We had a wonderful Christmas break! And while I didn’t take too many photos, here are a few from the last few weeks . . .
First up, our Advent picture books. I purchased a bunch of books about Christmas and wrapped them up. The kids loved unwrapping them and reading our book of the day. A few of our favourites included:
– One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham – this book is a summary of the salvation story in the Bible. It hits many of the highlights (the creation, the fall, Noah, Moses, David, Jesus’s birth, death and resurrection) and has lovely illustrations.
– The Remarkable Christmas of the Cobbler’s Sons by Ruth Sawyer – a poor cobbler leaves home on Christmas Eve to complete some work for soldiers and while he’s away his sons have a surprising encounter with the goblin king. Such a fun book! The kids loved shouting, “Schnitzle, schnotzel and schnootzle!” while we read.
– The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – we didn’t actually finish reading this story, and it was way, way over the heads of our kids, but they still loved listening to it! And they were so excited to discover that Opa and Oma have a whole Dickens village set up at Christmastime, including a house with Scrooge and the ghosts inside!
A few more photos of the gingerbread house decorating. As you can see, June was the most excited of the bunch about it. 🙂
Oh dear, not the house’s best angle:
A little better:
We attended our first midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and it was glorious. Lots of incense, beautiful music and rejoicing in the birth of our Saviour! ‘Twas lovely! I’m so glad we went! I thought the children might fall asleep on the half hour drive to church, or during the service, but they stayed up the whole time. Alice was quite tuckered out the next day and needed two naps instead of her usual one… she just fell asleep on the couch. 🙂
Christmas morning gift opening:
June and Alice loved the Victorian doll house they received! (I found it at Value Village and spent a few evenings during Advent repainting it.)
Our Christmas feast:
On Boxing Day we drove to the Fraser Valley. June recently ditched her carseat for a booster seat and it doesn’t quite offer the same head-restability! She somehow slept like this for half an hour (despite attempts to recline her seat and otherwise make her more comfy)!
We had a wonderful stay with my parents (again)! The kids were busy with all sorts of toys and games, and even tried out some shuffleboard.
The whole family (except my brother Duane who was sick with the flu) got together for a Christmas gift exchange:
The kids opening their gifts:
The biggest surprise of the evening came towards the end when Jeremy and I were given “one last gift” that turned out to be a VEHICLE! I’ve been stuck at home with the kids six days a week for the last four months and just the thought of being able to attend our local Mom and Tots group, or go for a nature walk, or pop in to the grocery store for a last minute ingredient for dinner… well, I burst into tears. Pretty amazing! We are loving the freedom and flexibility this delightful gift has brought to us already, and I’m sure that will abound over the next weeks and months!
The kids loved playing with their cousins! June and Eden:
James and Austin:
Grandma’s basement and its many treasures is a never-ending source of delight:
And then James and June got sick with the flu. Thankfully June only threw up once, and James is now old enough to recognize when he’s about to vomit so he was able to make it to the bathroom on time. (I appreciate the minimal vomiting on carpet a lot!)
And then we had an ice storm that covered everything in a one to two inch coating of ice! It was incredibly beautiful. And incredibly slippery!
It certainly reminded us of our stay in February when the exact same thing happened!
We hunkered down at mom and dad’s for a few days. Because of the kids getting sick, our get together with Jeremy’s family was cancelled, so we just visited with his parents instead.
On New Years Day, Jeremy and I attended Mass, ate some olliebollen at John David’s, browsed a local book store, and headed out to the River House for a little getaway while my parents took care of our children. The yard and deck were covered in lots of snow, and the full moon was hanging low in the sky that night, and shining brightly on the river in the backyard. It was stunning!
We enjoyed some snacks and a board game and just as I was dozing off that night there was a thunderous crash! I looked up groggily, and there was Jeremy, sprawled out on the bedroom floor, a broken glass lying in shards around him! Thinking he’d fallen, I called out to him, “Jeremy, are you okay?!” And when he didn’t answer, I asked him another dozen times, “Jeremy, what happened? Are you okay?! Jeremy!” After about fifteen seconds he came to – it turns out he had fainted while trying to get to the bathroom.
Yep, the flu bug had returned, and we spent our lovely getaway vomiting the night away! (In retrospect, it was quite a blessing not to have to take care of our children while we were so sick! Unfortunate but propitious timing.)
The rest of our trip we spent recovering from the flu, trying to avoid slipping on the ice, and removing subjects from this lovely home which will be ours in about six weeks!!! 🙂
Now we’re back home again to another foot of snow and a driveway that was cleared by our kind and thoughtful neighbours. Tomorrow Jeremy begins teaching again, and our homeschool picks up again, too!