We put out treats for Santa and his reindeers. Santa had a nice mix of cookies and a butterscotch steamer and the reindeers got eight slices of carrot. Prancer gets the one with the top.
Christmas Eve was a nice day we decorated the Gingerhead House, opened the Playmobile Santa who got into his sleigh.
Susan readied the Christmas Eve gifts for the kids (the traditional pajamas with an added bonus was the candle that would help light Santa's way tonight as he finds the treats. The kids had a great time walking through the Oaks Bottom refuge.
Do you see George, You really had a Wonderful Life.
This Little Package cap is definitely on my Christmas list. My big head needs a little larger size than this one, but you have to love the quality of the handmade design. It's also consistent with the goal of going local this holiday season.
Okay, this is old, but I just found this and thought it would be worth saving in some way.
Here were a few excerpts from the comments on Abby's 2nd Grade Report Card from Missy Duncan.
I've enjoyed having Abby in my class this year. Abby is always willing to help out in the classroom when I need something. Although she would rather read books all day, she is starting to add more detail to her daily writing and stories. I've also noticed that Abby is paying more attention in Math. She's picked up on number strings, carrying and borrowing quite quickly.
Amelia has been 5 for over six months now, but we just had her check up last month and I just found the sheet, so here's an update on her.
She is 44 1/4" which is 55% for her age and 43.8 lbs, which is 55%, so slightly above average. She's in kindergarten in Mrs. Tursi's class which has been a pretty good transition, except the long days means she's a little cranky in the afternoons. She's starting to sound out words and is having fun with all of the art projects in the classroom.
There were so many great memories from our trip, it is worth making a list.
We had a great time celebrating the marriage ceremony of Paul and Geske. It was wonderful to learn about the Danish traditions and more about the culture. The kids had a chance to be in a setting that was unfamilar and they did quite well.
I had a new experience in Europe, driving! We took the kids to Egeskov Castle and toured the grounds. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the various museums, tree climbs, and play structures.
The travel between Copenhagen and Odense was a fun couple of train rides down to Svendborg. We enjoyed people watching in the Copenhagen train station. This was a nice warm up for the Night Train which we would take down to Amsterdam.
Getting to Delft, we got on our bikes. Abby had a great time riding the City and exploring. She did a great job following along, paying attention to the various signals, street markings, and bumps that are common in the Dutch engineering practices. Of couse, there were lots of pictures of the innovative transportation applications.
We enjoyed a visit with the students out to a greenhouse, the Netherlands has a dizzying array of them throughout this part of the country. They are automated and have a great way to operate with very little energy consumption.
In the picture Peter Furth (the professor that shared his program with us), took Amelia on for a while in the greenhouse.
On that same trip, we made it to the North Sea. It was a windy day, but we enjoyed dipping our toes in and playing on the beach.
The Dutch culture is very welcoming and touring the Cities was enjoyable.
Abby and Amelia biked with the PSU class. Here they are getting a class in sand play with the students. They're building a roundabout and testing the course with the volleyball. This isn't just any roundabout though, it is a roundabout that allows bicycles to travel underneath. We found the exact model of this on the following day in Houten (or at least I did).
A bike box in Delft prioritizes bikes over right turning traffic.
In the Netherlands, right turn on red isn't allowed.
Abby and Amelia joined us on the third day of the class, which would end up 36 miles later going from Delft to the North Sea and back. It was all day trip with stops at a greenhouse control system company, a greenhouse, a central market along the way, and the beach. Leaving TU Delft (the University), we wound our way through the streets of Delft which are chaotic at times and really fascinating when you're able to wander through them. When you are on your bike, the facilities seem like a joy and you want to bring them back to the U.S. When you are on your bike beside your 8 year old, they seem too narrow, with scooters zipping by and cars that are still too close for comfort.
Since Abby is an accomplished rider, all in all they are pretty good facilities.
On this trip to the beach we added a stowaway in the form of Amelia. Where is she in this picture you ask?
She's on a tag along rack, riding on a pillow. We saw the Dutch do this on so many occassions, we thought we would try it. It turned out it worked with some modifications. Later, we took Susan's backpack off which gave her a little more room to look around. It was also clear that we needed to slide up on the seat of the bike to make sure she wasn't leaning back, but that wasn't so difficult.
All in all, a good day and a nice way to get from the beach and back.
We visited Ikea on the way home from the first day's orientation. It was actually the most convenient stop to pick up towels and things that we didn't bother to pack through the travels for the first week of the trip.
It was odd because we had talked to the students that we have brought over to Delft about our expectations we have for them. It was also very different than the time we spent sharing with them in the main part of the City where we got them to their dorm rooms and showed them where to get phones if they wanted one. These errands were completed in the Central City where bikes are king.
The Ikea parking lot is much different, but still has bicycle amenities and paths up to the store. It definitely looks different on the outside than one in the U.S. would.
Inside the store is exactly the same. I have been to Ikea probably two or three times. I found the sign here amusing. They were basically providing career guidance with this sign, suggesting.... " FIND YOUR WAY".