Sunday, December 28, 2008

Who Am I?

According to Dylan when last reading his favorite train book, Eric and this man are "Da-Da":
Sir Topham Hatt.

According to Benjamin who was watching basketball the other day with his dad, Eric really looks "like that guy in the suit! (Mike Jarvis)":

and Benjamin also observed that Dad's head is "like the top of Stone Mountain."
I also think that teenager Eric bears an uncanny resemblance to:
Shaun White (Gold Medalist in Snowboarding, etc.)

and I have begged forgiveness often for once saying in a bad moment that Eric reminded me of:
We're glad to report that Eric smiles at all of our jests--always a guy with a super sense of humor and we're getting ready to miss him a ton when he leaves to spend some time at the University of Kentucky in January and February. We hear he has great plans of exercising in his spare time up there too.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

Our Christmas Eve included caroling to neighbors and friends with Isaac and his drum and Benjamin and his bells, tamales and the Christmas story. I thought that in a house of boys, there would never be an argument about who got to be Mary. Was I ever wrong. At one point, the nativity story almost got canceled because Isaac was insisting that HE wanted to be Mary and Benjamin was insisting that NO, Nee-Mom HAD to be Mary and Dad HAD to be Joseph. Tears and stomping of feet. Isaac persisted. And in the spirit of Santa coming, Benjamin (very much warming my mother heart with pride) decided not to have a tantrum and let Isaac have his way. So Isaac was Mary, Dylan wandered hither and yon at times being a wise man and at other times being a baby thief upsetting our Mary who chased Dylan down yelling, "Don't take MY baby Je--!" The narration was punctuated with many interruptions, stalls and and false starts. But the puppy sheep performed well and the puppy King Herod sent the wise puppy and Benjamin to find the baby. Benjamin was thrilled to don different costumes as different characters were needed. And Mary was indeed very tender, loving and contemplative keeping peace in his heart sitting peacefully through it all. I love Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Passports in Our Stockings

In January, Eric will begin working with Dr. Stephen Dobson at the University of Kentucky on a project to develop integrated technologies for reducing the primary mosquito vector of lymphatic filariasis in the South Pacific, Aedes polynesiensis. The goal of the project is to develop control technologies that can be used in conjunction with mass drug administration (MDA) for a long enough period of time so that the disease transmission cycle can be broken. Primarily he will be participating in a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded project to conduct research in French Polynesia/Tahiti.

For those whose knowledge of the geography of the South Pacific is a bit foggy, Tahiti is one of the many islands that constitute French Polynesia (Bora Bora is another one of the islands). It is located about 2400 miles southeast of Hawaii. The most populous city on the island (and in the territory) is Papeete. We anticipate that we will be living in or around the commune of Paea, although that is yet to be determined. We're excited and nervous about moving to a foreign land where we will learn new languages (French and Tahitian), attend new schools, and participate in new professional activities. We're looking forward to Island life and all it entails-snorkeling, surfing, and hip-shaking dancing! If you come to visit while we are there we will definitely greet you with a warm Bienvenue and Iaorana!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


We're playing (trains, of course) and a big clap of thunder startles everyone. Isaac dashes into my arms. Then he looks up and rushes around the room. "Gotta get puppies, doll, baby and bear baby. Keep them safe!" He then comes back to my lap and we keep everybody safe.

Compassion in a two year old is very endearing. And it's nice to know that just being there with him makes Isaac (and everyone else) feel safe.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Isaac Uses Words

After being forced into the car against his will at the end of a library visit, Isaac screams and protests in the back seat for several minutes, "I want to run!!!" I wait him out for a little bit and then say, "Isaac, can I talk to you now?" Isaac announces: "I am not HAPPY! I want to run." Me: Isaac if you can stop screaming, you can run at the playground at Benjamin's school when we get there." Pause. "Nee-Mom. I happy now!" (Hearing him describe his emotions was too, too funny).

Isaac has also taken to complaining when any member of the family seems to be ignoring him, "You're not talking to me. Dylan not talking to me"...etc.

Without a doubt Isaac has lots of words now.

Monday, December 8, 2008

All Is Merry and Bright

Benjamin (Conversations inspired by his latest creation on canvas):

"I am an artist. We should have a Family Home Evening all of us around the kitchen table. You, Dad-Eric, Isaac and Dylan. I will teach you how to be an artist like me!"

"Does an artist do dishes? What else does an artist do?"

"Does my tree make you happy?" (Absolutely!)

"That's a heart. Because there is love in our family. Dad-Eric loves Nee-Mom. Nee-Mom loves me. I love Isaac. And Isaac loves Dylan."

We're loving everything, everything Christmas at our house. The boys are full of jingles and high spirits and our trees are just about the happiest things ever. We all can't get enough of the twinkling lights and Benjamin is begging to sleep next to our tree. I can't blame him. I think we could just stay next to the tree all day long and be pretty content. Some good music, gingerbread men and some Christmas stories--what more do we need?