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Wednesday, December 24, 2003

When my last mail order shipment came in over the weekend, I ripped into the boxes as if there was something inside for me. And in a way, it was all for me, because I'll get to see the looks on the kids' faces when it's their turn to rip things open.

At that time I wasn't ready to wrap yet, so I carried everything up to the loft and sorted it all into piles. I was pretty pleased with myself for the even distribution, but at the same time I saw some gaps that caused me to want to make one more shopping trip. I did that Monday, the only day this week it hasn't rained. That was my good luck, but it was also because I check the five-day forecast often.

About an hour after all this activity caused by the UPS guy's brief but memorable visit, I started hearing voices. I thought there must be something going on outside on the road that passes by my house. I opened the blinds and looked out, and there was a lot of traffic, but I couldn't see any police action or maintenance work going on.

A little while after that, I heard the voice again. It seemed to be a female voice, but I couldn't make out the words. My next thought was that there was some kind of interference coming through the TV satellite connection - even though the television set wasn't on. That wasn't very likely, was it? And yet I cocked my ear toward the speakers anyway.

Later that afternoon I was working and I heard someone talking in the loft. That's the only place this sound could have come from, so I walked up the stairs and peeked around the corner into the room. There was Dakota's new My Singin' Simba doll, wagging its tail and asking me, "Can I be your friend forever?"

Well, no, Simba, not if you keep talking all night.

I tried to find the switch, but eventually I had to open the box and locate the instructions. The switch was under Simba's belly, so I felt around and turned him off. Or so I thought. Because he didn't stop talking and he didn't stop nodding his head or wagging his tail. And when I squeezed his ear, he sang "Hakuna Matata."

It turned out there are two switches, and you have to have them both set correctly or Simba will keep talking and singing until his batteries die. He must have been chattering away all the way from Oklahoma. But he's been quiet ever since I found the right combination. I just hope he wakes up and talks to Dakota tomorrow morning. I think they both might like that; I know I will.

21 December 2003

He just can't wait to be king.

I can tell you this story now, because by the time anyone reads it, the surprise part of Christmas morning will probably be over. And I'm not worried about Dakota, because he's only three and doesn't read yet. He does know most of his letters, though, and he counts (although not always in the same order you and I count).

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We only have the little boys until noon on Christmas Day. That's the first, last and only reason I agreed to be up and around and over at Suzanne's house at nine o'clock in the morning. But hey! I can sleep all day Friday! And Saturday, and Sunday. So it'll be worth it.

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One year ago: Merry Measure
"Even if you're at war for a cause, what you're fighting for is victory, and then peace. Some day, somehow, peace."

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