Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lots of lovely Christmas stuff going on here, close to home. Staying in our jammies, wearing our new housecoats, eating lots of chip and dip, playing games, going for walks to the park.
I will update with photos soon.
Hope everyone's holidays are happy.

Monday, December 21, 2009


I decided to attempt some Christmas baking again. My last attempt was not too successful. I spent the whole morning and some of the afternoon knee deep in chocolate, almonds, flour, and icing sugar. This time I did good.
It must have been the Christmas carols playing. Tony even kept football off the TV most of the day to help set the mood and not jinx the baking marathon that was going on.

A game of monopoly took place between Cooper and Tony. Tony takes this game far too seriously so we had to lighten the whole thing with a game of Nerf darts. He happened to be wearing the perfect shirt for it - they all stuck to him. The kids thought this was pretty funny.

Love the look on Reagan's face in this one. He waited it out and then they got back down to business.

This is Cooper and Tony deep in discussion about how Cooper, who had no money left and owed $950 in rent, was going to stay in the game.

Sunday I felt that I got back on track with Christmas preparations. I still have lots to do (I should be wrapping right now) but I got myself back in the spirit. The funniest thing was how Reagan and Tag have started making lists about what they are going to do during the day. They have obviously been watching as I scribble my lists down furiously and then try and cross things off. There lists seem to be a little less labour-intensive than mine, but important none-the-less.

Friday, December 18, 2009

This week...

Lots of fun Christmas activities happening at school this week. So, as a result, I spent quite a bit of time up there helping in various classes with various crafts.

Tuesday we helped 22 little five year olds (including Tag) make evergreen centerpieces that really would be the glowing center of any table, complete with plastic snowflakes and faux poinsettia blooms hot glue-gunned on. I burnt my finger on the glue gun and my friend Julie (another kindergarten Mom) clipped her finger with the pruners but other than that it was successful.

Wednesday we made gingerbread houses in Reagan's class. Hers was the prettiest. I'm quite sure that none of her classmates read this blog so I can say that. :)
Thursday was school wide craft day. I floated from class to class helping with a variety of tasks: threading beads onto pipe cleaners, gluing pompoms onto Santa hats, squirting glitter glue onto snowmen, and, unfortunately, hot-gluing ribbon onto ornaments (yes, another burn to the finger). We had a lovely collection come home to add to our tree.

Today, we are officially on Christmas vacation. Cheers to two weeks of no school lunches to pack.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas photo teaser

The snow was just starting to fall as we headed out to do the Christmas card photo shoot that we all sooooo enjoy(big dose of sarcasm inserted here).

It actually went off without too much trouble. Just the usual "look at the camera", "look at the camera", "LOOK AT THE CAMERA".

Of course I can't post the final photo here because that would ruin the surprise for those of you who get an actual photo from us in the mail. So here's a teaser: P.S. Only 12 more sleeps until Santa.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas has arrived at the Symonds house

It took us a while to get going but once we did there was no stopping us.

In the course of 3 days we:
-went Christmas shopping

-decorated Christmas cookies
-did a Christmas puzzle

-watched some Christmas movies
-went to the Christmas tree farm
-cut down our Christmas tree
-drank Christmas hot chocolate-decorated our Christmas tree
-put up all the Christmas decorations

-listened to Christmas music
It's official - we're in the season. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Science Fair update - On Friday Cooper advanced to the next level of competition. This means that, in March, he competes against other kids in the district. He called me on my cel as soon as he found out and acted very cool while telling me that he had made it. I know that he was beaming on the inside - so was I.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

FPOTM - November

It's absolutley the perfect shot for how I felt most of this month. CRAZY!!!


I am way too tired to blog right now but this whole "blogging once every two or three weeks" thing is getting ridiculous.
How it is already December 3rd I can't even begin to try and figure out. Why does November seem to fly by in a bigger whirlwind every year? My Christmas decorations are still not up but don't get me started. At least I did manage to remember to pull out the advent calendar wreaths on Monday night. Can you imagine??
Okay, the reason for my post tonight: SCIENCE FAIR!!
For the last few weeks we have been cursing Science Fair around here. This is our first year dealing with it and man, does it take up a lot of time and energy. Cooper was actually really excited about the whole project and spent a lot of time on it, making sure he was keeping on track with what he needed to have done every week.
The whole late night, printing tiger photos off the internet, typing, editing, etc. thing paid off though. He got chosen (1 of 3 in his class) to represent his grade in the final. Tomorrow morning he will find out if he was chosen out of those to move on to the next level. He is beyond excited and told me he wasn't sure if he would sleep tonight (he was snoring by 9:30). Really, really proud of him and the effort he put into this project.
Speaking of proud, the other three all performed in their Christmas concerts yesterday and today. Of course, they all did fantastically. But, off the record, the kindergarten class is really the cuuuuuutest. Don't tell the others. He was rewarded for a great show with a cookie and a juice box which he proceeded to enjoy sitting on the end of the stage.
Yay everybody this week!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Out with the old and in with the new

I've been spending a lot of time trying to purge the house of unnecessary clutter. Have you ever heard the saying "a cluttered house leads to a cluttered mind"? Well let me tell you, my mind is filled to the brim with clutter right now.
Last week we had the carpets cleaned. Which means we had to empty out our play/computer/scrapbook room of all it's contents. It definitely doesn't feel good to load junk back into it when it's been all cleaned so I've been getting rid of a lot of stuff. This train set was one of the first things I decided should go. It wasn't easy because it was my idea to buy all this stuff a couple years ago for Taggart. I really thought it would be a hit...but it wasn't. He never plays with it and it takes up an awful lot of room. So I had Cooper pack it all up and organize it into a box to give away. Well, when Taggart saw what was happening he didn't react well. All of a sudden this became his favorite toy. So Cooper dumped out all of his packing efforts and built this great set up. Taggart and him had a great time playing with it.......for about 10 minutes.
So the next day it got all packed up again and ready to give away. Taggart seems to understand this time.
All of this cleaning house seems to be the perfect set-up for Christmas. Kids are writing their wish lists and Tony and I are trying to figure out the what's and who's of Christmas shopping.
With Tony's career taking a slightly different turn this year it seems to be the right time to introduce some new traditions. Things that focus a little more on the giving rather than the getting. Tonight we did this:The kids put all their names in a hat and each chose one to buy a Christmas present for, with their own money. I think at first they were a little taken aback by that idea, especially Reagan who has been saving forever to by an iPod, but once they had chosen their name they all started to get excited about it. Chatting about what they wanted and all the ideas that they had.
To be honest, I have really been feeling stressed out about Christmas drawing near - worried about what to buy without buying too much. Really wanting to show the kids what Christmas can be without the getting part. But tonight, listening to them all buzzing around about what they want to get eachother, my Christmas spirit has been restored. I might even get out the decorations this week.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Reagan's very first skipping competition was this weekend. A day full of sitting on gym bleachers, waiting for events to start, watching her jump, and being very very proud of her.

I really think that Reagan has found what she really wants to do. We tried ballet and she liked it but when it was over she didn't want to do it again. Same with gymnastics, same with soccer. But skipping....she seriously can't get enough. She never complains about her two hour practices and still has energy left over to show me a new trick she's learned.

It's so great to see her do something she loves. She had a great time at the competition. She was a little nervous before each event, but she never got upset when she tripped. Her attitude was good from beginning to end. I really enjoyed being there with her.

I foresee that this is going to be a big part of our lives in the time to come. The team trials are done in December and then (if all goes well) she is officially part of the team and practices go from 3 hours a week to 5. More competitions are coming for her and she is nothing but excited about all of it.

I guess I better get a 'skipping scrapbook' started.

Marching into the gym with her team
Warm-upWaiting for judges 30 second speed Her ribbons

Friday, November 13, 2009

LIttle things

I started this blog almost three years ago with the reason that I wanted to document the little things in life. Those moments that you are sure to forget if they are not recorded.
But lately I have stopped doing that to the extent that I want to. I could probably come up with all kinds of reasons for it but I'm not going to. Life does get busy and sometimes life's stresses get in the way of hanging on to what's most important.
Life's littlest moments are often the greatest.

Thankful for these little things:

Taggart brought home a sheet of his two Christmas songs that they have started practicing at school for the Christmas concert. His teacher told them to go onto YouTube when they got home so that they could hear them being sung and that we could practice more at home. The fact that my 5 year old knows what YouTube is another story - he actually told me it was iTunes so that is where we went. So he spent the next while playing them over and over on the computer, "reading" off his paper, and singing at the top of his lungs. If he keeps them up he is going to know 'Up on the Housetop' and 'Little Toy Trains' better than all of them.

We've been talking a lot around here lately about respect and treating others kindly (especially your siblings). Sometimes we all forget about others, getting all caught up in ourselves.
Trying to re-focus. This was a good Mama moment as I looked out the front window and saw Cooper and Hudson hanging out, shooting hoops, and not trying to kill eachother.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

FPOTM - October

It's the sassiness in this photo that I love. These earrings were part of her Halloween costume and she felt very grown-up in them I think. As we played outside she kept checking herself out in the truck sideview mirror when she thought I wasn't looking.

Sick days and creating art

The rain is coming down in buckets outside as I type this and the kids are all laying low watching 'Elf' in the living room. That is definitely one of my favorite Christmas movies so I may go join them soon. Since Halloween is over we have now officially switched gears to Christmas. Our decorations aren't up yet but I'm thinking about it.
Have been spending lots of time this week working on my 25 Days of December 2008 book to get ready for 2009, which I hope to start working on next week. The idea was inspired by this in case anyone is interested in the process. The idea is to have the book done before December 1st so that all you have left to do is add photos and a bit of journalling each day leading up to Christmas. That didn't' happen last year for me, but fortunately I did keep a log of every day so now as I am doing it I can remember what happened each day.
Also spending time this week creating some things I've seen for a while and really wanting to re-create. A friends' birthday this week gave me the perfect opportunity.
Scrabble tile pendants:The photo doesn't show it well but they have a really great glossy raise effect on the surface and I really like how they turned out and how easy they were to create. Reagan has already requested one and I think I will make a few for myself before I decide to give any more away.

So why so much time for creating art this week? Three words: very-sick-kids. Actually only Reagan and Tag but Cooper and Hudson are at school so the house was pretty quiet for a few days. Reagan missed 4 days of school and Taggart missed 3. They each seemed to be hit with different bugs - Reagan had a bad chest cold and Tag with a stomach thing. On his worst day he ate absolutely nothing and drank about 1/2 cup water. He didn't move from the couch all day unless I carried him there. Poor little guy. I thought the TV might start smoking after all the kids shows we watched, but really what else do you do when you're to sick to move. He's feeling much better today though, they both are. Hopefully Monday we'll all be good to go.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween re-cap

Pumpkin carvingDecorating cupcakes for Reagan's class party.
The costume parade at school
King Taggart waving to all his royal subjects. You must agree that he is the most handsome king you've ever seen. Bumblebee the Transformer (aka Hudson)
Hannah Montana

Officially Halloween.
The weather couldn't have been better. Warm and dry - perfect for trick-or-treating.
Back into costumes for a quick photo shoot in the backyard.
I cooked a big pot of potato soup and we had friends and family for dinner beofre we all headed out.Cooper met up with his friends and they headed out on their own. The first year we haven't gone out as a family so a little sad for me. But I guess that's what happens when they get older.
Hudson also had his buddies and they were a ways ahead of us but we continued to meet up with them throughout the night.
These 4 little cuties were the ones we followed for the night. Reagan, Tag, Evie and Sophie. We ended the evening back at the house comparing and devouring the loot and going to bed sugared up and exhausted. Perfect.