The Merriest of Christmases to you from the Zenzes.  Our cheeks are nice and rosy and comfy cozy are we.  It’s lovely weather for a Christmas letter to you.  Traditionally it’s been Aaron’s role to compose the family Christmas/Year in Review letter.  But 2006 finds so many other Zenzlings now capable of sharing.  So instead of seeing another Zenz year through a single set of eyes, Aaron will instead serve as interviewer while the rest of the family fills you in on Zenz Life.  Shall we begin?

  • We’ll start out with the most important question.  Who is your favorite person in the family?
AMITY: Daddy.
  • Really?  I’m the winner?
GRACIE:  Grrrr.
ISAAC:  I like everyone the exact same much.

  • Miss Gracie, how old are you?
  • How come?
GRACIE:  Because I had a birthday.
  • How old are you Isaac?
ISAAC: Eight.
  • Is eight old or young?
ISAAC:  Old.
  • If eight is old, what does that make me?
ISAAC: Super old.

  • Now, Elijah isn’t going to be able to do an interview, so instead you’re going to have to tell me about him…
ISAAC:  Oh great.
LILY:  He can point at us.  Sometimes he’s naughty.
GRACIE:  He can walk.  And a couple of days ago he just turned one.
  • A couple of days ago?  You mean like in October?
AMITY: He follows me around everywhere.  He grabs around my leg and slimes me.  He follows me around while I’m vacuuming… He follows me around while I’m brooming… He pulls on my leg and goes “Mo! Nine-nine!” (More! Food!)
ISAAC: He throws the books all over the place.  He slobbers all over himself.
  • Does he do any good stuff?
ISAAC:  He can sort of draw.
GRACIE:  He knows how to do “Nicey” – he rubs on people’s heads and sometimes even kisses your nose.  He likes it when I tickle him.
  • Do you like it when people tickle you?
GRACIE:  Don’t you dare tickle me.
  • So we’re glad we had him?
AMITY:  Yes, I love him very much.

  • For the record, what are some of Elijah’s nicknames…
AMITY: Eliazar, LyeLye… He doesn't have that many, does he…
  • Oh sure he does - Nugget, NugNug, Nuggie, Liza Baby, LyeLye, Elihu, Eliazar, JarJar, Speedo, EZ-Cheeze, Speezy, Stick Man, Kneecap, Mater …
AMITY: I don’t think we should put down that I call him “Buttsquash.”  I call him that all the time when he has a soggy diaper.

  • Tell me about Lily…
ISAAC:  She loves ducks.
GRACIE:  She loves ducks.
LILY:  I love ducks!  People give me ducks because them knows I like ducks.  I have enough ducks.
  • Lily, how old are you?
LILY:  Three.
  • Is there anything else I need to know about you?
LILY:  I’m made of blood.
  • Are you made of anything else?
LILY:  Cereal.
  • Blood and cereal?!  How did the cereal get in there?
LILY:  I just ate it.

  • What is the most important thing about Gracie?
GRACIE:  That Jesus loves me.  And I love Him.
  • What kinds of things do you like?
GRACIE:  I like Elijah…
  • Tell me about your friends.
GRACIE:  I like Elijah…
  • Who else?
GRACIE:  Katie is my bestest friend in the whole wide world.  We go to church together.  And sometimes I get to sit by her in big church.  But we giggle and talk to each other.  When I don’t sit by Katie I just listen to the music.
  • What grade are you in now?
GRACIE:  First grade!
  • And how is that going?
GRACIE:  Pretty well.  Except for math.  I don’t concentrate because people keep distracting me!
• Do you like math even though it’s hard to concentrate?
GRACIE:  No.  I don’t really like math.
  • Then what do you like?
GRACIE:  I like Elijah…

  • So mom, how do you like homeschool?
AMITY:  I like being a teacher.
  • How about the students?  Any duds in the bunch?
AMITY: Not one dud – they are all brilliant.  Isaac is the champion money counter. Gracie is reading great – she’s learning faster than a speeding bullet.  Lily likes to do her workbook and draw ducks.  Elijah likes to eat crayons and gluestick.  And suck on our books.
  • Lily, what do you do when Isaac and Gracie do school?
LILY:  I do homeschool.  I just draw.
  • What else do you do during the day?
LILY:  I just draw all day and all night.
  • Do you ever eat?
LILY:  I eat cereal…

  • Isaac, what do you like to do?
ISAAC:  Drawing and um, drawing.  I like to draw superheroes and sunsets and ships.
  • Gracie, what do you spend your days doing?
GRACIE:  Drawing.  I like to draw people in my family.  On my blog I have a picture of a girl catching some butterflies.
  • Tell us what a blog is…
GRACIE:  It’s something that you can put pictures on, and then people give you “Comments.”
  • What kind of comments have people made on your pictures?  Do people say they stink?
GRACIE:  No!  Comments are only good things.  They can only write comments if they like it.  They say they like the pictures and they think they’re great.
ISAAC:  They usually tell me, “Great job.”

  • Tell me about Trading Cards…
ISAAC:  It’s a family tradition we do.  We cut out rectangle cards and everyone draws pictures on them.  We mix them all up and hand them out.  Then we trade them with each other and save them.  Last time I didn’t want to trade because I like all the ones I’ve got.
GRACIE:  Trading cards is fun!  I like to collect cool ones and pretty ones.  I have some that I will never ever in the whole world give up.

  • You guys draw a lot.  Do you do anything outside?
ISAAC:  Build forts.  You can make a fort out of lots of things, like sticks… snow… tarps….  You can use vines to keep sticks together.  We have a huge teepee that looks almost as big as the house.  Sometimes forts can protect you.  Like in the medieval days, it would protect you from knights.  My fort’s not that strong.
  • Did you go anywhere this year?
ISAAC:  We went to Family Camp.  Archery is very fun.  I once hit the farthest target of all.  Uhhhhhhhhhhh… actually I think I was aiming for something closer and accidentally hit the far one.
  • Amity, how was our trip to Book Expo in Washington DC…
AMITY:  It was great!  You and I got to talk the whole way to Washington and back without little people in the background!  It was fun standing in line for authors.  Kate DiCamillo (of the Mercy Watson books) couldn’t believe I had a niece named Mercy.  We met Marc Brown, Arthur’s “dad.”  Tommie DePaola was my favorite -- he’s like this big happy Santa Claus.  I enjoyed Georgetown – I had unbelievably good spinach tilapia.  It was great to see the Lincoln Monument for the first time in real life – all the places you’ve seen in pictures.  Getting lost and accidentally driving to the Pentagon and having the cops stop us – that was a favorite….

  • Hey Gracie, where are your teeth!  They’re gone!
GRACIE:  I’m losing them!  And I get money!
  • I heard the “toothfairy” left you a note.
GRACIE:  It said “Stop losing teeth, I’m running out of room for them.”
  • How do you eat?
GRACIE:  The teeth in the back do all the work.
  • And Lily, tell me about your hair.
LILY:  I cut my hair.  I was BAAAD!
  • How does it look?
LILY:  Short.  I’m not gonna do it again because I love mamma.
  • Samson got his hair cut, and do you know what happened?
LILY:  It got short?
  • He lost his strength and they poked his eyes out.
LILY:  They poked him eyes out?  That’s BAAAD!

  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
GRACIE:  A Christian.  But I also want to be a ballerina.  A Christian ballerina.  I would dance around telling everyone about Jesus.
  • Do you know who you’re going to marry?
GRACIE:  Well I’m not going to marry Sammy any more because he smacked me in the head with a snowball!

  • Speaking of snow, tell me about Christmas…
ISAAC:  We make snowflakes.  It’s another family tradition.  We make snowflakes with all sorts of designs in them and put them on our big window.
GRACIE:  Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.  There was no place at the inn and they had to put him in the manger.  The manger is somewhere the animals eat.  I hope none of the animals nibbled on him.  The wisemen gave him gold and frankincense and myrrh.  I don’t even know what frankincense and myrrh is.
  • What do you think it is?  What does it sound like…
GRACIE: I think it’s a frankenstein monster and a mermaid.
  • We know what gold is -- what do you think would go good with gold?
GRACIE: Silver and money?
  • Myrrh-ney?
GRACIE:  Ha, ha, ha, ha!

  • Okay, everyone tell me your favorite joke.
GRACIE:  Knock Knock.
  • Who’s there?
GRACIE:  “Boo.”
  • Boo Who?
GRACIE:  Boo-hoo?  Don’t Cry!

ISAAC:  What happened when the pencil lead broke off the pencil?
  • What happened?
ISAAC:  Nevermind, it’s “pointless.”

LILY:  Knock Knock.
  • Who’s there?
LILY:  Elephant.
  • Elephant Who?
LILY:  Squirt Water.
  EVERYONE: (hysterical laughing)

  • Your turn Amity…
AMITY:  Three guys walked into a bar.  But the other two ducked.  Ha ha ha…don’t put that in the Christmas letter.  Wait – that doesn’t even make sense…three guys…it would be three guys…one walked into a bar, two ducked… you’re not going to put this in….are you?

  • Alright, thanks for the interviews everyone!  Before we’re done, is is there anything else I need to know about?
LILY:  I am also made of eyeballs.

Well, there you have it.  I think they did very well.  We’ve learned that Elijah slobbers all over himself, and that Lily is made of Blood and Cereal and Eyeballs.  Even I’ve learned some new things!  And if anyone is interested in that blog, you can see five months of fabulous art postings from our fanatically drawing kids at: www.isaacgracelily.blogspot.com 

The Zenzes wish you all a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Jingling all the way,
Aaron, Amity, Isaac, Grace, Lily, and Elijah