Thursday, December 30, 2010


It's just after 10 pm on New Years Eve. My teeth are brushed, my face is washed and I'm already snuggled under my down duvet. Erik is fast asleep beside me.
New Years just isn't what it used to be.
But, I'm actually perfectly fine with our new brand of New Years Eve. A good night's sleep for my family is really more valuable than watching the clock strike midnight. Me, however - I'm not tired yet, so I figured it was as good a time as any to catch up on my blog.

The festivities of Christmas have come and gone. Erik went back to work on Wednesday and if it wasn't for the new toys I'm tripping on and the oversized, pine-needle shedding plant dying in the corner of my living room, I could almost believe it never even happened!

But I have pictures to prove that we did, indeed have Christmas - amidst a whirlwind of presents and food and rushing around...

These first pictures are going wa-a-ay back - to Micah's birthday on December 13th. Make that Micah AND Rosanna's birthdays (#30 for Auntie Rosanna actually)! We celebrated with a Toews/Loewen gingerbread house extravaganza.

Keziah was in her candy-decorating glory. And she didn't budge from this seat for the rest of the evening.

Doug & Elissa hard at work after Caleb lost interest...

Silas and Auntie Rosanna.

Time for a "ba-bo" and a snuggle.
(Side note: I think I've waited too long to take the bottle away from Silas. He is pretty attached to it. And, as 3rd children seem to go, he seems like he's way more of a baby than Micah or Keziah were at 21 months. I'm sure the motivation to take it away will strike me one of these days...)

Erik & Emerson.

Keziah still hard at work.

Nothing could break that girl's focus.

Auntie Kristi, Silas and blankie.

Keziah and Elissa get first place for the most dedicated decorators!

Our Toews Christmas took place on the 22nd: a yummy supper followed by some Christmas presents. I wanted to take some pictures of the kids in front of Grandma's tree. But I don't think Micah can smile for a camera without this goofy grin...

This girl, on the other hand, knows how to work it.

Silas got the hang of present-opening this year.

Then we tried to get a picture of Grandma & Grandpa with all 5 grandkids, but we all know how that goes...

Caleb, put the toy down.

Caleb, look at the camera!

Micah, smile nice!

Somebody, give Silas more chocolate!

OK. We give up.

One unwanted gift this month was all the random sicknesses that came our way. Everything from pink eye to hand-foot-mouth virus. Lovely, I know. Micah missed the last 2 days of school because of fevers and a sore throat. He started feeling better but a few days later we noticed several blister-like sores developing on his hands. After a little Googling, I realized that the fevers, sore throat and hand sores were all connected (hand-foot-mouth). By the Christmas weekend, Micah was no longer contagious but the hand sores were still quite prominent on his fingers. To be on the safe side, I got him to wear mittens on his hands for several days. Surprisingly, he didn't complain about this. He ate with his mittens, slept with his mittens, even opened Christmas presents with his mittens. He even wore them for the Christmas Eve nativity play and I didn't have a single person ask me why my little angel was wearing his mittens on stage!

We celebrated on our own on Christmas morning with some gifts sent from family and a few things we bought for the kids.

Keziah's favourite was her new talking doll from her cousin Josh. She named her Apple.
I know. That is, like, so five years ago.

Micah was most pumped about Mouse Trap - from Uncle Joel & Auntie Laura - and we've played several games of it in the last week.

Now we seem to be dealing with another random sickness - Micah again, unfortunately. He's been complaining of random stomach pains and having some vomiting and diarrhea for about a week. The doctor seems to think it's a virus (though I'm not convinced yet) and thinks we should wait it out. Micah didn't have much of an appetite today, but he's gone almost 24 hours without any more episodes out of either end :P So, I'm praying the doctor is right!

It's almost 11:30 now - Erik is snoring beside me, but I just might make it to the new year before I drift off :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Little Performers

I'm on a blogging roll! So many new things to post and I finally have the time to post them :)

Last week was full of Christmas events. I was able to watch Micah's school Christmas concert two afternoons in a row. Micah seemed to know all the words, and if there was an award for the most serious performer, I'm sure he would've won. Someone's gotta tell this kid that it's OK to smile...

Then Friday was Keziah's ballet recital. I didn't quite grasp what an ordeal this was going to be. We had to be at the Abbey Arts Centre at 3 pm and, other than a very quick supper pick-up at McDonald's, we did not leave that place until almost 9! The dance studio has TONS of performers. I'm bad with numbers of people, but there had to be about 40 preschool girls alone. Plus all the older dancers and even some adult students. So, that makes for a long dress rehearsal, a long recital, and a lot of chaos backstage! They put all of the younger girls into a holding room together and expected them to stay there (quietly?) while they waited for their performances. Most of the girls did quite well, but it was crowded and loud and the ratio of adults to kids did not seem like enough. Keziah was doing great right up until the point when I told her it was time for me to go. She clung to me SO tight and cried silent tears into my shoulder. It was so heart-breaking and I decided to stay for a bit to get her settled. I tried leaving one more time, and was even half-way down the hall to the auditorium when I stopped and realized there was no way I would be able to enjoy the recital from my seat if I thought she might be upset backstage (and I knew she would be too shy to let anyone see how upset she really was). So, I quickly got over the fact that I would miss the rest of the recital and decided to stay backstage (with a couple of other moms who also had the same idea). We ended up consoling a few other teary-eyed preschoolers as well, so it was probably a good thing that we were there to help!

Anyway, when it was time for her to perform she did SO good. It really melts my heart to watch her dance.

The first video is of the dress rehearsal:

This was a portion of the actual performance which I filmed from just off-stage. I loved how she smiled so sweetly as she danced.
(I lost track of her near the end of the video because I wasn't really watching my camera screen.)

So cute! Keziah is such a shy little girl, and it's good to see that she's not afraid to perform. Her and Micah also sang some Christmas songs with their Sunday School classes in church on Sunday. Her Sunday School teachers tell me that she barely says a word in class, but when it's singing time, she sings all the words!

Monday, December 20, 2010

80s Night

Let's pause Christmas for a moment and travel back a few decades, if you will...

Our friends Trevor & Rebekah are both turning 30 in the next few weeks and decided to throw an 80s birthday party in honor of the year(s) they were born. Erik and I had fun heading to Value Village for some 80s-inspired clothing. Here are a couple of my finds that I was especially pleased with. The shoes were too big on me, and nearly impossible to walk in... but I guess that's the price you pay for style.

Elissa and I went with the perky, colourful, big-haired look...

The guys... they took a different approach.

But, Trevor's mullet and Rebekah's crimped hair (especially those bangs) took the cake. Great job guys :)

I couldn't take Erik seriously all night.

I thought my hair was pretty big at home, but now that I see the pictures I feel like it could've been way bigger.
Next time...

And my favourite shot of the night....

Good times everyone.

Now if we could just find an excuse to dress up like this all over again. I need a reason to use up that dollar store eye shadow...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

All Aboard!

When Micah first told me that he wanted a Polar Express birthday party, I tried to talk him out of it. It seemed like a really random party theme. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how great it would be. I printed out some golden tickets, invited the kids to come in their pyjamas, and served hot chocolate. And having everything decorated all Christmas-y fit in perfectly with the theme. I just might see if I can convince Micah to have a Christmas-related theme every year...

Tickets, please! Tickets!

We started off the party with a foam sticker Christmas craft - a la Target.

I put all the "goody bags" (mini-stockings filled with treats) in a box and wrapped it up at least 15 times. We passed it around, hot-potato-style, and I loved the boys' reactions every time they unwrapped a layer to find even more layers of paper :)

Micah and I created this snowy light-fixture for the party...

Simple cupcakes... but cute :)

"Cheers"-ing their hot chocolate...

For the last bit of the party, we put the Polar Express on and served popcorn twists and juice boxes.

6 boys out of the 9 that we invited were able to come. All of these boys are in Kindergarten together. This was my first time hosting a full-on drop-off-your-kids-and-pick-them-up-later kind of birthday party, and it went pretty smoothly. Not having the other moms around actually made it less stressful (I wasn't so worried about the little details maybe). It did get a little bit wild and crazy by the end, but Erik and I were able to keep everything under control until the parents came back. I call that a success!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A lot like Christmas

This has been a busy, busy pre-Christmas season for us - what with trying to sell our house on top of the normal schedule of school and work (Erik's been working full-time and I've been doing a lot of transcription recently), celebrating birthdays and planning birthday parties, plus the regular Christmas craziness of parties, concerts, recitals, shopping, etc. After this weekend I anticipate things slowing down considerably and I am SO looking forward to it!

But, 'tis the time to get into the Christmas spirit! And a little red and green and a whole lot of sparkle definitely get the job done :)

Our (mismatched) stockings hung by the chimney with care.

We finally got our Christmas tree last Sunday - we were waiting until all the pictures were taken of our house for selling purposes before we went full-out with the Christmas decor.

Sweeping up pine needles while decorating is like shovelling snow in a blizzard. But Keziah gets an A for effort.

The decorating process would not be complete without a few tears.

I let the kids do a lot of the decorating. If you study my tree closely, you'll see several foam sticker ornaments all congregated in this one section.

This brings back memories of my childhood - I would wake up early in those pre-Christmas days, turn on the Christmas lights and bounce on the couch until everyone else woke up. Yeah, you heard me right. I bounced. Don't judge me.

Next post - Micah's Polar Express birthday party. Stay tuned!