Puck…Friend or Foe?

While unpacking Christmas decorations this year, The Husband came across something we had both forgotten about…an Elf on the Shelf.  I had forgotten that my parents had bought him for us last year after Christmas, and although my boys are a little old for him, I knew we could have some family fun with this little guy.

But what?

See, my boys are 8 and 11, and The Younger Boy is so smart that we think he figured out Santa’s secret in kindergarten.  He was asking many philosophical questions about The Big Guy at the age of 5–it was both impressive and exhausting.  So, I figured he wouldn’t believe that some toy we found in a box of decorations suddenly came alive each night.

Plus, I kind of have a problem with the whole “Elf is watching you” concept.  Isn’t that what Santa is supposed to do?  And, my kids don’t need to worry about elves and Santa watching anyway–Mom and Dad are much scarier.  My boys are supposed to behave simply because they are called to by following God’s Commandments; not because it reaps new toys on Christmas morning.

So, after giving it some thought, I decided to be selfish and have some fun with the Elf that would be entertaining to me.  I know, it’s supposed to be for kids.  They’re enjoying this too, trust me.

Without further adieu, here’s our spin on the Elf on the Shelf:

In usual Elf on the Shelf fashion, he was dropped off by Santa.

Actually, he was thrown out of the North Pole.

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Kicking and screaming, Puck (notice his name is Puck?  We don’t even have cutesy elf names in this house, we go the literary route.  We’re weird, I know…)  was brought here against his will.  Apparently, he had an unfortunate fruitcake accident, and for unknown reasons, has been acting like a little jerk ever since.  So, the boys have to teach the Elf to be good so he can return to the North Pole.

That should be a challenge…

Day 2…Puck shows the other toys that there’s a new sheriff in town.

Showing the toys who's boss!

Showing the toys who’s boss!

The Younger Boy got a huge kick out of this.  He woke up in the morning, running in our room and giggling, saying “I knew Puck was bad, but I didn’t know he was that bad!”

Day 3…Puck sets up in the shower curtain to peep on bathroom goers.

Little pervert...

Little pervert…

The kids couldn’t even find him this morning.  I had to give hints–“I think he’s violating your privacy today…don’t go to the bathroom without making sure you’re alone…we need to find him, I think he needs psychiatric help.”

I know this one is a bit inappropriate, but I feel it’s only fitting for such a creepy looking toy!    Look at that face!

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Just LOOK at it, y’all!  Who made this thing?  Can you imagine that conversation?

Let’s make an Elf that watches the kids!  

That’s a great idea!  But, what should said elf look like?

Magical?  Nah.

Cute?  Nah.

Creepy?  Yes!  Yes, that’s it!  Let’s give him eyes that follow you around the room and a smile that you only see on pedophiles!  That’s more than appropriate for kids!  I mean, he IS watching them, right?

When The Husband first took him out of the box, he put him on the couch, close to me.  This is what I saw every time I looked over my shoulder:

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At first I laughed, but over time, I got thoroughly weirded out.  Even The Younger Boy said he looked like a stalker.  Actually, he referred to it as a “Christmas-time Chucky.”  (Have I mentioned lately that I love that kid?)

Day 4…Puck calls out for help.

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Day 5…Puck continues to torment the toys.

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Day 6 & 7…Puck flirts with our angel.

Hey Baby, what's your sign?

Hey Baby, what’s your sign?

And it looks like she’s not having any of it!  Stay strong, sister, stay strong!

The boys slept away, so the angel was stuck with Puck for 2 days.

Day 8…Let them eat cake!

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We had a birthday party for The Older Boy yesterday, so Puck ate some cake in the middle of the night.

 

There you have it.  The adventures of Puck thus far.

What will become of our new friend/nemesis?  Will he learn to be good?  Is there any hope for him?

I never miss an opportunity to teach the boys something worthy.  So, there will be a lesson in the end of all of this, and it will tie into our faith.

Stay tuned…  :)

 

A Flag, My Sister, and A Pig…Oh My!

It was Saturday afternoon, the weather was beautiful, and I wanted to spend some much-needed time with my 3 favorite guys.  The Husband and I decided we would surprise the boys with a Family Fun Night, but what to do?

I knew I wanted to be outside, and our activity had to be something relatively inexpensive. We are a family on a budget, after all.  I have absolutely no idea where this inspiration came from, but in moments, I knew what we would do.  I explained the concept to The Husband, and he was in immediate agreement.  I set it up, and in a short while, the family was on a city-wide scavenger hunt.

It was easy.  I thought of a few things that the kids could “find” around our hometown.  I wrote these things on slivers of folded papers, and placed them in a basket.  Each child took a turn picking a piece of paper and would then direct us to where that item was in town.  The night went something like this:

First up, Philip chose “A Flag”…and then could not think of where a flag was.  Eventually, he remembered that the library has 3!

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Next, John Edward chose “a place with a letter ‘d’ in it,” and to my utter dismay, we ended up at McDonald’s.  Oh, how I absolutely hate that place!

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The kids were already having fun with this, and I was tickled pink!  They couldn’t wait to see what was on the slips of paper, and they really enjoyed telling me which way to drive.  For the first time in about 5 weeks, we had a stress free evening.  The night continued…

Clue #3…Philip chose “a fountain,” and of course, we ended up at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital because my kids know that place inside and out.

They act so cool, like they weren't running to take the picture...geez...

They act so cool, like they weren’t running to take the picture…geez…

Clue #4…John Edward had to find “a family member,” so we were off to track down my sister, Caitlin!

Caitlin, an amazing aunt and sister!

Caitlin, an amazing aunt and sister!

After this, we decided to stop hunting to take a dinner break, and we ended up at a local restaurant.  I looked at the boys, cheeks rosy from the wind, with smiles over their little faces, and I felt the most serene contentment ever.

That is, until we were introduced to Philip’s newest villains.  Behold his menu creations:

The evils of tomorrow: a stapler with fangs, an alien, and...broccoli?

The evils of tomorrow: a stapler with fangs, an alien, and…broccoli?

Apparently, the broccoli has come to Earth to destroy it.  This is Philip’s very serious belief.  He believes that broccoli was never meant to be eaten, and that it was a huge mistake by mankind.  Can’t say I disagree with him.  Quiver with fear people, quiver with fear.

Back to our Scavenger Hunt!  Clue #5…Philip had to find “a piece of art.”  Now, we live in a city that has a fair amount of art to choose from.  He could have chosen from quite a few paintings, sculptures, statues, etc.

What did he pick?

A painting on the side of a comic book store.  Behold!  Captain America!  Thought provoking, no?  Hmmm…what is your interpretation of this piece?

Well, it IS very good, at least...

Well, it IS pretty good, at least…

Clue #6…John Edward had to find “a church (that wasn’t ours).”

St. Jules Catholic Church

St. Jules Catholic Church

Clue #7…Philip had to find “a park.”

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Clue #8…Last, but not least, John Edward had to find “a statue.”  Again, we are surrounded by beautiful statues in this area, especially spiritual imagery.  So, what was the beautiful statue that my oldest son chose?

Was it something spiritual that will move the soul?

Was it something historical that will rouse the troops?

Was it something beautiful that will stir emotions?

No.  It was this:

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A pig.  With a bow.  A freaking pig with a bow.  And look at my children, grinning from ear to ear, so happy to be with that pig!

Oh well, I’ll teach them culture another day.  For today, we had fun.

Our final stop was at a local candy store to get the boys a treat, and they wanted to turn the camera on us.  After about 6 tries, all of the pictures came out like this:

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I pointed out to the kids that they were all blurry, especially Jeremy, to which Philip said, “I don’t think it’s the camera.  I think it’s Dad.  Dad’s personality is just blurry.”

To which we replied:

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Dang, I wish these were clear!  Oh well, the memories are there, right?  And I hope they stay.  But more importantly, I hope we have more opportunities to make memories.

So, go make memories with your loved ones.  You don’t need money.  You don’t need a fancy plan.  You just need each other.