Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I Wish I Could Send You All One!

So I'm linking up again with Faith from "Walk With Me By Faith" to show off our Christmas card. If you are visiting from there, thanks for stopping by!

Ever since Dave and I got married, since I am Christian and he is Jewish, we have sent out a more generic "Season's Greetings" card which can go to both his Jewish aunts and uncles and my Christian ones. However, we finally know enough people we want to send cards to that, this year, for the first time ever, we are sending out two different cards. And I am so excited about it!!!

I love our cards. We get them done at Costco since we can pick them up the next day and they are reasonably priced. They also come with really pretty envelopes :) The only downfall is that they are sold in packages of fifty so unless we have more than 75 people we want to send cards to, it doesn't make sense to order two separate cards.

This year we did a Fall mini-session with a photographer from our church (Jennie Wiebe Photography) and words cannot express how much I LOVE the photos! We used the same sets of photos on each card. And Dave apologizes for the quality of the scans he provided. I think they look okay but obviously they are not as impressive as the real thing! And pretend you are not seeing these cards surrounded by the exact same pictures in our blog header and the sidebar :)

So from our family to yours Merry Christmas...
...Happy Chanukah!
And whatever holiday you celebrate, or don't celebrate for that matter, may the joy and peace of this season be with you.

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Hate Change And I'm An Ungrateful Wench!

This is the first blog post coming to you from my new computer. For you guys this makes no difference whatsoever. For me, this means I have to learn all the ins and outs of a new computer. I really don't like change. I really don't trust technology. The combination of these two things meant, that despite all his hard work to get this computer set up, I spent most of Sunday evening grumbling at Dave about how "EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT. WAHHHHH."

In two weeks I will be used to this computer and will LOVE it even more than my old one but I have to get through these next two weeks. It absolutely didn't help that our picture folders didn't copy over properly and, if there's one thing I use my computer for, it's to store our pictures. But for now I am a grumbling mess, hating this technological change. It would also help if the keyboard would stop randomly switching from "English-US" to "English-Canadian Multilingual Standard" which causes my quotation marks key to turn into an È instead. I'm not typing in French people, give me back my quotation marks.

Anyways... I'll stop being ungrateful and tell you about some of the rest of our weekend. Sam was home sick from school for four days last week. Finally I took him to a walk in clinic and he was diagnosed with mild pneumonia. Thankfully his major symptom was an awful sounding cough. After four days at home with a sick, but not too sick, kid, I was so ready to get out of the house and enjoy the rest of the world. Friday night Dave let me go out to eat supper by myself before I went to Sew Be It, the craft night at church. I addressed a lot of Christmas cards so that was fun.

On Saturday, at Tot Shabbat, we made cookies. Rachel got a little excited about decorating her dreidel!
Saturday night Dave and I went to his work party. The invitation said, "Dress to Impress!" I love wearing a fun dress but I never know what to do with the rest of myself. I found a dress I loved a few weeks ago (on sale too!), and then I knew I couldn't wear it with my black tights and flats. So I bought nylons. And scoured every single shoe store for a pair of heels that a) I could walk in, and b) weren't too expensive. I finally found a pair of glittery ones. Yay!

But then I had to figure out what to do with my hair. These are the times I really miss living in a residence with seventy other women who have more hairdressing skill in their little fingers than I do in my entire body. And I didn't live in a hairdressing school residence. Anyways, I pulled out my curling iron with a vague idea of trying to put my hair up somehow. But then all my hairstyles failed me so I left it down and prayed the cold wouldn't kill the curl. I can't remember the last time I owned hairspray so my hair was left to its own devices.
The party was a combination hors d'oeurves and casino night. I was super-excited about the hors d'oeurves and very unsure about the casino. We were given $1000 SmithBucks (where "Smith" is a fake name for the CEO of the company) so it wasn't like we were using real money. We tried some Blackjack where I might have ended up fifty dollars richer, and then we ended up at the craps table. Thanks to some coaching from one of Dave's co-workers ("Always bet on the 6 or the 8.") I ended up adding to my "cash" by another 50%! I was really excited about this, as you can tell.

However, when we went to "cash in" our chips, it turned out that you got one draw prize ticket for every $1000 you cashed in, and Dave and I who started out with $2000 in SmithBucks total, had only ended up with about $2700 so after our hard work we still ended up with only two draw prize tickets. Oh well! We had fun.

On Sunday, we went to a hockey game. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have sat through all my overgramming of the game. For those of you who didn't see those pictures here are three more. One of the game itself (which Waterloo lost -- boo), one that clearly shows Rachel needs to learn how to properly eat a hot dog, and one of Sam correctly answering a trivia question and winning our whole family tickets to the league's all star game. Yay!
Sunday night, in between grumbling about my new computer to my long suffering husband, we lit our Advent wreath.
And now we're into a full week, what with Chanukah beginning on Tuesday night, my parents coming for Christmas on Wednesday night, and all the fun and excitement that comes with all of that.

Oh, and trying to figure out my new computer. How long do you think itèll take for me to figure it outÉÉÉ Hint: Ièm not quite there yet.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Twice The {Decorating} Fun

Welcome to everyone visiting from Kelly's Korner today. I appreciate you taking the time to drop by and look around. If you are not one of my regular readers, you won't know that I am Christian and my husband is Jewish. This means we get to have twice the fun when decorating for holidays. Since Chanukah falls right around Christmas this year (December 16-23), our decorations are overlapping in the extreme!
Outside I have put greenery in our window boxes and a mix of ornaments. I also hung a bunch of ornaments on our tree out front, and if this past year is any indication, they will out there until March! We don't have a lot of snow, yet, but it will likely come and I won't be able to get out to take the ornaments off the tree until it melts.
Our office, which looks out into the playroom (the playroom was an addition built on to the back of the house so we're special enough have a window inside our house!) has the Chanukah star banner which was a creation of mine and my husband. He folded all the stars and I had the original idea. Our window ledge in here is also where we keep some of our cards.
Our living room reflects our interfaith life with a Chanukah banner, the menorah, and our nativity set all displayed.
The nativity set is one I bought when I lived in Israel-Palestine and I actually gave it to my parents and never did buy one for myself. A couple of years ago my parents decided to give it to me and I'm so thrilled they did. I let my kids, five year old Sam and three year old Rachel, set it up, so it isn't precise in any way! And the menorah was a wedding gift to Dave and I from his grandparents. It's so beautiful.
A few years ago I got some free Christmas material and I had a plan for it, which you will see later on in this post. But then I had extra material and so I made a random fabric string. Thus far it has been looped on our stair rail and Sam wanted to hang ornaments on it. I think it's kind of fun!
Sam has his own Christmas tree in his room which he gets to decorate however he wants to. He also got Chanukah window gels this year and decided to display them so that "Chanukah" could be read from the street!
Rachel also has her own tree and Chanukah window gels in her room, as well as her own unique decorating sense! I love giving the kids the freedom to decorate in their rooms however they want :)
Our dining room looks festive with the Advent wreath, our Advent calendar and my fabric light string on the window. My parents are visiting us for Christmas this year, and once they arrive we will go cut down our Christmas tree together and decorate it. Then it will be in this room too!
I love our Advent calendar, which my friend, Janice, gave to me this year. It has a word describing this season for every day. I don't want my kids to think Christmas is all about eating chocolate so I'm glad this doesn't have that option. Also, Rachel randomly opened a bunch of doors one day, so there are more doors open than there should be!
I made our Advent wreath and with the greenery and carnations it looks a lot like what my mom used to make when I was growing up. And yes, we're re-using our candles from last year two years ago.
This is what the dining room looks like when the fabric light garland is lit. I got this idea from a SUYL a few years ago and it's what I originally made with the Christmas fabric I mentioned earlier. I love how it decorates the window and gives a warm glow to the room.
And even though this is a picture from last year, I wanted to show my new favourite Christmas "decoration" -- Christmas potpourri. I got the idea from my blog friend, Allison. I slice half an orange, add some whole cloves, whole cranberries, a couple of cinnamon sticks, and some water, and then simmer it all day. It makes our whole main floor smell so good. I haven't started this year's batch yet because I know I'll just want to keep it going until Christmas so I'm trying to hold off until this weekend but then LET THE CHRISTMAS POTPOURRI BEGIN!!! (Can you tell I'm just a little excited about this?!)

So even though our tree isn't up, and we don't hang our stockings until Christmas Eve, and we haven't yet lit the menorah, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and Chanukah, around here.

Thanks again for stopping by. Merry Christmas! Happy Chanukah!

Project 364: Days 333 Through 339

November 30, 2014 -- It was the first Sunday in Advent and our church had their Advent wreath ready to go.
December 1, 2014 -- Sam came home and showed me "the Christmas handcuffs" he made at school. They had red accents but I did wonder what they're teaching him!
December 2, 2014 -- We soaked an egg in vinegar to make it bounce. After a few successful bounces, Rachel discovered that being dropped from a height of about six inches was, unfortunately, its limit :)
December 3, 2014 -- Flu shots for everyone were on this day's agenda. We're hoping to avoid major sickness this winter.
December 4, 2014 -- Rachel was super excited about being able to decorate a personal tree for her room.
December 5, 2014 -- The annual "Dave frying latkes while wearing his Guinness apron" picture!
December 6, 2014 -- After a busy day, a night of eating nacho dip and watching "Friends" with Dave was exactly what I needed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Huge Thank You!!! And Project 364: Days 326 Through 332

You may notice that the blog has a new look! A huge thank you to my friend, Sherry, who designed it for us. Sherry is so awesome and I really appreciate all her hard work. All the pictures in the header and along the side are from our family session with Jennie Wiebe Photography. If you live in KW or surrounding area, and want photos taken, you should get in touch with her. 

I haven't posted a Project 364 in awhile so you'll get two in a row. While I have loved doing this project, I can tell I am running out of steam on it, so sometimes the only picture I took in a day was one I've already posted on Instagram. Sorry for the repeats for those of you who follow me there.

November 23, 2014 -- I woke up at 4:30am this day to get winter tires put on our car. I was home by 8am and had a ton of energy. We I got a lot done this day, including hanging the dried flax flower Dave made while we were in New Zealand. It had been framed and sitting on our piano, waiting to be hung, since mid-June. This is the most boring picture ever unless you are Dave and me and are as excited as we are that this is Finally. On. Our. Wall!!! We plan on doing a travel gallery wall as we collect more so hopefully this wall won't always be this empty.
November 24, 2014 -- This was a rainy afternoon of doing errands so I got a Starbucks to keep my spirits up. Sadly, they messed up my order and I had to go back and get it fixed.
November 25, 2014 -- It's been so cold out lately (although not really so I can't explain why I've been so cold) that I've been heating up my comfort bag every night before I go to bed.
November 26, 2014 -- I thought this might be one of the last laundry hanging out days of the year. Spoiler: I was wrong :)
November 27, 2014 -- It was labyrinth night at LOGOS. I love this night.
November 28, 2014 -- It's ironic that our flannel sheets have snowflakes on them but I've never been as happy to crawl into a pile of snow!
November 29, 2014 -- I was so happy with how this fireworks picture turned out from the opening night of Wonder Of Winter -- the light display in one of our parks.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Those Germans Know How To Celebrate!

Every year our city holds a Christkindl Market, which is a traditional German Christmas Market. A few years ago Sam really enjoyed going and hanging out in the model train room. He also enjoyed making a wooden reindeer craft. Rachel was only eighteen months and so she enjoyed hanging out in her stroller! Last year we were gone for most of the time the market was being held so we didn't get to go.

I had actually forgotten it was being held this past weekend until I read about it in our local paper and then it quickly got added to the list of things I wanted to do this weekend. Unfortunately, we were babysitting our friends' kids on Saturday afternoon so we didn't get to go to the kids' woodworking time. However, after our quick indoor picnic on Sunday, we were off.
We first headed to the craft room. Rachel and Sam made reindeer, and Sam made a Christmas tree ornament. While Rachel made some other things, including a Christmas crown, Sam and I checked out the various vendors. And drooled over all the yummy German baking.
Then we headed to the train room. There were about seven different trains on different tracks going around and around.
Sam and Rachel were completely entranced. And in the left picture, Rachel was waving at the trains as they passed her, not trying to touch them!
After we managed to drag the kids away from the train room, we watched a folk dance group. They were really fun to watch. However, I was slightly annoyed because every time I found a good spot for Sam to stand, a grown up would stand in front of him, and I'd be looking for a new spot. This must have happened about five times. Frustrating :( But the dancers were fun to watch and I think Sam could have watched them for longer, but their time was up.
On the way out we saw the world's tallest elf and a cool ice carving. We had a really good time and hopefully next year I'll remember the market in time to block off Saturday afternoon so we can go to the kids' woodworking time again. I know I'll they will really enjoy it!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Weekend To-Done

So on Friday I posted a list of things I needed to get done this weekend. Have you been on the edge of your seat all weekend wondering how I was (we were) doing on our to-do list? Well, I'm here to reassure you that it was an excellent weekend and we got A TON of things done. Including some things which weren't even on the original list. I won't post the entire original list, but here are a few things which got photographed while in process.

*Peel and grate about twenty potatoes so Dave can make latkes for our church small group Channukah party tonight.
*Pray the kids don't eat so much chocolate while playing dreidel at aforementioned gathering that they don't sleep tonight.
It was an intense dreidel game, as always, and the kids didn't get to sleep until after 10pm, but then they slept well all night, so we'll call this a success.

 *Eat nacho dip and watch "Friends" with Dave. You may have seen evidence of this on Instagram, and if you don't follow me there, you should. It's my favourite app; I even like it better than Facebook. gasp.

*Do some Christmas decorating indoors too, like putting up the nativity set.

Not pictured: Joseph and Mary recuperating after their pushing match to get to Baby Jesus first. I guess they were both eager to hold him and there were all these sheep in the way. 

*Do some Channukah decorating as well.
 
Thankfully I don't really care how the kids put up the decals in their rooms, which is good because Rachel organized hers by colour and Sam hung his so the "Channukah" can be read from outside, but not the "Happy." :)

And here are some things which weren't on the list:

*Figure out how a piano works.
*Bribe the kids with breakfast at Tim Horton's to have a really fast shower before church. Discover Tim's now serves oatmeal and It. Is. Delicious!
 
*Have an indoor picnic for lunch on Sunday. This was all Rachel's idea, by the way, although she wanted to eat outside. We compromised.
 
And we even had a fun adventure on Sunday afternoon which you can read about tomorrow.

And now I'm off to bed so I can cross "Get three good nights of sleep" off the list, and so I have energy to tackle the list I have for this coming week.