Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

We spent New Year's Eve with my family and their dates at the Italian Canadian Club!  My stepmom is a member there and she came up with the idea to get us all tickets to go!  Their next door neighbor is 13 years old and babysat for the kids last year when we went to the Club for members night and so I was really comfortable leaving the kids with her this time.
I was looking forward to partying with Brad and the rest of my family.  He has missed out on the past couple of "fun" nights due to work but I think we made up for all of those times tonight!!!  My brother Dieter and his date Dawn were lots of fun!!!
My sister Becky and her boyfriend Clint tore up the dance floor!
Here is the group of good looking girls!!!
And the group of handsome men!!!
After the yummy dinner of seafood buffet appetizer, cheese ravioli antipast0, and salmon as the main course we were all full and ready to dance!!!  Each table got hats and necklaces and that was almost like our free pass to start having "fun"!!!!
I think my dad spent most of his time on the dance floor dancing with whoever he could convince to go out there!!!  I did my fair share of shakin' it!!!  The Club had both a DJ and a live band that would alternate every hour or so!  It was perfect!!!!
My sister was a bit obsessed with taking her picture with her boyfriend so the joke became taking "bad" pictures like zooming in on them or cutting her out of the picture!!!  I thought it was funny... she didn't find it as amusing!  So, she took the camera away from me but that didn't stop me from having fun with her pictures!!!  I jumped in wherever I could!!!! : )
Here I am with my wonderful siblings!!!  I am SO lucky to be an "only child" between my two parents but have 5 wonderful siblings; a brother and sister in Canada and 3 brothers in the US!  I love spending time and partying with them!!!  It gives me lots of good memories to laugh about when are apart.  Like writing this blog, I'm cracking up at all of the pictures and remembering that wonderful night!
And what a night it was!!!  Doesn't this picture say it all?!?!
My dad and his two beautiful daughters!!  What a lucky dad!
I love this picture, look how serious I am!!!  I think this was Becky and Clint's 50th picture and I'm still going strong at aggravating her!!!  See, I'm a great big sister!!!
One last shot before we leave, I think we were the last group there!!!  I was afraid that when the dinner started at 6 we'd be so ready to go by midnight.  Boy was I ever wrong, we were just getting started!!!  Luckily my parents live close to the Club so we could just walk home!
What a FUN night!!!  Thanks Mom and Dad for treating us all and helping make so many fun memories!
Happy New Year Everyone!!!  I wish you all the best in 2011!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chop Sticks

Today we went for a late lunch with the whole family to Hockey Sushi we they have an all-you-can eat menu.

You select what you want off their menu and they bring it to your table!  They have a huge menu to choose from and you can order, eat, order, eat, and order again!  We love to go there!
And the kids love it!!!  They love the noodles there!!!

And they get kid friendly chop stick to use!!!  So much fun!
But sometimes the really LONG noodles
are a bit too hard to pick up with your chop sticks
so it is much easier to pick them up
and eat them with your hands!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Swiss Chalet

Every time we go to Canada we go visit Opa in Toronto for the day and go to Swiss Chalet for lunch!
It is our little unspoken tradition that I look forward to every visit!!!  If you have never been to a Swiss Chalet you are missing out on good rotisserie chicken and fries with gravy!!!  It is the little unspoken traditions that I look back to with fond memories.  I can remember my Oma slowly eating her chicken and getting every last little piece of the bone.  When her and Opa were full they would take the leftover chicken and put in on their bun and take it home for lunch the next day.  So, it is those little unspoken traditions that I am so thankful to have, look back on with a smile on my face, and be able to share with my kids!
The only downside to our setup is we usually eat a late lunch so the kids are starving by the time we get there.  Our server must have sensed that so she brought out two rolls with some butter for the kids!  Addyson is such a big girl that she wanted to butter her bread by herself which provided entertainment for her while we all looked over the menu.
Not even sure why we look over the menu, they pretty much serve chicken with fries, just depends if you want a quarter chicken or half chicken or do you want a sandwich.  And we always get the same thing so we should just cut to the chase and order as soon as we sit down!  I like our little tradition, it gives us a chance to spend some one on one time with Opa and sometimes my cousin Ricky comes along!  Makes me wish we lived closer but since we don't, I'll enjoy and savor the time we do have together!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tea Party

This morning Addyson, Teetee Bec,, and ALL of Addyson's babies had a tea part with her new tea set!
It was so cute to watch her pour some tea into the cup
and then watch as she gave each of her babies some tea!
I'm impressed at how well she pretend plays at her age and how she is ALL girl!!
I see many more tea parties in our future.... and possibly Owen's future!!! : )

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Morning

I feel so blessed to be able to spend Christmas with my family in Canada this year. I do have to say that I was a bit concerned though that my brother and sister would not get up early when the kids did or they would complain about it and I would get super frustrated and that would put a damper on Christmas morning.  I happy to report that that was NOT the case!!!
The kids got up at 7:30 (they slept in from the predicted 7am wake up) and we tried to keep them occupied as long as possible.... 15 minutes.  I told Owen to go wake up Teetee Bec (I figured she'd be nicer to him than me for waking her up so early!!! : ) ) and Opa and Nina.  Much to my surprise everyone jumped out of bed and were ready to go!
After all it WAS Christmas morning and everyone wanted to see what Santa brought!!!  There is also something special and magical about spending Christmas morning with little ones!!  The innocence of Christmas is brought back and I think my family was so happy to be able to be a part of this special morning!
Kids are so happy and grateful for every little gift and they are so eager to open the next!!!  Who wouldn't want to sit back and witness that?!?!
I was so impressed with how patient the kids were.  We took turns opening gifts and the kids watched as we opened ours!!!  Of course, in between opening Owen would ask if he could open another but when I told him to wait until his turn he did! : )
Everyone was so thoughtful with their gifts and getting things they thought the other person would really enjoy!  Sometimes, while shopping, I often get discouraged and wonder if I am wasting my time and worried about whether my gift will be a hit or not.  Sometimes makes me want to make a rule that we no longer buy gifts for adults and just focus on the kids.
But, I didn't call off gifts just yet and turns out I think I hit the nail on the head!!!  My dad, who recently became vegan, loved his shirt I got him!!!  If you know my dad, you know if he is "stuck" on something he is very proud to talk about it over and over again and proclaim it any way he can which is why I knew he'd love to be a walking billboard for veganism!!! : )
I think Addyson's favorite gifts were her apron I got her and the tea set Nina and Opa got her.  She played with that ALL morning.  As soon as she got a tea cup out she walked over to her table and poured her water in it!!!  She loves to pour! Luckily there was no water in the tea pot or else we would have had a mess on our hands.  Not sure why she thinks this should be poured down her apron but she has done this several times.  I'd like to know her thinking behind this!
Not a flattering Christmas picture but still cute to this mom!!!  She is wearing Santa's glasses that he left behind!!! : )
The kids got a gift for Christmas that I ALWAYS wanted as a kid and now have a good idea why I never got one!!!  I always wanted some sort of playdough set that I could make "things" and Teetee Bec got the kids an ice cream shop playdough set!!  They played with this ALL morning and let me just say... it is VERY messy!!!!  Could this be why I never got one?!?!  Now I'll just enjoy making pretend ice cream with my kids and then we'll leave this here and Opa and Nina's house as a "special treat" when we come visit!!! : )
One of my favorite things about Christmas is spending all day in our pjs (or new shirt we just got) and playing with our new toys!!!  Every lounges around, plays with the toys, enjoys eachother's company, 
and eat any goodies Santa left behind!!!  Makes for such a special day!!!
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!  I hope you have a wonderful day with your family!

Merry Christmas

Santa Visits Canada

To get ready for Santa and his reindeer to visit we set out milk, cookies, and carrots before we left for church!  We knew we would be getting home late for Nana and Papa's house and the kids might be asleep by the time we got home so we wanted to make sure and have everything ready before we left.
 Either Addyson thought the cookies were for her or she wanted to taste them to make sure we were giving Santa good cookies! : )
After unpacking all 7 carrots for the bag we were finally ready for Santa!!!
Much to our delight, Santa DID find us in Canada!!!  We have proof that he visited Opa and Nina's house!  Not only did his snow covered boots leave footprints on the floor but a piece of his suit got caught in the fire place.
And he forgot a glove and his glasses where he ate the cookies and left us a note. Silly Santa!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Today was spent doing last minute shopping, wrapping gifts, napping, and getting excited/prepared for Santa's visit!!!
Tonight we went to church at 5 and then headed over to Nana and Papa's house for dinner, drinks, and fun with the family!  I haven't spent Christmas in Canada in probably 15 years or more so it was nice to spend a holiday with my family we don't get to see very often.
 My cousin Tracy has 3 kids and two of them are close to my kids age; Cooper and Quinn.  Actually, Quinn and Owen are just a couple of days apart.  If I remember correctly I think we were due on the same day!!! 
It is nice having other kids around!!!  All of the kids play so good together which allows the adults to sit back, relax, and have a drink!  One of the neat things about being here for the holidays was partaking in some of the "old" traditions I remember like the poppers that Nana has every year that come with a paper crown and a goodie!!!!  There is something to be said for Christmas traditions!!!  I love how there are certain things you can count on every year and then, looking back as an adult, you have such fond memories of those specific things and it gives you ideas of traditions to start on your own!
The goodies provided tons of entertainment for the kids!!!  We cut the evening a bit short, I dressed the kids in their pjs, and we headed home and straight to bed so we could get ready for Santa to come!!  I hope Santa finds us in Canada!!!