Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Snow Day

We drove into the big city on Tuesday to do some Christmas shopping, and this is the sky that followed us in on the trip.   I just had to grab my camera as we zipped along the road.  We were driving into the sunlit bright blue sky, but the dark clouds moved in from behind, and  by the time we were heading home again, the blue sky was nowhere to be seen.
Below is what we woke up to the next morning...a thick blanket of snow covering everything in sight.  I loved it.  The school buses were cancelled, so the kids stayed home, and we snuggled down in our cozy nest until the plows came and dug us out.  Total fun. 
Mother Nature is a great artist.
I purposefully left this wind chime out on the plant stand for just such a morning.   I knew some interesting snow sculptures might happen during a snowy night.
The trees and bushes look so pretty in their fluffy white dresses don't they?

No BBQ on the back deck today, so the chairs patiently wait for spring.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Busy work in the mornings

Gotta keep the kids busy when they are at our house, so plenty of paper and lots of pens and pencils are at the ready when they walk in the door in the mornings. 
JJ works diligently on one of his lists.  His sister always made big sprawling letters across the page, but JJ prints with  very tiny, neat letters.
Danica often takes a break from her busy work to wander around the house...
...but soon comes back to the table to work with pencil and paper again.   I sit at the table and supervise the activities  until it is time for them to dash out the door to meet the school bus. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

$$ Store

When the kids are here for the day we always go to the $Store for a treat. PD days are no exception. We wandered up and down the aisles looking for another Christmas craft or activity to do after lunch. 
JJ thinks it is a hoot that our favorite store is Dollar- AMMA!  That's my special store in his books.
We found a Christmas puzzles to work on after lunch, and both kids enjoyed working on it.

Finished product, with no help from me.  I'm impressed.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Snack time at Tim's

The kids had their own Tim cards, so we told them they could order whatever they liked. They each ordered a doughnut, a fruit smoothie, and a small box of Timbits for later. 
JJ always goes for coloured sprinkles on his doughnuts, but Dani likes plain old chocolate dip. 

It was very busy at Tim's that day, and we had trouble finding four chairs together, so I settled the kids at a small table in the corner...
...and AC and I sat on a ledge outside the door, so we could keep an eye on the kids.  It made for an interesting picture don't you think?  We look like ghosts hovering over the table.
Soon a table became available, so we all moved inside to it, and enjoyed some time together.
Lots of snuggles for Amma and Buppa ...

...and each other.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Craft time on PD day

Yes, the kids were here all day on Friday because it was a PD day for the teachers.  I have learned that the wisest thing for me to do when both kids are here all day, is to keep them busy.  Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead - that's my motto.  Lots of craft materials are kept close at hand, and little fingers love to draw. cut, past and create.
Buppa keeps a close eye on things while I grab the camera.  We are both kept busy helping with tape, stickers, scissors, glue, and anything else that gives little fingers a bit of a fight.
Danica enjoyed making new decorations out of old Christmas cards.
They had lots to take home to decorate their bedrooms. 
It was almost snack time by the time we finished our craft, so we cleaned everything up and headed out the door to Tim's for a special treat.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Suzy Snowflake - The Christmas decorating continues

After the kids checked out all the decorations I had put out during the week, it was time for them to help with a bit of decorating of their own.  I purchased two sheets of sparkly snowflakes, and each kid could arrange the flakes wherever they wanted on the patio door. 
Danica had full control of the left side of the window, and JJ took care of right.
They took great care to position each flake in the perfect spot.  
Finished product.  Looks good kids....job well done.   Now we just have to wait for Suzy Snowflake and all her friends to join them outside the window. 
Next on the agenda is a Christmas craft.  Stay tuned for more pics tomorrow.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The beginning of the season at our house

We do love the Christmas season at our house, and over the years I have collected quite a few favoured decorations.  I used to put them all out during the last weekend in November so I could enjoy them for the  first two weeks of December, as we always went home for two weeks at Christmas, so if I didn't get my decorations out early, I didn't get to enjoy them at all.  I didn't spend Christmas in my own home until after my parents died.  It was always important to go home to be with them at Christmas so we packed up gifts and all our gear and made the 4 hour trek home each year.

When I was finally able to spend Christmas in my own home, it was bittersweet.  I still kept up the tradition of putting all the decorations out the last week in November and had a tree decorating party on the last weekend.  I have since passed the tree decorating party torch to Daughter #1, and we all gather at her house to decorate the big tree  there, as we spend Christmas Eve and morning at her house.  I put up a little fibre optic tree here at my house as that is all I have room for now. 

I had to change my decorating plans this year though, as my back would not allow me to do it all in one weekend.  I had to space it out and just do a little each day.  So, I started dusting stuff off, and bringing it up from boxes in the basement during the first week in November.  A tad early I know, but you do what works right?

The kids were thrilled to see the re-appearance of the Christmas Carousel and the Angel Choir when they arrived on Monday morning.  They weren't allowed to turn either on though, until we had our official "beginning of the season celebration" on the following Friday.  I put one new decoration out each night, and they had to go on a hunt for the new addition before school the following morning.  Fun for all I must say.

They had a PD day on the Friday, so we had them here for the whole day, and we celebrated the beginning of the season in grand style.

The first thing on our list was to turn the Christmas Carousal on for the first time.  Very exciting.  The lights flash in time to the music, the animals are beautifully painted, and  make for a very imaginative ride. 

Quite the work of art really.
Both munchkins are enthralled with it, and I must admit, I am too.
They listened to the Christmas music, picked out their favorite animal to ride in their imaginations, and watched the Carousel  spin around and around and around.
After a while it was time to turn the Carousel off, and check out the angel choir.

This was a gift from the kids last Christmas,  and the music is very sweet.  Once one angel starts singing the others all join in with beautiful harmony. 
In the first of the two pictures of the Angel Choir, if you look closely,  you will notice one smaller angel, in the bottom right hand corner, that is not like the others.  This angel belonged to my mother who died on Christmas day 1992.  She also loved Christmas decorations, and would put her angel collection out on top of the piano in her living room each year.  Just before Christmas she had a fire in her house, and even though the fire was put out fairly quickly, major smoke damage was done, and she had to go live with my sister while the house was being cleaned and restored after the fire.

She was at my sister's on Christmas day, and we were to see her the next day.  Sadly she died very unexpectedly during the night.  She had not been sick at all.  But the trauma of the fire must have taken a major toll on her heart, and she had a massive heart attack with no history of heart disease at all.   I spoke to her at dinner time and she sounded fine, had enjoyed a wonderful day with my sister and her family, and looked forward to seeing us the next day.  I got the call at 2am that she had passed away around midnight.  What a shock. 

The next morning, we gathered up our Christmas gifts and funeral clothes and made the 4 hour trip to my sister's house.  While trying to make funeral arrangements over the holidays, we went to mom's house to see the damage from the fire, and try to collect a few things that would be needed to make the arrangements.

I was very upset when we walked into the house and saw the mess the workmen had left when they went home for the Christmas holiday break.  They had been in the house cleaning walls and painting, but they hadn't taken time to pack anything away.  They just piled stuff in the middle of the room and threw a heavy tarp over it.  If my mom hadn't already had a heart attack, she would have had one for sure if she saw how they had treated all of her treasures.  Her angel collection was toppled over and some of the figurines were broken.  I lifted up one corner of the tarp, and with tears in my eyes, picked up this one small angel to take home with me.  It was still in one piece, and it was small enough to slip into my purse for the trip home. 

Each Christmas I bring this one angel out, and all the memories of that Christmas flood the room while tears flood my eyes.  This year mom's angel sits in the clouds with the kid's angels, and that seems like the perfect spot for her.  Joy and sorrow are always present during the Christmas season now, and thankfully the kids, and sweet memories help the joy outweigh the sorrow.  Tears still flow at times, but joy has the upper hand.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Little Red Riding-Hood and her brother

Over the hills and through the grandmother's house they go?  No, they are off in search of the town leaf pile.

Found it, and a fun time was had by all.
No words needed, just enjoy the fun

 After fun in the leaf pile, we headed over to the local park, but it was far too cold to stay for very long. 
Mittens had to be removed to get a good grip on the climbing equipment, and that made for VERY cold hands, so we set off for home after only a few minutes at the park.

JJ managed to hold one with his mittens on, but I was afraid he would slip, so homeward bound it was for us.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Funny face

More pics from my file folder. Someone really loves her ice cream. 
Yes, sometimes it is a funny face...
...but mostly it's a very cute face...
...even if covered in chocolate!

Monday, November 11, 2013


Dani came home the other day asking about her Great-Grandpa Lou who had been a soldier. We talked about his adventures as a tank driver, and that branched out into stories about Remembrance Day.  She had obviously been talking about this at school too, and was very concerned about all the soldiers who died during the war. 
She has such a tender caring heart this, little one does.

She picked up her crayons and set to putting her feeling down on paper.
Of course I had to run for the camera and capture the picture in progress.
Finished product. 

JJ sat on the other side of the table, and drew pictures of Spiderman fighting the bad guys with magic webs instead of soldiers with bullets.    Don't you wish we could actually do that?  Webs instead of bullets sounds like a good idea to me.