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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Buy a shovel please….

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I got up to take my dogs out for their early morning walk this morning and decided wearing my sneakers would be a good idea. Why did I think that would be a good idea?……Because the sidewalk in front of my house was bare….dry even.

Example of a shovelled driveway.

Little did I know that once I turned off my street it would be a completely different story. About 1/2 a kilometer in to the walk I was getting annoyed with home owners. If I had a pen and paper with me every vehicle parked in the driveways would have had a note on it….. “Buy a shovel and learn how to use it!! You are responsible for keeping the sidewalk in front of your house clear of snow and ice!!”

Nice shovelling job on your driveway.

Where I live the biggest driveway holds 4 cars, 2 wide and 2 long (and most are barely 1 car length ), how hard is it to shovel your driveway and your tiny bit of sidewalk in front of your house. I realize some people have a lot more sidewalk to shovel because the sidewalk also runs along the side of their house, but come on people, you knew how much sidewalk you had when you bought your house.

Hmmmmm......3 inches of wet slush.

My driveway and sidewalk were bare this morning because my husband shovelled it right after it snowed, as he always does…..he “loves” shovelling (when it’s only a couple of inches I don’t help because I wouldn’t want to take away his enjoyment). 🙂

At least it was shovelled once here.

I finished my 4 km walk anyway even though my feet were completely soaked by the time I got home, and now I’m just annoyed at the non-shovellers in my neighborhood.

Slippery and wet.

Yes I should have worn my boots anyway….after all it is winter.

Happy Anniversary…..

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Today is my 11th Wedding Anniversary!!! 🙂

Our Wedding Day

My husband and I met in an on-line chat room 12 years ago. The story of the long distance relationship is a little corny, but it is what it is. We both talked to people regularly in this particular chat room, in fact we still consider some people from there our friends, one very sweet lady in particular…..Carol.

Chris and I started talking to each other, he was from Ontario and I was from New Brunswick, and he told me he had recently been to N.B. because his head office was located there. That little piece of information gave us a sort of connection…..look how much we have in common……I live in New Brunswick and he has been to New Brunswick. definitely the beginnings of a solid relationship. 🙂 After talking on-line for several weeks we started talking on the phone (thank goodness for his phone plan at the time). How did we go from chatting to phoning?……A movie date! So how do you watch a movie together when you are about 1800 km apart? Simple… the same movie…..Message in a Bottle was the movie choice, obviously my choice not his. :)……sync the start time and watch it at the same time, thus watching the movie together. Now there is a problem……my computer and my TV were no where near each other, how could I possibly chat and watch the movie at the same time? Chris’ solution……give him my phone number and he would call me and we could talk on the phone while watching the movie. PANIC!!! Give him my phone number? It was one thing to chat to this guy on the computer but to give him my phone number……what if he was actually a crazy wacko. Well the warning light went off again almost as quick as it came on and I gave him my phone number (I decided if he was a crazy I could always change my number and after all he was 2 whole provinces away, what was the worst thing that could happen?)

Well he did call me and we started our movies at the exact same time and we talked so much that neither one of us actually paid any attention to the movie (that didn’t matter to him, he wasn’t interested in a Kevin Costner movie anyway). It’s a good thing we weren’t in a theatre watching it, people would have been shushing us. And that’s how the phone calls began, after that we spoke on the phone everyday. Chris would call me after 6:00pm and we would talk until morning when he had to get ready for work and I had to get the kids up and off to school. I was working at home at the time babysitting so I got to nap when the babies napped, poor Chris didn’t have that same opportunity…..or did he take some naps at work?

This is us.....long distance relationship. 🙂

Over the next few months we visited back and forth, I came here a couple of times, he flew to N.B. a couple of times. We took a trip to P.E.I. where he asked me to marry him, and in July of 2000 my kids and I moved to Ontario and on December 30, 2000 Chris and I got married and it has been the best 11 years of my life.

Now we sit in the same room or theatre to watch movies, and much to Chris’ dismay….I still talk during movies. 🙂

11 years later.....looking older but still happy. 🙂

Happy Anniversary Chris!!! I love you always and forever!!

(What should we do to celebrate?…rent a movie and watch it together?)

The Best Gift……

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I got a lot of very nice Christmas gifts from my family……I always do, but the gift that means the most to me this year is the one from my mom and dad. I only see my parents once a year, sometimes not even that often. Right now it has been nearly a year and a half since we have had an opportunity to have a visit so their gift is really appreciated.

Photo of my parents.

This is a gift I truly cherish!!

Christmas…..Come and Gone……

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Another Christmas has come and gone…..

My son Nick came home on Friday to spend Christmas with us and will be staying until Monday. We picked him up at the bus station around supper time, grabbed a bite to eat and then waited for Erika to get off work and go pick her up.

Christmas Eve was busy but it was the first one in a while that I didn’t work…..I did pop into work to see how everyone was doing and it wasn’t nearly as busy as I thought it would be……which was good and bad. Erika had to work until 5pm and her store wasn’t too busy either.

My husband and I spent the day getting last minute odds and ends at the grocery store, doing our traditional gift wrapping at his work, getting the car washed, walking the dogs, searching the city for an onion (after the stores were all closed), ending up borrowing one from my husband’s brother and his wife which resulted in having an unplanned but great Christmas Eve visit with them and their puppies. After our visit we came home and I cut my husbands hair, (and tried to fix mine from the haircut I had gotten earlier in the day)…….and then we waited for Santa.

The kids watched “Elf” while waiting…..

Shana and Erika snuggled up on one couch……Emma watched a bit with them, and Nick had the love seat.

Waiting for Santa used to be much easier when the kids went to bed before I did, now I’m in bed long before they are. I know they all “know about Santa” but I still didn’t want them to see their filled stockings before morning, I’m weird like that. The great thing about going to bed before the kids is I also wake up before them……mostly due to the dogs wanting out, but I’m still awake first so stockings got filled at 4:30 this morning. I did manage to go back to bed for a little while.

The first one up this morning……besides me……was Nick. Some things never change. It was killing him to have to wait for the girls to wake up to start opening presents. He also had to sit through them opening everything in their stockings before any presents could be opened (everything in their stockings gets wrapped, so it can be a bit time consuming). Emma was a little bored waiting too.

Erika finally got up around 8:30 am followed by Shana shortly afterwards.

Present time…..much to Nick’s delight.

My son Ryan and his girlfriend Whitney came over in the afternoon and we opened more presents.

Our turkey seemed to take forever to cook but it was worth the wait……best tasting turkey and stuffing we have ever had……just my own humble opinion. We chased it down with raspberry cheese cake…….mmmmmm.

After a scrumptious dinner Nick and Shana went out to visit friends of theirs……not the same friends, Ryan and Whitney went home shortly after 7pm and poor Erika is just waiting for us to go to bed so she can play her new Sims game on the Xbox.


Having all of my family home for Christmas is what I enjoyed most about today, the food and the presents were nice but my husband and kids are what make it special for me……..just 365 more days now until next Christmas!! 🙂

Three of my Favorites……

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A couple of days ago my husband and I were in the car listening to Christmas music on the radio and he asked me what my favorite contemporary Christmas song is. I decided that Silver Bells would have to be my favorite:

My favorite Religious Christmas song is O Holy Night:

And my favorite general Christmas song is It Could Happen Again:

I really love listening to all Christmas songs but those of my top 3 favorites…..What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Some Favorites…..

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These are just a few of my favorite Christmas tree ornaments……

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Christmas Family Traditions…..

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When I was a kid Christmas morning was organized……we were allowed to get our stockings and take them back to bed with us while we waited for Mom and Dad to wake up so we could get to the presents. I remember that we only stayed in our beds for so long before we ended up in their bed waking them up so we could tell them all about the wonderful things we just got in our stockings. They always acted very interested…….as if they didn’t already know what was in them.

Once everyone was up we all had to get dressed and eat breakfast before present opening, talk about drawing out the process. After breakfast we could get to the presents……in an organized fashion. Presents were handed out one at a time and you couldn’t open a present until the last present was opened by whoever was opening it and the gift tag was attached so you could remember who it came from to be able to thank the gift giver later.

For a few years my mom decided to record Christmas morning festivities, audio, not video. After everything was opened we would play the tape and listen to the organized chaos. I remember the one recording where my younger brother was clearly concerned about the Christmas tree lights. No one noticed at the time but the playback was very entertaining…… “Do you want the tree lights on? Do you want the tree lights on or off? Do you want the tree lights left on? Do you want me to turn the tree lights off? Do you want to leave the tree lights on or off? Do you want the tree lights on or off?” Finally, “I’m just going to leave the tree lights on.” That was probably 35 years or so ago and I still remember how funny I thought it was that not one of us was paying any attention to what my brother was saying.

Once all the presents were opened they had to go back under the tree for display. We were allowed to play with any toys and wear any clothes we got as long as we put them back under the tree afterwards. The presents had to stay there until it was time for the tree to be taken down which was generally New Years Day.

I tried to keep some of these traditions with my own family but it didn’t really work out so well, we do a few things differently from the way my parents did.

My kids are allowed to get up and get their stockings but no present touching (haha…..I’m sure there is present touching), just like when we were kids, but everything in their stockings is individually wrapped to make opening the stockings take longer.

Once my husband and I get up the present opening can begin. We don’t need to get dressed or eat breakfast because I need to make sure we are opening presents while it is still dark out to get the full effect of the “tree lights being on”. One at a time each person grabs a present from under the tree, gives it to the person it is for and we all are supposed to politely watch while they open it…..that works for a bit until presents just start getting handed out too quickly. Once all the presents are opened everyone just takes their stuff to their rooms and the tree stands there as if there was never a gift underneath it. I did try to have everyone keep their stuff under the tree but with 2 dogs it wasn’t a good idea.

When our kids were younger they never saw a single present in our house until Christmas morning. All gifts were taken to my husbands work as soon as they were purchased and he and I would go there one evening before Christmas Eve and just blast the Christmas tunes and wrap all the presents. It is a fun tradition for us and a chance to spend some time alone together…..with 4 kids you take your alone time when and where you can get it. After the kids went to bed on Christmas Eve we would drive out to my husbands work and pack the car with all the presents and put them under the tree to get the full shock and awe effect from the kids when they got up in the morning. Now we still keep the gifts at my husband work but we don’t have to wait until they are asleep anymore before we bring the presents home.

I have to say, one of the reasons we don’t keep any presents in our house is due to the “snoop factor”. It’s a possibility that my kids might be just like me…….when I was a kid I found presents hidden in the house and opened them and re-wrapped them again thinking no one would ever notice. My sister once suggested that I was ruining my Christmas by being such a snoop, but she was wrong……I loved everything I opened and couldn’t wait until Christmas morning to open them again. :). Ok so it’s not really because of snoopy kids that we keep the gifts at my husbands work…’s more because of me. I would totally still snoop if given the opportunity.

As our kids grow up and leave the nest…..some have already left…..they will develop their own family Christmas traditions. What are some of your family Christmas traditions?