Dashing through December

So, it’s only early 2015, and December is already a blur. We had a nice Christmas, trying our best to keep things as non-complicated and stress-free as possible, as well as very focused on Jesus.

But man, even with mucho intentionality and diligence, simplifying anything — much less the holiday mania that takes over for the last quarter of the calendar year — is still just incredibly challenging in our culture. Fighting social conformity can be downright exhausting.

Zeke, Houston & Gabriel in one of a slew of incredible pics of the kids taken by the super-talented Miss Christie during a fall photo shoot at Old Mill of Guilford.

That’s not to say we didn’t some holly-jolly fun, though. The boys and I trekked up to Richmond to see family early in the month. Gramsey and Papa even watched the dudes one evening so that I could spend some quality time with my oldest pal in the world, Ingrid.

We did Thai with Lisa, Dina, and Meredith and then hit a brew pub. Angela and Shelley met up with us there, and then the four of us headed down to my old stomping ground of the Fan for more drinks and shenanigans. Good times, great oldies!

The 3 Amigos got to play laser tag twice last month. Their first time was on a boys-only outing (that also included bowling) with Daddy, and Mr. Jeremy and Bret — some cools pals we met through the J-Crew.

Wow, “double trouble” have never looked cuter!

Granny took the boys to laser tag the next time, but we insisted they pay for it themselves, since it adds up to be quite the pricey outing. Plus, those kids’ piggy banks never seem to be lacking in cold, hard cash. Just a little economics 101.

As mentioned previously, Houston is finally questioning the existence of the man in the red suit. I think the little kid in him is still clinging a tiny bit to the festive fable. But the logical big boy in him is simply questioning the irrationality of it all.

“I think Santa is Mommy,” Houston announced to his bros. “Uh, but Mommy doesn’t even have a beard,” retorted Zeke with matter-of-fact confidence and a bit of disdain for the premise itself. Yep, he and Gabe remain steadfast Santa believers for sure!

Oh my, what a handsome young man!

The dudes received many wonderful Christmas gifts, some for fun (Monopoly, Battleship, a BB gun, the Star Wars DVD box set); some educational (Story of the World audio book, art supplies, a veritable library of great books); and others more utilitarian (luggage, water bottles, ear protection for target practice).

They also gave, including a $5-each donation toward the “Make Cornbread, Not War” baseball cap I bought Daddy (with his own money, of course) per his request. Gabriel and Zeke are extremely generous kids, always willing to donate a decent amount of money to whatever the good cause.

Houston, on the other hand, is pretty stingy, and usually has to be gently coaxed into being more charitable. Maybe that’s because he has a better understanding of money and math. But still, sharing one’s blessings with a grateful heart is an important lesson.

The 3 Amigos doing what they do best: loving & laughing. This one is my favorite Old Mill photo.

We watched Phish’s live webcast from Miami for New Year’s Eve, and the boys actually stayed up till midnight, thanks to mucho Dr. Pepper early in the evening and coffee cocktails (comprised of mostly creamer with a dash of joe) for the last stretch of the night.

Here are some highlights:

  • “My favorite band is Phish,” Gabriel proclaimed only a couple songs into the show.
  • “I just can’t help myself,” Zeke admitted about his need to boogie down.
  • “When the music’s louder, I dance better,” Gabe explained.
  • “I’m doing some mighty mad mojo,” Zeke added.
  • “I need some caffeine to stay awake! Anybody got any caffeine?” a tired Houston pleaded as we neared midnight.

Just like the old days: Shelley, Ingrid, Angela & I drinking too much beer & having fun. Good times, bad hangover.

Gabriel recently said, “I like girls better than boys,” adding that he has three girlfriends: the preacher’s daughter, a crush from the CC practicum last summer, and an older neighbor (she’s 9). Our ladies’ man has since modified that number down to a modest two.

Although definitely a lover, Gabriel is also quite the fighter. In fact, Sunday marked the first time he truly retaliated against big brother’s “man-handling.” It was such a fierce display of self-defense that Houston even shed a few tears. The ever-changing dynamic of three brothers so close in age sure is an incredible thing to behold.