Friday, December 30, 2011

Sweet Nutcracker Suite

When I was a little girl, I remember going to the Nutcrack Suite when I was about 6 with my Mom and Grandma.  And this year, I got to do it with Mom and Kaylee.

While I had the best of intentions of organizing this and getting us there, I had left it too late but made myself a note to be extra on the ball for next year.  But as luck would happen, I was given three tickets for the matinee, which was perfect.

This years performance was the Alberta Ballet, and it was beautiful.  It has a very Russian feel to it and the set was absolutely spectacular.  Kaylee enjoyed it (although the last 10 mins was almost asleep) and hopefully she is gaining an appreciation of arts.  She did say that she didn't think ballet was super girly anymore and that she would like to give dance a try again.

I'm glad that we went, and will definitely do it again.  It really is a good part of Christmas.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

A day filled with fun, family and lots of new toys for us all!!  Santa brought just what the kids were looking for (Millennium Falcon for him and a microphone and speaker for her) with other great things like Etcha Sketch and books

They shared the day helping each other, reading cards together and handing out all the presents to my parents and my brother..

Many of the cards had special wishes in them, and some even filled with gift cards or money for them to go pick out their own things later (a favourite are the gift cards to the book store)

It seems as though so many gifts were a hit, it's hard to tell a favourite yet.  The cameras were both a big big hit, and I'm sure we will all see the world from a different perspective!  I can't wait to see what they take pictures of.

Dinner was an awesome turkey at Mom and Dad's and by the end of the night everyone was pretty tired.  All in all, an amazing Christmas at the Heal house.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

I love Christmas Eve.  It's when the magic it at it's most and the anticipation is so thick you could cut it!!  This year was a little different, but I really enjoyed it.

First we headed over to Nana and Papa's.  These are one set of the kids great grandparents.  Nana is a young 88 this spring and Papa will be 90.  They still live on their own and have a pretty good life.  I love that my kids have all of this surrounding them.

Afterwards we headed over to Chris' moms.  Usually we have dinner with them time year (we rotate who goes where what year) but she suggested an afternoon visit which suited us just fine.  We saw Doug and Leann (Chris' brother and fiancĂ©) and then headed home.

A simple roast beef dinner, and a movie was on the schedule.

Of course, what is Christmas Eve without new Christmas PJ's??  A long long standing tradition that has been passed a long.  I love my  new cozy red ones, Braydon was thrilled that there were snowboarding dudes on his, and KJ is cute with reindeer and snowflakes.

The movie of choice was the Santa Clause, which helps explain a whole lotta questions that can come around Santa Claus.

After the movie we set out some carrots for the reindeer (9) and some eggnog and cookies for St. Nick.  Then we sprinkled magic reindeer food on the roof complete with sparkles in them to ensure that they could find out place easily.

Going to sleep was wanted more than it seemed possible, both kids were a little on the excited side of things to say the least.  But eventually visions of sugar plums danced in their heads and they drifted off.
 Chris and I stayed up a bit later to see if we could catch a glimpse of the big guy, but no luck for us either so we too headed for bed.....where I had the same problem as the kids getting myself to sleep.  Happy Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night

Friday, December 23, 2011

Snow Babies

I have always had a love for skiing.  And when I started the kids, they just didn't seem to have the passion for it.  So I made the hard decision NOT to make them and just wait it out as hopefully that moment would come.  Well this week, it did!!  Braydon didn't love skiing, so he asked to try boarding.  Ok, I said.  Hopefully this will come easier than skiing did to him and we would get those days on the hill together.
 Skiing on the North Shore can be a wet sport.   But wow did we luck out with the weather.  They had lessons planned for three days, two with blue bird sky and one with snow.  Worked out pretty well I think. Can you see how big his smile is??

Kaylee did enjoy skiing, and was excited to have another go at it.  She hoped onto her board and headed down the slope.  She went from purple to orange and I know with a few more days on the hill she and I will be doing some bigger runs together.  She did get onto the chairlift and ended the days tired but loving skiing!!

 I'm such a happy snow person myself!  The kids are keen to go into lessons again in the New Year and I'm hoping to make this a family sport once again.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I love wrapping

I remember sitting at my dining room table wrapping gifts with my Mom and Grandma.  Learning how to curly ribbons, how to fold the paper and how to make each one pretty.  Maybe this is where my love of paper and ribbons came from????

Tonight, when everyone else was all snug in their beds, I went downstairs and wrapped for a little while.  I'm not done, but it was nice to plug in the ear phones, listen to some Christmas music and wrap away.

Monday, December 19, 2011

We Fish You a Merry Christmas

A long time ago, in a land just up the road, my Mom bought me a fish tank.  The deal was, she bought the tank, I bought and cared for the fish. I thought it was SUCH a great deal because the tank was $200 and fish, well they were cheap.....right??

Let's just say, Mom's always know best right?  Fish are cheap, sure.  But when you keep killing the fish over and over again, it quickly becomes more expensive than the tank was originally.

The tank already wasn't doing well.  I loved my fishes, but I wasn't a good fishy owner. I eventually moved out and took the tank with me, thinking I can do this.  Set it all up and bought (more) fish.  My friends called it the tank of death.  I mean, sure an aquatic frog actually jumped OUT of the tank, we think in attempt to take it's own life.  But tank of death seemed just so, well...

Eventually I gave up.  But when I moved in with Chris and got all domestic and stuff, I tried again.  All faithful, it was fine till my friend showed up at the house and said "you brought back the tank of death".  Chris looked at me and asked what that was about.  I smiled.

When we moved here, the fishes had all gone to fishy heaven.  But when Braydon was about 4 he found the tank and asked me to fill 'er up.  Chris looked at me again (this time knowing better) and said this should be interesting.  The first few didn't' fair well, until I actually listened to Chris and added an air filter. You see, in my defence, I had asked what I'm doing wrong, and I was told that a small 20 gallon tank didn't need the air, so I never had one.

Well guess what.  A 20 gallon tank NEEDS air.  It's amazing how long fish can last when you start to figure it all out!!

So today when I got home, I noticed water on the counter by the tank.  In hopes that I had knocked something liquid over I wiped it up, only to find more water.  Chris looked at me (this time knowing that I could keep them alive) and said I guess you are setting up a new tank tonight.

Instead of finishing up my Christmas shopping, I headed down to Pet Smart to simply pick up another 20 gallon and use all that I already had.  But of course, in true me fashion, I found a nicer bigger tank.  I sent a quick text to Chris and he said go for it and Merry Christmas.

So now my fish have a beautiful 37 gallon house.  The 11 I currently have will soon be joined by some new friends and this tank of hope should last me a long long time.

BTW - Bruce our shark has been alive for four years and seems to be thriving in his new home.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Annual Heal Christmas Party

Every year since I can remember, I've had a Christmas party.  It started when I was growing up, my parents hosted a neighbourhood sing a long.  Dad played on the organ, Mr. Lenord played the piano.  The neighbours came and sang songs, drank the punch, brought Christmas treats and everyone got into the festive season.

A few years after I moved out,  one Christmas I brought all my friends back to my parents house, Dad played the organ, Mom had out treats and we all sang the same carols that I did as a kid.

When Chris and I moved in together, our first Christmas was also as new home owners, so of course, the Heal Christmas party began.  This year we continued on for our 11th.

It was a quiet year.  A lot of other events seemed to be happening and took some of our regulars to other places that night.  But while I missed seeing some, I still enjoyed visiting with others.  Sure, I kinda wish I had an organ and piano in my living room cuz I can sing a mean Rudolph....but I really enjoy celebrating the season with friends and family.

This was a weekend packed with Christmas festivities.  Friday a lunch at work, Friday night Chris' staff Christmas party, Saturday lunch with Dave, Sue and Gumpmom and Saturday night at our place.  To say the least, I was pooped on Sunday morning, but a Bailey's coffee to start the day kept me going.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What's your answer?

a favorite photo from 2008

My friend Vanessa had this list posted on her blog and I loved the idea.  I hope you either answer below or copy and post it on your blog so I can read it!

1.   The holiday season is: my favourite!  I look forward to this time of year all year, and can usually tell you how many more days left even in the middle of June!
2.   Snow makes me: happy!  I love the snow, I love the snow more than most people for sure.  I find it peaceful and beautiful and fun.  
3.  The best comfort food to eat when it's cold out is: hot chocolate with lots and lots of marshmallows
4. Winter is the best time for:  snuggling in and watching family movies with popcorn
5.  I can hardly wait for: Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.  This year, Christmas eve is just us four, which I am really looking forward too.  And Christmas morning is so fun with the kids at this age, they are really excited about it all.
6.  When it comes to holiday gifts I prefer to: wrap them with pretty bows and ribbons. If I have time, I would love to make some hand made tags.
7.  If I were to rate my excitement about the holiday season on a scale from 1-10, I would say I am at about a: +12.  I'm a little crazy about this time of year and while that type of excitement usually subsides in someone my age, I don't really see that happening!

Merry Christmas, only 10 more sleeps!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Came Early

A Christmas Elf snuck into my house and left me a present.  What was really sweet is that Miss Christmas junior (aka Kaylee) was the first person in the house to spot the difference!

The Christmas Elf replaced my plain jane tree skirt with something pretty spectacular.  The Christmas Elf worked very very hard over the past (apparently three years) and really went at it over the last month.

You see, the Christmas Elf knows how much I LOVE my stockings.  And how much I know went into that so many many years ago.  So the Christmas Elf found a kit to make a matching tree skirt and spent hours putting it together for me.

The detail is amazing.
The whole skirt is filled with gingerbread houses, Santa's ands Scotties (we had a Scottie growing up)

I know that this took a long long time for the Christmas Elf to finish, and that she did it for me because I love Christmas and I appreciate the effort and love put into this BEAUTIFUL tree skirt.

So thanks Mom, you are the best Christmas Elf ever!!  And this will be in our family as long as the stockings are.  Love you lots!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney With Care

Putting up the tree is always a favourite thing to do.  Little tight on space this year with some new furniture, but we made it fit.

Our tree is filled with ornaments, to too many Christmas balls.  Every year Chris received a special ornament of which all are on our tree.  He has continued that tradition with the kids and each year goes out and picks one up just for them.  I love that that is a tradition he shares with them.

I have lots of my favourites too, the ones most special to me are the ones that my grandmother made.  She for a number of years made intricate beaded stars and bells, and there are only a few remaining.  But they always have a place on my tree. 
Along with pulling out all the other decorations, my favourite to see every year are the stockings.  My stocking in particular holds a special place for me because my Grandma made mine (and my brothers) many moons ago.  In fact, I don't ever remember having another one.

When I was in my early 20s, I made the same type for my parents and surprised them with it.  That was when I fully appreciated the love and time that went into the one I already had.  When Chris and I got married, Mom made him one.  And of course, in true family tradition, both of my children received them for their first Christmas.  It may be years before they truly appreciate them, but I know how special they are.

The house is now (mostly) decorated.  Getting close!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fa la la la, la la la la

We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year

The school had their Annual Sing a Long tonight, which was lots of fun.  While the teachers have been on a work to rule all semester, it was nice to see that the priorities tonight were where they should have been, on the community.

The school gym was packed with parents and kids, and lots of teachers all singing Christmas carols and getting into the Holiday Spirit.

The North Pole

When you work at a place that has something called The Peak of Christmas, and you happen to be a certified Christmas person who is raising two other such Christmas people, you can't have the season go by without a visit to the local North Pole.

This of course means visiting reindeer (in this case Vixon and Dancer)

Santa Claus

Ice Skating


and lots of fun!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

St. Nick

The plan today was to go see Santa Claus. And once that plan is in place....well you just can't change it. So when Chris got called into work, we just kept going with what needed to be done, go visit the guy in red.

I'm trying very hard (and this is hard for me) not to push Santa too much. I realize the magic only lasts for so long, so I'm cautious with everything. I have two strong believers in my household and I want that to go for as long as I can!!

After getting the groceries and having some lunch, it was time to head out. Kaylee happily put on her new Christmas red dress, and I found a pair of jeans that didn't have holes in them for Braydon. Out we went expecting to wait in a big line up.

But nope, the one family in front of us was just done with no kids behind us, we got all the time we wanted with Santa. They sat down for a long time and just had a chat with the big guy. They fessed up they fight sometimes, but were trying to be good. Santa asked them to try really hard to be good. They both told him what they wanted - Braydon the lego Millennium Falcon set and Kaylee and microphone with a stand and a small speaker.
I guess when I wasn't listening, Braydon told Santa that there was a new kid around that he would have to bring presents for this year. You see, our friends Kevan and Kelly had a little baby boy Friday night, and Braydon wanted to make sure that Declan's first Christmas was a good one. Full of kindness that kid, makes me proud.

Now not that seeing Santa isn't a big enough deal, there was one more big thing in store for Kaylee. We've been talking for a few months about getting our ears pierced and after she knew a friend got them yesterday, I think she got extra brave and decided today was the day. After picking out some cute pink earrings, it happened. A few tears, but so brave. And now just a little extra cuter (if that's even possible!)

Back home, we took the dog out for a walk, and the kids were kind enough to let me take a few photos. They seem so grown up this fall. Can't say I'm a fan of that.

Then since we were on a roll, we finished up the gingerbread train to wrap up a good day of Christmas cheer.