Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas!

Santa was tired after putting out all those presents on Christmas Eve so he took a nap...
Well our Christmas day was nice and relaxing, nothing especially strange or abnormal happened, which is always a good thing! The kids woke up at 7, after begging to go to bed the night before (why doesn't that happen every night?!) and we dragged Roland out of bed, and opened presents! First the kids did their stockings and reindeer bags (thanks for the bags Rachel - they LOVED them!)...
... and then we moved onto the presents....











So around 9 we finished. Roland went back to bed (he had horrible stomach pain which kept him in bed all day and night - he didn't even play his playstation, so you KNOW he was sick!) and the kids played with their new toys while I got started on food to take to our friend's place. Since there are a lot of us from church who don't have family anywhere nearby, we get together for a lot of 'family' holidays. We really have become each others family! Plus it makes the cooking load very light on each of us. All I had to make were rolls and a dessert. The rolls were yummy - I did whole wheat with Italian Herbs, which went really well with the turkey/gravy etc provided by others. I had lost my dessert Mojo somewhere inbetween wrapping presents and rushing around for last minute things, so I ended up making Red Velvet cupcakes (from a box!) with pink frosting and marshmallows.

We had a lovely dinner at the Beccaria's home - they had got their kids a Wii for Christmas, so all the kids disappeared to the basement for the day/night and us adults had it pretty easy! The food was so delicious, and I am so grateful for friends who go out of their way to plan these things.I took the tree down the next morning. Christmas was DONE and I needed the space in our tiny living room!

So that's Christmas for another year. Roll on New Years! Today I get to go pick up our snowblower from the repair shop. Just in time for the snow tomorrow. Where was it last week when I needed it for the 2 feet of snow we got???


Friday, December 12, 2008

Ice Storm


New Hampshire is known for getting snow, but something else we get is the beautiful but deadly ice-storm. Last night we got a doozy. Around midnight our power went out and for the next couple of hours, Roland and I laid in bed listening to branches cracking and landing. We thought maybe they were landing on our roof, and even at one point hoping the whole tree would fall on our house - because you know, getting this old house rebuilt and all wouldn't actually bother us too much! Especially when we need a new roof put on in the Spring.

But that plan wasn't to be. However, when we woke up in the morning, we did have some new plant life in our backyard...


Our neighbor has 4 huge pine trees next to the fence, and now we have half a pine tree in our backyard. But the neighbors seem to have the other half also, so fair's fair. We needed some firewood anyway. Now we just need a chainsaw!

I took some photos of the ice on the plants. It really is beautiful...




The power finally came back on at 2pm at our house. Luckily we have gas, so we were still able to have hot water and use our gas stove. It got a little chilly without the heat on, but I just pulled out the turkey carcass from the freezer, saved from Thanksgiving, put on a big pot of water to boil, stuck the carcass in it, along with some peas and corn and spices, and it kept us plenty warm. Best thing about it is that now, at 5pm, we have turkey stew/soup ready for dinner!

We are just grateful that we have power. Some parts of the state, and neighboring ones, won't have power until next week. It is apparantly the worst power outage New Hampshire has ever had, affecting over 400,000 homes and businesses. They have called it unprecedented. You can read about it here if you are so inclined:)

Tomorrow the temperature high will be below freezing. This all sure makes you grateful for electricity. Funny, it didn't seem to phase the kids at all. They just got out all our board games, wrapped themselves in blankets, and were all set! We pretended we were camping and even made Jiffy Pop to make the experience more camp-like. Rachel, tell Ann and Mike we thought of them and that Sofia even wanted a Jiffy-Pop competition ;P

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Coleman's Christmas Concert

Last night the Kindergarten classes at Coleman's school put on their annual Christmas Concert. Which is really just 20 minutes of adorable 5 year olds singing and looking cute! Sofia did this two years ago, and now it was Coleman's turn. They do the same songs every year so Sofia had great fun annoying Coleman all week by singing them:) These two children are very different. Sofia couldn't wait for the concert when she was in it. She was up front and centre, singing her heart out. There is no shyness in that girl when it comes to performing. Just like her Aunty Barbara! Coleman on the other hand, who is usually very outspoken and loud in everyday life, was very nervous and scared to perform. He kept saying he was scared he was going to be 'sweaty'! Funny thing is, he has the loveliest little singing voice, on pitch every time, but he really is shy to sing. Those of you who know him will know how suprising that is, especially when he is not at all shy in everyday life!Anyway, we finally convinced him to go to the concert and sing. Actually Roland is the one who did it - by telling him that he could go to Daddy's drawers and pick out any tie he wanted to wear. Did he pick a nice red or green one to go with the Christmas theme? Oh no, the bright orange one from the 'Jerry Garcia' collection! It of course came down to his knees.... But with a bit of tucking in, it was no problem! He looked adorable, and ended up doing a great job!

Coleman with his wonderful teacher, Mrs Doyle. You might want to go and watch this video I made of the kids singing 'Jingle Bells'. You will be able to pick out Coleman - he is the one who keeps ringing his bells when everyone else stops. Then he looks all around, realizes he's the only one ringing them and stops. Pretty funny stuff!

2 more years and Joaquin will be up there. It's becoming quite the family tradition!
video

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New blog, first post!

Well after deliberating a while, I decided to start a new blog to write about our 'happenings' for our family and friends all over the world. And you know I mean that quite literally for our family and friends are scattered far and wide!
I was blogging about the family on my other blog, Applique Today, but I'm going to try and keep that one quilt related, and this one just about family goings-on.

So first up, we have had a very busy couple of weeks. First there was thanksgiving, where we stayed in our pyjamas all day and ate turkey... and then the next day was Sofia's birthday. She turned 8, so it was a big one for her as she could finally get baptized!! But more about that later.

We decided that since there would be the whole baptism thing happening that Sofia would have a nice quiet family party instead of the usual big party with her friends. This was quite the stress-reliever for me! We have pretty much decided that the only time we go out to eat now is for birthdays, so that would be 5 times a year. You can thank the economy and lack of over-time at Roland's work for that one. Oh and fact that we realized how much money was being wasted by eating out. Something we already knew, but when you add it up over a year it's scary!

So back to the story, Sofia ended up having a plan A, B, C, and D. Why she thought she needed that many backups, we have no idea. Plan A was 'Friendly's'. A low-budget kind of restaurant that really caters to families and kids. Our kids like it because you get ice-cream sundaes with your meal. Plan B was a chinese restaurant, Plan C was Texas Roadhouse (which I was not-so-secretly hoping for!) and I 'think' Plan D was McDonalds? So glad the first 3 didn't fall through lol!

So we did go to Friendly's, and it was a lot of fun, even when we were totally embarrassed by the servers singing to our table. HATE that!!

Then we came home and had presents and cake. I had made Sofia a big doll with clothes and very VERY long hair, which she loved, (and kissed with her new lip balm and now the doll has pink on her face) and we had bought her a whole bunch of sweaters for the Winter. I had also been collecting High School Musical items throughout the year when I saw them on sale, so she was thrilled with them, since she is in love with the characters. Grandma had sent Sofia a beautiful white dress for her upcoming baptism, and also a pearl necklace which we gave her at dinner. She hasn't taken it off since! Thank you Grandma! And Nana in New Zealand sent a package with Pineapple Lumps (thank you Mum, I loved them hehe) and some other little treats from NZ.

Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera to Friendly's so I don't have any photos of the party, but not to worry, because......

2 days later it was Joaquin's birthday!! But since it was on a Sunday and we wanted to go out to eat, we went on the Saturday. Now Joaquin doesn't have too many original thoughts at his young age of 4, so when asked where he wanted to go, he said, "Friendly's!!!" So back we went. Yes, two days in a row. Friday night and then Saturday lunchtime. This time I requested that they didn't sing the embarrassing birthday song, and they very happily complied. (Roland said he remembers hating it from the days when he was a server!) This time, I did remember my camera, so here we go....

Coleman and his Sundae...
Sofia too busy with hers to notice I took her picture (and she has one of her birthday sweaters and pearl necklace on!)
And Joaquin LOVING his ice-cream. He has the sweetest tooth of all the kids.


Then once again, it was back home for cake and presents....

Opening his present from Nana in NZ (loved the Pineapple Lumps all over again, Mum!!)He got 'funny teeth' as a present...don't we look lovely?



So roll on to one week later. I had been extremely busy every single day getting ready to be a vendor at the kids' school's craft fair on Saturday, you can read about it here, and then on top of that Sofia was getting baptized on Sunday. We decided to wait a week since it was Thanksgiving the week before and some of her church friends would be out of town. Plus it gave us breathing room after the birthdays!

I really wish I had taken more photos but I was so busy I just snapped a photo whenever I had a free moment. When we were preparing the program I asked Sofia who she wanted to do what...she said that I could be the chorister, play the piano, and give a talk. OK, I said, I can give a talk, but I don't think I can conduct the music AND play at the same time!! So I ended up giving a talk (which I cried all the way through of course) and was the chorister. I had a completely different talk planned than the one I gave, but changed it right before we left home. Sofia had asked me a simple question, "Why do we wear white when we get baptized?" which made me realise there are some very basic things that us as adults know, but our little ones don't always know yet! So I did the good old project lesson with snow (luckily it had just snowed that day!) and red coloring and bleach. Yes she was amazed when the bleach turned the red snow clear! I was able to talk about it being like baptism etc....you family and friends who are LDS will know the point of the project lesson, I am sure! Even if you're not LDS, it's easy to figure it out!

Oh and we finally got a family photo taken. My friend Tami took it for us after the baptism, and getting all 5 of us in a photo is very rare, as you can imagine! For now, it's the header on this blog, so just scroll back up to the top to see it!

So that has been the last couple of weeks. There have been other things going on, like Sofia being out of school with a double ear infection, parent teacher interviews, a cookie swap at church, all sorts of things, but I have typed too long, and if you are still reading, all I can say is WOW!!