Advent is Here

Today is the first Sunday of Advent.  Elspeth and I celebrated by attending our church’s fabulous advent kick off event.  An evening of Christmas crafts, friends and dinner (yup even gluten free).  Followed by a candlelight service.  Where was Miss K?  At a birthday party.  That said, we both had a fun night.  A wonderful way to mark the official countdown to Christ’s birth.

IMG_3884 IMG_3888

Just enough icing don't you think?
Just enough icing don’t you think?

A first First Light

We chose a perfect night to go to St Marie for their First Light celebration.  It was mild so there were no cold noses or toes; only happy smiles.

IMG_3861 IMG_3863

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have never been to St Marie for First Light it truly is beautiful.  Thousands of candles and bonefires lighting up the night.  Musicians all over.  I really loved the native drummers.  It was neat watching Elspeth get into the drumming. “How do they do that?  How do they play?”  Oh, and then there were the crafts.  Both girls loved them.

IMG_3875 IMG_3874

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great night was had by all.

The sparks from the outdoor blacksmith were gorgeous flying through the air.
The sparks from the outdoor blacksmith were gorgeous flying through the air.

 

And there was snow…up north

Headed up to my parents  for some holiday fun and were greeted by snow.  This was awesome because it helped to fill in the afternoon while we waited to head out to our evening plans.  It was a mild day so the pair of them had a blast without freezing.  Unfortunately it got even warmer over night and there was some snowman tragedies.

The pair started out creating together...
The pair started out creating together…
..and here was the end result.
..and here was the end result.
Then Elspeth decided that snowman #1 was not close enough to the window; hence #2
Then Elspeth decided that snowman #1 was not close enough to the window; hence #2
Well, then Katrine began working on ...
Well, then Katrine began working on …
#3....aaaah!!
#3….aaaah!!
They also broke out the sleds.  After a few rides, Elspeth decided to give her sister a ride.
They also broke out the sleds. After a few rides, Elspeth decided to give her sister a ride.
This was the end result.
This was the end result.

Festive weekend from start to finish

The fun started on Saturday night and continued all day today.

We were able to take the girls to the Light Parade just north of us.  In the end both had fun (thanks in large part to the hot chocolate that Glenn had packed) however the actual waiting for the parade was not well received.  Neither was the distinct lack of candy canes.  Luckily that was rectified at today’s parade.

IMG_3797 IMG_3791

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This afternoon saw us joining one of Elspeth’s friends for our local parade.  A parade of candy canes.  I mean, we now have a bag full and two delighted girls.  The parade was a lot of fun too.

IMG_3806 IMG_3812

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we headed to pick up Glenn’s mom before driving to Bass Pro for some Santa time with Grammy.  Toy arrows, toy BB guns, moving elves, toy trains and the big guy himself.  Followed by dinner and then treats.  A good time overall.

IMG_3815 IMG_3827 IMG_3829

It looks like Barbie is going on some new adventures.
It looks like Barbie is going on some new adventures.

 

The tree is up, the tree is up!!!!

The Christmas season is officially here with the arrival of our decorations.  The girls are really into it and were a great help.  I am so glad that they enjoy Christmas traditions.

Some of the time there was a bit more playing than helping.
Some of the time there was a bit more playing than helping.

 

 

 

 

Amidst the snowflurries, we got the outdoors done.  My parents found us a really cute skating snowman for our lawn which was a nice surprise for the girls.  We also added some garlands to the bushes.  You won’t see them at night but hey they will look good during the day.  Very festive; especially with the added snow on the grass.  We have not yet settled on Christmas lights – as in where and how many – so we are not fully done and will need to get cracking on rectifying that next weekend.

 

 

Then Glenn went and picked up his mom so that she could help us to decorate our trees.  Yes, two of them.  The upstairs one is all breakable ornaments including my Nana’s  small bulbs and a chain that my grandpa made from cigarette wrappers.  It is really shiny and makes it feel very festive.  When we add in a fire it will really feel like Christmas.

IMG_3766 IMG_3767

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finished the downstairs tree as we watched the santa claus parade and munched on pizza and veggies.  It is a family tree.  My favourite ornaments are those which were hand made.  I have a wee toilet roll drum that I made as a kid.  Glenn has a bell made by his grandma.  Then there are the ones for our wedding and trips to China but the best are those from the girls.  As pretty as the upstairs tree is, the downstairs tree makes my heart sing – it sings Family.

IMG_3770 IMG_3774

A Festive Reunion

Complications prevented us from having a reunion with Elspeth’s China family this summer.  This past weekend everything aligned and a wonderful reunion was had by three…Glenn was sick so had to miss out.

We began the day with lunch out with one of Elspeth’s sisters.  The two are adorable together.  As a side bonus, we got to see noodles being made.  Stunk like flour but was pretty cool to watch.  Plus when he was done I had one happy girl with a bowl full of noodles and another happy girl with a “sister”.

IMG_3657 IMG_3661

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there it was off to the party at a house already decked out in festive splendor.  The kids were super pumped when they saw the tree set up in the corner and the gifts underneath.

These were hanging side by side; supposedly by chance.  How to tell you are in the home of a teacher.
These were hanging side by side; supposedly by chance. How to tell you are in the home of a teacher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kids played and smiled.  Lots of laugh and building that sense of family.  Once desserts was done, the kids finally got their hands on the presents.  I love seeing children’s faces on Christmas.  The anticipation in that moment before they unwrap, followed closely by the wonder and joy when they see what is hiding under the wrapping paper.

IMG_3706 IMG_3696

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all of our ‘family’ who made it such a special night!

Elsa was armed and dangerous!
Elsa was armed and dangerous!

Halloween

This is what the girls woke up to on Halloween morning.  I had wanted to do something more spook-tacular with breakfast but hey, there is always next year!

IMG_3645

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Off to school they went with their party goodies and fair weather costumes.  A great time was had by both.  They came home full of stories of treats eaten, costumes and other fun stuff.  Elspeth also came home with rainbows painted on her cheeks and a blue “necklace” on her neck.  She was right proud of them.  Took two baths to scrub the blue necklace off properly.  Guess that is what soap is for.

IMG_3647

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After an appropriately planned dinner of soup and grilled cheese it was time to set out the pumpkins.  As you can see from my photo of the girls on the porch in their cold, rainy costumes (Yup, memories of last year), we only have one pumpkin.  That is because Katrine’s jack-o-lantern had a wee….well rather prounounced mishap on its way to the porch.  It slipped from Katrine’s hands and broke.  Never fear, as this photo was being taken Baba, aka Mad Pumpkinologist, broke out the tools to resurrect said pumpkin.  It later joined the group outdoors as Frankenpumpkin.  (I don’t have a photo yet but will try to put one up soon).

Katrine's favourite pumpkin.
Katrine’s favourite pumpkin.
The princess and the penguin.
The princess and the penguin.
Our very own Mad Dr. Frankenpumpkin
Our very own Mad Pumpkinologist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of Elspeth’s friends joined us for some of the trick or treating which was fun.  Elspeth because she had a friend to compare goodies with and Katrine because she got extra loot with the two wee ones in tow.  We came home cold and tired to warm cups of cocoa and too much sugar.  A fun Halloween.IMG_3655

 

Skating Update

Just thought that it was about time to give everyone an update on Katrine’s skating.  She has been working hard this fall to get adjusted to being a competitive skater – learning what it means to focus, how much effort is needed on a daily basis, how to effectively prepare for a competition, how to follow up your skate and critique your video.  Who knew how many new things there were to learn!

It has also been a change for us in that only one of us has attended each competition as opposed to our previous family affair.  I have discovered how difficult it is waiting to here how everything went.  It really is no better being the parent who waits at home than the one sitting in the stands watching it unfold.  This means that we only have one person taking video so there are no current photos of her skating.  🙁

Anyways, this past weekend Katrine went to Sectionals.  It was her best skate thus far this season and she landed her personal best score which placed her 7th in her flight (also her highest finish to date).  Really proud of her.