That's Gabe playing the Leapster. In the dark. Long after he's supposed to be asleep; after all the other kids are asleep. I only noticed because the Leapster screen lit up his face in the pitch-dark room. :) (The flash here doesn't quite do the scene justice, but the alternative is a black picture with a little glowing bit, which isn't that interesting to look at.)
This seems to be Julie's favorite way to fall asleep. She does this ALL the TIME. It's crazy. Two fingers of one hand in the mouth, being sucked on, and the other hand kinda sprawled over her nose or eyes. No idea why she does that.
Julie meets her Aunt Cathy! (This starts the trip-to-Minneapolis-for-Christmas segment of the pics.) I apologize for the camera, which has been giving me a lot of glare off of lights lately.
Christmas Eve; after dinner, we got into a fun debate. It started off with me (in the purple shirt) and my brother Ben (not shown here) discussing economics; I'm more moderate and he's pretty Austrian-style conservative. Then my brother Greg (on the left, with the funky beard) joined in; he's got all these anarchist/extreme-left positions, and the debate moved into the field of politics and religion and whatnot in general. Ben's wife Monika (the other female in the photo) and Luka (the boyfriend of my sister Cathy, the other guy in the photo) and my husband Ken and also Cathy all got involved in the conversation at one point or another. At one point, I believe I found myself admitting to Ben that I did not really believe the Declaration of Independence's claim that authority derives its justness from the consent of the governed (or something like that). Because, you know, it was that kind of conversation. Man, is it fun to hang out with my family.
Present-opening Christmas morning. I think the whole gang was there, except my (anti-social) brother Luke. This photo captures half of them...
... and this photo captures the rest. Except you can't really see Ken's head behind Daniel's, and of course I'm not in there because I was taking the pictures.
Ben helps his daughter Irena hold little Julie.
Clockwise around the table, starting with the smallest: Gabe, Evelyn, Kyrie, Savi, and Elijah. The day before we left, we were over at Kyrie's godparents' house; they decorated tote bags while I had a blast talking with my friend/sister Kathryn.
So apparently there's this app called Angry Birds that is extremely popular - i.e. addictive - lately. My kids certainly thought so. They played it on Caleb's iPad until the batteries would run out. They played other games on his two phones, and on the phones of Uncle Daniel and Grandpa too. If I hadn't had to clean up a big mess of Legos in the attic, I might have thought my kids did nothing but play games.... :) This particular shot is of Gabe trying to play Angry Birds. Except he kept shooting the birds backwards instead of forwards. Piling on Caleb was a popular activity, I gotta say.
Home again. The kids now have an iPad of their very own. I'm not letting them download the Angry Birds app, though. Or any other game apps. Ken put Solitaire on it, and I put Neflix on it. Right now I have those two apps in a folder called "Must Ask", meaning they have to ask permission before playing those apps. They were watching Scooby Doo on Netflix, though, when I took this shot. It was so cute with them huddled around and Gabe fallen asleep, and there was just enough room to stick Julie on the end, so I did. Hoping for a new banner pic. But I have to pick between Julie smiling (above) and the other girls smiling (below). Which do you like better?
All in all, the trip to Minneapolis went great. It was wonderful seeing my family and getting to have long conversations with them. Especially with Monika (who I chat with online, but have only met in person a couple times, and briefly at that) and Ben and Greg, both of whom I would like to spend more time discussing things with. And now for the videos.
Ah, cuteness. We all know hairdryers were invented as a weapon, right?
This is Elijah playing the math "Planet Buster" game, which I had them doing for homeschooling.
Now here is Savi playing it. The mouse icon and the spaceship are playing hide-and-seek. Naturally.
Uncle Caleb is reading Gabe a pamphlet about the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Gabe is... well, I suppose it makes as much sense to him as The Night Before Christmas would, at this point.
Oh, yeah. The day after Christmas we went to the Science Museum. Gotta love places where kids are encouraged to touch things. (Although I did tell them to stop climbing on it after I stopped videoing it.) This was the tornado-demonstrating device. Pretty cool! We also got to see a video about the Hubble telescope at the Omnitheater; all of this was courtesy of Grandpa Colin and Grandma Tina. I especially loved the part of the movie where they did a sort of 3D zoom around inside a nebula.
This is the Angry Birds thing again. So cute.