Monday, December 28, 2009

The Christmas Report

Well, things have finally slowed down enough for me to think about it all. December has been exceptionally busy due to a large van repair bill. It has meant I have been out there canvassing for windows. At this time of year, I pretty much have to canvas the same amount of time that it takes him to wash the window jobs I get. Oh well, its good exercise. And while I have been out there, I have been distributing my counselling brochure and my dance class brochure at the same time. I am offering several new dance classes in the new year and my brochures seem to have been pretty successful because they are filling up with new students.

But that is not what I set out to write about. Christmas is always a bit different every year as the kids get older but this year it seemed a big jump. Both Kaetlyn and Eryn are living away from home with significant others. And because they are in town, there are other families to consider. We had a couple of family Christmas events starting in November with a stocking decorating party. Several people were ready for new stockings and we had 2 new family members to add.

Our next event was the cookie decorating party. This luckily happened the day after my parents arrived. They are going on a mission to Guyana and will be leaving in January sometime so this was our 'good bye' visit. Dad made me a salt feeder for the sheep and they played a lot of card games with the kids and took us to the movie "A Christmas Carol" for our Christmas present. It was a very nice visit. But back to the cookie thing. It was fun and a lot of cookies got decorated - even if Tyler didn't do his share. And here you have it - these are the only pictures I took of Christmas. I don't know. I just wasn't in a picture taking kind of mood.

Sometimes I get like that. Looking at these cookies again makes me want to go sneak some out of the place that I have hidden the last of them to bring out on New Year's Eve.

After my parents left on the18th, things were pretty busy. Dean and I were both working a lot. So much so that we decided that getting gifts for each other just seemed like anti-relaxing. So we decided to go out to a movie and have a nice evening together instead. I'm looking forward to it!

On the 23rd, Eryn had a family party at her place where she invited all of Tyler's family and all of us for a potluck. There was lots of good food, as always at Eryn's and it was nice to be formally introduced to Tyler's mom as we see her all the time (she works at our bank). You can tell she loves her boy, that's for sure.

Christmas Eve was rather quiet. Kaetlyn and Nadia stayed with Nadia's family. Eryn and Tyler came over for a couple of hours to eat supper and open one present. I made tortillas from scratch using the Rebar recipe and black bean refried beans also from scratch (the way that Karen taught me). Rhiannon helped me put them together with cheese and fry them up. They were soooo good! And I had managed to get the Nanaimo bars made so we had a full compliment of our traditional Christmas goodies - shortbread, sugar cookies, gingerbread, butter tarts, peanut brittle and the bars.

And then they were gone and it wasn't even 8pm and it was just the 4 of us. I do kind of enjoy it when it is just the 4 of us. Its different. For the first time since Eryn was born, it is balanced - 2 males and 2 females. (I like it when it is the 6 err... 8... of us, too) Andrew has started enjoying spending more time with Rhiannon. Over Christmas they played ALOT of mille bornes. It was nice to see. Andrew doesn't hide out quite so much in his room. We put Rhiannon into bed by 8 - she was so tired and crabby, I just couldn't bear the thought of her like that on Christmas... After doing all my Santa duties, I was actually in bed by 10pm. I don't think I've been able to get away with that on Christmas Eve since Eryn was a toddler and still spelled her name the way I did on her birth certificate (Erin).

Shortly after 8am on Christmas everyone arrived for the present opening. Eryn and Kaetlyn both got lots of household stuff which is what they asked for. I got spoiled by my daughters. Eryn drew my Santa gift and she got me a beautiful frame for 5 pictures and then took pics of everyone and put them in the frames. There is one empty place left for Dean and I. It could be empty for sometime because most pictures of Dean and I together are rather bad. And mostly its Dean's fault, if I do say so myself. Kaetlyn got me a beautiful pottery butter dish with a lid to keep out cat tongues and a green stone pendant (I'm not sure what the stone is but it is really, really pretty).

Dinner was divine. Everyone did a superb job on their assignments. I especially loved Eryn's roasted veggies. And then everyone left and it was quiet again. I got well into the novel I was saving for Christmas - "Priestess of Avalon", another in the Marion Zimmer Bradley series. I loved it. This fall I have just been too busy to read novels so I was really looking forward to it and it didn't disappoint.

And what did I make for Christmas? I made Kaetlyn potholders. I know, that sounds boring, so I thought I had better make them special. So I got some of Draga's and Freya's wool, washed it and carded it and used it as the stuffing. It started out about 6 inches thick. I used some black fabric that I once sewed Kaetlyn and Rebecca outfits from. First I freeform quilted it using my darning foot. But the bobbin thread kept on getting tangled. There was alot of swearing. And then there was the bias tape. May I just register how much I hate bias tape? I bought some black bias tape which in the end, I cut off of the pot holder. Then I made my own bias tape which worked better. But still. I don't know how people do such neat sewing jobs on bias tape. Mine looked terrible. Good thing it is black and harder to notice. It was Christmas Eve so I gave them to her anyways. She seemed to like them...hehe. Then for Andrew I am making a sweater. Yes, I said making. I am done the body up to the armpits and one sleeve up to the elbow. He is my big Christmas crafting project. I've never knitted anything bigger than a hat before. When I'm finished, I'll take a picture for you.

Then on the 28th, I went and picked up my parcel from Laura at the bus depot. I think my sister Christmas gift is always my favourite. Laura's parcel was full of sister goodness - 5 framed photos of family members which are now up on my wall - Sarah and Adriel, Evan-o-vich, Katie and her family, the Bean family and Amy. And there was soap from Lush that is making my whole upstairs smell good, and a DVD of Fiddler on the Roof, exercise pants and really beautiful earrings.

So, that is my Christmas report. It was a good Christmas, as Christmases go. I hope yours was good, too! I'm on my way to sneak a gingerbread cookie and watch some more waltons while I knit Drew's sweater...


beetlemack said...

what a nice sounding Christmas. yummy food, good company and parties, good gifts and quality family time! what else can you ask for?

Sarah-Lynn said...

Aren't those earrings so pretty? I loved them too. I'm glad you had a nice Christmas, I was thinking of you.

sheila said...

Merry Christmas, Andrea! Rebar eh? I always make Richard take me there for Mother's Day. And yes, it usually IS by force. He's not a big fan.

Nice post, by the way. I found myself resonating with a few of the things you said.