Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas come and gone

Wow, it sure does go fast, doesn't it.

Here are a few highlights of the past few days around here.

1. Christmas family festivites started on the 23rd at John and Christine's for the Braun gathering and turkey dinner. A great evening of visiting, eating, BINGO and some pool. A smaller crowd of only 17 this year as one entire family was missing.

2. The 24th was a busy Symonds day. Started out with breakfast in bed for Nana (happy birthday).

3. Mary, Nik and the kids arrived around lunch time and we enjoyed chinese food for lunch to celebrate Mum's birthday together and then shortly thereafter things shifted from birthday to Christmas.

4. The house starts to smell like turkey while the kids open their stockings from Nana. An afternoon of playing, snacking and puzzles.

5. Family + Food = Happiness. See above photo. Our yummy dinner was followed by present opening and just generally hanging out, laughing and enjoying eachother's company.

6. Christmas morning was just right. Just the 6 of us doing our thing. The kids all opened their stockings in one big whirlwind and then we put on a pot of tea and then opened our presents one at a time.

7. The kids stayed in their jammies all day long and they couldn't have been happier. We played games, built Lego, got crafty with Reagan's new stuff, ate, ate and ate. The day went by so very fast and I couldn't believe it was all over. It was warm and cozy and just right.

Here are a few more highlights in picture form:
The gang

Hudson working some magic on Aunty Mary

New binoculars from Santa

A lot of Guitar Hero - present to Tony from the kids

Cooper finally got skene it - Coop, the C is silent, for the 100th time

I have to mention one more thing. The story behind this picture. This is my Christmas cracker. I have been making the Christmas crackers for the Symonds dinner for a few years now and Tony always fills mine. The past few years he has gone a little overboard with the presents he puts in mine, never sticking to the idea that it is supposed to be just a little silly gift. This year I thought he had finally gone back to the origianl plan because in my cracker was a little toy camera with silly cartoon pictures inside. Knowing how much I like to take pictures I thought it was cute. But he comes up behind me with another gift all wrapped up that he says is my actual cracker gift. I feel my heart start to race a little, thinking about what he could have possibly done. Inside the box is my dream camera - Nikon D40X. I think it is the first time I have ever really gotten emotional over a gift he has given me. I was so overwhelmed and shocked - really never thinking that he was going to buy me such an expensive gift. Anyways, tears were shed and all eyes at the table were on me and the whole thing was lovely. So, so excited to have this great new camera to play with and figure out. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tony. I won't forget this one for a long time. How will you top this cracker gift next year?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Chirstmas crafts

There are times when I wish that I had one of those trees that you see in the magazines - all beautifully decorated in a coordinated theme. But that it is not our tree. Our tree is a family tree in the best meaning of the term. There are a few 'store-bought decorations on there (Tony and I buy a new one every year to mark that year) but mostly they are popsicle stick snowmen, glitter covered pinecones, and beaded candy canes. And eventhough I have those moments where I think that our tree doesn't meet the standard, mostly I look at it and smile. We don't live in a magazine - we are a real (crazy) family with a real family tree.

And lately it is beginning to fill up with even more Christmas crafty things brought home from school.

And then of course there are the annual milk carton, graham cracker gingerbread houses. The first one of our collection came home today. Taggart and I made this one at his preschool Christmas party this morning (for him the eating was much better than the making). Reagan and Cooper are looking forward to making theirs tomorrow. (Cooper's class are the 'big buddies' to Reagan's class and so they are doing this activity together) Hudson was a little shocked to learn that he wasn't doing one at school so we said we would save him some candy and he could make one at home. Oh the joy of the little gingerbread houses - if only I know what to do with them all once they were done.

Here is the little video I tried to upload the other night with no luck. My computer and I made up. It is good for a little laugh I think. (You'll have to go down to the bottom of the page and pause my little music player so that it doesn't interfere with the audio of the video clip - sorry)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This is a test...

I really have not forgotten that I am a blogger but I just can't fit in everything I need to do in a day right now.

Actually the truth is that I am a little mad at my computer. The other night I must have spent at least an hour and a half trying to upload pictures, a video and then finally just words with no luck. I don't know what was wrong but by the end of it all I was so mad and frustrated that I couldn't even sleep. It was about midnight so that is way past my bedtime. Anyways, I have since been a little hesitant to go through that waste of time again.

This post is somewhat a test. If it goes through then maybe you'll see more tomorrow.
Reagan built this train track for Taggart today. aaaaawwww
I'm not sure he was as moved as I was though. His comment: "Reagan, the train only goes on the heart."

Friday, December 7, 2007

Happy Friday

Enjoyed a really nice day in Fort Langley with friend today. We left after dropping the kids off at school and Tag went to go spend a little time with Opa and Oma. I picked up some great little stocking stuffers, had some yummy soup for lunch and enjoyed a Starbucks on the way home. Love, love the white chocolate peppermint mocha.

Afterschool, the kids and I did a Christmas craft - something I picked up at the $1 store a while back and then an easy dinner of leftovers.

A trip down the street tonight to get my hair done and the day is complete.
Just trying to decide if I should sit down and finish up my Christmas cards or flop down on the couch for the rest of the night. Tough call.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Warning! Long post.

Oh my goodness - where do I start? I feel that a lot has happened since I last blogged.
Friday was a day was a day off school and since Tony had spent the last two days in Toronto for work he took the day off as well. He spent the morning catching up on some missed sleep while the kids and I went and got groceries, got haircuts, and visited Opa. Opa has taken on the role of Christmas cookie baker this year. Since he is the main Christmas cookie eater we think this is more than fair. He seemed to be doing a great job while we were there - can't wait to try them. I'm sure this role is not an easy one for Oma to give up but in all of our hearts they will still always be 'Oma cookies'.
Also had a very nice visit with Pat and Henry who came for dinner Friday night. Had not seen them for a very long time and I enjoyed catching up very much.

The advent wreaths got done and hung late on the night of the 30th. I cannot take all the credit though, as Tony was there helping me get it done.
Saturday morning they were all kind enough to go downstairs and watch some TV letting Tony and I sleep a little longer. But at some point I heard someone (Reagan, I think) say "hey, look at these!!" That's when I pulled myself out of bed to go down and be with them as they opened their first little box.
In it was a chocolate and a little note to say that today they would all get their own little Christmas tree to decorate for their rooms.
I asked them if they were happy with these and not disappointed that they didn't get the ones they usually got and they all answered with a resounding YES. Made me happy.
We also woke up to snow falling from the sky which cancelled soccer. We still ventured out though, to take Taggart to his very first birthday party (first that he gets to go to alone). He had a great time and when I went to pick him up he was happy and in a new set of clothes. Apparently his juice ended up all down the front of him but he didn't let it affect his fun at all.

This morning we woke up to more snow that came down all day long. The plan for the day was to go get our Christmas tree in the morning and then to decorate gingerbread houses at Nana's. This is an annual event that Mary and the kids also take part in with us. Unfortunately, the snowy weather prevented them from joining us. We did still go out to the Christmas tree farm but the gingerbread houses will have to wait until another day. (We missed you guys today, especially Cooper was so disappointed you didn't come - see you on the 16th)
Our Christmas tree hunt was very succesful. It took a little longer to get there and back because of the snow but the snow is what made it so lovely while we were there. I had prepared and reminded everyone of the process of the Christmas tree search. They have all gotten used to the fact that eventhough they all might try to point out the perfect tree, I am not usually satisfied until we have hiked to the back of the field to determine that there is nothing 'better'. This year I found 'the' tree much sooner than ever before, and eventhough they didn't say it I think they were all a little dissppointed(relieved) that we didn't go for the usual long hunt until everyone is grouchy. I was messing with tradition after all.

After a little rest in the barn cafe for hot chocolate and popcorn to warm up and dry off , we set off back home. (Mary, you would be glad you didn't venture out because the roads were not great)

The rest of the day was filled with naps, dinner at Nana's and of course decorating the tree. Now, as any couple knows that has ever set up a tree together, it can often be a slight time of tension. Every year, in the name of tradition, Tony crawls under the tree and I tell him when it's straight. Every year, in the name of tradition, his left is my right, forward is backward, and by the time it's straight all Christmas spirit has gone out the window.
But not this year! We got ourselves one of those fancy tree stands where all you have to do is push a button and it's straight. (not quite, but close) Anyways, I'm thinking tradition is not always the way to go.
December is off to great start.