Friday, December 30, 2011

Cadburys by Mail.

Would you just look at what came in the post today from Norn Iron.
I have the best sister ever. 


Didn't take long for the girls to sniff out the Cadbury's gold.
An abundance of "oohs" and "aahs" ensued.
Followed by heart-wrenching pleas to open them immediately and share.
Truth is, it really didn't take much to twist my arm.
But I asserted that the limit had to be ONE.

Each favorite was claimed. Unwrapped with glee.
And slooooowly savored. With significantly more of the aforesaid "oohs" and "aahs".


Miss Kay was drawn to the TWIRL.
Have a fondness for those ones myself, but TWISTED was the choice for me.
Kind of like my arm.
Miss Alana tried to exceed her limit by declaring that she had several favorites.
And that it was next to impossible for her to choose just one.
Nice try.
She got the Look.
Then quickly settled for the FUDGE.

The boxes were promptly closed, and put away.
Out of sight, out of mind.

Problem is, I simply can't get the image of those Norn Iron chocolates outta my mind.

Uh-oh.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day.

Gifts unwrapped. Lunch served. Quality family time enjoyed. Here's a few snapshots of our Day.


Sisters are the best. Oh yeah. We love you, Jessie!


The Squash Man looks excited over his new athletics. Weirdly excited, I think.


Big brother, finally uncovering his pressie. Year 2012 may just make him the King of the Green.


Little sisters. Patiently waiting for all the "older" family members to unwrap their gifts first.


Dave and his tools. Mr Practical.

Alrighty. Go girls. Let 'er rip. And rip they did.





To all of our friends and family, blessings for 2012.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve: Part 2.

We ate. And ate. Then ate some more.





And when we were done, we were full. Very full. And thanks to Tom Turkey, sleepy. Very sleepy.


Kayleigh the Sheriff looks like she's about to happily blow the brains out of her big brother.
Big sister Alana looks like she's protesting loudly. Hmm. Unusual.
Thanks, beautiful Jessica, for maintaining sanity amongst the insane.


Dave and Steph seem to be on the receiving end of some serious counselling from the Queen Mother.
Prince Phillip looks like he's way off the radar.


Love this one. The oldest and youngest. Loving each other. And being quiet, for once.

That's all folks. Until tomorrow.
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night.

Christmas Eve: Stockings.

With Christmas Day being on Sunday this year, we've had to improvise a bit with timing. It made sense, well to me anyways, to pretend that Christmas Eve was Christmas Day, and go ahead on the 24th with the usual parade of early breakfast followed by gift opening, then a lazy, mid-afternoon turkey and trimmings. But for one reason and another, that idea was tabooed.

This Christmas we have a two-day agenda.

Today is Christmas Eve. Food Day. Table is adorned. Spuds are peeled and veggies are prepped. Mr Tom is already suntanning in the oven. Dinner is planned for one o'clock.

Tomorrow will be the official Gift Opening Day.

All the excitement of Christmas dinner without gifts provided for an odd explanation to the girls, so we decided to get them stockings this year. A first.

And here they are, up at 7:30am, bleary-eyed and giggling, excited to dig into the stocking stash.




Uh, yup. We do have a residing Sheriff.


Nothin' like a good read.


Looks like a professional sniffer. Smencils. The latest in lead.

There you go. It's only 9:20am, and I've already posted Christmas Eve pictures . More to come soon!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Little People.

What is it about little babies? They're so charming to be around. Cute smiles. Bright eyes. Silky-soft skin. So far these holidays, we've enjoyed the company of two adorable little people.

This is Noah. His Daddie used to board with us. We've known his Mama for a long time. She actually babysat my little ladies a couple of times, back in the day! Looks like the tables have turned... and Noah may just have a couple of enthusiastic babysitters in the next few years!



This is AJ. So glad we got to meet him! What a contented little guy... love those sparkling, blue eyes. The girls wish he lived closer... I wish his Mama did. She'd be my Starbucks partner, for sure!




Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Letter to K&A.

Dear K and A,

We're so sad that you guys won't be home for Christmas this year. Christmas Day just won't be the same without you two adding to all the noise and excitement.

Playing endless games of Guess Who.
Cheating in Dutch Blitz.
Cheering on the new Champion Title Holder of Twister.

Anyways, hope your first Christmas together in Nicaragua will be fun. Love you guys.

From A and K

P.S. Here's our Feliz Navidad to you.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Holidays.

Been busy lately, doin' nothin'. You know the feeling? Great, isn't it? Holidays are the best. Especially Christmas holidays. And especially after all the busyness lately, running hither and yon.

Five reasons why I so looked forward to these first few days of the break:

1. No rising at the "dark-hour".
Although rising at the "dreary-hour" seems to be the only alternative these days. But at least I get to stay inside and bask in the warmth of my cozy house. And stay in my pajamas too.

2. No dealing with Miss Misery.
My darling child, who apparently detests being awakened to the sound of her alarm clock so early in the morning. Can't always blame the alarm clock, though. The misery shows up plenty of other times too.

3. No packing lunches.
Most of which I seemingly unpack at the end of the day anyway. No fair.

4. No dashing madly off to work.
Chugging my morning coffee from the Contigo, and diplomatically asking my children if they have remembered everything that they have probably forgotten. Right. I'm usually screamin' at 'em.

5. No school stuff.
Which translates into no homework, no checklists, no notices, no reviews, no signatures, no study notes, no memory verses, no teacher emails.

This morning I crawled out of bed at quarter past eight.
Brewed some Starbucks.
Sorted the mounds of laundry and threw in a load of wash.

Then I sat by the fire, with my mug of coffee and a couple of home-baked pumpkin scones.


Aaaaaaah. The current life of Me. Which hopefully lasts for at least a few more days.

And you'll be delighted that I shared a picture of my breakfast, and not the piles of dirty laundry.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Musical.

Tis the Season... and Thursday night was the annual Christmas Concert at school. "Three Wise Men and a Baby" was the title of this year's musical production.

All those hours of practice and patience paid off.

More than three hundred students presented a spectacular performance. Considering how scattered and uncoordinated it all seemed to be a few weeks ago when practices began, it came together perfectly on Thursday evening. I enjoyed every minute.

Here's Miss Kay, posing with a few classmates, before gathering with the rest of the Grade 4 Choir.


Miss Alana surprised me by auditioning this year. She qualified to sing a shared solo during the introduction, and then again at the end. Here she is, doing some pre-performance psyching.


And here's a short clip of the Hosanna finale. That's her at the microphone, hair curled.

Wish you could see her face up close in the video... she was grinning like a Cheshire cat.

video

How is it that a child of mine can be so calm and confident on stage? And sing, too?

Beats me.

She's mine, I'm fairly certain.

But I guess all that drama talent must come from her father.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Countdown.

The Christmas Countdown is well underway at our house. Adds some excitement to these dreary, winter days. And provides a little incentive to get some lazies out of bed in the morning.

Home-made Advent Calendar, this year.

Gathered my supplies from around the house. Christmas paper, stickers, ribbon, glue... and a stash of toilet paper rolls that I'd been collecting for a while.




Added some finishing touches... and then stuffed little treats inside. And here's one puffy-eyed rascal in search of some early-morning cheer.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like..

Last Thursday night, the phone rang. It was my neighbour, Waldo, calling.

"Hey. There's snow outside." she said.

I peeked through the blinds.
Squinted into the darkness.
Sure enough.
It was snowing all right.
A true-to-form, wet and soggy, Vancouver snowfall.

The resident eavesdroppers burst into sudden squeals of excitement.
On went the hats. Out went the girls.



I ventured out into the elements only twice. And it wasn't to play.
Firstly, for the sole purpose of taking a couple of pictures. As you can see.


Secondly, to provide Frosty's adornments. He was recreated. Amazingly enough.
Since there honestly wasn't more than a centimetre of la neige.

I love how my kids are so appropriately attired. We have a full range of snowsuits and cold-weather boots, believe it or not.

They stayed out for an hour. By then, they were sufficiently damp and bath-worthy. And more than ready for fresh-baked cookies and steaming mugs of hot chocolate.

Now THAT'S a yummy bedtime snack.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tree's Up!

It's a tradition at our house.
Putting up the tree on the evening of Remembrance Day.


You see, several years ago, we bought our Christmas tree on November 11th. This Douglas Fir Pre-lit special was on sale at Costco. And we had to have it.

Or rather, I had to have it.
I'm like that.
Sometimes.

At the check-out that day, the lovely sales clerk said: "Be sure to put your tree together when you get home and make sure the lights come on. Because if you wait until December to put it up and it doesn't work, there won't be any stock left for an exchange."

She was a smart sales clerk, she was.
You find them these days, every now and then.
Just not often enough.

And that's exactly what we did when we got our new tree home. We put it up. And despite the lovely sales clerk's warning, every one of those little lights twinkled. In fact, the tree looked so pretty, that I couldn't bring myself to put it all back in the box until December.

Since then, our tree goes up November 11th. Two eager little elves are always ready to help. We turn up the Christmas carols, sing at the top of our lungs and... well, make a big mess.

But we make big happy, memories too.


Winter hat. Summer freckles. Cutest littlest Santa's elf ever. Love, love, love her.


There it is. Plugged in, adorned, and ready for presents. Doesn't it look "terrifical"?

Terrifical, as in "Ramona and Beezus".
Great family movie, by the way.
If you haven't watched it yet, you should.
Funny. Oh yeah. It's so guts funny!

Monday, November 14, 2011

11.11.11.

I remembered.

One soldier known personally. And the other unfamiliar thousands who have died, fighting for our freedom.

I remember.

Other soldiers who continue to fight. Some still on the battlefield. Some who have returned home to their families, critically wounded. And now, instead of fighting for us, they are fighting for their lives.

War is a devastating thing.

It breaks, injures, maims. Pronounces the true nature of man's sinful heart. It's almost impossible to remember the brave who fought without recalling the brutality and bloodshed to which they were exposed.

But think of Calvary.
A place of extreme brutality and bloodshed.
Such as was never known before, nor has been since.
There One died, not for his country, but for His creatures.
Have you thought about what the Lord Jesus suffered for you?
Have you accepted His death, as atonement for your sin?
While men may die for our freedom, Christ Jesus died to give us eternal life!
Appreciation and remembrance of His sacrifice surpasses all.


Back to 11.11.11.

Late morning, we went to visit friends. They live on a farm. A cozy little place, nestled at the foot of the hills bordering our Land, and the Home of the Brave.

So picturesque.

The sky was stormy. And dark.
Contrasted well with those maple trees. Which are on the Canadian side, of course.
But just beyond lies the U.S. of A. More friends. And great shopping.

There are animals here at the farm. Much to the girls' delight. The Weimaraner. Chickens. Barn cats. Normally there are dairy cattle too, but they've been temporarily displaced. Instead there were some Texan Longhorns grazing in a neighbouring field. Sure didn't seem the friendliest of beasts, though.

We sat by the fire, sipping coffee.
Enjoying the beautiful view and the company of good friends.


The girls traipsed around, indoors and out.
Happily content to be in the company of the unrelenting Darcy and Fluff.