This is the final week of the semester for the students at the folk school, so the schedule is a bit different and there are all sorts of activities going on. One evening, instead of eating in the dining hall as usual, they ate with their main class group at the home of one of the teachers. Since the other politics teachers live at the folk school, we had the group here for dinner. There were five students, two other teachers, and us. We decided it would be fun to have a pasta bar for dinner. There was fettuccine, chicken, prawns, bell peppers, mushrooms, red onions, and four different types of pesto sauce, as well as fresh-made french bread that was garnished with garlic and mozzarella. Not wanting to overload the electric fuses in this old house, we knew we could run two skillets at once, so people paired up to decide what to put in their pasta and then they cooked two skillets at a time. It was fantastic! Everyone got to eat what sounded good -the fresh pesto made by the chef was completely amazing! We also had red pepper pesto, chili pesto, and black olive pesto. We had a fun time. Then after dinner we all watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer -the classic 1964 version, of course, and had apple pie and ice cream. A great evening, and nice to do something a little different.
We still have not seen more snow since the one day it snowed when Jeff's friends were here for Thanksgiving. It's been consistently about 4 degrees, and rains on and off. The temperature doesn't feel too bad when it's not windy and pelting you with hard rain drops in the face. When the sun is out, it feels like spring, when the sun is hidden by clouds, it feels like bleak February. This morning, we were already back from bringing the boys to school before the sunrise. Jeff and Svea and I stopped for a hot chocolate, and finally when we finished that, it was light outside. It's still grey and darkish, but at least you don't need all the house lights on now.
This morning, I actually stopped to think that maybe four Advent traditions is a bit too much for every morning. We have Elfie, who the kids have to find each morning, there is Charlie who leaves notes or prizes occasionally, there is the Lego calendars for the boys and Svea's chocolate, and then the presents from Grandma Marge. Next year, we will have to be better about spreading them out throughout the day, or it makes for quite a busy morning! We also have the felt nativity scene at home that my mom made us a few years ago. The kids love them all, naturally. But I think we need to get more of the Christmas story back into the month of December.
Our Christmas is going to be quiet this year, and we are planning to have a nice dinner at home, go to the service at the church down the street, and have a fun breakfast together Christmas morning. I've been saving all of the glass jars we've accumulated the last couple months, and plan to fill the room with candles for Christmas morning, I think that will be exciting for the kids. I think we'll make special pancakes and sausages, and have hot chocolate with big marshmallows. It will be different from our other Christmases, but I am trying to make it special for them. I bought a few knitted wool socks that I am going to put their initials on and hang for stockings.
We are getting excited to have Jeff's mom come visit the end of this month. The kids still don't know, so it will be a fun surprise for them! We are trying to figure out how Jeff can get away to pick her up at the airport without the boys wanting to go along, since they will be home from school during that time. Someone suggested maybe I take the kids for a walk, and he leaves while we're gone. That might work.
Even though it's not quite winter yet, we are making spring travel plans and scheduling our spring visitors now, which is exciting. Jeff's mom comes in two weeks, then the end of January is the boys' 6th birthday and we are going to have the kids from their school over for lunch that day, February will be long, probably, and maybe the first part of March -though we have Svea's 2nd birthday to look forward to then!- but then in April Jeff's parents come, and May/June our friends come, and later June my parents come and perhaps Eric and Melinda too, and then we go to Iceland, and home! It will surely go by very quickly once all of that starts. We bought our plane tickets home yesterday, to make sure my parents could get their travel arranged with Dad's mission trip to Ukraine also. The six months will go quickly, and I am already excited to start looking through the travel books to see what we should do during our few days in Iceland!