Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ahhhhh, Christmas

Wow, how is it already the 22nd of December? This month has flown by.

In just 2 more sleeps (when you are the parent of small kids, you measure everything by number of sleeps!) my family will arrive for our Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve.  I'm so excited to be hosting this year. There will be 8 adults and 3 children and who knows how many dogs here on Saturday.

The groceries for Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day brunch are bought, cookies are made (although most have mysteriously disappeared....) and most of the presents are wrapped.

I'm pretty much ready. And getting those excitement fueled butterflies. I'm so excited to see my kids enjoying and starting to understand the meaning behind our Christmas celebrations.

After we open the gifts that Santa has left on Christmas Day, we'll enjoy a leisurely brunch with my parents and then make our way to Ponoka where all of Chris' family will gather.

Everyone will be there this year- from Ottawa, Regina, Edmonton, Crossfield and Ponoka. We will all be together. Its going to be great!

I love Christmas.

What are your Christmas plans?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Questions

I read this on my friend Tasha's blog and thought it would be fun, so here goes:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. I love wrapping!

2. Real tree or Artificial? We have both. I have a "fancy" tree in our formal living room that is artificial. Our family tree is real. I love the smell of a real tree even though the needles all over the house drive me nuts. Growing up we always had an artificial tree but my grandparents (on my dad's side) always had real so the smell reminds me of those wonderful Christmas memories at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually not until after my birthday on December 1. This year I did it a few days earlier because I knew we wouldn't have much weekend time this December.

4. When do you take the tree down?  Usually a couple of days after Christmas. I try to make it til New Year's but find that the Christmas clutter drives me insane. I love how clean and uncluttered my house seems when the trees and decorations are put away.

5. Do you like eggnog? I like it in coffee or in chai but on its own I'm not a big fan. The boys love it though.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmmm....that's a tough one. Probably my discman from my grandparents one year. It was what I really wanted.  That ages me....

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, It is beautiful and my parents bought me the pieces over a series of birthdays and Christmas'. It is a Willow Tree set. I don't have it up this year though. I usually put it on top of my piano but had a different idea for the piano this Christmas.
8. Hardest person to buy for? Chris or my dad

9. Easiest person to buy for? My boys

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Snail mail. I love receiving cards in the mail, so I definitely send them that way too. I love the personal tough of snail mail. I have a friend and her and I frequently mail things to each other. It always makes my day when I get something in the mail that isn't bills or junk mail!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I honestly don't remember...

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Love Actually or the classic Rudolph claymation

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Super early. Throughout the year if I see something that I know someone would love. The bulk of my shopping is done between September and November. I watch fliers and shop sales. I make lists of ideas for people and keep my eyes out for those items. Crowds drive me crazy and I hate how rude people can get in the hustle and bustle of Christmas crowds.

14. Ever recycled a Christmas present? Maybe... ;)

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Chocolate covered cherries. Its a family tradition to have them around and they always remind me of my Grandpa.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? I have white on my "fancy" tree- it is red, white and silver themed. Our family tree has multi-colored lights and homemade ornaments or those with meaning.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Josh Groban's Little Drummer Boy
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? It varies. This year we will be home for Christmas morning and then travel to Ponoka later in the day. Last year we spend 4 days in Radium with my family.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Nope. Not even going to try.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star on the fancy tree and angel on our family tree

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We usually celebrate Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve so there are gifts that are opened Christmas Eve, but the majority of gifts are on Christmas Day.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? CROWDS!

23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color? I don't have a favorite. I love my red/ white/ silver tree and I love our family tree with ornaments that the kids have made.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? My family, safe, healthy and happy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kid Funnies

Sometimes my kids make me laugh so hard. Levi is at an age where everything is very literal to him. Luca is starting to get creative and use his imagination a bit.

Here are some recent conversations at our house:

  • Levi called me to come to the bathroom to wipe his bum (he's 3, I still do this task for him). When I got there, the light was off.

Me: "Levi, did you poop in the dark?"
Levi: (said incredulously) "No, I pooped in the toilet!"

  • We were discussing going to the dentist with Luca (he had a chipped molar). Luca said his friend told him that it was scary. I assured him that our dentist, whose name is Dr. Alberta was very gentle.  After thinking for a moment, Luca decided then that his friend must see a different dentist and wanted to know if his dentist was named Dr. Canada.  LOL!
(side note: Luca went to the dentist yesterday and was a total rock star! The dentist was so gentle he doesn't even know he got a needle for freezing! He didn't even flinch. As a reward, the dentist handed him $5 after his tooth was fixed!  She just laughed when I asked why she never pays me to come....)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Update on Ava

Just a quick update that little Ava was released from the hospital yesterday and is home resting! The doctors were very happy with how her body responded to the medication and surgery.

Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts. Please continue to keep them in your hearts as she is not completely healed from the infection just yet.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I have been so behind in blogging lately but its in part due to the 3 babies that made their entrance in 10 days! It was a busy week and a half and each birth was very different, but each welcomed a beautiful, healthy baby girl! I had manily boys born this summer so it was nice to see some girls!  So, apart from actually attending the births, I had photos to edit, birth notes to type up and home visits to do. There's lots of time put in to doing stuff after the baby is born as well. My job doesn't end when the baby is born.

  • I've also (as usual) taken on (perhaps too many) gifts that I am making. I love to make gifts for people that I have put lots of thought, time and effort into. I think they are so special. But without fail, at this time in December each year, I find myself rushing trying to finish everything. Last night I finished the 2 that I was most concerned about because part of the gift requires factoring in shipping time to arrive before Christmas. Now I have some smaller gifts to make, but they aren't too time consuming, I just need to sit down and do them. Then I get to wrap- one of my favorite parts!

  • We're having Christmas eve with my family here this year. We'll have dinner and gifts and if it is nice, maybe go tobogganing on the hill right behind our house. In Crossfield on Christmas eve, Santa is driven around by members of the fire department and he visits each house and gives the kids a candy cane. The boys think it is great! (Until they get older and begin to wonder why Santa's not out delivering toys!). My mom and dad are staying the night and will have Christmas morning with us and after brunch, we will head to Ponoka to spend a few days with Chris' family.

  • I am totally addicted to pinterest. I avoided it for quite a while after I had friends tell me about it but then one day decided to check it out. I haven't stopped since. There are so many fabulous ideas on there! I've made some recipes from there and for the most part they are winners. Its nice to get ideas from somewhere without having to sit and actually search them out. Especially if you don't know what you are looking for!

  • My 30th birthday was last week. On the weekend I celebrated with friends and my sisters. We went for manicures and pedicures, lunch then shopping. The plan was to go into Calgary to go to the dueling piano bar, but we were hit with a winter storm that made the roads a bit tricky. We opted not to chance the trip and to just stay at the mall instead. We shopped more and then had supper and drinks. It was a really nice day with some of my favorite people.  My sisters also gave me a cool gift- actually, 30 gifts. They were all homemade (which as you know, I love) and many ideas from pinterest (haha). They also each wrote me a letter that had "30 things I love about my sister". I think that was my favorite part. Totally made me teary and I will treasure it. It was a very sweet idea and obviously took lots of time and thought. I have some pretty cool sisters.

  • We have an Elf on the Shelf and we are loving it. I know there are some people that think its a ridiculous idea, but our family thinks it is cute and fun. I'm excited about the new tradition that we have started. The idea is that Santa sends an elf to be his helper. Once you name your elf, he has magical powers (Luca named our elf Happy). Happy watches over our family all day and then when everyone is sleeping, he flies back to the North Pole and reports to Santa. Then he returns in a different spot each morning. Our boys love to seek him out- its a little treasure hunt each day.  Some people make him get into all sorts of mischeif each day and I can see how that would get old (for the parents that have to set it up each night) but so far, the boys have been excited to just find out where he is each day. I will do some more exciting and a few mischevious things, but mostly he's just hanging out in various places of our house. Here he is on the first day he arrived, riding one of my decoration reindeer on top of the piano:

  •  Lastly, if you pray, please keep my cousin's 2 year old daughter Ava in your prayers. I don't have a lot of detail, but this week she was admitted to the stollery Children's Hospital with an infection that went into her bloodstream and wasn't responding to antibiotics. She was placed in isolation and they were treating her for a "superbug". Last I heard, she was going to be having surgery (last night, I think) where they would try to drain the area that the infection started (I believe. I could be wrong on this). If you don't pray, please keep them in your thoughts and send positive thoughts their way. My cousin and his wife also have a 3 year old son and are expecting another baby in the Spring. So, please send prayers and thoughts for the entire family as this is obviously a very tough time for them all.  For more information and updates, feel free to head over to my Aunt's (Ava's grandmother) blog where she is posting as she is able.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

I mentioned in a post a while ago that the boys and I were doing show boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We did them at the end of November, but I just haven't gotten around to posting about it.

We watched the Veggie Tales video, talked about kids that don't have lots of toys or clothes or snacks, etc (vocabulary they can understand- snacks are a big deal around here!). Then we went shopping. Luca "got it" and really put some thought into what a boy his age in another country might like to have. Levi had to be reminded often that we weren't shopping for him, that we were choosing things to send away on an airplane to another 3 year old boy.  There were a few minor tantrums when he was reminded that what we were buying would not be his to play with when we got home.

The boys were very excited when it came time to pack the shoeboxes though. Luca really liked the challenge of trying to fit everything in the box- like a puzzle. Levi shoved everything in haphazardly and then was frustrated that the lid wouldn't close. LOL.

We included photos of the boys and of our family as well as a short note to the recipient of the box. The boys were excited that they could send a picture of themselves to children they had never met.

I sincerely hope that as Christmas Day gets closer and the boys will undoubtedly get more stuff than they need or could wish for, that we can keep thoughts and wishes for families that are not as fortunate as us.

I saw this on someone's facebook status this week and it really rang true for me:

"I was complaining the other day about how much my grocery order was..then I least I can afford to complain about it."

Here are a few pictures of they boys packing their shoeboxes.