Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Making Merry 2013

The Fellas, inadvertently posed as if Ben has a giant right hand.
We had a classic Christmas fiasco. Moments before this photo was taken, the tree was laying on the floor. The water drained all over the floor. We had a mad dash to get towels and move pre-Santa gifts out of the way. It was very exciting.  We lost a couple of ornaments, but nothing of sentimental value. My initial response was to laugh and run for my camera... which put me on Santa's "Bad List" temporarily. The cat hid for a while.
Happy Mama and her kiddos, posing unaware of the instability of the tree.
The Mr. & Mrs. ... waiting for Santa to come.
Super Big Brother gave Super Hero Ben this Super Hero play set
Benjamin gave Dylan this Super Hug
Grammie cross stitched these beautiful new Christmas stockings! (Julie decided that means she gets two! ... note the one still up to the far right...tee hee)
Christmas morning there were signs of Santa, all over the living room!
We took our time waking up.
Ben was raring to go!
With the semester over, and basically four "A"s and a "C" in his tough college classes, Dylan was definitely on Santa's "Good List".
Dr. Benjamin was given his very first lab coat by; a gift from his Buddy, Neil. In fact, it was an entire doctor costume complete with scrubs, casts, stethoscope, and more.
Dr. Benjamin checked his Daddy's heartbeat right away. He has one.
We received so many nice things from so many thoughtful friends and family members! Thank you, all, so very much!
We had some very interesting wrapping jobs. They were full of very thoughtful gifts.
Apparently, we were at the end of several rolls of wrap. Dylan made do.
Benjamin gobbled up Grammie's cookies in his new "Cookie Monster" jammies she sewed for him.

Sorry for the brief write-up... I hope to edit this post soon to ad side stories and humor from the day. Although we didn't get as many pictures as I had hoped, I will gather them from our various devices and post more soon.

For now, please know that you are wished a very Merry Christmas, with much love!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Solstice Sugar

We got about 4" of fresh snow, so we bundled up our little bundle of joy and ran out to enjoy it! 
We pulled Ben around the yard to evaluate our potential sledding slopes.
Benjamin tasted the Solstice sugar all along the way. He scooped it up with his gloves and made funny little smacky-licky sounds. Maybe it was just silliness? Maybe it was curiosity? Maybe he was thirsty? Maybe he is lacking some mineral and we should buy him a salt lick?
We found that the snow was too dry and fluffy for snow balls or snowmen to stick together.
But, the snow was perfect for grooming a small sled run on the north west corner of our property.
It wasn't too cold to play but, it was cold enough that we finally started to look toward the house, craving a warm cup of cocoa.
Lucy came out to play with us, follow us around, and dig in the snow after the mice and voles she thought she could uncover. After freezing her paws trying, she was happy to follow us back into the house for her food bowl.
We can't believe this little snow-eater is the same kid who was afraid to touch snow as a 2-year-old.
I'll bet our little snow angel has a snowman and a snow-fort in his near future!
Fun! Fun! Fun!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holly Jolly Christmas Time

The halls are decked and presents are wrapped. We still don't have the big fella here, yet. He is done with finals, but doing his Christmas shopping still. We hope to get him here soon.
We finished our shopping at the downtown Solstice celebration. They had burn barrels on the sidewalks and were making s'mores for anyone who came to warm themselves. Ben had a s'more outside of Chapter One Bookstore.
We walked around to view the lights and enjoy the snow.
Ben was pretty impressed by the shiny display outside of the post office. However, he was wondering "where is Rudolph" and why didn't Santa come. If we don't see him soon, we may have to mail them a letter.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


There is a whole lot of rhyming going on here! We bought these great magnet letters for spelling time. They came with uppercase, lower case and numbers. It soon became "rhyming time". Along with loving to make rhymes, Benjamin is a natural at teaching the teacher!
As we all know, rhyming and teaching, are just two of Benjamin's many super powers. However, when asked if he had "clean-up" super powers, I was given, "The Look"!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"It's A Color Explosion!"

We got our Christmas tree up last night. We included Ben in decorating as far as he could reach.
Ben announced that it was a "color explosion"! He dashed excitedly back and forth between ornament boxes and the tree.
In the midst of the excitement we were able to capture a few tender quiet moments a parent treasures for a lifetime.
His All-Mighty Cuteness needed to be interrupted many times for a squeeze.
Ben smiles like his Daddy, but we'll work on that.
Note the centralized placement of the Christmas balls.  Tree is asking why a few limbs have to bear the work of so many others.
The next explosive device is about to be detonated (color explosion, that is).
These are "friends" and needed to be close together.  Very close.
The aforementioned color explosion!
Behold!  The 2013 Hamilton Burkhart Christmas Tree!  The blue hue is an odd and compulsory addition from our camera. Also, it is missing the ribbon (to be added following a trip to the big city where they sell such niceties).
Our little blue angel intends to carry on a Burkhart family tradition. Grandma Connie helped us find her online. With the addition of blue ribbon and tulle from our wedding, she has taken her rightful place as ruler of our tree. I think, at Christmas time, we must be acknowledging our matriarchs!?! She is cute, but she is powerful!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

You Can Count On It!

Benjamin is getting very good at using the computer! He loves numbers and loves this math puzzle. The number game is a screen 3 clicks away from the main page I set him up on. Once I pull up an appropriate online option, he can select a game from the list and figure out how to play it, without assistance, now.
That all being said, we are keeping a close eye on him. When he gets stuck, I look at the computer screen to marvel at what he has managed to open up with overzealous clicking. If we send you a nonsensical email, you can pretty much assume it is from Benjamin Jon... with love.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Whatcha guys been up to?"

We have been neglecting our blog duties for quite some time now. Although I am repentant, I haven't accumulated the photos necessary to make it up to you all. Here is my feeble attempt to get going again. It may resemble the lawn mower in early spring; fits and spurts but followed by a steady new path, right?!
Wish me luck.
Well, some things don't change around here. Benja-gin is still in costume when he is not running around in his monkey underpants. I was asked to make a "Pirate Hook Hand Claw" for him. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a picture of it in use aboard the pirate ship sofa. Here it sits, like a question mark, wondering "where is the hand, me matey"?
The "hand" is usually dragging out the next set of props for his personal production of "The Hurricane that Hit the Toy Chest". Ninja Turtle Benja-gin comes out of his shell once in a while, to fight evil-doers... and Mom (when she want him to clean up his messes). Four years old is a more combative age than the first three. He is still ridiculously cute, though.
There are lasers involved in most of Ben's attire. Being a brilliant inventor, Ben created this laser using a crocheted cup insulation sleeve, a rubber bracelet, and a plastic wand. I think he is going to be one of those "Guy, guys"... it is in his genes!
At 42 inches tall, Ben is able to play a crazy game of "Marble Madness"! As he points out, he is "almost to the ceiling"!
Ben had the opportunity to interview his brother recently. I had hoped to get the low-down on why Dylan is not participating in "No-Shave November" this year, how college is going, if he is eating enough healthy calories, etc.... Ben, however, was reporting Dylan's licorice preference and whether they wanted to turn their tongue purple or red while Dylan was babysitting. Yes, you heard it here first! Dylan babysat his brother for the first time a couple of weeks ago! He is a great big brother and they had a great time.
We had a great time too! We met up with our dear friends, Clif and Jodi, in Missoula. We all went out for the Missoula Festival of the Dead, Day of the Dead parade and festivities. It was crazy rainy weather, but it was still great fun being with our buddies. 
There was also the "Artrageous" event to go to (poster to the right of Ben), featuring the artwork of my dear friend, Gail Cluff. AND, we had tickets to the "Return to the Forbidden Planet" (poster to the left of Ben); a comedy production by the Hamilton Players. We have had a social life lately!
I drew and designed the poster art for the play. Today is the last showing, then the posters come down around town. It was a super clever, very funny, show! The 2014 playhouse performance line up includes "Harvey" (my personal favorite)! We were so excited that we bought season tickets!