Thursday, January 11, 2018

Christmas 2017

We had a nice quiet Christmas this year.  Jared had the week off between Christmas and New Year's.  We relaxed, ate, played games and built model cars.  It was heaven!!

On the 23rd of December we went skiing with Buck, Arren, Gil, Lily, Charles, Kirsteen, Marion and Emma!! The kids had a blast, and though it was cold, very cold, it was a bright beautiful sunny day!  Charles and Kirsteen were visiting Buck and Arren and their family from Scotland for Christmas!!  It was such a great day, an early start but a great day!!  Emma and Emry went off together and got themselves in a bit of a pickle!!  The trail they had wanted to do ended up being closed because there wasn't enough snow coverage, so they were forced to go down a very steep spot.  They got into some trouble when ski patrol came by and took them down in sleds behind their skis!!  Emry said it was scary, but not as scary as trying to ski down the slope they were on!!!

Armin and Calum stayed on the magic carpet, not real thrilling but they could do it by themselves and they really seemed to enjoy it!  Kirsteen even went there to get her ski legs back and stuck close to Armin, he had fun with her!

After everyone had enough of the skis they all headed over to the tube park where they went down the mountain a few times on inner tubes!  Jared said it was a lot more fun than he thought it would be and said every ski hill should invest in a tube park!!

After the tube park we all headed into Banff where we had supper!! We were all wiped from the brisk fresh air but dinner was nice and everyone got full!!

The drive home was a little sketchy.  As soon as we were out of the mountains the snow started to fall, and the wind began to blow!  It was like that all the way to Calgary then we seemed to come out of it.  But again near Okotoks the snow started falling again.  There were cars in the ditches, people going slow, it was crazy!!  We finally made it home by 11:00pm tired and worn out!

The next day was Christmas Eve, such an exciting day!!!  We went to church, but only for an hour, for Sacrament meeting!  It was a nice meeting, very spiritual and it really reminded us as to why we celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Savior!  After we came home and Emry and I made chicken enchiladas for dinner!  Yummy!  We watched movies and played games, ate snacks and read T'was the Night Before Christmas!!  The kids put out cookies and milk and spread their reindeer food outside, then they got snuggled up tight in their beds while Jared and I watched Love Actually!!  It was a wonderful day!

Christmas Day came and went too quickly.  The kids weren't allowed to get us up before 8am and they even listened!!  I put cinnamon buns in the oven so we could enjoy them warm after opening presents.  The kids loved their gifts and were very cute opening them.  They were given a gift together from Santa, a Nintendo Switch.  Calum was beyond excited, he's been watching youtube videos on how to play games for the switch!  My dad was joining us for Christmas dinner, we had our traditional prime rib, mashed potatoes, and carrots.  We had a yummy cheesecake for dessert!  It was a fantastic day!

The rest of the week we relaxed, we took the kids to Star Wars: the Last Jedi, so good!!!!  We played games some more, ate too much and just relaxed!!  One night we went out to my moms where Mark had set up some fireworks!  As usual they were spectacular he did a great job!!  We ate supper with them and the kids watched a movie!  It was a nice change to the laying around at home!!

Then Myrna had her family Christmas celebration on the 30th and the 31st!  It was snowy and cold so the kids didn't brave the outdoors.  But they had fun playing on the switch, building Lego and just goofing off!  We had a white elephant gift exchange with everyone, that was fun!  The kids opened their gifts from Grandma and played with their new toys!

Sunday was New Year's Eve.  Rachel planned activities every hour for the kids to do while they waited to ring in the new year!!  We did change the clocks three hours ahead so the little ones could go to bed at a decent time!  Calum wasn't aware of this change, and I didn't want him to be because I wanted him to go to bed at a decent hour too!  I had other plans for Jared and I to celebrate the new year, and it didn't involve little children!!!!  But as soon as we got to our house after ringing in the new year with all the Puzey's he figured it out.  So after his melt down we decided we would watch a movie and then ring in the real new year as a family!! It was fun, and I'm glad we were able to do that as a family!!!

Our celebrating didn't end there, we waited a week and then took the kids to see Jumanji, they loved it!!  We took Grandma Puzey with us too, they love spending time with her!!! The movie was really funny!!

It was a great couple of weeks off.  The kids were good and got along relatively well for getting a new gaming system that they have to share.  I love spending time with my little family!  They bring joy to my heart!!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Ward Christmas Party

Saturday was our annual Church Christmas Party!!  I was so happy to have both my mom and my dad there, as well as Owen!!  The program was a little long and the Primary Nativity was a little convoluted but all in all it was a great night!

Each Auxiliary was asked to come up with a number for the program!  The 5 Primary Children sang a Christmas song, then the Primary and Youth put on the Nativity.  The Primary kids acted out the Nativity while the Youth Narrated it.  The congregation sang songs in between and it told the Christmas story the way we should remember it!  The Relief Society sang two songs and read a Christmas story.  The High Priests read a Shepard's story, and Leah sang What Child is This while doing sign language!  Very well done!!  The Bishopric acted out The Three Wiseguys and the Choir sang!! 

Then there was a visit from Santa!  Armin was beyond excited to see Santa!  Calum was not feeling very well at all, but still wanted to see Santa, he looked pretty miserable.

The Young Women were in charge of the meal, and the Bishopric in charge of the roast beef!!  All of it was so yummy.

It was a fun night had by all, a great time socializing and just being together at such a special time of the year!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Starting Christmas off Right

Because Christmas is such a busy time of year we always try and celebrate with my Mom early.  This year was quite early since Mark was off only one weekend!  We celebrated on Saturday December 9th.  The weather was gorgeous, not typical for December.  The kids were outside playing wearing only hoodies.  They played spy's in the trees, jumped on the trampoline and went on the zip line, all while us girls got the meal ready!

The meal was delicious!! Turkey with all the fixings.  Pork loin roast.  Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing and my favorite, carrots and turnips!!!  There were veggies and dip, jello salad with pretzels and buns!!  For dessert we had an array of yummy treats, rice krispie marshmallow balls, cookies, tarts, sweet marie bars and pie!  Everyone pitched in to make it a meal to remember!!

Instead of the cousins buying for each other we did a white elephant gift exchange.  Each kid brought a generic present and I read a story that would say right or left in it.  The kids had to follow directions and pass their present either right or left when the word was said!  They had fun doing it and each got a cute gift!

Everyone then opened stockings.  Mark always puts these together and does such a great job.  Each one of us get something that we really like or need, it goes to show how much effort he has put in to getting to know each of us individually!!  Then we opened more presents!!!  Grandma and Grandpa always get the kids something and then the adults draw names.  We were all definitely spoiled!!

The day continued with games!!  First was trying to remove ping pong balls that were in a box tied to your back without using your hands!!  The next was decorating your partner with green streamer tape to look like a Christmas tree all while wearing oven mitts!  Another game was trying to get a pom pom to stick to your team mates nose, which had Vaseline on it.  And then we ended the night by playing a few rounds of spoons!!  Lots of fun and lots of laughs!!

I am so thankful for family and for the love that we share.  Feeling this love reminds me of our Savior and the love he has for each of us.  And then that reminds me of the true meaning of this sacred season.  A time to be together with those we love and hold dear is the best gift one could receive!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Whirl Wind

After Armin's birthday it feels like December hit us like a ton of bricks!!  I have been going non stop!!  We went and picked out our Christmas tree on November 30, we went to Green Haven because I heard that they hang their trees without being netted so you can get the full effect!! They then net it for you and make a fresh cut on the bottom and drill a hole so it will stand in the tree stand better!! The trees were beautiful and the same price as we have paid at Home Depot in the past!  Arren got a tree in Vulcan for only $10 less than ours and it is only 5 and a half feet tall!! Ours is at least 7 or close to 8 feet tall!  So we really lucked out, its big and bushy too!

Friday night we decorated our tree!! The kids had so much fun as usual!  Though there was a little bit of bickering as Emry wanted the decorations placed just so, I think she has a slight case of my syndrome, though I've learned to let it go a little easier than she has!!!  Jared put the lights on and the garland, his designated job!!

Saturday I had to work at the annual Snowflake Festival held in Vulcan.  A bunch of organizations come together and promote their programs and what our community has to offer!  I was in charge of getting a couple of crafts together for the kids to do while they waited their turn to see Santa.  I came up with a jingle bell necklace, they had to thread a jingle bell onto a string as well as some beads.  I also came up with a simple card they could make, sticking circle shaped stickers onto card stock to make hanging ornaments.  We must have had at least 60 kids come through, and all seemed to have a great time.  That night we had the Brandley's Crazy Rook party to go to, always a fun night with friends and super yummy food!!!  I didn't get the lowest score this year either, bonus, though I was a close second!!!!

Sunday we surprised Mark for his birthday and shared cake and ice cream with him!  Then we went home and watched the Christmas Devotional, always a highlight to the Christmas season, a great way to start!!

Monday was my last session of Alphabet Soup, yay!!!!  Plus, it was our monthly Builder's meeting, our Christmas one to boot!!  So I made cheesy ham chowder for our meal and chocolate mint brownie cookies for dessert!  A lot of extra work but totally worth it when everyone was so thankful!

Tuesday Calum had an orthodontist appointment in Lethbridge, so he and I went a little early to do some Christmas shopping!  He wanted to pick out presents for his brother and sister!!  He was so cute looking and pondering what to get them!! Such a thoughtful boy!  It turns out he will need partial braces going on in January!  Then he'll need a full set like Emry once all his adult teeth are in!  Oh yay :(

Wednesday was our annual Nativity display at our Church.  I wasn't able to be at the afternoon performance due to Emry's wrist appointment in Calgary, but the boys each performed with their class and did a great job, so I heard!!  That evening our Choir sang and the boys had another part to do with the Primary kids.  The Nativity's as usual were beautiful and the performers were great, setting the stage for a wonderful Christmas season!

As I said earlier, Emry had an appointment for her wrist with a surgeon at the South Health Campus.  She had been complaining about it hurting for quite a few months, I finally made the call to the clinic and made her an appointment, in hopes that they would say nothing was wrong with it!  Unfortunately the x-ray came back and it was broken, but healed in a bad position, held together with scar tissue.  They put a cast on her arm at that appointment and said to wait until we had an appointment with the surgeon to see what happens.  The appointment with the surgeon came, and she is excellent, really easy to talk to!  Emry will have to have surgery to fix the break.  They cut the piece of bone out and clean up the scar tissue then take a piece of bone and some cartilage from her hip and pin it in place.  The healing process is 8-12 weeks with the pins coming out after.  This will prevent her from developing early stages of arthritis in her wrist.  The surgery is tentatively scheduled for the middle of February, she needs to see a hematologist before to ensure they do everything possible to prevent blood clots if her blood test comes back positive for Factor 5 Laden.  A blood clotting disorder I have.

Thursday was my last day of work for the week and then I went straight to Calgary with a few ladies to work a shift at the Casino as part of our Kindergarten fundraiser.  I was cashier, which I enjoy doing, but it was a long night!  We started our shift at 6:30pm and weren't out of there until 3:30am.  But I had fun with the ladies I rode up with, we had some good laughs!!

Friday was a day of sleep for me, somehow getting in at 5:00am wreaked havoc on my system!!  I also got ready for celebrating Christmas with Mom and Mark and my sisters the next day!

Saturday was a day of celebrating!  The kids had a great time playing with cousins, opening presents, zip lining and of course eating!!!  Armin did have a minor accident on the zip line, the seat flung back as he was getting off and it hit him near his eye.  Calum ran into the house and yelled, "Armin's eye is bleeding!"  And boy was it ever bleeding, as head wounds always do!!  It turned out to be a minor cut just beside his eye, but all around his eye is turning black, so it did hit him good!!!

Sunday was church, but right after I had to head to Vulcan to pass out the candy cane reindeer I made for the kids attending the Holiday Train!  I made 200 and had about 20 left over, so a good crowd! 

Alan Doyle from Great Big Sea was the singing entertainment on the train and he did a good job!  Even though the train came in the middle of the afternoon there was still a big crowd!!  It is hosted by the Food Bank and I think they did well with their donations!  I had to leave before the train left to get back to Champion in time for our Young Women's in Excellence program.  The 4 girls we have did a great job with their talks and their 10 hour projects.  I was so proud of them, they are a great group of girls!  Then at 7:00pm Myrna had asked Emry and I to join her in seeing the Claresholm Cantata!  It was great, the singers all did a wonderful job ringing in the sounds of Christmas!

That has been my life these past couple of weeks!  A little overwhelming to say the least.  But its the season of love, laughter, peace and joy!  I couldn't be happier with all that is going on!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Armin is 7!!!

Happy, happy Birthday to the sweetest and funniest little boy ever!!  Our baby is 7 years old!!  He came on his own terms and has been ever since!  Armin brings such fun to our lives, he is such a ham, he is always trying to make us laugh.  I am so thankful for him in our lives, I honestly couldn't imagine life without him in it!!  He was a big surprise, a great surprise mind you, and he continues to surprise us everyday!

We were able to take Armin out to celebrate his birthday with just us on Friday.  We ate a simple meal in the mall food court, he had his favorite, a hot dog and a strawberry banana Orange Julius!  Then we took him to see the movie Coco, to which he said was very good!  After the movie the mall was still open for Black Friday shopping so we looked around a bit and he picked out some Pokemon cards!  He fell asleep on the way home, he was so exhausted from all the fun he had celebrating!!

Sunday we had his family birthday dinner, which also always happens to fall on Grey Cup Sunday!  In the background of the festivities we had the game on!!  He couldn't wait to open his presents.  He got a gigantic toy combine from Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Mark, which he claims was the best present ever!!!  He got a rescue helicopter from Grandma Puzey, Lego from us, and the always coveted $100 from Grandpa Glen!!  Lily drew him an awesome picture of a ninja turtle and gave him two of the bad guys from the ninja turtle show!  He was so happy with all his gifts and went around and gave everyone a big hug!!  He has such a sweet heart, so thoughtful!!  I didn't do anything fancy for his cake, third child syndrome, but he didn't seem to mind!  We had ham, his favorite, scalloped potatoes and peas!  It was a very nice party, I was so thankful for everyone who came to help him celebrate!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Chocolate Making

This year for our annual chocolate making day I was sick!  So sick in fact that I was sent home to go to bed!!  So I was able to help roll the peppermint and then put the candy cane piece on top of the dipped peppermint!  I also had lunch with everyone before finally heading off to bed, where I stayed the rest of the day.  The cold/flu that hit our entire family was a doozy!  We are still feeling the lingering effects of it, coughing mostly!!  I am happy we were able to get it out of our system before Christmas!

Chocolate making is always so much fun, a lot of work but so fun!!  We were each given an assignment to make three batches of fondant.  I really enjoy making fondant, it is so satisfying watching the mixture change from a liquid to a solid after beating it!  It was Emry's job to clean off the marble slab after, she just enjoyed eating the little bits of fondant that were left!!  But she did a good job and the slab was always ready for the next batch!  I tried two new flavors this year, eggnog and malt, they both turned out great, nice and creamy!!

I was sorry I missed the day with my sister in laws, that is always a highlight to my Christmas season. I am thankful for each of them and all they do for me.  They are wonderful examples and I truly look up to them.  Until next year!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

West Edmonton Mall

For the Remembrance Day long weekend we headed to Edmonton where we splashed around at the Water park!!

We headed up on Friday, took our time getting there, lots of bathroom breaks!!  But we made it and the kids loved the hotel!  We were 6 floors up with a balcony!  Everyone had a bed too...Emry and Grandma shared and Calum and Armin shared the pull out bed!  It was nice not having to put the little's on the floor, we all slept well after playing hard!!

When we got to the city we headed for the mall to have some supper.  The drive from our hotel wasn't too bad, a little far but worth saving a few dollars.  The mall was packed!  We did a little looking around but what the kids really wanted to do was the rope challenge in Galaxy Land.  At first they were all a little timid walking across the beams and ropes, I was especially worried about Calum.  First of all he hates being in Galaxy Land with all the loud sounds and second, he's a little timid when trying something new.  But he was the first one to the top level of the challenge.  He tried all the ropes and beams and had a blast!  Armin was a little more scared than I thought he'd be, but some of the steps were quite far apart and were hard for him!  Despite how timid they were to start, I was proud of them for doing what they could, most importantly, they had so much fun!  They stayed until it was time to close!

The next morning we got up leisurely, had a nice breakfast at Smitty's and then headed back to the hotel where we were meeting Cora to go to the water park!! We got there right when it opened and stayed until 6:30pm!!  The kids loved the waves, especially Armin, as soon as that whistle sounded we knew where to look for him!  Calum tried more slides this time and even went on the sky screamer, the slide where you are shut into a chamber and the timer counts down then the floor falls out from under you!  He loved it!  Cora and Emry hung out lots and Cora even convinced her to go on some slides!  Both boys loved playing in the spray park and climbing thing for kids!  Calum had a game constantly going in his head if he wasn't riding slides he was usually playing his game.  After the water park we headed to dinner!  Cora was able to eat with us and the kids had so much fun with her, she's such a great girl!!

Sunday we again made our way home slowly with lots of pee breaks!!

It was a great trip and the kids were so happy we went!  It was great meeting up with Cora and hanging out with her, it took some pressure off Jared hanging out with Emry!!  I love spending time with my family, I love watching their faces light up with pure enjoyment when they are having fun!