Monday, December 10, 2007

we need a little laughter ringing to the rafters . . .

We're already starting to enjoy a full house for the holidays! Our daughter-in-law, staying with us for one more week before deploying to Iraq to join our middle son, invited her good friend Joanna to stay for the week too, as she starts her own pre-deployment readiness. Since both girls will miss Christmas at home, I was easily persuaded of the need for a couple more Christmas trees in their bedroom wing. Yes, I love having GIRLS laughing and giggling around the house -- and wearing pink pajamas!

While the girls took off early Saturday for a full day of snowboarding at White Tail in PA, I recocked my elf hat and went to work. In the guest room where Rose is enjoying the high step-up French iron bed, she now has her own tree, nestled on the painted bureau and festooned with fruits and berries and warm snow shoes and mittens. She already appropriated two of the stuffed blanket reindeer, one red plaid and one green plaid, for snuggling when she goes to sleep. We'll have to fill the stocking that hangs on her door a little early to make sure she has treats for her long trip.

In the next bedroom, where Joanna sleeps in the walnut four-poster, her tree holds a collection of wooden skates among its fruits and berries. Behind it, the reindeer skins brought back from Finland's arctic area clothe the wall, along with a Finnish national hockey jersey and a birch bark star garland. Over the bed, the wreath continues the outdoor theme with its reindeer, moss and lichen. (Sorry, it was late and dark when I snapped these photos.)

Sunday morning boasted a full-scale winter breakfast prepared by the girls, including pumpkin-infused heart-shaped waffles topped with lingonberry and cloudberry sauces, sliced bananas, powdered sugar, and whipped cream. With evergreen boughs in the red Iitalla vases, and red and green holiday place settings on the pine island, it was quite festive. Rose and Joanna took photos to remember their pre-Christmas breakfast and, of course, to share with our son, anxiously awaiting Rose's arrival. Now that her deployment date has been advanced a week, instead of leaving here just two days before Christmas and being enroute right until Christmas day, she's happily looking forward to surprising him with the gift of an extra week.

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