I am hoping to get more pictures of the kids soon, but we’ve entered the time of year in which it’s dark by 4 (I knew there was a reason we were out for two walks a day in the summer!  we were storing up!), and the lighting inside really isn’t enough for always-moving children.  The kids have been outside regularly, but they’re bundled up with hats and mittens and coats, so there’s no much left of them for the camera to find.  We have, though, been very energetic inside the house.  Nathaniel has learned to play quite nicely on his own, when his sister allows him, so he’s busy moving small toys (a hodgepodge of wooden people, fruit and vegetables, and town buildings) from one pot or pan to another, “cooking.”  While I’m in the kitchen, I’m regularly interrupted with requests for “da big pot,” “da tiny pot,” or, my favorite, “the heavy, heavy pot.”

“Nathaniel, what are you doing?”

“Cooking!  I’m cooking da people!”  Said with such glee.

Sydney and I briefly entertained the idea of inviting a big group over for Thanksgiving, but, besides the usual (we’re busy!  very busy!), we realized that our house really doesn’t work well for larger groups, and one of us would have to be constantly on kid-monitoring duty.  So, next year.  We didn’t do a big Thanksgiving celebration for ourselves, though I cooked some celery-root soup and Katherine and I made sweet-potato crescent rolls for dinner.  She is fully in charge of the rolling, and I think she really likes having some “dishes” to call her own.

When she’s not up on the counter, measuring flour, Katheirne’s usually interested in coloring or reading books.  Both kids, though very unlikely to be found with a book in the summer, have really gotten into them recently.  That means a few more torn pages as Nathaniel encroaches on big-kid books, but also a lot of fun cuddling and sharing.  The Gruffalo is a favorite, and Katherine recites long stretches of it as she “reads” to Nathaniel.  I like that book because the rhymes are easy to memorize, so I can “read” it to the kids even when I’m busy cooking and Katherine’s turning pages.

Yesterday I made a large Christmas tree out of posterboard, and I’m hoping that over the weekend the kids will get a chance to decorate it.  Their nursery teachers have talked all about their “gluing and stickin'” prowess, so I’m hoping to see some of it for myself.  We’ll also put up our Advent calendar and make some snowflakes; Katherine doesn’t appear to remember them from last year, so it’s an all-new adventure for her.  But the biggest holiday activity will be play time with grandparents.  My parents are arriving shortly before Christmas, and they’ll stay with us for about two weeks.  They bravely chose a time a) when planes will be full b) when Sydney and I will have to disappear for a few days, consecutively, for job-interview trips to the US and c) when the cold will be sure to come in nicely through our very un-insulated English house.  But having them here will really make it feel like a holiday, and I’m really excited to see them.



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