And I bring you the 2013 additions:
I never could resist a brand new box of crayons. Especially when it was the BIG BOX. A few times over my years of kid-dom I got the BIG BOX, and that was like the Motherlode. More often I got the 24 crayon box, but life was truly good when you got the BIG BOX, what with the skin tone crayons (well, peach and apricot) and the always confusing orange-red AND red-orange. The sharpener never worked very well - or maybe I was just too dumb to operate it properly. Life is too good for kids now - they don't know the joy of the BIG BOX of crayons.
The bell from The Polar Express, complete with a golden train ticket. I so love the story of the Polar Express, and the amazing illustrations in the book. I actually bought 1 too many copies of the book last year, so I have a brand new, still-in-shrink-wrap copy if anyone is in need of one.
We always put my collection of Christmas story books (mostly from Scholastic, but some nicer ones) under the Christmas tree. My lovely copy of the Polar Express - a favorite gift from Greg and Tara Funk some years ago - gets the dominant spot in the front of all the books.
I saw this one at Kohls and just had to have it. (I use that phrase a lot in terms of Christmas Everything: "I just have to have it!") It looks just like our Rex, except in his mouth he would be carrying a chewed up chunk of what used to be our garden hose . . . or what used to be Jack's sock . . . or pieces of what used to be a rubber chicken . . . or the recently severely mutilated Sock Monkey, who now only has one leg.
In addition to ornaments, I also have a tremendous weakness for Nativity Sets. I added this one this year because I just couldn't resist the little sheep - he's so tiny! I sent Addie to count my nativities, and she tells me I have 8. That doesn't include the one I didn't even put out this year because I couldn't find a place for it. I have 3 in this room alone. Lane tells me I'm going to have to enact a one-in-one-out policy, because there's getting to be too many. He's wrong, of course.
We've been bringing the dog in more since its so cold and snowy. I couldn't get a picture of Rex trying to share his bone with Lane. Lane finally put his hat over his face because the bone was so wet and slobbery. It was funny to watch. Rex has gotten so much bigger - nearly full-grown we think - but he is still totally a puppy. He loves to rough-house with Lane! It's fun to throw a toy for him to fetch in the house, because he can't stop himself on the wood floors and slides into things. Yeah, we're pretty mean owners sometimes, but it's incredibly amusing!
Normally it's hard to get a good picture of Rex, he moves around so much and seems to be camera-shy, but I managed to finally get a decent one. Funny thing, this is about as close as he'll get to the stairs. He'll go upstairs all the time (naughty dog!) but is terrified of the stairs going to the basement. He'll walk the long way around the ottoman, under people's legs, to avoid walking past the open door to the stairs. I once inadvertently placed a laundry basket blocking his way around the ottoman, which would have forced him to walk past the stairs. Yeah, so he opted to sit in the laundry room instead. Wouldn't even come in the room. Stupid dog.
He's also scared of the vacuum.
And his own shadow.
We feel so safe with him around. :)