Jet's on his Christmas break now, and it's for nearly three weeks. I'm going a little mad without having specific set times that I can write, but the boys and I have been working things out so that I can take some time for myself after John's had his, and Jet's found something to do.
The weekend before the three of us went "shopping", at the spice store, at some of our favorite toy stores, and then at the huge commercial mall because Jet really wanted to see what was there. Jet had saved up his allowance so that he could buy John, myself, and my sister a present, and he was very, very serious about his choices about comparing prices, and about finding something he really thought each person would like. I loved that. I love that he feels empowered enough to do what he really wants to do.
It really made me look at Christmas shopping in a different light, and how enjoyable it was for him to be able, at all, to get something for someone he cared about.
It didn't hurt that he and I had fun sharing a cinnamon sugar crepe while John did a few things. That was fun, and that set me up well when John and I went on a little shopping trip ourselves just to find stocking stuffers for The Day and for our trip to New Mexico. Small things that wouldn't break the bank and would simply be enjoyed the recipient.
The Thursday before the break, I actually got up early and John and I made two dozen pumpkin muffins to take to the school bus stop with us. One of the moms had said that she couldn't make it on Friday, so that's part of why I timed it that way, the other was that we usually have Cinnamon Rolls for Friday breakfast, so we didn't want to interrupt that routine.
The timing was perfect for them, they were done early enough that we got our breakfast in before heading to the stop, and late enough that they were all still warm when we got there. Everyone really liked them a lot. So that was a lot of fun.
I've been helping out in Jet's Math class, with tile math, where the kids go as fast as they can with tiles numbered zero through nine, and try to fill in the ten spots on a math card. It was bemusing having one of the moms call me over to help one kid going, "She can help you with this, I can't..."
That was kind of fun.
Jet finished the scarf he was making for his teacher. I was very impressed. He took that skein of chunky yarn I'd dyed a little while back and used the needles he'd asked for for his birthday and knit a good five foot long scarf for her. She loves it. While he was doing that, I was finishing of some socks and fingerless mitts for annieroo2, mitts for silverleen, fingerless mitts in pink (gah!) for Jet's other home room teacher, and another moebius strip scarf for another gift.
*eyes that list* Uhm... Right. Busy... just finished the scarf yesterday... and it's off, but luckily not for Christmas.
We did a holiday party at our pastor's Sunday evening, with the usual mad rush Sunday morning when no one did coffee, so I did. There was Christmas Caroling as well, and I simply told John that I was going to do two out of three, not all three. The boys had a great time caroling, and I got some time to get the last of the Ukitake birthday story done. I liked that.
We managed to finish off shopping, too, mailing nearly everything before or on Monday. And then on Monday we went for dim sum for nearly four or was it five? hours with friends that are going to be moving to Texas soon, so we thought we'd take advantage of them being around. It was wonderful to just sit and talk with them for a good long time. We then did a bit of Asian food shopping and then home again just in time for me to get my allergy shots, do a very light supper, play board games, and post the story. *laughs* That was fun.
That also meant, however, that the fountains weren't the sculptures in ice that they were in the past, but the lights were very enjoyable, and they sold glasses that did "3-D effects!"... though, really it was kind of a hologram or refractive grating that turned every point source of light into a snowflake! Jet loved that, especially when it turned the tail lights and headlights of cars into giant snowflakes.
I am glad that I have good enough control of my little point and shoot to be able to get shots like this.
For me, in a way, the botanical garden lights are the real herald of the season because by the time we get out to see them, things aren't as crazy anymore. We have the time to breath and relax and walk around and enjoy the beauty of the place.
On the way home, the snow started to fall, and by the time we were in the hot tub, the flakes were coming down fast. Today the world is all white, covered in snow, and it's still coming down. We'll probably have a very White Christmas, and nearly no plans at all for that day. The day before will be the Christmas Eve services, and on the day after we're headed south to Albuquerque for a road trip and to see John's brother and parents. So we'll be busy enough after, too...
Still, just for now, the world is white and quiet...
I still need to make cookies for those I promised cookies too, and I need to finish the shawl and a couple more ornaments, but the shawl can go on the trip with us. So that's pretty set. The cookies are another matter. I'll have to see when and how that'll work out.
Hope everyone has a great holiday season, and those that celebrate Christmas find it Merry.