Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

December 31, 2009

December 2009 – Lilah and Luke

Filed under: Lilah and Luke — dave9169 @ 11:05 pm

Here are the December highlights:

  • Cathy and I take a trip to Las Vegas before Christmas. No pictures (you know the saying, “What happens in Vegas…”)
  • We select and chop down our Christmas tree
  • We spend Christmas Eve at my sister’s house
  • Kids get big present on Christmas day
  • And another one a week later
  • Luke finishes flag football season and adds another trophy to his growing collection

What We did on Our Christmas Vacation

The kids were asked to write about what they did over their Christmas vacation. In the spirit of their assignment, I will do the same with this month’s update.

Las Vegas
The break began with a trip to Las Vegas for Cathy and me. Lilah and Luke weren’t too thrilled to find out that Cathy’s mom would be staying with them while we were away (more on this later). The trip to Vegas was a nice break for us. We stayed at the Luxor and toured the new glass palace known as the CityCenter. Here is an excerpt from the CityCenter propaganda machine:

“The $8 billion CityCenter is the largest single privately funded development in U.S. history and will catapult Las Vegas to new status among the most sophisticated cities of the world.”

Nothing like a bit of hyperbole to introduce Las Vegas’ latest monument which you can read more about here.

Cathy saw the Chris Angel cirque du soleil show for the second time and found out the story was even more disjointed than the first time we watched it together. So that was a bit of a disappointment for her but on the bright side she got to hang out with other fan club members that she’s met online over the years. I thought for sure I’d experience my own disappointment seeing Carrot Top, but I was way off base. Cathy agreed that Carrot Top was hilarious and put on a great show. He essentially covers current events in a humorous sometimes raunchy but not over the top way. And, as part of his act, he uses hand-crafted props (made from every day things such as bras, adult diapers, etc.) and music of all kinds to enhance the comedic flair of his non-stop narrative. It’s also a great value. I think tickets were under $60 and even if you get tickets for the back of the theater, the venue is so small that any seat is a good seat.

Kids Hang Out with Grandma for Two Days
As mentioned earlier, the kids were not too fond of having grandma babysitting them, but they were relieved that they would not have to stay at grandma’s house as grandma has no TV, no computer, and no video games (a triple whammy). Lilah also told us another reason they don’t like hanging out with grandma too much. Apparently, Mrs. T, as I call her, loves to tell them about things they don’t understand. Things like history — more specifically, the Civil War, and World War whatever as Lilah calls it. And, as the kids have learned, Mrs. T will go on and on about these things that she feels it’s important for them to know. Still, I’m not sure that kids (ages 6 and 9) need to know about these things quite yet or at least not to the level of detail grandma provides.

In any case, grandma redeemed herself by giving the kids a game they’ve really come to like — Monopoly. I think we played it about 3 times during the break and each session was at least two or more hours. The first two times I won handily, but by the third time Lilah got the hang of it and actually managed to squeak out a narrow victory. Who knows, I may have won had we played longer but we set cut off times so that we wouldn’t be stuck at the table for hours on end. It was interesting to see the change in Lilah’s mood when she realized she was winning. I mean when she was losing she would get upset and even say things like “I’m going to ruin you,” in a real negative tone. But this made us laugh because by “ruin” she meant she would eliminate our chance of buying houses on our properties by buying the same color properties we owned. She had no idea that “ruining someone” is a real expression with some major anger behind it. In contrast, when she was winning she was all smiley, giggly, and silly-faced. Luke wasn’t too happy to lose all the time, but at least he seemed to deal with things a little better.

Other Christmas Presents
We held out on giving the kids the Nintendo DS and opted for Wii sports instead. We figured the Wii would be another activity we could do together and we were right. We all spent plenty of time trying to score enough points in tennis, boxing and bowling to become “pros.” Well, Cathy didn’t get into it as much but the kids did coax her into playing some and also taking the Wii fitness test.

The other big presents we bought for the kids were real mountain bikes with 21 gears and caliper brakes. Interestingly enough, it rained on the day we wanted to go out biking, but once the rain settled down into a light drizzle, I took the kids out to ride in the neighborhood anyway. We rode around the block, we road to the park, we road up big hills that they would have never been able to climb on their single gear bikes, and, of course, we sped down the descents.

Overall, we had a great Christmas vacation. For once, it seemed like we didn’t try to do too much. We definitely did our fair share of activities but the pacing was much better than in previous years. We hope you all enjoyed your time with your families as well and are looking forward to the new year. More next month…

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