Oh my! It has been a long time since I have posted on my blog. I do apologize. I can’t believe it has been almost a month since I have posted. So much has happened, I guess I’ve felt really daunted by the task of updating everything.
I’ll try to make this as abbreviated as possible to get caught up.
We attended several Christmas parties and family functions over the holidays. We also hosted Christmas Eve at our place this year. It also gave me another chance to make my punch. The family loves my punch.
Christmas was very hard for us. Papa’s birthday was Christmas Day. While the day was filled with lots of love, presents, excellent food and wonderful company with the family, it was also filled with moments of tears. It was very hard for us all. Papa wasn’t here to buy a present for, so my husband and I donated the money we would have spent to the Heart and Lung Association. In addition, Grannie and Aunt Barb found a wonderful frame that had “Papa” written in big letters along with the saying “My Heart Belongs to Papa” on it. It also has an argyle pattern etched into the frame and they included a great photo of Papa. They gave one to each of us to hang in our homes.
Even Santa was hit by some difficult economic times this year but he still brought some excellent gifts. Paige’s big thing this year was Zoobles and Littlest Pet Shops and Santa didn’t let her down. She got plenty of those from him and family members too. Nana (my mom) left a large load of gifts behind for Paige so that she could open them on Christmas. Paige was thrilled and loved them, especially the Angry Birds jammies and Tag books for the Tag Reader pen she got the previous month for her birthday and the games for her Leapster Explorer. She plays with that Explorer, that she calls her DS, every day. It’s great because she’s learning so much from it.
A couple of our friends sent gifts for Paige too. One friend purchased this adorable Captain Teemo hat for Paige from Etsy. Another friend works for Blizzard Entertainment and sent her a stuffed Murloc from the game World of Warcraft. I don’t have a picture of her playing with it (not sure why, sorry) but it looks like this:
Isn’t it cute? Paige loves it! It’s name is Gurky and she plays with it often.
The family really outdid themselves this year on gifts. Paige isn’t the only one who made out. I received some items that I’ve been wanting for ages and ages! I’ve been dying to own an ice cream machine since I was a little girl. My uncle had an old one that you had to manually churn. I remember hanging out at Uncle Leroy’s house one day with the whole family (my dad’s family is quite large) and all the adults took turns churning away to make the ice cream. It was the best ice cream I had ever had, at the ripe old age of like maybe 8. HAHA. I never forgot and always wanted one. I didn’t think I’d actually get it but I put it on my list this year and I did! I was soooo happy! I have TONS of recipes for homemade ice cream bookmarked, never thinking I’d ever get the chance to use them and now I can! I haven’t made any yet but I plan to soon. I have a bunch of frozen mashed strawberries from when we went picking in June that are just waiting for my ice cream machine. Yum!
I also got a dutch oven! I’ve been wanting one and have put it on my list for about four years now and finally I got it. I completely embarrassed myself by hugging it but I was so darn happy. I have a beautiful cast iron dutch oven and now I can finally do some of the recipes in my Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook that I bought when it first came out. Someday, I’ll tell you the story about that book and my trials to get it in Canada.
Our favourite gift was a special one. It was a drawing that Paige made at school just for us. It was all wrapped up with a beautiful card that had her handprint and a fantastic poem. It still hangs on our wall in the living room just above our television. I don’t plan to take it down for quite a while. It makes me smile every day.
New Year’s was crazy, as usual and filled with oodles and oodles of food. I’m not kidding! The coffee table was filled with pre-dinner treats, then cleared about an hour before dinner. The dinner table and the hutch was completely filled with food, then cleared and the whole table was filled with desserts. After that, it was cleared and the coffee table was filled again with all different foods to keep us going until midnight. It was really insane and we were all bursting at the seams by the time the clock struck twelve. We have a tradition that we all play games together and it was loads of fun. Every year we have one or two new games to play but there are a few that we always play without fail. It was lots and lots of fun but there were also some tears when the New Year came and we all realized it marked the start of the year without Papa.
Our family is all very close so Papa’s death has really hit us very hard. Until Mom and Dad bought their house, we ALL lived within walking distance of each other. We see each other all the time and we also talk on the phone all the time. So this has been very hard. Ryan and I had finally gotten our insomnia under control but as we neared Christmas it went all haywire again. It wasn’t until mid-January before we started getting our sleeping issues back under control (well… mostly. We have good days and bad days). My migraines haven’t abated much though. They’ve been terrible since Papa went in the hospital on August 10th and I’ve had one almost daily since. I’m hoping they calm down soon because 5 months of non-stop migraines is really taxing and frustrating.
With the New Year, Paige has restarted gymnastics. I think this will be the last go-round with it. She enjoys it but.. well… she’s not very good at it. LOL. She’s finally old enough to get into soccer and we know she’s going to love it. Her and Ryan have been kicking around balls since she was old enough to stand and she’s quite good at it. Soccer is a big deal with my dad’s side of the family. We ALL played soccer. Even my dad and uncle and even further than that have played soccer. All my cousins, their kids, etc have played and now it is time for Paige to play. Yay! Soccer in Toronto isn’t like soccer in Phoenix though. It’s not a year-round thing here due to having completely different climates. It’s a bit hard to play soccer in a bunch of snow. We are signing her up this spring… at least I hope so. It’s about 4 times as much as her gymnastics costs so we are hoping we can get the money together. We had a few unexpected expenses recently that have thrown us terribly behind and we’ve been scrambling to catch up. Life! Argh!
Last week, Paige earned her first school award! She received the “Teamwork” award. My husband and I were invited to the assembly to see her be presented with the award and to take pictures. She had no idea she was getting the award, nor did she know we would be there at the assembly. She was happy but a little confused to see us there. HAHA. She was so proud of herself for earning the award and we were very proud of her. I worried that she’d be too shy to get up in front of the entire school to get the award but she happily jumped up and got it. There was no fear at all. I was impressed.
The school (and us) took a photo of all the kids who received awards (22 in total from JK to grade 5). I’m not posting the photo because I don’t have permission from the parents but the photo is hilarious! All the kids are standing there with their principal and there is Paige in the middle front and she’s motioning us to go away. HAHA. We could not get her to stop doing it so when that picture shows up in the school newsletter she’ll be there pointing at us to leave. Too funny. I’ll be saving that newsletter and will show it to her when she’s older.
The final update is another funny one. We were getting ready to go out to eat and Paige decided to dress herself for dinner. It was the first time she’s taken the initiative to do that. Her choice of attire was…. um… adorable! She wore a black velvet top hat, two tu-tus, and rain boots. With the exception of the purple tutu, she actually matched although the clash in styles was interesting. She looked so cute. My husband was mortified but I told him not to say anything. She was very proud of herself and besides, it’s just clothes. Who cares! I remember when I was a little girl and I insisted on wearing my Wonder Woman underoos to the store. Does anyone remember underoos?
At least Paige had on more clothes than I (or my brother) did. LOL. Man, I loved those underoos. I thought I was sooo cool!
In crafting news, I’ve crocheted a hat for Paige’s “boyfriend”, Liam. I just need to sew in the ends and it’ll be ready to hand over. I am also crocheting a dark purple hat for Paige. She received a lot of dark purple clothes for Christmas so I thought she’d like a hat to match her new clothes. The hat is about halfway finished. I also traced a pants pattern today (just a Simplicity pattern) and I hope to make some fleece jammie bottoms for her soon. I have tons of fleece in my basement on my fabric shelves that I’d like to use up. I’ve known for ages that I wanted to make jammies out of them, I just haven’t gotten around to doing it. I’m in a funk and trying to get out of it. Most clothing patterns I have are for summer clothes so I’d like to start working on those in the spring. Oh and Paige has asked for another “pretty” (knitted blanket). I was going to make one for the new bed we were hoping to buy for her but it looks like we need to put off the big girl bed for a while because she’s reverted quite a bit in her nighttime training.
So there you have it. That’s about as good of an update as I can get.