Monday, December 12, 2011
What I Loved About Last Week (13 Ed.)
Speculatius (German Spice Cookies) from the recipe at the St. Nicholas Center. The dough smelled wonderful. I was worried about kneading that last cup of flour in by hand, but it was soft and pleasant. I could have kneaded it much longer than was necessary. We had fun cutting out cookies. I still haven't purchased a St. Nicholas cookie cutter, but we had a star, a snowflake, a Christmas tree, a dove, a camel, a horse (donkey), a cow, a sheep and a stocking. The children never choose just one or two, but must use all of the available options. It made at least five dozen cookies and we gave as many away as I could. They tasted delicious!
2. St. Nicholas's Feast Day - the stockings! I love how excited the children were. This year, they each received egg shakers, a few chocolate coins, Reese's Christmas trees, their age in real dollar coins and a small gift. First Son received a Laurie Berkner Band CD and the girls each received a small necklace I found at a local salon. I love giving them small fun gifts on the feast of St. Nicholas. We always give faith-related gifts at baptism anniversaries and Epiphany. St. Nicholas is a little less serious. Second Son loved the egg shakers and they complemented the Laurie Berkner CD well for a silly dance before breakfast (after which everyone had some chocolate or a cookie).
3. Our first snow! On the morning of St. Nicholas's Feast Day, we let the kids run around outside a bit. Second Son was fascinated and loved being outside, but he hated being cold. For a while, he cried if Kansas Dad brought him in and cried if he took him out. Ah well. He was happy for a while and will hopefully enjoy the next snowfall even more.
4. Our visit to a local park as part of our "rivers and oceans" study, though we just keep visiting a creek. The older three kids don't care much of the walking through the woods, but they had a good time playing in a bit of snow. Second Son had a fantastic time. He would have wandered those woods for hours. Second Daughter made it exactly nine minutes (I was counting) before claiming she was too tired to go on and collapsing on the path.
4. First Son's birthday party. He enjoyed it and that's really all that matters. We had a Lego party with a few fun games and my first attempt at a cake decorating. First Son thought it looked like Lego pieces and, luckily, his opinion is the only one that mattered. My favorite moment of the party: when Second Daughter (yes, the three year old) threw her minifigure right into the "boat" from two huge 8-year-old-big-brother steps away.
5. First Son's First Reconciliation - it was a sweet little ceremony with a few good comments from our parish priest. First Son came right back to his pew afterward and prayed. He sat quietly while the other children and all the parents said their confessions. I was very impressed as I watched him gaze at the statue of Jesus. I refrained from asking him what he was thinking about, more than a little afraid he would say "Legos."
6. Frozen yogurt to celebrate! It's freezing outside, but frozen yogurt sprinkled with candy is a fun treat. The high schoolers working were sweet to Second Son who ran around like a funny guy. They also had an actual creche in the corner, which is a bit unusual.
Next week is another big one for us: a special movie date with Grammy, a cookie decorating party, the story hour Christmas party, our monthly faith formation class, our first performance of the Nutcracker (in the audience, of course!) and Kansas Dad's birthday. Before this time next week, we'll be starting the O Antiphons. Are you ready?