Saturday was the most perfect baking day ever - snow falling, Christmas music playing, nowhere to go - so I had a bake exchange with myself. The marble pan is something I've never made before: a finely-chopped pecan base with white and dark chocolate swirled around on top. Oh, and whipping cream. They're supposed to be like truffles, but in a square format. I also made Hershey Hugs cookies (dipped in icing sugar), caramel chocolate squares, coloured marshmallow squares, and ginger snaps. The ginger snaps turned out a little too gingery, which is odd because it's a recipe I love from my sister-in-law Joan and I've made them before and they've always turned out perfect. I forgot the baking soda and I lost count of the cups of flour, so I guess there may have been human error involved.
If you lived on my block, you could come over Friday night to eat these, as well as a few more things I'm planning to make this week. Hopefully at least a couple of my neighbours come; I narrowed down the invitation list to only the ones I like. I have so many things to do before the party it isn't even funny. Besides the food and drink to prepare, I want to scour my entire house, organize every cupboard and closet and repaint the bathroom before Friday. They say if you reach for the moon, you might make it to the stars or something. I'm happy with stars.
My office Christmas party was on Saturday night at the Radisson. It was supposed to be at the old/new Metropolitan theatre, which I was very excited about. I love old buildings, especially when they've been vacant for years and then developed into something cool. But it was not to be. First we found out they didn't have a liquor license yet (not a big deal), and then on Friday we were told they weren't ready to serve food yet (bigger deal). Fortunately arrangements had already been made to go to the Radisson for pre-dinner drinks, so the whole party shifted over there. And I'll have to wait a little longer to see the Met.
The best thing about Chloe's new school (if you ask Chloe) is the cheerleading team. I kind of rolled my eyes when she told me she was interested in doing cheer. I thought they'd just cheer at football and basketball games and be all stereotypical and wear their cheerleading uniforms every day like they do on Glee. Well, let me tell you about the world of cheer. It's its own sport! Who knew? They practice twice a week after school (much to Chloe's dismay, she can only go once a week because it coincides with her Japanese class). They do gymnastic-type things and stunts and everything. They've been having extra practices in preparation for a competition that was held yesterday at the U of M. This is serious business. Their team is pretty modest in terms of skill (all but three of the kids are in grade 9, so have only been doing this for a couple of months), but some of the schools take it pretty seriously. I was pretty impressed - I'd be scared to do a lot of the things they did. Once the high school competition part was over, they had the club teams (or whatever they're called). We stayed to watch a couple of teams perform; it was pretty amazing. I had no idea cheerleading existed to this extend in Winnipeg.
I video-taped the performance and I haven't had time to figure out how to get a better quality still photo from the video, so here are a couple of blurry ones. Chloe's the "flyer" on top.
She's the one on the top left in the picture below (they don't have their official uniforms yet).
The least fun part of the whole thing was forcing Neve and Spencer to come watch. Neve ended up enjoying it, but Spencer complained bitterly for much of the time. Someday in the not-so-distant future, he'll look back and kick himself for not enjoying a few hours of being surrounded by cheerleaders.
Later that afternoon, he had a fencing tournament at the opposite end of the city. He played hard and put everything he had into it, but he didn't win any of his matches and was very discouraged. He doesn't handle disappointment and sadness very well, so the rest of the day was rough. Nothing we could say helped; I guess it just had to run its course. He was much better today. If anyone has good advice on how to help kids work through disappointment while still keeping things in perspective, I'd love to hear it.
|He's the one on the right. Maybe fencing pants would help.|
At the tournament, I watched a very intense match between two adult fencers. One of the spectators was being an idiot and trying to psych out one of the players. After every point, the spectator would lunge towards the player and yell loudly at him. Understandably, this was getting on the player's nerves and he and his teammates who were watching started freaking out and were very close to getting in a fight with the annoying yelling guy. The ref went crazy and gave them all yellow cards and then things calmed down. And that was the most exciting thing I've seen at fencing. I still don't know the rules of the game and I can never tell who gets the point. Hopefully I'll learn one day. Although I'm getting older and less sharp, so it's not looking good.