Don't Call It A Comeback

Five people have complained to me about the lack of posts here. I'm going to call that a mandate for change in 2011. Also, I have a Kindle now, so I'm a real live twenty-first century boy. (Sorry, locally owned and operated bookstore. I'm still a sucker for paper, glue, and stitched binding. Don't give up on me.)

Sam and Caleb begin the new year with strep throat and scarlet fever. We're bringing back the good old fashioned 19th century American diseases. Watch this space later in the year for the ague, bilious vapors, and trench foot. For now, though, let us enjoy the boys in the hale and hearty days of November and December:

At the Model Train Fest 2010 at State Fair Park, which I'm pretty certain is also the Adult Autism Spectrum Disorder Fest 2010. O my people, O my people. Says Walt Whitman: "Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes! how curious you are to me!"

Cool Lego train set. This picture probably represents upwards of $1000 in Lego, which are outrageously expensive for little pieces of plastic that end up in the vacuum bag, if they aren't first dropped down the heat vents. (According to BusinessWeek, the Lego Group company of Denmark is the world's leading producer of tires, producing 306 million tiny rubber wheels, one of which has gone missing in our dining room and rendered a firetruck unusable.)

Caleb (here, with Grampa Jim and Grandma Cathy) can do this for HOURS. When I say we have to drag him kicking and screaming from the train show, I mean SCREAMING. Also: kicking.

Sam has had enough of all you train nerds, and is going to chill out right here with a comic book.

Karina, Cathy, and Sam prepare for pie-making.

The annual pie-making Assembly Line assembles. Note foreman.

The site supervisor demonstrates, again and with great patience, the right way to peel the danmned apples. Grandparents today, I tell ya.

At the sugar and cinnamon station, Sam demonstrates how the Charles Atlas program has turned him from a 24-lb weakling into a raging hunk of man in just fifteen minutes a day.

Caleb emerging.

Caleb and Ainsley at Aunt Mary's on Thanksgiving. Ainsley is one of Sam's secret crushes. Just after Thanksgiving, Sam planned to one day marry Ainsley, though he has since pledged to marry both his auntie Tara and the female Transformer known as Black Arachnia.

After Ainsley gave a rousing post-turkey singing performance, Sam decided he would take over as stage manager. When his aunt Karina refused to sing a song, he told her, "Arina, you're FIRED!!!" (Though he works hard in speech therapy, Sam is not yet friends with the hard-K sound, so his aunt is Arina, his brother is Aleb, and Santa Traws comes on Ristmas.)

Caleb's self-portrait #1, with our camera and Ainsley's older brother Ian.

Sam is ready for Ristmas!

In their Christmas 2009 sweaters, the boys stir apples for the Christmas Eve 2010 waldorf salad.

Assorted Hinshaws at the Lathrops house on Christmas Eve. (You did see all those bottles in the foreground of the last picture, didn't you?)

Caleb's self-portrait #2, on Christmas morn.

Opening presents with Uncles Tim and Mark and Aunt Julie.

High five, baby!

Sam tries out the foot massage contraption that his mother received for Christmas.

Caleb's self-portrait #3.

Caleb's picture of the stoic and ailing Maggie the Cat, at Grandma Glenda and Gradpa Gary's house.

At Wilderness water park with their cousin Abe.

After a fantastic three day vacation in the Wisconsin Dells, hail the conquering heroes: Auntie Tara, Sam, Cousin Abe, Uncle Eric, Mom, Caleb, and Yr Obed. Corresp.