25 December 2006

Merry Christmas 2006

Another year, another fity cent (not to be confused with rapper sensation “50 cent” to whom we don’t listen). Guess what? We spent a bunch of cash on the house this year (see last year’s letter for house details) and it looks…pretty much the same. Actually it looks a little barren after we took out 5 ginormous trees from the back yard thanks to two guys from West Valley and 4 illegals (I can now never run for public office.) Regardless, we press forward undaunted and are growing accustomed to its idiosyncrasies. Get used to the house play by play, you’ll be hearing about it for years to come.

But seriously folks, during this special Kwanzaa season as we gather around the kinara and light the mishuma saba, the H*s like to remember that this season is more than just the zawadi we give and receive. It’s about family. So as you pass around the kikombe cha umoja in your homes remember the umoja you share and rejoice.

Charlie (2)
Candy, candy and more candy.
Flannel blankets, and lots of them.
Pulling hair off the cat.

When not trying to pull the duct tape off his diaper with his chubby little fingers (a necessary precaution, believe me), Charlie also enjoys beating the sh%# out of those who displease him. He seems to sense that he’s two and the repercussions for his actions will be minimal. We’re not just talking about Jack and Sam; but Leigh, the boss’s kid, senior citizens, small animals, day laborers, liberals, etc. Look at him sideways and you just might be absorbing a pint sized back hand…I speak from experience!

Sam (4)
Hugging his best friend Amy.
Saying bye when Dad leaves for work…over and over and over again.
Getting his picture taken, he’s a bit of a poser.

Sam now has the opportunity to bust the chops of “Chewy” our new cat…yes, a cat…don’t look at me like that…I know…I said I know! While not fully embracing the acquisition of said cat, I was allowed to pick out the name which the boys readily approved as they immediately sensed a Star Wars connection. I was thinking more of a south of the border connection myself (Chuy), but was fine with their interpretation of Chewbacca. We were surprised Sam would still entertain the idea of having a cat after a different neighborhood cat (an enemy of Chewy apparently) by the name of “Mr. Smiles” smacked Sam upside the head. I believe that’s the proper phrase…or maybe it’s “went upside his head”, regardless, Sam was extremely upset. Mr. Smiles, of course, was nonplussed and just went on his merry way…smiling of course. (Oh how I hate Mr. Smiles, as I hate Hell, and all Montagues!)

Jack (6)
Fast cars and fast wo…I mean candy…he likes candy.
Video games, you may have heard of these, apparently the kids dig ‘em.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat on the piano (he’s been playing for a little under a year now.)
After getting a lesson or two on “busting a move” and proper dance floor etiquette from you know who, Jack has been developing a few moves of his own. While dad slumbers in the other room, Jack and brother Sam like to break it down ala Saturday Night Fever by pushing away the chairs in the dining room, turning off the lights, and cranking the iTunes, effectively creating their own private Dance Party USA. We’re talking the Bee Gees, a little Erasure and when they want it really “off the hook”, the original Star Wars theme. Their moves are first class with only minimal vogueing. All of this is a surprise considering Soul Train is not a Tivo staple in the H* home. However, I believe Don Cornelius would be proud.

Big guys with goatees that can bench press a lot of weight, and although a bit on the husky side, have the reflexes of a jungle cat.
Leaving the kids with Dan immediately upon his arrival home from work.
This Old House on PBS.
While Dan is thinking deep thoughts, like “If I take this next left I can go to that Maverick on suchandsuchstreet with the good Diet Pepsi and still only be 10 minutes late picking up the kids”, Leigh is looking to better the H* home and family through the execution of multiple projects of various sizes and complexities including making curtains, planting flower beds and stripping, priming, sanding or painting something (let me tell you, there’s always something to stripped, primed, sanded or painted in this house.)

After seeing a lack of hipness in the quilt patterns out there (I think you all know what I’m talking about!), she started to design and prepare for distribution her own quilt patterns. Dan, seeing an opportunity for future leisure and sloth (because of the all the well known quilt tycoons out there), encouraged Leigh to aggressively pursue this avenue to untold riches. Marry this up with her zest for furniture building and I feel an early retirement coming on.

Pants that still fit after some no holes barred gorging.
It’s dark, fizzy, tastes like manna from heaven and rhymes with “riet nepsi”.
Watching the McLaughlin Group on TV, especially when Pat Buchanan is really giving it to Eleanor Clift on the proper role of government…I can see you all knowingly nodding your heads in affirmation.

Dan continues to live his rock-and-roll lifestyle as a highly desirable technology risk consultant for Protiviti. Sorry ladies; this stallion was tamed a long time ago! He still travels but has been home enough this year to remember Jack, Sam and Phil’s…er, I mean Charlie’s names. Dan also put a lot of time in the saddle this year…the mountain bike saddle that is. It was all part of his plan to buy a mountain bike that cost more than a gastric bypass procedure. It says a lot that rather than lose a few pounds off the H* frame; Dan would rather expend a pay check or two to shave a few pounds off the bike frame. The biking went well, with a number of large animal encounters including a moose that failed to signal while merging, a gang of Elk (yes, a gang; look it up) that just about slammed into him while riding in Park City, and a few squirrels with bad attitudes, probably hopped up on meth (Ute fans no doubt.)

From all of us to all of you, we wish you a festive and prosperous Kwanzaa and hope you keep the nguzo saba in your hearts not only during this season but throughout the entire year.