Sunday, December 6th
St. Nicholas Day is celebrated by leaving one of our shoes in the mudroom for St. Nicholas to fill on the night on December 5th. St. Nicholas leaves both practical items that we can use as well as a few treats that aren't normally around our home on a regular basis.
Olivia was the first to wake up. She said that when she went out to take care of the horses that she walked right by the shoes and boot. Apparently she was so focused on morning chores that she blocked out everything else.
When she came back inside, she noticed something different about the bench in the mudroom. The shoes were filled!
Below is what Olivia received from St. Nicholas: candy, beef sticks, blending pens (for her drawing class), cheese-in-a-can (which she and Sophia really like for some reason), and a magazine about interior decorating (one of Olivia's favorite topics).
You can see that someone (below) is very happy about receiving cheese-in-a-can. Perhaps it is the infrequency of which this is consumed that makes it such a special treat.
Sophia woke up about an hour later to find things she wanted: a lint roller (to get pet hair off her clothes), pens that can be used with touch screens, pretzel sticks, teriyaki beef jerky, candy, and breath strips.
If you look on the chair in the background, Shadow is sitting on it. It seems like he is trying to be in quite a few pictures. That's okay...he's on palliative care/hospice right now. His medication for hyperthyroidism didn't work so his heart is beating very fast, he's losing a lot of weight, and is experiencing several other side effects of hyperthyroidism that are taking a toll on him. He's not in pain. So, we're enjoying this time with him and making his life as comfortable as possible.
At any rate, after Sophia saw what she received, it was time for her to get ready for her first harp performance of many this month.
Later in the morning, we left to go to Mahtomedi for Sophia's harp rehearsal and performance at an assisted living facility.
The girls in her harp ensemble (seven total, including Sophia) all wore the same outfits and their harps were decorated with gold garland (to match their outfits).
They were accompanied by a young man who played the bells.
The music was beautiful and the parents, guests, and residents of the assisted living facility enjoyed listening to it.
The ensemble played five songs - three towards the beginning of the recital and then two more at the end. Other harp and piano students played songs as part of the recital.
Monday, December 7th
Today we focused on homeschooling since it is the only full day this week that we are at home. The girls needed to concentrate on their schoolwork.
For lunch, one of the things we ate was a healthy Christmas tree made from green apples, red raspberries, and pretzels. (This was for everyone - not each person.)
The idea came from this pin on Pinterest which led to Clean and Scentsible. I didn't have the image in front of me, so I was trying to remember how the apples were arranged. They were in two columns laid slightly on top of one another.
In my version, they are layered both vertically and horizontally. Perhaps a bit more chaotic looking than the pin. All trees are different, though. Mine is a different type of pine tree. Yes...that's it.
In the pin, the two columns of apple slices are topped with a strawberry. Strawberries aren't in season in Minnesota in December, and those that are available taste like cardboard. So, I stuck with raspberries. They were a bit on the tart side so I added a bit of sugar to the remaining ones. If the fruit was eaten as presented above it would be healthy. The side of fruit with sugar..not so healthy.
Oh well...at least it tasted good and was a nice treat.