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Friday, December 31, 2004


Dirty Dishes

I ended the year with a bang... Ran the dishwasher three times today! That's a record for our house.

Yes, it is the simple things that make life exciting.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


End of Year Clearance

The end of the year is at hand... A good time to clean out my bookmarks. Here are a few interesting links that I never got around to blogging:

Teach Kids to Hear and Heed Voice Inside, a column from the Yakima Herald-Republic about helping kids to make good choices.

Wanting What You've Got, a column from Christianity Today about teaching kids to be grateful for what they have in their lives.

Daycares Don't Care, a web site chronicling the negative consequences for children placed in day care.

The Battle Over the Man in the Red Suit, a column from the Lansing State Journal about believing in Santa Claus.

Go Ahead and Wish Me A Merry Christmas, a column by Ed Cone about the political correctness of Christmas.

Everyone have a very happy new year! See you in 2005.

Thursday, December 23, 2004



My kids love eggnog. So do I, but only for a few weeks each year. As with Christmas music, I can get burned out on eggnog really quick. Anyway, my son asked me "Who invented eggnog?" so I thought I'd look it up for him (and for me). Here's a short answer, courtesy of the Web Site

Did you know eggnog used to be made with beer? In the 17th century a strong ale called ‘nog’ was very popular in Britain around the holidays. It was made from beer, sugar, egg yolks, lemon rinds and cinnamon. Later in the 19th century North Americans took the French version of the drink called ‘Lait de Poule’, made from milk, sugar, and egg yolks and added spirits. With the addition of brandy, rum or sherry, we have our own modern day eggnog. We now cook the drink to remove the threat of salmonella, but the recipe has been the same for over 150 years.

And here's a more in-depth answer.


Party Mouth

I see Fred Newman almost every day when I watch "Between The Lions" with my daughter, but I had no idea of his talents until reading this article about him in the Seattle P-I.

His new book and CD, MouthSounds, has step-by-step instructions on how to make over 150 fun and amusing noises with your mouth, like Stomach Growl, Tugboat, Chicken, and Toilet Plunger.


Christmas Jokes

What Christmas Carol is a favorite of parents?
Silent Night.

What do snowmen eat for breakfast?
Frosted Flakes.

What does a cat on the beach have in common with Christmas?
Sandy Claws.

What do elves learn in school?
The Elf-abet.

What do monkeys sing at Christmas?
Jungle Bells, Jungle Bells!

What do you call Santa Claus's dog?
Santa Paws.

How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizzas?
Deep and crisp and even.

Who says oh oh oh?
Santa walking backwards.

What do you have in December that you don't have in any other month?
The letter D.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Naughty or Nice? Christmas Movies!

The Enterprise Newspapers of South Snohomish and North King counties published this interesting list of Christmas movies last year. Something for the family, and something for after the kids are asleep.

1983's "A Christmas Story" is the big tradition in my house. Later, after the kids are in bed, I like to chuckle at "Christmas Vacation." These two movies have something in common -- characters that I can easily identify with: Ralphie Parker, who longs for the "perfect present" (a Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock), and Clark W. Griswold, who longs for the "perfect Christmas" (a fun and traditional holiday spent with his loving family).

Sunday, December 19, 2004


The Night Before Christmas

It just wouldn't be Christmas without a rendition of Clement Moore's "A Visit From Saint Nicholas" (also known as The Night Before Christmas). Here's Robin Williams with The Boston Pops, in MP3 format for your listening pleasure:

Robin Williams and The Boston Pops - A Visit From Saint Nicholas

Click here to buy the CD at


Top Toys of Yesteryear

If you were a kid during the 60's and 70's, then take an incredible stroll down memory lane at TV Cream's Top 100 Toys of yesteryear. I can't believe how many of these toys I used to love but had forgotten until seeing a picture on that list.

My favorites were Tank Command, Kerplunk, Stay Alive, Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots, MouseTrap, Haunted House, Chutes Away, and Crossfire. I wonder what my kids will wax nostalgic about in thirty years?

Saturday, December 18, 2004


Tie and Tails

This is the work of my son. We have an unbelievably patient cat.


Say Goodbye to Back Talk

Some good advice about dealing with preschool back talk and toddler tantrums.

Friday, December 17, 2004


Hiding Presents, Again

The day after I wrote about hiding Christmas gifts, I read this Seattle Post-Intelligencer column by Cecelia Goodnow: "The stockings are hung with care... but where did I hide those gifts?"

She's a lot funnier than I could ever be.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Hiding Presents

I've been buying Christmas presents for my kids all year and then hiding them in various nooks and crannies around the house. It saves having to rush around at the last minute battling manic mall shoppers for that perfect stocking stuffer. The only problem with this method is that you have to remember what you bought and where you hid it. Just last week I brought home something for my son and carried it to a high shelf of my closet only to discover a similar item that I had placed there last summer. Doh!

And then there's the fun of pulling out towels from the linen closet in February to be hit on the head by a doll or matchbox car that I forgot to put under the tree a few months before. It's always a challenge for me and my wife on Christmas Eve to check off every item for the kids. What we need is a dedicated Gift Closet. With shelves for every occasion. And a lock on the door, of course. I wonder if I can ever be that efficient.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Hay! It's Christmas!

These hay rolls were created by farmers Maurus Uhlorn and Vern Uhlorn near Ferdinand, Idaho.

Photo by Barry Kough of the Lewiston Tribune.

Saturday, December 11, 2004


Christmas Music from The Wiggles

My kids love music, and they adore The Wiggles. I don't mind listening to them either. The music is polished and catchy, and Greg's voice is very soothing.

Here's a Wiggles Christmas song, in MP3 format for your enjoyment:

The Wiggles - "Go Santa Go"

If you like it, click here to buy it at

Sunday, December 05, 2004


Virtual Bubblewrap

This should keep my kids busy for hours!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004



I probably won't see this movie until it's out on DVD. Wait a minute... what the heck am I talking about? I have young kids. I don't see ANY grown-up movies until they're out on DVD.

Anyway, I saw this commercial for the new Adam Sandler movie, "Spanglish" and there's a "trying to be profound" quote about parenting in it:

"This is the job, these are the decisions... When to push them, when to back them... Worrying about your children is sanity and being that sane can drive you nuts."

I'm not sure what it's all supposed to mean, but it's certainly food for thought.