Here is a beautiful picture of the sky James took on his phone. (Thanks Will for rotating it for me.)
We've had some wonderful times lately with all sorts of nice Christmas treats and surprises.
Mom and Sarah Grace go bike riding with us now and it is so much fun! We children gave Mom a bicycle for her birthday. She loved it so much she cried. She was going to use one of our old bikes that is kind of rusty and beat up because she said she didn't mind at all. And she doesn't mind, she is a good sport and wants us to always get the new things, but we wanted to honor her by getting her a nice shiny new one. The older boys paid for it and brought it home and kept it in Will's van until we gave it to her. It is red like a candied apple and it matches her reading glasses perfectly and it has fenders and a basket in front that you can put apples in, and she just looks so cute riding it.
We are still enjoying Rhapsody. Mom played Michael Bublé's Christmas album for us, and there are some songs I really love.
This one is White Christmas with Shania Twain, and she sounds like she is about to start yodeling, and it is wonderful!
I really love the sound of this song. And I like the lyrics too. It is called Cold December Night.
This is Mis Deseos/Feliz Navidad with Michael Bublé and Thalia. It is a duet. I especially like this one because John, George, and I study Spanish together.
Another thing that happened was we were trying to figure out what to give Aunt Mary for Christmas when she said she couldn't find any candied ginger anywhere in her town. She loves to eat candied ginger when she has a hot cup of tea, so Mom and Sarah went to Publix and bought her some but it tasted too chemical-y so Mom and Sarah decided to make her some. They used Alton Brown's recipe. We love Alton Brown because he teaches science with his recipes and he is funny.
They made the ginger and it was hot but not too hot and it exploded with flavor in my mouth. We also sent her two bottles of Martinelli's sparkling apple cider because she wanted it for Christmas and she couldn't find it anywhere near her. She doesn't want any other brand. We also sent her 25 different flavors of tea from our tea collection. She LOVED getting all that, especially the emperor's white tea!
We enjoy tea parties too. We like to have tea on our deck set in our special tea cups. It is fun to pick which tea cup from our cabinet and then Mom brings out the copper tea kettle and we have it with dried mango or cookies or a tiny bite of a slice of dried tangerine peel.
Aunt Mary sent us some blooming tea for our parties. Please click the link because you won't believe this. http://www.primulatea.com/flower.php It blooms in the pot and you can make another pot of tea from it later! She also gave us dried mango and papaya and some nice nuts.
A really great gift she gave Mom was beautiful chimes. They are golden dragonflies (Mom loves dragonflies), and she found them at Dollar General marked down to twenty cents! Aunt Mary always finds wonderful things at good prices. When she goes shopping, she asks the Lord to find her a good Jewish deal, and he does! Even though she is poor right now, she gives the best gifts anyway. I usually don't like chimes but these I love. It only takes a little breeze to make them chime. They are hanging in a place under the mantle and when the big boys walk by they chime with a light tinkling sound. Funny, but Billy's parents gave Mom dragonfly chimes also and they are very nice and they are in our kitchen. Imagine two different people giving Mom chimes she loves WITH DRAGONFLIES, when she was never a chimes person! The loud ones and the clanky ones get on her nerves, and I agree, but these have a very sweet sound. Aunt Mary also gave us gospel tracts in English and other languages. She said we could carry them with us to the pub or wherever in case we have a chance to tell about Jesus.
Aunt Mary also sent us tiny candy canes that I love because they are the sweetest of all. She also gave us two CDs she found at the dollar store that have two discs with all sorts of children's songs. Georgi and I listened to the first disc tonight after we had homemade eggnog which was soo yummy. Mom made it from the eggs of our free range chickens. She whipped cream and the egg whites, blended them together with the yolks, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and bourbon for the grownups. It was soo delicious, even the sip I had with the bourbon was so good. Anyway, some of the songs I knew but some I didn't. It brought back a lot of Mom's memories from when she was a little girl. It was so fun.
A few days ago our nice neighbor Mrs. Stafford came by and gave us two big cans of shortbread cookies and a ham and vegetables and all you need for a Christmas dinner except we are going to eat it this week before Christmas because we have a turkey for Christmas. We can eat off the ham and Mom and Sarah won't have to cook so much since they are busy with baking and shopping and decorating so that makes sense. The cookies are extra large and we had them with milk when we watched The Hiding Place which is the movie about Corrie Ten Boom. We ordered it from Netflix after we read the book. I loved it, but it wasn't as good as the book. Corrie wasn't like I expected. I didn't get to see Mrs. Stafford when she was here because I had just come home from doing yard work at Ma's house and I had on a filthy white undershirt and bad clogs and I was embarrassed. I hope I get to see her when we take her our gifts.
I saw a fresh pineapple at Aldi's and asked Mom if we could buy it. She did, and we ate it tonight. The first piece I had was sweet, but the second piece I had was very sweet! Pineapple is so much better fresh.
I love trying new things like foods from around the world like my sister Sarah makes us, and the Lanes gave us Christmas pudding just like Tiny Tim's family had in A Christmas Carol and I can't wait to try it at Christmas. They also gave us candies and cookies and Christmas poppers and wine for my parents. Sarah got other things from them. We also each got a large box of English chocolates that some of my brothers already ate some of but I'm trying to save mine for Christmas. It's not easy. I've had their chocolate before!
The greenery in our house looks very pretty and it gives out the smell of Christmas. My mother dabs clove essential oil on our lightbulbs and it smells really good and Christmas-y.
We are working on a jigsaw puzzle that has fireworks bursting and it is very hard. We finished one last week that was a skyline of NYC and it also slightly glowed in the dark when the lights were out.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas!