I have been enjoying my Christmas toy. Esther gave me an iPod Touch. After a year and a half of envying Don's iPhone features, I have joined the handheld fun. An iPod Touch is basically an iPhone without the phone, and the phone bill. There are thousands of applications available, and I'm only just beginning to explore them.
We are doing lots of Christmas partying in Lynden with family between snow storms. Monday night was with the Bulthuis family and Wednesday night with the Eides. During our gift exchange Christmas Eve, Bjorn and Jenny opened a message from their OB/GYN, informing them of their child's gender. They have been waiting three weeks to open it, as have the rest of us. Only 4 of the 15 of us guessed right -- A Girl! Though most were expecting a boy, we are all thrilled that there will be a new Bulthuis girl in the family.
Like most people in Western Washington, we received a good dumping of snow this morning, along with frigid temperatures. School was cancelled today and tomorrow, giving us an extended start to the break. However, the road conditions are keeping us from working on Santa's sleigh load. Markus and I even got our 4x4 truck stuck in a ditch nearby. I am ashamed to admit it, but it took a friend with a chained up Chevy truck to pull our Toyota out. I was able to rip off some sheetrock in the rental basement. I think I fixed the leak, but things need to dry out before I patch it all up again. Esther is enjoying the extra time to spiff up the house for Christmas.
Our usual Christmas shopping adventure took a unique detour this weekend. Esther got word of a Blacksmith guild in Allyn that has an open house once a year. It is held at the home and shop of the master blacksmith, and includes demonstrations and a shop full of ironwork for sale. The house is amazing, with rustic decor and the blacksmith's craftsmanship. The grounds were packed with people, music and food: a real holiday community affair. Needless to say, we snagged a few gifts for Santa's sleigh before hitting the malls.
Every year we pack up what's left of the Bulthuis family and visit the local tree farm. Pickings are getting slimmer these days at the farm, but tradition cries louder than aesthetics, so it's off to Stock's for tree and candy cane. I was also able to get all the lights on the roof today. I was glad that the rain held off. Light and dry are both scarce commodities in the Puget Sound winter, so when you get both at the same time, you make hay.