He came!

Christmas 2008 has gone just as quickly as it came, at our house anyway. While Christmas has been here for MONTHS in stores, etc., the Bedsole house didn't decorate until the week before, so it really appeared to come and go rapidly. It's a long, uninteresting story, but in the end Mama sent Daddy to Marvin's (one of two places in Demopolis to purchase a tree - though Dad reminds us of the hundreds of free trees available in the pasture) one night before closing time to pick out a tree; we were in the mood to decorate and time was ticking. Charlie Brown arrived with the tree fifteen minutes later, and our parents laughed at the worst looking tree they'd ever paid money for. We, on the other hand, thought it was really great and high time we had one in our house. Dad got his twenty bucks worth and then some when we ALL strung lights on the tree...with GLEE. (If there were a sound button in the dictionary beside the word, you would hear John David and Thomas's squeals as they undertook this task. They were overjoyed!)

As perhaps said before, two year olds are as "excited" about Christmas as people instruct them to be, which in our case was pretty excited, considering we didn't know what to really expect or when it was over. Thomas started behaving...well, crabby, on Tuesday, and then proceded to run fever on Christmas eve (and as a toddler, why wouldn't you? That's the same as a night or weekend or any other time your doctor isn't available, right?). A good nurse practitioner (and mother, no doubt) stocked/prepared us for the long week/end, but he never really felt better and we still don't know why. Oh well. So only Mom went to church on Christmas eve with all the Northcutts, and we went to sleep hearing about Santa's arrival for the umteenth time. We both woke up at 2 a.m. (I don't think we're supposed start doing that for a couple of years now, but it was Christmas eve.) However, it wasn't because we were too excited to sleep: Thomas's Motrin had worn off and fever had returned; John David (who never wakes us up during the night anymore) just wanted to get in the bed with everyone else. An hour later, we were all alseep in our own beds until 7 a.m. when we finally discovered our surprises. Having the ability to make sentences, among other developmental things, made it an entirely different experience than last year, and we said some adorable things.

We played for a bit, went to Cici and Papa's to open a few gifts, fooled Granny with her new fridge, and watched Brittany flip out when she got her FIRST CAR!! Uncle Billy cooked us breakfast at Granddaddy's, we napped at home, and reunited at Cici's for dinner. Daddy's always itching for a hunt, so after we went to bed he went to "catch a duck" in MS.

Despite the green monster truck and everything else that goes "vrrrrmmm", Thomas never really felt well, and as we prepare to greet the new year, he still just doesn't seem like his old self. He's irritable, moody, clingy, fitful, spiteful; he's borderline impossible, and Mama hates to admit to those things. (They look even worse in writing!) We all love our T-tom and his amazing qualities and personality. (John David all but worships his "little" brother.) So is he still "ill"? Is he just out of his routine? Have we finally reached the terrible twos? (yikes) He always has done things before his brother. Whatever it is, we all wish he'd get back to being Thomas...SOON! And not just for our sakes, but for his. He's just mostly unhappy. Mama has been concerned, increasingly exhausted by it, and now, impatient. Just how many more times will we all hear "NO!" or "AAH!" [which, by the way, is what we snap at people with when we're mad]. How many more times will he deliberatly disobey his parents, or purposely annoy his brother?(...And those older and wiser who are still reading, don't answer that. We are somewhat aware that we've only just begun :)

But seriously, at a time like this, I need the Lord to help me!! (Fellow Camp McDowellers can appreciate this, and anyone else who knows that ridiculous song. Perhaps in my moments of frustration, I should actually sing it out loud.) And so in an unsuspected way, our mom has been reminded of her own words she exclaimed to us again and again on Christmas morning, "He came!"

And He did. Thank God, HE came. He knows our frustrations. He knows our challenges. He knitted us together. He created every bit of our personalities. Thomas is every bit as human as his mother, and she forgets this at times.

As we welcome a new year, we thank God that He came and that He is with us every step of the way, as we grow and parent and love.

"He brought his reindeer!!" We both briefly mistook the horses for reindeer.

"I goin to Wal-Mart!"

Thomas examines the #1 item on his list: a green monster truck.

He later discovered the "en-a-m's", the breakfast of champions.

John David still has an affection for a cool pair of shades.

Just funny...

Even a gift the size of a refrigerator is not enough to thank our Granny for all she does for us.

Most of the Northcutts, minus Brittany to whom Granddaddy has apparently given the hand.

No, wait. There she is. Now what happened to Mary?

Playing with cars from Uncle Richard at Nannie's house the weekend before.


Jesus and Potty Stars

One great, cheap (compared to previous gas prices) early evening activity has been riding and looking at Christmas lights. Truly a joy that makes us squeal and creep through the streets like senior citizens/stalkers, we've headed out most evenings after dark to check out our favorites. There's a Santa train with a penguin in a car that pops in and out of a present, a.k.a. "penguin pop out." There's also a yard with a gigantic cedar tree that has a 3D star on top and six or seven strands of vertical lights that come from the star to the ground. Thomas spotted this one way up the street and immediately recognized it as the "SPIDER!"

Now we're experts at identifying the man in red, snowmen, reindeer, and even the harder-to-find holy family. Because our parents, like most, don't want us to miss these important characters in the story of Christmas, we've done several drive-bys and have even walked over to the Methodist church's nativity behind Cici and Papa John's house. Theirs is big and simple - Mary, baby Jesus, and Joseph. It took us a little while to identify Jesus as the baby and not his dad (as he appears everywhere else in church), but now we know. There's also a large star above the scene and John David, having cemented in his mind that Jesus is the baby, said, "He got a potty star! He tee tee in the potty!"

This was so priceless and hilarious to our mom (who for a second couldn't figure out what J.D. was saying?) because at day care, we get our potty star posted on the bulletin board when we use the potty. (FYI, ours is never on the board, but we're proud of our stars just the same and can point them out among the 15 - we recognize our names by the T and the J...D... Hey, letter identifcation is a life skill, too, right?)

Isn't it so innocent and original and just plain funny the way we toddlers think? Why else would someone hang up this big star above Jesus? Our Savior is perfect. Perhaps he was potty trained at birth :) hee hee (Moms, can you even imagine Mary potty training a little Jesus? Little parenting things like that just leave me in complete wonder when I think about them.)

(Will post a picture of Jesus underneath the potty star later.)


Thanksgiving with the Lavenders

Dad's cousins, the Lavenders, are so sweet to include us the last several years at Thanksgiving. This year, we ate at their camp outside Aliceville. After a (long) ride and a carsick John David, we arrived to beautiful weather and great food. We threw our footballs and the dummies to the dogs, rode the "big golf cart", and slept it all off on a quiet ride home. We finished the day at Cici and Papa's with Granny and Britt, and Daddy left to go duck hunting in Mississippi. John David ran fever and got sick. Thomas was very curious about his dad's absence and asked, "You catch a duck?" on the phone the next night. T. informed us he was "catch a green duck with green eyes; Mama gets a blue one." But the only bird Dad came home with the next day was a small but hopeful (war) eagle, which also turned out to be a bum deal. (Sorry Dad...Roll Tide!)

Looks like Mom needed Anne to take pictures this day as well...sorry there aren't more.

John David and Thomas with Uncle Andy, our Nana B's brother
John David with Nannie
John David feeding "Camp Dog" the food from his lap
Thomas, Thanksgiving a.m. "I put on you babysoup, Mama!" aka bathingsuit, which is what he began calling them this summer. (Son, this is one for the rehearsal dinner.)

(pre)Thanksgiving with the Northcutts

This year was our mama's first Thanksgiving without her family :( but we did see most everyone the night before at our (great) Granddaddy's house. Thank you, Anne, for the pics!

Thomas and John David (fresh after haircuts)

John David and Kate Mitchell, "He's a baby greel (aka girl). He's not a boy." (She is certainly the most beautiful baby greel!)

We were happy to share a toy...mostly.

Thomas and John David, 2 yrs. 3 mo; Kate Mitchell, 10 mo.