Monday, January 12, 2015

Christmas 2014

Tree decorating...what a long drawn out process with children...so much waiting and patience required of the kids, and so much mess and upheaval for the parents! Before heading to bed after decorating the tree,Therese mentioned to me with an excited and jumpy squeal that she wanted to turn out all the lights in the living room "...because of the Christmas lights! on the tree!" So we went out together and did so, and I was looking forward to sharing an "oh isn't it worth the hassle? Christmas really can be so magical" moment with her. The lights were turned off. She stood there in all her 3.5 year old cuteness and said with blah-disappointment, "It's really not that cool." WHAT???
Greta was in a hip-hop dance number with her kindergarten class to a peppy version of "Deck the Halls"!  It was great.  Too bad we didn't bring our real camera, all my phone shots are blurry!  But she's the one in the red top next to the guy in blue right at the end.  She did so well and I've really enjoyed seeing her practice and re-create the interesting moves at home!  The show at the school was great--there were so many different routines--bands, choirs, poetry/drama, dancing--it was really lively and had great energy and I was actually shocked at how unabashedly Christmas it all was!  When I was a kid everything became very politically correct and we couldn't even sing songs in choir that had the word "Christmas" in them!  Quite amazing given the diversity here...
Therese was in a show too, a Christmas pageant with her preschool.  Do you see her up there as an angel, right in the middle?

A bit blurry, but too cute!
She had a line too!  I didn't know she would!  The other angel didn't speak up at all, but Therese said her part loudly and clearly--she was very confident up front.
This is Marilyn, she has taken care of our kids many times at church and at our home.  She is a very special lady and she looooooooooves babies!  So during and after the pageant she wanted to spend lots of time with Hosea.
Hosea enjoyed sitting with the preschoolers and eating the Christmas snacks after the show!
He got Marilyn all messy!
Here's a round of our annual family Christmas photos!

Wow it was difficult to get one with all 5 of us looking presentable!





I think in this one I'm making a face like my Mom and my Grandma Mom!! Hilarious.




Speaking of my Grandma Mom, I made popcorn balls this year, just like the ones she used to make at Christmas...only I didn't have any coloured celophane to wrap them in...the girls enjoyed!
Therese yelled at me while swinging "Mama! I need you to cut my bangs! I can't ever see because my hair's in my face!!!" (You have to really know her to believe this, she can get REALLY fiesty and REALLY yelly!!)  So anyway, that night I cut her bangs.  (Sidenote: I had wanted the girls to have different hair styles ok?!  I often offered to clip Therese's hair back or whatever but she always refused. Well bangs look pretty cute on her, and now her hair stays out of her face!)
The frenzy of celebrating our first in a few rounds of Christmas: this time with Nana Judy and Papa Hans.
Therese got this great art set from them which Hosea likes to pick at and put pieces of in his mouth.  So enticing!!!



Mmmmmmm, yummy eraser.


The girls got these little frozen dolls from Grandpa Paul and Grandma Sam.


Our tree was smaller this year, and we put in on a table to keep it slightly away from Hosea.  He still managed to grab at it, take ornaments, etc.

I found this poem below in a book of stories for Christmas--I really liked it:


"little tree" e.e. cummings
little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little 
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy
then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud
and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"




One day as we made sugar and gingerbread cookies Therese got really inspired to dress up!  She suddenly left the kitchen with a twinkle in her eye and came back wearing all this!!


Greta followed in her footsteps and put this wig on, wearing this cute new outfit from Nana Judy.


Crazy girls!!
Christmas Eve: the girls get to open from each other!  Letting them pick gifts for each other is kind of torture--it takes so long, you never know if they're just picking out something THEY would like, you never know if they're just settling on something, or if they're overwhelmed with the options, or if they're motives for what they're picking are really in the right place...but they both were happy with the results, and the experience was certainly memorable and special!

Therese picked out a Brave set of dolls (from the movie Brave) for Greta. I think Greta was surprised, she assumed it would be something from Frozen (which there is total mania over right now!)
Greta picked out a Tinkerbell fairy that you can wind up and it actually flies.  It's pretty cool and Therese was really into it.  But come to think of it, today I realized that they got TONS of princess dolls this year, and they played with them for the first couple of days, and now they haven't been touched for a long while.  Typical! Oh Christmas, oh things, you are never what we imagine you'll be.  We always end up a bit let down in the end, don't we? And those new things we thought would be great lose their greatness pretty quick.  (Sorry!)

Hosea, in his cute new soft jammies on his first Christmas morning!  And of course he loves all the wrapping and bows :-)

Oh look at that cute little baby body!!! So adorable!
The Santa present!
An Elsa doll! Just what she asked for.

And Therese's Santa present...


The Brave doll, jus what she cried and whined and demanded for from London Drugs one day at the beginning of December! Santa remembered ;-)
Ok, so stereotypical.  Girls got princesses, boy got truck!

He's barely played with this yet, but I'm sure as he gets a bit older he will.  He still just wants to find things to explore and put into his mouth!  A huge truck like this is just not his thing yet! Give him some paper, some gravel, some kitchen crumbs and he's good to go!

Clothes (cue Price is Right losing song here)
The year of the princesses!
Matthew and I have totally lost some of our ideals in parenting, as many others before us have.  We used to think only certain toys/foods/activities would do, but then parenting GETS REAL and certain things become less as important as other things become more important. We've only got so much energy!

The true test of acceptability: mouth it.


Frozen anyone?
Blurry, but I love this facial expression on Hosea!
For Christmas Day it was just us.  We were going to make this turkey our church had given us, as well as pie, but then we settled on something easier: quiche and homemade ice cream (homemade cinnamon rolls for brunch too! yummy!)
For most of the day we just opened presents and hung out, relaxing at home in our pajamas.  In the late afternoon we took a walk then everyone watched a movie while I made dinner and talked on the phone with my mom.  It was a nice day.
The girls got this coloured tape dispenser from Grandpa Paul and Grandma Sam and Greta was super obsessed with it for awhile!  She made tons of tape pictures.


Waiting for dinner.


I couldn't help putting this princess headband on Hosea!  Sorry little bubba :-)



Grab that camera!
And the tape continues...here is a game Greta made with the tape.  Super cool.

She's really getting into spelling and writing and trying to read.  She'll be a pro soon!
I thought this was a cute scene :-)
In the dresses from Grandma Sam (I want one too!  They are so great, AND reversible! AND came with heart purses!)

A couple days after Christmas my Dad and Linda came over.  We had another celebration and this time made the turkey and potatoes.


The meal was really really good.

Here are some shots of us on the neighbourhood Christmas horse and carriage ride.








Therese looks so cute here.


I like Matthew's smile back there!

Poor Hosea conks his head every so often these days with all his exploring...he's got a couple bruises there :-(









And this was at the lights display at Stanley Park that we go to each year around New Years.  Hosea's first time!






I got this suit for him recently so he could crawl around outside (he insists on eating the gravel at the playground, so I put mittens on him, then he simply places his face and mouth directly into the rocks!!)... and stay warm when it's a bit soggy.  The night of the lights we got home late and he fell asleep in the carrier--Matthew was able to take him out, lay him here, change his diaper all without waking up!!!
This was Hosea's first time on the couch with the cushions off...the girls love to do this and Hosea was so excited to join in!


Therese made a game called The Earth.  Those things above are the pieces.
And here are the directions she dictated to Papa.


Such a sweet little sleepy head.
More Christmas! This time with Nana Kaka and Grandpa Shayne...and wearing the annual fancy dress from Grandpa Dan and Grandma Linda.



A cute new dress.

My family seems to love giving me new hats!




Ornaments the girls made with their photos inside.

My mom hurt her back the night before coming for a visit so she was in this chair most of the time and had to get Shayne's help even for walking around! I'd never seen her this way before! Apparently by the next day she was back to normal :-) I felt bad that she couldn't play with the baby!



A game from Great Uncle Dave.  I used to play this game at my Nanny's house (Great Grandma) when I was a kid.  It's fun.
A bead set from Great Uncle Dave.





A puzzle for the puzzler, and some new chalk.  This puzzle is for 7 year olds and Therese can do it just fine with a partner.  She's good at puzzles and really enjoys them.
Some more games and activities.


My Mom gave me some of my grandma's old broaches.  I love this kind of gift.






My Mom mentioned having almost gotten the girls this Frozen karaoke machine on the phone before her visit and I told her they'd LOVE it...so she and Shayne picked one up.  It's fun! And us adults can use it too with other karaoke songs if we want :-)  Anyone want to come over for a karaoke party?

Of all 3 of my babies, Hosea takes to Grandpa Shayne the best...in fact he seems more comfortable with him than Nana Kaka at this point!  Lucky Grandpa.
I forgot to get a picture of the wooden boat Shayne gave to Hosea for Christmas.  It was made by Shayne and his dad when he was a kid.

In the new outfits from Nana Kaka.
Little overalled escapee!









Maybe too many pictures of the baby?  Too hard to choose the best ones...he looks so cute all spaghetti messy with his overalls on :-)
Some karaoke samples!

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