It's funny how a change in routine makes it so everything is much more difficult to accomplish. Having all three kids home all day, when I didn't get a chance to write the blog in the morning, meant that it didn't happen at all, because I wasn't in the routine of writing it at night so when night came around I just didn't feel like it. Therefore, it's been three weeks now! Sigh. We have had a fun winter vacation, though, and I will try my best to recapture the highlights for our memory book.
Over our nineteenth weekend here, all of the fall students at the folk school finished their semester and went home. Within a couple of hours of them leaving, the place felt very empty. Even though it's winter and there weren't people milling about outside most of the time anyway, somehow the absence was palpable. Saturday afternoon, December 19, was the Julefrokost for all of the teachers and their spouses and no one but Mads knew where we were going. All we were told was to show up at 1:30pm and we'd be home between 9:30 and 10:00pm. There was a lot of curiosity about whether it was going to be a dinner at someplace far away, or if it was going to be close and we'd just have a lot of activities. It turned out that we went to a castle in Gram -about 7 miles away- and we had coffee and cake, then a tour of the old farm and castle, then a singing time where several of the teachers talked about favourite songs from the blue song book and we sang them, and then there was a wine tasting, and then the traditional Danish Christmas meal of duck, and many types of fish. We had such a nice time! It was a long afternoon, but it went by quickly and it was fun to get out and see something new. The kids stayed at home with the headmaster's daughter, and they had a fun time as well. The next day the boys asked if she could come back again sometime, so that's always good to hear. We so rarely hire babysitters, it was a bit of a shock to think of spending 1000Kr to have someone watch the kids for the day, but, it was well worth it. They had a lot more fun at home than they would have touring the farm (plus, they weren't invited) and we got to eat our dinner slowly and enjoy it.
I was asked to read part of Luke 2 for church on the last Sunday of Advent, so we went that day. It was the first time we'd attempted to go to church here. All three kids had a hard time sitting still, and Jeff ended up taking Svea outside because she was being quite loud. The reading went well. My voice sounded a bit like I was crying (I wasn't) and people thought it was very special that I was so moved reading the story of the shepherds. After church, we were invited to a coffee time at the pastor's residence. That was a fun time, and we danced around the Christmas tree in typical Danish tradition. Torben chose not to participate in that part, but the rest of us had fun!
We tried out the automatic timer on the camera to get a picture of all five of us. Svea wasn't very excited about it, until I started holding her while I set the timer, and then saying "quick! quick!" as we ran across the living room to get into the picture before the shutter went. Then she thought it was a great game, and wanted it to continue all evening! She still will say "quick! quick! picture!" when she decides we should get the camera out, and she'll get the wooden stool from the kitchen and pull it up in front of the pocket doors, and sit down, waiting for us to take her picture.
We set the table "fancy" for Christmas Eve, with cute little red napkins with Nisse rings around them. We also had an abundance of candles in glass jars, to try to make it festive. Anders asked several times why we were having a fancy dinner -especially when the ham took longer than we expected and we didn't eat until almost 7pm.