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Ushering in the season of peace, the way only we can.

The twenty-minute period that the kids most enjoyed this weekend was when I put them in the back yard and stood on the warm, dry side of the sliding glass door, looking at them, feigning irritation. They were aiming snowballs at me (with a little too much joy in their pitches, if you want to know the truth), and hitting the glass with slushy, yet still shocking splats. I was just thankful for the relative quiet. The two hours prior to my revelation to bundle them up and throw them head-first into the untouched whiteness blanketing our yard had involved games like Throw Hard Objects Down The Stairs Before She Can Get To Us and Hide Under Tables With Forbidden Food Items And Then Scream To Be Found And Then Run Very Very Fast.

Quinn doesn't understand the concept of making a snowball; he thinks snowballs are separate creations from the vast expanse of snow on the ground, so he spent the first few minutes confused and frustrated: Where is a snowball? WHERE? Amazingly, he did find a few ready-made snowballs, even though they were more like snow boulders, but once he'd exhausted those resources, he was forced against the will of every fiber of his little rebellious being to follow my instructions (bellowed from the safe, warm confines on the nice side of the glass door), and he finally started scooping up handfuls of snow and creating his own Quinn-sized weapons, whose splats against the glass were much less threatening.

Bryce, as he does with everything, turned it into a "contest" the rules of which resembled Calvinball, from what I can tell, with points randomly being assigned to each beautiful slush-glass contact. Bryce's first goal was 300 points, which he achieved in three splats before realizing in actuality, he needed 26,000 points, I better go make more snowballs! Quinn, of course, never received any points regardless of how many hits he made; it didn't seem to bother him, though, since he was more concerned with the fact that he was "running out" of available snowballs than he was with winning Bryce's game. (Note to Quinn: Good philosophy. Never forget that, and take my word for it -- YOU CAN NOT WIN BRYCE'S GAME. EVER.)

Also this weekend, in an attempt to keep up the facade with our family that we are perfectly functional, contributing members of society who should absolutely not be considered "unstable" or "unfit" or "insane" just because that is all, in fact, true, we told the kids we were going to take holiday pictures to mail out to the family. Wait, let me re-phrase that. We begged, bribed, and groveled with them for two days before finally resorting to our 50% failproof method of screaming and threatening so that we could get one decent shot of them 1.) stationary and 2.) not saying "poopy." Our really great techniques got us nowhere fast, literally: the kids ended up doing their usual maniac laps around the house, only this time in nice we-are-a-normal-family clothes and with combed my-parents-are-not-on-the-verge-of-nervous-breakdowns hair, while John and I resigned ourselves to a lifetime of drinking. Our holiday cards are going to be nothing if not realistic.

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