While I cooked, I’ve got a fire started in the fireplace. The temperatures didn’t go above 40°F (4°C). Sara wanted me to fill up, the slinky feeder with peanuts, because she likes to watch her little Blue Jays. And sure enough, it didn’t take long, when six Blue Jays showed up to get some nuts. Sandy and Mr. Cardinal picked a couple of peanuts as well. After dinner, we all stayed by the fire in the front room. Kevin and Sara played a board game. And Katelynn watched them, while I tended the fire.
After a Two-week-break, Katelynn and Sara are back in school. Katelynn started her second semester as a Freshman. When she came home, she said, her interests are mixed and well balanced. There are two subjects she really loves, and two she is not so font with them. She usually loves Mathematics. But she doesn’t like Algebra. I remember, first I wasn’t a fan of Algebra either. But once I figured it out, it wasn’t so hard anymore. But it took a bit to click in my head. Katelynn is going through the same struggles. She’s excited for Science. She can’t wait to talk about her collection of dinosaurs. Then there is another semester of Band in this school year. And English Language Arts is the other subject, she’s raising her eyebrows. She was never a fan of ELA. 😀 But Katelynn has a lot of fun in High School. And that’s also very important. Sara said, she had an amazing day in school, too.
Kevin celebrates his 44th Birthday, today. We were considering going out for his big day. But I could talk him into, me cooking a nice meal for him. Since the weather is in the 70s, I decided to cook some German Hamburger Patties, which are nicely seasoned. And as the side dish I made Potato-Cucumber Salad. Kevin agreed, my food tastes so much better. And it is much cheaper and healthier to eat at home. Our New Years Resolution is to reduce the days eating out and rather spend the time on cooking a decent meal at home. We are planning a trip to Seattle/Vancouver trip for this Summer. And in Spring 2020, we would like to go back to Walt Disney World. These trips cost a lot of money, and therefore I always need to find a way to save more $$$.
The temperatures stay in the mid-30s (1°C) in North Texas, today. Since it is close to the freezing point and raining outside, the girls and I stay cozy by the fire. Since, I started the fire in the fireplace, Luis hasn’t moved a muscle on the ottoman. He really and enjoys the heat. What a lucky pup?! Lexi and the cats are snoozing on soft blankets. Katelynn and Sara have Winter Break until Monday. They still have to do their daily school work, which includes reading books and practice clarinet. Their brains need to stay in sharp, when they go back to school. But homework and riding out the cooler weather is so much more fun with hot chocolate for them, and cappuccino for me. 😉
The last several days after Christmas, we took a short break and visited Kevin’s family in North Carolina. Katelynn and Sara hadn’t been in Georgia and South Carolina, yet. So, we chose to drive the southern route through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina to get North Carolina. Since it was raining most of the time, we took it easy with the “End of the Year” trip. I captured several photos. But I wasn’t going all out as I usually do, when we go on bigger trips. Here are my favorite ones:
Today is the shortest day and the longest night of the year, in the Northern Hemisphere. The Sun will be ‘reborn” and “climb its way to the top of the hill”, until Summer Solstice in June, before the days will become shorter again. We call it the Winter Solstice, when the days are short and the nights are long. And the days start to become longer.
Katelynn and Sara had their last day of school for 2018. It is also the end of the first semester in school. When the girls go back, Katelynn will have a new schedule in January. And Sara will begin to prepare for the STAAR tests, in Spring. But first, we will enjoy the last days of this year. Hopefully, we have a good start into the new year, 2019. We will visit the family in North Carolina for a few days. The girls want to see their grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. They always enjoy traveling and seeing something new on the road. It never gets old for them. 😉
☃️Blessed Yuletide! Happy First Day of Winter!
Christmas is one week away, and I finally wrapped the presents. When Sara came home from school, she was so excited seeing some packages under the tree. But this evening, she looked at the tree and said: “Mom, one week is sooo long away!” “Yes, my dear! One week can be long. But you will have a lot of fun in the meantime. And then, one morning you’ll wake up, and Santa was here”, I replied.
Tonight was Katelynn’s first Winter Concert performance as a High School student. Next to “Stille Nacht” (German for “Silent Night” by Franz Gruber), the Synphonic Band also performed “Bravura” (C. E. Duble), “Old Days” (James Pankow) and “Jingle Bells” (James Pierpont).
Here is “Stille Nacht” performed by TCHS Symphonic Band:
This upcoming Saturday, Katelynn will march for the last time this season. In the meantime she’s preparing for auditions, the Christmas Concert, more auditions, daily practice, even more auditions, and not to forget: the Walt Disney World Trip on Spring Break. 🎵🎷🎺🥁🎶
Kevin worked on installing the Christmas lights around the house, today. Sara sat on the roof and helped him with the extension cords. Once the first chains of lights were installed, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I shopped for a Fraser Fir tree. We also got some more Christmas decorations. Kevin will finish setting up the lights in the frontyard, tomorrow.
More photo of Christmas lights will follow as soon as everything is installed and set up.
Katelynn, Sara and I went to the DFW Founder’s Plaza in Grapevine. The girls are out of school for this week. And the day is too beautiful to sit in the house all day. We watched several airplanes launch and land at the DFW International Airport. When Sara got “ants in her pants”, we had to walk around for a little bit before we drove back home for lunch.