And the goose isn’t the only thing getting fat around here!
Well, we are finally on vacation. At last. We decided that yesterday would be our last day, but with one thing and another, we didn’t get around to doing Spanish, so we had to finish it up today. The twins’ faces were a joy to behold when I announced that not only were we doing school during Official Vacation Time, but we were doing it on a Saturday to boot. That was a fun time. “But I wanted to sleep in,“ wailed Ilsa, until I reassured her that we weren’t going to do it first thing. (I wanted to sleep in too) We did the last day’s lesson plus took the test for Units 1 & 2, and then I released the children out into the chill air, rejoicing. We will take 2 sorely-needed weeks before we have to worry about it all again.
On Thursday we drove up to Tacoma to get my mother and bring her down to spend Christmas with us. It was interesting to see the standing water along the side of the freeway, and the tidemarks from the recent flooding visible even through the dusk of a winter afternoon.
We left 2 hours later than planned, which is pretty typical for us. The problem was that I walked into Ilsa’s room to change the sheets for Mum. She had promised me that it was clean and organized, and it was, but I felt that a small room really doesn’t need an extra 8 boxes full of paper scraps fantastically folded, markers with their lids left off, and scraps of yarn. She was less than thrilled when I went into full cleaning mode.
“We just did this,” she informed me.
“I know! How could it have gotten so bad so quickly? How long have we lived here anyway?” I agreed, which didn’t help her mood.
Today friends stopped by with…some kind of Finnish Christmas bread which is made with cardamom and has cream cheese frosting of some kind on it. It’s superb. Mum brought tubs of chocolates given to her by some visiting group and I put them out in crystal dishes, forgetting what a mistake it is to put chocolate out where it can just be seen and eaten, just one small one, all the time. I’ve made mince pies and coconut pies (note: Americans call these tarts but I’m ½-British and these are mince pies) and I’m making shortbread and fudge and cranberry-orange muffins, just in case. People are coming for tea tomorrow and for a light supper on Monday night, after church. We’re mostly done shopping, although we still haven’t found anything perfect for Mum, and we still need to get things for stockings, and we still don’t actually HAVE stockings. Ilsa has gotten tired of sewing, surprise surprise, and begs for the chance for “fun” sewing rather than the pressing weight of Having to Sew Stockings which hangs round her neck, although some of you may remember that this was her idea.
We went to Cost Plus at 10 p.m., taking advantage of holiday hours since having Mum here limits our activities during the day. Ilsa has been begging me for months to take her shopping for candy for her brothers’ stockings, so we took her along. On the way, Donn and I started to slide into a minor squabble over those few remaining items. A little voice spoke up. “They seem to have forgotten that I’m here,” said Ilsa clearly. “I hope they start talking about what my presents are.”
And a visit to their European chocolate section has guaranteed that I will continue to get more and more like that Christmas goose, at least in the near future.

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