Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas......

I hope you've all been enjoying the bustle of the pre-Christmas week! We've had a busy week, but we've luckily enjoyed a lot of down time, just staying in out of the cold. I've had a few late nights of sewing and wrapping, and I think I'm just about ready. I'm sure we'll have some excited little faces on Christmas morning.

Love to you all, and Merry Christmas! We'll be enjoying our festivities for a few days, see you in a bit!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

corners of my home.....

Come over for a visit and sit and enjoy the Christmas decor! I'll make you some chai herbal tea and gluten free cookies and we'll have a nice chat. I wish I could gather all my beloved friends and family from around the world into my home on Christmas so we could all be together again. That's what I think heaven will be like!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Afternoon.....

Yes, this is what we do Sunday Afternoons, we perform a small chamber concert of beautiful classical music. (Yea, I wish!)
The idyllic pictures are actually of a little boy who's not supposed to be playing with the violins, who moved a chair to the hall closet and climbed up high to pull down our small violin (which is being hidden away from him), and then a little girl who was playing a nice rendition of Silent Night who decides to join her brother in a performance of "Who Can Scratch the Strings the Loudest!" And then of course, let's all try to play Silent Night, with a little girl in one key, Daddy in another, and a little boy playing back up scratch. Nice.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

daddy's helper.....

We woke up to another dump of snow, and of course the strong freezing winds drifted it into nicely packed heaping mounds! Fun shovelling (although luckily not for me!). Our little helper had to be out there with his shovel too. He looks pretty happy considering the current wind chill is -33 C (-27 F)!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Snow Day!

Here's a glimpse into our Winter Wonderland! We woke up with nearly no snow on the ground, and after a day of snowing, we had enough to build our giant snowman. I hope you're all enjoying the holidays!

Monday, November 24, 2008

'Tis almost the season......

First of all, for anyone who's missed the big exciting news in our family.....Kate and Jordan have had their bebe!!! Check out my beautiful beautiful beautiful neice. I'm one proud auntie!

Things have been busy around here, but I'm loving the anticipation I feel as we gradually accelerate into the Christmas season. We successfully maneuvered our way through E's birthday celebrations, and now we're gearing up for all sorts of holiday festivities. I get asked daily if it's almost time to put up the tree!

For six weeks now I've been playing in a chamber ensemble, getting ready for a big Messiah performance. Last night was our first of three concerts, it was great! It's been ages since I've been a part of an orchestra, I've missed it. My awsome family's been so supportive of Mommy leaving for 4-6 hours at a time, and I'm getting to know this huge city as I drive completely to the opposite side each week for rehearsals. So, while I'm looking forward to getting my Saturday and Sunday evenings back, I've really been enjoying myself.

Here's a little sneak peek at some projects under way in my sewing room, hopefully I can finish everything on my list before Christmas! It's always a last minute rush, but I think that's the way I like it! Enjoy your Thanksgiving week! (We're celebrating Friday way up here in good ol' Canada!)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Emberly!


My little girl turned six last week, and I can't believe how fast these six years have flown by! Unfortunately, the poor girl had strep throat all week, and her actual birthday wasn't that exciting. We spent a good chunk of the day at the doctor's, then at the pharmacy, and the rest of the day curled up on the couch watching movies! (Thanks Chloe, for the stack of dvds!)

Here's our sick birthday girl, wrapped up in her new flannel sheets, fresh out of the dryer, with her new little animals!


The new snow outside was pretty exciting, that's always a fun birthday present!
Posing with one of her gifts, a squishy mattress pad to make her bed more comfy, just like mom and dad's! It goes nicely with the new flannel sheets!


A sushi birthday cake! :) This was her requested dinner, but her poor throat was so sore she choked on the nori and had to spit it out and ended up crying through the rest of the meal! The ice cream for dessert went over better. We also stocked up on popcicles and juice, much easier on the throat!

I know she looks pretty chipper in the above pictures.....this is what the rest of the day looked like. Poor little girl. We've been celebrating all week though, to make up for the sick days!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!


I hope you've all had a wonderful week of preparations and celebrations! Here's a few shots from our Halloween adventures!




Sunday, October 26, 2008

practicing.....

I love taking pictures of my little violin girl, there's something so picturesque about a studious child and a beautiful instrument. It seems that we have fallen into a good practising groove lately and I really appreciate all the work this little girl is puting into it. We seem to manage 5-6 days a week, 20-30 minutes a day. Now, I do not claim to be an expert in the area of getting kids to practice, but a few things are working for us lately. Just thought I'd share in case anyone out there is in my boat. :)


~Morning practice is way better for us. I wasn't so sure about afternoon Kindergarten, but now I'm loving it because morning works so well for practice time. I have no idea what we'll do next year, but we'll just enjoy the moment.


~We don't watch movies or use the computer until practice is over, this goes for me too. I try not to turn on the computer until after practice time, I'm too tempted by emails and blogland! E is much more motivated when she knows she can watch a favorite show afterwards.


~I try to always sit with her while she practices and make it a group affair. G usually tries to copy his sister with his box violin, or he plays with toys. (Or he makes messes and wrecks things and hits his sister and throws fits because he doesn't get to touch the violin. Just keepin' it real here!)


~We usually do some sort of fun activity. Some favorites are.......playing a board/card game (play a song, then roll the dice and move), play a different song in every room of the house including outside (although last week she threw her violin on the grass mid-song because a spider was crawling on her arm!), pick songs out of a bowl and throw in fun things like jumping-jacks, play a little family concert of every song she knows.


~Charts work great around here! We usually do a big chart with about 2 or 3 months worth of practising days. Every week or so she'll have a little prize day where she picks a very small prize (like stickers, pencils, or plastic animals) out of our "prize bag." At the end of the chart is big prize day where we pick out a special toy she's been hoping for. Her last big prize day was a Webkinz, something she'd wanted for a long time!


~Please don't think I'm bragging about how great practising is around here, because we still have those days where she's quickly practising a few songs behind me in the kitchen while I'm franticly making dinner! And then sometimes we go 4 or 5 days without practising at all! I definitely know what it feels like to be the guilt-ridden mother when we're not practising regularly, and being the teacher it's intesified ten fold! But this good practice streak is what we've been averaging for about 6 months now, and I'm so proud of her. She seems to be enjoying her violin more because it's a regular part of her day, not just a dreaded task (although some days it's still not her favorite thing to do). This week she's spent a few minutes on her own every day working out how to play Happy Birthday, in honor of her upcoming birthday!


So this post is a little thank you to my sweet violin girl who has been working so hard! I'm proud of you!


Friday, October 17, 2008

thanksgiving........

We're so thankful for a beautiful place like this to visit. We're so thankful for wonderful friends and family who love us. We're so thankful for gorgeous weather to enjoy. We're so thankful.




Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday!

That's my lovely sister Jes on the left, Happy Birthday to her today! I hope you have a fabulous day! And our beloved Grandpa Earl turned 89 last week! Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Monday, October 13, 2008

pumpkin muffins.......yum!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to you all! I made these yummy gluten free pumpkin muffins to take with us to the farm this past weekend. My kiddos love them, so I thought I'd share. The recipe is from Mothering, definitely check it out! With a few alterations they make awesome gluten free muffins. The flours I used were sorghum, millet, quinoa, and amaranth. I also added almond meal and flax seeds, both ground in my little coffee grinder. The millet, quinoa, and amaranth I ground in my flour mill about a month ago, I just store them in the fridge after grinding to keep them fresh. I also used honey instead of molasses. (Nothing to do with gluten, just yummy!) And I added a lot of cinnamon and cloves. We like them spicey!
Just to keep it real, here's a shot of the messy work station!
If you look closely you can see the oven temp, all ready to go.
If you make mini muffins, they cook pretty quickly so watch them. E and G can eat half of this pan in one sitting!
And for clean up, it helps if you have a spoon-licker like this one here! She's invaluable in my kitchen, I highly recommend one!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Our little wannabe.....

Poor little brother, he wants so much to do what his big sis is doing! Just this week he figured out that he can open violin cases. This makes practice time much more interesting! Currently no one is playing our 1/16th violin, so he's claimed it as his own and likes to saw along. I finally had to hide the case in the top of the coat closet so he can't get to it! He was getting it out all day to "practice!" Oh well, at least he's not throwing it down the stairs or anything! Don't you love his goofy half grin!