Wednesday, January 19, 2011

 another random collection of pictures, some before christmas some since. I love candid pictures of my family. we are keeping this piano for a family member who doesn't have room in her house right now. I would love to take piano lessons. maybe i can trade for babysitting. . .

 my little superstar. she posed all on her own. actually, did i post this a long time ago? might have. sorry.

 charlie still loves to play in the dishwasher. no, i dont' let him. but it's hard to keep him out. he can actually open the door himself. do they make locks for that?

 our preschool group had a "happy birthday Jesus" party. they did crafts, and had lots of fun. it was Hannah's first little party.

 We had quite a few get togethers before christmas, so the pictures are probably interchangeable. what was memorable about this one, though, is that this is what our table looked like 45 min after designated start time. in the end, we had 2 people come, out of 10 invitations. oh well, lots of leftovers, right?

 if we had had a christmas card, this would have been on it!

 oh my gosh i love them!

 while waiting for our neighbours to come, we had some special family time. charlie wasn't actually asleep, but apparently he was close. perhaps the story was a little over his head :-).

 we had our own little christmas before we left for canada, for the kids to open presents from us and family here. grandma jan came, and we had fun!

 so, charlie's become quite independent, especially in the eating department. oh my goodness it's so messy. he used to be ok with a spoon, now he's reverted back to his hands. and he loves to put it on his head.

 hannah got some neat gifts at christmas, including this huge activity book, centered around a stable. all kinds of crafts, games, stickers. she's had a blast.

 these are the pjs my mom made for charlie. they fit him perfectly!
a playdough ice cream factory, also a new addition to our toys. i even have fun with this one. it does make me crave marble slab, though.
so we had a little wintry weather, not too much but enough to play in. i took the kids walking to find enough of a slope to sled down. it was bitterly cold, by anybody's standards. an older gentleman we passed smiled and said, that's what makes a good parent. i smiled politely, but inside thought, my goodness, i wish it were that easy.

we went out the day of and bought a sled and shovel. yes, we were that prepared. hannah really wanted to help shovel.

so i know many people succumb to holiday weight gain. i imagine i'm leading the pack, with 11 lbs. i guess it's ok, though, if my post christmas belly has a heartbeat.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

a brief christmas snapshot

Warning: not for the faint of heart. or weak stomach!
so, we made it up to my mom's (on Gibi Lake, 40 min away from Kenora, Ontario) very uneventfully, thank the Lord. Driving was good for me, actually, because every time we got out along the way, i got a little more used to the cold. It was in the 20s when we left, and it stayed that way the whole time, it wasn't bitterly cold while we were there. we played outside every day. Unfortunately, there was a stomach bug going around, which i always succomb to. (that makes the 3rd time since the summer!). so 21/2 of our four days there, i spent in bed. our family stayed in the little sleeping cabin that mom and bob renovated from a shed, for my Nana, when they moved into the big cabin. it's really cute, 2 rooms, and a bathroom. (no plumbing yet, but it's all set up). it's heated with a wood stove, in the sitting room/bedroom/hannah's room. patrick got quite proficient at making the fire. it does start out quite warm, then gradually cools off. a few nights it was HOT in our cabin. i had been sneaking outside to throw up so i didn't wake anyone else up, and the cold fresh air felt good. but it was so hot that night i stripped down to less than my pyjamas. then all of a sudden i ran outside to throw up again, having forgotten i wasn't properly attired. not that the animals cared, it was just extra chilly that trip. oh, memories.
this is the lake in winter. it felt nearly this cold when we were there in summer, too! :-). we enjoyed the snowmobile, cruising around up and down the road or pulling the kids on the sled. this is patrick and hannah.
deer hunting is easy here!
our little walmart hat held up really well! so did my texas born, southern raised daughter. she had her cousins to help her out, in the snow.
sorry these are out of order. my mom got both older girls a special doll, like american girl but a canadian version. then she and bob made beds, she sewed all the linens, bedskirt and all. then made matching pyjamas and robes for the girls and their dolls. (why i didn't inherit any of that, i'm not sure). Hannah puts her doll to bed every night, beside her.
charlie got some nifty toys, but he was pretty taken with the ribbon. he loves wrapping things around his neck. scares the pee out of me.
hannah's housecoat. i'll never lose her in the dark now!
hannah helping me help charlie open his stocking.

thankfully we got the sleigh ride in after meghan was sick, right before i got sick. parker hung out it the car quite a bit, but hopefully he won't remember! if i were really good at this, i'd have the picture from 3 yrs ago, with hannah a little pnut of a thing, wrapped up in a furniture blanket thing.

charlie did well outside too. this is the best little sled, babies can sit in it and just hang out. of course, he's old enough now he wanted to get out and explore, too.
so this was the view in, well, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Manitoba, and Ontario. Until we hit the lakes and trees. so beautiful. (chad had great pictures, i'll find some of his)

this was our cabin. very cozy. and extremely comfortable beds! it's right next to the outhouse, if you're into that kind of thing. in the winter. in northern ontario.
now if i were really REALLY good, somehow i'd get the picture of me and my sisters in a tunnel we built in california when i was, oh, 6 or 8 or something. we had an amazing little snowfort. as these kids get bigger, i know their snowforts will too.
so bob amuses himself with the snowmobile, and my mom choooses this. snowshoeing, if it's something you aren't familiar with :-). just like anything else, it's come a long way. on the left are the traditional, the right, i'm sporting the fancy newfangled ones. it was neat, good exercise. there has to be a whole lot of snow to really appreciate snowshoeing, but i liked it. unfortunately i didn't have the energy this trip to try cross country skiing. that's really good exercise.

patrick and i on our romantic snowmobile ride. there are horror stories of snowmobiling on the lake, and finding yourself on open water. so patrick liked to go REALLY fast on the lake. now me, i was moderately concerned with say, flipping over and getting crushed under the very heavy snowmobile. so i liked to plod along. once again, if i could get a picture, it would be of my and my sisters, 6, 8, and almost 10, when we spent christmas out at the cottage as children. my parents got my grandpa a snowmobile for christmas, but told him we'd rented it for our trip. unfortunately, we crashed it before christmas officially came. it survived though, and so did we.
i told my mom even if we didn't get a picture of her and charlie, it was ok, because her snowsuit hasn't changed in quite a while, and the one charlie's sporting has been passed down to 4 kids now. since no face is exposed, you could just exchange one year for another, and nobody would ever know :-).
so the hockey was pretty mellow this year, but i imagine that's also something that will change as the kids get older. and if we can all manage to stay healthy. i didnt' even put skates on :-(.
My Nana got married at Christmas, they eloped :-). Chad had many more pictures i'm going to track down and put up later.
i am so glad we went, even though it's forever away and i was sick most of the time and charlie didnt' sleep at all so he sort of slept in my bed, patrick went to hannah's and hannah to the floor but still we didn't sleep! it's so beautiful, i just need to see it every once in a while. and my children's childhood is turning out so drastically different from my own, it means alot to me to be able to share some experiences with them. poutine being close to the top of the list. (french fries, cheese curds, gravy, and vinegar. yes, vinegar. just trust me.) and i even ate that when i was borderline still sick, just because i had to have it before we crossed back over the border. falling asleep to the sound of the snowplow scraping the road (that was at the hotel en route). tourtiere, buckeyes, rice pudding. but not just food. even things like wet snow gear hung up in front of the fireplace. hannah did great, in the car, and with the sleeping. she's so much easier now. Charlie did well in the car too, but around hr 8 he starts to lose it. and we already covered his sleeping. it's horrible. i can't believe they didn't kick us out of the hotel. so, new years was uneventful, as was our anniversary. (5 yrs - yeah us!). i'm babysitting as much as i can, and patrick's traveling alot, marketing his business. david and des moved here last week, we're going to go see them when they're settled. and for some reason i kept on throwing up, even once i got better. hmmm.. . .