Saturday, December 30, 2006

We're Back...

Hooray, we arrived back in town today at around 4. There's ALOT of unpacking to be done but I'm just doing it in spurts as I feel up to it. Can anyone say never ending cold?? I really need to find a sign that advises people that although I only have mild asthma the combination of their small cold germs and my condition do NOT mix. I know Faith Ann can hear me barking from her house ;)

Before heading back I gave the boxing day sales one last try. I mean day one I came home with a 99 cent package of gift tags and that's it (although I did run into Michelle while shopping who had my cold and was also up visiting family). Day 2 I hit Walmart and took advantage of their book and DVD clear outs. I picked up Hoodwinked for Alex's birthday and another season of Matt's favorite show for future presents. I picked up a book for dad, hard cover, only to find him reading the soft cover. So I guess that's going to be for Matt as well, 5$ for a Clive Cussler hardcover, how can one go wrong?? I also stopped by the gift shop in town and picked up a piece of Kim Kirkpatrick Pottery at 15% off. We received a bowl as one of our wedding gifts that we adore and I'd really like some complimentary pieces. Combine elegance and whimsy in a piece of art and I'm in ;)

With this cold I haven't had much stitching time, having to continually hold a kleenex is not very productive! However I did finish my Christmas Dust Bunny by Dragon Dreams. I adore him. Now to finish the Nun stitching around the edges. I should also check the packages that arrived while I was gone from the stitching shops but it just seems to require too much energy :( I did check my visa during the week and I see my Marbek Nativity Fabric shipped from Heaven Lee Creations during their rare sales ;) I guess I'll have to adjust my stitching goals for 2007 ;)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

363 Sleeps Until Christmas

Oh wow, the holiday sure does go quickly. Christmas Eve I finished up some of the appetizers for our little party after church. Mathieu finally arrived late in the afternoon with his bag of burger king as predicted. He always says he's coming early and ends up coming late...and with burger king, ewww... Wow, I really felt my age in church, all of the kids were all grown up! I still don't see myself at 30 at all. Alex was very well behaved, although it wasn't until we arrived there that I noticed he'd put on his big winter boots instead of his dress shoes, eww... After church we all got to open a present. Of course the one Alex was after was way under the tree, but he was very pleased to receive his two transformers from Matt. Before bed Alex laid out the cookies, his letter, the new cross stitch and the Christmas Pickle for Santa to hide ;)

After he was safely in bed we rolled out the appetizers and settled in for some Scattergories and then Santa made his visit. Mathieu was quite impressed with the stocking he received.

Christmas morning was busy. Alex hopped into bed with us at about 8:30 and after the stockings were emptied I started the big Christmas brunch. Between that and the late start we only wrapped up gifts at 1pm. Dad liked his Alex Calendar and mom also liked her Voice of The Shepherd

We must have been pretty good this year. Matt received a much needed new wardrobe between Santa and my parents. Alex LOVED all of his gifts. Cutting back led to one much more grateful child. Myself?? I'm going to the spa for a day, have some new clothes, a new Pampered Chef Baker, pinking sheers, lots of goodies for my tender tootsies and a large Home Depot Gift Card to put towards finishing my craft room. Ceiling and painting over 'Go Habs Go' and maybe even some mouldings woo hoo! I am going to call an electrician though to see how much it'll cost to put in two new outlets and move the thermostat to one controlled from that room.

Boxing day we finally got some snow!! This green Christmas crap does not agree with me at all. If it's going to be green I'd forego the tree and head to Disney in a heartbeat and for once watch the parade LIVE. Matt was storm stayed and it made up for the day he didn't get down :) We didn't go far as the city plows weren't on the roads. I started working on my Dragon Dreams Dust Bunny ornament which should be done before I head home :)

Today's Boxing Day sales held nothing more for me than a set of 99 cent gift tags, although that's very good for the pocket book ;) Tonight I'm planning on taking Alex to A Night At The Museum which should have a couple of laughs and if not, some yummy popcorn ;)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Anxiously Waiting

Well, Alex has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Mr Claus and has been checking Norad's tracking site religiously!! ;) It's hard to believe it's Christmas Eve, especially where the grass is GREEN! Gotta love the effects of global warming :(

Matt's arrival has been delayed due to work issues and some severe freezing rain yesterday. I think Santa may be picking him up en route ;) Meanwhile in between baking prep I've been sneaking some stitching in here and there and finally finished this little guy to place beside the cookie dish tonight ;)

Wishing you all a safe and Merry Christmas!! Katie :)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Alex's New Aunt

Well, city hall should be closed by now in Switzerland so Alex officially should have a new aunt. Congratulations Eddie and Isabelle.

I haven't been up to too much. Yesterday was spent assembling that last Christmas gift (woot only 3 more days and I can display it ;)). I took Alex to Charlotte's Web in the evening which was pretty fun. He's been pretty wound up so it was nice to have some quiet time. I did go to the cross stitch store here yesterday and it was a bit of a disappointment. It was the owner's husband working to begin with which wasn't nearly as fun and I don't know if it's just me in my no pattern buying that just doesn't get the thrill of the hunt anymore or the fact that she actually didn't have the 2006 Mill HIll Christmas kit as my source of disappointment. Needless to say I think the urge to go there when I come to visit is officially dead.

Last night's wind was crazy. It blew something in my eye and that combined with my cold had me awefully pretty this morning, not!! My eye was stuck shut and maybe that was so I couldn't see how bad it looked when I finally washed it enough to open it. It was sooooo swollen. After some compresses, drugs, shower, time and carefully placed makeup it was presentable enough for Market. We did some last minute grocery shopping for our appetizer Christmas Eve party and I snuck out to the final dollarstore to check in my quest to find some new frames. I think they had the remaininig NB stock, but I only had just over 9$ on me so I left with 8...for now. There are just soo many little projects that can go in them and where else would I find a square frame for a dollar?? There are none left in Fredericton so I'm justified in buying them ;)

The remainder of today I think I'll just go with the flow, I still don't feel all that great so putting my feet up (and maybe even having a nap) should feel glorious. Matt announced we could have an extended stay if we pleased where we aren't travelling for once immediately after Christmas. The poor guy forgot to book any vacation with all the stress of his work :( I'm so relieved not to have to do any additional travelling with this stupid cold!!

Now to hit the sheets :)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Holiday Part Two

We've arrived on the Miramichi safe and sound!! The drive was thankfully uneventful although my timing couldn't be worse. I think we met every school bus on the highway. Alex slept the whole way home so I had two whole hours of peace and quiet. After a delightful supper at My Mother's Kitchen we came home to decorate tree number two. I absolutely adore tree decorating! This time around it was a live tree which is a bit more of a challenge than our artificial at home but here's what we ended up with ;)

So yes, relatively no stitching that night with the exception of beginning to attach the charms to that last gift that needs to be assembled ;)

I've been battling a new sinus infection *yuck* which had me out at the malls searching for drugs yesterday. With significant amounts of pseudoephedrine in my system I was able to steal a couple minutes of sleep here and there without being kept up by my ringing ears. I also finished attaching the charms, finished basting the outline of the stocking and basted on the cording yesterday. Hopefully all of this basting will pay off!!

After supper dad and Alex headed out to the pool. I think they swam the entire 2 hours as after they came home Alex went in to watch Miracle on 34th street and when we went back to check on him this is what we found...

Mom and I then snuck out for a girlie night, exactly one week since our adventures with Flat Shannon :) What did we go see?? The Holiday, again!! I think I liked it even better the second time. Jude Law was just too adorable.

Today consists of finishing up the Christmas baking and a little sewing, hopefully. The cherry balls are all assembled and now I need to dip the Oreo Truffles and mix up the icebox cookies :)

Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Adventures in Curry

Oh my goodness! What an adventure indeed!! Last night where it was Alex's and my last night home before Christmas (Matt follows on the weekend before or Christmas eve) I decided to attempt to make a fancy dinner. Well, I've learned that there are more than one kind of curry paste, and that the Tandoori I bought will make your curry maple chicken penne bright fuschia, borderline NEON!!

After supper I packed up what stuff was safe to leave in the car in the parking lot, suitcases hidden in the back, stuff hidden under the seats and my stinky gym bag to detract would be burglars. I love minivans but that's my one little beef, there's no concealed area. I have tinted windows but it still feels a bit openNow I just need to make a quick trip home to pick up some mittens, frozen fudge and some mittens as its cold!!! I didn't get to stitch much last night, there was a couple things I wanted to get done so I didn't come home to a complete disaster zone, but took these tasks at a leisurely pace. I did however get to play with my stash!! :) I packed my big rubbermaid container with the supplies for DD's Deck the Halls, Not Dust Them, the thread to finish off the Lost Dragon Sampler, Our LK First Christmas ornament to ornamentify, Matt's stocking to sew and my Christmas Elf Fairy...oh and my stocking. Yes, I do realize I'm only going for a week but what if I ran out of a critical thread on one project?? Oh, or what if I had something to frog?? Anyway, it's packed and ready to play with.

When on the Miramichi I'm going to see if I can find a large count for Alex to play with (I donated all of my aida to one of the elementary school stitching groups). When he saw me packing up my stitching yesterday he asked if he could stitch with me. I then asked him what I was going to stitch and he informed me that he was going to stitch a dragon. Hooray, he'll like his christmas gift from me then ;) Anyway, I've got a tiny one of her freebies that should be decent to stitch and doesn't involve alot of colours. We'll see :) Just think of how many more projects that would be completed from the stash if there were two of us to do it?? ;)

Last night I also went on the mad hunt for my cherry ball recipe, which is what Matt requested for his choice of cookie. After digging through the cookbooks (which are on the please sort me list when I get back) I finally found the itty bitty Tartan cookbook dad found when he was cleaning out his mother's house. Little old ladies sure knew how to cook the rich stuff back in the day. Mind you, some of the recipe names reflected the times and not the great multinational Canada we know today. It seems that anyone that had a regular recipe that wanted to make it sound fancy put Chinese in front of it! Authentic Chinese Brownies, never heard of them??? Of course when I got to the main dishes section was there any recipes for chicken almond su guy?? Kung Pao chicken?? Szechwan?? No :( Now back to the cherry balls! I went to the index, no cherry balls!! I got thinking, could I possibly be wrong about what cook book it came out of?? Frustrated and not wanting to leaf through the numerous cookbooks and magazines I sat down to read some of the old recipes. Then I came across "Secrets" and there were the cherry balls!! They truly were a secret ;)

Monday, December 18, 2006

From Santa to Bond

Arghhh...why oh why do I get sick right before Christmas and why oh why is it the only the one night that I leave my Christmas cards at work that it happens??? I guess I'll have to mail them and I guess they'll probably arrive during the 12 days of Christmas. I've never woken up sick out of the blue in awhile, usually I have the head cold for days before Friday's beast. What's worse is I don't feel a heck of alot better but I start vacation tomorrow afternoon and it would look quite fishy if I didn't show up for work. Sigh...

Ok...enough whining. I did at least get to watch a slew of Christmas specials with Alex Friday evening, Winnie The Pooh and Christmas Too was a Warm up to The Santa Clause on CBC. Alex now has a new favorite Christmas movie. He asked this morning if he could watch it again and I told him we'd see about renting it and maybe the sequel when I'm on holidays. I got quite a bit of lacing done during the specials :)

Saturday we had our quick trip to market and a disastrous trip bookshelf shopping. I'm a very skittish passenger (a car wreck will do that) so I tend to annoy Mathieu on the best of days, so me panicing when the elderly lady was driving up our lane and was going to turn into the handicap spot regardless if our car was coming or not was like the boy who called wolf. Although this did get us home earlier than planned so I worked on my Christmas Elf Fairy and did MORE lacing. We rented The Davinci Code and I started a stocking for ME. After weeks of stitching other gifts and working on Matt's stocking I was ready to do something for me. Back to the it just me or does anyone get annoyed when they change trivial things from the book in the movie, things that just don't need to be Sophie being a brunette instead of a red head and her connection with her grandfather. In another movie, Where The Heart Is, they changed the number the main character was paranoid of. Why? I have no clue! Saturday was also my first time framing a piece of fabric that was a hair too short for the foam core, something that originally I had planned on framing in something smaller. I was a bit worried at first but was pretty impressed with the results.

Sunday I was still zonked. We slept in until 10 and then I made the executive decision to go to Bond alone, we've been trying to get a sitter since it openned in November with no luck and it's not on in the Miramichi when I'm there. I absolutely loved it. I wasn't looking forward to a blond bond but a throw back to high glamour and less cheesy gadgets was totally worth it. I spent the remainder of the afternoon packing (without the checklist that was sitting on my desk) and I'm happy to say it's only got a couple items left to do, woot! That should translate to just doing some baking with Alex and then do some stitching :) I'm going to load the clothing items in the van tonight and make a quick trip out to the house tomorrow to pick up the presents after work before hitting the road. I don't feel the need to tempt people all day with my van in the parking lot.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Let The Countdown Begin

Wow, I haven't been blogging much. Maybe it's been the baking, wrapping, finishing and of course a 'wild' night out ;)

So far we have three batches of fudge and a bowl of gingerbread dough which should be rolled out shortly. I'd planned on having a little more done by now but I wasn't planning on waking up with the cold Matt and Alex had last week and completely wiped out on Friday. I almost fainted when I woke back up and saw the clock at 12:30pm.

Wednesday night was really fun, Cathey has the best account of our night with Flat Shannon. It's a good thing we'd planned our night out to the chinese restaurant and chick flick about a month ahead of time or I'd probably have found myself too wiped out, like any other invitation this month. But getting out was awesome, the closest I've had to a real girl's night out next to retreat in awhile. It really recharged my batteries.

I did inventory on the closet last night and just have a couple more presents to wrap, which hopefully will be done tonight so I can box them for the trip to the Miramichi on Tuesday. Woot! Any of my stitchy time this week has been dedicated to lacing pictures and doing some ornament finishing on both a project for me, and two gifts.

Tis The Season from the 2006 Tiny Tidings for Alex's Teacher

Britty Kitty and Britty Puppy, two gifts (and my first attempt at making cording)

And this is just for me...

Now...back to work...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Deck The Halls

Well here's some pics of what we've been doing around the house...and compromising my stitching time

Our Tree & Côtéville

I have a tonne more pics but I'll save them for subsequent posts ;)

This weekend saw more prep of presents and the finale of gym and swim. It was bring a friend day so Alex brought his best bud Kayla, after he'd gone to her finale on Thursday. I took the kids for a festive donut and chocolate milk at Tim Horton's (gee, thankfully you guys aren't as critical as some on the boards or I might have to provide all of the nutritional info for the week ;)) The kids had a little impromptu playdate while I got groceries. I really hate the grocery trip with the non grocery items that make the bill skyrocket. I did find a monky flyer for Alex's stocking, something we say at retreat. I showed it to Matt the other week and must have had a broken one and forgot about the piercing shriek it lets out, which of course scared the poor cashier half to death when I threw it on the belt! How embarassing!! Of course the thing screamed all through the parking lot too every time the cart hit a bump ;)

Today was a Jam/Pump day. Why of why do I attract the people that show up late and are exactly the kind of person you'd NOT be beside. I get talkers or 7 foot people at the movies and today I got someone who came in late enough for the give yourself plenty of room or end up getting hit speal. Said person also decided halfway through the routine and stopped to watch the instructor, right in my path, oye. Then at pump the queen went and put her step right beside mine, with no room for me!! She even had the nerve to tell me to move my step forward. Then I went to get my weights and had someone drop a 2.5 to 5kg weight on my shoulder/ that doesn't hurt or anything. Nothings worse than trying to stay composed in front of 30+ people when you're already having a bad day. Well at least I got more of my Christmas gifts ready. I can't wait to do some lacing this week.

I also started my bakefest this weekend which saw some really yummy new recipes such as Irish Cream fudge, Grand Marnier Fudge and some bits and bites. That's the one 'work' part of Christmas that I truly do enjoy :) Here's hoping for some actual time to put in on Mirabilia's Christmas Fairy this week ;)

Did You Ever...

Have read a post on a bb that just ticked you off?? For Example this just drove me up the wall and back down again...

This woman just dumbfounds me. In July our 4-H club planned a trip to a high-mountain lake for canoeing and swimming. Her son was 8. She asked if someone could give him a ride. I said, "Did you ask an adult to be responsible for him?" She replied, "No, I didn't think I needed to."
I am currently organizing the Homeschool Ski Program involving nearly 70 people. Today the same mom asked another family if they could give her son a ride to the hill. They refused, saying that they didn't feel they could be responsible for him. "Well, Heidi didn't say I had to have someone responsible for him." DUH!

And responses such as

-"It's always amazing to me the number of parents that look upon these activities as free babysitting. I really feel sorry for their kids. "
-"Sadly, common sense isn't very common anymore.

And even more sadly, many parents just don't seem to care about actually *parenting* anymore.

When organizing trips, be sure that the first thing on the cover of your list of details, permission slips, etc. is a notice that EVERY PARENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN CHILD and if their child is going without a parent, the parent is required to get another adult to agree to be the responsible party for that child and accept liability."

And the killer

"Makes you wonder does this woman leave her son alone at home unattended? How could anyone ask strangers to take her son to some place and just leave him alone? She has got to either take him herself or pay a sitter to take him and tend to him.

Yes, you have got to do papers that say child has to be taken by parents or responsible sitter or relative. Can not be dropped off or left alone on its own."

Its?? Obviously this isn't a real parent children are not an 'it'...or only on certain occasions?? ;) What on earth is up with people being overly critical of today's parents?? Bah Humbug?? Quite frankly I like the screening that most organizations do to their leaders, at least in Canada and I really wouldn't be overly happy with some of the other parents tagging along...or someone going just to be a guardian, what's that crazy percentage of a child related sex offenses being by a family member or friend of the family...trusted people...yeah I like some level of screening of who's around my son. My goodness, the economy almost demands that both parents work, and I know lots of working moms that burn both ends of the candle to be uber moms and are very hands on with what time they have.

I'm grateful we live in a nation who's justice system doesn't permit quite as many lawsuits! Whatever happened to "It takes a village to raise a child". I'd be more than happy (and do) drive other children around and ammore than willing to have an emergency playdate (or even a babysitting one). Letting one's child watch a tv show here and there is not a babysitter. Children have bad days just like alot of adults I know.

So to those who feel overly critical of todays moms...stop lumping us in with the wingnuts that have and always will be around...and BAH HUMBUG!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Final Score: Spiral Tree 2 Katie 1

Ack...I love the look of spiral trees but my good lord they hate me. I came home all excited to put up my new multicoloured tree, the same company and size as the last tree, went to put it on the existing pole and it wouldn't then I assembled the new one, brought it outside and it still wouldn't fit over the hole. Spiral tree 2. I even tried frigging with it to get the star to possibly be propped. By this time I was getting a little irate. So my next trip out to the tree I had a power drill and the biggest drill bit I could find in the house and drilled the stupid thing until the hole was wide enough to fit. Katie 1 My neighbors must think I'm crazy ;)

Yesterday I got the remaining icicle lights up inside. Although doing the picture window lights was not the best thing to do before heading to work, I ended up with a Christmas cactus bud in my hair!! Mom came down to pick up her wreath and we went out for a wonderful family supper at Boston Pizza. My son, being the creature of habit that he is quickly picked up that we had not ordered our usual appetizer of cactus cut potatoes ;) He brought one of his Franny K Stein books with him to show his uncle. Afterwards we ran a couple of errands and picked up some food for Matt then settled in for a nice visit :) Why on earth do they put Christmas specials on so late that school aged kids can't watch them. I was shocked to see Santa Claus is Coming to Town on at 9 pm, I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and purchase that one (it's one of my favorites). I stitched as well and finished my Hope needleroll. I can't wait to stuff it and put it on the tree.

Today's been one of those days, kid that didn't want to go to school, van that didn't want to defrost, people that don't respect people's calendars and schedule meetings, one that even spans over the lunch time slot (well too bad, I'm going to my son's christmas concert) I'll be happy to arrive home tonight, hopefully with the pictures for the Christmas cards...

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who supported the school's wreath campaign, raffle draw and bazarre this year. These events raised over 16,000$ for Alex's school (on top of the 7,000$ they raised for Unicef), hopefully for some Smartboards to go with their new amplification systems they purchased last year. :) Thanks Again :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Spiral Tree 1 Katie 0

Well, last week was another busy week. I was soo glad to see the bazarre finally roll around. Friday after BodyPump Alex and I loaded the 3 loaves of cinnamon bread, 2 dozen mini pumpkin muffins, 2 dozen brownie bit cookies and 2 dozen worth hoarding chocolate bars (thanks Cathey for saving my disorganized neck...I knew she'd be able to find the copy of the JCS I was missing in about 2 seconds) into the van and took them to the school. What a zoo! Alex helped me bring the food in and then we picked up the wreath orders. Alex practiced the whole way home saying 'Thank you for supporting my school' but by the time we got to Faith Ann's I could barely understand what he blurted out ;) He really wanted to stay and play and I got to hear the whole way home how disappointed he was that he couldn't stat to play, thankfully it's a very short drive.

We decided to skip the Christmas tree festival Friday night where it was freezing rain off and on. I brought up the ornaments and was surrounded by glass ones when the power flicked about 3 times followed by a boom off in the distance. Of course everything beeped as it died and woke up Alex who is terrified of the dark. After my eyes adjusted I was able to make it out of the glass forcefield I'd built while someone looked for his flashlight. I got to put my decorative candles to good use ;) He then went searching for the phone book to call NBPower, somewhere the 'I already programmed that number into the phone' was not getting through as Katie programmed the speed dial on the land line for NBPower. We all ended up in the same bed and sealed off the bedroom incase we would be without power for awhile. When we woke up it was back :)
We rushed out to Gym but skipped the Swim as you really need to be at the bazarre first thing. Our early arrival was rewarded when I got to the 2nd time around table and picked up a Magic Treehouse book, Lemony Snicket #4 hardcover, Ramona book and a George Shrinks DVD for 2.25 :) The boys meanwhile navigated all of the games and picked me up a little something from the secret shop for Christmas :) We had lunch there and headed out, we never win draws so why stick around for them...

I drug the boys grocery shopping as well, the family that suffers together stays together :) Neither was too pleased, especially when we got to the line up and it was a wait. I left them and the cart and headed to the shoe section and found a pair of Nike Air Assaults (I think) for 30$ less than the Footlocker. Matt's mother gave us money for Christmas and I desperately needed new sneakers for the gym and these fit the supportive bill. We unloaded and began decorate the tree, or correction, I worked on the lights and ribbon. I was dancing around the living room to John Denver and the Muppets singing Old St Nick and low and behold it finally started to snow. I called Alex out and he was just as excited as me. We then started decorating, Alex was much more into it this year!! The tree though did not seem to want to stay straight so we headed out to the mall for supper and to find something to tie it with :) After that we headed to the Christmas tree festival. Alex would have enjoyed it more if we hadn't had such a busy day but he still thought it was pretty neat. His favorite part was the ginger bread houses. Highlights for us, a girl guide cookie tree, present's under the police tree wrapped in evidence reports and bows of crime tape, and even a picture of our old apartment was on a tree!! One of the real estate companies bought out our old place and had all of their properties on. Another neat tree was the Women in Forestry tree, all forestry stuff in glittery pink, that got my vote for best tree :) Then we headed home, stuffed and wiped!

Sunday was low key. I headed to Pump after lunch and then finished the stocking shopping, even picking up Santa's 'naughty' reading material ;) I also found a light bulb tester and when I returned home decided to try to fix the spiral tree that only half lit up and all I got for my efforts was a borderline sprained finger, scratched up knucles and a half inch gash in my finger for what turned out to be a dead socket. Needless to say I picked up a new spiral tree today and may just light the old one on fire ;)

So stitching this weekend :( Although sometimes it's nice to have a little break from it. I'm all set up to finish my JD Needleroll for this year and put it on the tree tonight :) Here's hoping...