For Advent this year, i've been trying to actually do whatever the planned activity is for each day, which doesn't sound all that impressive, but is still not as impressive as it sounds. I was pretty careful to not put things on the calendar that we'd never do, like "Go caroling!" or "Bake and decorate cookies, and then bring them to people!" Those are things that i always want to do, until the day they're scheduled, and them i'm like, "Okay! We have half an hour before we need to leave for Zumba! So...how about a cup of hot chocolate instead?" I aimed a lot lower this year, putting on things that we'd enjoy but would be completely doable. And so we're succeeding, which is good because we're doing whatever it is, and also because it always feels good to succeed.
So on Thursday we made snowflakes. (I love making snowflakes.)
Yesterday we went downtown, where the Gay Men's Choir was singing Christmas carols outside on the steps of the opera house. I kind of expected that they'd just be singing to us, but instead they basically led a carol-sing, so we all got to sing along. It was really fun. Also really cold after an hour. Zane wasn't with us, because he had a sleepover at his friend's house, and as much as i adore Zane...it was probably the best thing he could have missed. I really don't think he'd have enjoyed it, what with the standing in one place for an hour in the cold, singing Christmas carols. The rest of us totally enjoyed it, though.
Today the kids put out their shoes for Sinterklaas. I figure that since my kids are more than half Dutch, they should get to enjoy at least one of the traditions.
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On Friday, Zane had a field trip to the Kid's Food Basket, an organization that provides sack dinners for kids who might otherwise not get any meal in the evening. This is my fourth time going with one of the kids' classes, and every time i go, i'm totally impressed by how incredibly quickly the kids work. What's awesome is that they always seem to spontaneously organize themselves into assembly lines. A group of 3-4 will figure out, "So...if i open the boxes and you snap the puddings apart and she puts them into the crate, that's faster than all of us doing all three things." And then they just fly along faster than we parents can keep up with the breaking down of boxes and restocking of crates.
Afterwards, we got back to the classroom, and the teacher tried to open the door and realized that someone had stuck a staple into the lock. (Who does that?!) And so another mom and i took the kids outside for half and hour while she found someone who could get the door open somehow. So the kids got a field trip plus a long extra recess. Best! Day! Ever! (And then Zane got to go on a sleepover, so he was pretty much the happiest boy ever.)
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Katrina had her 5K for Heart and Soul today. She loved it. It was cold, but not totally freezing, and honestly, it was so much better than i had kind of expected. When i first heard that their run was going to be in December, i imagined them having to run through deep snow and over snow drifts. Instead, it was hovering right around freezing, and there was no snow to be seen. Yay!
The best part about running in the cold is that when you finish, they give you hot chocolate. (And chili, which seems a little bit odd at 10:00 in the morning.)