Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!

This past week has flown by. On Boxing Day we went to a skating party in Coquitlam and a good time was had by all. This was the first time that Baby had been 'skating' and she enjoyed it every bit as much as her big cousin.

She is always looking at him or for him. They really care about one another. Cute helmet, hey?

After Toddler was done on the ice, he went to get his great big cookie and ate the whole thing. We were given free drinks, hot dogs and cookies and we all had a wonderful morning out. I think that my Dad is talking in this picture, but I like it anyway.

A couple of the miracles, and Baby. #1 was very pleased to receive a weekend pass and was able see her whole family in the three days that she stayed with my Dad.

Baby turned eight months old yesterday and her Auntie loves her very, very much!!

Sleeping Beauty...she was in between parties.

Stacy had a Boxing Day get-together in the afternoon and just as Baby and her Mommy were getting ready to leave, I remembered to take out my camera. I really enjoyed talking to the woman on the right.....she is half-chinese like me, although I am more than a decade older than her!!

Cousins....almost three years old already!

More cousins!
We have been busy!! I still haven't cooked in over a week, and my staycation has three more full days for me to enjoy. We have worked a lot, but we have managed to have some fun as well. Miracles #3 and #4, Toddler and I hit the Mall yesterday and we found some very good bargains. Toddler says it best when he tells us, "I like shopping!" Yes, I think we all do in this family.......and we all do it fairly well. Hubby has finished painting three of the eight rooms that needed to be done. He has replaced seven light fixtures and I have gone through lots of boxes, as well as done a ton of paperwork. #4's bedroom is almost put back together, and we have made two trips to the dump and recycling. Canadian Diabetes is coming next week and we have dropped off a load at Value Village but there is still lots more to give CD. It's coming along. We met with our travel consultant and we are debating a holiday in early February. Just can't decide where to go yet. I am not really making any major decisions right now as I am just too air-headed. Hubby and #4 are in charge and I like it. Have very Happy New Year Everyone!! No one is looking as forward to 2011 as me!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stanley Park

We had another busy day. And then Miracle #3 phoned just after six o'clock tonight and she planned a very last-minute trip to Stanley Park. The intention was to go on the train but it was sold out when we arrived. We were all a little bit disappointed, but really didn't have to be. Toddler insisted that he didn't want to go on the train anyway, and the lights are absolutely spectacular. He was a whole year older this year and appreciated all of it! So did we!!

We loved the Canadian flag. I guess with the Olympics coming to town this year, it just seemed very appropriate. Toddler sang "O Canada" more than once.

I think he would have been happy to stand here all night. They sang and danced and he joined right in. He absolutely loved the singing and the dancing!

Photo-op. We were waiting for the rest to join us so I could take a group shot, but I got the two guys standing and I think it turned out very well!! Can you tell that it was very, very cold? Probably -3 or -4 out there tonight. Chilly out , but we were all warmly dressed except for Hubby.

Family picture

There were a lot more diorama-type displays this year. This one caught our interest because of all the Disney characters.

Another flag shot.....we all loved the Canadian flag!!

"Run, run as fast as you can; You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

He was totally spell-bound and so were we. It was actually a girl with the cutest little voice/giggle and Toddler loved her!! She was teaching him actions to a song and he was copying every move.

Totally mesmerized.

She really liked him too, and he was so captivated.

Santa's workshop

Toddler really liked this one. There is an igloo just like this one at his neighbour's house and he loved that it was the same. Daddy was especially impressed with Santa Homer. We had such a fun evening!! I loved how we were so spontaneous and it worked out fabulously!!

Cousin Love

This week has been the very first time since 2003 that Hubby and I have had any time off together and we have stayed home. No holiday or quick getaway. Way back then, he was off of work for five months and I probably only had a few long weekends as I was working part-time.......but ever since he was re-structured in his job, and his holiday time changed from four weeks to two weeks, we have never had time off in our own home. He has had time off and/or I have had time off......but never together. If we ever have time off together, then we take off to somewhere distant and warm. And if I had had it my way, then we really would have been somewhere distant and warm this week too. But the truth of the matter is.....why would we spend twice as much money to go away at Christmas, when we can go away in two weeks for half the price? I am frugal like that. So we are home. And we are working hard. Not in our every day normal jobs as Parts Advisor and Childcare Worker, but as Organizers, Movers, Light Fixture Changers and Painters. Not necessarily in that order. Miracle #4 is on his Winter Lay-Off and he has been doing the same. As much as two men with hurting backs and shoulders can do, they have doing it. I think it is funny that I am the most capable when it comes to having the back and shoulders that work the best and yet I am the weakest. Luckily, beds and shelves and boxes aren't really that heavy. Just awkward, and the teamwork that has been going on in this house has been nothing short of amazing!!

We have been taking breaks and going to appointments and doing errands; and I posted my wonderful Christmas Photo Shoot on Facebook last night. We had such a great time doing this, and I still smile every time I look at the pictures. The ones of the two cousins are absolutely priceless, and I only wish I could have had all 43 pictures instead of having to choose 12. I finally had some hardcopies made yesterday and I have the CD as well. I LOVE my photos and I LOVE my grandchildren so very, very much!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Staycation

I have been on staycation for four days now. It's been a little bit hectic and I am looking forward to laying low for the next few days. The best part about a staycation is that I haven't cooked for the last six days. Not one single meal. I hope that #1 feels somewhat special as I actually made her a couple of ham buns today.......which isn't really cooking, it's preparing..........and she is the only person who has received any type of anything from me. I did make a Wifesaver for Christmas Brunch, but it was more of a team effort as Hubby was helping me every step of the way. He beat the eggs while I cut up the bread, ham and cheese. But a Wifesaver has never really felt like cooking, because all it really does is come out of the fridge and it goes into the oven.

I made a great chicken dinner on Wednesday, we went to the White Spot on Thursday, I threw a Costco pizza in the oven on Friday, we had a delicious turkey dinner made by my sister-in-law on Saturday, we ordered Chinese last night from Ocean Village, (and it was way better than it usually is) and tonight I scored Me'n'Ed's pyrogy pizza on the way to the Giants game. I am loving not cooking. And I know reality will smack me in the face soon enough, but I really am enjoying not being on a work schedule too. I think we will start painting tomorrow. I really have resisted the urge to take the Christmas tree down for the last two days but I think I will start putting it away in the morning. #4 has been moving stuff around into his newly painted drywalled sprayteked bedroom. And sorting clothes and books and such. I managed to get a few things brought in from the garage today as we have been parking outside for the last week as we have all of our storage packed in where the cars usually are right now. Hubby managed to clear it all in two days and I know it is going to take longer to bring back in as it needs to be sorted, and a lot needs to be taken to Value Village, the dump or recycling. He painted part of the storage room today and hopes to finish it tomorrow.

I was almost falling asleep watching the Giants play the Blazers tonight as I woke up at 4:30 am and never went back to sleep. It was a boring game.....and we left early as Kamloops was ahead 4-1 and there were only a couple of minutes left. I think I am going to regret buying a Mocha Latte at the game as I am not one bit tired right now, and it's getting close to midnight. Hmmmmm......Now I just need to figure out what to do for the next couple of hours until sleep overtakes me. I think that insomnia is one of the most frustrating parts of being hyper-thyroid. Oh well, at least I am on staycation!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas morning....looks like Santa came..... and the Daycare children will be pleased! I really do believe that Christmas is for kids....it really is very magical.

We went over to Toddler's house for brunch.....this is their beautiful Fraser fir that they bought at the tree farm this year. I love it!!

He absolutely LOVED his new hockey gloves from Uncle. He played and played with them all morning. He has a net, sticks, balls and pucks in his kitchen which he moves back and forth from room to room. This little boy is totally obsessed with hockey!!

A hockey guy. I think this one is Henrik Sedin, but the best reaction is when he received Carey Price. "Monweal canadians!" He recognizes most of the team logos and is very, very interested in all of them!

Baby's family was over for a few hours too, and we all enjoyed each others company very much. Brunch was delicious and we all had a great morning together. Baby was sweet....her very first Christmas and she was very social.

We went to Mission for Christmas dinner. Here is the "kid table." Hard to believe that our youngest kid is already 17. They teased Miracle #4 about not sitting with them this year....lol

More of the family

And still more.....it was a wonderful dinner. Hubby's sister really outdid herself and their Mom left a wonderful legacy. We did a toast to remember her and we all felt her presence.

Pat made these absolutely delectable cream cheese pops for dessert to go with Hubby's Cherry Berries. Tammy made Grandma's special bean casserole and it was a night filled with laughter and love......and many many wonderful memories. I really do have the greatest family......and I love them all very, very much.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Makin' a list......

......and checking it twice. In my case, probably three or four times......just because I am hyper-thyroid right now. I am soooooooo forgetful, a bit of a space case actually. I am definitely staying home today as I don't need to be out and about in traffic with all the other crazy people. They are all stressed. I'm actually not. I am an airhead, but I have pretty much accomplished everything that needs to be done. The things that I haven't done are things that really can wait until after Christmas. I keep having to remind myself that it is a season, not just one day. I figure we can still celebrate right into the New Year.

Miracle #4 and I went to buy new lights at Rona this morning and we were two of about twenty people who were in the store. The salesclerk was very helpful to us as we chose new lights for his bedroom and I also got some new hallway lights because they were on sale. My house is slowly starting to get put back together. One out of the eight rooms that were affected by 'the plumbing leak of 2010' is done. Only seven more to go! Hubby has been cleaning walls all morning. (and he started to make dessert for dinner tomorrow night as well......he offered to bring Cherry Berries on a Cloud and I figured that if he offered, then he could make it. It's easy, just time consuming) And he has also been pulling out paintcans and trying to match up colours. Right now, he and #4 are replacing the lights and we are waiting for Baby and her family to come and pick up some presents that they need before tonight or tomorrow. #2 said that they were going to go grocery shopping first and then pop by.

We were planning to be home most of today as we were waiting for my dryer repairman to come. He came and I am $162 poorer, but I finally have my dryer back after almost 3 weeks. During all of our drywalling and plumbing issues, my poor dryer had been moved back and forth so many times that Hubby figured that once all of the workmen were finished, then we would deal with it as it could be as simple as vacuuming out the drywall dust. NOT. He finally gave me permission to phone a repairman on Wednesday as he couldn't get it going. I remembered on Thursday.....you have to be patient with me right now as I am soooooo forgetful and airheaded, so unless I needed to use the dryer I will forget that it doesn't work.......and Whirlpool was so awesome and they sent out a very nice man who has made me extremely happy. Merry Christmas to me!!! I actually had access to a dryer across the street as our friends went to Maui for 3 weeks and left us the key to their house. He phoned from Hawaii a few weeks back and told me to use their dryer as often as I like........so I did! I even used it last night after they came home because I am weird about my laundry and I love doing it. I find it therapeutic......and I love folding it straight out of the dryer, it's so warm and lovely and soft. And I actually do a lot of laundry because I live in a daycare and children are messy and so am I......especially this week with all of our baking, gluing and painting. Anyway, my dryer is fixed and it really doesn't take much to make me happy!!

I am also very happy because I am not working today......or for that matter, for the next ten days. Hubby is off for the next nine. We have sooooooo much work to do to put our house back together, and it will be so nice to be able to get it done. I think I am going to learn how to paint, as up until now, I have always been the person who just gets out of the way. I am rather particular about it, and I don't enjoy it. Well, we got a quote of $500 to do three rooms professionally and we simply don't have that kind of cash flow right now. Every time we turn around, we are spending money that we weren't expecting to have to spend. Like over $600 for Hubby's new glasses that broke, $580 for the spraytek guys, and I am not even going to mention all the times we have been to Rona in the last few weeks spending anywhere from $50 to $100 on paint and lights and various supplies. Everytime someone asks me what I want for Christmas, I tell them cash. I know it sounds impersonal but even the naturapath visits and cold laser treatments are adding up. (Although we will get some of that back on extended health, but it still has to be put out before we can get it back) It's been a very, very expensive few months.

It's Christmas Eve. I like how someone said that yesterday was Christmas Adam....because Adam came before Eve. Cute, hey? I love how my friends are so witty. We are very lowkey today and we will go to to Christmas Eve service tonight and over to friend's later on. I am not entertaining at all. As a matter of fact, I have told everyone that my front door is now closed and locked. We have too much work to do. I am not cooking and I am not cleaning up. I plan on doing an incredible lot of sleeping and relaxing. Enjoying my loved ones......but by doing that, I am going to go to them.....they aren't coming here as I think that if anyone does come, they will get handed a paintbrush. I have had several friends offer to help and I think that we will still be social, but we will be painting. I have a couple of dinners, breakfasts and lunches to attend, as well as an Open House and a skating party. Hubby and I have Giants tickets for Monday night and people have invited us to several parties/celebrations that we are probably going to decline. I am not in the party mood. I have way too many things going on in my life that need to be dealt with. Some of them aren't all that pleasant. Some of them are. I was accused by my father today that I need to be in the Psych ward. (By the way, I really don't....I am just way too emotional because I am hyper-thyroid. I am under a Dr's care and my naturapath has given me some Kavinace to help me sleep.....and it is working) I actually like the Psych Ward.....they are very nice there. I visit a lot of people in the hospital and it's one of the few places that I really don't mind. The patients are very needy, but I enjoy talking to them. Mental health is so mysterious. Did you know that 1% of the population are mentally ill and never seek treatment? They just go through life as difficult people. I seem to know a lot of those people and I find them very toxic to me and my lifestyle. I only see them when I am emotionally strong enough to handle them. I am not very strong emotionally right now.....I have very tender feelings and I have the most wonderful husband in the whole world to help me through. Not to mention my wonderful children and my wonderful friends who are phenomenal as well. Thanks for all your prayers, they really are working!!! I feel very, very loved and cared for.........This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. 1 John 4:9. And He also sent a lot of people who bring me joy.....Merry Christmas Everyone......I love you all. More than you ever can know!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

More Christmas Fun!

We had some friends over for dinner last night. The children were so excited to exchange gifts and see one other. O squealed with delight when her Mom told her that they were coming to see us. I love her so much!!

Toddler had his turn, and now it is O's turn.

Baby's turn.

She was very interested, but looking hesitant.

I think that Daddy likes it! It's Weebles, in case anyone was wondering....

O's turn again!

She loved all of her gifts!

On Sunday, my friend dropped off these gingerbread houses for us to do. She made them from scratch and it used to be a yearly tradition to go over to her house and decorate them with 20 or so other people. Her children have all moved away now and she doesn't do the big party any more, but when I asked her in November if she would make me a couple for the grandchildren, she was more than accommodating. Ummmm......did you notice that there aren't any grandchildren in this picture? LOL

Oh, there is one. He was way more interested in eating the candy than making the house. It was a very fun activity for the miracles to do, and they all really enjoyed it. Christmas brings out the kid in all of us!!

At seven years old, she was having the most fun of all!!

Although Toddler was a close second...."Good job, Mommy!"

Miracle #4 participated the most in Daycare activities and he was the one who went to the most gingerbread parties as a teenager because he was our youngest. He was pretty excited to find out that we were continuing with a tradition.....even though it was at our house instead. My children are all very creative......not a trait that they received from their Mom.

Even at 29, he tells me it was his second time decorating this year!

Another present!!

Even though she wasn't quite sure what it was at first, she and her Mom were very excited. They have just come back from their fourth trip to Disneyland, and are very pleased to have somewhere to put their memories.

And at the end of the evening, Toddler and his Mommy read some stories.....I really do think he would do this all day if we were able to. This is a little boy who LOVES books!!

He is so expressive. When he was leaving last night, he looked up at the sky and said with quite concern....."Oh no, the moon is flying away!" The clouds were moving, the moon was not.....but through the eyes of an almost three year old, that is what he saw. Oh, how he makes me smile!! (and I know that this is totally off topic, but he received two of his two year molars last week, both on his left side....woohoo, only two more to go until he is six!!)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Candid shots from last night

This is when Santa was coming in from the golf course. He rides a golf cart, all covered in Christmas lights and all the children line up along the window to await his arrival. It's very magical and they are so excited!! Our two year olds were pretty cute....they didn't even understand what all the fuss was about, but they knew that Santa was coming!

Toddler was so excited to see Santa.....we have no idea when this all transpired as three weeks ago, he was afraid. They are having a nice little chat.....note his little fingers holding onto Santa.

The teenagers are just as thrilled to see him as the little ones. They just don't ever want to admit it!! Like Stacy says, "If you don't believe, then you don't receive!"

Jade was so cute!! She was so excited to see Toddler and here she is, just staring at me as I don't think she could believe it! We are quite attached, her and I!

Jade wouldn't look, she was too smitten with her friend! They truly love one another, those two!! He will often tell me that Jade isn't his friend, she is his sister.

Chase loves Santa too!

The children all received a present from Santa. Our two year olds got some little cars, which they both adored. Here is Toddler, getting some help to get them open. It was such a fun evening!