Friday, 30 December 2016

Topeka Zoo

Eden hugging "Aslan" in the gift shop.

The next generation of forest rangers.

Z and the hippo.

That's an orangutan with a sack on its head in the background.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016


Caleb, Grammy, and me (Fall 1974)

Caleb, Mom, and me (same day)

Z, Yaya, and Eden (2016)

Saturday, 24 December 2016

A Walk In the Woods on Christmas Eve

Z found the Deathly Hallows sign.  He's pointing to it.

Here's a close up.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

A Glimpse into the Future

Yesterday Eden and I (Christina) had this conversation:

Eden:  I love you.  I don't love you.
Me:  What?
Eden:  I love you.  I don't love you.
Me: What does that mean?
Eden: You know what it means.
Me: Ummm . . . no, I don't.  What does it mean?
Eden: It means I'm a teenager.

This is an old picture, but once I saw it, I couldn't resist posting it.  Is she not the cutest thing EVER?

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Christmas Gifts from Oregon!

We got a Christmas package from Oregon today and opened it right away because it was marked "perishable."  My goodness, it was a feast of fat things -- truffles, smoked salmon, caramel popcorn, baclava, chocolate covered cherries, and pears!  Thank you Jeremy, Ann, Evie, Libby, and Gideon!  We each had a chocolate covered cherry after supper tonight and they were scrumptious!  The boxes came wrapped in a beautiful gold ribbon which Eden is enjoying as much as the food!

Eden Does the Cha-Cha

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Z's First Concert

Z has been taking part in orchestra this year in school.  He's playing the cello and seems to be enjoying it very much.  Last Thursday he had his first concert at school.  He and all the other kids did a great job and clearly liked playing and loved their teacher!

The last song was "We Will Rock You" so they all wore cool sunglasses!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Santa Came to the Soto Pancake Feed Today

These two pictures basically sum up the Hitchcock relationship with Santa Claus.

Nathan just wants to talk metaphysics.

Eden is two parts unbeliever, one part terrified acolyte.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Joy to the World (including you suckers)

Last month Nathan led worship at our church and, before leading "Joy to the World," explained how Isaac Watts wrote the song as a political proclamation of Christ's kingship over the world, not as a Christmas song per se.

Clearly some people were listening.  A friend texted us this today:
Last Sunday at family dinner my mom asked the kids if we sang any Christmas songs as church, adding that she had sang "Joy to the World" at her church.  In near unison my kids [ages 4 and 6] said, "That isn't really a Christmas song."  My mom looked at them in confusion and my son said in complete confidence, "Listen to the words, Grandma.  Not a real Christmas song."

Monday, 28 November 2016


We went to a Stampede game last night.  They're the local minor league hockey team.  Apparently it is a tradition at Stampede games to, at some point, play "Cotton Eye Joe," which is the signal for men and boys of all ages to whip off their shirts and whirl them around their heads while they dance to the music, hoping to get up on the big screen.  Eden, who enjoyed every minute of the game, was not going to be denied participation in this particular ritual.  She didn't get featured on the big screen, so here she is on the little screen!

Thursday, 24 November 2016


We had a lovely Thanksgiving day.  We all slept in till about 8:30, and then after breakfast Eden announced that it was present time!  A few days ago she asked me why we didn't give presents at Thanksgiving, and I said it just wasn't part of the tradition.  Well, Eden cast tradition to the wayside and made presents for everyone anyway!  She had us all sit on the couch and then she brought up the presents and the cards.  She had a card for each of us, which she'd written on her own, which said, "I love Mama, Love Eden" or "I love Daddy, Love Eden" or "I love Z, Love Eden" with a picture drawn on it.  Then a present for everyone!  She gave Z one of her pokemon cards that he wanted, she gave Nathan a little bean bag, and she gave me a little snow globe with an elephant in it which she bought yesterday with her own money!  I was so surprised.  Then Z jumped up, ran off, and was back in a second, handing me another snow globe, this one with an owl in it!  They had been out with Nathan the other day and each spent their own money to buy me a present!  They are the sweetest kids ever.  Eden was just glowing with pleasure at the present giving, even though no one had given her a present at all.

Eden and Z with the snow globes they gave me.
After that the kids worked on decorating a gingerbread house they had bought at the store, and did a very nice job with it.

We then went to the USF gym, which was totally deserted, and exercised and scooted and played basketball in preparation for the piles of food we planned to eat later.  After the gym we came home, took showers, made food, and headed off to Amah's to eat.  The food was fantastic and the company was delightful!  It was a very happy day.

Apple pie and shortbread.
Nathan carves the turkey.