Because if I don’t just post them, it will never happen…
The (postponed) Christmas choir concert was still held last week despite the continued snowy and icy conditions which made it all the more festive. I can’t express how much I’ve appreciated this opportunity for the boys. All three of them have enjoyed the experience (Levi most of all), and we are looking forward to continuing with the next term. The instructor is excellent, the music selection is wonderful, and the music theory homework is perfect for our needs. The above photo was taken at their performance for the elderly at a local assisted living facility.
School closures continued through the week (our CC week 12 was cancelled on Monday along with swimming and archery), and Wednesday brought freezing fog. Every surface was covered with lacy ice. It was gorgeous!
Even though the freezing fog made roads a bit slippery (in addition to all the snow and ice), we were feeling a bit of cabin fever and decided to brave a field trip to Christmas Storybook Land and then out for hot chocolate with our friends. (Leif stayed home with Russ because he chose not to go and Russ has been working mostly from home for the past couple weeks, which has been nice.)
I think the weather made it more exciting.
In case you wondered, snow bibs double as an excellent puppy carrier. (And, people, everyone should have a Lola in his or her life.)
More sledding. Dad joined in when it was almost dark.
On Thursday I made cookies and we ran a bunch of errands in town before heading over to our best friends’ house to celebrate a belated St. Nicholas Day. This is our ninth annual Christmas tradition. It has changed a bit over the years, but we always make marzipan (the kids would never let us get away with skipping it—I think it’s their favorite Christmas activity) and find gold (chocolate) coins in our shoes. The only picture I took was of the cookies before we left (my new favorite Christmas cookie!!), because we simply enjoyed the most wonderful, relaxing, special time together at their house. After pizza, Christmas gifts, and marzipan-making, the kids headed outside to build a snow fort until the rain brought them in, soaked, and ready for snuggles, Christmas books, and a movie. I can’t tell you how much I value our friendship and how much I needed that afternoon together!
My grandparents just came to spend Christmas with us. They arrived by plane on Thursday and will stay until the first of the year. My grandmother is going through more chemo treatments for her cancer, and we are so thrilled to be able to have them here in between treatments. I haven’t spent Christmas with them since I was a kid!
Friday was Saint Lucia Day, so my sister planned an impromptu party in honor of my grandmother’s Swedish heritage. Luckily all I had to do was get Lola dressed. Mom’s house was lovely and decorated, Ivy cut boxwood and Ilex made wreaths, and Holly made cookies. (I was reminiscing about Lola’s first year as Saint Lucia.)
As we were leaving to go to Bambi’s house, Lola (who can’t say her r’s) said “You will have to cawy me. I tan't walk on da wocks in my pwetty pwincess shoes. It has to be an *inside* pawty not an *outside* pawty, mom."
[Aaaaand, my truck broke down on me on the way home (luckily just as I was pulling in the driveway). Sigh.]
Saturday I met up with friends at the local coffee shop for some inspirational chatting about education, and then Russ and I headed to a Christmas party (yay for prime rib and lobster!!) while Ilex took the kids to “A Walk Through Bethlehem” (a hands-on, Holy Land encounter for the whole family – walk the streets of Bethlehem, visit the marketplace, taste, smell and experience the wonders of the First Christmas in Bethlehem) at a local church.
Today I might actually get some Christmas decorating done, and tomorrow we go on a trolley ride with friends to look at Christmas lights and sing Christmas carols—another one of our favorite Christmas traditions!
I think that brings us up to speed! I’ll post more advent books and links shortly.