The Gill Family Webpage

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

You would never know it from our shorts and short-sleeve shirts in this picture, but it is actually Christmastime!

Everett brought me home the biggest tree I have ever had! It must be about 10 or 11 ft tall! It is so big that it requires 100 ft of garland, 6 strings of lights, countless ornaments, and a ladder to place Mr. Ho Ho Ho on top!

It actually took us several nights to get it all together. Zoe didn't quite know what to make of it! The first night, Everett didn't put the tree up until after Zoe went to bed. The next morning she exclaimed, "Mommy! A tree! hahahahaha!" Two nights after that, we put on the garland, lights, and the Santa tree topper after Zoe went to bed. That next morning: "Daddy! A Ho Ho on top! hahahaha!" She just thought it was the coolest thing!

That weekend we were treated with a visit from Granny and Granddaddy. They brought along some Christmas presents and Zoe was in Seventh Heaven! She tore open everything and had a blast! She would rip the wrapping paper off, then rip open the box the present came in, look at the gift, and then move on to the next one! No rest for the weary I guess!

Everett had his office Holiday party and so we left the kids with the grandparents and headed off to West Palm Beach for the shin dig. It was so nice to get dressed up and have some adult conversation!

The next day we finished the decorating of the tree. We gave Zoe a few of the unbreakable ornaments to place wherever she pleased. I gave her a fistful of these plastic candy canes and she would count them as she danced in a circle with them in her hand. Then she placed them on the tree - all on the same branch! She cracked me up! The candy canes that did not make it on the tree ended up in "Zoe's house" (a.k.a. the little storage area under the stairs) or in Zoe's turtle (a bike of hers with storage space under the seat). I have a feeling that we'll be finding candy canes all year long in this house!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I believe in commercialism

What's Christmas without a little commercialism? Seriously though, shouldn't Zoe be the poster child for Macy's "Believe" campaign? She's so darn cute!

Okay, really for serious now, Christmas really is for the children. It's been fun this year explaining to Zoe all about the various Christmas traditions. I told her about Santa and about how kids write to him and ask him for presents. I also mentioned that she had to be a good girl to get them, but I think that message got lost somewhere! Maybe next year!

This year Zoe wrote her first letter to good ol' St. Nick. Well she dictated it to me and I wrote it down, but she decorated it! Her letter read:

Dear Santa,
I have been a good girl. Please can I have a pink toy?
Hugs and kisses,

Please permit this Mommy a few observations. First, I did not tell her to say please when she asked Santa for something - yay for Mommy! Second, she asked for a "pink toy" all on her own - ick for Mommy! I am not fond of the color pink and have tried to introduce Zoe to a rainbow of colors, but somehow pink has wiggled its way into her favorites (along with yellow). I think little girls may be hard-wired to like pink. Oh well.

We took her letter to Macy's because they have a mailbox specifically for Santa letters. Macy's donates $1 per letter to the Make a Wish Foundation. I had thought their donation was based on weight - hence the heavy weight construction paper and the heavy puffy penguin stickers - but either way, our letter to Santa is going to do more than just guarantee a pink toy underneath the Christmas tree this year. And isn't that what Christmas is really all about?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Fish, fish, fish

A pretty common site for me is what you see on the left there. That's what I see when I roll over in bed and look out the window. That's Everett fishing, in his pajamas, in the lake in our backyard (that metal roof you see covers our outdoor porch area).

Everett just could not be happier to be able to fish morning, noon, and night - literally! You don't believe me? Let me submit for your perusal...

MORNING (note the pajamas):

NOON (note the midday sun):
and NIGHT (note the darkness):
You can see from the picture above that Zoe is getting into fishing more and more now. That's a look of joy on her face, even if it doesn't look like it in the picture. She loves to "help Daddy fish" by helping him release the fish back into the water.

Not to be left out of the fun, Granddaddy Gill enjoyed some fishing when he came for a visit!

Now, I'm no fisherwoman, but I have never seen Everett so excited to fish! Evidently there are some different kinds of fish in the lake that he's never caught before now like the mayan chichlid (middle picture) and peacock bass (not pictured here because I haven't downloaded the pic yet), in addition to the good ol' large mouth bass (top and bottom pics).

Everett loves to show me his latest catch, which is fine and dandy with me - I love to see what he's caught - but the issue with this is that I'm usually in the living room as he brings his drippy prize to show me. All I can say is that he's lucky he's as cute as a kid in a toy store when he does this!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A few of our activities

We have been busy exploring our surroundings!

Our house could not be in a better location in terms of shopping, parks, and restaurants. Here we are going to our first movie at a theater less than 2 miles from our house. It has stadium seating and there's a sign that says there's "childcare available". I think we may need to look into that option someday! This day we went for Zoe's first movie, well first movie that she actually watched in a theater. We saw Planet 51.

There are a ton of public parks within a 5 mile radius of our house. On this day, Zoe, Max, and I went to check out C.B. Smith Park. This place looks like it will be a lot of fun! There's a water park there, camping sites, any kind of court or field you can imagine for various sports (tennis, raquetball, baseball, etc), and you can rent paddle boats and canoes to take out on the lake located there. On this day we just stuck with the playground. It's amazing - even the playgrounds down here have beautiful palm trees surrounding them!

We've been having fun at home too. In the afternoon, we have "art project" time. Sometimes we make things with glitter and foam board, other times we color, and on this day we made sugar cookies! Mmmmm, cookies! Zoe was way more interested in eating the cookie frosting than the cookie itself! The cookie in the second picture was "a little girl" Zoe and I made from scratch. Who cares about the cookie cutter patterns!

Finally, there's a lot of downtime at home, hanging out with one another, singing, reading, and playing. Zoe just loves her little "bro" and constantly gives him kisses! I love watching them interact with one another. Just yesterday Zoe took Max's hands in hers and used them to sign "Patty Cake": "....and put it in the oven for Maxi and Mommy and Zoe!"