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Before the reindeer left their stable at the North Pole to pull Santa's sleigh all around the world they built a friendly snowman so that there would be someone to greet them on their return.  The snowman had smiled and waved as the reindeer lifted off from the ground, looking forward to fun and games and frolicking with the reindeer when they were rested up after their return.  It was going to be a great year.  But little did the snowman know that global warming had thawed a fearsome tyrannosaurus rex from the polar ice (work with me here).  And a t-rex who's been frozen for 75 million years is going to be mighty hungry.  Lumbering across the polar ice cap the t-rex spied the reindeer's stable, and in front, the fat, jolly snowman.  The t-rex stealthily crept up on the stable, sure of his ability to run down the snowman, but unwilling to take any chances (t-rex's were cunning but not too bright).  The snowman sensed the approaching danger and cried out in terror.  He tried to run away, but then he remembered that he was made of balls of snow and had no legs.  His last thought as the t-rex tore off his head ball was that the whole frolicking thing wouldn't have worked out too well.  Oh, the humanity!  Snowman blood stained the arctic snow as the t-rex tore the snowman flake from flake.

For the past few years we've assembled ginger bread houses.  In years past Pat has baked up the pieces, but this year we used a kit Pat bought on the internet (thank heaven for the internet).  Somehow our houses never look like the houses pictured in the magazines or the online catalogs.  (Did you see the Food Network show about the ginger bread house contest?  Those folks have a lot of time on their hands.)  This year the ginger bread house went up right after we had finished frosting our Christmas sugar cookies and one thing lead to another.  You don't make dinosaur cookies at Christmas?  Well, I didn't think that the lobster cookie would be as funny.


Here are a couple of pictures of our Christmas 2005 ginger bread house (all Pat's work, this one, which is why it is the best of the bunch):


And here is our 2004 effort (I helped, but the sentiment is Pat's):


Our friends M & M gave us a nice jigsaw puzzle

and Zoe was always ready to help me work on it.


Of course we saw Ian frequently over the holidays.  Zoe just loves it when Ian comes over.  She'd be his dog if she could.


Zoe really likes the stairs.  She can look Ian in the eye, or look down on Pat and I.  Our big black dog Brandy had a thing for the stairs as well.


I just love the paw thing.