The holidays are behind us, my travels are over, and my feet have landed back on Michigan soil (amazingly not crunchy snow!). After an extended visit to my home state of Arkansas, I spent my final few days away with my nephews and nieces in PA. Let’s just say it was an attempt to ease my way back into cold weather and the north.

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No time was wasted upon my arrival in finding the Christmas packages hidden in my overstuffed luggage. Jayden rightly suspected that there was something in that big ole’ bag that was for him. His only disappointment was that the recipients of the stack of boxes wrapped in shiny paper also included his brother, two sisters, and both parents. That dwindled down his pile significantly. But the toys, book, and Buzz Lightyear ornament he did get were a huge hit. What could be better than to extend Christmas into January?

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Did you know a plate full of a veggies is prime opportunity for rehearsing a Bible story? (That’s the point of VeggieTales after all, right?) For example, a long asparagus is clearly the perfect candidate for Goliath, while the leftover rice works really well as stones for David. Now that the parts are cast, time for the drama to begin. The Giant Pickle—that is, the asparagus, that is, Goliath—taunts the poor boy. Gathered up are a few pebbles [translate: rice] but only one is needed. For with one fatal blow, down, down goes the green giant. His fate is sealed with the severing of his head. Then to further make a point, his head is retrieved and—well, actually, we won’t go into those graphic details. ;-)


Here’s a fun clip for your enjoyment:

In other news . . . in case you were wondering, the Hungry Hippo is still as hungry as ever. My nephews are slightly obsessed with this game and slightly competitive. Ok, more than slightly. One nephew in particular has a hard time losing. He loves being on top (who doesn’t?) and the round he swallows eight marbles he’s all smiles. But by the next round, he realizes he’s been beat and is ready to quit. (Life is hard, isn’t it?) Then you have the other nephew who hasn’t quite got the concept that hands aren’t a part of the eating equation. I thought you’re supposed to wait for a marble to roll near your hippo and then snap open your hippo’s mouth, but it’s much simpler to pick up the marble and stuff it in yourself. Silly me! As Logan explained, “but my hippo’s huuungry!” And is he ever. He goes by the name of Bottomless Potamus, so of course I should have known better!

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If you want to get a little boy to sing, turn on a song about tractors. Logan may not have perfect pitch, but he certainly gets an A for enthusiasm! He’s also a master at retaining song lyrics, making him the ideal soloist for road trip karaoke. Because who wouldn’t want to spend the whole car ride listening to, “Tractor! Oh, tractor! You get the job done!”

That’s not to say the others don’t also love to sing. Sissy loves her nursery rhymes, and Jay led a rousing rendition of “Up on the Housetop” from, well, the housetop of their playhouse. And here he is clicketing-clacking down the track:

I can’t conclude a post on my niblings (that’s short for nieces and nephews—check it out) without mentioning the sweet baby girls. After all, it’s thanks to six-week-old Evie Lakelyn that I made the trip in the first place. She’s about as perfect as a newborn can be.

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Here’s Charlotte and Evie all matchy-matchy for church.

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Big sissy Charlotte is also mild-mannered and rather shy, but she’s got spunk and tries with all her might to keep up with her big brothers. She’s the official dancer of the family and is not ashamed to shake it, shake it. Course, she’s not alone in her love for music and dancing . . .



It’ll be fun to watch them each grow and blossom from babies and toddlers to children and adults. Wow, adult niblings . . . that makes me feel old. Scrap that. I love my widdle bitty babies!

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