Once the six five year-olds were assembled on my couch, I was able to inspect them individually and as a group. My overall assessment of the situation was positive; only half of the group had chest colds and those who were sick were doing a great job of fighting the pull of gravity and the spread of germs by repeatedly snorting their mucosal drippings back up into their brain tissue.
After giving our guests a guided tour of the most important room in our house--the bathroom--I told the group about my second really good idea.
"Who wants to make a Christmas craft?" I asked.
"Can you eat it?" asked a guest.
My eyes scanned the stack of construction paper and mound of glue sticks on the table. Then I looked at my children, who were licking their lips.
"Some people might," I replied.
No one was impressed by the sample paper chain that I had put together the night before.
"I already made one of those at school," whined a guest and my sons in unison.
In an attempt to mix things up a little bit, I suggested that the experienced crafters write messages to their parents on the pieces of paper.
"What nice things does your mom do for you?" I asked the guests.
I was scribbling so fast that I didn't have time to dot my lower-case "i" letters with tiny hearts.
Although my hand hurt from documenting all that praise, I still had enough energy left to transcribe a few nice things about myself.
"What nice things do I do for you?" I asked my three offspring.
It took Cortlen a minute to think but finally he came up with a really thoughtful response.
"I don't know," he said.
Camber tossed her half-made chain on the table.
"This is boring! I don't want to do this anymore!" she chirped and danced away.
To his credit, Kellen was busy rolling his upper eyelid over his eyeball and didn't hear me.
"Are you a good cook?" asked a guest, trying to be helpful. "If you are, you can write that down on a piece of paper."
I wrote "Good Baker" on a strip of green construction paper. Then I remembered the