Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Boxing Day!!

Merry Christmas

You don't think about apples and snow together really, but here the
apples that don't get picked don't tend to drop to the ground all winter.

Christmas at our House this year

Well, I have not had a chance to blog for several days since we've had a house full of company since Saturday. Kevin's Mom and Dad came last week in preparation for Christmas, and then his sister and their 3 kids faced the snowy mountains and drove the 8 hour trek from Alberta. They survived with a 4 month old, a 2 1/2 year old and a 10 year old. Along with my brother- in-law and his wife, we had 4 full days together of lots of food, some games- not enough for my liking, I'm a bit of a game fanatic - and lots of laughter. Of course some crying and whining, a few near death experiences for Pepsi the little puppy who was trying to hold his own with Ditto, but ended up being a bit more of a chew toy. Towards the last day we had to separate them for fear of his life.

The backdrop for the "real Christmas story"......
the cast: Kevin filling in for uncooperative, 2 year old shepherds
Ditto the donkey, Pepsi the flocks of sheep

I think the highlight for me was Christmas Eve. Our tradition is to go to church and then come home and have the kids open 1 gift each and then the adults stay up late and fondue once the little ones are in bed. This year our daughter reached the arbitrary magical number of 12 and joined us at the adult table. I think it has something to do with little hands spilling boiling oil; this was the first year we had to decide on the age. It'll be 2 years before the next 2 join us. Then I will begin to feel like my Mothering Days are slowly ending. Our church service this year was packed and had the best music! I think it is the best Christmas Eve service in a long while! We sang Christmas carols by candle light and celebrated the birth of Jesus. The music was just so amazing this year, our church has been blessed with talented musicians!! We concluded with the congregation pretending we were all in a choir singing the Hallelujah chorus it sent shivers down.... or up... my spine. The only problem with all the house guests was that we often will all sleep under the Christmas tree as a family til Christmas morning (we usually sneak the kids to bed once they are asleep) and that didn't happen. I was glad for my cozy warm bed though and thought of all the people sleeping somewhere cold and alone tonight. If they have hope in their hearts, maybe they wouldn't feel so cold at least.

With the first of the kids waking up at 6:37, we managed to see the sunrise, an unusual sight for me, who is not an early morning person. I'm fine once I'm up, but just don't like getting up.

A little Christmas sledding in the orchards

Lovingly titled, Linda the Lioness by "Uncle Juice" (the photographer)

My sled got spun around backwards by the dogs

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Now that I am pretty much ready for Christmas..... and what really does that mean? That is the question that everyone asks though. "Are you ready for Christmas?" I have decided that I think it means, have you bought all the stuff yet? When you think of it that way, it kind of cheapens the whole reason why I celebrate. Now I am totally into a great party with lots of yummy appetizers, good food, and people that you love around. I by no means am going to jam out on having food and fun because of the commercialism. But I wonder how to keep that out of my house and have only the peacefulness and joy of the season without the rush and stress of it all. I like the tradition of giving each other gifts to show your love for each other, and to remember the gifts given to THE baby. Maybe the gifts were more given to HIS parents. Now that idea I like! Really what would a baby do with gold, frankincense and myrrh? I could find some uses for the first 2 anyways. Speaking of which, I am still sifting through the dog's poo to find my silver earring that I think he swallowed the other day.

Well, I started by saying now that I am ready for Christmas.... I think it is quite funny to watch the people who aren't. The look of stress and frenzy on their faces and they rush through WalMart looking for that last minute gift. Maybe I'll go there today and just sit and watch the people. Although it does make me ill to see all the money spent on stuff when there are people who have nothing.

I like to be "ready" a few days before the 25th so I can actually take some time to rest and see if my heart is ready for the gift that we all received at Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Feeling Loved

So yesterday was my birthday and I am feeling very loved. It is great to have wonderful family and friends in my life and I feel so blessed and wonder how I deserve this, because sometimes I really am just a schmuck. But people love me anyways. One of the days cutest moments was the bubble bath the kids set up for me, complete with candles, tea, and chocolate and butterscotch chips to nibble on - I mean who wouldn't want to eat chocolate chips in the tub? All this to keep me out of the kitchen so Kevin could cook an amazing dinner of BBQ steaks. yummm..... So I am 37 and wonder what happened to all those ideas I had when I was 20. No there is not a mid-life crisis coming on!! I have 3 more years for that!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Random Thoughts

* going to Costco with friends is a guaranteed way to spend more money, but definitely a lot more fun
* the noise level in the house is exponentially related to the days away from Christmas, or birthdays for that matter, or a visit from Grandparents (only 6 more sleeps)
* birthdays in December are too stressful, I think I am officially changing my day to mid-June
* watching kids Christmas concerts is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon, can't wait for tomorrow!!
* to be FAIR with gifts for your kids, is it number of gifts or total price added together?
* when does hugging turn to wrestling? specifically with boys and dogs? If it ends in crying, I do think it has stopped being hugging, don't you?
* I love the house at night. I love the house during the day and I love the joy the kids bring and know the days slip by all too quickly, but once it's all quiet there's something nice about that too. When all the little heads are on their pillows in dream land. I know the day will come when I long for a little bit of something to go on around here and a little more noise, where things move around unknown to me, rather than staying clean until I use them again. Maybe the peaceful quiet has something to do with random thought #2.

I don't need all these calories

Baking day was yesterday! Here's a sample of some of the things I did. You'll have to pop over for a taste. Friends are welcome anytime!! I'm ready for you! My daughter came home from school and said, "Mom - you did baking without me!" Then she proceeded to make almonds bars which were obviously missing from my list and my boy's favorite.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I'm Done!

I'm officially done all my Christmas shopping!! Feels good. I do have to pick up one more thing that is on a raincheck once they get more in stock, but otherwise, all are hidden and ready to go :) Now I can start on the baking!! Oh ya and some Christmas cards.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I Love Christmas

Kevin took some very lovely photos of Christmas around our house and some out around town too. I posted the same ones on my facebook account too. Did I tell you how much I love Christmas?!! I love Christmas!! I think my favorite thing is the lights. I love to sit by the tree at night with a good hot chocolate and enjoy the glow of the tree lights and read a good book. I need a good book- read any lately? Let me know some good titles. Right now all I am pre-reading is the book I'm giving my daughter for Christmas (making sure it's not too old for her) It's Beverly Lewis so how can you go wrong? Quite enjoying it myself. Very light fiction is good for the soul every now and then!!
I was thinking though today how hard Christmas is for a lot of people and I wish that everyone could feel the same way about it that I do. That it really could be only about the gift of grace that we received in the smallness of an infant. What trust the Father must have had to send His Son to be completely helpless and at the mercy of a young mother. But then isn't the heart of a young mother the most trusting place for any child?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Up Went the Replacement Tree

It was the first time ever -- REALLY-- that we haven't found a decent tree on our hunt. Once we got the wonderful specimen in the house, it just looked scrawny!! And with everyone coming here for Christmas, that just wouldn't do, so I dragged the family to the you cut tree farm about a km away. We saw sheep and sat by the fire having hot cider while they chain sawed our tree. Didn't hold quite the magic as last weekend. But the tree is much fuller and bushy! So last night we had a family evening to decorate the tree. The kids were wound right up, even after running through the snow and sledding for an hour. I suppose it'll stay that way for another 22 days. Erin wanted a photo of herself with each ornament she hung on her new camera. I stopped after 21!! It was getting a bit monotonous watching a 12 year old pose with each ornament and give some silly facial expression! It was a magical Christmas moment!

Don't the parents look so excited in this photo?

Why I Don't Work Full Time

Last week I worked 38 hours and my house fell apart. Dishes piled up, kids went to school dirty, my daughter forgot her lunch, we ate out twice and I felt like I had no time for anything. I realized what I already knew, that I like to be home with my family! They are a gift! I have only 6 shifts booked in December and we'll see if I can keep it that way.

Monday, November 26, 2007

We are ready to free the dog!

Sweet as he may look, he is very naughty. After installing the underground fence and having little Ditto trained to stay within it's boundaries or he gets a "slight correction" from his collar, we lovingly call it the ZAP, he has decided that freedom is better than the zap. So he just takes it, walks right on through, receives the zap and runs free chewing up neighbors garbage, jumping on small children and generally making all our neighbors love us! So on Friday Kevin and I installed the temporary chain link fence which is quite secure in our minds but not as expensive as buying all the posts and parts to the fence. So somehow Mr. Escapist has managed to get past the second layer of defense. We put the spies out after supper but of course then he wouldn't show them the way he was using to escape, so now we wait and decide how much we really want a dog.... or would he rather be FREE of our family entirely??

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Hunting we will go

So today was the big day for one of my favorite Christmas traditions! We did our annual Christmas tree cut down in the "wilderness". I know it's early! Since the next 2 weekends are full for us, we figured it was now or it would be December 15th, and we all know what day that is! So off we went into the great outdoors and since there isn't much snow yet, only had to drive about 30 minutes.

We have had quite few adventures with the annual Christmas tree hunt since the tradition began for me the year I joined the family back when Kevin and I were dating and he face planted into a snowbank and I caught it on camera. Many waist deep snow piles have been forged and rainy adventures survived when we lived in Washington, to the year we got stopped up the mountain by a tree on the road only to be rescued by real prepared men with their chainsaws. And the year George was hanging off the side of a cliff in pouring rain getting the "perfect tree". Then there was the year 4 other families joined us for the ice slide down the hill backwards in our vehicles - something we care to not repeat. Then we got to see a motorhome do the same thing right beside our campfire, before it caught on fire and bullets inside started exploding. Lars got his photos on the news for that one!

2 years ago Kevin was in his leg cast and looked through binoculars from the road at the trees we were pointing at out in the forest to be included in the choices. Today was less eventful in terms of fire engines, but was a beautiful mild day. It was Ditto's first look at ice and a skiff of snow. We tromped over hill and dale and bush-wacked a fair bit, only to find our Christmas tree right by where the van was parked on the way back. The kids had to wrestle a few weiners away from Ditto, and both cut down their own little trees for their bedrooms. We all came home tired, happy and full of hot chocolate.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy American Thanksgiving

For us semi-Americans, only because we lived there once, have a child who is an American and I have a husband who works on the American work schedule... hope this weekend is wonderful for you! We don't have the shopping bonanza they do down there, but with Kevin being off Thursday through Monday, we're taking advantage!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Welcome to my World

So, I think I am going to start a blog. Kevin thinks it'll be one more thing on my to do list, but I so enjoy reading my friends' blogs, that maybe they'll like reading mine, or at least looking at the photos. I thought maybe he could come up with the title for the blog, and then I wouldn't ask him for any other help, since he is the creative one. So I am taking suggestions for a title, since he doesn't care. And really this whole thing isn't going to be about him.