Santa's "Man Bag"

We have this Santa sitting in the window above our kitchen table.

Today at lunch we were having a little talk with Henry about "avoiding" bad behavior (which is a common occurrence at our house these days). And of course, it seemed we weren't making any headway when suddenly this brilliant thought came to me, "With Christmas looming, we should be milking Santa's influence for all its worth!" So I started singing (and I have a bit of a cold so my voice was super low; I'm talking the G below Bass C low - I went and checked it afterwards on my piano -- that's 10 notes below Middle C people!!!)...

"You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I'm telling you why...."

And you know the rest. Henry was loving it. He was soaking in all the words, smiling, giggling, totally into the "message." So I give him the re-cap, "That means you have to try to be a good boy so Santa will bring you your presents, okay?"

Suddenly, he's staring up at Santa with a confused look on his face and he says, "But ... but Santa Fraws don't have a purse!"


We Came, We Saw, We Ate

Oh, how I love Thanksgiving. Is it the food? Is it the good company? Is it the 8 1/2 hour drive to my parent's house? I just can't decide!!

Last week we went down to Payson, Utah (home of Onion Days) for the actual turkey dinner. And boy was it a feast! Adrienne, Nick, and I were the only kids from our family there but we were joined by the Zimmerman crew (Adrienne's in-laws). We had a great time.

So Thanksgiving is always special for me at my parents' house. I love my parents' house -- it's so beautiful, comfortable, full of family -- but at Thanksgiving, it gets even better. Maybe it's because of my mom's stuffing. I think I'm gaining weight just thinking about it. Here's my mom finally getting herself something to eat.

Here's what Ruby thought of the mouth-watering food:

Another highlight of the day was the presence of a special family visitor: My dad's cousin, Trudy. She's a unique character and one day I'll have to write just about her because she's that interesting. I can't remember exactly how old she is, somewhere around 65 maybe?, but she has Asperger's Syndrome (a mild form of autism). Her parents and closest relatives have died so now my parents try to include her in our family get-togethers. She follows my Mom around like a puppy, much to Mom's dismay, but her presence alone helps keep the laughter coming (we don't laugh at her, we're not those kind of people ... seriously) so she was a welcome addition to this year's Thanksgiving.

I love this next picture. It's my cute pregnant sister, Liz, reading with her daughter Paige (on the right), and Adrienne's daughter, Kate. I love how Kate has just made herself right at home on Liz's pregnant gut-tar. Kate was probably just thinking, "Man, Aunt Liz has a sweet built-in armrest."

On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, Scott's Dad gave us tickets to go to the Jazz game. I hadn't been to a Jazz game in probably 10 years -- we had a great time. We even left Henry and Ruby with Scott's family (that's the first time she's ever been put to bed by someone other than us -- and it only took one year to get us this far! We're finally winning our independence back ... slow and steady wins the race; that's what I have always said).

Anyway, the crowd was loud:

And the Jazz dancers were ... still there (what else do you say about them?):

And most importantly, we had a great time:

Now that I think about it, one of the reasons I really love Thanksgiving is because it sort of feels like a "gateway" holiday to me. It means Christmas and New Year's is right around the corner. And what does that mean? More family! More food! And Presents (to give, of course, I'm not really that into the "getting" side of gifts ......)!!!!