by Troy and Tricia
(Troy in italics, Tricia in regular font)
… For Princesses
This is what it is all about in our house - not tiaras, necessarily. Rather, Princess Madelyn. She is very much in charge of everything these days and Troy and I can't quite but help being her faithful, loyal servants (and advisors when her royal highness needs a little assistance working through tantrums or tears).
I’d like to think of us as the King and Queen, in full control of our kingdom…but yeah, that’s probably just delusional isn’t it. Thankfully, Madelyn is a benevolent ruler :)
One of my co-workers found this tiara and immediately knew it needed to come home to Madelyn in time for Christmas. She was quite right. Madelyn was SO excited when she opened it, "Its a CROWN!" Princess Madelyn decided she should wear her crown while eating chili for dinner.
… For Making Cookies
Making cookies seems to be one of Madelyn's favorite traditions.
Her creative messiness as a baker as decreased somewhat compared to last Christmas, but it is still a pretty good idea to have the vacuum handy if sprinkles are involved.
Madelyn’s increased sprinkle control is also nice because now we don’t have the choice of only eating a cookie that is all sprinkles or, since the sprinkles were usually gone after about 2 cookies, one that had no sprinkles at all.
Making cookies with Madelyn is not only fun in our house - my aunt, uncle, and cousins have established their own "cookies with Madelyn" Christmas tradition that we had the privilege of attending and tasting for the second year in a row!
… For Christmas Lights
We attended Willamette University's Star Tree lighting again this year and enjoyed the caroling and time with family who attended with us.
I’m still disappointed that the giant lever above doesn’t really turn the Christmas lights on and off.
Note the Bearcat t-shirt that came in the mail for Madelyn. Willamette is apparently recruiting the under-3 crowd now - Hello Kitty sealed the deal for Madelyn, so I guess she already has her college decision made!
Someone should notify other schools so they can up the ante -- I do kind of need a new car…
We tried to establish a new tradition of driving around to look at Christmas lights, but not many people in our neighborhood put any or much effort into this tradition (after staring at a bunch of dark houses, Madelyn declared, "I go home - my fun all done now.")
Perhaps Tricia and I are just looking through a nostalgic fog, but there really were a lot more houses that did Christmas lights back when we were kids, right? I’m particularly thinking of lights in Keizer where each street had a theme to it. No one does that anymore, do they?
To bring a little more fun into it, we tried the Zoo Lights at the Portland Zoo. It did not disappoint!
Madelyn was able to tour the Zoo with her buddy Owen. Funny, their favorite feature (judged by the amount of time they spent at the exhibit) was a dark cave that did not have any Christmas lights but allowed them to run in circles and squeal loudly enough that other people started poking their heads in to see if they were missing a featured attraction.
“Cave” is probably making it sound even more exciting than it really was. It was pretty much just an informational booth about tigers that didn’t have any lights in it.
If you ask Madelyn what her favorite part was about the Zoo Lights (and you SHOULD ask her because she has a fantastic memory and loves to tell a good story), she will tell you it was "the worm." It was a display that lit up to show a worm running away from a bird. Madelyn tried chasing the worm with a little help from Daddy - she is determined that she will catch the worm next year.
This was my favorite thing thus far this Christmas season. Madelyn was sooo determined to catch that worm, but I have a suspicion that she had tons more fun in the chase than if we had ever found a way to truly get it :)
… For Celebrating
We had another wonderful annual Christmas party at our house with our friends and are so thankful for the opportunity to spend time with so many wonderful friends and family.
We opened our email yesterday to find a Christmas greeting from Madelyn's orphanage in China using a photo that we sent them earlier this year. It is hard to believe that it has only been about a year and a half since we were in China! It has been a time of tremendous blessing for our little family.