Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Big boy" bed

No more crib - Emmett got his "big boy" bed today. Hopefully he doesn't fall out, it's a long way down!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

One more Christmas gathering...

...and we can't wait for the food!!!!

Just kidding - we were doing "shrinky dinks" with the kids after supper and they loved watching them shrink (it is pretty cool). 

Saturday, December 28, 2013


A glimpse at our Christmas...

Emmett's first time on his skates, at our family gathering on Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning, putting the star on the top of the tree.

Opening presents at home - can you guess what Emmett got? ;)

Christmas brunch at my parents' place.

Getting ready to open presents at my in-laws' place.

Carey's dad built this awesome workbench for Emmett.

Hard at work decorating a gingerbread train.

Toys for kids, both big and small. :)

We had a great Christmas, and it wasn't even too busy.  In the past it's felt like just "go go go", but this year we've had a little more time to relax and play, which is nice.  Hope you all had a merry Christmas too!

Sunday, December 22, 2013


This morning in church my parents did the advent reading and the kids helped lighting the candles (and they didn't burn the church down!).

Then this evening we continued our tradition of going to see the Winter Wonderland lights display.  We've gone every year since Emmett was born, and the kids love it.  Annika's favorite part was the hearts, and Emmett liked the train.  I liked the mini-donuts. ;)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A crafty day

I took advantage of a burst of "crafty" energy today - and did some knitting and even sewing!  I haven't sewed for a long time, since it always seems like such a hassle to get my machine set up, etc (although it's not really).  Carey took the kids out for the morning, so I took advantage of the free time to sew a skirt for Annika.  I had the pattern and material on hand, and Annika was in need of a new skirt (hers keep getting shorter and shorter!!), so I whipped up this baby.

It's a little big on her, so hopefully it will fit for a while.  I left lots of extra material in the hem, so I can lengthen it as she grows.

As for knitting, I've been doing a lot of it lately.  I love that it's so easy to just pick up and do a few rows whenever I have a few minutes (or an hour or two, like this morning when I woke up at 5 and couldn't get back to sleep!).  This project was supposed to be boot cuffs, but even though I followed the pattern exactly, it turned out way too big for my legs (which I was afraid would happen even while I was knitting, as several people had commented that they turned out way too big).  However, it's the perfect size for a headwrap/earwarmer for Annika!  I was disappointed that the boot cuffs didn't work out, but I have to admit - it actually looks really good on her.  I guess I'll have to give the boot cuffs another try next time.

Friday, December 20, 2013

An early Christmas present

Annika made this for me in school (candle holder? candy jar??) and she even wrapped it all up in tissue paper. However she was so excited to give it to me that she insisted I open it today, instead of waiting for Christmas. I love that she felt like that, as that's often how I feel when I have a gift for someone - I just can't wait to see them open it!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

An awesome day

Today was Emmett's preschool Christmas concert in the morning, and I planned a little surprise for the kids afterwards.  I kept Annika home from school, and after the concert we went for brunch at the Pancake House and then to the Children's Museum!  I wanted to take them to the museum now around Christmas, because right now they have on display these "fairytale vignettes" - little dioramas depicting scenes from various fairy tales and nursery rhymes - and I remember going to see them at Christmastime when I was a little kid (back when they were in the Eaton's building downtown and at the end of the line was Santa Claus).

First up was the concert - all 10 minutes of it!!  Last year they had crammed several preschool classes together in the church for one combined concert, and it was just a gong show.  This year, it was just Emmett's class, so there weren't nearly as many kids on stage (or family members in the audience), so it didn't take long for them to get organized and sing their 5 little songs.  Emmett had a little trouble at the start of the concert - he didn't get a bell when the teachers were handing out the jingle bells, and he waited and waited very patiently for one, and then started to cry when he realized they were starting the song and he still didn't have one.  Thankfully, they gave him some bells and he was okay to stay up there, but he wasn't overly enthusiastic (although I'm not sure he would've been anyways).  He was all smiles afterwards, though, when they were handing out the treat bags. ;)

Then we went for brunch.  The kids both got these great "snowman" pancakes - 3 pancakes with sausage arms, chocolate chip eyes, strawberry nose and mouth, smarties buttons, and whipped cream and sprinkles "snow".  And, of course, a candy cane. ;)  I didn't take a picture of my meal, but it was pretty great too - maple bacon waffles.  Waffles covered with a maple sauce and topped with crumbled up bacon.  Yum.

On to the museum!  First up, everyone's favorite - the big slide.

The "pin" wall (anyone have a better name for it??).

The fairytale vignettes.  

The kids were pretty hyped up at this point, so they didn't spend a lot of time looking at these, but they did press all the buttons to see the movement in each one (somehow I remember them being more impressive when I was little....).  When I was young, these were lined up in a hallway (or something like that) that led to Santa Claus, and so I remember it taking quite a while to go through them, and we would read the little story with each one, however, with the way they are set up now, the kids just ran around the room and didn't really want to stop to listen to the stories.

...Which was actually okay with some of them, as some of these stories are quite morbid.  Anyone familiar with the Little Match Girl?  She ends up dead and frozen in the cold.  Yikes!

Climbing in the "lasagna".

The art center.  Emmett was in his glory, using all the glue he wanted.

And the inevitable crash on the drive home.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Sunday school Christmas program

Yesterday evening was the Christmas program at our church.  Before going, I wanted the kids to pose by their little tree for some pictures in their Christmas outfits.  And this happened...

 So we tried it by the tree and the Little People nativity set.  Much better.

Annika was very excited that she got to be an angel this year.  She had one line that she said with the other angels ("glory to God in the highest...").

I didn't get any pictures of Emmett and his class because I was up on stage with them (I'm one of the teachers for his class).  The kids did really well though.

I did get one shot of them both on stage.  This was them doing the songs they learned in "children's church" (Emmett just stood there, but I don't really care - there are a lot worse things he could've been doing!).

It was a good program, and I'm glad that the kids get the opportunity to tell the true Christmas story, especially now as Annika is in public school and just has a "winter" concert.  Now two programs done and one more to go.  Emmett has his preschool program on Wednesday.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas pancakes

These have a become a tradition at our place. The pan is kind of finicky and half the time they get a little burnt, but the kids really love them. I love that they've become a tradition for us. When we were first married, and even the first year or two with Annika, we didn't really have any traditions that were our own (just traditions with our families, etc). Over the past few years we've been accumulating our own traditions and it makes Christmas feel a little more special.

Friday, December 13, 2013

More gingerbread houses

I had the opportunity to help out in Annika's class again today - this time I helped them with making gingerbread (well, graham cracker) houses.  They did them together with the grade 3/4 class.  One thing that I really appreciate about the school is the way they have the students of different ages interacting with each other.  The kindergarten students have grade 4/5 "book buddies", who spend time reading with them, and they also have students from the grade 3/4 class come and help out in their classroom regularly.  This picture was getting things all set up.

Unfortunately, I was too busy (and covered in icing) to get a shot of everyone decorating their houses, but here's one of Annika and her house.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winter concert

Tonight was Annika's school winter concert. The theme was "the Olympics" - there was absolutely no mention of any holidays at all, which I find a bit disappointing. However, the kids all did great and I left feeling very patriotic. ;) We were almost at the back so I couldn't really get a good picture, but here is one anyways (Annika is in the middle - red dress and white sweater). They did their song together with their grade 4/5 "book buddies."

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I think he will fit in quite well at the Christmas gatherings this year.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A visit with Santa

Today was our annual visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus at Y Neighbours.  Emmett wasn't overly excited about it, but he also didn't cry, so that's a plus.  We don't "do" Santa at our house, partly due to the fact that Annika was terrified of him when she was little, so I figured, why push it?  We've never been to see Santa at the mall - this is the extent of the kids' "Santa exposure."  It's a little tricky now, though, because Annika knows that Santa isn't real, but I've told her that she can't say that at school, because there are other kids that believe in him.  Fingers crossed that she doesn't wreck anyone's Christmas this year.

All the excitement of the morning (plus an on-going cold) must've really tuckered Emmett out, because he crawled into bed and fell asleep during quiet time - something he's never done before!  Poor little guy has such a runny nose, and he doesn't know how to blow it, so he just keeps wiping snot onto his face and his skin gets all irritated.  All afternoon and evening, all I heard was "I need a teenex (kleenex)" or "I need yotion (lotion)".  Hopefully he's feeling better by tomorrow - I need him to go to preschool so I can finish off a few more Christmas errands! ;)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gingerbread houses

Just a few of the masterpieces done today at our annual family gingerbread house decorating event.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Dear coconut cream balls...

Why do you have to be so delicious, yet such a giant pain in the butt to make?? So worth it though.... drool...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Read me a story?"

We spent the afternoon rediscovering our collection of Christmas books.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Today's miracle

You may recall earlier in November I hosted a jewellery party, and used my hostess credit towards a custom piece.  I received my "tree of life" pendant, lovingly handmade with our family birthstones, on Sunday.  I put it on this morning for the second time.  Isn't it gorgeous?

Around 2:00pm today, I realized I was no longer wearing it.  My heart dropped.  I shuddered to think of all the places I had been since putting it on this morning - Annika's school, church, ALL OVER the mall.  Even trying to find something lost in our own house is a challenge - how would I go about looking for this??  Well, before panicking too much, I decided to check the hoodie that I had been wearing this morning.  And can you believe, nestled safely in the inside pocket (probably meant for a cellphone or something) was my precious necklace?  Of all the places it could've been, it was right there.  Truly a miracle.  Maybe a small, ordinary miracle, but a miracle no less.  I said a prayer of thanks right then and there.  

Have you had an ordinary miracle lately?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy birthday Emmett

Today is Emmett's third birthday!!  I can't believe he's 3 already, and yet, I can't believe he's only 3 (I think I feel that way on each of my kids' birthdays!).

I love this little boy so much.  I couldn't imagine our family without that impish little smile.  And so, in honor of Emmett's birthday, here's a look back at his past year and a few of the more memorable events.

December 2012 -  Emmett helps out with making Christmas decorations.
January 2013 - Emmett goes skating and to the dentist for the first time.
February 2013 - Emmett's first trip to the hospital for 3 stitches.
March 2013 - A trip to Phoenix and Emmett's first time at the movies.
April 2013 - Emmett helps Annika and I celebrate our birthdays, and even gets a little present of his own.
May 2013 - Emmett models his favorite sweater for me, and we go for a family one-night getaway to Grand Forks.
June 2013 - Big step! Emmett learns to use the potty!!
July 2013 - Emmett meets his cousin for the first time.
August 2013 - Emmett explores future employment opportunities - dentist or electrician?
September 2013 - Emmett gets a new friend and starts preschool.
October 2013 - Emmett dresses up as his favorite TV show character.
November 2013 - Another big step - we change Emmett's crib into a "big boy" bed and see the end of nap time.

Can't wait to see what the next year will bring!

Sunday, December 1, 2013


We had supper with our small group this evening and I brought these cupcakes, in honor of Emmett's birthday tomorrow. It's supposed to look like a bulldozer, but it doesn't look quite as good as the pic I found on Pinterest. Probably because I iced the cupcakes first and then arranged them, instead of arranging them first and then gooping them full of icing (which would've made an even bigger mess with the kids, so it's probably better I didn't do it that way!).

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Emmett's birthday party

We had Emmett's birthday party today.  We kept it pretty small, just invited one other family that are good friends of ours.  Their kids are older than ours, but they still all get along really well.  In fact, whenever we asked Emmett who he wanted to invite to his party, his first answer was their son.  We went mini-golfing and then came back to our place for supper (hot dogs - Emmett's fav) and cake. 

I didn't do a "theme" for  Emmett's party, but I thought he would get a kick out of this dirt cake in a dump truck.  I had wanted it to be a surprise for him (I bought the dump truck just for this), but it didn't quite work out that way.  He had lots of fun, though, helping me decorate the cake with gummi worms and chocolate rocks.


Not sure what's with this face.  Couldn't get a smile out of him.

Now there's a smile!

Digging in!

Emmett probably would've sat there all evening, listening to stories.

Trying out his new scooter.  Again, couldn't get a smile - but he was probably just mad at me that he had to stop scooting long enough for me to take this picture!