Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all enjoy this week of merry making and festivities.....we're about to get started with the celebrating! To all my family and friends everywhere, I love you all and wish we could gather, even if just for a day! Enjoy the holiday and find a little time to feel the spirit of Christmas, and the spirit of Christ, who made all of this possible for us. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter Wonderland!

We seem to be having near perfect Christmas winter weather. It's not too cold but not warm enough for the snow to melt. Our old, brown piles of snow have just been dusted with a couple of inches of new, fluffy white snow. Here we are enjoying the snow on a winter nature walk behind our house. I hope you all are finding ways to enjoy your Christmas weather, inside and out!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas cookies......

It's cookie time! This was our first batch of gluten-free gingerbread cookies, yummy! I used this recipe, and they turned out really yummy. A bit crumbly the next day, but still yummy! My helpers were proud of the final product as well!
I hope you're all enjoying your Christmas baking as well.
Come on over for some cookies and egg nog! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

graduation.......

Our little violinist graduated from Suzuki Book 1 and we had a home concert to celebrate! She played through every song in the book and I captured them all on video so we can look back and reminisce someday. This is Minuet 1, by Bach, it's towards the end of the book. She's had a good fall semester of violin, even with all day school getting in the way of practice time. We started morning practice early in September and it's been so nice. Now there's no tiredness and complaints, it's just what we do right after breakfast, and we usually have 20-30 minutes. Her favorite thing to do is to figure out by herself how to play her favorite songs, lately it's been Silent Night and Jingle Bells. One morning last week I was in the kitchen and I heard her directing her brother where to stand and when to come in, and when I came back in the room, he had his little jingle bells and they'd put together a duet. :) I'll have to video that one for you!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nutcracker....

E's been begging to go to the Nutcracker for about two years now, ever since we saw it in 2007 put on by the University. This year she even said she'd be willing to make that her Christmas present, and maybe I could just get her one small thing to open on Christmas morning! (Isn't she an angel?) The big Alberta ballet performance turned out to be $90 a ticket, so we had decided we might not go this year. But then my lovely friend Gillian found a smaller performance in a neighbouring town, which turned out to be amazing and very professionally done! Much better than the local one we saw two years ago. So we ventured out in a snowstorm to drive across the city and see the much awaited Nutcracker, and it was sooooooo worth it!

Here's all the little girls in their finery!
Do you notice anything missing from her smile? Yep, earlier that day she had lost her second top tooth, it might just have been one of the most exciting days of her young life! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

trimming the tree........

Our tree is up, it's officially Christmas! Here's our sweet little tree decked out with all our old, new, funky, collected, treasured ornaments. E says we should call it the "memory tree," because each ornament has a memory connected to it.

These are my little elves helping.
Aren't they so cute together?
She was very serious about where everything should go....
I think this is hilarious......my two bald-headed boys. And doesn't our tree look like it's about to topple over? Derick actually taped it to the table with packing tape so it's topple-proof!
Here's the men, inspecting the branches.....
I love this........it's some sort of dance to the tree fairies I believe. :) She was dancing all over the living room with the top of the tree, and this is the one precious moment I caught!

Monday, November 30, 2009

winter zoo-going.......

We're trying to make use of our year-round zoo passes all winter, so we took our first trip to the zoo on a sunny but chilly day. It was so fun! A lot of the animals are inside so it's easy to warm up in between playing and walking around. They're getting all ready for the holiday "Zoo-lights" so we'll be going back in the next few weeks to see the spectacle! Should be festive!

Isn't this bat creepy? He's about 12 inches tall, and his wing span is between 2 and 3 feet wide!
The kids' favorite snake slide.....
The steamy rainforest.....
Up the steps to the waterfall.....
This guy was being very friendly, he came right up to the fence to say hello.
Here he is walking over us......
Mr. Giraffe....
There's our friend the zebra in the background.....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

giant violin......

It's a good thing they make child-sized violins, the poor girl can barely reach her arm all the way down the instrument. But she just has so much fun playing twinkles on Mom's violin!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

trains trains trains......

We build a lot of trains at our house these days.......all different shapes and sizes of tracks! This is boy who loves trains, riding them, building them, and playing with them. And this is his "cheese" smile for the camera!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Birthday Party!!!

I just have to share a few pictures from E's party last weekend, the theme was dolphins! (This is one of those pictures I think they'll love to see when they're 16!) :) She decorated her cake herself, with all her little favorite sea creature toys.......
The presents, of course, were wonderful! I didn't get a good picture of all of them, but the girls were so excited to share, and E just loved everything.
The girls seemed to be having a great time with lots of dancing, pinata, hula hooping, and crown making (and of course a bit of candy eating!).......
(I love taking pictures of this little one!) :)
Loot bags filled after the dolpin pinata.......
And the pizza feast!

Thanks girls, for the great time!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Halloween 2009.....(a little late!)

I just realized I hadn't put pictures of Halloween up yet, so sorry, better late than never, right? Here's my little Dolphin and Dinosaur! Aren't they great? They were both warm and cozy in their big furry costumes, and we had a great time cruisin' for candy! :) (My favorite part was when they walked, they each had a little wagging tail! Soooooo cute!)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Birthday!

This was our birthday girl 5 years ago at age 2, and here she is today! :) We're in the midst of an all day celebration here, with lots of presents, good food, and much more fun to come! It's been a wonderful 7 years with this little angel in our lives, Happy Birthday Sweetie! I love you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

dishes........

We've been reading our way through the Little House on the Prairie books (we're on The Long Winter) and E's noticed how many dishes Laura and Mary are always having to do. It seems like they're always washing dishes and sweeping the floor! (Aren't we all!) Well, now she thinks dishes and sweeping are kind of cool, because Laura did them, so this is her in her "Laura" dress washing dishes for me! (My wonderful aunt Teresa made this dress for me when I was 5, some 26 years ago!) And yes, we wash all our dishes by hand and use the dishwasher as a drying rack. Seriously, under-counter dishwasher make the BEST drying racks! :)

I just have to share my yummy gluten-free apple pie! We had people over for dinner a couple of weeks ago and I made an apple pie with a wheat flour crust and I didn't have time to make myself a gf pie, so after they left and I had cleaned up the kitchen, I went back to work on a little mini pie for myself......and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Friday, October 2, 2009

crafting........

We've had a bit of a crafting renaissance going on in our house lately. I'm sure it has something to do with the change of season, but I know it has a lot to do with Amanda's Soule's incredible book The Creative Family! I adore her blog and read it almost every day, but I just got around to reading her book a few weeks ago and since then, I am soooooo much more likely to let my kids come up with a project and just go with it. It's amazing seeing what they create, and I love getting in on it with them as well. I've picked up my knitting a little every day since then, and our art supplies and playdough have pretty much become a permanent fixture at the kitchen table.

This little house was entirely E's idea. We were at the dollar store getting stickers for violin practice charts and she saw these wooden craft sticks and immediately knew what she wanted to build. She told me she also needed a bottle of glue, so for $2 she had hours of fun puting this together. The sticks are glued right on top of eachother, and she used an entire bottle of glue, so it's not going anywhere! (When she first started the project I tried to explain how the sticks could be glued together log cabin style, but nope, this was the plan from the start and I let her run with it!) Once dry it was coloured and now it's a favorite little house for dolls. So fun!

Monday, September 28, 2009

back in time........

Last weekend we took a trip back in time at an old-timey park in our city. So fun! We've been reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books for a couple of months now and we're on The Long Winter, so stepping back in time was so real to us, we kept imagining what Laura and Mary would think of everything.
Freshly gathered eggs.....
Going to school with Laura and Mary.......
The woodworker's cottage was awesome, the kids did hammering and sanding and made a button toy.
She's not mad here, this is her old-fashioned "serious" look for a photo.....
The "not-so-serious" look........