Katie collected with pines and other boughs in order to deck the halls. The boys played with manger scenes. We spent most of the afternoon and evening out; the afternoon completing errands and the evening with Square Dancing.
Today we played a fun game involving examining oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies and deciding which ingredients went with which cookie. When finished, we put the ingredients for oatmeal-raisin cookies together. Quentin and Katie made lunch. O is for Octopus or rather Octodogs. We worked on our sarcophagi, and watched The Story of One, which, believe it or not, was a very funny math video (Netflix again). I bet you didn't think such a thing was possible, did you?
Today we made our own snowflakes. Making chocolate chip cookies for Santa. (Don't tell him that we are eating some, too.) Checking on our crystals and noticing that the salt has grown crystals. We are still waiting on the rest. The kids all listened to Sam read them a story. Quentin flew the kite in the backyard. Practiced self-generated addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems using cups and counting sticks. Quentin practiced writing n, painted some and P is for Popcorn project. The other boys did some work with reading, writing and math.
We hung the snowflakes we had made from the ceiling in singles and in garlands. I spray painted the sarcophagi with gold spray paint so that they could decorate them with Egyptian symbols and pictures. We will paint them next week after they have finished their sketches. We tried to make candy wreaths but no matter how hard we tried, we could not get them to work. We tried baking for a longer time, and then a higher temperature, but they began to brown before they melted enough to fuse. Along the way we had some entirely melt into a puddle. Not every project turns out, and that is okay. Katie helped Quentin with a "P is for Purple Cow" recipe which did turn out just fine and that is okay, too.
The morning is full of chores to prepare us for the rest of the day. At lunchtime we honor Our Lady of Guadeloupe with bowls of steaming chili. After lunch, Steven puts up the outside lights while inside preparations begin for the St. Lucia treats. Katie grinds the saffron and cardamom pods. As the work advances to the second floor outside, the afternoon shadows begin to show themselves. James watches from the window. The gingerbread cookie dough is finished and needs to rest until later. (So does its maker!) The St. Lucia bun dough is kneaded and formed into buns topped with raisins, almond slivers and an egg wash. As night begins to fall, Santa glows from his spot at the top in the attic window and the little boys help make the gingerbread cookies as two of the older children go to the Christmas Square Dance. Now the house is warm from the oven and full of wonderful Christmasy smells. The little ones bound around until they collapse from exhaustion, and the older ones arrive back home late, full of smiles and stories from their night.