Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.

Merry belated Christmas!  I've started to figure out this federal employee gig finally.  There was Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, a wingmen day, time off at the beginning of December to spend time with Grandma Susie here on vacation and then Christmas break which rolls solidly into New Years.  Then I scheduled my knee surgery for the 3rd of January and that comes with two weeks of convalescent leave.  I'm going to have to go to work some day and it's going to be awkward when I invariably introduce myself to people I've 'known' for 3 years. (again.)

Grandma Susie bought the greatest present, a puppy.  Aaron and G's dog, Belka, had a litter recently and they saved us the very best one of the bunch.  We love this dog very much.  He is a beautiful Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mix named Chocolate Thunder.  We've had to shorten it to Chaco to make him more responsive in training sessions. Yes, he is a Cocka-poo named Chocolate Thunder and no, he is not a professional male stripper. 

Michelle and I have been debating whether or not to get a dog for a very long time now.  The algebra changed when Brigham went up to his mother and in exasperation declared, "Mom, having a puppy is a rite of passage for a little boy!"  That's tough logic to argue with. 

We had a low-key Christmas this year.  I enjoyed sitting and watching the boys open their packages in person rather than via Skype.  BGB blasted into our room at 6:38 a.m., completely unable to contain himself another minute.  "Mom! Dad! Get up, it's Christmas!! I've been up since 4:00 and I can't wait any longer!!!!!"  He meant the last part.  We opened our stockings and one present before we had to get ready for church.  The ward put on a fantastic Sacrament meeting program with some wonderful talks and a ton of songs.  We all stood around talking longer than the kids were comfortable with.  We've built some great relationships in this little ward and appreciate having so many good friends.

Then it was back to the presents.  The thing is, our boys cherry picked their presents we opened before church and so there wasn't much surprise left under the tree.  The quote of the day was Brigham's, "Man, I wish I were like 8 or 9 again because then I wouldn't get all these stupid clothes and books."  The boxes of Pokémon EX cards at the end were a saving grace. 

Brigham got a U-Wing Star Wars Lego set, Mackay a Ninjago Tower Lego set and David a City Builder HH-60 helicopter and some other Lego set.  The older boys were able to go to the Santa Shoppe at school and bought each other fantastic little trinkets and David gave his brothers their first Yo-yo's.  Their still trying to figure them out.

My big gift from mOmmie was a bike so that I could take my boys on bike rides and today we went out for the first of hopefully many rides.  And boy was this one to remember.  Brigham set the stage and David ran with it.  We were a four-ship of X-wing fighters, zooming through the streets of Hidden Creek.  We would go hyper speed when we went down hill, if you threw on the brakes and rode behind someone you could shoot the tie fighters on their tail and the brick mail boxes look strangely like the defensive turrets that lined the Death Star.  We stopped to refuel and throw stuff in the creek and we drove past David's girlfriend's grandparents house--a surveillance mission if I've ever been on one before.

It was a pretty amazing ride and the imaginations never slowed until we had landed and carefully parked our X-wings back in the garage/hangar. 

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