Thursday, December 31, 2009

Holiday Visitors

For us, the best part of Christmas is visiting with friends and family. We try and fit in as many families as humanly possible. K&J and L&D, we'll have to fit in a get together in the new year!

We love to entertain and try new recipes. Two new favourites were these jalapeno bites and these yummy mushrooms, both by The Pioneer Woman. I got her new recipe book and will let you know how it is. It looks great.

Here's who visited. We didn't get to have everyone and we still have some coming tonight. We have Christmas with Heinrich's sister tomorrow and are seeing friends from Ottawa on Saturday. The fun never stops!

Visit #1:
Our friends Shack and Shannon came down from Parry Sound and spent the night. They have a gorgeous new baby, Kelsie and son Tyler. They were very tolerant and gracious about having to sleep on a blow up mattress. Great visit guys!

Shannon and Shack from Parry Sound, daughter Kelsie and son Tyler.

Visit #2:
My good friend Karin and her husband Jon were down from Ottawa for the holidays and stayed with their family in town. Jon was visiting other friends so we were disappointed we didn't get to see him. Chrissy and Craig joined us and we had a good evening of laughs. These are girlfriends from highschool. Actually Karin I met when I was 10, in Guides. She was a much better Girl Guide than I!

Visit #3:
Grannie of course came for Christmas Eve dinner and church. The next day she showed up bright and early at 7:30 am for gift opening and then returned later in the day for our Christmas meal.

Visit #4:
Oma and Opa made the 3 hour trek to see us and arrived on Christmas Eve to avoid some nasty weather. Our visit wasn't as long as we wanted because they had to return home before the freezing rain started. They loved the photo book we gave them.

Visit #5:
My sister Cynthia, my nephew Josh and my neice Laura joined us for Christmas dinner. Laura brought her boyfriend Emilio, who we met for the first time. He's a keeper...a real sweetheart! Great visit, but always too short!

Visit #6:
On Boxing Day my brother Steve and his wife Rose came with my nephews, Darryl and Brendan. We met Darryl's girlfriend Sara for the first time as well. She fit right in and is a keeper as well! We had a lovely visit and even had them on the new Wii!

Visit #7:
The 28th brought some old friends to our place. Two couples who we haven't seen in far too long. The guys are friends of Heinrich's from the University years.

Justin and Jenny came with their son Jonah. He and Mason had a blast!

Jenn and Craig came with their daughters Lauren and Devon (who's just 10 wks old and I wanted to gobble her up). Lauren and Mick were like two peas in a pod!

We had a great time and they're looking forward to coming up soon and enjoying the snow that we usually get.

Our friends Rose and Dwayne and their son Kaden visited us that evening on their way home from Michigan but we were yapping too much and I forgot to take pictures!

Visit #8:
Yesterday was our first visit out of the house. My cousin Ruth and her husband Doug had us down to their place. We saw my Aunt Janet and the kids had a super time with their second cousins.

Camryn and Morgan

Mickey, Mason and Liam

Aunt Janet and Mom

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The kids have cousins in Western Australia whom they've never met. We can't wait to meet them all. Below is a picture of Miranda who was born just three weeks after Mickey. Toby below is two months older than Mason. I think that there is definitely a family resemblance. We're hoping that they will be coming for a visit in two years and I have no doubt that they will become fast friends. Heidi.....Skype...need I say more!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Olympic Torch Run

This morning the Olympic torch arrived in our town at 7:30 am. We had the kids up at 6:15 and were parked with a prime viewing spot by 7:00 am. We were the first ones there (surprise, surprise). We had breakfast in the truck while we waited for friends and the run to start. It was a decent turn-out. Zehrs supplied free Tim-Bits and Hot Chocolate and passed out flags. We had a great view from the back of the truck. Kids were thrilled to sport their new Olympic mittens.

One of the 14 runners was dropped off right in front of us (how perfect). While he waited for his turn to run we were able to capture a photo with him.

Here you can see the runner with the flame approaching.

The two runners met, did a little jig and lit the next torch. Off he went.

It was short and sweet but we're so thrilled that we were able to experience a taste of the Olympics.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Holidays

Hope all of you had a fabulous Christmas. More photos to come. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Dad

On December 13th, 1991 my Dad died of a massive heart attack when he was hiking through the snow (along the trails by the river) taking photographs. A young man tried to save him with CPR to no avail.

In some ways it seems like just yesterday that my friend Kelli informed me that my Dad had died. In other ways I struggle to remember. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of fantastic memories, but things like the sound of his voice, are becoming more and more fuzzy.

When I was 5 my Dad had a triple bypass. I believe this type of bypass surgery began in the late 60s, so it was still very new. I don't remember a lot about that time but I do remember how proud my Dad was of his VERY long chest and leg scars. It was a little icky to the rest of us! I also remember him taking mugs from the hospital because they were great for holding his coffee! Good insulating properties! We were lucky to have had him so long. A nursing friend of mine told me recently that he was very lucky to have lived so long without needing to have another bypass. Perhaps he did but it wasn't caught in time. I always knew that he would go this way. It was just a matter of time. In a way my Dad's death was a gift. It taught me not to take our time for granted and to live. It also taught me to record (in photos and journals) as many memories as possible.

There are many things I remember and many things I admired about my Dad. Here are just a few:
- his drink was a gin and tonic - not often, but definitely on a hot summer's day.
- his hands were huge and he often had a blackened fingernail from hitting it with a hammer. He was a hobby carpenter and was very quick with everything he did - hence the blackened nail!
- when he walked downtown he would say hello to everyone and everyone said hello back. He seemed to know everyone.
- he walked with presence
- he was 3rd (or maybe 2nd) on the seniority list for a large manufacturer in town who recently closed shop. When he walked through the plants he acknowledged everyone
- he expected people to work
- he expected people to be tolerant. Racial slurs were not tolerated.
- he had a strong faith but I don't ever remember him talking about it
- he only had a grade 9 education due to health issues but seemed to be the smartest man I knew
- was very loyal to his friends and family
- was a hobbyist. He taught me that it is essential to have interests outside of your professional job. He worked to live. He dabbled and then delved into photography, stained glass, breeding and showing dogs, woodworking, and jazz music. I remember him telling me on the morning of the day he died, that he intended to take a life drawing course! Nothing about my Dad surprised me. His interests were endless.
- he loved Chelsea Buns and Tea Biscuits
- he read a lot!
- loved watching Hill Street Blues
- had grey then white hair for as long as I can remember. Perhaps I brought on the premature grey!

I've been meaning to post about my Dad for some time and still haven't gotten around to scanning some photos. This is a start. At Christmas I think about family and how important family was to him. He would have adored our kids. Mason is an old soul like my Dad. He would have gotten quite the kick out of Mick and would have loved learning with Mason! My Dad had a sense of humour about death and the after life. He wanted to be buried sitting up so that he could "watch" everyone and he wanted a party - not a funeral! When he died I remember my brother and I discussing where he should be buried in the cemetary - facing Alexanians or Tim Hortons! We chose Alexanians because he was a renovator and not a coffee drinker! Weird - I know! I also remember him saying that he would let loved ones know that he was present. He succeeded.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A young friend of ours has written and produced a Christmas Carol and is donating all of her profits to the Cancer Society (specifically Leukemia). Visit here to hear her song and donate. She's asking for a minimum donation of .99 cents. Please help her out. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our Tree is Here!

We finally got our tree last Saturday and trimmed it on Monday when I was home sick with strep throat. Heinrich went in that afternoon for knee surgery so we had limited time. We've finally decided that next year we're going to have to get a second smaller tree. We've collected so many ornaments over the years that the tree can hardly stay upright no matter how hard I try to strategically place them. Each ornament has a memory so it's difficult to do without.

A few years back a I purchased this ornament as a reminder of the time a dear elderly friend was visiting from England and we took her on the Muskoka Studio Tour.

Bought this after a 7 night camping trip in our favourite park. Many many smores were eaten!

Got this one last year when the kids started cross country skiing.

We participated in a children's ornament exchange this year and this is the ornament that Mason made.

This is another ornament made by a little friend. Loved the way these turned out. So simple but effective. They look really great on the tree. We'll be trying these next year!

Another ornament made by a friend that I have on my to do list. He even made some while driving in the car. Sounds easy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Birthday party #1

Mickey had her first birthday party today with her gymnastics friends. Mason got to bring a friend along to keep him company. We had the party at Build-A-Bear and although they wouldn't allow me to book an official party because of the holiday season, they did manage to pull off a party once we got there! We had a great time and highly recommend it for a party location. So much fun. After her actually birthday, she's having another party with her very dear friends. Can't wait!