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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Post Holiday Catch Up!

As you may have noticed...things shut down for me mid-November...As December approaches, I tend to shut down on just about everything "non-essential" and switch into survival mode in preparation for my 5 birthdays, Christmas, and new year.  Even after it's all said and done, it takes me a few months of recuperation to get back in the swing of things.  But...better late than never, here's a recap of our festive season, plus a little more between now and then...

My two oldest boys are born December 23rd and December 30th, and I knew that it would be way too crazy to throw a birthday party around those dates, so I went ahead and planned ahead {yay me!} and we had a little combined party for them with friends at the end of November instead.  The party was Lego themed, complete with Lego themed invitations, games, cake, and even a master builder competition.  The kids had lots of fun with it.  Here's a few shots of my Lego cake {no judging allowed}.  It's far from professional standards I'm aware, but my kids thought I was the bomb, so I'll take it!

As if life wasn't crazy enough, Polly's kindergarten teacher asked me if I could come in and teach a knitting workshop to her class.  Strangely enough, and despite my already overloaded schedule, this excited me {cuz I'm weird like that}, but with one exception: there was no way I was teaching a class of 24 children ages 3-5 {Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten combined} to do anything with long, pointy metal objects.  That would have been 48 knitting needles, in case math isn't your forté.  No thank you.  So, after spending some time on Pinterest and brainstorming, I combined a few ideas and came up with a "simple" sewing project: Jackalopes, or Reindeer bunnies.  I sketched up a little outline, pre-cut, punched, and sewed on faces, and they stitched and stuffed.  The kids gave their finished bunnies to their parents as Christmas gifts, and when the workshop was complete, we even had a couple leftover!

My boys stitched together the final two bunnies, I made a couple of homemade stockings, and we sent them off to France to our two favourite missionaries {my parents} for Christmas.

Throughout the month, we also worked on our beaded Christmas Spider tree ornaments, which we gave out to teachers, neighbours, friends, bus drivers, and our families.  It was WAY more work than I anticipated, but the kids were troopers working on them with me night after night, and in the end we made between 40 and 50 of these little guys.  They were sent out to each recipient along with a little scroll of The Legend of the Christmas Spider.

So that covers the first week of you see why I get so tired?!  I clearly do this to myself I know, but I REALLY love giving, and I always tell my husband that a gift just isn't the same unless it takes time and effort and love, which for me means hand-made!

December 9th was our Reggie guy's birthday, and the highlight of his day was hands down his new basketball hoop.  This boy LOVES his basketball!

Luckily, I still had lots of leftover Lego cake icing, so I just whipped together some cupcakes and went to Michaels, where Reggie got to pick out his own little monkey cupcake toppers.  Not my finest work, but this boy was in heaven!  I'm declaring this a successful 2 year old birthday!  

DISCLAIMER: The birthday cakes only continue to go downhill from here, so don't expect anything special please...

A day or two after Reggie's birthday {which means a day or two before Jordan's} I went and got my hair coloured.  I love it and hate it all at the same time.  I've been extremely conflicted about the whole ordeal.  My hair hadn't been coloured in 10 years, and it was doing quite well.  I could wash it twice a week, never use products, let it air dry, no blow dryer, no straightening iron, and I was good to go.  Now it's all damaged, and it's crazy how much I can feel the difference.  I love the colour, but it's dry and frizzy and knots easily...and all of a sudden I have to actually do my hair every day, which I detest.  I was going for low-maintenence, hence the ombre do, but the colour washes out just as fast as they can put it in and I'm constantly mourning my healthy, natural locks {sad face}...

{here's the before picture of me, as well as some of the pins I pinned on Pinterest}
{Here's how it turned out...don't get me wrong, I LOVE it, I just miss my OWN hair, you know}
Jordan didn't want a cake for his birthday, he wanted bread pudding, so I made a fabulous loaf of homemade white bread, and made him the creamiest bread pudding known to man!  This stuff may not look like much, but it was GOOD!

Somehow, Jordan also convinced Polly {who's birthday was the next day} that it would be super special if they shared a birthday cake every as ashamed as I am to admit daughter had leftover bread pudding for her 5th birthday, instead of cake...{sigh, I was so tired}...but to make it fun, I at least coloured the whipping cream pink and let them decorate their piece of bread pudding like princesses...very odd looking alien princesses {that's what happens when you have three brothers}, but princesses nonetheless...I told you the cakes were going downhill...

{My birthday girl!}

{Polly's Princess}

{Polly kissing her Princess bread pudding creation}

{My Princess, made under Reggie's direction}

{Peter's Princess}

{Wilson's Princess...he said she got hit by a car and the black icing is her blood...sorry for sharing...}

Luckily, our Breakfast with Santa at our church was also on Polly's birthday, so she was thrilled with the fact that Santa was at HER birthday party, PLUS, she got Elsa and Anna dolls!  Who has time to complain about a sad excuse for a birthday cake when the rest of her day was filled with such awesomeness!?  Not this girl, that's for sure!

{Santa pics from the Breakfast with Santa}

{Elsa and Anna contentment}

With most of the birthday chaos behind us {since I'd taken care of Peter and Wilson's party early...such good thinking Lise-Anne}, we headed west 20 hours in the mini-van to visit family for Christmas!

Jordan and I got to hit the slopes right off the bat with my brother Spencer and his wife Nicole, who were up from California, which was tons of fun!

The kids had a blast with all their cousins {there are 26 grandchildren on Jordan's side and 14 on mine, so it's pretty much a perma-party!}

While we were there, we had Wilson's birthday....

Christmas...complete with all the kids doing a nativity for us :) We also love going to see the live live nativity every year, which was great, and doing our annual name draw for all the kids on Jordan's side.  Most of the holidays were spent at my in-laws house with the Michel side of the family, but we did get to go out to my sister's house with my side of the family {minus my parents} on boxing day.  It was super fun, as my sister and her husband just finished a big renovation project on their house, adding on a gym and a golf simulator.  It was tons of fun to hang out with everyone, and the kids loved spending time with all their cousins!

 Finally, at the end of the month was Peter's birthday, which wrapped up the birthday month for us!

We left Alberta and headed back east towards Thunder Bay, stopping at a fun hotel with a water park in Winnipeg for New Year's Eve, and arriving back home New Years Day!

Our friends Raymond and Tawnya were gracious enough to watch Rambo while we were away, and we came back home to a much bigger puppy, who is now getting into the joyous and patience-trying teething faze!

After a brief {emphasis on brief} relaxation period, the kids and Jordan were back in school and Reggie and I {and Polly a couple days a week} were back in our regular routine.  I have been throwing myself into several crafty projects over the last couple of months, beginning with a quest to find an impenetrable dog bed, which is about the hardest thing EVER apparently!  Don't dog bed manufacturer's know that dogs have teeth...and use them to chew?!  It boggles my mind.  Anyway, after much searching, I found a DIY for an "outdoor" dog bed made of PVC and heavy duty canvas.  Jordan constructed a frame out of PVC and I found some heavy duty duck canvas {used for boat covers and awnings} from a local upholstery place.  We then added some rubber leg covers on each leg {bottom photo} so it doesn't scratch and slip on the hardwood.  Here's the LINK {which includes a video} of how to make your own, and here's the results of ours:

This growing pup has been taking up a lot of my time, as he is literally chewing everything to shreds, including the walls, area rugs, banister, couches and anything else he can sink his teeth into.  A big part of this has to do with him having to stay inside for 2 weeks in February because of -40 degree celsius weather here in Thunder Bay.  Along with the ridiculously cold weather, he has outgrown the two puppy sweaters I bought him, so I decided to make my own vest for him that will grow with him.  Using a vintage men's vest from a second hand store, I fitted it to him and attached snaps up each side, which can be adjusted as he grows.  I also sewed up the front bottom portion of the vest to stay clear of his business while he goes potty.  Here are the results of the project:

Lastly, I made a corduroy cover for Rambo's kennel from clearance rack fabric {which I didn't take pictures of}, which concludes the dog projects for a while I hope.  

I even had enough left over corduroy to make Polly a skirt!  Hoping I can post a tutorial for it on here soon if I can get around to it...

The skirt was actually inspired by Polly's desire to clean up her Barbie's wardrobe and perge them of their "immodest" clothing.  Before making her her own skirt, we fashioned up two Barbie outfits...

Next project is to add sleeves to some of her existing Barbie dresses by taking apart some old, torn dresses and basically combining two dresses to make one "modest" dress.  It's been a fun little project to work on together.

We've spent a lot of time outside together, despite the cold, which has been a blast.  I love my family!

Also, I haven't mentioned in this post yet, but I have the most amazing husband in the world, who somehow manages to juggle four children, engineering school and still finds the time to make me feel special.  Never a flower famine in this house!  Here are a couple of the bouquet's he's bought me since my last post, and he just brought me home two more bouquet's last night that I haven't taken pictures of; one for the kitchen, one for the dining room, because he wanted me to feel "doubly loved".  I couldn't be happier with my choice of companion.  He truly is my best friend, and a wonderful husband and father.

Well, I think that's all for now...and I even left out a lot if you can believe it {like my field trip with Peter, our 28 day cleanse, and my Sunday cakes...ahhh}!  But...I will suppress the rest and leave you with a quote for now...

1 comment:

  1. This is great Lise-Anne. And what a smart idea for Polly's cake! They had fun and it wasn't a lot of work. Way to go on all your creativity too. Love all the pictures and all your talent.