Tonight Chico felt more like home to me than any time over the last five months. The kids have friends, the neighbors come over to chat and drink beer, and I'm baking bread again. Leah is having one of her school friends, Alexa, over to spend the night. Alexa and her family came to Chico two years ago from... guess where... The Colorado Front Range. Small world. Alexa assured Leah that at the five month mark she was "still pretty messed up about the move." I hope Leah takes heart. Alexa reports full acclimation at this point.
Axel seemed a bit sad that Leah had a friend over so he helped me make banana bread until the door bell rang and the neighbor girl, Natalia, (also five) asked if he wanted to play. That left me to do the baguettes and the split pea soup on my own. Jon came home and settled into a game of Internet chess until Natalia's dad, Chris, came over. Then the men migrated naturally toward the garage. First our garage, then Chris's... what is it with men and the garage?
Axel knows how to cream the butter and sugar.
The final product. We made four loaves and are laying them in store for Christmas guests at breakfast.
I do this with the celery and carrots every time I make split pea soup.
And while I make soup, Axel plays Chutes and Ladders with Natalia.
Jon drinks a beer and plays chess.
The teens, watching TV and playing on the computer. They said I was like the mom from That 70's Show because she always takes pictures.
Later, I had to expand our Christmas Tree Star with cardboard, gold spray paint, and beads (the un-enhanced star looked ridiculously shrimpy). Here Jon re-tops the tree with the finished product using our most giant ladder. A 13 foot Christmas tree is fun to look at but a beast to manage.