December 22, 2013
Shopping Canada style

We got 30 cm of snow and although we have great snow clearing abilities here in Ottawa, we were still being advised to stay off the roads.


We did need a few groceries though, so Elizabeth and I loaded up the sled and did our shopping winter storm style. It was a beautiful night to be out pulling the sled and Elizabeth really enjoyed all the up and downs over the drifts left by various plows. We were glad that the ice storm that hit Toronto totally missed us!

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December 21, 2013

Matthew spent most of the week leading up to gingerbread trying to get into the candy. He finally succeeded with a few hours to spare. All the excitement was too much for him and he actually fell asleep in his high chair at lunchtime, to Elizabeth's great mirth.


Matthew enjoyed eating the decorations far more than placing them on his flat cookie, but Elizabeth and Aidan were very happy to help pick up the slack.


Lots of little houses and cars this year. The kids are becoming more independent and the decorating skills are noticeably improving... There was a stable (complete with horse!). The moose were also popular - our rather extensive cookie cutter collection was properly appreciated :)


Uncle Dave made a candy bowl, carefully measured with calipers for maximal candy usage. This was appreciated since someone may have overestimated the quantity of candy necessary. After eighteen years you'd think I'd have less trouble with that part!


Auntie Janice made the Old Ottawa South Firehall, to take to a potluck there the following evening.


Brian apparently lost rock paper scissors to son Ethan and showed up prepared with an elaborate plan to build an AT AT walker out of gingerbread (Star Wars!). Despite all the preparation, they had to finish assembly at home. Then it apparently lost structural integrity but all was not lost - Brian cleverly turned it into a rebel victory.


We also loved David and Aidan's pirate ship. Check out all the clever details - the sail, the anchor, the flag, the sharks circling in the water...


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December 20, 2013
Gingerbread Dough

The kids and I went to Auntie Yukiko's to make gingerbread dough with cousins and some friends that can't make it to gingerbread tomorrow.


While we were at it, we pre-baked a few cookies. Some of the kids are making houses. Elizabeth is making a car (by special demand). Matthew is just decorating a flat cookie!


Baking with six kids ranging in age from seven to ten months should be an Olympic sport...

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December 19, 2013
Jesse Tree lunches

I freely admit that I am having too much fun with making cute lunches for Elizabeth (this is why I found it mind-boggling that Elizabeth's teachers thought I forgot to send her a lunch one day!)


My lunches tend to be pretty similar in concept - pasta one day, o nigiri the next, some kind of non cookie cutter sandwich (could be a wrap, could be a bun with eyes and a tongue) and then cookie cutter sandwiches the rest of the week. Snack is supposed to be a fruit, so I cut pictures into an apple or draw on a banana. I have a lot of cookie cutters which I use on fruits / vegetables / cheese as well as sandwiches! So my lunches look more impressive than they actually are.


The real trick is coming up with new ideas. That's why I am making Elizabeth Jesse Tree lunches during Advent.  See if you can guess which story goes with which lunch :)

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December 18, 2013

Elizabeth's drama and music teacher has been preparing a "spectacle" with the junior and senior kindergarten kids. Elizabeth has been very excited to show us the "belle surprise" that they have been working so hard on.


All the kids practiced all the numbers, but for the performance Elizabeth's class was tapping rhythm sticks together in time to the music and prancing around the stage. "Did you see me, Mommy?" she inquired anxiously afterwards. "I was the one right next to Adrienne!"


Elizabeth's friend Shaughnessy was in the class that got to demonstrate the waltz, which was absolutely priceless.


Due to the school's privacy rules, I can't show you any photos or video here. So you'll have to make do with the appetizer we brought for the end of the year party :)

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