Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Like always, December rushed by in a whirlwind of busyness. Gregory's thirteenth birthday sprang upon me despite my firm belief he could not possibly have grown so old.

For more than a year, Gregory wanted an iPod Touch.

But he dared not hope for one. They are out of our budget. Little did he suspect I found a good buy online. Of course, we didn't want to be too obvious.

I'd sort of suggested Gregory could expect a new computer game for this birthday. After all, an iPod plugs into the computer and you do play with it.

Gregory's last iPod died after being sent through the washing machine no less than 5 times. Either Apple makes an amazing product to survive 4 washings or my front load washing machine cleans marginally, if at all. Unfortunately, I suspect the latter.

Gregory swears there is no way this iPod will go into the laundry. I suspect he may be right because he never puts it down long enough to forget about it or wash it. In fact, I told Gregory I would need his iPod on Christmas Eve so I could put it under the tree. The iPod is also Gregory's Christmas present. At first he wanted something under the tree, but now he is not certain he can part with the iPod even overnight on Christmas Eve. I'm glad he is happy, though I'm not too happy about seeing him constantly wired to the thing.

Despite all the distracting work of moving and renovating, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of having a teenager in the house.

Nevertheless, I had to put 13 candles on his cake. Unreal. It really seems like he was just a little guy not that long ago. I realize all parents say that, but it is really true.

And my little fellow, who once could not blow out the few candles on his cakes, easily blew out all 13 this year. Happy birthday Gregory.

Squeezed in between the holidays, our friend and hero Bob the Builder and his mighty son Adam spent a couple of days helping us with a couple of tiling projects.

This time I got to use the wet saw so now I think I could tile by myself if I had to tile by myself. And since we have some tile left over and there are no floors in two of the closets, I anticipate tiling by myself eventually.

Kurt also got a few lessons in tiling.

Kurt worked with Bob in both the master bathroom and the kitchen. Not only is Bob amazing when it comes to building and installing stuff, but he is a good teacher as well.

Bob also taught me how to do the grout part of tiling. Grouting isn't hard in itself however, being hunched over freezing cold tiles in the dead of winter in a room without insulation when one is no longer young can be a bit of a challenge.

After grouting and incidentally after Bob left which is generally when things are likely to go wrong, I tried to seal the grout with a couple different products. The grout never actually sealed according to the descriptions on the products. Kurt and I sought help and we couldn't actually find anyone who had successfully sealed their grout to the place where it wouldn't absorb water afterwards. I now suspect grout sealing is not real. I think someone is making a lot of money with an idea that just sounds good. However, if someone has actually sealed their grout to the point where it is no longer absorbent, I'd sure like to hear about it.

Gabrielle and I decided to continue our Christmas baking tradition this year despite not being very moved in yet.

So we spent a couple of long days making candy and cookies.

And we piled the goodies onto 25 plates, which was the number we thought we needed.

Kurt brought a couple of the plates to work and the rest went to our new neighbors and friends at church.

The kids and Kurt were relieved to find plenty of left-overs. We ate them pretty fast though.

Gabrielle decided to participate in the Christmas program at church this year.

The kids were all so cute.

At first Michael said he wouldn't participate. He has never liked being in front of a crowd.

Everyone wanted him to be the donkey.

They didn't have anyone to play the donkey role.

But every day, Michael refused, until the morning of the production.

Finally, Michael agreed to be the donkey. (I think he had such a great time meeting our new neighbors the day before when we brought our Christmas goodies around the neighborhood that he finally decided people were fun.)

Although Michael told us he would be in the Christmas production, he told us he would NOT sing.

And he didn't. Gabrielle did a great job in her angel role and sang beautifully, which is not a normal thing in this family. We really don't have good voices in general and mine is absolutely terrible.

While Michael looked bored and sleepy. (I love that Michael still fits into the Dale sweater I knit for him a couple years ago. However, this will be the last year he will be able to wear it.)

I don't know why he refused to sing.

Since he sings all the time at home.

But that is my quirky little guy.


The Gingerbread House said...

First..."Happy Birthday to Gregory"! and my goodness has this family been busy...
Funny all the things you learn fixing up a home...and each lesson is valuable..because soon your children will ask about them for their own homes :o)...Learn them will....and "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year"...Ginny

Theresa said...

Loved seeing the birthday pics and the Christmas program. Cutest donkey I've ever seen! ;-) Lovely Angel. Yummy goodies. Love the tile in the sunroom. Enjoying the process from photos. (which I know is much easier than enjoying the process in person! lol)

Joanne said...

Thirteen! Congratulations Gregory!
They do grow fast, I agree. Your tile floor looks great. Gabrielle and Micheal, good job!

Heather said...

Wow 13. Your kids are really growing up - even Michael. Not me though :o) I quit growing up - I decided that one myself. Merry Christmas!