It was an activity-filled month, with lots of holiday cheer. Regular activities continued in the beginning of the month, including piano, Spanish, Little Gym, ice skating and our learning co-op. Then, on the 11th, Joe turned five! I still can’t believe my little guy is not quite so little anymore. We didn’t have a party planned this year, but we started the day off with a couple special gifts for him. Then, since it was our grocery co-op pick-up day, I had ordered a bunch of soy ice cream sandwiches he could share with his homeschooling buddies, and then he got to bring his friend, Jayme, along to go to Flo’s last Spanish class, where they were celebrating “Navidad.” So, it was a festive day, and I think Joe felt loved and special, but I didn’t have to stress out with party themes or expensive party packages. I’ll save that for the upcoming years.
On the 19th, our homeschooling group had a wonderful holiday celebration. We got to use the sanctuary area at our church, and we all met for a potluck lunch, secret Santa gift exchange, cookie-decorating and even a gift auction for the mom’s. Darren was off work for the long holiday weekend, and came along, too. He was very helpful holding Zofia and keeping a eye on Joe. That same week, on Friday, our homeschooling co-op group met for our bi-monthly meeting, but in lieu of classes, the kids decorated holiday cookies and put on a holiday play. It was very cute. Again, Darren was able to come along. I always treasure those times where he can share in activities with us… not to mention, it makes it a little easier on me, not having to try to chase Joe around while holding a baby. Did I mention Joe turned five this month? Hmm… He still seems like a lot more of a handful than Flo did at this age. Maybe it’s the boy thing…
So the week preceding Christmas was full of activities, play dates and last minute shopping. Then on the 23rd, we went to my mom’s for a slightly early Christmas dinner. I made a few dishes, and so did she, and she and Tom seemed to enjoy the vegetarian version of Christmas dinner. The kids opened some gifts under her tree, we visited for a bit, I took a walk, and then we headed home for an early night. On 24th we made a bunch of oatmeal raisin cookies to bring to church that night for the Christmas Eve service. My mom and Tom decided to come to our church at the last minute, too. We then headed home to “wait for Santa.” Flo had incredible stamina this year with her resolve to wait up to catch a glimpse of Santa. By 2am, I told her she HAD to go to sleep, or Santa wouldn’t come. Then I finally told her, she had to go to sleep because I had some special things I still needed to wrap for her. Needless to say, Darren and I didn’t get to sleep until almost 3am. The kids didn’t wake us up until a little after 8am, but that just wasn’t enough sleep to feel too energetic. Nonetheless, the kids had a great Christmas morning. Flo go the American Girl doll for which she had asked Santa, so she was very happy. Joe seemed more excited about the unwrapping process, rather than what was actually in the packages. I think next year, I’ll wrap a bunch of stuff I already have around the house. Ha! So, after unwrapping gifts, we made waffles for breakfast, and just relaxed for awhile. Later in the afternoon, my mom came down with Tom, and we all went out to the Chinese buffet for dinner. The lack of nutritional assets in the meal made up for the lack of preparation and clean-up on my part.
On the 28th, Flo had an art class that had been rescheduled from earlier in the month due to poor weather. So, she did a lovely painting of a Christmas ornament, which is now hanging in Darren’s “office.” We set up this office space in the kids former school room this month, in anticipation of Darren working at home soon. Apparently, everything is looking good, and it should be any day now.
We ended the year by attending our church’s “Alternative New Year’s Eve Celebration,” based on some of the earth-centered spirituality traditions of the Winter Solstice. Darren, Flo and Joe went before me, and enjoyed some outside time by a big bonfire. When Zofia and I arrived, everyone was enjoying a potluck meal and chatting. We only stayed about another hour, then headed home, where we just barely waited out the midnight hour to watch Dick Clark countdown to 2008. Now, fatigue is setting in. So, Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to another year of exciting learning opportunities and new discoveries!