I made English Trifle & eggnog today for our Christmas dinner tomorrow. Hunter helped by making miniature trifles with the "leftovers" in the new little trifle dishes I found and just had to have. One of the great things about making trifles is that you don't end up with a big floury mess....you end up with a big sticky JAM-my mess instead:)Tyler played outside for 2 hours.He is so excited...he's been chatting and chatting and chatting all day. We did a little fun, but unnecessary, shopping around town. Ron cooked dinner tonight for us & his parents. My contribution to the meal was pre-dinner "Crantinis". We tried to keep the desserts light tonight with just some fresh fruit, nuts & Mom's gumdrop cake & some chocolates.
Tyler is really hoping that Santa will bring a Nintendo Wii. He expressed that he was "worried" that Santa wouldn't bring one because he knows that there is a shortage of Wiis. (but Santa shops early....wink..wink)
Hunter didn't really ask for anything "big". She just wanted some gift cards for shopping and Season 7 of the Gilmore Girls.
Tyler's team has a corporate sponsor which purchased hoodies & tuques for players & coaches. Tyler thought it was cool that he & Daddy were matching. We also had something to celebrate... Ron got some wonderful news on Friday. Something he has been waiting for a month finally came to fruition.
These pics snapped at dress rehearsal. Hunter played the "Sugar Plum Fairy" which was a very nice role for her in her last Christmas concert of her elementary education. The concert was last night....we are all a little tired today... so we slept in and are going to the last day of school before Christmas vacation just a little late.
I was so surprised to open my mailbox today to find this small package from Mom & Dad. What could this be I wondered......we have all our presents already....this is a surprise! I just LOVE packages in the mail.... I just couldn't wait.....I don't think Mom will mind, do you? I ripped it open as soon as I got in the car....it was like an "Easy Button" from Staples except it played "I want a Hippopatumus for Christmas." I laughed out loud in the car all by myself..... and then I pressed the button. Ron hates it when I open mail before I even get home.... but this was truly a SWEET reward for my impatience!! I was meeting Nicole for lunch today at Saigon Cuisine for Vietnamese and I brought the button. We put it on the table and played it! heehee. Then I had more fun when I picked up the kids from school...getting them to put their fingers inside the box to press for a surprise! Thanks Mom & Dad!!
"You HAVE to give me a CHRISTMAS PRESENT! It says so in the BIBLE!!" ~Lucy
This is our new favorite Christmas movie this year.....or I should say it was.... Hunter is quite sick of this movie now as we have watched every night for 4 nights in a row. Tyler loves this movie...he laughs out loud each time he watches it and he quotes "Rerun". Rerun is the super smart little brother of Lucy & Linus. Tyler has also decided that he should learn to play Christmas carols on the piano (Just like Shroeder) and he has been asking a lot of questions about Beethoven...."Mom, did you see Beethoven play when you were a little girl?".
The kids each got a package in the mail from Mom & Dad with these Nova Scotian-authored books-"Buddy the Bluenose Reindeer" & "Buddy the Bluenose Reindeer and the Boston Christmas Tree Adventure". Tyler could read some of the book himself. Thanks Grammie & Grampie!!
I hosted a potluck luncheon today for my book club.... this month was my pick & I chose " The 1oo Mile Diet" by two Canadian authors which made for a lively discussion about food. I greeted everyone at the door with a pomegranate martini and we had a great last meeting for 2007.
Lots to do today. I was up at 6am to take Hunter to synchro skating practice. We left the house at 7am anticipating bad roads, but they weren't as greasy as I thought. After her 3 hour practice,we got home around 12:30 after a stop at the grocery store. I was thankful that Ron had put a pot roast in the slow cooker for supper. I had to package the pretzel hugs for the kids to take to school this week. Then I made taco soup for tomorrow... I am hosting my book club for a potluck luncheon. Then I made lunches for tomorrow, did sight word practice & reading with Tyler, then made 6 bookmarks for book club tomorrow. I decided to put everyone's initial on each bookmark which took a bit of time. Plus I fit in a photo shoot for the kids for our Christmas cards... which is another thing that I am behind on. Now off to bed I go....
Between synchro skating practice & a birthday party, we found time to make teachers' gifts this afternoon. We ended up with 7 little bags of pretzel hugs for the teachers at school. My kids not only like to give to their classroom teacher, but also the gym teacher, music teacher and librarian.....which is nice since they don't like to leave anyone out. I guess all those talks about playground issues like "exclusion" and how it feels to be left out have really sunk in. We also listened to Rosie's Christmas CD today. Hunter started listening to this CD with my Mom when she was small and Mom managed to find a copy for us to have here out west. My kids' favorite is the song that Rosie sings with Elmo with loud kisses at the end. Sending out loud kisses......
Instead of doing some of the things I should be doing for Christmas, for some reason I decided that my facebook profile needed a new photo and I spent the better part of an hour taking photos of myself and fooling around with that. I used to think that procrastinating was only a problem I had when I went to school, but now I see that it is very much there in my adult life as well....sheesh!
I got this for Christmas!! It's my new toy..... a serger for making my apron projects....nothing super fancy but it does everything I need it to. I bought it at a local sewing store and I got the owner to open it up with me and thread it and try it out before I took it home. It would have taken me hours to thread it at home on my own. Tyler saw the box and asked what it was. I told him it was a "serger". "So you can do surgeries?" he asked. Both kids were just as excited about this toy as I am. Tyler wanted me to show him how to do "surgeries" last night. So I got out some hockey fabric that is going to be a pillowcase for him and we did a seam. He wanted to do the presser foot....I told him not to go too fast lest he sew up my fingers.... he did a fine job.THANKS MOM & DAD!!!
We decorated the tree last night and today I thought it needed a few fresh ornaments.....so I ran to a department store and it was my lucky day...ornaments were half price and I found these great pale blue icicles for 4 in a pkg. for .74 cents. Yes! I mean .74 cents.
While I drove the kids to school this morning....Ron got out our Christmas tree from the garage and also put the marinated beef I had in the fridge in the slow cooker for us for supper. He is such a good man... definitely a keeper.
Today was all about cleaning & decorating.....or decorating and then cleaning & vacuming the mess left in the wake...I found it hard to get in the mood at first....but nothing a little christmas music couldn't fix. When the kids got home from school, we decorated the tree together. But now it's bedtime.... more pics tomorrow.
When we lived at "home" on a 2 acre property, Ron managed to create a fair size arena in our back yard for us to skate on, but in this province we have only a half-acre to enjoy. Persistance has paid off, and Daddy has managed to carve out a small piece of ice in our mainly sloped backyard so that "Sid the Kid" can practice his shots after supper. The only drawback here is that although the super cold weather is great for ice-making, it is not so great for little fingers & toes. We put him out for only 30 minutes at a time when it is colder than -15. He doesn't complain about the cold and I am sure that he would stay out much longer if we allowed. He is hockey crazy and has been since he was very little...
Hunter & I just got back from skating & the boys just got back from Tyler's hockey at 7:15 am & then Ron's hockey at 10 am. Hunter & I are off to the grocery store to pick up some groceries and Ron just told me to pick up some ice cream. I am NOT going to go look in the freezer to see what happened to the other 2 tubs.... I am not even going to bother. Did I mention shameless ice cream glutton??????
I can't remember exactly when my mom started making homemade eggnog, but it was at least 25 years ago. She originally made it with a raw egg custard, but then switched to a cooked custard mixture for reasons of safety. I have always really looked forward to my mom's eggnog....sweet, creamy with whipped cream on top and the best part~ fresh, fragrant nutmeg grated on top. Yum! (Storebought eggnot does not compare in any way!). When I lived at home, in addition to the Christmas eve sipping, I always had a glass of eggnog for breakfast on Christmas morning........nothing else.....just eggnog. Then when I moved out of home, Mom always gave us a jug full of eggnog to take home and the breakfast tradition continued. Last year, Mom was in our kitchen for the Christmas holidays and she made the eggnog for us......but this year will be my turn to make eggnog on my own. I don't relish the thought even though I have Mom' s recipe and I have watched her make it many times.....there is just something about my Mom's eggnog that tastes so good to me. But I will try, oh I will try.......
One of the things that I want to instill in my children is that gifts made with our hands & hearts can be one of the most beautiful gifts given. Making something with our hands and decorating it with our own creative energy makes for a gift that is unique and wonderful all on it's own. There is special thought & care put into a gift that is handmade and that is one quality that cannot be purchased. This year, we have decided to make pretzel hugs (shown above) as gifts for teachers, coaches, etc. This treat is simple enough for Tyler to make and we will be packaging it with little tins of tea. Last year we gave out homemade sugar cookies with packs of hot chocolate. I like the fun of watching the giving as well..... Tyler has such a proud look on his face when he gives out things that he has made all by himself.....so amazing to see.
Hunter has been reading to us from the House of Wooden Santas. So far we have read about Guardian Santa, Long Ago Santa, and Reading Santa. Now it is Tyler's turn to read to us.... he read this book, which is really one of my favorites.... it is so cute and the message is simple. I love the illustrations....so true to life. Tyler was trying to help me wrap some gifts the other day and he looked not far off this picture when we were done.
to buy at Christmas time is this ice cream. My favorite ice cream as a child was peppermint and I still love peppermint ice cream. Peppermint ice cream was available as farm stand ice cream until about 10 years ago when Farmers Dairy stopped making it, much to my chagrin. President's Choice came out with this flavor about 6-7 years ago, and it is an awesome substitute. I personally blame this ice cream for the reason that Tyler was born weighing in at 9 lbs. 2 oz. and not 7 lbs. something like his sister...... the temptation of eating this ice cream over Christmas was too great. Last year, this ice cream was sold out before I had a chance to get any for our freezer, but when I saw it last week, I bought 3 tubs......not surprisingly 1 tub is gone already but I will let Ron take the blame for that...... he is a shameless ice cream glutton. (love you honey!)
December brings many wonderful things that start happening around our house~our family traditions~ to help us celebrate the holidays.
I am starting to make a list of the traditions/little things/big things/outings/adventures I want to make sure we have the chance to experience as a family this year. Some are old (the beauty of traditions) and some are new. I'll be adding to this as I think of additional old + new:
the kids having matching Christmas pyjamas to wear for the season.
decorating in my preferred palatte of blue, white & silver, which never gets "old" to me.
placing a basket of all of our favorite Christmas books by the fireplace in the living room to read here and there when we have a chance. Our basket is positively bursting with each child's collection numbering well into the double digits.....
making Christmas cards and gifts for teachers at school, skating coaches, etc. This year we are making pretzel hugs to go along with tins of tea.
making a gingerbread house from a kit.
getting out our collection of Christmas movies to watch with popcorn & hot chocolate. The favorites are Elf, Arthur's Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Lighting a candle each night in December as we read together the 24 chapters of "The House of Wooden Santas". This is a wonderful book about love and celebrating the true spirit of Christmas. Hunter has had this book for about 8 years. We bought a copy for Tyler when he was a baby. I showed this book to Hunter's grade 6 teacher and she loved it so much that she is reading it to Hunter's class throughout December as well.This book is an absolute treasure. No matter how busy life gets in this crazy time of year, the kids and I sit down every evening and read one chapter of this wonderful Advent-style book. The book's amazing artwork is real-life pictures of carved wooden Santas by an artist in Cape Breton. Each Santa represents a gift or value related to the true spirit of Christmas.
Getting together with a special person to make Christmas goodies....either my Mom or Nicole.
sending Christmas cards to friends and family that we don't have a chance to see/visit during the course of the year with our family letter and Christmas photo of the kids.
going for a drive after supper in our pyjamas to look at Christmas lights with a stop for hot chocolate.
thinking of a service project to do together as a family......probably shopping for a child in need for the "Stuff a bus program" that is happening here locally.
making with our hands & hearts some special gifts for family members. Hunter has already made a gift for some special people in her life....and I have made 4 special projects as well, with many more in progress (dang my broken sewing machine!~).
The process of actually writing this out is a good one. I keep thinking of other things to add and it helps me focus. I love lists. What's on your tradition list? Anything new you are adding this year?