30 January, 2010

Almost done 2009!!

Well, I have the rest of my 2009 pictures edited so I will have to try to get them all posted! I have about two more weeks to post and then I am back on to my 2010 pictures. I love getting caught up on stuff and I slowly but surely seem to be doing that lately. I even seem to have gotten a couple things organized in my craft room so that's progress! Anyway, here are my pictures for this couple of weeks.

Day 340 (Dec 6):
Here is Evan playing with part of Xander's birthday present...Mario Kart for the Wii...or, as the boys call it...Mario Kart Wii Woohoo! Evan actually sounds quite a bit like Mario. It's pretty cute. Evan was having fun playing with the steering wheel that comes with the game.

Day 341 (Dec 7):
Here are Xander and Jason playing another of Xander's birthday presents...Hullabaloo. It took him a while to take to this game but he seems to really like it now. It's kind of a random game but it's for kids so it's all good.

Day 342 (Dec 8):
Even Evan can play Hullabaloo. It was the end of a round and somebody won so he was smiling and clapping like everyone else. Such a cute little face!

Day 343 (Dec 9):
Evan learned to peel the Christmas oranges that he so greatly loves. The only problem then was that he always wanted an orange...even when he didn't want to eat it but just peel it!

Day 344 (Dec 10):
This is one of my new Christmas decorations this year. I think this one is so pretty and I finally got them on my tree! They're more sparkly than they look in the pictures, too. I love pretty decorations!

Day 345 (Dec 11):
What's so good about Christmas? And so horrible? The candy!! I love chocolate and sweets so Christmas can be a real challenge for me! These are incredibly good, too. So yummy (except the white ones!)

Day 346 (Dec 12):
Jason and I went Christmas shopping for the boys and we got to go out for lunch, too. We went to Red Lobster, because I was craving seafood. This was actually pretty good, but the scallops had a peach glaze on them that was SO sweet that even I could barely stand it. Really, scallops should be seared in some butter and maybe wrapped in bacon.

Day 347 (Dec 13):
Check out these temperatures. Usually we expect really cold weather in January but not so much December. This went on for a few days, too. The windchill was nasty!

Day 348 (Dec 14):
Evan was just sitting here so cute with his Wiimote. He just "plays" with them as everyone else does but he's not usually hooked up to the Wii. It's pretty cute!

Day 349 (Dec 15):
This was the first Christmas present that I wrapped this year. It was actually for our care group gift exchange that night. I love things getting all pretty and wrapped up but I put it off this year for fear that the boys wouldn't be able to leave them alone!

Day 350 (Dec 16):
This was my new haircut. It was a lot shorter than I thought but I liked how it turned out. I had it done at lunchtime (that's the great thing about working in a mall) so it was a new hairdresser. She straightened it for me, too, just to see was Xander would say (he didn't like it last time). He thought it looked good but it only stayed like that a couple days.

Day 351 (Dec 17):
Here is Evan opening his very first present of the Christmas season. It was from Auntie and Uncle and they got them the day before so I let them open them in the morning. Evan got a great train set...Auntie sure knows what they like!

Day 352 (Dec 18):
We went up to my parents' place for the weekend to celebrate Christmas. I always love going to visit and it gave us an opportunity to go see how their new house was shaping up. It's come a long way from a hole in the ground and I think it will be a really nice house when they are done!

Day 353 (Dec 19):
We celebrated Christmas this day. It was a lot of fun with brunch, sledding down my brother's hill, supper with all the trimmings and gifts! It's always a great time, getting together with family and just getting to hang out and enjoy each other. We try to get a picture of the crew each year. As the kids get a bit older, it gets a bit easier! This is our picture from this year!

Well, now I'm almost to the end of the year. I just have the last 12 days or so from the year to post. I'll do that next week, sometime. I'm just off to watch the Scotties - Xander and I are both excited to have curling back on TV this week!

Until next time...

25 January, 2010

Snow Day...Great Time to Get on the Blog!!

Well, it has been crazy winter weather all weekend. It has snowed (A LOT) and we had blizzard conditions for the past day or so. The roads are crazy and so is our yard. I will post some pictures but I want to get some people in them for scale, first. I declared it a snow day today because my babysitter lives on residential streets and I was NOT going to try to get the kids there! I could just see me getting stuck. In fact, the city buses were getting stuck both yesterday and today. My parents drove down yesterday for a retreat (and didn't check the road reports). It was my Dad's birthday so they spent the evening with us and we got to celebrate with him. It was actually really cute. On Saturday Xander asked how many presents Grandpa would get. I told him not many (we don't really do presents) and so he asked why. I told him Grandpa's a big person and they don't get many presents like kids. So Xander said, big people only get big presents? and I asked him what he thought we should get Grandpa for his birthday. His response - a house. It was very cute! They didn't have to be at the retreat until today, so it was nice.

I decided that the miserable weather would be a good time to update my blog with some LOs and pictures. First the LOs. This is a new kit that Scraps of Ellay has in her store at STS. It's called Thompson's Room and was inspired by the little boy she nannies for. It is so cute and goes great with the boys' baby pictures. I especially LOVE the quilted papers. She also has a new set of templates in the store called "Dress Me Up". I used one of the Six Months LO. You can find links to the store following the previews.

Six months - this is Evan's photo shoot from when he was six months old. I have learned so much about editing photos that they seem so amateur before this!!
Kit - Thompson's Room by Scraps of Ellay
Template - Dress Me Up by Scraps of Ellay

This next one was of New Year's Eve 2007 - not that we do anything but that was when these were dated!!
Kit - Thompson's Room by Scraps of Ellay

Here are the kit and template previews. You can pick up the kit here and the templates here.

The kit:
The templates:

And now...my pictures. I have two more weeks to show you and that will bring us into December of 2009, which means I'm getting close to caught up. I love being caught up on things. I am also working on scrapping these and I will show you those pages another day.

Day 326 (Nov 22):
This was the last day of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series for 2009. Papa invited Xander and his cousin over to watch the final race and see who won the championship (not that there was much question). Of course, Jimmie Johnson won the championship and Papa and Nana gave the boys these bumper sticker to commemorate. It's the first thing that Xander's stuck on my nice, painted white bed. My first gut instinct was no...not my pretty bed! Then, I remembered how we used to do the same thing as kids and its no big deal!

Day 327 (Nov 23):
Here are the boys playing computer together. Really, Xander's playing and Evan's watching. I am loving it now that they are old enough to play together. They do fight and rough-house a bit too much at times, but that's boys for you (and siblings). It makes me smile when I do see the times that they just sit there together and play. Or (like today) Xander will sit on the couch beside Evan and put his arm around him or cuddle with him and it is SO cute but it never lasts very long so I have yet to get it on film!

Day 328 (Nov 24):
This is the day we have entitled:

Illustration - I Guess Nobody's Perfect

I got all my pictures off my camera and, apparently, did not have a single picture for this day. I don't think anything out of the ordinary happened, it was just not meant to be! Oh well, nobody is perfect...not even me ;).

Day 329 (Nov 25):
Xander wanted Daddy to read to him and Evan (who rarely goes to sleep before Xander goes to bed) had to hop up on Daddy's lap and join in, too. It's a pain when they're supposed to be in bed already but it really is a cute little scene!

Day 330 (Nov 26):

Illustration - I Guess Nobody's Perfect part 2

Apparently, I do not have a picture from this day, either. I guess I might sort of have an excuse since it was a very long day of just me and the boys. Jason had a client reception at work so he didn't come home until after bedtime. Maybe it was just a long, rather than cute, day!

Day 331 (Nov 27):
This is a representation of what we did on Friday. I went to the church and cleaned toys with a couple other ladies. I didn't take my camera to church so this is just a representation using our toys at home. During flu season this year, we have decided to clean the toys from our infant/toddler/preschool areas once a week just to help put parents' minds at ease. Due to H1N1, everybody has been a little more concerned this year and we want them to be comfortable bringing their kids to church. Germs, H1N1, that kind of stuff has never been that big a deal to me, personally, but I want to help make others comfortable, too. Actually, since the whole H1N1 thing has kinda died down, my co-worker and I (neither of whom got vaccinated) were joking that you should just watch us come down with it now. So far, nothing but regular winter colds!

Day 332 (Nov 28):
This was a crazy day...kids' Christmas party through Jason's work, quick naps, pictures for Xander...couldn't stuff much more in. I think I've regaled you with the tales of the kids' Christmas party so I won't go into much detail here. This is Xander picking his golf ball out of hole #14 - the one he got a hole-in-one on. That is one more hole-in-one than I got that day. He has a bit of trouble with the concept because he thinks that it's not a hole-in-one since it bounced off the wall!

Day 333 (Nov 29):
This was Grey Cup Sunday...the Riders made it to the final again and they were playing the Montreal Alouettes. It was a closer game than it should have been and ended up being lost on a too-many-men on the field penalty on the very last play of the game. While the Riders would not release the name of the extra player (kudos to them after other incidents that have taken place in this town after other playoff losses), the focus was all on this play. However, if you want to be fair, there were many other chances during the game that they had to put it away so that it would not have come down to the last play of the game. Still, it was a tough loss to take, especially after we watched Duval miss that first field goal!!

Day 334 (Nov 30):
One of Xander's favourite new games is Go Fish. He loves to play it. Evan wants to get in on the fun, too, but is too small so we give him the jokers to play with and he can play "Go Fish" by himself. Here are the boys having fun playing with Dad.

Day 335 (Dec 1):
I decorated in stages this year. Jason doesn't like me to put up the Christmas decorations before December 1st. I cheated a little and put the tree up before so that Xander and I could get in the decorating before bedtime. This is our small tree that we put in the basement this year to make the basement feel a little more cheery and Christmassy. The big tree didn't get done until much later!

Day 336 (Dec 2):
I tried taking a picture of the snow on the tree in the backyard after dark. I kinda like how the brightness of the snow still picks up so well with the flash, even after dark. The contrast was what I was going for. I didn't get exactly what I wanted, but I think it's still pretty!

Day 337 (Dec 3):
This was the day I decorated Xander's cake. December is such a busy month for us with his birthday and Christmas all in there! He wanted an Ewok forest cake with storm troopers and speeder bikes and a walker (please forgive me Jason, as I've probably used a wrong name in here ;) ). So, we recreated the bunker from the movie with these things and put a little Ewok hiding in the forest. I thought that was really cute so that's my picture today. What you don't see in either picture is that Jason also built a LEGO death star to hang from the ceiling above the cake. It turned out really cute!

Day 338 (Dec 4):
Here is Xander at his birthday party. It's really just family that comes at this point in time. He was so excited for cake and presents and to have people sing Happy Birthday to him. It was really cute and he had a great time!!

Day 339 (Dec 5):
This was Xander's actual birthday so we had one of his favourite meals (that's too hard to make for 25 or so people)...steak and corn on the cob. He absolutely loves it so I managed to find some corn on the cob and we had a great meal with Grandma and Grandpa Stein.

Well, there's two more weeks of pictures. I can't believe I'm into December...YAY!! Pretty soon I'll actually be current - won't that be great.

I think I may go do some scrapping now...see if I can't knock out a few more of those weeks.

Until next time...

16 January, 2010

My Birthday...

Well, I meant to blog about this earlier - but you know how life goes... It was my birthday on Tuesday - January 12, 2010. I turned 32 this year. Now, I'm not big on birthdays...I hold nothing against them, either. They just are...or so mine is. Really, it's another year older but it's just a day older than you were the day before. :) I enjoy my birthday (it's a great excuse to do very little) but I don't make a big deal about it. It also seems like so many people spend their youth wishing they were old enough to (fill in the blank) and then spend their adult years lamenting the loss of youth. For now, I'm just comfortable where I am (it probably doesn't hurt that, for the most part, I have to think hard about how old I am - I always feel younger ;) ). Anyway, I thought I'd share with you my birthday in pictures this year. It wasn't a huge thing but my family made it special and God has so blessed me to have my husband and two boys.

First, this was a wonderful gift for the day...do you see that? 4 C on my birthday (may I remind you it was January 12th!). Now, this wasn't a record but isn't really common for this time of the year. It was so lovely that my co-worker and I took a walk at lunch time just because a day like that shouldn't be wasted in the office!

When I got home from work, we went outside. My boys spent some time playing in the snow (which mostly consists of shovelling it), while my dear husband made supper for us!

Here was the special part of the day! We BBQ'd steak! Now, I know there are many people out there who BBQ when it's cold or year round but my husband is not one of them. He doesn't see the difference between the BBQ and our indoor grill so he'd rather not stand out in the cold! However, for me, he (by himself) decided that we would BBQ steak for my birthday! I love a good steak, though the store was out of the cut we usually buy but it was all good, anyway.

Next I opened my presents. My boys got me a movie and my husband got me a CD. It was very sweet of them, though I have yet had time to watch/listen to them. Don't you love the wrapping paper?

On to the birthday cake... In fine tradition, we had DQ ice cream cake. This is probably the only birthday tradition that we have. When my brother and I moved here to go to university, we started buying each other ice cream cakes for our birthdays. We didn't do anything big, but it just made things a little bit special. It's carried on and, when my family is together for a birthday, we often (but not always) have ice cream cake. This one is a Turtles and pecan blizzard cake. It was very yummy!

These are the flowers that my Mother-in-Law bought me. She brought them to my office during the day. It was very nice of her. I love flowers, especially in the winter because they make things seem a little brighter and more spring-like!

That was my birthday in pictures. It was a good day, for me anyway.

Several countries away, though, there was an earthquake on my birthday. I'm not sure why, but Haiti caught my attention. There are many disasters in the world on an ongoing basis, but I don't usually pay too much attention. Quite frankly, I find the news very depressing so I read the newspaper and only read the headlines I want to. For some reason, Haiti touched me. I don't know if it's the side effect of studying an amazing book called "Crazy Love" this fall, but I think it might be. I was just so aware of how much we have and how much devastation they were facing. I think maybe it's also God broadening my horizons and giving me a bit more of a world view, lately. I even made a donation. It's not something I usually respond to, because it seems so superficial at times (who's going to pay attention in a couple weeks). If you've had any thought of doing the same and haven't acted on it, I urge you to. Just be sure to check out the charity you're donating to before you do it. See how they spend their money...how much really goes to those in need? Then give, as generously as you feel led to (because I know how easy it is to ignore those little promptings). OK...apparently I felt the need to preach a bit here but I hope you'll forgive me. This is also part of wanting to use my blog to record some deeper thoughts I have!

Really, my birthday was a bit of a contrast to events in the world but I am so glad that God gave me a great day to just relax and be with my family!

Until next time...

08 January, 2010

Catching Up...

OK, so I'm trying to catch up on my pictures. I'm hoping to get these things done up so that I can start on the new year. Life has been busy as always, though. Another thing I'm hoping to do this year is get a little more open and a little more personal on my blog. It doesn't really come naturally to me but I think it's good to do "outside my comfort zone" things sometimes. We'll see how that goes...

This was my first week back at work after two weeks off and, to be honest, I would have rather been at home. Oh well, four more months and then I will be! Anyway, we didn't have Moms group on Thursday, which was OK because it's hard getting back to everything in the schedule all at once! We had our Wednesday night group and it was great to see everybody, again. Then Thursday I had booked a bunch of appointments, anyway. Xander had his final immunizations before he goes to school. He did really well, but kinda freaked out when the nurse had Jason hold him down. I know they need to do that with lots of kids but Xander doesn't care about needles at all and I think being held was the real problem. He didn't even notice the needle. Then, we dropped off the boys and I had my ultrasound. It was actually neat, because I went to a doctor's office, rather than the main radiology office to have it done. It was quicker, likely because the doctor actually did it and could see what he needed to see on the screen and didn't have to take a million pictures. Also, the techs aren't allowed to tell you anything, because they're not trained to interpret the ultrasounds. This doctor showed me where stuff was on the screen and told me what he was looking at and how it was all right then and there. It was interesting, actually, rather than just being a nap time. Unfortunately, the baby was hiding so he couldn't get a good picture...we just got a picture of the leg. Oh well, no big deal, really (at least not to me). Now, it's the weekend again and I'm trying to enjoy it rather than thinking that I have to go back to work in a couple days.

I think that tomorrow we'll take the boys to see the Olympic Torch, as it runs right by their Nana and Papa's house. My brother-in-law actually got to carry it yesterday in Manitoba and it was kinda cool to see him on the news last night. Apparently, he even made Sportsnet! Anyway, here are two more weeks of pictures.

Day 312 (Nov 8):
Candyland has been a really big game around our house, though now that he knows how to play Go Fish and Crazy Eights, Xander doesn't really play it as much. We found this old computer version that came out of a cereal box once and the boys really love it. Xander plays and Evan watches. It has neat extras where you can decorate sundaes and stuff like that.

Day 313 (Nov 9):
I finally found my cards! Not to say that I'm unorganized at times or that I don't always care, but I had "lost" my credit card and my new Air Miles card for about a month or so. I kept forgetting to look for them and I always check things online so I knew no one else was using them. I did find them, though, pretty much where I thought they would be so it was all good!

Day 314 (Nov 10):
I guess Candyland had been a big deal since the CD was my photo of the day a couple days later! The boys must have been playing it A LOT in that time period!

Day 315 (Nov 11):
This was Remembrance Day. A time to remember all those who fought for our country and the rights that we enjoy now days. It has become apparent to me how easy it is to forget something that we never knew in the first place (at least my generation). At least in school there was a program or a poster contest that we had to participate in. As an adult, it's so easy to just skip the program the city puts on and take it as another day off that we get to enjoy. I'll admit, we didn't go to any programs this year, though I strongly considered it. I wasn't sure that the boys would sit through the long one and it was too cold for the little kids to stand in the park for the wreath laying. I did try to tell Xander what it was about but he only grasped bits and pieces. Maybe next year we can go out to a program.

Day 316 (Nov 12):
OK, so you can't get the effect from this one picture but I plan to scrap a page with a couple pictures in a row. Evan can be so cute. He has taken to making the "beep...beep...beep" noise every time he backs up or he backs up one of his toys or we back the car up. It's quite funny. Here he was walking backwards through the dining room going "beep...beep...beep".

Day 317 (Nov 13):
This Friday we took the bus downtown (the boys and I), though not this particular bus. This is just a bus that goes by our house (possibly the same route we took, possibly not). We went to have lunch with Daddy. The boys enjoy doing this sometimes and we just meet Jason at the food court and have a nice little lunch. If it's in the summer and warm, sometimes we'll go to the park for a picnic.

Day 318 (Nov 14):
I made buns on my own for the first time ever. Not that they were hard to make but it was nice to have fresh buns in the house (I could eat them forever). These buns were the cheese buns that I made and they went so well with the hamburger soup we had for supper!

Day 319 (Nov 15):
I bought my wrapping paper for this year. I've never been really picky about wrapping paper but I've tried to co-ordinate it the last couple of years. I went traditional this year with red, green and silver and I thought it looked really pretty (though some of this wrapping paper was definitely NOT quality made). I really don't like the Santa Clause papers that always come in the bulk packages so I stopped buying those but I think it makes the presents look a little more like decorations!

Day 320 (Nov 16):
Here is Xander playing "usher". At our church, the staff and certain volunteers (like ushers, info booth people etc.) wear name tags on lanyards Sunday morning. It makes them easy to identify to new people or anyone. Jason wears one every week as he ushers and hands out bulletins. My uncle was in town for the Wintergreen craft show and left one of his passes at our place. Xander latched onto it as his "ushering thing". So, he wears it and hands out those little cards as bulletins and sometimes makes us play ushering.

Day 321 (Nov 17):
I broke my Swiffer WetJet. It was a very sad day...I was just a little careless and snapped it off in my hands. It was sad, because we use it ALL THE TIME!! Now, granted, it doesn't always do the best job (I find I still have to wash the floor periodically - which for me is every 3 or 4 months - to get all the corners and little spots) but we use it every week when we clean for care group. It really was sad and difficult to use in a couple pieces like this!

Day 322 (Nov 18):
This is Xander. He's being a goofball, hiding under his blanket. He got Evan going at it, too. They're just so much fun, sometimes!

Day 323 (Nov 19):
This was another one of those cute moments. I had put a movie on for them, it must have been Cars, and Xander crawled up on the couch under a blanket. Then, he called to Evan to come up, sit beside him and go under the blanket too. They usually get along pretty well but it really does warm my heart to see them care about each other!

Day 324 (Nov 20):
Ah, we're back to the oranges. Christmas oranges, as I call them, mandarin oranges to many other people. I just love them and this is truly one smell that I associate with Christmas. In fact, they were out so early this year that I resisted buying them because I didn't want the smell to become "average". I figured if we ate them too early, they wouldn't feel so Christmassy any more!

Day 325 (Nov 21):
I went upstairs to check on the boys one night (likely on my way to bed) and this is how I found Xander. Sometimes you just wonder about kids and how they fall asleep...like what were they doing and how can they possibly sleep like that. When I was a kid, I could sleep anywhere, anytime. I even once slept on a cement floor! I guess that makes it not so amazing that my kid can do it, too!

Wow, I guess that's another two weeks worth of pictures and we're through to the end of November. Now, if I could just get some of these things scrapped, that'd be great!!

Until next time...