It feels very strange that a week before Christmas I do not have stashes of presents hidden throughout the house. I have resisted the temptation to put stocking stuffers in the grocery cart and I have wrapped a grand total of five presents, three for teachers and two for my mother. One more sleep and we are off to the sunny and hopefully warmer south, although with the weather very, very "White Christmas" here, anything will be an improvement. I can't say how secretly happy I am that our snowblower wouldn't start when we got it out of the garage for it's first blow of the year and there has been no time to get it fixed. Luckily our neighbour has a son in the business and I am able to get in and out of our drive with ease. My pioneer woman spirit only extends so far and digging the wood pile out to keep the fire going on the fifth Snow Day so far as well as packing down a path with my snow shoes for the dog to be able to get out and do his thing is about it right now.
We did put the tree up two weeks ago and I have enjoyed it. On Monday Number Two and Three Sons and I sat in front of it most of the day watching movies and making crafts. We baked, well actually we made Candy Cane Bark which is technically not baking but is the most delicious thing ever. And when the power went out at 8 o'clock we lit candles and put another log on and read Christmas stories from Laura Ingalls Wilder. That was a Christmas miracle in our house and as the wind howled outside the boys and I felt like we were living in the Little House in the Big Woods, cosy and warm by the fire. Of course at midnight when the lights all came blazing back on I was more than happy to move the two perpetual motion machines out of my bed and back into theirs.
Number One Son and my Other Half have been away for the week at Mont Tremblant, Quebec for some father/son time and it has given our eldest a chance to be a little more independent away from his brothers. Something I hope will help him as I encourage him to do a French Exchange programme next year for two months. He would go to France or Switzerland in the spring of 2012 and we would have a student here next September/October. At first I thought Grade 8 was a little young but the reasoning is that the students won't miss as much academically as they would in high school and also they won't be as inclined to go over and party at age 13 and 14 (I hope). It would be a fantastic opportunity for him and something that is very near and dear to my heart. Language is my thing and most days I feel like I have very little influence over my sports-loving, brother-bashing, video-gaming sons. Number One is the reader in the family like me and he is already quite good in French after spending the first four years of school in French immersion. I would love for him to really solidify that skill and quiet frankly, we would all love to be able to go over and visit him, hopefully in the Alps, for Spring Break 2012.
But for now off we go to a place where instead of snow there will be sand and the palm trees are covered in millions of white lights. They say nobody does Christmas quite like Naples, Florida so I promise to take lots of pictures. Have a wonderful holiday everyone.