Wednesday, December 31, 2014


I pulled out all the ingredients for Olliebollen today. (Well, that is, after my Hunny picked up some of the ones that I needed.)  That must mean only one thing: it's New Year's Eve!

For those who don't know, Olliebollen is a Dutch donut, traditionally made on December 31st. I grew up with my Mom always making it, and when I got engaged, she added it to a recipe book for me. After missing it our first NYE (I didn't make it and we didn't make it out to see my parents), I decided to make it myself.  It's actually quite easy, but it does take some time. And concentration. (you need to be able to deep fry, and prepare the cooked ones, at the same time, while not burning anything or yourself. Hot oil can be dangerous to cook with.)

After mixing the ingredients, you let the dough sit for about 2 hours to rise.

 Then you prep for all the steps.

Step one:  you deep fry those little balls of dough. Yum!

Step two: let the balls dry out for a few seconds on some paper towels (just to catch some of the oil)

Step three: drop the donuts into icing sugar and coat them good.

Step four: eat and enjoy those yummy balls of goodness!

I had a family member suggest that Olliebollen was similar to Dutchies at Tim Hortons. I had to laugh when my brother responded that they were" similar in the same way that hamburgers were similar to steak!"  Olliebollen contain raisins, pineapple and apple; they are also lighter. I think Dutchies also have cinnamon, where Olliebollen doesn't.  My Hunny said that the old fashioned fritters that Timmys used to have were more similar, but I don't know. I never ate them. They never looked good to me!

Do you have any special traditions for tonight?  I'm the late-night person in this house, but my husband isn't. After the Youngers are in bed, we may watch some tv shows or a movie together (he really wants to see the Duck Dynasty special where they are in Scotland, which is on tonight), then he'll be in bed by 10:30pm.  Then the Olders and I will stay up and watch a movie. Last year, we watched The Hobbit pt 1 until 3am! (we had to watch all of the extra features, of course.)

Have fun tonight! May it be fun and full of memories over the blessings of the year, and may you be surrounded by those you love.  Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Thankful Thursday (on a Friday)

Welcome back to Thankful Thursday, a feature started by Louise at Talk Nerdy to Me, where we look back over our week to remember our blessings.  It is so good to see the good things that have happened, especially if you have had a particularly tough week. Being grateful is good for the soul. Here are just a few things that I am thankful for...

1. A Baby Born in Blefleham

On the last day of school, Rhys' Kindergarten class had a party and the kids all sang a few song for us parents. These were songs they performed at Grandparents' Day (not for the Christmas concert, but for the visiting grandparents) Oh goodness, could they be any cuter?

I am in love with this boy.  I love that he enthusiastically sings and does the actions and signs, and I love that he pronounces it "Blef-le-hem".  

2. Not Mono and Good friends

Abi was diagnosed with strep throat (yes, again!) and was told that she couldn't go back to school, which meant that she missed all of the last week. It was disappointing for her. She wasn't too sick, but she was bored at home. I am so thankful that the test came back negative for mono though. We thought that was a possibilty, more so than strep, but thankfully it was "just plain ol' strep" for her. I am also thankful for antibiotics!

On the last day, I went in to see her teacher and drop off his Christmas gift from us, and a friend of Abi's gave me a gift to give to her.  I thought it was a sweet guesture. Her friend, Hannah, had all of their group of friends sign a Get Well/Merry Christmas card for her, and she included a few small gifts.

She has good friends and that makes me happy.  I am thankful for them, and for making her year a bit better.

3. Teacher's Gifts

I managed to get all of the Teacher's Gifts done and ready in time to give them away on the last day of school!  I ended up putting together 4 gift bags: two for Rhys' class (for Mrs E and Mrs. V, the EA) and two for Kai's class (for Ms. S and Ms. S, the EA). I didn't end up giving one to Bryn's teacher (although she is wonderful), but that is because two other Moms were collecting money for a joint gift. (which they completely spoiled her with; wow, I was impressed!)  Abi's teacher is a man, so these gifts wouldn't have worked for him as much (maybe his wife?... who coincidentally taught my sister and our friends in high school!); I had to go a bit more "boring" and picked him up a gift card to Chapters. Doesn't every teacher love books and want to buy more though? I know I do, and I'm not a teacher! 

I ended up making a lilac sugar scrub (I found the tutorial HERE) and a peppermint foot soak (see tutorial HERE).  I had pinned the tutorials on Pinterest a while ago.  I just put them in these cute spice jars I picked up at the Dollorama (3 for $2.50) and added a cute ribbon and label: so easy! (I just had to triple the recipes to fit the jar sizes, which wasn't hard) I figure that teachers need to relax a bit too! I hope they liked them.  I am thankful for the love, care and interest they have put into my kids' lives. I am thankful that this year is going along well so far; I feel that we are working together as a team for the kids, and I appreciate them.

4. Gifts

Sometimes it can feel a bit stressful for gift buying. There is the cost, the time and the actual shopping.... We get our kids to pick names for sibling gifts and then we take them out and let them pick out what they want to buy. For the most part, they do choose good gifts for each other; only a small few times have we had to steer them from an idea that may not have gone well! 

I love seeing their creativity in gift choices, and their excitement in wrapping and anticipation for giving.  There is something fun and wonderful about giving a gift to someone else.

5. Movie nights at home

We don't watch a lot of Christmas movies, but we managed to all snuggle up together downstairs and watch a few as a family one night. We watched the original Frosty the Snowman. It was an interesting movie. I hadn't seen it before. I know! My Hunny had grown up watching it. (the kids and I watched Frosty Returns on Netflix one night a few weeks ago...that was lame. I don't recommend it!)  Then there was a short cartoon called The Boy With The Magic Skates, a Canadian show, on after that we watched. (Don Cherry played the voice of the hockey coach) That one we liked!

I love moments where we all sit together and spend evenings as a family. I am thankful for memories like that.

6.  Sunbeams 

I managed to snap a picture of the beautiful sky as we were driving in to see my parents. This was over in the Abbotsford flat lands. The sunbeams breaking through the clouds was just so peaceful to see.

I am thankful for a visual reminder of how His love shines down on us.

7. Christmas display

This is actually from my parents' house, but it makes me very happy.  (**I must've taken the picture at a slight angle. The shelf really is on straight!)

My Dad made the shelf and handpainted the sign, and my Mom decorated the dresser top. The pine tree was given to them from Bryn when he was in Kindergarten! That's impressive; I kill every plant they give to me! *blush*  The chalkboard clipboard was also made by my Dad, and my Mom wrote Ere Zij God on it. (which means Glory To God in Dutch. It's a Christmas carol that my Mom grew up singing.)

8.  Advent

I am thankful for a few quiet evenings where the family was able to remember what we are waiting for (Christ' return one day) and what we are celebrating (Jesus' birth that fulfills a promise God made) and what a marvelous gift that is.

9. Date Nights

Yes, it may only have happened because we had to go out and get some of our Christmas shopping done, but it was so nice to be able to walk around with my Hunny and spend time together. We walked through the mall (a place we rarely ever go) and we held hands, and we took our time, and we had fun conspiring and planning and buying for our children. And it was so nice. We don't do that often enough!

 10. Blessings

I am thankful for the many gifts that He has given me, and for the many opportunities He has given me to see them.

This is just a brief glimpse of my list this week. What are you thankful for?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Isaiah 9:6

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


I didn't grow up lighting Advent candles at home, but we did it in church, and I always thought it was such a beautiful tradition. I wanted to do it at home with my family as well, but somehow it just never got done. Until this year: I decided to just do it!  I found an easy Advent decotional to do with the family online last year and so I pulled it out to do weekly.

It wasn't easy. It never seemed to work to do it on Sunday, but I adjusted and we lit a candle each Monday night at dinner.

This week marked our last candle of Advent. We called it the Jesus Candle. But I have also seen it named as the Joy candle or Love candle. (I'm sticking with Jesus, until I learn I'm completely wrong!) I don't really understand why they have different names, you'd think that they would all be known as they same titles, but I've seen different variations for the candles we lit. In my little on-line-found family devotional, we lit these ones:

 Week one: candle of Hope  "God gave a promise that a Savior would come. For many years, God's people waited and hoped. In Bethlehem, long ago, Christ came just as He promised. This candle reminds us that our hope is in Christ, who keeps His word."

Week two: candle of Faith "But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, 'Lord, who had believed our message?' Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard the the word of Christ."

Week three: candle of  Love "I wonder if God wept with joy as the greatest of all Christmas gifts, His Son Jesus, was placed in a manger's crib. God's Mightly, Miraculous gifts of love are found in unsuspecting, even difficult, places. Toys break; clothes shrink. But love endures. It overcomes. Life's circumstances do not diminish it."

The Candle of Joy is the last one. Week four. I read this to the kids:  No one has ever loved us like Jesus. Unlike our love, His love was not intimidated by pain. We avoid pain and discomfort. And rightfully so! He did not avoid it. Instead, He chose it. His love is powerful.
In another world, Jesus was ever so safe. There was no death. No suffering. No pain. No sorrow. No rejection or betrayal. He was wanted. Powerful, cherished and safe could describe his heavenly home. Yet he stepped out of His safe world and came into our hazardous world. Why? So that someday, we could leave our hazardous world and live in His safe home.

I am overwhelemed by His love and His unspeakable gift!

I really don't know if lighting these Advent candles changed much for the kids or helped them focus more on the reason for the season, but it really did help me out. It was good to light candles. And it was good to even attempt to have focus on Him for an hour or so. And I am reminded that if I try this again next year, it will get even better and eventually it will become a tradition that the kids are used to, and hopefully one day anticipate!

Maybe I will do a bit more searching for a different Advent devotional. If there is one that you are doing with your family, I would love to hear a recommendation. This one was good, but since it's only our first time, maybe there is a better one for us.  (Sadly, I can't even remember where I got this one from. I printed it off the internet last year, but when I tried to find it this year, just to give credit where it's due, I couldn't find it. So, if this is yours, or you know where it was found, please do let me know. I would like to add a link and read more on them, thanks!)

Starting new family traditons aren't easy...especially if they are completely new to you! But I am determined to continue this one. I think we need to focus more on what this Advent season is all about. And not just the "church answer", but really learn and really feel and really participate...and really make a difference.

Monday, December 22, 2014

White Elephant Gift

On the last day of school this year, Kai's grade six class had a White Elephant Gift Exchange. Have you ever done this? Abi's Youth Group also held one at their Annual Mexican Christmas Party at the beginning of the month. The idea with the "White Elephant" gift is that it is supposed to be something you can't use, or something that has outgrown it's usefulness, an item that you just don't want. Or a gag gift of some kind.  It supposedly comes from a time when the King of Siam gifted rare albino elephants to courtiers who displeased him, thinking they would be ruined by the cost of upkeeping the animal. Haha. How nice!

The kids and I had a lot of laughs as we came up with ideas that would work to fit the parametres of the rules that were emailed to us from Kai's teacher: it had to be used, but if you had to buy something, it still had to be used but under $10.  We had some clever ideas on what we could give. Such as used batteries (some may be dead), or used dirty socks, or ABC gum, or how about dead flowers? I love these silly kids!

Since we were also allowed to make something, I decided to make somthing that I've wanted to do for a few years now. An Indoor Snowball Fight Kit. (which is why I was making all of those pom poms earlier this week!)

I was quite pleased with it in the end, and I hope that the girl who ended up with it liked it as well. Or maybe her brothers do. (if she has any)  Surely someone will like to throw these pom pom balls around! I know that my kids certainly did! It was a bit frustrating having to pick them up off the floor and under tables and on counter tops several times a day!

Kai ended up with a Snickers bar, which he gave away. At her youth group party, Abi came home with an iPad case. Sadly, we don't own any iPads or any Apple products that are electronic, just the real fruit kind. She brought along a package of Beanboozled jelly beans, which is a hilarious Russian Roulette-type of game that Abi and I played with her cousin, Emma, a few weeks ago. That was fun!

(Christmas) Music Monday

I love The Piano Guys and I am absolutely in love with their latest music video. It always brings tears to my eyes! What a beautiful rendition of Angels From The Realms Of Glory. They are joined by Peter Hollens (who you may have seen his video that came out a year or two ago of him singing the Misty Mountains song from the Hobbit a cepella. A.Maze.Ing.) and David Archuleta and the Morman Tabernacle Choir (when they sing, I kinda lose it! especially at the end *spoiler alert* with all of the angels gather at the manger. What a sight! I can't help but think of how angels proclain and sing and worship our Lord unseen.)

After hearing this song several times, and thinking that it was Angels We Have Heard on High, but maybe verses not normally sung, yet also thinking it sounded familiar, I decided to Google it!  According to Wikipedia, it is a Christmas carol written by James Montgomery, first printed in 1816. In the UK, it is sung to the tune of "Angels We Have Heard On High", but in the USA, it is done to the tune of "Regent Sqaure", a song I've never heard of. The refrain "Gloria" has been substituted by the original lyrics "come and worship Christ the new born King".  Now you know! 

Just beautiful.

Angels from the Realms of Glory ~ James Montgomery

Angels, from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o'er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation's story,
Now proclaim Messiah's birth:

Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King.


Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
Watching o'er your flocks by night,
God with man is now residing,
Yonder shines the infant light:


Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King.


Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of nations,
Ye have seen his natal star:


Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King.


Sinners, wrung with true repentance,
Doomed for guilt to endless pains,
Justice now revokes the sentence,
Mercy calls you—break your chains:


Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King.


Though an infant now we view him,
He shall fill his Father's throne,
Gather all the nations to him;
Every knee shall then bow down:


Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King.


All creation, join in praising
God the Father, Spirit, Son,
Evermore your voices raising,
To th'eternal Three in One:


Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King

I am not Morman, but I also believe what Steven Sharp Nelson says at the end of the video.  #sharethegift

*****Upon further investigation, I found a version of this song that I know! I remember singing this in church growing up! I'm all excited now! Check out this video next: Angels from the Realm of Glory  sung by downhere, a good Canadian group

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Incomplete Referral

I received a letter from  Sunny Hill Development Centre this week. For a moment I actually thought that maybe, just maybe, our pediatrician sent in a referral form again without seeing us...sort of like a Christmas Miracle...and we were getting confirmation.  But, yeah, that wasn't it. It was another notice to let us know that the Referral was Incomplete and they aren't able to do anything for us until they receive these papers. This was the second request they have sent, the first one being in November 2013. *sigh*  I remember receiving the first one, in January of this year, and thinking that I'd be able to let the doctor do her part on her own, only to talk to the Centre in July and learned that they Closed our file before it could even really be opened. It was so disappointing.

Ever since then, we've been given the run-around by everyone. Our own family doctor is trying to help us out where she can, by talking to Sunny Hill and by sending off a letter professionally suggesting that the doctor should help us out and get those files sent, but she can only do so much. Unfortuately, those forms need to be filled out by a specialist.

We did have the pediatrician's office call me last month letting me know that it wasn't their fault that the forms weren't filled out correctly, but the locum doctor who was on while our ped was on maternity leave. She filled them out in August of 2013. However, the first notice from Sunny Hill was sent in November, when our pediatrician was back at work full time, making it her fault for not following up.

We were told, however, that she would fill the forms out again and send them off for us, but we had to get a referral from our family doctor to see her first and she'd do have to do another check up on Rhys, since it has been a year since we've been there. 

I told my doctor, who supposedly sent off that referral, but we haven't heard anything back yet.

After this letter, I am feeling so done with this pediatrician.  We haven't liked her since the beginning when she was caring for Kai in 2004-05, but I stuck with her because it was easier than finding a new doctor and having to go through the whole process all over again.  But I have decided to get over those feelings of misplaced loyalty. When I saw our family doctor this week and showed her the letter, I requested a new pediatrician. I will ask at Dr Tandan's office for our files. Hopefully 2015 will get us somewhere.  All we want is an assessment done on Rhys!

He is doing so well in Kindergarten and does fit in well there; in fact he is blossoming! He is full of excitement and energy and loves to go!  I don't have any doubts with him being there at all!  

At our parent-teacher interview in November, the teacher talked of how he loves school, and is helpful and offers to help out a lot (we see that at home too). He loves to give hugs, but he is learning to do high-fives more (remember our Speech Therapist saying he needed to work on that? it was sad, but it's gotten better!), although he has no concept of personal space! haha. Don't we know it! Her report was written very positive, but she mentioned how he "can be silly" and sometimes he goes off task at carpet time, so he's a bit delayed in that way. As well as in Speech. I'm not too sure what they will do about that yet. We haven't heard from the Education Assistant yet, but I will be meeting with her in the new year. He is starting to remember names and letters too, but not nearly as many as he should be. But I am so happy with how much he has gained already since starting school full time!

Sometimes I want to pretend all is fine and normal with him, but there are signs that make him "different", and I don't know how to help him. He isn't doing "too bad". But these things need to be addressed before he gets too old and they can't be.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Welcome back to Thankful Thursday, a feature started by Louise at Talk Nerdy to Me, where we look back over our week to remember our blessings.  It is so good to see the good things that have happened, especially if you have had a particularly tough week. Being grateful is good for the soul. Here are just a few things that I am thankful for...

1. 6S Caroling

Kai's class went caroling at the IGA store near the school this week. They sang for a good two hours for a fundraiser to raise money to put in a playground at the sister school in Gondo, Africa.

We teased him that we'd go a throw tomatoes at him, or that we'd make up signs that say "We love Kai!" or we'd cheer loudly ...basically anything to embarrass the poor boy!  Because we are that kind of family.

2. Nebulizer treatments

Abi has had a rough Autumn, and now she's caught another virus of some sort. This one unfortunately has been effecting her breathing, causing a few asthma attacks. I am so thankful that we have a nebulizer so that we can give the kids breathing treatments and avoid a trip to the hospital. 

3. Work Christmas Party

This year, my husband's work party was held at the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam. Not at Granville Island. We were sad about that. I loved Granville Island, and I loved that it was an overnight event (without kids!) and that it was more than just a dinner, but I guess the Boss wanted to try something new this year. The thing is that we don't go to casinos, so we weren't too sure what to expect.  In the end, it was a good evening. It always turns out that way, doesn't it? 

We enjoyed the dinner and had fun with co-workers. I was thankful that his Boss has a Christmas dinner where spouses are invited, where everything is covered (food and all drinks), and that we take home a gift as well. He really is treated well at his work this time of year.

4.  Christmas tree and decorations

I am so happy and thankful that we finally were able to get our tree and have it up. It looks more festive in our house!

5. Boy's Afternoon Out

My Husband's Uncle invited all of the boys over for a "guy's day" to his warehouse. There were 14 there, and lots of street hockey, model trains, snacks, and playing with relatives that we don't get to see too often. The boys had fun and came home with their own model toy cars. (Rhys had to take his to school to show to his class the next day!)

6.  Grandparent's Day

The Elementary school had their Grandparent's Day event this week. I am so thankful that both sides live closeby and are involved in my kids' lives and they all took time out of their day to visit Bryn and Rhys in their classrooms. They loved showing off everything they are learning and doing to them, and our parents enjoyed being a part of it too.

7.  Music Program

The Middle School had their Christmas program this week, but with Abi being sick she missed out, so I went with Kai. I was so surprised at how packed the school gymnasium was; some people had to stand at the sides! I don't think I've seen it that busy before! Each grade did their own group of songs; Kai played recorder. I remember playing that in school too. I don't recall ever really liking it. It is a screechy-sounding instrument! But if we were able to play the different types of recorder, that may've been different! Were you aware there is the alto, the sopranino, the soprano (which is the one you always see and hear in schools), and tenor? And these kids all learn to play them, and they sound so beautiful together!

I leave the school after their music events feeling so uplifted and impressed! I love hearing these kids play!

8. Pom Poms

 I have seen them before and it looked easy, but this was my first attempt at making pompoms!  Haha. Yes, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself!

 It kept me occupied while Eden coughed all night long and when I had to listen to the crazy wind storms we had this week.  I have a few ideas on how to use these for a Christmas gift, and I'm excited about that!

9. Healing

I am so thankful that my friend is on the mending side of pneumonia. She had a really really rough time (I won't go into details) so it was so nice to see her again and starting to feel more strength and energy.

10.  An "early" night

Hunny has been working late for two weeks now, sometimes doing 12 hours days, just to get these projects done and shipped out, so we haven't seen him much. He is a Machinist, and his company is always in rush-mode at this time of year, just to get those machines out  to other companies. I am used to it, but it sure gets tiring and we miss him. Having him come home "early" was nice this week. And when I say "early", I mean "on time"! He got to sit and eat dinner with us and it was nice.

That's my week at a glance. What are some things you are thankful for?

Monday, December 15, 2014

(Christmas) Music Monday

I have always loved this song. It is so touching and really does focus on what we celebrate this Christmas season. It's so easy for us to get side tracked and think of all of the work we need to put out: the decorations, the tree, the parties, the gifts, the donations, the events... 

It's incredible for me to think of how Jesus, our Saviour, was once a wee baby, born to a teenaged mother; how he was was to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, yet he needed the love and kindness and gentleness from an earthly mother and father. He humbled himself out of his great love for us. Incredible!

Here With Us ~ Joy Williams
It's still a mystery to me
That the hands of God could be so small
How tiny fingers reaching in the night
Were the very hands that measured the sky

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Heaven's love reaching down to save the world
Hallelujah, hallelujah, son of God, servant King
Here with us, You're here with us

It's still a mystery to me
How His infant eyes have seen the dawn of time
How His ears have heard an angel's symphony
But still Mary had to rock her Savior to sleep

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Heaven's love reaching down to save the world
Hallelujah, hallelujah, son of God, servant King
Here with us, You're here with us
You're here with us

Jesus, the Christ, born in Bethlehem
A baby born to save, to save the souls of man

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Heaven's love reaching down to save the world
Hallelujah, hallelujah, son of God, servant King
Here with us

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Heaven's love reaching down to save the world
Hallelujah, hallelujah, son of God, servant King
Here with us, You're here with us
You're here with us
"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel --which means "God with us." Matthew 1: 22, 23

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree

We managed our family trek out to a farm this weekend in search of a tree to be adorned and lit up in our living room. We do this each December, and usually at a new farm each time. I'm not too sure why we go to new places each year, I guess my husband just likes to check them all out! This one was at a private family farm, so no commercial stuff like hot chocolate or carols on a loud speaker. Which was okay since it was a warm day anyways! All of the trees were a simple fee of $25, no matter the size or variety. (most commercial-y farms, and there are a lot of nice ones out there, don't get me wrong, charge about $5/foot, and sometimes different varieties of trees are more expensive. Last year, our tree ended up costing us $65! It's ridiculous!)

 We're going on a tree hunt!

 Bryn was encouraging this little sapling by telling it, "don't worry, soon you'll be as tall as me!"  Cute.

Rhys thought this tree felt soft, so he was petting it!

  Abi wasn't feeling the best, but this picture makes me laugh. She is telling the boys that "these trees are lame" whenever they suggested one! haha. Teenagers!  (she was doing it in good fun. really!)

 Could this tree be the one?

This year, we let Kai try to cut the tree down with the little saw the farm provided.  He enjoyed that privilege. He's growing up, after all. 

 Look at that concentration!

 It got a bit hard for him after a while, so Hunny had to take over with the cutting. It was still a good attempt on Kai's part, and he didn't seem too upset.

 How old is our tree? Can anyone count those rings?

Eden helped her father carry the tree to our van!

We hauled that over 6ft tree to our house and after dinner, let the kids go at it! After I put the lights on it first. That's always the first job, and I always do it. The rest we let the kids do. Every year our tree is different, and bright and full of decorations and I love it!

Each year, a different child gets to add the star to the top of the tree, and this year it was Bryn. He needed a bit of help from Daddy though!

Having our tree up and decorated sure gives more Christmas spirit to the home! It was hard having to wait until now to get it. My husband grew up cutting down a tree each year and so we do this tradition with our own children; it's a fun one. I rather like it. I grew up decorating a fake tree because my mom has allergies. So far a live tree doesn't bother our kids or their asthma, thankfully. Either that or we ignore the symptoms!

The plus side to having a fake tree is that you can put it up and decorate on any day. Growing up, our tradition was to put it up on Dec 3rd, just after we celebrated my brother's birthday. It was nice having that to look forward to. So it's hard for me to have to put it off and get a tree when we can fit it into our busy December schedules. The plus side to having a live tree though is that it becomes a family tradition and we do it together. We go out sometimes just our family, sometimes with friends, and we make it fun. One year we had a competition with our friends to see who could cut down their tree faster: us with the hand saw or them with their chain saw. (You can't beat a hand saw!) Another year, we went with my sister and her family and we all got hot chocolate after.

I love family traditions!

Thankful Thursday

Welcome back to Thankful Thursday, a feature started by Louise at Talk Nerdy to Me, where we look back over our week to remember our blessings.  It is so good to see the good things that have happened, especially if you have had a particularly tough week. Being grateful is good for the soul. Here are just a few things that I am thankful for...

1. flowers and starbucks

I love it when my Hunny brings home Starbucks to surprise me. It was even nicer when he got me flowers too! I have had a rough three weeks (dumb thyroid) and he's been cranky and stressed with end-of-the-year work projects, so this was to make up for it.

2. my little pioneer

Bryn had to bring in a 3D model of a planet he was studying, so we made a paper mache of Neptune to finish off that Unit in Theme. The same day, his class started a new theme: Pioneers! They went for a field trip to Lochiel School, a historic schoolhouse built in 1924. The grade three classes go there for the day to see what life would've been like back then. The school teacher is strict and even gives a child the strap (in the one actually gets it for real, but they make the sound of it and the kids all jump!) and makes one wear a Dunce cap! What a bully! :)  They write on slates and stand and sing God Save the King. It's fun!

3. santa party

We had a fun time at the Santa party held by the Elks last weekend. It was a fun afternoon!

4. farewell to Mike

Okay, so I'm not very thankful that we had a send off for our Youth Pastor and his family this past weekend at church, but I am so thankful that he has found a good church where he can work full time (we aren't very big yet at Jericho so many of our positions are only part time, which isn't a lot for a young growing family) Mostly I am thankful for the huge role that he played in our church in the 3 years as our Youth leader. He grew the youth in numbers and in closeness to eachother and in their relationship with God, and that means so much to me.

We are going to miss Pastor Mike and his family!

5. matching pjs

I am thankful that I get to babysit these cuties every now and then. And how can you not be thankful for matching pjs? So cute!

6. pj and hot lunch day

I am always thankful for hot lunch day!  And every kid loves pj day at school! What's not to like about this day?
7. coffee with Nat

I am so thankful for my friend, Nat. Our sons were in preschool together and we've grown our friendship as well. I just love the simplicity of her, and her honesty and her strength. I find myself optimistic and energized after I see her!

8. paper mache

Somehow I missed the childhood wonder that is paper mache, but my husband didn't, so when Bryn had to make a 3D project of planet Neptune, he pulled out that trick. Rhys graciously let us use his basketball (my kids don't really play with sports balls anyways) and the boys covered that up one evening!  

Paper mache is messy business! (silly me, I forgot to take a picture of the after project!  You can sort of see it in #2 posting, but that's as good as it gets!)

9. perfect teeth

Abi had a teeth cleaning this week with a different dentist (ours wasn't in, I guess.) and not only does she not have any cavities (yay!) but it was also mentioned that her teeth are perfect! People pay lots of money to have teeth as neat and evenly spaced as hers! 

I am thankful that she has good oral hygeniene. And maybe it isn't that big of a deal, but I have a mouth full of crazy teeth and it's always bothered me, so hearing this makes me pleased. And relieved! And thankful!

10. Friendships

This past weekend was a busy one. Abi had a birthday party to go to, and Rhys had another one. It took some juggling with rides, since these were conveniently planned at the same time as other events, but they worked out. I am thankful that they have friends to celebrate with, and that they feel included and loved. I am also thankful for family who are able to step in a help with pick ups and such!

So that was my week. How was yours? I would encourage you to start up your own lists, they really are a good way to look back over your week. Especially if it's been a hard one. It's so good for your soul to see the good in things and be thankful.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday List (Wordless Wednesday)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

santa party

This past weekend, my mother-in-law signed up the kids for a Christmas party with Santa that was put on by the Elks Club in Langley. I thought it was going to be like the other Christmas parties that she has taken them to for her work, which would give my Hunny and I a good two hours to ourselves. But not so much. Apparently this was a parent-participatory thing!

Abi volunteered to help run a table as well as my mother-in-law. (it was an event for kids up to age 10, but by volunteering, Abi and Kai got to join in as well) They put Abi in charge of the Face Painting. I always thought she'd be good at that!

The funny thing is that when we arrived, my Hunny started to add a tree to Eden's face, and one of the organizers noticed so she called out loudly, "Oh, good, do you want to be my Face Painting Guy?" Hahaha. He was kind of cornered!  But he really did love it!

  this boy wanted to be Santa!

 he turned this girl into a green faced elf!

As I watched him decorate these kids faces I realized that his willingness to help is greater than his ability to face paint (hahaha) but to be honest, I really was struck at his kind heart. I love that it is in our family's nature to just pick up and help out.  We may not sign up for many volunteering activities, but put us into a position to be of service and we willingly help out.  I think that is such a great thing! I am now thinking that maybe in the new year, this is something that we need to do more as a family: volunteer our time and help for events.

The Christmas Santa party was fun. I thought it would be a drop in type of event, but it was an all-day one that started at 2pm and ended at 5:30pm! There were lots of craft tables with activities, and gingerbread men to decorate.

Rhys was at a classmate's birthday party until 3:30, but then he got to join in on the fun as well, which he enthusiastically did!

                                                          making crafty reindeer

                                                          adding glitter carefully

There was a magician to be tricked by, which is always fun and entertaining.

And, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived for the kids to visit and have photos with. I think that Eden and Rhys were the most excited to see them! They sat on Santa's knee and engaged with him and they were quite enthralled! We don't "do" Santa in our house. That is, we don't promote him, or talk too much about him. The kids know that he comes on Christmas Eve to bring gifts, and they have found some under the tree from him, but that's really as much as we do. They will see him in the mall and on tv and such, but we don't do the whole visiting of Santa or guiliting the kids into better behavoiur because of naughty/good lists.  I know that it is part of the whole Christmas Tradition for many families, and there's nothing wrong with that, it's just not something that I grew up with.  I do admit to feeling that magical Christmas spirit though when I see the kids' excitement over simple things like seeing Santa!

It was an enjoyable afternoon. But a long one. When we arrived home, it was already dark and 6pm, but it felt like 9pm to us adults!  I'm glad that we got to go. This is not something that Hunny and I would've signed up for on our own, so it's nice sometimes when a family member does that for you! Sometimes. :)

Powered by Blogger.