Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Eve

We spent the night at mom and dad's - like every year. I wouldn't have it any other way. Celebrating the New Year at "home" is the only place to spend it. 
We had a quiet night this time. We played cards, did a little bit of drinking, and then broke out the old Guitar Hero. 
A few minutes before midnight we turned the TV on and watched the ball drop in Times Square. We always do this, usually with someone on the phone who couldn't make it, to join in on the countdown. 
We stayed until almost 3:00am. It was a fun, and quiet night. 

Twelve more months of amazing memories and blessings that I will be forever grateful for, as we welcome a brand-new year. 

Thanks for being so good to us 2015.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

who woulda thunk?

I would've never guessed that little Benny's most favourite and loved toy from Christmas would be the tiny little dollar store airplane that Santa placed into his stocking. 
He's been sleeping with it every single night since Christmas day. He makes sure - even if he has to search the entire house to find it - that it's waiting for him in bed while he's having his teeth brushed. 
Crazy boy. 
There's just enough of a shadow cast next to him on the wall, that he just lays there, slowly making the little plane soar while making quiet zoom noises as he falls to sleep. 
It's right up there on my list of ''sweetest things I've ever seen''. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Day

After we got home from my mom and dad's house, Kalli was hyped up and acting a little crazy. Gracie and Hanna thought that Santa Claus must've just left, leaving Kalli a little bit excited. 
Sure enough, when we got inside we saw that the cookies were eaten up, and he most definitely came while we were gone! 
Ben and Hailey were both out of it. It was about 2 am, and they were (understandably) miserable. 
  We let Gracie and Hanna have a peak at what was left for them, but sent everyone to bed after a couple minutes, to check it all out in the morning. 
The morning:
Everyone slept in until about 10:30. Ben was the first one up, ordering me to turn the "T.B" on for cartoons. The couch blocks directly under the tree, so he couldn't see his toys when he entered the room. Finally, when I got him to look over the couch, he stared for a second, then said "Oh!!" and jumped down as fast as he could. He played with his Paw Patrol pups and tractors from that second, until we  had to leave again. 
 The girls got up shortly after that. Hailey got to see her giant chest full of art supplies, and Gracie confirmed that there was, indeed, a microscope in that big black case.
Hanna's pictured at the beginning of the post playing with her new critters and furniture for their dollhouse. 

We had to force everyone away from their new things to head to Gramma and Grandad's house, but they didn't mind one bit. They had little snooze in the car on the way, and when we got there, they couldn't get in the door fast enough. 
We had an amazing dinner, and we exchanged gifts. 
My favourite gift the kids got, was the big web swing we've been eyeing up for our big willow. They are going to love this thing!

Photo courtesy of:

We can't wait to get it up in the tree!

I didn't get many pictures, but I did get some great videos!  
We always have a nice time, and can count on being completely spoiled, and uncomfortably stuffed from overeating, every time. :)

Straight from the city, we headed to my parent's house to do it all again. 
 It's a mess of gifts and kids around there!

 My parents made styrofoam blocks (72 of 'em) for the kids. They were a huge hit! They will stay upstairs in the playroom, and they can build forts, or tunnels, or whatever their little minds come up with whenever they visit.
 Everyone's homemade gifts were awesome again this year. We all got {completely handmade}body scrubs and soaks, wood burned ornaments, pickled cukes and beans, a candle centerpiece, and a wooden porch decoration. We have fun with those every year!
 We all went in together to get my mom and dad a projector for movie nights. So, come early spring, while it's still cool, we'll be setting that puppy up on the side of the barn, to cuddle up around a fire.  How fun will that be!?

We got home late again. I want to say about 1:00-ish. Probably later than that, but the kids were still going strong! 
They hadn't had much time with their new toys from Santa, so we let them stay up for a little while later.  

Christmas is such a magical time with kids. I hate how fast it flies by - after all of the planning, decorating, and preparing - it seems like it's here and gone in a blink of an eye. 
We've been taking advantage of every single second, and the kids (and Matt) have been making the most of their Christmas Break. 
We've been thoroughly enjoying our time together and with our families. They call this the best time of the year for a reason!'s the photo from our Christmas card this year, with the caption "Oh, Silent Night". Kind of comical. We had fun with it - can't say the same about the kids. :) 
*No children were harmed in the making of this photo*
Merry Christmas!  

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve

 Christmas Eve snuck right up on us. I didn't get many pictures this year. It seems every year I get less and less photos, but I get a few, and that's really all I need to remember these busy busy days!
We got all decked out for church, and I managed to get one single picture of the kids afterward and before going to my mom's for the big Christmas Eve party. 
It's been at my Nanny and Pappy's for as long as I can remember, but this year it was pretty special. I think my mom made it perfect this year at her house.
We did everything the same. Carols around the piano, snacks galore, and a giant gift exchange. 
It was absolutely perfect.

You did good, momma.

Monday, December 21, 2015

the shiner

I can't even really call it that, because it really didn't even exist. 
Ben is a really fast healer. 

He wiped out pretty bad just a week ago. He fell off the foot of my bed, hitting his face right off of a dresser drawer, that Hailey had opened before hand. The drawer is part of an old built-in closet, and has unfinished edges and definitely the opposite of a soft landing. 

He didn't even cry. He screamed. I picked him up as quick as I could, and realized he had a cut just below his eye. I thought he might even need stitches because it appeared wide. Another small area right next to the cut turned purple instantly, so as fast as I grabbed the ice, I called my mom. 
 She came over to check him out, and we decided that he wouldn't need professional medical attention, and I should just let him sleep it off and see how he was when he woke up. 
 He kept telling me "I a'wight mum, I a'wight."  Little tuffy.

By the next day it already looked like this:
 Excuse his dirty face.

The day after that:
And today, it's perfect. Barely even a bruise. We came to the conclusion that maybe it didn't bruise up because it bled a bit. 
Either way, he's a good healer! 
His first big bo-bo. 
Glad we got that over with. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

bees bees

I went outside to feed the animals, and noticed a giant yellow thing hanging off the side of the big willow tree. 
 Turns out, it's a huge, Benny-size honey comb! 
Since I'm not an experienced bee-keeper, I've been nervous going into the winter season with my little bees. I did the best I could to prepare the hive for the cold, fed them up, and then left them alone when it got too cold to open up the hive. 
When I saw this, I panicked! 
I still don't really know what it means, but it's definitely bees. It's not my bees - at least not all of my bees- but it is bees. The comb is identical to mine. 
I checked on mine to be sure that my hive wasn't empty, and it's full of the little guys, so I feel better now. At least I know they didn't swarm.
I also know, that in the summer time, I'll be climbing up there to steal some fresh honey! 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmas with the band

Straight from the Harper Christmas party, we all made our way back to Mark and Corey's for Christmas with the band. It's always a fun time. 
Who doesn't enjoy lights, live music, snacks, and drinks!?


Harper Christmas

We celebrated Christmas this year with my dad's side at a hall. It was a potluck, and the amount of effort that everyone put into it was amazing. 
There were games, prices, and entertainment for the kids  everyone!
It was a really nice party! 
Aunt Jan drew the Rudolph for our very own {reusable} Pin the Nose on Rudolph!

 Everyone enjoyed all of the games that were planned. There was never a dull moment.
 My mom hired the puppeteer that performed at the CNIB party, because he was so entertaining - and awesome.

 Everyone got involved in the performance.
 Just one of my Hanna sitting like a lady. Have I ever mentioned that she always sits like this?

 Aunt Jan spoils the kids. She had a sac full of gifts for them - but they had to work for 'em!
 A heartfelt speech from Aunt Jean who started the entire planning process and was the mastermind behind the whole thing.
Toasts, and dinner followed. 
I think this may be a new Christmas tradition. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

tree trimming

When I was growing up, and even now, my mom and dad always made the night of decorating the Christmas tree a special one. 
My mom goes out and buys snacks, and appetizers, and I'm really not sure if she realizes how much all of us look forward to it. She might not be trying to make it a big deal, but it is, and always was. 
So, now, with my own kids, I try to make sure that they know that I'm at least trying to make it special for them, too.
I bought snacks, and a gingerbread house, and even whipped cream for hot chocolate (special occasions call for whipped cream!).
Nothing fancy, but the kids told me over and over that it was "the best day ever!".