Friday, December 26, 2008

The week of Christmas

Well - it has been such a busy season. I have, obviously, been doing things other than sitting at my computer. Thus - the Blog has been boring and silent for many days.

As I mentioned previously this month - we've been spending time with people. Making the most of time with friends who will not be returning to Switzerland as they left for their homes in the US this past week. Those who are visiting for the holidays. And - those who feel like family in the absence of our own.

I also realized another reason why I have neglected the computer. Please observe the following picture of our living space. It's a very large room and I am taking the pic from the dining area portion. So - dining room, TV/stereo/family room and corner office all in one. I like to work on the computer in silence.

There's not been much silence since last week's visit with Lind's in Engelberg - the girls got out of school the next day. Therefore, quiet will return to the house Jan. 12th. But we're having fun!

Just thought I'd share the following funny observation as I passed our Christmas tree:

Annika! Watch out!!! Padmae is ready to lazer Barbie. Perhaps she's taking out any competition for Anikan's affections? Just thought this was funny and I doubt the girls did this on purpose as they decorated the tree.

This is what happens to our living space when the girls are home with any length of time on their hands. They each have their own rooms. Apparently the neutral territory of the living room works better for them.
Christmas Eve (and Christmas) dawned grey and gloomy along Lake Zurich. So, I took the girls up to a little place nearby to get their ski legs worked out (I had mine the week before - YAHOO). Alpthal Brunni is a small family place and only has t-bars, no chair lifts. As you can see - it also had sunshine and no fog.
In honor of Christmas Eve, they gave the lift operators the day off apparently. The T-bar was self-service.
Um. Self-service T-bar. For a mom with two kids who don't like the T-bar in the first place. FYI - I had not been on a T-bar for about 30 years until we moved to Switzerland. They still have a lot of them as they are cheaper/less liability than chairlifts and easier to install through the cow pastures we ski through. But they are more tiring than sitting oneself on a chair!
Here you can see them with the bar properly placed under their backsides. I think this was our 3rd try. 1st try landed them in a pile about 15ft from where we started. I cleared them out and we tried again. 2nd try had the bar under Rachel but at Kendra's lower back - they still made it all the way to the top. 3rd time was a charm and I finally got the hang of grabbing the bar, getting it under them and catching the next one. It's harder than it sounds - they come in on the left (I am right-handed), it's a moving target and you have to pull that bar down pretty hard and fit it under them. But we had fun and it was a nice Christmas Eve morning.
Bart wasn't working. He was hanging out at home with his bum back. He threw something out in his lower back last week and can't do too many active things this week. Bummer. We missed him.
We headed to Germany last Sunday to visit Bart's sister and her family. Had a nice train ride and enjoyed some cheaper shopping than we would find in Switzerland. The Christmas markets are fun but tend to be full of the same stuff. But we always enjoy the food.
Thought I'd share my sister-in-law's beautiful table - and this was after we did the dinner damage.
She has a knack for decorating and playing hostess. Everything was black & white and beautifully presented. It is fun to be treated!
And the day before we went to Germany (I'm going backwards as you can see), I (susan) was in France to tour a couple Christmas markets/Towns with some friends who have done this annually for about 6 years. I was so glad to join them.
I love this area of France - the Alsace Region. Home of light, sweet wines and beautiful, cottage- filled villages and yummy foods. We finished out our Christmas shopping, ate pastries and had a wonderful lunch in a cellar restaurant - complete with accordian playing by local musicians.
Our last stop was Colmar (a couple of you reading know where I'm talking about). D & I headed to the shops while M & L went to the grocery store - we had only an hour. D & I had time to do a little damage (very little but fun) and decided we need to go back and make a Spring trip.
We had a wonderful Christmas and spent time with a group of friends in the mountains nearby. We are fortunate to have a family of friends here and our health.
Above all we are grateful for the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, through whom we are saved by grace.
We wish you a Happy Holiday!


Linds said...

Wow.... you have certainly packed a lot into the week since we met up! I think you need a holiday! I know what you mean about needing silence to work/blog. My mind zaps all over the place on a normal day, and then add noise and I lose track of every single thought. Sigh.
I walked to the Klostermatt to watch the skiing this afternoon. Stunning. So many people!
I am so glad you have a great circle of friends who feel like family close by, Susan. And I hope your husband is well again soon. Our friend from Zurich has just left after visiting tonight, and I told him to look out for B. He did tell me there were 49 000 people there! Hmmm. I seem to be writing a post here, so I am stopping. For now!

Julie said...

Fun to get your Christmas update...hilariously LOL when I saw the Littlest Pet Shop village in your living room because we have a duplicate village in our living room!!! I'm not kidding, just like yours, all circled up and spread out. Gotta love school breaks! Also, just a note, my dad's side of the family has been traced back to the Alsace region of France so it was very cool to read that you traveled there. Maybe someday I can make it there and do a little family history hunting! Anyway, we also had a great Christmas with my family here and will leave tomorrow for Columbia, MO for a few days to see K's sister from New Mexico and in-laws! Cheers to all of you!