Day: December 9, 2005


I have a love/hate relationship with shopping. I hate shopping when I have to argue with kids about what we will not buy. I hate shopping when I can’t find what I went to get. I hate shopping when I’m tired or grumpy. I love shopping because it gets me out of the house. I love finding the exact right thing for cheap. I love wandering through a store looking at things and talking about them with my shopping buddy.

Today Patches was my shopping buddy and we went to a local thrift store. The purpose of the trip was to find pajamas for Kiki. Patches insisted on walking and did a remarkably good job of staying right with me. He did even better once we cruised the toy aise and found him a car to drive. So I meandered along the aisles while a two and a half year old drove his car next to, in front of, and behind me. Vrrrooom noises were naturally involved.

For some inexplicable reason Kiki wants a set of sleeper pajamas with footies on them. My 10 year old wants to wear infant style pajamas to bed. She thinks they look really cozy. I didn’t find any today. I didn’t expect to. Sleeper pajamas only come in sizes that large rarely, and usually only in specialty shops where they cost $30 per pair. She’ll have to do without them. Or maybe I’ll break down, buy a pattern and make her some. Eventually. But she does need warm pajamas right now, so I selected some warm looking pajama tops and bottoms that only sort of matched. This being a thrift store there are never matches. Ever. But then as I was idly checking girl’s sportswear I found the match to the cute penguin print top I’d already selected. And I found a closer match for the other pants. So now Kiki will have two sets of matching pajamas to wear.

Kiki & Link are both due for new snowboots. They both have good pairs, but you never know when a kid will decide to suddenly grow, so I wanted to have some waiting in the next size up. I found some really good looking ones for $4 per pair. Even better, they aren’t gender specific so I can pass Kiki’s down to Link next time around. While I was in boot territory I swung by the women’s sizes. Last week I’d come to this particular store shopping for jeans for me. On a whim I’d tried on some boots. There was this one black pair that fit really comfortably and I liked, but they were $7. I virtuously left them behind. When I told Howard about them he informed me that I should have spent the money because cool-looking comfy boots are good. So I wandered back to women’s boots and they were still there. I snatched them and no longer have to regret putting them back last week.

We meandered and Vrrrooooomed to the check out. Patches had picked out a pretty cool car and it was only 50 cents so I let him bring it home. It is a pink Polly Pocket car. I briefly considered trying to get him to give it to one of his Polly Pocket loving sisters for christmas, but that way would lie many tears & conflict. Patches doesn’t care that the car is pink. He cares that it is a car and it has seats that his little hamtaro figures can sit on. Vrrroooom!

So today’s shopping trip was the kind I love. Yay!

An Evening in Bethlehem

Last night was our ward christmas party. Last year the ward party was all about Santa, and the Polar Express I wrote about it ( and my frustrations with it. Last year I went to a church function where Christ was absent. This year it was Santa who was not invited. Yay! I’m so glad. He wasn’t even in a back room, he wasn’t there at all.

The event began with a mad scramble to provide costumes. I dressed Kiki, Link, & Gleek in tan shirts belonging to Howard and I. On the kids they made good tunics. Then I raided my store of fabric for sashes, headbands, and shepherd style headdresses. Kiki liked her outfit and decided that she was a shepherdess with powers. Patches watched the proceedings and declared that he wanted to wear his Link Costume. He even located his sword. Fortunately before I had to argue about not being a green elf, he decided to go with the theme of the evening. I took pictures of them all together. They were adorable, except they kept adopting fighting poses. Oh well.

Once we arrived at the church, the festivities began in our chapel where a man who has deeply and intricately studied Jewish culture gave a little presentation about Jewish beliefs. His point was that Jesus Christ was Jewish, his customs were Jewish and understanding Jewish beliefs can only help us understand Christ better. I’m afraid I can’t remember or correctly spell all of the things which he showed to us. I wish I could because I have no desire at all to be disrespectful to any people so dedicated to their beliefs. He showed us the caps and prayer shawls and explained their reasons. He showed, but did not wear because it would be disrespectful, the scriptures which are placed in the palm of the hand and on the forehead. He had torah scrolls, a menorah, a mezzuzah, and a shofar. He even blew the shofar (a horn made out of a ram’s horn) at the end of his presentation. I think that is the loudest sound I have ever heard in our chapel even including that one time that Gleek screamed. Hearing the shofar and picturing an army of them marching and blowing I can suddenly visualize the walls of Jericho falling down from sheer sonic resonance.

Then we walked through the back of the Chapel where we paid our “taxes” (A can of food for the Utah Food Bank), and into the Gym which had been decorated as the Bethlehem market place. We sat on a blanket on the floor and went to various stalls to purchase food with the play money that had been provided. Patches wasn’t used to this method of eating dinner. He’s been to buffets at the church before and is used to each person filling thier plate with as much as they want. He was a little frustrated to hand over a coin, bring back a plate and then have to divvy up the spoils. Fortunately there was enough to go around. Especially when he managed to snag extra cookies. He spent most of the evening hanging out with me. The older kids snarfed their food and ran off to play, but Patches sat with me. We talked about cookies and meat and sharing. He’s my sweet little buddy, it was fun.

Gleek was highly excited by the whole proceeding. She had a hard time settling down in the chapel. I fully expected to have to haul her out for irreverance since she was walking on benches, climbing over benches, and jumping on benches. But once the presentation started she sat perfectly still and listened to the whole thing. I was very impressed. Well, she wasn’t perfectly still. Her legs went kicketykicketykicketykicketykicketykick the whole time. If I’d taken a picture of her, no matter how quick the shutter speed those legs would still have showed up blurred in the picture. When the whole crowd began filing through the tax line, Gleek wiggled her way through the preschool size holes in the legs and got past the tax man without paying a thing. She then spent the next 30 minutes running full speed in circles around the periphery of the gym. Since she was careful not to run into people, and I was too tired to make her stop, I just let her run for awhile. Eventually she slowed down enough to eat, listen to stories, and play the dreidle game that was provided.

Link & Kiki became good helpers. I ended up giving them money to go and buy the goods we needed to feed our family. They loved it. The novelty of dividing food and eating it on the floor was sufficient that I didn’t have to argue with any of the kids about eating. After they ate Kiki & Link both disappeared into the crowd. This didn’t bother me at all because I knew pretty much everyone in the crowd, the crowd wasn’t all that big, and I knew they wouldn’t leave the building. I caught sight of them periodically during the evening. Once I saw Link and a group of other boys in bathrobes all laying on the floor playing with their dreidles. It was good to see him playing with peers. Once Kiki came up to me and showed me that she’d aquired a handful of the play money. She’d been standing innocently near the cookie booth and some people assumed that she was the cookie seller and started handing her their coins. Since this was after the point in the evening when it was obvious there would be extra food, all the food had become free and the sellers had gone to go be with their families. Kiki got to keep her coins, in fact all the kids acquired coins once they were told that they could take them home. Link and Gleek did so by grabbing handfuls of bags off of the tax collector’s tables.

The program for the evening was a reading of Luke 2 while ward members played the parts of Mary, Joseph, shepherds, etc. It was kind of neat to be sitting there in the marketplace while they walked through. Did I mention there was a “well” in the middle where people got water? The set up was amazing. The kids were good, we learned some things, fun was had, and I came home feeling spiritually full instead of empty. This was a good christmas party.