Monthly Archives: December 2011

it’s tradition

on the thirty-first day of december...

thursday, we gathered at mom and dad’s for an immediate-family christmas celebration. after all, to go all dr seuss on you, christmas is not a date on the calendar, it’s a feeling in your (two sizes too big) heart, right?!

we trooped in to mom and dad’s late afternoon-ish. i worked til mid-afternoon, and cutie c had time for a nap before the toronto family trekked up the 401. happily, a few centimetres of snow falling did not hinder our plans!

family christmas, for us, is all about favourite traditions:

it’s tradition that we start off by opening our stockings:

santa gives stockings to kids little AND big!

it’s tradition that we chant, “one, two, three, pull!” and withdraw a surprise:

ohhh! ahhh!

then we all compare picks.

[santa sure did his homework! he obviously scrutinized my 100 item christmas list as my stocking included such wishes as…

  • #15 – nail polish in bright colours
  • #32 – brightly coloured sticky notes
  • #34 – puffins cereal
  • #57 – black eyeliner pencil
  • #59 – the burlap recyclable tote from “ruby eats”
  • #64 – fluffy warm socks
  • #81 – wrapping paper (tissue paper in many hues!)

and i have to show you…

knitting socks!

THANK YOU, santa!]

it’s tradition that after stockings, we convene to the table:

we'll get to the menu in a minute...

it’s tradition that we open a “table gift” before eating!

it’s tradition that we feast on ribs and pigtails; kfc chicken; chips and dip; rootbeer.

the chips and dip MUST be served in mom's vintage bowl set!

the traditional seated-at-the-table pic!

it’s tradition that mom uses her good poinsettia china to add to our festive cheer:

mom started collecting these place settings and serving pieces when i was little!

after dinner, it is time for traditional photos!

aunti and the girls!

four generations!

the parents!

and my very favourite traditional shot…

the brother and i each holding a gift and being cheesy

it’ become tradition over the last few years that i wrap the brother’s gift…*uniquely.* this year, my theme was vector (since he is a fan, too)!!

it’s tradition that it’s now time to open presents!

mom and i found the yarn winder for sil ana way back in sept!

little e receives her very first barbie! aunti had fun choosing which one to get!

much joy with toys!

yippee! i will enjoy cosy toes!

suggestion #50!

it’s tradition that at least one gift will make me squeal! my biggest dance of joy came when i received MY STINKY TOFU TSHIRT!!! (list item #3). three years of dreaming finally realized!

and - bonus! a cute bubble tea tee!

AND…some people may covet an italian wine. but me? direct from italy…

italian cereal!! "kellogs's" is the only english word on the box!

for a cereal afficiando, what a treat! i may have to frame that box!

thoughtfulness and expressions of love – that is what present exchanges are all about.

it’s tradition that we end our evening with dessert – our traditional cookie  and squares selection!

it's tradition that i arrange the squares and cookies plates!

it’s tradition that our christmas celebration is a time to share, visit, and enjoy being together.

and this blog post marks the end of all christmas all the time – except that glow in the heart may stay for a while!

happy new year’s eve! how are you marking the end of 2011 and welcoming 2012? i think a movie is on the agenda…and i have been in bed before midnight for umpteen years, now. i’d rather be gung-ho for new year’s day!

new experience #39: whiten my teeth

on the thirtieth day of december...

there is no better time of year than christmas to display dazzling teeth. photo! smile! “cheese!” ’tis the season to strike a pose flash a bright grin!

i’ve asked my dentist a few times, over the years, about different methods to make my pearly whites whiter. so, i basically decided on this kiki project just out of curiosity. i got a giggle out of pursuing this idea because it seems so self-absorbed and hollywood-esque! heck, i should get a spray-on tan and fake boobs and blond highlights while i’m at it!

i procrastinated on starting this project for a good few months. i wanted to get the whitening kit when it was on sale, but even when i did see it on sale, i put off committing to the purchase because of the cost: $44.99 (sale price) for a 28 day supply. i dove in when i decided to use my shoppers drug mart points. ah, what i don’t do for the kiki project

the kit i purchased

i was impressed when i read the instructions: all you need is five minutes a day. hey, that’s a piece of cake! i needed to find a set point in the day (routine lover that i am), and i would have picked wake-up/first thing in the morning, but the directions advised not to do the treatments right after brushing your teeth. so, i settled on taking five minutes while i got ready for work/got organized (or about 8:30 a.m. every day).

first impressions:

~ the strips are thinner than saran wrap! i had envisioned insertable trays, like what the dentist uses for fluoride treatments.

two strips - the longer one for your upper teeth, shorter for the bottom

~ tastes fresh, like toothpaste, and is a teensy bit foamy like toothpaste, too.

~ creates lots of garbage, what with the outer box, the individual pouches, the clear plastic to which the adhesive upper and lower strips are attached, and the strips themselves.

an example of a day's pouch - strips are inside

i actually started this blog post back on december 1st so that i could keep a photo journal and comment log as the 28 days ticked by…on day one, i was most curious about what my teeth would look like on day 28! would there be a noticeable difference?

day one:

a regular pose...need more teeth!

a little better...

out to attack!!

day two: the instructions warn that you may experience sensitivity. i was a bit worried because when i’ve tried whitening toothpaste before, i’ve had to discontinue it due to sore gums. but the strips don’t bug me at all! and i love the fresh, minty, clean feeling after i use them!

day three: at stitch n kitsch, mom tells me my teeth are “glistening.” [does that mean they will be "blinding" by day 28?!].

day four:

is there a difference? can YOU see a difference?!

day five: this is the first morning where applying the white strips feels like part of my getting-ready routine. just like remembering to put on (tie-dyed) underwear and to comb my hair.

day six: dentist appt this aft! now my teeth will be even more sparkly, i hope! i tell my dentist how whitening toothpastes have made my gums and teeth feel sensitive but the strips do not bug me at all. he says there are so many chemicals (*nice*) in the pastes that the combo in the strips may omit one ingredient to which i have reacted, before.

day seven: it’s official – i’m addicted to that super-clean mouth feel, after removing the strips.

day eight:

is it the reflection off the turtleneck, or are we seeing more whiteness??!

hey, if you want a close up of the teeth, you're gonna get a view up my nose, too...

day nine: i was totally rushed this morning and flubbed the application of the strip onto my bottom teeth. so my upper choppers now have a +1 advantage.

day ten: i ♥ love ♥ this new experience!!!!

day eleven: i wear lipgloss to the carols + lessons service at church. let’s draw attention to the teeth! [maybe this project is not such a good thing - it's encouraging me to be self-centred!].

day twelve:

i'm keeping the background and the time of day the same for each photo update so that the lighting is consistent

i'm getting more daring with the close-ups!

day thirteen: a bit of gum sensitivity on the upper right side – i just apply the top strip to avoid this section – problem solved, and it’s fine the next day.

day fourteen: a customer at the store has glaringly white teeth. i hope i do not stare – i think i talked to her teeth during her sales transaction. it’s on the tip of my tongue to ask how she got that gleam!

day fifteen: valumart will have the crest 3D strips on sale, 30% off, next week!! so tempting!…[i resist buying another round].

day sixteen:

blurry photo cuz i did something to the camera settings during my walk thru the park last eve - will fix asap!

[i am out of thoughts for the in-between picture days].

day twenty:

if we were holding up paint chip samples, i'd say we've moved a coupla shades down the line!

day twenty-four! (merry christmas!)

think we've plateau'd over the past few days...we do have whiter choppers for christmas, though!

day 28 (last day, boo hoo!):

here’s what the strips look like on your teeth:

all my teeth shots look like i am about to pounce on you. sorry!

and the final photo! as white as we’re going to get!…

twenty-eight days of daily applications later...

ok! now let’s go back to day one…

day one - just so you don't have to scroll up...

and again with day twenty-eight…

ta da!

and back to day one…joking!!

definitely a difference, eh?

PROJECT WHITESTRIPS RECAP: PROS AND CONS
CONS [get the negative out of the way first!]:

~expensive

~environmentally unfriendly

PROS:

~very easy to apply

~only requires five minutes per day

~did not irritate my gums or make my teeth sensitive to hot and cold

~i did see results

~lovely taste and do leave your mouth feeling very clean and fresh **this amazing clean feel is what i will miss most, truly.**

conclusion: would i buy whitestrips again? heck, yes! ->IF i feel like doling out the cash – the price is a significant limiting factor.

now i’ll be interested to see how long the added whiteness lasts!

let’s talk teeth! how often do you see your dentist (every six months), did you wear braces (yes, nine years), have you ever whitened your teeth? (i have now!).

reflection and anticipation

on the twenty-ninth day of december...

just before christmas, all of a sudden, i had a flash of divine inspiration, and the 1970kikiproject for next year came together. yippee! i am jazzed to share all the details with you on monday, january 9th.

within the next few days, many of us will turn our attention to making resolutions or setting goals (there’s a difference in the semantics, to my mind). now, while i much prefer the idea of having labour day weekend serve as the “new year,” i am not one to turn away the opportunity to plan ahead!

i came across the following set of reflective thoughts about life on ultrarunner olga’s blog. her list contains more points than i will share, here. i picked the ones that resonate the most, and reordered her list, as well. so, maybe wait until you have a quiet two minutes (my young mom readers are laughing in my face, right now!) and enjoy a meditative moment.

~*~*~*~*~

1.~It’s much harder to change the length of your life than it is to change the depth of it.

2.~Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  Read.

3~Everything is a life lesson.  Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc.  They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’  Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way.  If you don’t get a job that you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting.  And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.

4.~Regardless of how filthy your past has been, your future is still spotless.  Don’t start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday.  Every day is a fresh start.   Every morning we wake up is the first day of the rest of our life.

5.~You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

6.~When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.

7.~One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.

8.~If a person wants to be a part of your life they will make an obvious effort to do so.  Don’t bother reserving a space in your heart for people who do not make an effort to stay.

9.~If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down – which is not always as obvious and easy as it sounds.

10.~Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.

11.~Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You don’t fail by falling down.  You fail by never getting back up.

12.~Everyone basically wants the same things.  They want validation, love, happiness, fulfillment and hopes for a better future.  The way they pursue these desires is where things branch off, but the fundamentals are the same.

13.~The more things you own, the more your things own you.  Less truly gives you more freedom.

14.~Making a thousand friends is not a miracle.  A miracle is making one friend who will stand by your side when thousands are against you.

15.~Someone will always be better looking.  Someone will always be smarter.  Someone will always be more charismatic.  But they will never be you.

16.~Making progress involves risk.  Period.  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

17.~Every morning you are faced with two choices:  you can aimlessly stumble through the day not knowing what’s going to happen and simply react to events at a moment’s notice, or you can go through the day directing your own life and making your own decisions and destiny.

18.~Everyone makes mistakes.  If you can’t forgive others, don’t expect others to forgive you.

19.~You can’t take things too personally.  Rarely do people do things because of you.  They do things because of them.

20.~The happiest people I know keep an open mind to new ideas and ventures, use their leisure time as a means of mental development, and love good music, good books, good pictures, good company and good conversation.

~*~*~*~*~

if you care to share, do any of the statements above speak to you? a few years ago (thanks to dr phil, i must say) i realized how true #19 is. once i changed my perspective about what drives people’s actions, the handling of certain situations became a lot easier. and i totally believe in #11 – never give up on a goal.

will you be setting goals or making any resolutions on january 1st? last year, i set out eleven goals for 2011 (recap coming on sunday, january 1st). this year, i am putting all my eggs in the kikiproject basket instead of making any resolutions!

starbucks – yes, movie – no

...on the twenty-eighth day of december...

backtracking to wrestling boxing day!

we had the busiest boxing day of my career at the store! it was a fun work day – zero returns (just easy exchanges), money card redemptions, and shoe sales! the day sped by and before i knew it, it was time to go to…

starbucks!

…and meet up with dad for our december outing of the month.

here we are!

we got to the buck just after 4:30 p.m. the place was packed! just as we were thinking we’d have to stand squooshed in a corner, a guy left a table, and we nabbed it lickety-split.

except, there were no available chairs anywhere! so dad and i both had to squeeeeeeze onto the banquette. my backrest was a tower of boxes!

see?!

good thing dad and i get along! our conversation time was just as great as always. i can’t believe this outing concludes all of my coupon-of-the-month projects for 2011!

~*~*~*~*~

i got four votes via blog comments, and mom telephone-voted in regards to whether i should un-decorate (de-decorate?) the condo casa or watch the time traveler’s wife boxing day evening – it was a unanimous decision in favour of the movie night. i was only too happy to go along with that decision. however…(long story short) when i tried to play nicole‘s dvd, i couldn’t because i needed a security code to play it via itunes, (insert much messaging with nicole here), then the security code would not work, then i got the message the offer had expired!  [the good news is that nicole has access to a regular dvd version, and will lend that to me, asap!].

“someone up there” was sending me a message, i would say – i guess i was meant to keep up my christmas dis-mantling tradition, after all! so i put on some christmas tunes (last chance!) and got to work…

i like putting stuff OUT a lot more than putting it all AWAY! what a downer of a task.

see you next year wise men/snowmen/jingle bell! (and it will not be before november 11th!)

when will you/did you de-christmasize this year? i realize not everyone does it on exactly the same date every year! like some of us.

last time you were at starbucks? our uptown location was even open christmas day!

a christmas day in two parts

on the twenty-seventh day of december...

PART I: CHRISTMAS MORNING

just as we have for a few years now, we all gathered at paul and sharon’s house on christmas morning – not too early, mind you! 9 a.m.-ish is a sane and reasonable hour to meet-up!

the cousins! (L to R) (andrea), joel, alex, kate, (pete)

oh no! am i grouped in with "the older generation?!" (L to R) sharon, mom, paul, me, dad

while we awaited the arrival of santa the torontonians, we caught up on family news! as of ten days ago, andrea and joel are back from australia! kate regaled us with the tale of her justin bieber concert outing this past week – she was chaperone to eight giggling girls! alex is applying to universities for next fall – where does the time go? and we gave thanks that mom does not have the flu like last christmas!

we varied the combos for some more photos!

soon enough, the little ones arrived – in new christmas finery…

note the christmas vest and skirt - sil ana's mom is quite the seamstress!

…and bearing new christmas toys!

a new baby doll!

bring on breakfast!!!

i appreciate sharon's xmas touches!

a delicious fresh fruit platter, and some more nibbles

NOW I CAN FINALLY SHOW YOU OUR BUNS!!! [sidenote: on saturday, after she finished baking the sticky buns, mom sent me an email entitled "my buns are beautiful!" see, there is no hope for our family].

raisin in the front, pecan in the back

a close-up of the nuts

new this year – kate manned a belgian waffle station!

a fabulous addition!

my proof to you that uncle paul does indeed butter his (sticky) buns!

it was truly a stellar year for the sticky buns – mom said it’s because the air was so light on saturday, she only need the minimum amount of flour.

thanks, mom!

with full tummies and nary a sticky bun crumb in sight, we convened to the living room for our gift exchange:

the best presents! (presence?!)

the outstanding gift of the year award this year (on the level of my abba box set from paul and sharon, a few years back) goes to little e’s pink computer – again, from paul, sharon and alex:

it actually works! and it even has a mouse and mouse pad!

i truly squealed in delight when i opened…

silver lame shorts! hey, they were on my list! you betcha i will wear them!

what a delightful time. the gift giving was wonderful (no repeat gifts or exchanges to be done, this year!), the laughs, jokes and bantering even better.

(sidenote: just to share – from my 100 item christmas list, i joyfully received…)

#38, a journal notebook and #51 MAC eyeshadow in pink!

#16 - crackle nail polish (silv-ah!) and #90 - silver lame (lam-EH not LAME!) - and i love the silver drawstring bag they came in!

then we broke for intermission. walking, napping, basting a turkey…we digested, rested and got ready for…

PART TWO: CHRISTMAS DINNER

we enjoyed some chill time while the turkey was finishing up doing its cooking thing. what better than to enjoy a viewing of the cartoon grinch?!

the young uns were enthralled...(and we are to note that uncle paul is watching an animated feature!)

...as were the older set!

grandma joined us!

g'ma enjoyed all the activity going on!

check out the bird!

...all 18.8 lbs of it!

and a buffet of side dishes:

front to back: swedish potatoes; stuffing; gravy; cran sauce; parmesan squash dish; corn

merry christmas!

and for dessert…

our sweet treats!

can you spot the balls and squares?!

what a wonderful christmas. the warmth and love of family filled my heart with joy.

after the family all left (by 7:30 p.m. -> we’re a family of early birds), i stayed to help clean up. i’d much rather wash up than prep dishes!

ah - now, that hits the spot!

i think you know me better than that!

i hope that you, too, enjoyed your christmas day. just 364 days til we fest again!

what is a favourite gift you gave or received this year? funny: i picked out the MAC eyeshadow for us to give to kate, and kate chose the MAC eyeshadow that i received from all the cousins! (different colours, at least!)

do you still have more christmas festivities to enjoy this year? we are celebrating immediate-family christmas on thursday!

happy wrestling day!

on the twenty-sixth day of december...

hello, friends!

i hope you are enjoying your christmas vacation. we had a green christmas day this year, and i didn’t mind a bit!

wrestling day was the brother’s name for BOXING DAY, way back when. we both thought it very funny!

today is the day i traditionally take down my christmas decorations. they’ve been up for a while this year! the condo casa looks so cosy and so homey with all the red and green accessories on display…i will miss this festive look. think anyone would notice if i still had xmas décor up on may 2-4?!!

i may not get the decs down today, though: i’m back at the store for boxing wrestling day promotions and sales and returns -> hopefully, not too many of that last one [most stores don't even take returns on boxing day although we do]. then after work, dad and i are going out for our outing of the month! it was either today at 4:30 p.m., or new year’s eve at 5:30 p.m.! i was tempted to pick new year’s eve, actually – nothing like leaving our outing til the VERY last possible minute! dad and i are going back to starbucks today because that’s where we’ve gone for the last three months in a row!…and it’s pretty much the only coffee shop open in uptown waterloo! i anticipate a good visit – and we’ll have fun discussing yesterday’s family christmas! (come back tomorrow for the recap!).

i could de-christmas-ize the condo casa tonight, but nicole let me borrow her dvd of “the time traveler’s wife” and i’m quite excited to watch it asap, esp while the book is still fresh in my mind.

did you go boxing day shopping today, and if so, did you nab any great deals? and did you notice how so many retailers had mega-sales before christmas this year? it seemed like the time between american thanksgiving and christmas was one big sale season!

tonight’s plans: maintain my dismantle-xmas tradition or view the movie? vote, please!

~merry christmas to you~

on december the twenty-fifth...

wishing each of you a wonderful christmas day. may your heart be full of joy!

~xoxo ~

STICKY BUNNNNNNSS!!

on the twenty-fourth day of december...

i have absolutely zero pictures of buns to share with you, today.

mom is actually doing the baking of the sticky buns today. hence, why we will be photo-free. but, i really wanted to share this family recipe with you, and to do so after christmas seems rather anti-climactic. so, in a couple of days when i share some christmas day photos, i will be sure to include close-ups of buns. [if you haven't gathered already, yes, buns are just about up there with balls in terms of humour that cracks me up].

we have had my mom’s sticky buns for christmas morning breakfast ever since i can remember. even when my grandma c hosted christmas, mom brought over the sticky buns. now, i sure wish i had video capabilities for the blog. i would love to have a sound bite of my uncle paul, from years past, and his exuberant “sticky bunnnsss!!” shout as he burst in the door of my grandma and grandpa c’s house, christmas morning. from this moment on, the hilarity of christmas day was started. (this is the same uncle paul who is the king of wrapping paper ripping). uncle paul also holds a place of esteem when it comes to sticky buns because he is the only family member to actually spread BUTTER on his buns [<-intentionally worded!]. we all hoot with laughter, every year, because as you will see, the very last thing you need on sticky buns is more butter!!

file photo: uncle paul (and cousin joel) at christmas day sticky bun breakfast, 2010

you can see some buns, after all! there! on the counter behind joel and shadow are TWO leftover buns!

christmas morning sticky buns

DOUGH:

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (or 2 packages)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups milk , scalded
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 6 1/2 – 7 flour (lesser amount all you need on a dry, sunny day)

soften yeast in warm water. combine hot milk, margarine, sugar, salt.  stir til shortening is melted and mixture is lukewarm. add 2 cups flour. beat well (mom uses a handmixer). beat in yeast and eggs. gradually add remaining flour, beating well. (you will need to beat the last cup of flour in by hand; dough is too sticky for beaters). place dough in a greased bowl. grease top of dough. cover with greased wax paper and a clean towel. let rise in a warm place until double (approx 1.5 hours). stir dough down. divide into 4 pieces. pat each piece into a rectangle (approx 12″ x 8″).

FILLING:

brush each rectangle with 1 tablespoon of soft butter. over butter, sprinkle 1/4 c sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. starting at long side, roll up jelly-roll style. seal. cut each into 8 equal pieces.

TOPPING:

in each of 4 loaf pans, place a mixture of:

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup pecans or raisins

top mixture with 8 rolls, placed cut side down. let rise until double, about 45 minutes. bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. invert on foil paper placed on a rack. remove pans. cool. these will freeze well.

~*~*~*~*~

as you can see, these buns are intense both in terms of prep and buttery richness! the making of the sticky buns is an all-day labour of love for mom. but, we all adore them, greatly! there is also great debate amongst family members as to whether you prefer the pecan or raisin buns. (me -> pecan. not a raisin-anything fan).

i have never made sticky buns, myself. each year, there is talk that mom should give a demo lesson to the brother, sil ana, cousin kate…i would be in for a group sticky bun class!

do you have a traditional christmas morning breakfast/brunch menu? i know many families enjoy an overnight egg and bread dish…although at christmas, anything goes! want bonbons and eggnog? i say, go for it!

new experience #38: decorate two g’bread houses with two nieces!

on the twenty-third day of december...

little e and i have decorated a gingerbread house together every year since she was one. i can’t believe i don’t have photo documentation of each of our projects – slacker aunti! but, here’s a look back at the last two years!

2009: this year, i had purchased a ready-made kit, but you had to assemble the walls and roof. our roof ended up caving in!

a pensive look!

…so that year the gingerbread house became the gingerbread stable.

fun wow!

2010: we made a house and also decorated gingerbread cookie people! i believe cutie c was napping at the time (i see the baby monitor in the bottom of this photo!).

busy bees! i mean ELVES!

nice work!

2011: i’ve been excited about continuing the gingerbread house tradition for weeks! the last aunti-visit wednesday before the hols would be a good day for house decorating – save the most exciting tradition for close to christmas!

this was the first year, then, that cutie c joined in on the gingerbread fun. i thought it best to provide TWO gingerbread kits for TWO nieces. that way, there’d be no fighting, no biting over the execution of artistic ideas.

it was meant to be: i got the last two kits on the shelf at valumart, and they were on sale! talk about the stars being in alignment.

yup - a PRE-FAB house - no wall-building necessary!

we set up operations on the dining room table: the houses were unearthed from their plastic wrap, and the girls helped pour the candies into little plastic bowls, for easy access:

someone is pleased as punch already!

the great thing about these kits is that you don’t even have to mix icing. you just squoosh the icing baggie to warm it up a little, then you’re ready to go!

squish squish!

so just like that, we were ready to d e c o r a t e

nicely done, cutie c!

it was interesting to see the difference between a 2.5 year old and 5 year old in terms of creative ideas and advancement in fine-motor skills:

little e thought to dip her bead candies into the icing and then apply them

fingers as "glue" applicators!

cutie c got super-involved with pouring the candies from one bowl to another, back and forth – i think she liked the sound?!

concentration!

our house decorating party went a lot more smoothly than i had anticipated! to be honest, i was not sure how much mess and cacophony might arise with this project (two frustrated children? one frazzled aunti?) but the girls were awesome little decorators – they were really focussed and interested in our project. they also did not need much assistance – i helped with squeezing out the icing, but they handled the candy applications pretty much on their own. we each had a ton of fun!

someone is pleased with her finished product!

...as is someone else!

a view of the back door!

and at the end of the day…

a couple more christmas decorations for the dining room table

let’s pose for a final photo!

take one!

take two!

take three! oops, we lost someone!

what a good party. the girls agree that we need to decorate gingerbread houses every year!

is gingerbread house decorating a tradition with you? we didn’t do this activity as kids – there were no kits for sale back in the 70’s – but we did decorate sugar cookies.

i think it’d be fun to do a mini-village of houses – get everyone in the family to do their own house!

hallelujah

on the twenty-second day of december...

12:30 a.m. today was the exact moment of winter solstice in toronto.

(source)

that is a photo that i found when i googled “heaven.”

so gaze upon that scene and play the hallelujah chorus to go along with it.

why?

because we made it to the shortest day of the year.

i am breathing a deep sigh of relief and happiness because we have turned a winter corner already, and now the days will get longer (it may only be second by second, but it is happening). mom and i always say that we start to notice the lengthening daylight hours at about my birthday – so, it will take a couple more weeks to kick in.

in honour of the shorty-short day today, this will be a petit post. it’s not my shortest blog post of the year, though! – that one was back in august when i was sick. a 15 word post? this one is already 10 times that length!

anyway, happy thursday. tomorrow’s post will feature an aunti christmas tradition that little e, cutie c and i enjoyed yesterday!

what’cha you doing today? me = a free morning, then the store from noon – close. hoping for many christmas shoppers!

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