Christmassy stuff.

And just like that it’s been three weeks since I posted and it’s three sleeps till Christmas! As Ivy would say…oh em goodness!!!

We’ve had a fun month of Christmas concerts and visiting Santa and Christmas parties and then more Christmas concerts.

After our first attempt at Santa with the two hour line up, I knew better and planned accordingly. I dragged myself out of bed early after an evening shift the night before, we packed up and left Neil at home, and got to the store just as it opened. We were 2nd in line and I felt like the king of the world.

And Santa and Mrs.Clause, you guys. They were pure magic. Even Seth was convinced these two were the REAL ones. To be honest, they almost had me roped in. They were just the sweetest and so genuinely warm and friendly and interested in the kids. They totally had the kids convinced they remembered them from last year and when Seth told Mrs.Clause he wanted Lego for Christmas she said “I just knew it!” just like she really knew Seth and what he loves. It was just the best. I loved it so much! Plus, this picture!!! 

Oliver’s a little awkward, as usual, but still, look at all those sweet smiling faces. My heart.

The day after we saw Santa was Seth and Ben’s Christmas concert. Seriously the best. Christmas concerts at church are my favourite and this one was one of my all-time favorites. Seth even sang along this year!

Ben looked a little nervous but I think he had fun too. I didn’t take a picture of him apparently. Sorry Ben. 

After their Christmas concert we went to the Lafarge kids Christmas party. Ivy immediately ran to get her face painted. Face paint is like the spa for her. She just settles right into that chair, closes her eyes, and does not move.


She just loved her butterfly face so much.

They had a photobooth there that the kids sure had fun with.


They all got to see Santa, again. Ivy got a Shopkins set that she literally hasn’t stopped playing with since that day. Oliver got Lego that Seth assembled for him, Ben got a remote control car (which coincidentally he has been considering asking Santa for anyway!) and Seth got a gift card, so they were all pretty happy!


Do you SEE Ivy and Santa? She loooooves him.The boys school Christmas concerts were this week but I don’t have any good snaps because I was sitting at the back of the gym. Oliver had the very important role of “holding the hippopotamus butt” in his class concert. He was really proud. And cute, obviously. Ben was also pretty proud that he was one of three kids that got to play an instrument. I’ve got to say you guys, he totally nailed that triangle. It was one of those ridiculous parenting moments where you’re sitting there bursting with pride thinking “oh my goodness Ben is soooooo good at the triangle!” and even as you’re thinking it you should realize how silly it is but you don’t care! Loved it.

Last week Marissa and I went to a wreath workshop at The Forks and had the best time. Drinking and crafting with a friend is the funnest. Our wreaths turned out pretty good too.


And now we’re ready for Christmas! Besides that IKEA desk we bought for Oliver that we need to assemble still….Only three sleeps till Christmas morning- I can’t wait!

Snow Day 2!

So yeah, we actually did get two snow days in a row! The snow is crazy around here. I think it’s finally stopped sort of, for now, but yeesh, we got a lot of snow.


I shovelled half the driveway so I could go out and get some baking ingredients. It was way harder today because now the snow bank I need to throw snow on is like four feet tall. Really worked those arms.

The kids spent lots of time sledding again, and Ivy worked up the nerve to go down once. Usually she’s totally fearless about this sort of thing but she’s psyched herself out or something this winter so far.


Oliver continued to have an absolute blast, and Ben kept riding that snow skate like a champ.


It was still only -4 today so it was a really nice morning to play outside.


The snow kept getting caught in Oliver’s long eyelashes but I had the hardest time trying to get him to stay still for a picture.


We came in for baked oatmeal, some housework (I cleaned out the junk drawer!!), a movie, and some baking. Today we made butter tarts, salted caramel chocolate fudge, and homemade caramels. The caramels were super easy to make but I should have used parchment paper instead of no name wax paper because it really stuck. A little extra work but they turned out really cute at least.


The kids got their Lego Club magazines in the mail and those kept them quiet for ages.


I got Christmas cards addressed, stamped, AND mailed today!


Feeling extra efficient today!

Babies are already asleep and I’m helping Seth and Ben decide what they’re going to ask Santa for. They’re drawing a blank on their wish lists so far, which is making it a little tricky for me to finish up my shopping. Hopefully we can figure something out tonight. 😉

A quilt.

My friend’s sweet little 2nd grader received a very shocking and serious diagnosis a couple of weeks ago. It’s always hard when someone is sick, but when it’s a kid, it’s pretty horrible. Neil and I wanted to do something to let her know we were thinking about her and praying very hard for her complete healing.

I decided to make a cozy quilt.

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I didn’t use a pattern, and didn’t measure much, so the quilt top came together really quickly. I pulled my favorite girly prints and colors for it. I wish I had more of the mermaid print- it’s so darling and I have no idea why I didn’t save way more of it!! I used the quilt-as-you-go method and quilted each block as soon as I made it, so when they were all done I just pieced them together and stitched in the ditch to quilt the backing. I used minky for the back, which is so soft and cozy, but was kind of a beast. I wish I had pulled the backing tighter when making the quilt sandwich because it definitely sagged a little bit. Oh well, live and learn. I haven’t made a perfect quilt yet, and they’re all well used and well loved so I think it’s okay.

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Alissa’s feet!

I used black polka dots for the binding. Black and white bindings are my favorite! They just make me happy.

This quilt only took me a few days start to finish, and I’m so happy with it. I added a little quilt label that I made using a fabric marker. I’m trying to make sure all my quilts get a label now. I have a few older ones I at least want to sign and date too (if I can remember when I made them). I like embroidered labels too but I didn’t have the time (or the thread) for that this time.

I can’t wait to buy a better sewing machine so I can quilt better and more efficiently, but for now I’m happy with my imperfect quilts. I know that Lily will have lots of cozy times with her quilt. She’s going to be just fine, thankfully, and I hope this quilt will bring her comfort for many many years to come!

The REAL snow day.

I know I called Sunday a snow day but today was the real snow day. Like so.much.snow day. 

The weather guys were forecasting lots of snow and wind and they were right. The kids were convinced it would be a snow day and they were right too. I was pretty happy about it because I worked yesterday evening and didn’t crawl into bed till 12:45. This morning I checked my voicemail, heard school was cancelled, called Seth into my room and recruited him to take care of the kids and put on video games, and went right back to bed. Such a treat! 

I woke up to a snowy blowy winter wonderland. After I had a cup of coffee we headed outside, minus Oliver who wasn’t in the mood. 

In the backyard there was some shelter from the wind, and because it was only -4, it actually felt really nice out. We set to work building a sled run right away. The kids played on it so much today-hopefully it will last us all winter.

We came in for hot chocolate and lunch, watched a movie and baked gingersnaps, then went back out. I shovelled part of the driveway and Seth helped because he was being a jerk to his brothers and I made him. He did a pretty good job, maybe because he was so furious with me.  Ivy snuck inside and put herself for a nap while I shovelled.


It was like waking the dead. Once I finally convinced her to wake up, I put myself for a nap.

While I cooked supper the kids went out to play again, and then after supper they spent another hour sledding, and the big kids just came in again now- they were helping Neil shovel the driveway for the second time in three hours.


I don’t know how much snow we got but it’s supposed to keep on coming all night and all day tomorrow. I wouldn’t mind another snow day- it felt like a really nice weekend day today, minus Neil, who had to go to work and deal with concrete mixers getting stuck in the snow and tipping over and wrecking their barrels. I had a way better day than him, for sure.

We’re just getting everyone off to bed now, and we still have a couple hours to spend together. I’m sitting on the couch blogging on my phone by the glowing lights of our Christmas tree, and I’m gonna read some more Harry Potter when I’m done here, probably while Neil watches the hockey game. It feels  it’s been a pretty perfect day!

Snow day.

It has been such an amazing winter so far. Yes, it’s early days still, but it’s been great. The weather has been so mild- I don’t think we’ve had hardly a day below zero so far. It’s snowed a few times in the last week and each time the snow has been perfect for snowman making.

Yesterday we had Oliver and Ivy’s Christmas concert at church in the morning. One of my favorite Sundays of the year, obviously. Ivy is pretty enthusiastic about it. Oliver participates as minimally as possible, but that’s okay.

I snapped a picture of the two of them together after the dress rehearsal last week.

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Too precious. Oliver is clearly trying to keep his body as far away from Ivy as possible while still obliging my request for a picture.

Anyway after church yesterday we stopped in at Costco for passport pictures and some “lunch”. I thought it was relatively painless for weekend shopping but by the time we left 20 minutes later Neil looked like he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Next up on my list was photos with Santa. We were going to go to either Fort Whyte or Shelmerdine’s. Unfortunately I left Oliver’s boots at church, and Neil didn’t even wear boots, and it was snowing/raining heavily enough that a couple hours in the woods wasn’t going to be smart. So we went to Shelmerdines. As soon as we walked in I knew Neil was gonna lose it. There were so many people. And so many people’s dogs. And the dogs were barking. Neil started getting twitchy almost immediately. When they told us it was an hour and 45 minute wait, we were out of there. We’ll try again first thing Saturday morning and leave Neil at home.

Anyway home we went, where we bundled up and went outside to play in the snow. I even went out! I don’t usually go outside to play in the winter but I wanted to help the kids make some snowmen and  a fort, and the weather was so mild that I figured why not. I had a lot of fun with the kids and we were very successful in our snowman building.

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I had a little snowman paint kit that had been sitting in the house for two solid years that I did pull out yesterday. That’s why some of the snowmen look like something out of a horror movie. Oh well, kids had fun. Ben’s basically a brand rep for Vans these days…

We made a pretty good sized fort too. It could have been bigger but Oliver and I seemed to be the only ones working on building the walls while Seth just carved all the big snowballs into toilets. I eventually had to call a ban on snow toilets.

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Our whole front yard is covered in random colors from that snow paint stuff.

We stayed outside for a good hour or so, came inside for some hot chocolate and video games, and then went back out and built an even bigger fort in the back yard. It’s pretty awesome, and I’m hoping it lasts most of the winter now.

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It was a super fun snow day. After playing in the snow again, we came back in, made some delicious fajitas for supper, I sewed a little bit, and then we watched Survivor together.  It was one of the best Sundays I’ve had in awhile. There’s some big snow and wind coming this way in the next day or two, and I’m okay with that, as long as roads are okay enough for me to get into the city and go shopping tomorrow….Only four more months of winter, may as well make the most of it. 😉

It’s a good day to have winter tires.

We woke up to snow, finally. We’ve had a little dusting on the ground for the last few days, and the kids have been having fun in it, but this morning we have real REAL snow. Like get yer shovel out snow. Like use your winter tires snow. (I sold that second set, just sayin’. Phew!) Like get outside and play snow.

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Like add ten minutes to your getting out the door time snow because snowpants for everyone snow. Ben has been feeling like he’s too cool for snow pants for at least a year already (they’re not “slim fit” enough, apparently) so he was definitely disgruntled about having to wear them this morning. He claims he will NOT play in the snow and NONE of his friends will either so he shouldn’t have to wear snow pants. Sure Ben. Not gonna lie, starting to be worried about this one as a teenager…He’s for sure gonna be a no-jacket-in-thirty-below guy because that’s super cool.

I’m okay with snow because it is November 22nd after all, and it makes my Christmas decorations seem more legit. I put a Christmas tree at my front door and I love it. We are gonna put our tree up on Sunday, although Neil told me the weatherman says the snow could all be gone by then. The forecast is calling for temps just around freezing, which is alright by me!

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Ivy and I are staying cozy in the house this morning until the rest of the people get to where they’re going and traffic is quieter and then we’re going shopping for new mitts and some hand soap. Somehow we have no soap in this house, and that’s not a good thing.

But first, just one more cup of coffee. Plus this cute face.img_3944

I buy tires.

It’s winter tire season. Or at least, it would be if it wasn’t 15 degrees out still. How is this November? This weather is craaaaaazy. In a good way.

Anyway, winter tires. Neil wanted to buy new but I was sure we could find a set on Kijiji. I like cheaper better than I like new. So Neil researched tire size for the van, and I found a sweet set, close by, for a great price. I went and picked them up and I was like “I’m amazing! This deal! These tires! Those people were nice! Yay!”

Neil came home and set right to work putting them on. Except what. They don’t fit. Different vehicles have different sized rims and bolt patterns apparently. So that sucked the joy out of my Kijiji find.

Ok so now what are we going to do? Buy new rims for these tires? Yeesh new rims are expensive. Ok new plan: buy new tires on rims that fit, sell old tires. I went to a tire size website where you could input your vehicle year and make and then it would tell you what size rims you need. Great! Now I know! Amazing! I just found another set for an even better deal! And its the right size! Sweeeeeet!

So I brought the tires home. Neil came home from work and went to put the tires on.

” Eff! Cuss! Expletive!”

The tires didn’t fit. What? Google told me they would though! I re-googled. Wtf. Why does google say something different now?? GOOGLE YOU LET ME DOWN. Ok, ok, I take responsibility. I looked it up wrong somehow. I don’t actually have any idea what happened. Honestly I’m holding google at least partially responsible.

And so now we have two sets of winter tires in the garage. That’s it, we’re just buying new rims. I went to get a quote. Okay that quote was crazy, but we can find a cheaper one, and get the local guys to install instead of the fancy tire place.

And then Neil decided to get just one more set of tires. Just one more set….

And now we are officially a used winter tires shop.

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Need a set? Call 204 479 xxxx. No, really though.

Okay actually the good news is that Neil’s set fit and is on our van. And the other good news is that I resold the first set I bought for only $10 less than I paid.

But, yes, I still have a set.

It makes a good story anyway, right? It will be even better when I sell the second set though, that’s for sure.