Thursday, December 23, 2010
On the 15th, Sarah and I kicked off the holiday season by going to see Christmas On the Air at a tiny local theatre. Then I worked late into the night on stuff for the next day's bake sale.
On the 16th, we had our busiest day of the school year. It is always exhausting, but also rewarding. In the morning, parents and kids packed 125 bags for less fortunate people in the school neighbourhood, filled with practical items and homemade shortbread. The kids make each one a card and we parents love to read what they've written each year as we are getting everything organized. In the afternoon, I helped to organize the Bake Sale set-up, then home for an hour before I was back to help run the Bake Sale. Whew! The school has the annual sale along with it's Christmas Sing-Along. There are many musicians at the school so they make up a makeshift band and play along while the kids and their families belt out holiday tunes. I must admit, I was glad to be in the quiet cafeteria, cleaning up after the Bake Sale! It is so hot in that crowded gym!
On the 17th, we were all extremely glad to say good-bye to school for the holidays. Two weeks of sleeping in and wearing pjs as long as we want! We drove around looking at Christmas lights and walked a few blocks of Trinity Street. We still need to return and do the whole things when we are dressed warmer.
On the 18th, Jay and I went to the annual holiday potluck at David and Susan's, sans children. Lots of yummy food and hilarious conversation, which seemed to hover around the topic of vasectomies an awful lot!
On the 19th, we had an annual gathering of friends at K and A's house, complete with kids. Alot of homemade Irish Cream was consumed, and big excitement was in the air with Chris and Diana so close to their due date with their first babe.
On the 20th, my sister came over with Maya and Brynn and we did something in the kitchen. I don't think I can call it baking. Colleen was making up rap songs about Christmas fudge, which nearly had me peeing my pants. Oh, remember the fudge fiasco of last year? It was repeated. Yes, we managed to completely screw up the fudge again this year. I think I have to wait a while before attempting it again. If at all. But our Grandma is gone, and we feel like it still needs to be made, so tackle it we will! I did have success the second time last year...
On the 21st, we celebrated the Winter Solstice with friends. Sarah and Vicki and their families came over for a lovely, relaxing evening. The food was easy (meat and vegan shepherd's pies, mac and cheese, red lentil soup and a yummy salad) and we had a lot of conversation, despite 9 kids running all around us! I'm thinking potluck casserole-type dishes is the the way to entertain withour stress. Hopefully I will remember this at other times of the year! (and next Christmas...)
On the 22nd, it was PopPop's birthday, so we gathered with friends and family for our annual celebration. Usually we host it here, but this year we went to my in-laws. I must say it was a lot more relaxing for us this way, even though we like to do it! Jay and I came home last night feeling ill, we were sooooo FULL! After the kids went to bed, we slumped onto the couch and couldn't move for the next hour or two. Well, except for my hands, which were working the knitting needles. I only have one gift left, which will easily be finished today. I purposely cut down the amount of knit gifts this year, and then took my time with them. I knew I could have sat for two days earlier in the month and knocked them all off, but then I know I would have found a new list of stuff to knit with the time left, so I spread it out and kept it stress-free. I hope I also remember this next year. See the point of blogging? To remind yourself of what you discovered the year before so you don't repeat mistakes!
Today I plan to hit the Drive with Jay to complete our Christmas shopping and gather the remaining food items needed for the Big Day of eating! I've got local, pastured turkey (20 lbs) and ham (10 lbs) plus an enormous bag of Brussel's sprouts, so I'm good to go! I'd better start making my list!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
So, what have we been up to this week?
First, the tree was bought and decorated. It is smaller than our usual tree, and fit into the living room easily. Not good. Christmas trees must come with furniture rearranging. Luckily I married someone who agrees (if only because he wants to sweep up dust bunnies) so after pretty much all of our furniture was moved, we are quite pleased. I love the light a tree gives off. I always mourn the loss of it when it is gone.
A few new birdies were added to my tree this year (this one was gifted to me last year from Sarah)
Remember this one? Love it!
Isla and I have started baking...
I told her I wanted to take a picture of her in Faire's apron and she held this pose while I found the camera, adjusted, took multiple shots...in fact, she wants to do this pose in all photos right now! Hilarious!
She helped with a bit of adding and mixing, but really, she just wants to lick the spoons...
Jay moved the TV down into the living room for the next couple of weeks. It seemed a shame to go up the the TV/Playroom to watch a Christmas movie when the tree and the fireplace are down here. It's quite blissful, although we don't have cable and I've already had my fill of CBC Holiday specials...
And, of course, I've been knitting. So has Faire, actually. She plans to knit gifts for everyone. The fact that Christmas is 11 days away does not faze her. I could probably learn something from that. But, most of my knitting is done. I'm feeling quite Zen about it now, which means I am growing as a person, or I am heavily under the influence of homemade Irish Cream liqueur. I have a sneaking suspicion thatI've forgotten something that I'm supposed to be knitting and that's why I'm so calm...
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
My poor sister is having a rough go with feeding little Brynn. I told her to come over and lie down on my couch for the day. We got the house ready for her baby shower while holding Brynn, and helping Colleen through some rough patches. She had lunch and dinner with us, and left in a much better emotional and physical place. I hope for her sake that her body heals soon, and that they settle into the lovely rhythm of breastfeeding that I enjoyed. I certainly know it is not easy for many women, but it breaks my heart to see my sister suffering.
On Sunday, after the baby shower, the kids decorated their little tree in the playroom.
After dinner, we needed fresh air and exercise so we headed out for a neighbourhood walk to search for holiday lights. They are few and far between in this neck of the woods, so it was a good walk. Isla just loves the lights. Her excitement is so fun to witness right now.
Today after school, we pulled out the Christmas colouring/doodle books and had family colouring time. It's been many years since I sat with a cool picture and coloured pencils. Fun!
I bought this "intricate ornaments" colouring book last year and it's really nice! Cool patterns, and enjoyable for Mamas and Dads too!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
a Death Star pinata,
I'm quite proud of my ability to make a simple chocolate-zucchini bundt cake look cool in the eyes of seven year old boys. (Also funny because the Mustafar scenes of Episode 3 are the ones Shea seems most obsessed with in the Star Wars saga, and it is the only Episode we haven't let him watch any of!)
Monday, September 27, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
(Next year, when we do it again, they will have a baby of their own to dip little toes in the tide.)
The sun came out for real the next day when everyone was there to frolic with us.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Everything ready for pickles (notice our amazing view?)
Heirlooms, getting ready to roast.
Sweet success! (literally. we've never tasted such sweet tomatoes)
Friday, July 30, 2010
I'll miss looking at sandy shoulders. I won't miss sandy bedsheets, though!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
(I call Dan Kenny Chesney because he looks like a country western star when he's dressed for fishing.)
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
This year Pop Pop even got back on the skis! The kids were most impressed with their grandfather.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The lovely woman on the left is the newest "addition" to the clan. She is expecting twins in November! This will be great-grandchildren numbers 18 and 19 for Jay's grandma.