Saturday, January 31, 2015

A New Room

Sometimes I forget that I live in a house that is under construction. Not that I stop noticing its unfinished walls and floors but I just make it my normal. Our home is functional and I've tried to make it cosy even if it is unfinished.

Lately, while Dave has time between deadlines, he has put his energy into working on our house. First stop, one of the bedrooms. We moved the two older boys into it, freeing up the next bedroom which will be the next project to finish.





There still aren't any floors or window frames and we haven't yet put up the molding but I am so happy with it. A few touches to make it more decorated (baskets and shelved books) and it will be perfect.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Special Surprise

I don't know too many of my neighbours very well. I know some names and a rough schedule of their day since I see them coming and going, but I've really only built a relationship with one family.

This Christmas, a beautiful offering was made to our family. When my mom was heading out the door on Christmas Eve, there on our stoop was a package of gifts. 4 precious gifts. One per little man. A card on it said: "Wishing you a Merry Christmas, from Ho ho ho!"

Who could it be? Who would come all this way to leave an anonymous gift for the boys? I figured it had to be a neighbour and I made a guess as to who it was. 



Each boy was given their own towel and the gifter had sewn each of their names on it which different fabric. Love and thoughtfulness went in to this gift. For our boys.

About a week later my neighbour across the way came by and asked if we had received the gift from Alice. I had been right. She was who I had suspected. An older woman and her daughter had thought of our family and brought a special Christmas gift.

I don't know if she will ever know just how much it meant to me. Not the gifts but knowing she thought of our boys during a very busy holiday. God sure uses people to bless others. We sure felt it this year.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Guntrons

I dont know how many of you out there are parenting boys but of those of you who are, are any of them obsessed with transformers? 

To be completely honest, I think if I were a little boy I would think they were pretty awesome.

Well my boys are, needless to say, very interested in these toys. It doesnt stop with the toys though. They spend there free time playing transformers. Not with the toys, but as the transformers themselves! You will hear them yelling through the house and "transforming" by making this funny little noise- "kee- koo-kee". One might also here, " Role out" or " bot mode". It really is a very time consuming game.

Well, cue Max Steel. Yet another strange hero show where the alien and man fight monsters. I really do not like this show and the kids know they will only get to watch it when Daddy is in charge. This Alien can make all kids of strange modes that helps fight evil. These Modes are no longer just for Max Steel. No way. They now belong to:

GUNTRONS!

That is right! my boys have now created their own new creatures. Thankfully it is by using Lego. I love Lego. it keeps my boys so busy and so creative. The house is a mess, but the boys are busy using their imaginations.




The boys have even worked it so that when you move certain parts of the Guntron, they become something new. So, we have rescue hero, mode changing transformers.

The things we come up with!!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Needle Madness

Another Christmas has come and gone. How sad is it that I have NO pictures of it? I guess when you are hosting an event you have other things on your mind!

That's right! Dave and I hosted my family this year for Christmas. Counting 12 children, 1 teenager and 8 adults, it was quite the party... although I guess that is what most Sunday afternoons look like also. 

We decided to do something very untraditional. To keep stress low, lasagne, garlic bread and salad for Christmas dinner. I was able to make the lasagne several days ahead and freeze it, leaving the majority of the work in the past.

I believe a good time was had by all and the food seemed to go over well also. Always good when that happens.

Boxing day, however, means, "get this tree out of my house"! Christmas is over, now lets clean up.

A good sign of a neglected tree is if it looks like this:


Where are all the needles you ask? Scroll down.


 Yup! there they are.

Several factors contributed to this mess. First being that I didn't water it. That's a big one. Initially I had it in a huge bucket of sweet water and I just never added more. Second factor was the bucket. We don't use a stand, simply a bucket with the tree tied to something. So the tree branches are actually resting on the lip of the buckets making it quite the task to try and get more water into it. Third factor, it is in the same room as our wood burning fireplace. It gets quite hot and very dry in the house, let alone that room alone. Over all, the tree and I didnt really stand a chance. Even if I had been a bit more diligent.

What did that get me?


This!!!!

I had to empty my vacuum three times just to clean up the needles in the house. Lets not even mention the needles on our porch and out the back door! Dave actually got out the blower and blew the needles out of the porch so we would stop tracking them in on our boots every time we went out.

I love real trees. Ill deal with the mess. No big deal. I am thankful for Christmas and I am also thankful that it is over for another year.

Tonight is New Years Eve. May you all have a wonderful new year. We plan on staying in and keeping it low key. This year has been strange. We plan on finishing it the same way. Doing nothing!

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Christmas Read


A fun, dark and fantastical story or who Kringle is and where he came from.

I really enjoyed this read but am very thankful I stopped myself from reading it out loud to the boys without having read it first. I'm thinking it is a bit scary for young ones.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Activities and Guests

Family is very important to me. I get tired, I get grumpy and I get overwhelmed but I can very rarely turn down the opportunity to be with family. It has been build right into my being. Through the loving parenting and teaching we had as kids, family (both blood related and not) has become one of our essentials. A support and network that is there in thick and thin. 

Sunday afternoon, my niece asked if she could spend time with us this week. As talk of this ensued, a nephew also made the request.  As an Aunty who didn't wish to leave anyone sad, I told them both to come on over and visit. 

Until Wednesday evening I am the mother or 6! I love it. Its loud and messy (wait, thats no different than normal) but at times easier than normal. New distractions and all.

Monday, I took them all with me to get some gingerbread houses so we could have a fun Christmas project to do together. It was an adventure with an extra two but they were so well behaved. Once we waited for Mr. Declan to nap, we got started on the building.


The finished projects next to the poinsettia that Dave bought me.


Ewan got to do his house solo (with a bit of help from mom).


Matthew and Isaiah worked away, compromising with each other about the placement of each candy.


Norah busily worked on the house while Levi snuck candy after candy into his mouth.



Messy and loud!

WORTH IT!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Trimming the Tree

We usually try to get our Christmas tree around December 5th since it is Sinterklaas. My sister in law, Vanessa, gave me that fun idea. Our husbands, who are brothers, are Dutch and as a way to do St. Nicks in our own way, we try to get our tree and decorate it.

This year it was the 6th. So we failed a bit but no one seemed to really care or even notice. Daniel and Amanda ( my brother and his wife) along with the kids, and Connor (my other brother) came with us this year to Thomas Tree Farm to chop down our tree. We hop on a wagon pulled by some horses out to the trees and come back on a tractor ride with our freshly cut tree.

Its expensive but an enjoyable tradition ( at least the boys and I think so).


The boys decorated vigorously and within 5 minutes they were done. I managed to catch Matthew adding a few ornaments but it lost its appeal after a handful or ornaments were placed.


From this picture, you can clearly tell they were the ones decorating. I think there are 5 ornaments on one branch. Pretty! I told myself I would go back later and move things around but it appears not to bother me. I think I just like the warm lights. I dont actually pay attention to the decorations once they are on the tree.

Along with the fresh cut tree I added some other trees (just not real).



This is usually the tree that the kids are able to decorate and undecorate all month long. They never really got to it though. So, it remains mostly plain which is still warm and cozy.

Are you wondering how the tree is standing up to Declan? Its a good question. I think one of the reasons I haven't noticed the crowded ornaments is that Declan removes them quickly and in great number. I have found them all over the house. Once I find them, I find a place for them on the tree in a slightly higher location. By Christmas all the ornaments will be at the top of the tree.

Meh! Its what we do :)

Hope you are all having a wonderful time getting set for Christmas.