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December 31, 2019

Perfect conditions for snowman building meant that we sent the children outside to play and they eventually insisted they needed help with assembling their GIANT snowman.


They had rolled a ball that conservatively weighed over 200lbs. Brendan and I had a go at lifting it before we decided we needed some mechanical aid and constructed a ramp out of wood to assist. It was still rather heavy to get the middle onto the snowman and we insisted the head be taller.


I spent a lot of effort shoveling snow onto the igloo - it wasn't quite the right consistency to cut blocks but this was good enough. We made an entrance to prevent bunnies from coming in and to cut the wind but I refused to close the roof "properly" because the whole point of using the playstructure as an igloo is to have a safe snow structure and avoid crushed children. I felt that the weight of the entrance was about at the limit of what was safe. The kids decided that they needed to have hot chocolate in the igloo and had a grand time playing there.


In the evening we were invited to neighbours' Lauren and Ronnie for a New Year Eve dance party! It was super fun. Elizabeth's favourite part was a limbo contest because she got to show off how ridiculously flexible she is. Then we did a countdown at 8:30pm and headed home for an early night.


We went to Dairy Queen to celebrate the last karate class of the year


December 25, 2019

December 25th is Lorianne's birthday! The kids were excited because she stayed overnight! We told the kids they could open their stockings as soon as they got up so that us adults didn't have to get up so early so they did that before we were awake! Elizabeth tried to open hers slowly over a long time but apparently she got impatient and opened all her presents. There were hairbrushes, bracelets, elastics, books and candy and nail polish and a frame and of course a clementine in the toe. Her favourite stocking present was tinted lip balm. Matthew's favourite stocking present was "bubble bath" (aka a bubble gun in the shape of a dolphin that shoots bubble mix). Amelia's favourite stocking gift were three tiny porcelain bunnies. Michael liked the "tandy" the best.


After we woke up I had quite a lot of work to do to prepare for Lorianne's birthday and Christmas dinner. Elizabeth and Matthew felt this was unreasonable and wanted me to come and open my stocking. I remember always being annoyed as a child by my mom wanting to do the dishes before opening presents - it took TOO LONG. Now I understand my mom! LOL To be fair, the schedule didn't quite work out as I had hoped!


Anyway I had great fun making Christmas themed brunch for Lorianne with mini snowmen and fruit candy canes and fruit santas and cinnamon roll Christmas tree. Janice and Grandma J and Hibo all came for the birthday, and so we ate brunch and had blueberry pie in lieu of cake to celebrate Lorianne's birthday, including her family's tradition to say one thing about Lorianne that we liked (hard to choose one thing!). Lorianne opened presents and we opened some Christmas presents - but not all of them because I didn't want to have a Christmas where the birthday girl got to spend a chunk of her birthday watching people open a million presents. Instead everyone opened one present and we agreed with the kids that we'd open the rest during the whole season of Christmas.


Then the rest of the family arrived, except for Erika who was sadly very under the weather with a fever and cough. We had our cousinly gift exchange and ate much food.


December 24, 2019

My neighbour Marit invited us to go crosscountry skiing with her Christmas Eve. I was going to leave Michael with Brendan but she had a ski stroller she said she could bring so I brought him along. I'm not sure how much Michael enjoyed this but Brendan certainly appreciated having the extra time!


I was a little skeptical that there would be any snow as it has been melting rapidly but she checked with the park and all trails were open!


Marit's friend came along too, so between us there were three adults and nine kids! Two of the kids were too small to ski and they rode in the ski stroller pulled by Marit's friend who was an incredible skier. At one point he was pulling the stroller, and five year old Emily (who was hanging onto the stroller) while cradling his four year old in his arms!!!


Marit had a neat harness that she leant me to pull Amelia, which was really great as it became evident almost immediately that Amelia wasn't going to get very far under her own power. We ended up skiing almost seven km in the end, which was very exciting for our first "real" ski expedition. I was very proud of Matthew and Elizabeth who immediately took off to the front of the pack and stayed there the entire time. I actually didn't see them at all except for when they stopped - they were so far ahead!


We participated in the spontaneous Christmas pageant again - and for the second year in a row Michael wanted to nurse during the pageant instead of being an angel. All the kids were angels. Elizabeth agreed to be one of the talking angels and did a great job. She also was a "crucifer" for her first time which she found nerve-wracking but did a stellar job. Michael finds it very interesting to see Elizabeth up at the front.


After church we had meat pies and opened this year's edition of matching pjs. Then Elizabeth and Matthew ate Santa's cookies and eggnog, a new tradition they thought would be fun to start (it was!)


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