Saturday, December 06, 2003

Pictures! Pictures! Pictures!

So, maybe we have a lot of responsibilities and there are always chores to be done, but squeezing in some fun is practically mandatory at this time of year. We made a quick visit to the outlet mall to see the tree that is 87' tall; taller than the baby tree at the White House, and the shrub at Rockefeller Center. The white pine came from Mt. Shasta.

It is bright and colorful, and smells wonderful.

This year we shared our family gingerbread home building tradition with Adam, Anne and Jacob, and Mike and Ian. They came last night and we assembled gingerbread houses together. Some people foolishly adhere to strict building codes, and use only royal frosting for construction; we figured out, years ago, that hot glue is the obvious choice> for speed and stability.

Anne, seen here, expertly using her glue gun, had excellent help from her son Adam. After the walls are up and the roof is in place, comes decorating.

Jacob played music for us as we applied hard candies, wrapped and unwrapped Kisses, peppermint sticks and chocolate rocks.

Adam, Anne and Jacob are seen here, preparing their home for snow drifts.

Mike and his son, Ian, made good use of the candy bricks for chimneys and a dragon lantern (Adam is seen peeking between the father and son team.) Each house is unique and representative of our extraordinary designs, themes and creativity.

Max even thoughtup a new landscaping concept:

A palm tree!

And best of all, we had a whole lot of fun in the company of good friends.

Habitat for Candy: A dazzling design by Adam, Jacob and Anne.

Nice With Spice: A contemporary dream home built by Ian and Mike.

Wintery Paradise: A frosty wonderland put together by Max, Alex, William and Geoff.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Hey, did I sound a bit stressy yesterday? No doubt I am not alone. And nothing's changed. I worked on all fronts yesterday, and today I feel as behind, and unprepared as ever. Certainly there are aspects which I cannot influence to my satisfaction, and then there are the usual chores and responsibilities that are constant too. So, when people suggest that we "don't over do" during the holidays, I always feel a little rebellious. I want to do it all; the tree and lights and nice gifts, charity and good will, caroling (or lip synching merrily,) cookies and fruit cakes, tamales, church, sledding, and poinsettias on the deck railing. I'd like to make personalized greeting cards and mail them out with a two page family letter and family portrait. And I want to have packaged gifts at the post office today. I put the pressure on, so it's no wonder I sit in a stunned slump and feel overwhelmed; not from what I am doing, but from what I imagine I would like to do, and from what I know I should do. Do do.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Officially overloaded! We must finish moving in; unpacking and organizing. Alex, Max and I are aching to decorate for Christmas, but unpacking comes first. I have been making a slide show from our trip to Tacupeto, and doing school lessons, while emptying boxes. There's always cooking, dishes and laundry, and our car needs to go in for service. This morning I initiated crafts for school, and now my domestic gains have slipped; there is a parade's worth of cut paper scattered across the office floor. I seem to recall that it's been six months since our last dental check ups. Wasn't someone supposed to schedule new appointments? Also, flu it too late? And life with Asperger's Syndrome is adding dramatically to our stress levels. We met with our favorite acupuncturist this week, in our quest for coping skills. Can Christmas really be 22 days away? I would try meditation, but I fear slipping into a deep coma.