Thursday, December 22, 2011

Knee deep in sprinkles, ribbon and glitter

We have been full on into all kinds of Christmas festivities for the past couple weeks.
Last week at school there was no time for learning as there was way too many Christmas songs to sing, cookies to ice, glitter to sprinkle, and candy canes to eat.

This week the kids are home and we are trying to keep busy so we don't all go crazy. We had a craft night with Reagan and 8 of her friends. Lots of fun and screaming and fun. This is the second year we have done this night and the girls really enjoy it,  I think.

Today, we are decorating gingerbread houses and sugar cookies. I just cleaned up round 1 and now the kids are running around the house like maniacs waiting for round 2.

In between all that I am trying to get wrapping done whenever I can. I have bought only brown wrapping paper this year and I am decorating the packages with yarn and string. I love the way they look under our tree and there is enough color on them that the kids like them too.

We are down to two days for me to get everything done and I am feeling a little overwhelmed as I do every year. Somehow, even though I always think that I am prepared there is always so much to get done at the last minute.

Of course, Christmas will arrive and I will be ready.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A good day for Reagan

I heard a little about Reagan's excitement today even before I saw her. It was the talk of the school yard. They had "hockey day" at school today. They wore hockey jerseys or t-shirts and they had a hockey assembly after lunch, where some players and the mascot from the Abbotsford Heat showed up.
There was a draw for some prizes and Reagan's name got drawn for the grand prize. The prize being a hockey stick signed by all the players on the team.
Like I said, even before I saw her, I was hearing lots of buzz. Kids saying to me as I passed, "Reagan won the stick", "Reagan won the stick". Seriously, it was big news. Then, there she came around the corner, with the stick proudly in her hand. I'm not really sure that Reagan cares too much about a hockey stick, but the fact that it had turned her into a bit of a celebrity at school made it a very important stick.
Not to mention, that she has some brothers who would love to get their hands on it. I feel that she holds some power in our house right now. She just needs to realize it and then know how to use it. This could potentially become quite beneficial to her.

And to top the whole day off, they got to make marshmallow snowmen in class. What a day!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Getting the tree

Sunday was the perfect day to go get our Christmas tree. Crisp and clear and cold.
So we all bundled up and headed out for our annual trip.

Photos are always a great and easy way to tell a story. But as I look at the photos of this day I realize it is not always an accurate way to tell the story. By just looking, you would think that we had a lovely family day out. Happy together while we choose the perfect tree, take turns using the saw to cut it down, and then cooperate to carry it all the way back to the truck. Paints a pretty picture, doesn't it? Oh....if only....
More accurate would be... whining because "Mom never likes the tree I choose", fighting over the saw and who gets to do the "final cut", bad attitude from a certain 13-year old over who knows what.
But that is not really the way we want to remember things, is it? So we continue to go on family outings even though it sometimes doesn't seem worth it. We continue to take pictures and yell at them to smile. Why? So we can remember all the happy times we had together as a family.
My. this post is starting to sound very cynical and bitter isn't it? Sorry...that is really not very keeping with the holiday spirit. I am not cynical, nor am I bitter. I am just trying to be real and honest about the everyday challenges of being a family. It's not always the way you imagine it will be, but as I look back on all the family outings we have done over the years, I remember the good stuff way more than I remember the not so good.
And we ended up with a lovely tree and stopped to have some hot chocolate and snacks before driving home.

Truthfully though, family outings can sometimes really wear you out.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Braun Christmas

We kicked off our holiday season last night with our Braun family gathering.
Here's the story in photos:

Our lovely hostess setting the mood.

Our kids are always so happy to see their little cousins. Wesley got picked up and carried all night by these two and didn't complain once.

Tag and Evie chatting over a drink.

The boys (some of them, anyway)

Mom and Dad

More cousin love.

The hosts and cooks. Love the matching aprons.

Oma having a little chat with Wesley.

More chatting with a drink.

Uncle Willi showed up as a surprise for everyone.

Mom and her two oldest boys. Her smile says it all. Family is really 'it'...isn't it?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Step One: photos

A couple of weeks ago I dusted off my camera and dragged the kids to do a photo shoot that would hopefully begin the makings of a Christmas card.

My dear friend and photographer (check out her website because I'm really proud of her) offered to come with me and bring her camera to capture some shots of my kids as well. At that point I thought I could probably leave my camera at home, but I didn't.

So, step 1 is done. Next step is to get these into a card to send. I have actually received two Christmas cards in the mail already and I have to say that it freaked me out. How does all this Christmas stuff sneak up on me every year? Happy December 1st everyone!