Thursday, December 2, 2010

Autumn Visitors

A few weekends ago Gisli and Gerdur made the long drive from Isafjordur to Skagastrond to see us....what amazing friends. We mostly hung out, ate well, went for walks and Jacob and Gisli went hunting ptarmigan. Gisli went home with three birds! We went to pick them up and when we got back Gisli put the birds on newspaper to wrap them and Zelia was so interested in them. Gerdur invited her over to touch and see how soft and then Zelia very gently picked up the bird in her two hands and said she was going to carry it inside. She is completely aware that they are to be eaten and actually really wanted to eat it herself. But it is a Christmas treat in Gisli's family so in to the car they went. I think Zelia has an important opportunity here to really see where food comes from, what sacrifices are made for her to eat and she can see the beauty in the animal in all its forms. I am grateful for this.

On Tuesday night before Thanksgiving as we were getting VERY excited for Noah, Jocelyn, Theo and Ari to arrive Jacob came down with a fever, ugh. It lasted an entire week. Luckily for him, he was basically ok during the day, long walks were tough, but by afternoon he was pretty miserable. None the less he prepared several delicious meals icluding an amazing meal for Thanksgiving.

Jocelyn, Noah and family made it by 1pm on Wednesday to a meal of fiskibollur which were a hit. Everyone slept incredibly well that first night! We went for walks, bundled the kids up many many times, hung out, played, snuck dessert when they were all finally asleep and had a really wonderful visit. Check out the bath picture - that face is exactly how Zelia felt!!! So funny, she is not used to boys splashing around and didn't go in again:(

On Saturday morning, Zelia and I went to leikskoli to make gingerbread, piparkoku. It was such a great activity. We brought rolling pins and when we arrived we got some dough and a small bowl of flour. We sat together at a table, other kids and families were there and made cookies. We took them to the kitchen to bake, had some juice and when they were ready we went into the other room to decorate them with icing! What a great activity. That night we went into town for the Christmas tree lighting where there was music and dancing around the tree. Then 13 Santa clauses came out with goody bags for the kids with clementines and two candies. Sunday morning was quiet after the Kaspers left us and headed home.

Yesterday when I picked Zelia up from school she told me her friend Bella hadn't been there, then she said, maybe Theo and Ari are at her house!

Yesterday Zelia began staying at school until 2 everyday! Now we hope she will eventually learn to nap there. After school we went to the primary school with Uma and Shiloh to make laufabraud. It is a very thin rolled out and decorated with cuts dough that is deep fried in a combination of oils and kept for Christmas to eat with butter!!!! We had a great time trying to get them thin enough. From our dough we got about 19, next year the goal is 22! We were told that the bread was made this way because there was so little flour in Iceland. Yesterday it was made with whole wheat and white flour, baking powder, little sugar, little salt and cream, then it was friend in palm oil, some vegetable oil and lamb fat (so little I could smell it but not taste it). Then we sat with the rounds and used a special rolling knife to cut designs and fold sections down to look like braids. Very intricate work! Families get together and make 100's of these for Christmas! So very very neat. I love that the community gets together for these events. It felt so nice being there, learning about this and doing it!!!!