We adopted some other country's tradition of hiding a glass pickle on the tree (whoever finds it gets good luck for the coming year). Anda liked that idea. So she hid a pink stuffed bunny on the tree--the "Christmas Rabbit." That lasted a few days. Today, I looked on the tree and found she had replaced the bunny with a small pot. From the kitchen. WIth a stuffed gingerbread man in it. I didn't even ask what she's thinking. I suspect we are the only family that has decorated their Christmas tree with such utilitarian kitchen items.
Mom and Dad lent us their wheat grinder for a while, and yesterday we discovered that Daniel had found the hole in the top (where you put the wheat) and stuck a lollipop in it. We had to get tweezers to extract it. We did make "homemade flour" though, and the kids really thought it was cool. They ate it plain. Uncooked. By the pinch.
I keep having nightmares that we are on the road full time traveling in one big van with the rest of moosebutter, wandering from the back stage of this theater to the back doors of that university like gypsies. When I wake up, I'm glad to be home, even if two kids managed to pee on my bed last night.
The kids are really funny lately. There are wrapped presents scattered all over the house, unhidden, and nobody has even mentioned them. They don't touch them. They don't shake them. They don't open the creases and peek. They don't even ask about them. Wow.
They did ask about getting the stockings out tonight. I didn't feel like going out in the garage, so Caleb went down to the drawer I keep full of stray socks that I let the kids use for art and craft projects (socks make GREAT teddy bear shirts). He came back up with five long white socks, none of them the same, and pulled out the stamp kit Julie bought him at the dollar store. Then all three kids sat happily at the table stamping red and green designs on each of the socks. Caleb found a permanent marker and wrote one person's name on each sock, and then Anda found push pins and we hung up the stockings. I suppose Mary will forgive us for not using the ones she made for us that we usually use. This year we have REAL socks for our stockings. The kids were so delighted with how they turned out that they dug up the fanciest socks they could find in the drawer and made more stockings -- and labeled them "Julie", "Mary", and "Ben." One for each of the single people, plus Julie for some reason.
They also informed me that if the baby is a girl, we could name it Julie, Mary, Beth, Chas, Lindsey OR Madeline, and if it's a boy, we could name it Ben, or Joe, or Jon, or Ryan or Jared or Daddeline. Then they went down and got stockings for Everyone in the extended family that they forgot. I guess you all have to come here for Christmas.....or maybe we'll mail your stockings to you.
So now it's 2:30 am and Anda and Baby Kitty are racing around the house killing invisible Pikmin monsters while Caleb decorates the additional stockings and Daniel salts the chairs (I don't know HOW he got the salt--I hope he didn't pour it into the wheat grinder). They started killing monsters after the batteries in all three smoke alarms went bad in one day--so occassionally we hear chirping in the house, always coming from a different room, like a wandering monster.
It's nice to be home.