Since we are departing for the States on Friday, we held our family Christmas celebration this afternoon. The girls knew it was coming, but didn't know exactly when so the announcement came as a very pleasant surprise.
It was quite the weekend for the girls as we had just wrapped up our entertaining portion of the weekend. We were lucky to have FS friends from Sweden stop by on their way to America. Keith, Bert, Jason & Aaron spent the evening with us and learned a little more about Reykjavik.
After dinner at Grillhusid (where else?), we trekked across the frozen pond (Tjornin) and investigated the new 'ice rink' on the Tjarnaragata side. We were also treated to both theatrical and musical entertainment courtesy of Jason. We really enjoyed the weekend and we were all thrilled to have the company!
After they departed this morning to investigate the Grindavik area and, of course, the Blue Lagoon, I realized this afternoon was the best time to have Christmas. We finished up the wrapping, filled the stockings and the festivities began.
We were treated to fantastic gifts from Auntie Shannon, Uncle Mark and Sandy and Dibby & Greempa Kirk. We are now completely outfitted with ice skates, more Stampin Up! stuff (yeah!!!), movies, arts & crafts, and American Girl items galore. Caitlin spent most of the evening with her head buried in her new Molly book collection, when she wasn't gallivanting around in her new skates.
Unfortunately, there are no pictures yet as our internet connection is slower than molasses. We are not the only ones affected, but doesn't make it easier get things accomplished. So, check back soon!
Tonight Peter found out why we could not get tickets and it had nothing to do with Wednesday night being everyones 'free night'....nope, the President of Iceland and his wife were in attendance. Now, this is not the States...heck, you can walk right up to Bessastaðir, the home of Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland. However, once he has tickets, probably a sure bet the night will be sold out.
In other news, she will probably make the papers again. This afternoon was the signing of the agreement between the town of Gardabaer and the International School of Iceland. It was held at Sjalandskoli, the school that hosts ISI. Since late last year, everything seems to make me, well, sentimental.
So watching the Icelandic students (a select few) sing Christmas carols in English and Cait and the her classmates sing Christmas carols in Islensku certainly tugged at my heartstrings. One group sang and then sat down in perfect rhythm with the rising of their peers. There is nothing like watching children singing in (almost) perfect harmony..but in two different languages and neither of them singing in their Mother Tongue.
Cait had a touch of stage fright, but mostly due to feeling overwhelmed. She was asked to lead the students as the music teacher was quite impressed with her voice. I think, however, the constant pop of the flashbulbs scared her...quite a few more photographers than I expected, but it was a momentous occasion. After all, ISI is the only school in the nation that offers a complete curriculum in English for those who are not fluent in Icelandic.
Some of you should have received the video (of last night) by now, and hopefully, we will have more pictures posted here soon. For now, enjoy this pic of the girls...
The Stúlknakór Reykjavíkur (Reykjavik girls choir?) had its first concert tonight at Hallgrimskirkja, also known as the Cathedral (for Lutherans) in Reykjavik. As many of you know, Caitlin joined the choir back in September.
The little girl with the beautiful voice was shy and nervous but persevered through many practices. The dress rehearsal was last night in preparation for tonight's Advent Concert.
All of the choirs at Domus Vox performed and the voices were incredible. The Cathedral has amazing acoustics and there was not a bad seat to be had in the house. Caitlin's group even had a special entrance; they arrived in time to help sing the last 4 songs. They walked in two by two and held candles while heading towards the altar (don't worry, Dad, fake candles they were).
In theory, they could have stood for the entire program, but at 1.5 hours, I think the director wisely realized that most of them might not last that long. While we were unable to get many photographs (a packed house!), Pete was able to get a video of Caitlin's portion of the program. It is not ready yet, but hopefully some of you will soon receive a special something in your email.
It was wonderful to see Caitlin singing so happily with the other girls. She is so proud of herself and rightly so. It was a challenge, but I think she has enjoyed it and will continue. Not only did she learn more Icelandic, but was also able to teach English to a new Icelandic friend.
My only wish is that Mom could have been here to listen to Caitlin. She loved her voice and like my other family members, encouraged her to sing as often as possible. When Caitlin was worried about being new in the choir, I reminded her of how much Greema Kirk loved her singing and that encouraged her. Without a doubt, I know Mom would be as proud as we are!
Kelsey had a banner day today for random but insightful thoughts. This morning as I was headed upstairs, I groaned as I noticed the cat had apparently been sick.
Without knowing what I was looking at, Kelsey called from the other room, "What did Caitlin do now?"
Later that evening, we were talking and Kelsey mentioned how she didn't like "Amerita" quite so much this time. I queried her as to why not, and she responded, "It was too crowded!"....yes, coming from Iceland, very likely.
And the third thought? Well, will have to get back to you on that one....Dad, if you remember, send me a note- thanks!