To make the most of our rare opportunity to be together, we kept very active. Grandma baked Christmas cookies with the kids.
We went out on the icy sidewalks in search of tablecloth souvenirs and a Christmas tree. We relented to the poor choice of live trees and bought a fake one. For the first year we actually saw some fake trees that looked like trees rather than a bunch of fuzzy green sticks. We are happy with our decision and this tree will hopefully be our companion for the next few years.
Grandma had a very rare opportunity indeed to attend a piano recital where Abigail played a little Ukrainian piece called Father Frost.
You can watch the video clip here:
Since the holidays in Ukraine don't actually begin until December 31, Grandma got to sit out in the hall while Abigail had a dance lesson. She was hoping to watch the lesson but the teacher apparently wouldn't allow her in. Grandma made a bad situation worse by leaving her scarf there and in the process of returning the next day to search for it, she lost her hat. We had a good laugh! And we got to spend some more time on the icy sidewalks in search of a new scarf.
We went bowling together in the newly opened "mall" and had a fun competition trying to make it to 100 points.
Other memorable moments were playing Rook after the kids were asleep (or at least should have been), a leisurely dinner at the Star Hotel, and struggling to get pie crusts to turn out.
Grandma left our house at 11pm on the 30th. That night before she left the kids had a hard time falling asleep and were so sad that Grandma would be gone in the morning. Matthew got out of bed and asked me for permission for Grandma to read them "the last story for a long time." Ahh, yes, they too miss having their grandparents as part of their lives. That's why such visits are so very precious.