Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bennett the Elf

Although Christmas is over for this year, I need to share one more story from this Christmas season that I have not taken the time to do. The story is that of Bennett the Elf.

From the start of December, Blake and Hallie had been telling us that they needed to set out some crackers, pretzels, candy canes, and a letter so that Santa Claus would send an elf to live at our house during the month of December. After a week or so of not knowing what they were talking about, we finally were able to get the official scoop. Apparently, a kid can write a letter to Santa asking him to send an elf to live at their house in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Once the elf arrives from the north pole, he comes to life every night while everyone is sleeping and does little things. Sometimes, he may do nice things for the kids or he may do mischievous things. You just never know. The kids then wake up in the morning and search for what the elf has done.
We decided to let the kids write a letter to Santa and our elf, named Bennett, arrived. Here are a few things that he has done. The first night out, he replaced all of the stockings with everyone's socks. After that, he made cookies for the kids, decorated the tree with underwear, led the kids on a scavenger hunt, gave the kids a gift, built things with toy blocks, and decorated the tree to look like Yoda, from Star Wars. (Blake loved that one.)

All in all, the kids had a lot of fun with Bennett and are hoping he will show up next year. We told them that we will have to see if Santa can spare him again during his busiest time of the year. Hallie's response was, "Of course Santa will let him because he is not a real elf. Bennett is a toy elf that comes to life at night. There is a difference."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas with the Echols

Well, Christmas is over and Santa got a work-out bringing gifts into our house and filling stockings for 9 people. It is a good thing that we have two chimneys into our house. Both Jaime's parents and my mother spent Christmas night with us.

We were expecting to be up at the crack of dawn, since 4:00 a.m. is usually the kids Christmas Day wake-up time, however at 6:30 we started to hear some people moving upstairs. Shortly after, little feet came running down the stairs to check out their loot. We held Blake and Hallie up to wait on everyone else. Once everyone was ready, we turned the tornado loose and they went running into the living and they all began pointing out what they had gotten in unisom. Blake had a Nintendo Wii, some Legos, a Haunted Mansion "Clue" game, and a few other little things. Hallie had a teddy bear dressed like a princess, a giant doll, a Disney Scene It game, and some other things. Andrew and Daniel ended up with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Little Einsteins Rocket, both complete with all of the figures, a Tigger game, and stuffed animals of Pooh and Tigger. They were all pretty excited, but couldn't wait until it was time to open the presents under the tree.

After breakfast and the rest of family arriving, it was time to begin the present opening. Wrapping paper flew in every direction. The kids unwrapped all of their gifts and then began to try and open the packaging so they could get down to playing with their new toys. Eventually, everything was opened, every game was played, and every box was carried to the garage, but the playing is still continuing today. This reminds me that I need to end this and go play the Nintendo Wii. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Looking out for one another

Being twins, Andrew and Daniel spend a lot of time together. They are in the same school class, the sleep in the same room, and usually, at home, if you are looking for one, the other is close by. A couple weeks ago, we had put up our Christmas tree. The next day, me, Andrew and Daniel were home by ourselves, so we decided to wrap some presents for Jaime, Blake, and Hallie. When we were done we put them under the tree and I started to do some other things around the house. About 30 minutes later, I hear the sound of paper ripping. I run in the family room, and see Daniel sitting under the tree with all three presents unwrapped. Needless to say, he was in trouble. I spanked his bottom, on the spot, and right in front of Andrew, who was watching the whole thing, and told them, "Do not touch the presents". Daniel cried and Andrew was really un-nerved about the whole thing. I think that is when they made a pact. I'll explain.

The next week, I had them alone at home again. I had sat them at the table to eat lunch. I gave them their pizza and told them to stay in their chair and eat their food. As with the previous week, I got up to do some things around the house. I finished upstairs and began to walk down the stairs. Daniel heard the sound of me walking and said, "Andrew! Daddy's coming!!" After that, I heard little footsteps go running across the floor and the chair being slid across the kitchen floor. As I turned to go down the last few stairs, where I can see the table, I see Andrew climbing into his chair. I ask, "What are you doing?". He looks up at me with a nervous smile and says, "Eating pizza.?.?." I replied, "That is what you should be doing". I never did find out what he was doing and it may not have been anything, but it was not what he was told to do, so he was trying to hide it. I knew the day was coming when they would start to try and do things without me knowing, but I didn't figure that it would be 2 years old. When I was a kid, I knew that I needed a lookout if I was doing something that I shouldn't, so I guess they figured it out too.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Blake the Egyptian and Hallie's solo

This week both Blake and Hallie had their programs at school. Thursday night, Blake was an Egyptian in the schools program of "Feeling Good". Blake's class talked about all the different parts of the Food Pyramid, hence the Egyptians. Blake had a speaking part and he did a very good job, singing and dancing like an Egyptian. Thanks to Bidee for sewing Blake's costume so fast. (Please be kind in you comments, I did the beading on the collar. ) After multiple hot gun burns, this was what we ended up with, and Blake was so proud. Below are the pictures from Thursday..

Today was Hallie's school program and she has a solo this year. She sang the verses to Mary had a Baby and the rest of the school answered her as she sang. She did a very good job and was very excited to get to sing in the microphone. She was not nervous at all and we were very proud. Chase always puts on a great Christmas program and this year was now different. At the end was a slideshow of the kids in Helena dressed in old fashioned clothes. They had taken the pictures in Black and White and then tinted in color. I will post some when I get the actual pictures. It was a great day.