Zeke 2011 - Day 4 - Reindeer Sandwiches

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
We looked everywhere for Zeke in the morning and couldn't find him. He wasn't in any of the places he had been before. We even checked all of the toy bins in the playroom. Our five year old son Isaiah started to look in the kitchen cabinet where we keep the pots and pans when our two year old son Ezra asked me for a drink. I asked Isaiah if he could please open the fridge for me since I was holding our youngest son Abram. Isaiah opened the door and quickly ran back to the cupboard to continue his search. Ezra went straight for the milk and suddenly exclaimed, "Here is the Zeke!"

Isaiah rushed over and we saw our elf in the refrigerator sitting on top of a loaf of bread. He was holding a knife with peanut butter on it. There were two peanut butter sandwiches that looked like reindeer and two glasses of milk.
Zeke of course left us a note. He explained that it's chilly at the North Pole so he was actually quite comfortable in the fridge. He wrote that he heard the boys liked peanut butter so he made them some sandwiches to look like Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

The boys thought they looked pretty cool and said they tasted good (especially the eyes and nose!).

The reindeer sandwiches were made of whole wheat bread, mini marshmallows, mini chocolate chips and red M&M's. The middle of the bread was cut in a sort of tear drop shape and the crust was used to make the ears and antlers. The mini marshmallows were cut in half and a mini chocolate chip was placed on the sticky side. The red M&M was placed at the tip of the tear drop to look like Rudolph's nose. Super cute!

Zeke 2011 - Day 3 - Coloring Pictures

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The day before, the boys had colored pictures for Zeke and put them up on the fridge for him to look at.

First thing this morning, the boys checked the spot where Zeke was the previous day (on the kitchen counter making a flour angel). He wasn't there and our five year old son Isaiah noted that it was a good thing Zeke cleaned up his mess.

We looked to the refridgerator's freezer door where the pictures that the boys colored for Zeke were the previous day. They were no longer there. Instead we saw many new colorful pictures in their place and Zeke sitting on the top of the fridge above them proudly holding a box of crayons.

At first Isaiah thought our elf may have ruined the pictures. But we noticed a note from Zeke stuck on the fridge and Isaiah asked me to read it to them. In his note, Zeke said he liked the pictures that they drew for him so much that he took them back to the North Pole to show Santa and they hung them up there. Isaiah was immediately relieved that nothing bad happened to their pictures and was happy about their new location. Zeke also wrote that he drew pictures for them as well (of his favorite things about Christmas, his friends at the North Pole and of our family) and he hoped that we liked them. The boys loved the pictures and asked if he could please leave them there so we could continue to look at them.

Zeke 2011 - Day 2 - Snow Angel

Monday, November 28, 2011
As soon as our five year old woke up Monday morning, his first priority of the day was to find Zeke. Isaiah grabbed his Nintendo DSi so he could take a picture of our elf in his new spot (which became the routine every morning). We checked around the Christmas tree but he was nowhere to be found. We heard someone in the bathroom so we decided to check there for Zeke. He wasn't there but our two year old son Ezra was. He told us to wait for him and when he was done washing his hands, we went into the kitchen.

"I see something red on the counter!" Isaiah said as he walked up to it and stood on his tip-toes to see.

Our canister of flour was open and off the shelf. Zeke was making an angel in a mess of flour on our kitchen counter!

He left us a note apologizing for the mess and explained that he wanted to make a snow angel but since we didn't have any snow here yet, he had to find something else to use. He asked how it looked. Isaiah told him, "It looks good, Zeke! But you better clean that up because my mom doesn't really like messes that much." ;) Zeke's note also said that he had a good first flight back to the North Pole. He told the boys the things he and Santa were proud of that they did the previous day and the things that they could work on.

Zeke 2011 - Day 1 - Atop the Tree

Sunday, November 27, 2011
We woke up on November 27th, the Sunday on the weekend after Thanksgiving, to our very first visit from someone who would come to be a very special part of our little family.

"Mom! MOM!" Our five year old son was yelling from the living room. "There's a book under the tree! And something at the top."

Half asleep, I hurried downstairs to see.
With his arms flung around the star on the top of our Christmas tree we had just put up and decorated the day before, there was was a little guy dressed in a red suit and a pointy red hat. He had brown hair, blue eyes and pink rosy cheeks that surrounded a mischievous grin. The book beneath the tree was titled "Elf on the Shelf". We had heard about the scout elves Santa sends to families' houses to watch over them in the weeks before Christmas. We had talked about where they come from and what they do. But we had never seen one before. Could this be our very own elf?

"I think that's an elf, Isaiah!" I told him.

"I thought it might be!" he replied, excited, as his bright eyes stared at our new friend atop the tree. "I thought that's who it was but I wasn't sure!"

We talked about how Santa must have known we had just decorated for Christmas and thought it might finally be time to send us an elf. Isaiah noted the book under the tree. "Can we touch the book?" he asked. I told him I thought it was there for us to read. He cautiously approached it and once it was in his arms, he rushed to my lap.

As soon as we opened the book, our two year old son clunked noisily down the stairs, his favorite blanket clutched in his hand, dragging behind him. His eyes immediately filled with wonder as he saw us through the railing. "Whatta you doing?" he asked us as he hurriedly clunked, clunked, clunked down the last few stairs and jumped off the landing. He ran over to the couch where we were cuddled over the open book.

"We got an elf, Ezra!" Isaiah enthusiastically told him as he pointed to our new friend. Ezra didn't seem to understand but he was always up for a story, so he and blanky joined Isaiah on my lap and we finally began to read.

(Learn about the elf on the shelf story and tradition.)

We reached the part where we had to give him a name so he could get his magic. When I asked the boys what our elf's name should be, Ezra suggested that we name him Ezra. Isaiah didn't think that was a very good idea but said that our elf's name should be from the Bible since all of our names are. I agreed and began listing Bible names off the top of my head. We tried calling him some of the names but they didn't seem fitting. Daddy and our almost 9 month old son Abram joined our story time during our name conversation. On the spot, Daddy made up an odd sounding name that we laughed about and quickly nixed. We continued listing Bible names and when I said Ezekiel, Isaiah said, "That's it!" and Ezra repeated, "That's it!" (though we suspect Ez didn't exactly know what he was agreeing to as he always repeats anything said with excitement). So Ezekiel it was. And we would call him Zeke.

We spent the day talking about him, talking to him, asking questions and guessing the answers. We read the book numerous times. Ezra carried it around all day and even read it to his little brother. When it was time for bed we told Zeke goodnight and wished him luck on his first magical flight back to the North Pole.

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