Sunday, December 16, 2018

Advent 2018, part two

So, I had a part one, which covered six days, and here's part two for the next 10 days. Again, we don't have any specific Advent plans this year, no calendar or anything like that, just the Advent wreath.

December 7: So December 6th was Nikolaus Day, which we didn't really do anything about, but that evening, Elisabeth told us all to put our shoes in front of our bedroom doors. Which we did. Both Joern and I were rather unimpressed with the notes that told us, so we thought, that we weren't getting anything.
No, not a lot in it--nothing at all. Apparently. I didn't see Joern's note itself until the next morning, though, and I don't remember now exactly what it said, but it wasn't the same as mine and seemed to hint more strongly that one had to look rather harder. So I tipped out my shoes completely, and in one I found a candy, and in the other a candy and a little hand-made bag of gummy candies:

The only other photo I took that day was of Makenzy getting cosy. She doesn't like the cold. Not that it's been very cold yet--it's 19 degrees Celsius in my bedroom right now, at 9:30 p.m., which is quite comfortable to me.

December 8th: I babysat the little girl I used to have several afternoons a week (now she goes to preschool--which she loves, but I miss her!) and her older brother, and took lots of photos, most of which include one or both of the children. We also went to Tochni to have lunch and spend the afternoon with a German friend of ours, Ingeborg. We went in two cars (taking six children--four of our own and my two borrowed ones), and with one thing and another, Joern and I hadn't really seen each other until we got there. At which point some child noticed that we had unintentionally "twinned"--matching sweatshirts (except mine has a LOT more holes, because I wear mine a lot more often...) from our DTS in 2006, black jeans, and sandals, although our socks aren't the same color.

December 9th: Second Sunday in Advent, burning one of the new candles and continuing to work on the old ones:

In the morning I taught Sunday school, and Joern sold tickets for the morning performance of Catherine's "Alice," which Helen and Elisabeth went to see, and in the afternoon  I sold tickets for the afternoon performance and Katie took tickets at the door. I only got to go in halfway through, but I have seen it at least three or four times already. Even only getting to see half of it, I still loved it.
 At the end, Catherine has all of the children come up on the stage with her. Public setting, so I think it's alright to post this photo!

December 10th: Once a month on a Monday morning, I go to writers' group, which I thoroughly enjoy. Twice a year we have a shared meal, so instead of getting home at 1:00 or so, I was home around 3:30, I think. That counts as Adventy, as that was our Christmas meal. Then I had the 3-5-year-old drama class in the afternoon as always. :-)

December 11th: Usual Tuesday of piano lessons and then going to Sue's house, and this last Tuesday was what has become pretty much a tradition, in that my daughters put together and decorated Sue's Christmas tree (of which I took no photos...oops!), as well as some picture frames...
 ...and each other.
Definitely Christmas prep.

In the afternoon, Helen helped in the small children's dance class as always, and then I went to watch part of Helen and Elisabeth's dance class, as it was the last one before Christmas and was open to watch. Elisabeth is on the left, all in pink, and Helen is the next one in the photo, with the BRIGHT pink top:

I had to leave early to get home for my Tuesday English student, also for the last time this year, as she's off to Slovakia for Christmas. (Her mother is Slovakian, her father is Cypriot.)

December 12th: My Wednesday English student was in Slovakia (both of her parents are Slovakian), so it was a quieter afternoon than usual. Joern is usually at the staff meeting Wednesday from 3:00 to 5:00, the same time as Elisabeth's drama class, but once a month there's a gathering with the families, and this month it was a "Mexican meal" from 5:00 to 7:00. As we were getting ready to eat, I was startled to be asked to pray in Spanish, but I did so, wondering why, as nobody else there speaks much (or any) Spanish, as far as I know. But oh well, God does, so that's fine. Awhile later I suddenly went, "Duh...the theme was "Mexican meal..." I can be rather slow on the uptake at times. In my defense, the food was fine, but none of it resembled in any way anything I ate in my year in Mexico!

I did take a few photos, but most of them had other people in them, so here's the one of Joern and Helen:
Not that Helen was originally supposed to be there...she was going to be singing in another Christmas concert (same choir as the week before), but had a cold and was sniffing non-stop. She wasn't at all happy about not being able to sing, but she did cheer up.

December 13th: Nothing Christmasy at all, that I can remember. We did light the Advent candles as usual, but I don't know which day which candle stub was replaced. It would have been the 89th birthday of my father-in-law, who died 13 years ago, the girls had their usual activities, and we played a game with our friends in the evening.

And a lazy cat decided to pee in the living room, and I discovered that our living room marble tiles are NOT grey, but white.
I spent a ridiculous amount of time scrubbing maybe 1/20 of the living room floor with a mixture of baking soda, washing up liquid, and warm water, which works very well...but we not only have a lot of floor, most of it is now covered with furniture and boxes.

December 14th: No photos of any interest. I went to the hardware store and bought painty-stuff to fix the leak on the roof, but Saturday afternoon (the next day, because it was dark by the time I was home with the painty stuff) when I went up to put it on, I discovered that one of the water pumps is leaking. So I put a bucket under that so the roof could dry out, then this afternoon I went to check it out and discovered another leak, so have a bucket under that. And now it's raining again. The plumber is coming tomorrow because the water heater isn't working, so obviously I'll ask him to do something about the leaks. (I did try, of course, but unsuccessfully, to tighten the pipes.) I can't paint the painty stuff (which must have another name, but I don't know what it is) on until it's dry, and until I can be fairly sure that it won't rain for at least 4-6 hours, so at the moment, we'll just keep the bucket under the light fixture on the landing outside our bedroom, and Katie will keep a bucket in her bedroom...

December 15th: Helen has been sailing with Richard in his boat, Liza, several times, and twice I was there too, and the last time, Lukas had also gone. Katie and Elisabeth had been asking to go, and yesterday they finally got a chance. It was a lot more fun for me this time, because when Lukas and Helen were there, they were very interested in (and capable of) helping out, with untying and bringing in the fenders and fending off and helming, etc. Katie, on the other hand, is quite content to just be a passenger, and Elisabeth is not only only eight years old, she was feeling quite seasick, so I got to be much more involved in actually sailing, helming most of the way. And there was also wind this time, which obviously improves the actual sailing! (Last time, there was virtually no wind at all. We did paddle some, and laughed a lot, and I enjoyed it very much, but it wasn't exactly sailing!)

I didn't take any photos while we were out, so this is after we were back in the marina:

We got home to Lukas and Elisabeth busily making won tons, which, together with rice and vegetables, we had for lunch. They were scrumptious. (And the Advent wreath finally has four nice candles! I think the final stub was finished on Friday.)

After lunch the girls and I headed to LCC for a Christmas party for refugee children. It was loud and chaotic and fun, and somewhat amusing that I spent most of the time speaking Greek, being assigned to a craft table as "the Greek speaker" for that table.

 December 16th: Today, and the third Sunday in Advent!

Our eating area is much smaller than in our other house, which is convenient, as we're generally many fewer people than we were most of the time there, but I still can't get used to it. Lukas was still in bed for lunch, so it was just five of us.

I call this Weasley's "cat pose." Yes, I know that's silly, as he IS a cat, but he just does it so well. His tail is so nice and long and it curves all the way around his paws, as he sits on the piano looking regal. (And on a book of Christmas carols...)

Just to be fair, I took a photo of Connie, too. She wasn't very impressed.

We spent the afternoon at Sue and Richard's house, as we do every other Sunday afternoon, and now the house is nice and quiet, with the two youngest in bed, and the other two doing something that isn't internet, because thanks to Richard, they only have access on their devices until 10:00 p.m., and it is now 10:18.

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