Saturday, December 28, 2013

Boxing Day and on

Early Boxing Day morning Cora and I went out to the stores.  I have never done boxing day shopping before, but Micheals had some beautiful Christmas decorations that I knew I could never afford any other way.  And also Cora needed new jeans.  Micheals was out of the item I wanted which was very sad but we found lots of fantastic deals for Cora.  Ended up picking up a few items for her and Blake and Leah each got somethings.  All under $40.  It was great.  The mall was not busy either.  We got there first thing and by about 10:30 is was starting to fill up but we were done and going home.  We then headed out to Champion.  We all had a great time there.  I again totally forgot my camera. We all enjoyed a fantastic turkey dinner and lots of delicious treats.  The cousins had each bought a gift for everyone.  Myrna had filled a stocking for each of us. Fun stuff in there.  I think Myrna should buy stocks in Lego, or they should give her a discount with the amount she buys.  Almost every grandchild had a Lego gift from her.  And they each loved it. Leah got some design things she has been loving and Cora got the books she has been desperately wanting. We stayed up too late and ate too much and had a wonderful time.  Dave decided to have us stay over since everyone else was.  It was a good get together.  We did a lot of dishes also:) In the evening we came home early enough for Blake to put together all the Lego he got and to straighten things up.  We got snow last night.  Leah has been lamenting the fact that she did not get a white Christmas.  It was freezing and tons of snow the week before, then snow today.  Too bad.  Today was grocery shopping, laundry, and putting all the Christmas decorations away.  All the kids got in and helped and did a great job.  I love taking it all down then sitting down to take a deep breath.  Aaaahhhhhh!!  Feels so good.  I think I will have to run for a month to burn off what I ate the last two days, but enjoyed being with the Puzey clan. We plan to sit and relax watching a movie in our newly decluttered, cleaned house.  Next week I have to start thinking about what to do for Primary in 2014.  Planning board in the Primary room and whether I do spotlights or not, what type of little birthday gift for kids, blah blah blah.  But tonight I am not doing anything.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

Friday the kids and I anxiously waited for Dave to get home from work.  He was the last to arrive to start our Christmas vacation.  His work closes down for 10 days around Christmas and it is so fun to have him home.  We made a sign for him to break through when he got home to officially start the holiday.

Saturday the kids were all invited to a skating party.  Dave spent Friday and Saturday packing up his garage and mudding and taping it.  Getting all ready to paint.  He says the move is starting to feel real now that he is packing things up.  Dave needed a few things to proceed with his project and so ended up coming to town with us for the party.  He picked up his things and went with me to see my friend's new tiny little cute baby. Sunday was church and relaxing.  Monday we did a good clean of the house in prep for Christmas Eve.  Tuesday we straightened back up and laundry then got ready for Mom, Dad, and Myrna to arrive. 

I love how my table turned out. While we waited we played some Minute to Win it and other games.

Christmas Eve we always serve appetizers.  This time we had Bombay Chicken, Dry Pork Ribs, Potato Skins, 7 layer dip and chips, carrots, pineapple rings, oranges and Mom brought some wrap things that were very good.  For dessert we enjoyed Carmelitas.  A quick clean up and then on down the stairs.We acted out the nativity.

Leah was the narrator so she is behind everyone.  I was an angel. It was fun.  Everyone did a great job on their parts. I then read one of my favorite stories. After we opened our 'surprise' Christmas Eve gifts of PJ's.  Cora, Leah, and Blake have been working for almost 3 weeks on a play for us.  They had taken The Forgotten Carols story and acted it out.  Very cleverly done.  I was very impressed.
Mom and Dad then headed home, but Myrna was staying over with us. We set up our Hot Chocolate buffet and watched A Christmas Story.  Another Christmas Eve tradition.

Everyone then headed off to bed.  We started this morning with breakfast and Samuel the Lamanite telling us of Christ's birth to come.  Then down to open gifts.

It has been fun to stay home all day on Christmas.  Everyone has enjoyed using their new things and just relaxing. We had steak and hassleback potatoes for lunch.  It is so windy out that it was hard for Dave to BBQ the steaks nice.  BBQ would not heat up properly. I still thought they were good.  We then played a few games and Myrna headed home.  Blake has been playing his new wii game and helicopter. Cora has been hanging out. Leah is loving Salia's new outfit and keeps taking her outside because 'now she is warm':)

Dave enjoyed Salia's outfit also.

We are going to have left overs from yesterday and lunch for dinner then watch Ephraim's Rescue.  A gift from my parents that we have been waiting to see.  Boxing Day we are headed to Champion and looking forward to seeing everyone there.  Merry Christmas Everyone.  I hope it has been the best of days.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

Snowflakes and Stockings

I try to have a few craft things always available for when me kids need something to do.
This week we made snowflakes.

And decorated stockings.

I guess the kids have been working on a secret play they are going to perform Christmas day as well.  They will often sneak down stairs and close the doors so we can't hear them practicing.  Leah and Blake are having some serious issues with each other the last couple of months.  This keeps them occupied and not fighting.  That is always blissful.

It amazes me how long you can entertain kids with snowflakes.  We had a lot of fun. Dave has been home a lot in the last three weeks and my kids are loving it.  We know it will only last a little while longer and are taking advantage of it.  Saturday even tho he was home the entire day was spent on researching and writing his talk and doing the farm budget.  It is crazy how many hours that takes.  Sorting out all the GST and separating each expense for year end.  He is very good at keeping it all organized and making sure that our debt hole stays small instead of overwhelming us.  That afternoon was his work party.  I think it is great fun to have my sister attending the parties as well, so I had someone to sit with and talk to.  I am not that social and find those parties difficult.  It was a lot more fun this year having her there. Dave works with some great people and they seem to really like him and have a lot of respect and appreciation for him.  It was nice to see that side of my husband and see who he interacts with on a daily basis. We won a prize! Some games for the kids, a backpack and a restaurant gift certificate. When we got home he stayed up a couple more hours to finalize his talk.  Sunday he was gone before we woke up, but got home before we did.  Bishop came over to interview Cora for her dance card and he brought Christi.  We talked with them for a while.  It was nice.  I have missed that. Most of the day was spent like this.

Then we watched a movie and had a snack.  Last week of school for the kids and work for Dave before Christmas. We have school parties and Leah's play to attend. No basketball games this week, just practices and dental appointments. It is a little warmer out.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Pictures

I have been waiting a year to take these Christmas pictures.  I thought is would be so fun to have matching night caps and pajamas.  When mom took me to Boise I knew it was the perfect chance to get Christmas fabric cheaper then up here.  Unfortunately I broke my ankle the morning we went shopping and my poor mom had to cart me around and hold up bolts of fabric for me.  She was very patient.  Everything we picked didn't have enough to do every ones, so we did boys and girls. I really wanted to take them in front of a fireplace and so thank you to Myrna for letting us rearrange your furniture and use yours.  We had a really fun evening taking these.

Leah loved that Salia got some too.  Here are some little things I gave out to friends this year. Candy Tic-Tac-Toe and Christmas Memory Cards to some and homemade bread and jam to others.

Last year I started making my own hot chocolate powder.  It was so much cheaper and we all loved it that that is what I gave out.  Since then we always have some in our house and it has become the fall back gift.Oh missionaries are coming put some in a jar and tie on a candy cane, Oh we forgot the piano teacher, put some in a jar with cute fabric on top.  Seriously awesome.  I loved this letter Blake wrote to Santa this year.  Especially how he included his dad.  Dave said it was working he has not even been out there for 3 weeks.:)

Leah is an elf in her school play this year.  She designed the outfit and I tried to sew it. She has striped tights you can't really see in this picture. Really not a great picture, we were in hurry.  The bottom is zig-zagged with jingle bells hanging from it.  

I guess I forgot to take a picture of the ornaments we made for Myrna's tree this year.  Too bad.  I loved them.  I really wish that the last couple of years when I had made them for her, I would have made a set for me. Less then two weeks now til Christmas.  It is going to be a great one.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Christmas Carol and a bit more.

Friday was my shopping day with Cora.  Again she picked out great gifts and we had fun together.  It was her last gymnastics this session.  She has come a long way this time and learned to do many things.  We plan to keep her in if we can and I will just make her gymnastics day my shopping day so we can travel down.  Saturday we had a wonderful breakfast did some quick cleaning then got all dressed up to go to Calgary.  When I was first engaged to Dave his family went to A Christmas Carol and invited me along.  We went a couple more years after wards but then I didn't think about it again until last year when Rachel mentioned she was taking her in laws.  I thought this would be a great thing to do with the kids since they were all over 8 this year. I thought I went on line to get tickets early but apparently not.  There was hardly anything left in a price range that I could pay.
Everyone had fun walking along the Sky Walk. Blake and Cora tried to jump every time a car would go underneath them.

We had front row seats.  We never saw their feet and sometimes could only see from the thigh up, but the kids loved it.  When the actors came to the front part of the stage they were so close we really could have reached out and touched their clothes sometimes.  Theatre Calgary did a few different things then I had seen before.  There was a Robinson Crusoe scene from a book he is reading that is really neat and a maid that was very interactive with Scrooge.  I really enjoyed how they did it.

We had wanted the kids to ride the C-Train since we had enjoyed it when Dave was in Calgary for his course.  There is a free zone that you don't have to pay for if you stay within about 10 blocks of down town Calgary.  The Theatre was at the very beginning and Moxie's was at the very end.  We got on and rode down, ate dinner and rode back.  We accidentally got out a stop early and had to walk 4 block.  It was cold.  Dave found a way to get back to the Sky Walk and that was much warmer.  It was really really fun.  The kids really enjoyed watching the play and eating out and the train. Next year I will have to look for tickets in July not September, they go fast.
With Dave being in the high council he has been put over our ward.  It was great to sit with him in early morning meetings again.  It does mean that we are back to having the kids at church at 8:30 and we put them in a room to entertain themselves quietly.  They set up all the Primary chairs and played hangman.  When we came out they were all sitting in the chapel waiting for us.  It is so much easier then when Blake was 2 months old or 2 years old.  That was not a really fun experience then.
After church and dinner yesterday, we played some games, watched a movie and then got ready for the Christmas Devotional.  We got in our pj's, made hot chocolate and peppermint whipped cream again, had crackers, apples, and carrots and settled down to watch in the comfort of our home.  Wonderful messages as always.  I look forward to the first presidency devotional every year.  
It is starting to warm up a bit outside. Last week we sat between -30 and -40 all week.  I heard that Saturday there were pockets around us that hit -50.  Glad I didn't find those. Today we are -9.  Yippee!!  Oh I forgot to tell you about our tree.  We enjoyed decorating it so much we did it twice.  Once before it fell over and again afterwards. My Christmas shopping is 100% complete, wrapped and under the tree.  The school is not having a Christmas Concert this year.  I am actually excited about that. Christmas cards are mailed.  I will post pictures in a couple more day.  Just want everyone to get a chance to get theirs.  Don't want to ruin the surprise.;) I have got Primary sorted out for the new year.  I can now relaxed and enjoy the parties and family time.  How is it going for all of you??

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Snow Day

Yesterday was a snow day.  The schools were open but we were told that they would not be having regular classes and every family was to make their own decision based on safety.  Leah wanted to stay home.  Blake took a very long time to decide. Cora wanted to go. Until she found out that we would be walking there since Dave had needed to take the Tahoe to work.  So everybody stayed and we had a great day together.
Yesterday I was very jealous of all the snow blowers and 4-wheelers with shovels on the front. Our neighbor did do part of our front walk with his and it was very helpful.  Dave shoveled for an hour before work and I went out for another 1 1/2 hours in the after noon. Then he finished before bed.  Little sore this morning.

One day I am going to have a beautiful white tree skirt and this village will be set up under my tree.  That is what I have always wanted to do with it.

I don't immediately jump in to help my kids with big word when they are reading.  I let them struggle for a while with it.  I want them to really work to learn it.  After at least 4 tries we work on it together. Not many words stump them in the scriptures anymore, but yesterday we were reading and Cora was sounding out a word, I can't remember what, and Blake jumped in and told her what it was. She laughed with us at herself:)  Leah has been rearranging my Merry Christmas blocks to make as many words as she can.  Leah's list was: rest, cram, scram, mat.  Blake's word: Chemistry.

Nobody wanted to go outside with Blake and build a snowman so we did one inside.

I ran as the kids watched Johnny Lingo.  We did laundry and played some games.  The kids did some Christmas crafts. Blake made hazelnut truffles. I made a batch of fondant and divided it to make vanilla and orange. Cora helped turn the fondant and finished Leah's Christmas present. We where going to make bread and peppermint patties but ran out of time.  I'll save that for when they are out before Christmas. Leah wasn't feeling super great and did a lot of reading.

Tree topping was Blake's turn this year.

Dinner was shake and bake pork chops, roasted cauliflower and Mandarin oranges. Everybody helped.  Lots of playing with Lego and I started Leah's elf costume. Of course there was some hot chocolate drinking as well.

Besides school we missed YW, cubs, Cora's first ball game and piano, but had an awesome Snow Day.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Wonderful Weekend

Saturday we slept in till 7 and stayed in our bed as the kids all piled on and talked with us until 8. It has been a very long time since we did that.  We had been invited to go with the Watmough's to the mountains to get a tree.  We really really wanted to go.  We talked over many different scenarios, but none of them were quite going to work.  Dave went to the farm and the kids and I cleaned house, got ready for Prelude and when Dave got home racked leaves.  Dave and I then headed to my parents for our Smith Adult Christmas Party.  We had a really nice dinner then exchanged white elephant gifts.  I called the kids as we left to let them know we were on the way and got no answer.  Of course I panicked, where could they be at 8:45 pm??  After a couple more calls Leah answered and said they didn't hear the phone and were getting ready for bed.  When we arrived home, Cora was still up.  She chatted with us for about 20 mins then we went to bed.  The last couple of weeks I have been wrapping presents and sticking them in a corner of my room.  As I went to get my pjs on I noticed they were all gone.  I asked Cora where all the presents where.  She smiled and said downstairs.  I went to find out why.  Watmough's had brought us back a tree.  It was all set up in the stand, with plastic, and tree skirt and presents underneath.  Was that not the nicest thing ever! It was an awesome surprise.  Dave was very impressed that the kids found the stand and got it up with no help.  Trevor had helped stand it up and cut it to the right size. The kids had worked really hard to vacuum and sweep all the needle evidence away so we would be surprised.  When I called they had been out in the garage getting the stand.:)
Yesterday with the exception of a two hour break for travel and lunch we were at the church from 9:15 am to 9:30 pm.  It was Prelude to Christmas  Cora and Blake where very helpful getting everything ready and moving tables and chairs.  When we asked Leah to do something she did it first time.  It was a wonderful, long day.  Many beautiful numbers and we had way to much food.  I was very worried we would run out, but didn't need to at all.  Rachel, Jared, Amber, Myrna and Emry came.  I didn't have much of a chance to talk with anyone, but it was nice of them to come.  My parents where supposed to come but their car died on the way and they had to get towed back home.  I knew something had happened because I knew 100% that if my mom was in that church building her first stop would have been the kitchen to see if I needed help, since she knew I was in charge of all the food. Second would have been the bathroom:) But she had not poked her head in and I was worried that something had happened.  They had tried to message us but it did not come through. As soon as I got done and cleaned up I called and got the scoop.  All was well.
Today the kids had a day off school.  Theirs was a scheduled day, but everywhere around us school was cancelled.  We are in the midst of a blizzard.  We have decorated for Christmas, played Christmas music and had hot chocolate with our lunch.  These are HUGE mugs that we got at the white elephant exchange from mom.  Leah said they were as big as her head and we should have soup in them.  I thought that an excellent idea. So big we only had half a cup. Last year the peppermint whipped cream was such a hit that it was requested again.  We made a bunch Friday and froze it in dollops to just throw in.  The kids love drinking it that way.  Lasts longer in the hot chocolate.  

Dave just came home early from work and said it was really really scary out there.  He drove 20-50 all the way and said he still feels like he is full of adrenalin.  No way he is going to Calgary tonight.  Thank goodness, I was worried.  We are going to decorate the tree, watch a movie and play games.  Glad everyone is safe and sound and we are together. It is a great day to be inside.