As promised, I thought I'd share a couple of things that are hovering near the top of the family charts lately. Just in case you're in last-minute gift-hunting mode, or want to file ideas away for the future.
1. Over Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law purchased a Perplexus Rookie
for the kids to play with at her house, and to say that they were consumed with it is a gross understatement. Ian, particularly, could not put the thing down, which kind of surprised me because he's not usually given to spending long periods of time on, say, Rubik's cubes. This thing has no screen. No batteries. No apps. No ability to run Minecraft. But everyone from my 12-year-old son to my 10-year-old niece to my 6-year-old first-nephew-once-removed (or something like that) was standing in line to use it. In fact, Ian even asked me to bring it in from the car so he could work on it during the breaks in his taekwondo belt test that weekend.
Let's just say that he's hoping a Perplexus Epiclies in his very near future.
2. The Piano Guys. You're familiar with them, perhaps? The name is deceiving, since only one of them plays the piano, and one plays the cello (Dear Lord: Remember how I asked you for a child who wants to learn to play the cello? Are You working on that? Like, within the population You've already given me?). Anyway, these guys create flat-out gorgeous YouTube videos (see below for an example), and now they have an album out, which Santa is sure to drop down my chimney.* We're all fans in this household.
3. The Hobbit movie. I know; a real dark horse here! This cinematic event was hugely anticipated among the Tolkien fans of the family, which comprises everyone to differing degrees. Ian has been taking a class this semester that focuses on the Lord of the Rings, so yesterday, he and his classmates and a few parents and siblings went to see The Hobbit. I really debated letting Eliza go, because I read that the action, including some new battle scenes, was more intense than the book. In the end, the Professor and I decided that it would be okay, since he'd be there to remind her to cover her eyes if things got too scary.
Conclusion: It was EPIC! EPIC EPIC EPIC!!! And, with some judicious eye-covering and clinging to Daddy's hand, not too scary. That's the summary I've heard, although discussions have to be somewhat muted because Caroline wasn't allowed to go, which constitutes, in the mind of a seven year old, a grave injustice. She had to settle for shopping and baking with Mom. Rough.
4. The girls and I finally finished reading The Betsy-Tacy Treasury: The First Four Betsy-Tacy Books, and they were so sad that it was over. They loved it. They are drinking the Betsy-Tacy Kool-Aid with me. My work on this earth is done.
And that's all for now! Oh, wait. One more thing. My cousin has started a blog chronicling the tale of how she lost 100 pounds and went from exercise-hater to the strong, fit and inspiring mama she is today. You should check it out.
(*I kid. We don't do Santa here, FYI. But to each his own, and if you do Santa at your house, maybe you can send him over here with a CD, okay?)