It’s been a quiet week around here, because Jenny and Elena were gone for most of it. It’s a funny thing–after you move closer to family, you spend more time with them. Jenny’s mom still has two boys at home who need an adult presence in the house. So Jenny offered to go down and provide that presence so her mom and mom’s husband could go on a well-deserved vacation for a few days.

Jenny and Elena had a good time while they were away. Jenny listed several specific details that contributed to the fun. For one thing, their cat Misty is more friendly and patient with Elena than Jewel is. For another, the boys helped to take care of Elena. They also showed their appreciation: Nick, Jenny’s stepbrother, slipped a lovely thank-you note under her door the morning that they left..

I missed them greatly while they were gone, but managed to keep myself very busy. It’s the time of year when we’re putting together our family Christmas packages, the theme and contents of which remain a closely-held secret. As usual, I fell in love with an idea that requires a major effort to implement, so I worked late into the evenings most of the time they were gone. The results look promising, so I’m glad that I stuck with it. Jenny accurately foresaw the difficulties and doubted my ability to carry out the project, but I won her over when she saw a finished item.

I’m sure that Elena has grown noticeably taller in the week that she was gone, and every day she communicates better. Right now she loves looking at the moon and stars. It’s very nice to have them back.

I’ve actually gone from loneliness to extra family, because my sister Leisa is in town and it’s her birthday today. If you’ve been reading regularly, you know that can mean only one thing: cake pops. We found a perfect flavor combination–chocolate cake and frosting for the interior, dipped in a peanut butter candy coating. Jenny made cake pops for her family, and now she’s fully invested and trying to improve our process, so we added sprinkles as an extra twist. We went out to dinner last night and ate most of the sprinkled pops before taking pictures of them. However, we expect that the holiday season will be full of cake-popportunities.


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