Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Little Helper

When we told Santa Ben had been good this year we weren't lying! He is such a good little helper lately. When I ask him to clean up his toys he does so happily and he wants to help with anything I am doing, cooking, dusting, folding laundry, unloading the dishwasher you name it! I hope this keeps up! I distracted him this morning while unloading the dishwasher (something he is not really that helpful with...) by giving him the broom... he has a little one but prefers to the "real" one...and yes he is wearing an apron. Daddy says I need a girl but I don't think there is anything wrong at all with teaching a little boy how to keep a house..his wife will thank me one day at the very least, anyhow I find him irresistibly adorable in his apron that screams "I am confident in my masculinity!"

Merry Christmas

What Christmas means for an only child, grandson and nephew is... A LOT of presents!
Ben was spoiled rotten (as were his parents) and has not napped in days because he can't pull himself away from his new toys.

I made my first "full Canadian dinner" as my mom calls it, or turkey dinner as its more commonly known. I have until this point been unwilling to touch raw meat and if it can't be dumped in a slow cooker it doesn't get cooked it this house...that is until Butterball came along! I saw they have made a cook from frozen turkey that is prestuffed. I can do this! All I had to so was unwrap and insert in over...done! Well except for the carrots, corn, sweet potato, (non stove top) stuffing, turnip puff, appetizers, dessert, punch... okay not exactly done but it sure made it easy and less nauseating for me!

My family joined us for Christmas eve, poor Jon spent most of the day shovelling the mountains of snow we got the night before. We ate my dinner, watched national lampoon Christmas vacation, listened to Dad's jokes again this year (love you dad!) and exchanged gifts. On Christmas morning we headed over to Jon parents (after Jon surprised me with an I pod touch...I adhered to our $40.00 rule this year though and so poor Jon ended up with only a popcorn maker and a sweater...) where we got more turkey and presents!

I can't do up my coat now which I believe is the official sign for a successful and yummy holiday!

The Missing Chin

Jon and I had a lot of fun playing Mary and Joseph in our church's Christmas event this year. We held a tour through first century Bethlehem to show the events leading up to and including Christ's birth. It was a big undertaking with a cast and crew of almost 200. We were happy to be apart of it. I was not happy however that Jon was so committed to his role of Joseph that he wanted to grow a beard. I am not a fan of facial hair and had to put up with Jon's since the beginning of November. The night we wrapped (it went on each night for a week) despite how late it was I would not let Jon come to bed without a naked took him a while to get there though as he tried out briefly every facial hair style there is between full beard and clean shaven, I captured a few...I am glad the old Jon is back! Isn't he cute:)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter 2008 Family Pictures

Our Friends Mark and Kim visited a few weeks ago after they abandoned us for NY in September. We forgave them for this desertion however when they came for a visit and brought their very nice camera. They kindly took some winter pictures of us and the results were so great we put one on our Christmas card! Here are the ones that we are still thrilled with but didn't quite make the Christmas card cut.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Little Preacher and His Good Book

Ben stole a Bible on Sunday (just take a moment to linger in the irony of this for a moment)...

He found the red covered pocket size edition in the pew shelf that holds the hymn books in front of us. Ben carefully flipped through it for the better part of the service which we were happy with since A- it is a bible and B- it is very difficult to find ANYTHING that will keep him occupied and not shouting and throwing things for the hour.

When we got home Ben quickly went over to my church bag and got out the little red bible...obviously stashed their on purpose. The little bible thief now carries the thing around with him EVERYWHERE. He mutters under his breath gibberish while he flips the pages and occasionally will yell out and wave it around in the air...I am not sure where he would ever have seen this. It is hilarious and although the plan was to return it this Sunday we may wait if is is not missed to replace it first!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Because I Can

I popped a piece of gum in my mouth at my first lecture in Univeristy and then put my head down as I was accustomed to in high school so I could chew it long enough for as long as it took before the flavour was gone to be inevidably caught and sent to the garbage can. I looked at the young men around me with thier baseball caps on (yes..indoors! a terrible infraction in the walls of a highschool...almost as bad as gum chewing)! and looked at the professor who I suspected looked forward to one less paper to grade when you decide to stay out drinking all night in liu of finishing it if that is what you choose. I looked at the pad of paper in my lap which I was responisble for taking my own notes on (should I choose) that no one would ever grade or mark grammer on and I realized at the moment I had crossed that threshhold from adolescence to adulthood. I could chew gum if I felt like it no one cared. Detentions and groundings, once popular things of my past would be no more. I could do what I want.

I was a child who longed for independence, I wanted so badly to make my own toast, walk myself to school, go to bed when I felt like it. I wanted to eat cookies if I felt like it and ride my bike far after the street lights came on if thats what I felt compelled to do. My parents did see this need and one of my proudest moments was getting on the train by myslef to visit my aunt in Montreal when I was 8. I loved the freedom I had and the competence my parents obviously belived I had. Unfortunatly I still had to live (to a degree) by the laws that children must abide by like bedtime, teethbrushing and piano practicing. This day in university was a new beggining.

I find myself still going to bed at midnight knowing I have to get up with a baby at 6:30...simply because I can. I eat 6 cookies at a time becasue no one will tell me not to. I buy candy at the checkout because I can. I drink pop before 10 am if I feel like it. I don't unbunch my socks before putting them in the washer and I don't rinse my plate before putting it in the dishwasher (nor do I turn off the lights when I leave the room). I was thinking today that at some point this silent savouring of all the things I longed to do as a child has to come to an I dragged myself out of bed again this morning for staying up once again too late I am thinking that bedtimes aren't the worst thing that ever happened after all...

Quite the Month...

I usually have excellent "luck" that is to say I have a very rich and blessed life. This month though the energy of the universe lost the memo or something and our lives held some unually execptected misfortune (yes yes when else but a month before Christmas...).

Misfortune 1- I woke up to find no hot water in my shower...never a great start to the day.

Misfortune 2- I went to a grocery store I don't usually go to with carts that Ben won't sit in (he prefers to surf on them, feet on the seat bum in the air with hands on the bars although grandmothers and store managers tend to frown on this). Usually I head right to the baby isle to grab a box of his favorite rice snack called a mum mum. He can go through a whole box on a shopping trip and it keeps him is worth the $3.69. THIS store however does not carry our beloved mum mum...Ben howled while I tore through the store trying to throw nessesities in the cart to the tune of "MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM" at the top of his little lungs.

The Man in front of me as it turned out bought all the 3% milk...I waited to talk to the casheir about getting one from the back brought up for me while trying in vain to console my snotty sobbing mess of a mum mum addict. While talking to the cashier (with a hand on Ben's foot to hold his bum down) I saw out of the corner of my eye a man dive in my catch my falling baby mid surf. He had gotton his whole body up out of the cart without my noticing despite my hand on his foot. I thanked the man while he reassured me "we've all been there" and in my flustered state forgot to pay extra for shopping bags since my cloth ones as usual sit in the trunk of the van... I grabbed a cardboard box to throw my groceries into and was never so happy to leave a store. I got Ben into his carseat and managed to find a crushed up mum mum from a past trip under the seat. I picked up the box of groceries, opened the trunk and in that moment of quiet claravoyancy we have before catastrophy stikes I braced myself. The bottom of the box went. Soup cans and cracker boxes rolled under neighbouring cars and I drove home. (okay okay I didin't, i crawled around under the cars scrounging for lost cream of chicken soups and toothpaste cursing cardboard...but it made for a better finale if I had just left it all didn't it!?)

Misfortune 3- I arrive home to a freezing house...I turn up the furnace to hear a loud clunking, sputtering and ...silence. The last thing you want to hear on December 9th with -10 on the themometer outside the window.
I nievly thought we could survive the season with our gas fireplace and a space heater...reality set in when Ben was shiverring so hard the next morning his blue lips were chattering so hard he couldn't eat his breakfast (calm down Grammie..I'm exageratting:)! Jon got out the chequbook... I have since told him there is no need to put a bow on my new Christmas furnace motor...

Misfortune 4- The crual nature of this misfortune is that we thought we escaped it...I thought the universe had fallen back into place and my life was back on track of narrowly escaping such events. Not so. We were happy to hear on Friday when the hot water repair person came and said that it just needed a new timer, free of charge since its rented and we were good for a few more years. I said "are you sure" not yet confident in my turn of luck and she said "oh ya it doesn't need replaced yet!"
On Sunday we woke up to a basement full of water from a supersized waterheater tank that was currently sitting empty. The basement drain is in the laundry room...stuffed with dryer lint...of course. The dry wall was wet, the toys were wet, the clothes in boxes on the floor were wet...our feet...were wet.
Repair person 2- "yup this tank is definatly shot".
me (trying not to scream and rip my hair out)- "what about all the damage"
RP2- "Well you should have had someone in here to look at it sooner, unfortunatly its your responsibility"
me (voice shaking...) WE DID have someone in ....2 days ago! They fixed the timer!
RP2- "oh no your timers need a whole system" ripping my hair out.

Misfortune 5- To think that we may be okay over Christmas afterall was the hope we had put in the Christmas bonus that Jon's partner would surely give him for all his hard work this year. He brought home a Christmas card last week and we eagerly opened it to find .... a swiss chalet gift card.

Misfortune 6- Last week me, who usually has the immune system of a shark and NEVER gets sick came down with not only the flu...but strep throat at the same time. I would not wish this on anyone. Ever.

The good news is that we escaped another year without famine or disease. Ben is healthy, happy and hilarious. We didn't crash any cars, burn down our house or accidently unplug the carbon monoxide ditectors. We have food in our fridge, gifts under our tree, supportive and generous familes who continue to amaze us with these qualities along with a good chuck of love AND gas is currently 68 cents a litre at our gas station... we are still ahead of most with some better perspective to boot!

It is a Merry Christmas after all!
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