Saturday, December 5, 2009

December Daily...Christmas Trivia...

Best Childhood Memories:By far my dearest Christmas memories involve me lying in my bed, without rustling the sheets, gazing at the ceiling listening for the bells of Santa's sleigh! Without exception, I would doze off, after what seemed like hours and hours of silence! I would awake suddenly and bolt out of my bed and down the hall...and each year, to my surprise, Santa had filled the stockings on our sofa. The rule in our house was...we could get up as early as we wanted and we could open our stockings. Each year I would find a colouring book with new crayons and a Christmas orange nestled in the toe of my sock. When mom would wake she would get the turkey in the oven and as she worked, I knelt by the chair in the kitchen and coloured in my new book. This is one of Ava's favourite stories to hear at bedtime! Running a close second would be the handing-out of the gifts! Dad would sit in front of the tree, we would all sit in a circle around the living room, and he would distribute the gifts...being careful to ensure that everyone had one! Best Childhood gift from in my closet to this day! He brought me a Strawberry Shortcake house with a merry-go-'round - and the best part...Strawberry Shortcake, Angel Cake and Gingersnap dolls that smell!!
Favorite Christmas Cookie: Oh, so many to choose from! I think my favourite is probably peanut-butter balls. But, then there are the gingersnaps, and gingerbread babies, and caramel-pecan thumb-print cookies...fudge ecstasies and my mom's shortbread, and of course the poppy cock. Too yummy to choose one favourite! Christmas cookies have a whole new meaning for girls are big enough to make cookies on their own (almost!) my favourites are the ones they make of course!!
Icky Christmas Memory: My sister's family had the stomach flu and because I had no children yet, I volunteered to take care of them! I washed my hands until they were almost raw...but to no avail! On December 23rd, I was making truffles when a strange wave washed over my body and I felt instantly ill! I couldn't finish the truffles...and spent the next day in bed. To this day, I cannot bare the thought of eating a truffle. Boo! It's not Christmas without: Christmas concerts, cookie exchanges, family and laughter.
Christmas Pet Peeve...that people feel the need to compete with each other. Christmas is about the joy of giving and teaching my children to be generous...
Our Church Service: Long ago, Midnight mass was a big part of Christmas for me...but in recent years it has become less so.
My Favorite Christmas CD: By far my favourite is the soundtrack from The Island of the Misfit Toys featuring Burl Ives. A recent favourite is a winter compilation I purchased at Starbucks last features such groups as The Beach Boys!
Real or Fake: Real and fake! Our main tree in our living room is real...but the kids each have a 'fake' tree in their rooms and we have a couple others around the house.
I spend Christmas Baba and Gido's surrounded by the heat of the fire, the family and delicious home-made Ukrainian food! Much to the chagrin of at least one of my children, Santa visits and distributes the gifts that his elves have made especially for each of Baba and Gido's grandchildren! That chaos is followed by the kids gift exchange! The children play with their new toys and the adults share some 'cheer'!

his post was inspired by the lovely & talented Angie over at echoes of laughter.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Hallow's Eve...

...seems to be a season in our house! It begins sometime after we settle into the back-to-school routine and ends promptly on 11-01 and so today marks the end of this season. As I look back over the last weeks I'm fondly reminded of all the little moments that add up to memories the kids will one day share with their own little witches and goblins!
Each little nook and cranny of our little home is adorned with something festive or fiendish. Pumpkins grace cake stands and sit atop wicker baskets, pumpkin-people hide within the berries of the my wreaths and pumpkin-spice candles fill the air with their spicy scent. The rich fall colours make the house feel cozy and warm, almost daring winter to set in! Ava enjoying a Halloween craft in her play nook - with her little friend tucked under her arm!

The kids made Halloween bracelets-a-plenty and served up some devilish dinners in their play nook.

As always, Halloween extended beyond the walls of our home and into the school-lives of the kids. My kids signed me up to make cupcakes for their class Halloween events...I took it upon myself to interpret the word cupcakes to mean 'cake pops' - a special thanks to Bakerella for the ideas and perfect instructions and tips! The results were...well, you be the judge...

These two-eyed purple people eaters and their one-eyed friends were my favourite!

The treats were certainly a hit...and if you've ever visited bakerella's blog you know that the possibilities are endless...I think there may be some winter cake pops in our future!

I love when Halloween falls on a weekend...the mood is so much more relaxed and so tasks like carving jack-o-lanterns can be savoured and enjoyed. Elle and Ava rolled up their sleeves and set to work...Kieran to this day, has not touched the inside of a pumpkin!
The results were as individual as each of my kids!
Elle's ghoulish gal...

Kieran's scary squash...

Ava's grinning gourd.

Halloween Day is the grande-finale! This year the kids celebrated by inviting friends and cousins to go trick-or-treating around our neighbourhood...they had a spooktacular time! The dads braved the cool weather and the mom's chit-chatted around the kitchen table. What a nice way to celebrate the end of the season. Kieran...still costumeless two days before the big event...pulled it all together in a hurry! He makes a fiend-looking vampire if I do say so myself! Perhaps he could 'brush' up a little on the dental hygiene!
Ready to set out...pillow cases in tow!

And so marks the end of the Halloween season...and brings forth the beginning of the Christmas far my favourite time of the year!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Clothes make a statement...

...Costumes tell a story. ~Mason Cooley

In previous posts I've mentioned that Ragelly is the sixth member of our family and have given photographic proof! Earlier this month, Kieran and I ventured out in search of a Star Wars costume for the big day. Much to his disappointment we came home empty-handed. Well, almost empty handed! In his search, Kieran came across what he described as "the perfect costume for Ava." I have to agree...what do you think?
This costume tells a story indeed! One day, it will be carefully boxed and tucked away along with beloved day, a long time from now!

Many nights over the past few weeks, as I lay with Elle before she travels off to dreamland, we've 'discussed' possible costumes for her. Witch? No! Even if the skirt lights up? No! Princess? Definitely not! Butterfly? No! Hannah Montana? No! A boy? No! A baby? No! A ringette player? No! A Cowgirl?...Well, Elle, a cowgirl? Yes! That's it...a cowgirl! At long last, we have a decision!
This picture tells the story of a little girl who likes to be known as anything but a 'girl'...except maybe a COWGIRL!

With one week to go...Kieran remains costumeless...but it will come, I know it will. I foresee a few 'discussions' with him as he falls off to la-la-land...A Jedi? Maybe! A Clone Trooper? No! A girl? No! A hockey player? No! A mummy? Maybe? Scream? Not again! Hmmm...what story will he tell? Only time will tell!
Enjoying a night out at Hole's Pumpkin Patch.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What are you thankful for?

One of the most important things to me is that my children grow to become kind, compassionate, caring people who are thankful for the life they have. So far we're doing okay! There are days that the kind, compassionate, caring kids that I know and love are hiding somewhere out of sight and they are replaced by children that make me want to run screaming into the hills...but I'm thankful that those days are few! And on those few days, I'm thankful that I have three healthy children with the spunk to stand up for themselves...even if it means driving their mommy mad!

Even when I have to pick up adult male socks (and we know there is only ONE of those in this house!!) that have been so carefully placed NEXT to the laundry basket...I am thankful that I have said adult male to leave those socks lying around! I'm thankful too that I have been with him for more than half of my life...thankful that he has helped me become who I am...thankful for the life we have. Oh...and I'm thankful for little bare bums that triumphantly sneak into mom and dad photos!
I'm thankful for conversations with Ava about who she will marry and how she will build her house when she's older (she doesn't know how to build a house you know!!) I'm thankful when she agrees that it is for the best then, that she stays with her mom and dad forever! I'm thankful for the questions she asks...Why can't she marry her cousin? How do you find a you go knocking on doors until you find someone you like? I'm thankful for her help in the kitchen.
I'm thankful for Elle's perseverance...those spelling words are no match for her tenacity! I'm thankful for the opportunity to cheer her on during ringette games. I'm thankful for the music she makes on the piano. I'm thankful for the stories we read together...that Junie B. Jones is a ham! I'm thankful for the times I listen to her read and can see that she's really getting the hang of it. I'm thankful for our cooking-together times.
I'm thankful for Mother's Day poems that arrive by mail and that Kieran thinks I'm as patient as a boa constrictor waiting for its next meal and as young as Sidney Crosby! I'm thankful for 7 am hockey games and Starbucks coffee to keep me warm! I'm thankful for his wit and quiet confidence! I'm thankful for the chance to see the Kinex structures he creates. I'm thankful for his love of reading.
I'm thankful for the roof over our heads, family dinners, and for warm baths after cool runs. I'm thankful for homemade soup, fresh bread, hot coffee, cozy homemade quilts. I'm thankful for family, for friends. I'm thankful for the opportunity to teach. I'm thankful.

These are a few of my favourite things...

We don't have the fanciest house in our neighbourhood, in fact, we don't live in a fancy neighbourhood at all! But, each time I turn the corner and drive towards down our street, I know I am home.
It's our little bungalow! It's where we brought Kieran when he was six months old; it's where we brought the girls home from the hospital. We celebrate the beginning and ending of school years here; the first snowfall, the first spring blooms, the falling leaves and the hot summer days. It's where we lug hockey and ringette equipment up and down the stairs. It's where we eat dinner together, watch movies together, enjoy each other...together. It's where we rush out the door in the morning and march back in at the end of the day. It's where we celebrate 100% on dictee tests and where we cry over scraped knees. It's where we celebrate birthdays, mother's day, father's day. It's where Santa visits, where the Tooth Fairy visits. It's where we adorn the walls with pictures of our children...the most cherished of art! It's where we hang artwork created by little hands, where we hang our hats. It is our home! These are a few of my favourite things...
Our Family Room
The kiddies made the plaques on the left at the local art gallery.

Antique Plates from my mom grace both sides of the window.
When Joel purchased our antique piano without me having seen it, he said if nothing else, it's a beautiful piece of furniture! He was right...and it plays beautiful music at the hands of our beautiful little girl!

One of my favourite places in the house is Elle's room. She recently moved in to her own room when her brother declared that he was moving downstairs! She was ecstatic!! Finally, out of the pink-zone and into her own zone! She loves light blue, so when I found this chair on a treasure-hunting expedition, I couldn't pass it up! It's a perfect bedside table for Elle!
This is what I found at the foot of Elle's bed when I went to tuck her in...all ready to go for the first Halloween party of the season! Giddy-up;)

My favourite part of Elle's room?
...the compassionate go-getter snuggled tight in her quilt!

Ava's room in a nutshell? Pinkalicious! And my favourite part of her room?
...the little girl fast asleep with her "Ragells" tucked safely under her arm of course!

Kieran's room is anything but pinkalicious! It's refined, and masculine and full of his favourite things.
And my favourite part of his room?
You guessed it...the young man wrapped tight in his quilt Baba made especially for him!

So there it is...our home! It's a work in progress, but it's our work in progress! It's a labour of love! It's OUR HOME and it's full of a few of my favourite things!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Adventures of 'Ragelly'...

Wow! Two posts in one day...I'm on fire!
I vowed earlier today to prove that Ava's beloved Ragells...Ragelly...Ragelly her what you indeed the 6th member of our family! I present to you...the photographic proof!
She's with us for birthdays, trips to Baba's and Gido's, trips to the farm, first days of school, every day of school, Christmas, snuggle time, bath time, picture time. She's there for doctor's appointments, dentist appointments, flu shots and scraped knees.
She comes boating with us, shopping with us, skiing with us...and for coffee with us! She's camped with us and travelled to Hawaii with us...she is part of our family!