I write about the Etsinger traditions more often than the Eby traditions but after reading some of my brother's blogs about the Eby Family, I think that it is important to document some of my perspectives as well.
I wonder what Keith, Mom and Dad all think when every gift opening is followed by intense game playing.
Every year, at every age, the kids have amazed me at how intensely they compete with each other and with Uncle Keith. They normally are competitive, but somehow or the other, their view of Keith being the ultimate game player and their ability to win with him on their team is like adrenaline to their competitive spirit.
This year, Jackie got Cranium for Uncle Keith and we all dove into the game that afternoon. ( OK, Keith has an effect on me, too. And Jackie never needs a reason to play a game to its finish no matter who wins )
Keith only has a short time each year to influence the kids but he is very effective in that short period of time. I was really impressed this year at how he responded to Adam's comment to Carmen about getting a new and better iPod because he destroyed last year's model. Keith quickly pointed out that Carmen now had the chance to have an iPod AND a new gift.
Opening that new gift brought a smile to Carmen's face and provided yet another life lesson to Adam. Adam likes to collect life lessons from many sources....
Adam then proceeded to teach Uncle Keith how to shoot paintball guns at objects that would have grounded Keith for several weeks if he were Adam's age.
The target on the right side is a fungus that is growing on one of Dad's trees. This is a target that is marginally appropriate because it will be a constant reminder to Grandma and Grandpa that "Adam was here" ( Good ) but will also be a concern that it will damage the tree.
The target on the left side is one I never would have attempted as a child. Keith wisely claimed that he was not good enough to hit the post and that Adam was the only one who could.
All and all, it was a great Christmas for the Eby family.
I'm not sure why Carmen and I get a reputation of "not smiling", but I'll accept that it is true. Many people think that I look disappointed when I am just thinking and many people think that Carmen is deep in thought when she is just listening or observing. Carmen perfected the "furrowed brow" look at a very young age.