Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Cousin Camp 2010



One of the most important reasons I blog is to record the memories that we are making so that one day ...
they'll know how much we loved them.

Some of the toys from thirty years ago are being seen through new eyes.

The last few days we've held cousin camp at the farm.

Little Miss Muffet came for 4 hours only. . .
and then wanted her mommy.
At five months old .. .I'd say she put in a exemplary effort.
Next year. . .she'll be waving good bye and not look back with the rest of them.



Generally speaking.  ..Wednesday and Thursdays are our days to do what we please.
Farm help arrives to do the basic chores and so we often make one of the days our date day.

This week . ..
we indulged in some serious  hilarious bonding time  ..
with the wee ones.

At seventeen months old Kanneloni Macaroni  has very little to say for herself and yet says surprisingly  many things with very few words.
She did not spend all day in her jammies. ..though she wouldn't have minded one bit.
She is most often found asking for her gauze blankie which she wears as a shawl.
Her baby bassinet is over one shoulder and she busies herself rearranging decorations.



At three years old .. .the Lil' farm hand and Grandgirlie. . .
enjoy doing all the same things.

We spent several hours each day outside. . .
wandering about. . .
checking things in the barn. .
and generally working towards exhaustion for naps and good appetites for lunch.

Lunch is fresh eggs from the barn. .
of course.



Last evening when the last two left with Omi and Opa for the second leg of their Christmas holidays. .
we took our time. .
putting away the toys.
We laughed at all the antics. . .the emerging personalities. . .
and the memories that we made.


Today. . .we are getting ready for more celebrating.

Christmas is still not over. . .
we are looking forward to the next 48 hours. .
with family .. .
and good friends.

all for now. .

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

island power



If he's said it once. . .he's said it a dozen times. . "it won't do you any good if you don't plug it in."
I said. . ." I always forget. . .it's in my purse and then I forget to pull it out and charge it."
He said. . ."keep it on the island and treat it like your notebook"
I said.  ."I have no power on the island"



We ran to do a few errands that day and on the way home he stopped at the hardware store. .
and later while I was making the cheesecake for Christmas day ..
He puttered. . .on my island.

That worked out fantastic for me. .
since I love a bit of company in the kitchen.



If it all goes according to plan. . .
I won't be running out of power the next time that call comes in.

There is nothing like having ones excuses.  ..removed.



Power. . .
was my Christmas present. .

 oh bliss!

We are heading out early this morning to make a round trip to retrieve the grands for Christmas Holidays.
I'll be back. . .

all for now. .




Tuesday, December 28, 2010

house pan and chick feet




I don't have many shareable pictures of the days around our Christmas with the family.
When the hoopla is in the middle of the hoop. . .
the camera is not the first thing that is held.
I also neglected to remove the tell tale signs of smarties from the lil' farm hands face.
(am I bad?)

A week ahead of Christmas though ..
I baked up a "gingerbread house".
Sure. . .I cheated but I reasoned out if they will make a cake pan that plops out a ready made cake . . .
and you can buy a container of icing to do a child happy bit of decorating. . .
I'm . . .
in.

I was going to make one for each grand. . .
but alas. . .
the stomach flu at grandgirlies house prevented them from being hungry for "gingerbread" anything.

I think we'll make up an Easter Spring Cottage. . her and I.



Oh. . and then there was the chicken feet.
The grands all got a nice pair of fluffy chicken feet from their great Auntie Brenda.
Kanneloni Macaroni. .
could not understand our mirth.



If I can ever get the three of them to stand still in a row at one time. .
I'll be sure to take a picture of that. .
but don't hold your breath.

Other than that. . .
the Christmas tree was de-ornamented yesterday.
I am not one of those that likes to have Christmas over the day after. . .
but we needed to move some decor for our New Years Day Party. .
and so it lives to see another day. . .
in the shop.

What about you. . ..decorations up. . .or down?

all for now. .




Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas light tour



We did our annual drive to go look at local Christmas lights in the rain.
We should have started at the other end of the street but you are not allowed to drive on the left side of the road in Canada.
I will never make it in film school. . . or live television for that matter.

We so enjoyed our family over Christmas. . .and I hope you made wonderful memories too.
We still have one family gathering to look forward to. .
but in the meantime. .  .
I have
half a cheesecake. .
half a chocolate trifle . .. 
and more parties to look forward to.
Christmas. . .is definitely not over at this house.

All for now. .

Friday, December 24, 2010

Oh Come Little Children . . .



So this is it then. . .
Christmas eve.

I remembered yesterday a little song that I was taught to sing for my grandparents as a little girl.
Ihr Kinderlein, kommet, o kommet doch all!
Zur Krippe her kommet in Bethlehem's Stall
und seht, was in dieser hochheiligen Nacht
der Vater im Himmel für Freude uns macht!

Oh, come, little children, oh, come, one and all,
To Bethlehem’s stable, in Bethlehem’s stall.
And see with rejoicing this glorious sight,
Our Father in heaven has sent us this night.

Christof von Shmid 1798


This is Christmas. . .
a time of rejoicing and time set aside to celebrate Christ.


I sincerely wish you all a Christmas filled with delightful moments with family and friends.
May you store up many precious memories for the days to come.

Merry Christmas . .

Thursday, December 23, 2010

revisited



I'm not going to try to pull the wool over your eyes. .
these pictures are from last year.
This year. . .the garland did not go up above the windows so I'm just going to enjoy it through pictures once more.


Yesterday  I cleaned up from the previous nights dinner party and made my list for final grocery shopping that I will do this morning.
We'll head out for early morning breakfast before we do some last of the year banking and business errands.



In the afternoon. . .
I'm going to bake a smooth vanilla cheesecake and get some appy's ready for our Christmas eve.
The turkey is thawing ever so slowly in the refrigerator.  .slowly.

These are the details that are easily seen.
Each day is a gift. . .
this whole week so special.


My heart is is full and ready to celebrate Christmas.

We wouldn't have all this. . .if it hadn't been for Jesus!

Just imagine .. . .that.



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rock of Ages



The other day I looked out my living room window to see the hillside across the road ablaze with a glow that sent me to grab my camera.
In the 16 years we've lived here I had not ever seen it quite like this.
The view is towards the north. .
the time of day was a few minutes before five and I knew that when I would turn to the south west I would see what was causing this beautiful reflection.



While I was grocery shopping yesterday ..
a dear little old lady was whistling her heart out in perfect pitch.
All through the produce section she went about selecting her Christmas dinner veggies  while whistling her clear rendition of Rock of Ages.

She was reflecting exactly what was in her heart.
I couldn't remember all the words so I came home to look them up to see what it was that was worth a solo in the store.

Rock of Ages cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save me from its guilt and power.

Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfill thy law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thous alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress:
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me Saviour, or I die!

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgement throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

A M Toplady


The Christmas music was playing in the background. . .
but she was looking ahead to Easter. .. .
realizing the true impact of Christmas.

I hadn't planned on posting this hymn on Christmas week.. .
but it seemed like a gift to myself so I thought I would share it with you too.

All for now.  .




Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sweet Dreams and full tummies too!



My friend Dorothy from Sweet Dreams (click on the link for additional Christmas pictures of the inn) emailed me sometime ago and asked if we were busy  on Friday night.
She had double booked herself to serve a dinner and had a date with her hubby Richard to see a concert.
OH ..what to do ..
what to do?

We had a dinner party arranged ourselves but our guests were delightfully flexible to rebook.
It turns out. .
she had arranged a party for us.

We would have fun regardless. .
but oh so much more fun when she invited more friends to help.

Hilda. . .Ken and Linda and my beloved and I arrived in our serving duds. . .smiles on our faces. .
and a bit of energy for the task ahead.
It turns out. . .dinner was ready and we enjoyed a preconcert dinner sample with Richard and Dorothy before Terry chauffeured them to the concert.



The menfolk did the dishes after.
They carted the dishes from the dining room to the dishwasher. .



. . ..and then stored them away for future parties.



That. . .is what friends do.
They know they can call on us in a pinch.. .
and I surely know from experience that they always ready to return the favour.



Friday, December 17, 2010

the morning wrap

Yesterday morning instead of our usual coffee and cereal we hopped in the truck and headed out for a quick bite before my 8:20 am "job".
I thought briefly that this is what it is like for commuting families that drop one off at work while the other one carries on to their work.
In our case. . . .he headed to help grandgirlie and little miss muffet put trim and baseboards in their basement.

I wandered the halls of the school until I peeked in the gym and knew I had found my spot.



The gym was full of tables of donated gently used and new gifts.
I found the rest of my small group from church and we found our tables which were already laden with gift wrap. . .scissors and tape.


The children started to arrive class by class.
Some of the volunteers helped them select for the names on their list.
They all arrived with gift tags all ready to attach to their selected items.


One by one they lined up behind the volunteers and offered their chosen gifts to be wrapped.


I smiled as little boys so often handed me a bit of jewellery for their mom's.  I always asked who the gift was for and most often. ..they would search my eyes for approval of their selection.



I wrapped two hammers and one thermos and several key chains for dads.


Oddly .. .I did not wrap any books.


The bath and body products were a big hit. . .as were candles.


What I found was that the young children have no concept of what an expensive gift might be.
They chose based purely on something that thought would make their parents happy.



If they did not recognize what an item might be for. . .
it did not get picked.


More than once I heard a child muse that they wished they could pick more than one thing for their mom.
I so wanted to tell them to go back and pick one more thing. . .
but the rules had been laid out firmly in the classroom.


I did have several sibling groups work together. . .
and stood in line watching their gift being wrapped by a younger sibling.

My friend Anneliese who is in my small group. .
was there beside me. .
smiling. .
and adding a special note of warmth and encouragement with each gift she wrapped.

Just before noon. ..
my last group of grade five girls came to my table.
They had picked their gifts with care and chatted it up with me while I wrapped.
In between they encouraged my gift wrapping efforts and left me so thankful I had signed up.

Just for the record. . .
a rocking horse can be wrapped up.

Now. . .I feel ready for Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

wrapping it up!



It is 5:55 pm on Wednesday evening as I write this.
My beloved is currently en route to the Chinese food take out to retrieve dinner.
He came in for dinner at 5:45 pm and I looked at him with the most "look at this pile of stuff all over the counter" look.
He wanted to know how come it didn't smell anything like dinner.
I moved my right arm in a wide arc to again bring his attention to the job at hand.
I asked him if he would like me to order dinner. . .
He did.

I then asked him if he could just take a quick picture before he ran out to get it.
He did.

That's just how it is some days around the farm.

Today I am going to a local elementary school to help the kids pick out some gifts from the free store that have been donated. ..and then I'll help them wrap those up.

Fun. . .fun. . .fun.




Wednesday, December 15, 2010

always kiss me goodnight!



See the look on his face?
What do you make of that?

We were recently in our local Christian Book store and had gone our separate ways to poke around.
I turned around to see him coming towards me holding this sign.

He knew. . .he just knew I would get a chuckle out of it.

We were with some good friends one evening and the conversation turned towards good night and good morning kisses.

I said. ."you get good morning kisses?"
She said. . ."oh yes.  ..every morning."
I said. . ."really?. . . I have to sometimes even ask for a good night kiss!"
She said. . ."Terry. . .that is terrible"
He looked at her with much the same look on his face that you see before you today.

She said to him. . "I'll be holding you accountable. . .I'll be asking"
I just smiled.
That is what good friends do. . .keep our husbands accountable.

Dorothy .. .this post is for you.

all for now. .

all for now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

it's all how you look at it!



My friend Hilda was telling me she was quickly sewing up some nighties for her granddaughters.
I thought.  .oh I remember how I loved the nighties and pajamas my mom sewed for me.
I wore each nightie until it was thread bare and then another one would miraculously be ready.
So little thought ever went into wondering where she found the time.

I suddenly felt inspired to sew some nighties and pajamas out of nice quality flannelette.
On the weekend I ran to the fabric store and when I had  a bit of time while making supper I cut out the lil' farm hands pajamas.



I am here to tell you that these are not upside down.
When he looks down at his jammies. .
those tractors are looking right back at him.

ha ha ha!!!

Oh well.  .we'll see what he says.

The important thing today is that I am keeping it real around here.


We'll see how these nighties work in real life.  I  have a feeling that Kanneloni Macaroni's nightie will need a big tuck in the skirt so she won't trip when she walks. 
 These first sets are practice. . that is what I kept telling myself.

I've not worn a flannelette nightie for years. .
but I came mighty close to wishing for one.



When things get crazy for you as you prepare the next few weeks. .
try to remember. .
it's all about how you look at things.

all for now ..