a wonderful life.”
Signing off! – Liz & Soph