Friday, December 31, 2010
Wow... It seems I have a LOT to say. This post may be a long one, be forewarned... The trouble is, there is so much I want to touch on, and I don't exactly know where to start... At the very beginning of 2010, January 3rd [go here to read post] I went into 2010 with a word and I had a very specific goal in mind, I wanted to capture the whole year.
[A bit of an explanation - For the past few years, I've followed Ali Edward's lead, and chosen a word, to... Well, to say live by, isn't quite right, but I suppose to be aware of... Check out Ali's post for her 2011 word here.]
My word for 2010 was document. Without patting myself on the back too much, I have to say that it was a success. I wanted to document the kind of 'every day stuff' of the entire year. I wanted to take a picture each day, and keep track of all sorts of things. Things like: how many times we ate out, how often we had fast food [because yes, on occasion, we do have fast food] I wanted to keep track of the movies we watched, groceries, trips to Starbucks EVERYTHING. By the end of January, I had come to my senses... It doesn't sound like a lot of work, but it was ridiculous... So I did 2 things, I kept track of how many loads of laundry I did through the year, and I took a picture a day.
Now, the picture a day... This was not an easy task... Again, it might sound like not a big deal, but I'm talking 365 days here, and except for the occasional day here and there I managed to do it. Having said that, you must know that by the end of February, I was ready to throw in the towel. But by then, I'd documented 2 months worth of pictures... So I pressed on. In June I celebrated 6 months down, and 6 to go, and several times I wanted to quit. But I didn't. I kept on. I mainly did a week at a time, I also did a few months at a time. I know now that as I'm finishing off December 31st, 2010 I'll look back and be so grateful that I kept on. I kept track of the every day stuff, that in 5 years from now will look so different from now. I have to tell you, I'm glad to put this to rest. Would I do it again for 2011? Nope, not a chance. I do have an idea in mind to capture photos for 2011, but it's certainly not going to be as detail oriented as 2010 was.
I have decided that my word for 2011 is FAITH. The definition of faith is this [according to on-line Websters Dictionary]:
1a. : allegiance to a duty or a person : LOYALTY
1b. (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2a. (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of religion.
2b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction
I'm also planning on taking Ali's class One Little Word through BPS. I think it will help me keep on track for the entire year. Sometimes you start off with great intentions (like the year my word was choice) Only to have a few months go by and the word goes out the window. So that's my word for 2011, I'm looking forward to it on a number of levels.
I don't have an official tally of the laundry yet either, but I will. I know you're curious, saying to yourself "well, how many loads DID she do?"
I also wanted to make a collage of some of our pictures from 2010. I had to limit myself to 3 pictures a month, not an easy task... It's crazy to have a glimpse of the past year in a mere 36 pictures!
Happy New Year to you! I wish you all the best for 2011. [I'm not going to enjoy saying 2011 as much. Loved the whole twenty-ten thing]
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
We had a wonderful Christmas. The kids were both off school at noon on the 17th, so we've had lots of time to kick back and relax.
It's take a little over a week, but the kids are starting to bug one another a little bit. Both of them have told each other, "I need to have some alone time right now". [I just wish they could say it without yelling] We've had more 'jammie days' than I care to think about. Getting Miss Madelyn dressed right now, it a chore in itself. Quite frankly it's one fight I'm tired of fighting...
We started Christmas Eve off with a family skate. Barry's brother rents ice time and organizes a little get together. The kids love it. I think this is the 4th year of the Christmas Eve skate.
Madelyn had a great time skating with her cousin Siera. She, just like her brother was on the ice for nearly 2 full hours. Her Aunt's and Uncle's skated her around the rink on the end of a hockey stick. Surprisingly, she still has knees in her snow pants. Then there was hot chocolate and coffee to warm up with, along with yummy snacks of course!
This year, Mason fit right in with his big cousins, and Uncle's. He skated hard the entire ice time, just coming in for the occasional drink. Love those healthy red cheeks!
Mason helped me do some last minute tidying, as we prepared to host Xmas Eve at our place. He got his ipod shuffle for his birthday back in June. Right now it's fully loaded with Christmas songs. I don't even think he realized that this picture was even taken. But he does now know the value of house work with music!
We had our house full of family on Xmas Eve. A good time was had by all.
The fellas retreated to play cards later on.
The cousin shot... This picture was taken at 11:40 pm, the one bonus, Madelyn and Siera were in their jammies, but were still going strong...
All went well on Xmas Eve. The kids stayed up WAY TOO LATE. They got way too spoiled. Christmas morning came WAY TOO FAST, especially for the Mummy & Daddy. I'm just thankful that our kids don't wake us up at 4 or 5 am... I think we got the morning wake up poke at 8:30 am. Totally do-able. [Once the coffee smell begins to waft up the stairs that is] Here is a picture from Christmas morning. Two favorite gifts from M&D.
I purchased this book a few days earlier. Imagine my surprise to open it up Christmas morning! [At least Barry knew I wanted it. It was a sure to wrap something I'd already bought]
My Mum, Dad and brother came over late in the afternoon, for dinner and more present opening... And I'm sorry to say, they get to see the very worst of 2 little kids, that are over tired and spoiled... Needless to say, there were some tears. We need to do something different, because my side of the family always gets the brunt of the late night before terrors. I'm going to have to figure something out for next year, so everyone can have an enjoyable time.Waiting for turkey dinner. Posing with his new AT AT Walker. This is what Santa brought.
Patient Uncle Chris. Getting all the in's and out's of a new DS game explained to him.
And this is what the last couple of days have looked like. There's been lots of Star Wars play, visiting, eating, video gaming. We've enjoyed the time together for sure.
We've even got to play this awesome Lego game a few times. [Yes, me too] It's actually quite a lot of fun once you get the hang of it.
The weather has once again cooled off, and is snowing. We're going to take advantage of that and hunker down. We still have some presents to open and try out! The kids are ITCHING to buy something with the few gift cards they've received. I'm trying to hold them off until the malls aren't so ridiculously busy!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
I am thinking... I've got a few more parcels to wrap, then I have to get serious about my grocery list. I'm also thinking I CAN'T WAIT for appies tonight, with my girls...
I am thankful for... family and friends.
I am wearing... Jammies... Yes it's nearly noon. But guess what... My kids are off school until January 3rd! Woohoo!
I am remembering... I still have 2 more presents to buy for the kids.... [shhhh if you promise not to tell, a Star Wars lego thingy for Mason and a magic kit for Madelyn]
I am going... to have a shower and get dressed eventually today. I'm dropping the kids off at my Mum's for a sleep-over. Then I'm going to spend the evening with my girl friends. [Woohoo!!]
I am currently reading... Nothing. Not a thing. Still about 3 pages into the book I started last month. Just haven't had the time to pick it up and get interested in it.
I am hoping... That everything goes smoothly over the next week, with hosting people on Christmas Eve and then having my family Christmas Day... My belly is already anticipating being filled beyond capacity on both those days... [And I'm already thinking about this... Do you realize this recipe calls for LEFT OVER turkey? That's how far ahead I'm thinking. I made it last year, and trust me, you WILL NOT be disappointed]
On my mind...Food, it would seem.
Noticing that... Every thing looks so beautiful with a light dusting of snow. Anything that was dirty a few days ago, now sparkles in the sun. LOVE all the twinkling lights at this time of year.
Pondering these words...
O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,From the kitchen...My counter is going to collapse, with all the baking I have on it. Enough already!
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
Around the house...Continuous Christmas music, and listening to Madelyn sing along. I can't believe how many words she knows to so many songs.
One of my favorite things: The anticipation of Santa's arrival. I LOVE listening to the kids talk about it. It's so magical.
From my picture journal...
[LOVE this picture]
Saturday, December 18, 2010
The kids were thrilled to hand out their class treats. Again... I was not going to entertain the idea of making 45 treats [both kids] but relented in the end. It helps that the treat I made was easy-peasy. Having said that, it was still quite time consuming. But, the end result was worth it. I got the idea for these treats here. And I'm not ashamed to admit, I copied them EXACTLY. [Why mess with something that looked so darn cute] The theme at school this year, surrounding the Christmas Concert was " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" so in my mind, this couldn't have tied in better.
The little tag reads: may visions of sugarplums dance in your head. I got called Martha this week, by a couple of Mum's at school. And do you know what? It didn't even hurt my feelings.
It's been cold around here this past week. Really cold. It's been snowing now, on and off for about 3 days, but to be honest, I LOVE SNOW AT CHRISTMAS. I love the whole 'white Christmas' thing. Rumor has it, it's supposed to warm up again at the end of next week, but for now, it just makes everything look exactly as it should.
With the cold, we've had plenty of hot chocolate. There's just something so darn comforting about drinking hot chocolate, all the while looking at the snow falling outside.
This is our first weekend home in the past 5 weekends. We're doing a WHOLE LOTTA NOTHING. I have to catch up on my December daily. My last bit of work I did on it was last Monday night. You definitely have to keep on top of it, or it becomes completely overwhelming. I'm pleased with the format I've used this year. So far I love how it's turning out.
I'm off to finalize my menus for the next few things coming up. I've got girls night Monday night, Christmas Eve and Christmas day grub to sort out. Whoop-whoop!! Eating, eating, eating... It's all good.
I also made these for my little teacher gifts from the kids. Super cute and inexpensive way to package up teachers gifts. I forgot to take a picture of them before they were sent to school [gasp] I used just plain old lunch bags, but they sure looked cute once there were done.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Check this website out.
I know Madelyn made a little frozen something with Ama right before Halloween. It was SO cute. I'll have to get washing some cans and get freezing some stuff. I'd love to have a cluster of frozen sculptures awaiting our guests on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Of course, for them to stay frozen, the weather would have to cooperate and stay cold!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
1. I love white twinkling lights. I love this time of year, to hear Christmas carols on the radio, to sing along and belt out my favourite tunes. I love driving around, and seeing every one's lovely decorations and lights. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!
2. This past week, ended up being a write off. Madelyn was sick on Sunday, and the bug seemed to not want to leave her system. She ended up being sick Monday, Tuesday, Thursday night and Friday. Needless to say, all the things I had on my list of "to-do's" got left undone. Never too sick to pose with BFF Girafee...
3. I'm not sure exactly what it is about this time of year, but everything tastes yummier and more festive. I've made peppermint brownies, gingersnaps, pretzel cookies, nuts and bolts and sugar cookies this past week (Hmmm, stay at home with a sick kid much???) That's hilarious!
4. I can't believe how darn quick and easy my new Crock Pot Nuts and Bolts Recipe is. How how yummy they are!! Eeks!
5. I am on the countdown myself, for December 17th... [The last day of school for the kids.] Because from the 18th to January 2nd, my alarm clock won't be waking me up with the news of death and destruction. In fact, my alarm clock won't be waking me up period... Tee,hee,hee... It will be the lazy days of Christmas sleeping in... [I think I hear angels singing when I say that]
6. I'm hosting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at my house, and I already have lists of what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done by. It's nearly 2 wks away, and I feel completely organized. [Wait, are those the angels singing again???]
7. I haven't received a single Christmas card in the mail... [Not even yours Sylvia, which is highly unusual] But, having said that I haven't sent mine out yet either. That's on Mondays list of things to do. I'd love to share a peak, but that would spoil the fun of actually getting it and opening it!
8. Almost all of my Christmas shopping is done, despite this past weeks set-back. I am totally loving on-line shopping... Easy-peasy-lemon-squeazy... Not to mention, that renewing magazine subscriptions isn't all that taxing.
9. This afternoon, we're headed to the Calgary Hitmen Game, for the Annual Teddy Bear Toss. I can't wait to see the looks on the kids when the first goal is scored. Check this out. I hope in the excitement, I'll be able to capture a decent picture or two...
10. I walked into the kitchen yesterday, while Mason was on the phone with Ama... I think they were setting up a "play date". All I know for sure, it there was very specific conversation going on, and Mason was pointing to the dates on the calendar [all the while, dressed up like Spiderman] I think it's funny, that he already knows, at 8 years old, that the calendar is the hub to our social life...
11. I LOVE my new camera. In fact, I don't even know if love is a strong enough word. Don't get me wrong, I'm completely un-qualified to be using it. I can barely lift the manual... But I have figured out a few things, and the pictures are phenomenal. Happy Birthday to me!! [Yes, it took me 8 months to do it, but that just doesn't matter] What matters, is I finally did it. I love you camera...
12. Last night, we went to our final Christmas party. [We have been to 3 this year] We went here
I can't believe how much fun it was. I can't believe how much fun I had with a bunch of people I'd never met before... Could it be I'm cracking out of my shell a little bit? Any way, you get to sing at the top of your lungs, and it's AWESOME... Can't wait to go back with friends. A definite date night destination. [If you like SUPER loud music and singing out loud that is]
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Have I mentioned that I'm having a love affair with my crock pot lately? Seriously. Check this website out, and you just may never be the same again. I also got her cookbook from the library, it's called Make it Fast, Cook it Slow. There are some really good recipes in there. I might have to actually splurge and buy the cook book. I made the Asian Peanut Butter Pork AGAIN the night before last... It is so good... I'm not kidding, it makes my eyes roll into the back of my head. And guess what, BOTH kids ate it. There's just nothing else to say. Or, if I was being optimistic, I might say, mission accomplished.
Last night we had the kids Christmas Concert at school. And GUESS WHAT, it was called this year? Why it was called the CHRISTMAS CONCERT... Whoop-whoop!! The kiddos were so excited, both got to perform. This year Mason joined the choir, he got to perform last night and tonight. Our crew went last night because that was the night Madelyn was there. Barry, myself, Ama, Baba, Grandma and Grandpa made our way there, to proudly watch. It is so much fun. Then they all came over afterwards for a visit, a drink and some dessert. That has been our tradition since Mason was in Kindergarten, and you just don't buck the system.
Monday, December 6, 2010
After 12 hours of throwing up, thankfully things have settled down. I kept her home again today, but she's a different little girl altogether. Non-stop chatter is what I'm getting today. Yesterday she spent the ENTIRE DAY lying on the couch. So glad she's feeling better.
Yesterday afternoon, the doorbell rang, and there was a package on the front step. There was a letter to read.
We have a new friend.
Elvin has joined us this holiday season. He's a magic elf from Santa's workshop. He's come to stay with us from now until Christmas Eve. Each day he watches the kids from somewhere in the house, and once everyone goes to sleep he makes his way back to the North Pole to tell Santa what he's seen and heard. Welcome Elvin, we're thrilled to have you! I have a feeling Elvin is going to help two little kids be on their very best behavior this month.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
It's bound not to be as all-encompassing as last year for sure.
The second advent calendar is this little gem. A Lego advent calendar. Given to the kids by Ama. The kids are beyond thrilled. They have agreed to take turns each day opening the calendar. Each day is a figure that they have to create. It is bound to be an exciting month.
Then, imagine my surprise to come across these pictures on my camera, of Miss Madelyn's photo shoot. Apparently she put it on for Barry when I went up to the bus to get Mason. But man, she's got the looks down pat... Eeks!
She wore the sunglasses for the rest of the day, until it got dark.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
It's so cold that the rear view mirror in Barry's truck fell off. But check it out. Good news in store...The temperatures are warming up. It looks as though we'll reach a balmy -6°c by Saturday! Whoop-whoop! That's a Calgary heat wave!!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I am thinking... I need to get my lists going, so I know where I'm at for Christmas, which is right around the corner.
I am thankful for... a warm house.
I am wearing...Jeans, long sleeved tee and a hoodie.
I am remembering...how much work getting on and off snow pants/jackets/mitts/toques/scarves/boots etc, two little ones is.
I am going... to dinner with friends tonight. The old "Christmas Table Gang". Looking forward to it! Getting together once a year just doesn't cut it!
I am currently reading... The book of Negros, but I'm about 3 pages in, and have been for a week and a half. But I did read a book called Sh*t my Dad Says, and it was hilarious.
I am hoping... Everyone I know will be safe on these less than ideal road conditions right now.
On my mind...I'm going to attempt Oreo Truffle cookies...
Noticing that... There are so many things about Christmas that are so materialistic. We're going to try very hard this season, to do things for the right reason, and to let our kids know exactly why we're doing them.
Pondering these words... Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the people who treat you right and forget the ones that don't and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, then take it, if it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it'd be easy, they just promised it would be worth it. ~ anonymous
From the kitchen...Going through my Christmas baking recipes, and trying to decide what I'll make this year. So many ideas as usual!
Around the house...It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Last night we had Friday night fun food and decorated the Christmas tree. Such fun.
One of my favorite things: Not having to leave the house except for kid drop off and pick up... I can begin to say how grateful I am that I'm not amongst the work force that has a 1-2 hour commute to and from work in this weather!
From my picture journal...
Friday, November 19, 2010
Are you ready for the good news?
-Madelyn LOVES the snow. Each time she goes outside, she giggles.
-The kids have played in the snow after school for an HOUR, that's right, an HOUR every single day. They come in with crazy red cheeks and a healthy glow.
-We get to drink hot chocolate, and what's not to love about hot chocolate, ESPECIALLY with marshmallows.
-We've started singing Christmas carols. [Mad's favourite right now is Joy to the World]
-We get to stay in our warm cozy houses, with no where to be in the evenings.
-I have all the ingredients for ginger snaps out on the counter... Mmmmmmm.
-Tonight we're planning on putting up our Christmas tree.
So, the good news about the bad weather, it's getting us in the mood for Christmas!
This is how I spied Madelyn in the backyard yesterday, ON TOP of the compost bin...
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Yesterday morning, when I picked up Madelyn up from Kindergarten, I thought "What a beautiful day". The sun was shining, the sky was blue. It wasn't even too cold. One of the other Mum's said, "Have you heard about the winter storm warning?" At that point, it was news to me.
I picked Mason up from the bus at 3:30, it was still quite nice, though the wind had picked up, and seemed to be coming straight from the Arctic. Then Barry said, "Storm's on its way..." And I thought, Hmmmmmm...
Here's my theory on winter storms... When they're expected, the don't usually amount to much. But when they come out of left field, and no one KNEW they were coming, those are the ones we talk about for the next month.
Unfortunately, this morning we woke up to this:
Not an awful lot of snow, but enough. Boots, winter parkas, hats, mitts had to be sorted through this morning [thank goodness we had them all]. Sidewalks needed to be shoveled. Cars needed to be warmed up. Windshields needed to be scraped. Kids needed to be driven to school on icy roads. I can't say I'm surprised... 'Cause I'm not. I live in Canada for goodness sakes... But I hate knowing I've got a minimum of 5 more months of this...
I wonder how preparing for a blizzard or having a winter storm warning in effect, is worse than living somewhere tropical and battening down the hatches for a Hurricane or tropical storm... I'll probably never know...
Sunday, November 14, 2010
You can tell I start to get really excited around May 2010. I just LOVE the whole digital thing. Seriously, if I were 10 years younger and in my early 30's, I would TOTALLY be into graphic design. Don't get me wrong, I totally am, I'm just not ready to head back to University for it. Hind sight is 20/20!! Oh well!! LOL! Now I just putter around and LOVE Photoshop Elements!!