Grandma's been hard at work decorating the house for Christmas. I find myself wandering into the living room to stare at the Christmas village. It's enchanting. The girls love it and have done remarkably well at remembering to not touch either the tree or the train, which comes somewhat as a surprise.
Most of the decorations on Grandma's tree are breakable. Many of them are fragile family heirlooms—she has a set of delicate glass birds that were passed down to her from...Andrew has no idea so I don't feel too bad that I forgot...either her mom or Oma. This cockatoo is Rachel's favourite, as is the little girl in the green dress holding the candy cane.
I tried to take some nice pictures of the girls in front of the tree and by the village, but most of my pictures didn't turn out at all. I blame my mediocre camera skills, my uncooperative subjects, and the poor lighting (since the main lights were off so that we could enjoy the Christmas lights).
I think these two are my favourite ones of the girls, though they could use some touching up...
When I asked Miriam if she could take her thumb out of her mouth and give me a "big, big smile," though, this is what I got:
Rachel's actually looking at the camera here but I'm not sure the camera is actually focused on anything in the picture.
Are you ready to see the pictures of the girls together? Brace yourself.
I have no idea what they're looking at but, whatever it is, it's not me. I'm right here, girls! RIGHT HERE!
And now for the village...
Grandma spent days setting this up (and this is only half of what she normally does). There's a working train that runs around the many, many houses that Grandma painted by hand. It's quite incredible.
And it certainly is fun to look at—there's so much to see!
We started our advent calendar today—at least the one that Grandma has. Every day the girls will take turns fishing out a treat and a miniature ornament to put on a tree in the village (the one to the left of Rachel a couple of pictures up). Today was Rachel's turn and while she thought it was great fun, Miriam thought it was terribly unfair. She cried and begged to be allowed to open tomorrow's spot today. Grandma tried to console her with a few M&Ms (but what is an M&M compared to a Hershey's kiss?) but I ended up just holding her while she sucked her thumb and sniffed while watching Rachel place the first ornament on the village tree.
Tomorrow will be Miriam's turn which means that it will likely be Rachel pouting on my lap.
Grandma asked if we'd prefer if she put double treats in each day but Andrew and I decided that the girls should be able to take turns. Yes, we're just that mean.
There's still a bit we have to do to set up for Christmas—Grandma is still planning on setting up her Bethlehem village and I still need to dig out our stockings, mostly because Grandma already has hers and Grandpa's hanging on the fireplace. In my house growing up we always set out out stockings on Christmas Eve but for the past five years or so I've started putting my stockings out early—first at Andrew's behest and now at the behest of my children.
Miriam and I went downstairs to find our stockings but the storage room is in a bit of an upheaval right now since everything had to be moved around to get to the Christmas stuff. There was a new stack of boxes in front the box our stockings were in.
"Wow," I breathed.
"Yeah," Miriam agreed. "Too much stuffs."
And thus it was decided that we would wait on stockings until classes let out for the semester—this task is officially on the honey-do list.