Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Well, I don’t know what happened to this year. Last time I had a few minutes it was November, and here is it is January 2019!

The kids had a great time with Halloween. This year they walked up to all the doors by themselves and I got to walk with a bunch of Leah’s friends Moms. Its nice to chat and get to know them.

The girls all dressed up for Halloween! They are dressed as Shimmer and Shine from a kids tv show.

November brought the first snowstorm of the season. The girls got to have a friend over and they spent much of the time playing outside building snowmen and having toboggan races.

Play dates in the first snow!
What do you want for Christmas??

December came before I knew it, and we were full Christmas mode! We attended some wonderful parties with so many wonderful people! The girls both put on wonderful winter concerts at the school. Leah is involved with the primary concert now and it is a bit more of a production than the kindergarten concert.  At the end of school we dropped the girls off to stay with their Oma for a few days so we could get Christmas presents pulled together and prepare Ava’s new room. The office has been relocated to the basement and the floor was painted and re decorated for Ava.

Getting the Christmas tree all decorated.
Leah is getting so tall! She was a great help this year getting all the decorations organized and hanging up her favourite decorations!
The kids chasing me up the tree. I can’t hang the lights fast enough.
Waiting for Santa!

We spent Christmas eve with Nick’s mom, we had a lovely dinner and a carol sing and play put on at her church. Christmas day we spent with my parents and Grammie. The girls are lucky to have great grandparents both sides  that are able to play with them still.

Opening her stocking!
Christmas Morning!
The dogs got into opening their stocking too!
They loved getting each other a Christmas present
Talking Turkey!

I had to work a bit over the holidays, but I had the first week of January off. It was so great to spend some quality time building puzzles, playing board games and lounging in pjs watch cartoons.

I finally got around to finishing up some scrapbooking from the year. I print a big order from Shutterfly once a year and then spend a good part of the day pulling the 4 books together. One for each kid, the cottage and ourselves. I think it takes as long as it does because it is so fun to look back through the years and also looking at the recent photos and remember all the fun/good things we did this year. It also starts the count down to when we can get back to the cottage.

I took the girls Christmas photos in January this year, Leah wasn’t really in the greatest mood, so I may try again in a couple days. The snow is pretty right now.

Christmas Photo
Happy girls!

We are ramping up for our competition season. Nick is competing in his first competition in a couple weeks. Im so excited to share the experience with him.

Im working towards my Masters qualification this year as well. My first exam is in February! I have really forgotten how to study and it has been a challenge getting back into it! I am looking forward to getting this first part done. If I pass I will be presenting a scientific paper at a conference in May along with an oral exam.

 

Back to the books!

 

A trip to the zoo, and other stories.

We have been busy as always since the last time I was able to check in. We made a family trip to the Toronto Zoo with my mom and dad. Going back as a guest was kind of strange after having spent many summers working with the pony ride, that appears to no longer be there. It was also so much fun watching the kids see all the animals for the first time.We packed a large picnic lunch and spent the whole day and saw pretty much everything. I forgot how big the zoo really was.  Leah’s favourite animal turned out be the flamingos. She also really liked seeing the giraffes and the tigers. Ava’s favourite was the gorillas. It was a cool wet day and many of the animals were very close and active.  I am looking forward to taking the kids again maybe in the summer when it is a bit warmer.

a visit with the Giant Pandas
Leah having a bite to eat, the Komodo dragon was watching closely.
A gorilla, contemplating the meaning of an opposable thumb…
Leah, Ava and Granny checking out a pigmy hippo.
Zebras up close and personal.
Giraffe! Leah asked the see these first.
Sumatran tiger.
A pile of baby snow leopards. One of my favourites.
Leah, Ava and Granny reading some signs.
We found Dory!

Halloween was also a a bunch of fun. The girls enjoyed dressing up, Leah was Elsa again and Ava was a genie.

Elsa and Shimmer. They couldn’t stand still. Thus, this is the best photo we got.

Nick and I finally got most of the fall clean up done in the last week or so. It seems just in time to get the yard waste bags out for the last pick up. Also just in time as the first snow was upon us that evening. The girls were so excited about the snow they woke up early so that they could play outside before Leah went to school. Ava enjoyed the first sled run of the season.

On a mission!
The first run is always the best!

Christmas is coming! Having kids of a certain age has really made me enjoy celebrating the season a bit earlier. We got the lights up on the house outside and my dad came and built our winter planter. It is looking very festive. Our Christmas tree has also made an appearance. It will have to wait a few days until we can put any decorations on it and with that, the Christmas season is upon us. I have been busy making lists and planning various Christmas cooking expeditions for dad and I to embark on. The LCBO’s Food and Drink magazine always has so many fun and different recipes to try and play with. It is time to stock up on things before the mad rush at the end.  I got some beautiful alpaca wool today, I have some projects in mind for that. Well, off to check out some cyber Monday deals. I’m sure it will be just as successful as black Friday i.e. nothing purchased.