Sunday, November 29, 2009

1st Sunday of Advent

We are officially in Christmas countdown with the arrival the advent season. I was really excited for church and the lighting of the candle. This candle is one of hope. We had a really good speaker today, and had some wise words on this very message of hope... a good way to start the season.

I managed to get the whole family in their nice festive clothes to celebrate the big day. Ken then took Ariel off to Sunday School and Xander and I walked since it was nice out. When I got to the church, Ariel was eager to show me 'Mary'. She made it in her class and was very proud of it. Mary also had to be buckled into the car seat when it was time to go, haha.

The afternoon was filled with the smells of Christmas. Ariel helped me make some shortbread cookies up for our baking exchange we are going to tomorrow after school. She was loving every moment of it... especially poking around to test the final product.

Then I made up some chocolate almond and raisin bark. Soooooooooooo good!

Ken and I went through the last box of junk from the old computer room, yeah there was still one left. Blah! With the coming of my favorite cleaning gals tomorrow (Chels and Amanda) I wanted to make sure all the junk had been dealt with. I am hosting coffee party this week and would love to have a nicely cleaned home for the ladies... and myself of course.

The last of the Christmas decorations went up today as well, although I am still torn on if I will put lights on the deck this year. I am not really into the LED ones, mainly because if bulbs burn out you can't replace it. That really annoys me, bah.

Yesterday was a big day in our home, Ariel's first ice show! We (and everyone else we knew it seems) had tickets to see Disney on Ice. I use to go to the ice shows all the time, so it was fun to share that with her. We had tickets to the noon show, so we left the house at 10am to try and avoid the crazy traffic since it was dumping rain. We arrived at 11ish and got in right when the doors opened. This allowed us to get first in line to see the 2 princesses they had visiting that day. Ariel was dressed as Cinderella and was happy to see her there.

The other princess was the newest one, Tiana - and since Ariel didn't know who she was yet, it didn't really go over as that important. I however thought she was gorgeous! Her dress was stunning and I am looking forward to the new movie, I think we are all going when Ken's family are here over Christmas.

We found our seats and since Ken had Xander strapped to him in the snuggly, I got to run out to get some food to bring back to the troops. We got a burger meal to share between the 3 of us since we knew we wanted some junk food later. Ariel had her first taste of cotton candy, and I should have know the 'sticky' factor would turn her off of it. She liked it until she saw what it did to her hands. She decided she would finish my snow cone! Nooooooooo, that is like my ultimate treat, I love them. Haha. The show started and Ariel's eyes were as big as saucers watching the characters. She kept yelling out in delight and amazement.

These shows have changed a lot since I use to come, the skating isn't that technical and seems to be more of a visual parade. I seem to recall more jumps and tricks back in the day. It wasn't a bad show by any means, just different. The visuals were just like being in Disneyland, so that was cool. Stunning costumes and the Tinkerbell part of the show was awesome!

The show ended and we made our way back out in the rain. Poor Ariel was starting to fizzle out, and by the time we finally were on the road back home she and Xander were both asleep. We all survived and will have good memories from it.

After the kids went to bed that evening, I did some sewing and got Xander's stocking done and hanging with Ariel's! Yay. Much easier this time around, I guess since I had done one before. I am happy with the end result, and I am glad to have another item done on my list.

Friday night was our belated turkey dinner. We ended up inviting Dad and Rita over to join us and they had bought a turkey in the states and cooked it to bring. So that left me doing several side dishes and a few extras since I no longer had to do a turkey. I tried some new things, an asparagus casserole and a sweet potato casserole, both yummy and will be done again.

Xander was awake to see the turkey this time so we got a quick picture of him with the bird... I think he was roughly the same size, haha.

So that pretty much covers our busy and fun weekend. Tomorrow is school as well as the last day of November. Lots happening this week, including the lighting of the town Christmas tree, always a fun event. Ok, I hear Xander crying, better go feed the little guy. Good night!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

3 Month Turkey!

My little turkey turned 3 months old today. Gosh... that went by really fast. Sniff. He doesn't seem too concerned, so I guess I should just smile along with him. He is such a doll and his smile just is so warm and magical.

Its also Thanksgiving in the states today. We are having our fancy dinner tomorrow since Ken had to teach tonight. Plus then it gives us a full weekend of leftovers, yay! I am planning on making some new recipes I got from my online community, some of their traditional Thanksgiving side dishes. Tonight I made some sweet potato tarts, oh so good. Don't worry, I froze a good chunk of them for when we have company.

Today was a busy day for us, lots of running around in the morning and decorating in the afternoon. We drove out to Maria's first thing to pick up our photos. Yay! I am so excited to have our new family portrait in our hallway... the family of four, whee. Then it was off to London Drugs for a star for Ariel's tree. Last night when we decorated hers, I didn't have an extra star and let her use my hall tree's one until we got her one.

These are all her own ornaments, lots of 'first Christmas' ones, disney princesses from a gift exchange with friends last year and some ballerinas. She loves it.

Afterwards we headed to Safeway with our Thanksgiving food list. I can hardly wait for dinner tomorrow night. Oooh. I promise lots of food pictures, haha.

When we got inside I noticed my purse seemed lighter, and sure enough my little pouch I keep all my cards in wasn't there! ACK! I ran back out to the car and thankfully it was laying on the ground by the drivers side door. Not sure how it fell out, but very relieved that it wasn't lost!

Rest of the afternoon was decorating! I decided we try our tree in a new location this year. Since I am hosting a coffee party next Friday and not to mention Christmas dinner, I need to put the extra leaf in the table and if our tree is in its usual spot, it becomes a little tight. So I moved the chair to the side, and of course we lose a bit of floor space but it works for a month. Ariel was very intrigued with the moving of furniture but once she saw the tree it was ok, haha.

Ariel played while I decorated and then we did the hallway tree together upstairs. By that time I realized it was way past her bedtime, so tucked her in and went back to decorating. The tree has a few new ornaments this year, one being this one I gave my Nana a few years ago. Its kinda sad to see it on our tree, but its a nice reminder of her. I like to think its her holding Xander, since it was last Christmas we told everyone we were expecting. Miss you Nana.

Kermit has a prominent spot on our tree, hee.

This year I had an extra little tree and decided to have it in the kitchen for my food ornaments.

I LOVE this tree!!! Haha.

We also set up some decorations in Xander's room...

... Ariel was kind enough to share her Sesame Street ornaments with Xander since he doesn't have any ornaments yet.

Xander woke up and I put his blanket under the tree so he could look at it... lets just say he loved it. Haha. Ooooh!

I'll leave you with a little video from earlier today... my happy 3 month boy. Love you Xander!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Well look at that...

... its Tuesday again, oops, sorry for the lack of blog, bad me. We have been keeping busy here as usual but as of today, we are done one activity until the new year. Yes, this morning was Ariel's final ballet class of the year, thus marking the big parent's viewing session. Yay! I think I brought the most people to come watch her, haha. Stella said we are going to be one of 'those' families... and you know what, I love it. Me, Dad, Rita, Kara, Stella and even Ken who took time off this morning to come watch his princess. Xander was there too, although he slept through most of it.

I wasn't sure what to expect since sometimes Ariel gets overwhelmed when people watch her, like most kids in these situations, but she really wowed me. I am so proud of her and her determination. She is just so grown up at times it blows me away.

They did all their little steps they had learned, and of course Miss Julie had it woven into a story about going to the circus. The girls twirled like tops, pranced like unicorns and tip toed to peak at the lion. Ariel also provided the funniest face ever during that. It was like she truly was acting scared and looked like she was going to burst into tears. It was hilarious!

Then came the big 'Lion King' performance. Just so cute, and mommy is very proud! Ariel at times got distracted with Ken filming, but would get back into it quickly. All the girls did a great job and were so sweet, gosh I love this! Hee. Hope you enjoy it.

Flashing back to last week, Ariel had 'Cat in the Hat' day at school, something that actually freaked her out a bit. When we arrived at her room, her teacher came out dressed like the cat in hat. With Mrs. Kim's hair tucked into the large hat it threw Ariel off and she was hiding behind me. Poor thing, she just wasn't sure about the whole thing. Of course she was fine eventually, but took some time. When I picked her up, all the kids had turned into kitties and had their faces painted, very cute.

Xander has continued to be the cutest bundle of boy ever. He also is becoming a thumb sucker, ugh. I have tried the soother over and over but he isn't going for it, oh well. I find it isn't often, but with the recent discover of his hands, its his new thing. He is sleeping longer stretches at night, in fact he is usually going from 11ish to 7ish, woot! Yay for sleep and I feel very refreshed.

I have been working hard on his baby book, and in the course of that I discovered I had misplaced his birth certificate! Ugh!!! I tore the house apart looking for it unsuccessfully, which baffles me to no end, and makes me frustrated too. So I had to order another one since I need to do his passport application in the next little bit, so I hope now that I have done that it will show up... that is typical right? I think it might have gotten into the papers Ariel was coloring with at the table, and possibly thrown out, sigh. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Bah!

In better news, I finished painting Xander's painting and took it in to get framed at Michael's craft store. I have never gone there for framing before, but with the place closed that we use to take things to, I was open to try it out. I was really pleased actually with the staff, and the sale, 60% off! I can't wait to see it all finished. Yay!

Service message from Xander, feed the bears... namely him! Hee.

Saturday was an awful day, lots of cold rain and so we stayed inside and hung out together. Ariel got dressed up for a dance party in the living room...

... and we had fun taking jumping pictures. Whee!

Then Sunday was church and a soup and bun lunch, oh it was good. Xander was sporting his new look, lumberjack joe!

Ariel pulled out a sweater dress from last year that now fit her perfectly, so sweet.

The soup was heaven on a cold day and I managed to try all 3 types, in small quantities of course. We then came home to hang out and rest up for the new week.

Monday was school for Ariel and Brielle's first birthday party. I dropped Ariel off and took Xander to the party. Carter made friends with him right away, so cute!

Then birthday girl Brielle checked him out...

... and Hayden too. The girls love him already, haha.

At 1130 I picked Ariel up and brought her back for the rest of the party. She proceeded to stuff her face with the yummy food, and had fun playing with the kids.... and the guitar, haha.

Then we come today, and we are all caught up... are you still with me? Haha. Have a great night and Happy American Thanksgiving! I am doing a big dinner on Friday night for Kenny (since he works late on Thursday). Yay turkey!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Believe...

Its about 4pm right now and its already getting dark outside... although the storm clouds moving in may be the cause of it. Kinda depressing when daylight is short lived, but that is winter for you! We finally had a break in the rain today, although it was still a tad windy. I walked Ariel to ballet class, the last one before the big parent show next week! Eek! I am so excited I may burst!!!

After class, I took both kids to have their picture taken with Santa. An annual tradition in late November to a) avoid the craziness of December and a long line up and b) to tie it in with St Nicholas day.

I grew up with Santa, as did Ken, and we have mixed ideas on the subject. Ken is really against the materialism that has come with the idea of Santa. I love the magic of pretend and imagination that comes with Santa. I was always a very matter of fact kid that totally knew the 'meat and potatoes' truth, but I loved the fun in believing. Sooooooo, much like Halloween, we came to the idea - make it what we want it to be.

Christmas to us is the celebration of Jesus' birth, it will always be the focus. To have a bit of Santa in the mix, we have embraced 'St Nicholas Day'. That happens on December 6th, and then on that day we do something for someone else, much like the original St Nicholas did. It is something we want to really invest in as our kids grow and have them involved. The giving back, since it is so important, and I look forward to when they are old enough to do so. I am still deciding what we will do this year, so stay tuned.

Then on Christmas day, there will be one simple gift under the tree as the 'St Nicholas' gift, usually something practical, like clothes, shoes etc. That way I get to keep my joy of Santa and yet build it in a new way that we both love.... because I will always believe. Hey, I am a huge kid, what did you expect?!

Flashing back to Saturday, I took Xander in the snuggly and went off to the 3 bazaars in the area. The one at the church had frozen pies I was eager to snag, haha. Xander was making friends with people in the line up and grinning away, especially the fellow with these huge glasses. I got 6 pies, 4 apple and 2 strawberry & rhubarb. Yummy! They are so great to have on hand for last minute desserts, and the money helps out the church, so bonus! Then I went to the seniors craft sale and found a little crayon holder which I will be honest, I bought just so I could figure out how they made it so I could do them for birthday gifts for friends. Lastly I went to the museum craft event and got some cute knit booties for Xander. I had gotten the same pair for Ariel in pink when she was a baby, so I was hoping to find some in blue for my boy. Success! *YAY from Xander*

On the way home we walked past the craft shop and I ducked in when I saw something that caught my eye in the window. These little wooden advent calendars! I had been searching for something the kids could have in their rooms and these were perfect, and might I add, super cheap!!! I brought them home and personalized them with the kid's initials on the star, ta da!

Later that afternoon, Ken wanted to do some personal shopping for my stocking, so he went to Costco and left me at the mall so I could walk around since I wanted my exercise and it was dumping rain outside. The mall was packed! Since I usually only go there first thing in the morning, I am not use to so many people. Ack, claustrophobic!!! We met up again, had a late lunch and came home.

Sunday was church and hanging out together, which was nice. I spent as much time as I could painting the picture for Xander's room. I did a quick wash to start it off...

... and then got down to business. It is almost done. Just the ground and trees left to finish, yay!

Monday came and back to routine. I dropped Ariel off at school and took Xander in for his 2 month appointment with the doctor which was already like 3 weeks overdue, oops. I was expecting him to get his shots, since I asked if they did them there, but sadly was mistaken, er, their front end staff was mistaken more like it. Blah! So I need to book an appointment at the health unit soon... note to self!

Other than that, Xander's appointment was great. My 14lb little man is doing well, and the doctor was pleased with him development wise and wowed by his size... and his hair, haha.

I am loving my morning wake up greeting from him. He is always grinning and excited to see me. Gosh it gets me every time, love you big boy! Hee! My growing boy was sadly lacking some sleepers that fit. We had some in every size we got as gifts, except in the 3-6 month size, weird! So I got 2 pairs of fuzzy ones and Xander was pleased and I love to snuggle him in them.

In completely non-related news, my hair is falling out. I lost lots of hair after having Ariel, and after having Xander nothing fell out so I thought it wasn't going to happen this time... haha, wrong! I am feeling like a giant hairball, and have to keep my hair tied back at all times to avoid it being everywhere. Ugh, can't wait till its over. Blah.

Ok, dinner time is drawing near and Ariel should be coming out of playing in her room in search of food, haha. I want to leave you with this funny picture. Upon first glance, its just my slipper with some bears shoved in, but I was quickly corrected by my princess that it is in fact a tent. Yes, her bears are camping in my footwear... ah the joy of imagination.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What is in a name?

Ok, I am having a 'mommy moment'! Look at my little girl's signature! Yes, she is writing her name and I am sooooo impressed. Ariel has been really into writing 'letters' to people like Grammy. Basically the sheet consists of scribbles that in her mind are a real letter and she is very proud of them. This then lead to her interest in writing her name, but she only felt confident in doing 'A's. Then this week we slowly took time to practice letters and then tonight she put it all together! Way to go Ariel!!!

On Wednesday Ken was off work for Remembrance Day. It was a sunny day, which is always nice when you have to stand outside for the ceremony. Ariel was excited for the parade and was sporting her poppy on her dress coat.

Me and the kids. Xander stayed awake for a bit before dozing off.

Ariel still is a bit young to stand through the whole ceremony, so she made friends with a little boy and they played in the field. At the end, we took her up to leave her poppy behind.

We came home for lunch and a lazy day of laundry and hanging out until Mike and Jo came over to join us for dinner. I got some painting done on the ornaments Ariel and I started a few days ago. Yay, little snowmen!

For dinnerI made ribs in the slow cooker, twice baked potatoes and baked asparagus. Yummy! Ken even went out and got a bottle of wine. I didn't eat too much, but it was hard not to, the food was soooooooo good. Xander passed out from all the fun. What can I say, my boy loves to sleep. We had a nice visit and after they went home we got the kids in bed and watched a new episode of Glee, loved it!

Today was a fun shopping day. The kids and I dropped off the car for its oil change and to get a new brake light that had just gone out. Then Stella picked us up and we went out to buy flannel for our annual Christmas pjs. I found some really cute red snowman print fabric, but they didn't have much, so Ariel and I will have our tops with it, and a different red print for the little shorts. Both me and my girl don't like to get overheated and its a fun change from the regular long look we have done the past few years. Ken and Xander will get the same material but in the blue version for their pj pants, and white tops. It will be very cute and I am excited. I also can finish Xander's stocking now since I will use some of his blue flannel for the backing, so he will always have a piece of it to look back from his first Christmas. I did the same with Ariel, hee.

I also got some fabric for a new red tablecloth. Seriously, if you ever want a nice tablecloth, go to the fabric store, buy the amount you need and then you just have to finish the edge. Much cheaper than store bought ones and just as nice. I can't wait to see how Nana's china will look on it, so pretty. I also got some cute cotton prints to make some placemats. I made everyone placemats last year for gifts, but I never got to make any for us, so its our turn. Yay!

We had lunch at Pizza Hut and came home to a call that the car was ready, and everything was good. I thought maybe the muffler was going, but its fine, so that is good news.

In other crafting news, I got the painting done for our card, just need to scan it and get it ready for printing. Ken had a moment to final sketch up a picture for Xander's room that I need to paint now. Our poor son has no art on his wall, and I want him to move into his room soon from our room, but not until he has something on the wall, haha. Yes, lame I know, but I refuse to make him fall into the second child syndrome. Here it is prior to painting... stay tuned for a final product.

I can't believe its Friday tomorrow! Lots coming up in the next little bit, another bazaar this weekend, this one has frozen pies - so Ken is very excited! Next week is my heart echo at the hospital, so everyone keep us in your thoughts and prayers that it will look good. I am not sure if I will hear the results until I see the cardiologist again in May, or if they will tell me then. We shall see. Ok, gonna go paint a bit before bed, good night!
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