Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Spatula Thief Strikes Again! Merry Christmas Kids!

Two years ago, my daughter wanted a detective-themed party for her birthday. She had gone to a party when she was 10, where the girls had to drive all over town to solve clues. She wanted her cake to be stolen, and for the girls to have to find it. I wasn't sure how I was going to compete with the great pajama caper, but slowly the idea emerged, and, thanks to a little clip-art guy I found...the Spatula Thief was born.

The girls' moms all took pictures of spatulas with cake crumbs or flour at their houses, and we included a few recognizable places around town too. The girls had to examine the pictures to figure out where the next clue was--and were very surprised that their moms had all been in on the mystery!

Occasionally, the spatula thief shows up again, but this time he is teaming up with another family nemesis: Chunky the Squirrel!

One Easter, the kids didn't find all of the eggs hidden was missing. The squirrels in our neighborhood are very aggressive. I've seen one with a whole green tomato in his mouth. And they dug up all of our daffodils, even though squirrels are supposed to leave them alone (and only go after tulips. Our squirrels didn't get that memo.) They constantly dig up our annuals as well. So, we're pretty sure that opening a plastic egg is within their capability, especially Chunky's. (Obviously, he's been eating the kids' chocolate.)

Chunky is blamed for all sorts of misdeeds, and this year, he and the Spatula Thief are after the kids' presents too! He left clues throughout the Night Before Christmas poem for them to solve.

"Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a ___________. 
(well, except the Spatula Thief, who, I’m afraid to tell you, has hidden a few of your presents…)"

I was pretty surprised to actually find squirrel spatulas online!

The kids solved all the clues and then opened the rest of their presents...and now, they're all snuggled in their beds again!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


I was thinking today, how hard it would be to entrust a baby, a son, forever into the care of another. On one level, it seems so crazy. We think of the peacefulness of sending Christ into the World...Silent Night, the shining star, gifts from wise men, shepherds adoring...But God sent the Babe to a world of political strife and vicious power struggles...a world where a crazed ruler would even slay innocent babies trying to prevent a king from being raised up. To men who would condemn and kill him, rather than welcome and accept him.

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
--John 1:12-13 
More than entrusting a babe to this world...his Spirit fills our hearts. Just as crazy. Just as wondrous. May we contemplate him, and be full of thanks this Christmas.