Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Advent 2013 days eighteen through twenty-two

The rest of the third week of Advent got rather mixed up. First I kept changing the numbers around, then we couldn't (or didn't, anyway) open them because of there not being time to carry them out.

Day eighteen, scheduled for December 18th and actually happened on the 20th

Decorate the Christmas tree! With some of the others, we just shrugged and said, "oh well, we can't wait for a time when everyone is home," but for this one, we really had to, and Jörn was out all day on the 18th and Jacob most of the 19th, so this had to wait until the 20th.

See the big box labeled "Christmas tree ornaments"? And see the blue Cadbury Roses tin on its side next to it? The Cadbury tin had in it all the ornaments that we used on our small tree last year (all that would fit), and the plastic bag in front of the big box has the candle holders.

I already knew there'd be no way we could use the candle holders, for a whole bunch of reasons: the branches are horribly floppy and hardly hold any weight, the branches are close together and have long needles which would be dangerous with candles anyway, even if the tree weren't already horribly dry because we've had it for a couple of weeks which it is because we have, and in addition to all that, we couldn't even find any tree candles! I decided to start with just what was in the Cadbury tin and then see what else we could add...but in the meantime, the children also had found the tinsel garlands that Marie had borrowed from friends a couple of years ago when she was a Christmas tree in a skit, and when I wanted to return them, the friends didn't want them back. I don't like tinsel, but I don't much like our tree this year, either, so I figured they couldn't really make it worse.

 My Peruvian nativity, the only thing I myself put on the tree:

Once the contents of the tin had been put on the tree, there really wasn't room for anything else, so that was it! There's one empty candle-holder on the tree somewhere, too. No lights, but plenty of tinsel.

Day nineteen, scheduled for December 19th and actually happened December 21st

Go to the playground! We kept putting this one off, trying to have everyone home, and had to give up. Jacob spent Saturday helping at a charity craft fair and Lukas got to go to King Malu with Richard, so it was, at first, only Jörn and the three little girls and I who walked to the playground. They wanted to go the municipal park, which is a further walk away than my favorite playground, and on the way Helen complained that she was tired of walking, so Elisabeth said, "If you're tired of walking, you can run, Helen!" :-)

So here are some random photos from the playground:

At 3:00 Lukas phoned from home, an hour earlier than I'd expected him (Konstantin had opted to stay home, so that wasn't a problem), and I told him that we'd be heading home soon anyway and there wasn't any point in him coming, but then I realized there was actually plenty of time, and everyone was thirsty, so I walked home and collected the car, Lukas, and water.

Lukas and I climbed a tree--that's my foot and leg in the photo below:

Lukas was unimpressed with how not-very-high I got in the tree, and after I'd gotten out, he showed me how one is really supposed to do it:

And here's the only photo Jörn took, so the only photo of me, and he didn't know that photos on zoom are almost always blurry:

When we got home, we opened what was actually scheduled for the 21st, skipping the 20th because we really DID need to have everyone home for that.

Day twenty-one, December 21st

Watch a movie! This isn't SUCH a huge treat as it used to be, because for the last several years, we've been spending every other Sunday afternoon with good friends, where the children watch a movie while we play games, but still, it's a very rare event for ALL of us to watch a movie together. We'd arranged to use the guest flat of those same friends to watch the movie, which they also recommended and lent to us.

Day twenty-two, December 22nd

Another one that we managed to do on the scheduled day! I took a photo of the whole table, too, with all 13 of us--the eight of us (minus Marie, plus Konstantin) and a family of five that was visiting, but I don't have their permission to post it.
By this time, the second candle had also been burned down completely and had to be replaced, which is why the third and fourth candles are the same size.

And finally, without a photo (I really thought I took one, but can't find it!)...

Day nineteen, scheduled December 19th but actually happened December 23rd

Read the Christmas story from Luke! Katie read it beautifully, and this was the very first of all our Advent activities that took place with the ENTIRE family, because Marie got back from Costa Rica at 3:00 a.m. that day! Since I don't have a photo of Katie reading, I'll just post a photo of sisters happy to have Marie home:

As for what was scheduled for yesterday AND happened yesterday AND got extremely photographed, that will have to wait for another post.

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