Merry Christmas Memories

It is so hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone.  Each year I say the exact same thing – the holiday really goes by so quickly!

We had a very nice Christmas this year.  The only real downsides were that there was very little snow (I need it for that Christmas spirit kick), I came down with a cold about 2 hours after I was done work on Thursday, and the fact that Alex decided 2 days before Christmas that he would no longer like to sleep in his bed (post coming…).

On Christmas Eve our plan was to go to the children’s church service and then Matt’s parents for their family Christmas. Unfortunately about 2 mintues into our car ride, Alex fell asleep and as you know, waking a 3 year old can be dangerous. So sadly we had to skip church.

We had a wonderful meal with Matt’s family and everyone received lovely gifts.  One exciting thing happened while we were there… Santa made a surprise visit!  Santa comes pretty much annually and for the longest time no one could figure out who he was – but we now know 😉

We headed home later than I would have liked so we ended up missing putting out cookies and milk for Santa.  After Alex finally fell asleep (10:30ish – told ya he isn’t enjoying bed time), we got Christmas ready. Santa was bringing Alex a full sized hockey net so that had to be put together (note to self: do not set up hockey net in basement… not easy to get up through a stairway…), stockings were hung, and egg nog was enjoyed.  Sparky also climbed into Alex’s stocking so he could return to the North Pole when Santa arrived.   Once everything was set, the elves went to bed for a long winters nap.

Alex luckily slept in until 7:30, letting us sleep in too 🙂  Alex was so excited to see the tree when he came down the stairs! He was quite excited about the hockey net and his “motor  boat ride” toy.  We did have one  breakdown…

And unfortunately Alex won’t look at one of his new books – The Giving Tree.  He saw the back of the book when he first unwrapped it which has the author’s picture on it… seriously – could they not have chosen a more child friendly profile picture?  (Crazily – just found a blog post about the same thing – I guess it is something that was written about in Diary of a Wimpy Kid). One of Alex’s favourite presents was his Superman shirt with cape – can hardly get the thing off him!

being super silly

I was lucky enough to receive a new 50mm lens for my camera! So I had fun trying to figure it out – got a few good pics…. but still need a lot of practice!

That afternoon we hosted dinner for my mom, my brother, his girlfriend and his kids.  That was a nice time too – Alex and Jason’s kids don’t get to play together all that often since they live out-of-town with their mom most of the time.

More super sillies...

On Boxing Day we headed out to my Grandma’s for yet another Christmas feast – so more family, more food, and lots and lots of little boys. Seriously – there are 4 granddaughters, 2 great grand daughters, but 8 grandsons and 12 great grandsons (I think I have that number right!). So lots of little boys running everywhere.  Christmas at Grandma’s is always Boxing Day so we never get out to do the big Boxing Day sales… but thanks to the Interent… we were able to order some new speakers, a new satellite receiver, some blu-rays, and even a fabulous SLR camera purse!

So there you have it – our little Christmas holiday! I hope everyone had a great holiday too!

On the 11th Day of Christmas…

… my true love gave to me…

a little holiday baking.

(I know… this post is a little late – but better late than never!)

On Thursday and Friday I started my holiday baking.

I made Sugar Cookies

I did decorate them with sugar icing, but no pictures.

I also created little Pretzel Peppermint Hershey Kiss treats.

I had little helper for these tasty creations.

I also had great plans in making those yummy peanut butter balls rolled in coconut… but alas it was not to be. Mason ate the rice crispy cereal and the coconut while I was out at the grocery store – and there was NO way I was heading out into that madness again!

Next year I will be smart and bake early and then freeze the goodies.   Anyone have a easy peasy recipe for me to try next year?

On the 10th day of Christmas…

That’s right – I skipped a day – been too busy and I’m not going to let it stress me out.

So… my true love gave to me…

a fireplace mantle!

We’ve been on our fireplace mantle to be custom-built so we could declare our basement reno finished… for now (bathroom going in next winter).   On Tuesday it was finally installed.  And while it is a gorgeous piece of woodworking… it’s big.

Really big.

Bigger than we imagined that’s for sure.  The mantle ledge is 5ft off the ground – we were thinking it was going to be more along the lines of 4ft.  And since we have 8ft ceilings… it is kinda overwhelming.

So it looks like we are going to have more work done and have it resized so the fireplaces is a better fit in the room.   Most likely we will have the upper panel removed and have the ledge dropped.

The good news is that Santa has a fireplace this year!  If only I could find some stocking hangers…

On the 8th day of Christmas…

so I’m a day behind… that’s how I’m rolling these days.

… my true love gave to me…’

a second Christmas tree!

Recently Matt’s parents asked us if we wanted to use a small tree they had in storage for an “Alex tree”.  Since our basement is finished (or will be once the mantle is installed – it’s going in as I type), we took them up on their offer and put up this little tree.  It’s about 3ft tall, a greenery is a little sparse in areas, but it’s pretty cute. So on Sunday morning, I dug out a few decorations that didn’t make it to our big tree this year and let Alex have fun decorating..

This is my favourite part.


On the 6th and 7th day of Christmas….

My true love gave to me…

a super busy weekend.

Saturday I had to work – and it was slooooow… I guess everyone was out doing their holiday shopping or drinking egg nog – not in the library browsing books. When I got home some neighbours were over for an impromptu dinner and then Nate, Matt’s brother and his wife came over too – so turned into a little party! We had a few drinks and had a good time.  But that didn’t leave much time for blogging :).  Santa did however bring me a lovely early Christmas gift on Saturday… COLDPLAY TICKETS! The concert isn’t until July 27th, but I’m glad we ordered early (although within 20 minutes the Tuesday show was pretty much sold out.  The show in Toronto on the 26th sold out before the tickets really ever got on sale, so luckily they added a Tuesday show). Our tickets are beside the stage on the first level.  Can not wait! If they were as good as they were 2 years ago it is going to be one heck of a show!

Sunday brought us a lazy morning full of cartoons and playing with toys.  We even got a little snow! Alex and I watched The Smurf Holiday special – talk about flash back! It was the same one I watched 30 years ago… yikes, aging myself again. We also had our first family Christmas party at Nate & Heather’s place. It was so nice to see everyone again and food…. so much and so good…. I’m not doing so well “Get off the Couch” ladies (by the way – if anyone wants to join our little healthy living encouragement group on Facebook let me know).

It was quite a shock to learn about Kim Jong Il’s death before going to bed last night. I am praying his son will be a better leader and bring peace to the Korean peninsula.

Not a lot of pictures this weekend, so I’ll share the Coldplay Christmas Lights video.

P.S. – if you haven’t done it yet – go to Google and type in “Let it Snow”… love those fun little things!

On the 4th day of Christmas…

oops – I forgot yesterday.

but… my true love gave to me…

a pretty cool picture!

I heard the term bokeh for the first time (thanks to C!) and so I was playing around a bit with my camera – failing 99% of the time. But last night I was trying to take a picture of Sparky in front of our Christmas Tree and accidentally changed the wrong dial on my camera – and presto!


I had changed the setting to “Child” and for some reason the bokeh came out perfect – at least I think  so 🙂  So of course I had to take a few more pics.  Most likely won’t be able to do this ever again… but I will try (maybe with the new lens I asked Santa for).

On the third day of Christmas…

my true love gave to me…

A letter from Santa!

Well… a letter to Alex from Santa that is!  In our mailbox today we found a personal letter to Alex from Santa Claus – from! I was quite impressed with Santa’s turn around time since we didn’t send Alex’s letter until Saturday morning.  So Alex excitedly opened up his letter looked at it, and let me read a few sentences… then he was done with it and went off to watch Dora.

We also have a sick little guy again – really the same old stuff – fever and cough. Not fun for little Alex, and not fun for mommy and daddy… we all really need a good night’s sleep!

On the Second Day of Christmas…

… my true love gave to me…

a super long to do list.

Since it is Tuesday, I thought I’d combine Tuesday Tidbits and my 12 days of Christmas.

  • Tonight I finally heard from the business that I ordered my Christmas card pictures from, telling me they were finally available for pickup. They are not perfect… the processing place cropped off my border, and the words at the top of the image are pretty darn close to the edge… but they are done! Woot Woot!  I hope to have them all in the mail by Thursday.
  • A friend of mine and I have been working on rag quilts for our boys – and I finished Alex’s on Sunday night.  I have enough squares left over to make a nice pillow and a pair of pj bottoms too… so back to the sewing machine.
  • I have a couple of brooch orders to complete for some friends – hoping they get done by “Sparky” for me tonight 😉
  • I also have some calendars to finish – thank goodness Creativ* Mem*ries is so easy to use. Just waiting on pictures from a few family members and it will be ready to go.
  • Christmas baking… I am the first to admit that I’m not a baker. My idea of cookies for the most part is buying premades dough and scooping it out onto cookie sheets. But this year I plan on making three different tasty treats:  Sugar Cookies, Pretzel Turtles, and Peppermint Bark (Thanks C!).  No idea when…. but it will happen… I’m hoping.  Oooh – maybe these too… gosh I love Pinterest!  I wish I was domestic enough to make these – they are gorgeous!
  • I won an amaryllis plant kit from a local garden centre this weekend! Planting it will be a project for Alex and I to do tomorrow.
  • I still have quite a bit of shopping to do – but luckily I only have to work 2 days next week.
  • And lastly – I need to find some snow – anyone have some? Tomorrow is supposed to be 10C – so no snow here! I find it hard to really get into the spirit until we have a good blast of winter.

Giddy Up!


The 12 days of Christmas

Like in past years, I’m going to attempt to post daily for 12 straight days leading up to Christmas – sharing some holiday happenings in our family. I started this tradition the year Alex was first home (2009) and continued into  2010.

So… drum roll please… on the First Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me…

A Visit to Santa Claus! and another visit… and another visit!

That’s right – so far we have had 3 visits to Santa.

The first visit went really well as I posted last Tuesday – but my pictures… not so good.  So we went again on Saturday morning.  Alex, once again was perfect – and I think my pictures were much better.  I know I should really learn to use my camera on Auto before I get too fancy… but I’m using the auto focus manual mode – like the results much better.


On the way home it started to lightly snow. I coaxed Alex into trying to get some flakes on his tongue and in the process got this super cute pic.

Then on Sunday Alex, my mom and I went to a local garden centre that is all decorated for Christmas, and a professional photographer was there taking free pics of Santa with the kids – so why not! She even got a smile or two out of Alex by pretending to tickle me.  Then while browsing the store, Santa was wandering around and Alex started a bit of a game of “peek a boo” with him – so cute.  Now we are just waiting on the pics to be emailed.

We are also hoping to get on more visit in to the big guy this Saturday – he will be downtown with one of his reindeer!  That in itself has turned into a bit of a tradition!