Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No new pictures to post, nothing profound to say. Just feeling very joyful and blessed.

And I also wanted to wish everyone who stops here (especially my family(s) in Ontario, Britain and anywhere else who stops by) a very happy Christmas season and a joyous, blessed 2009!

Love, Andrea and family

Friday, December 26, 2008

My brothers are outside playing in the snow right now. I wish my camera's flash would illuminate more than the snow flakes between me and them.

From above our fort looks like a giant mouth.

And this is the massive one they built. Those snow balls are bigger than the boys are...

It's STILL snowing...

I sure hope it stops snowing one day. I'm not sure where all this is going when it starts melting. Plus it would be nice to get out of our driveway without shovelling for hours first (or pushing the cars...)

In the meantime, let's ignore the driveways and play outside!

Even if the snow's too deep to sled ;P

Uncle Andrew will make a track for us!

It's tough work, but someone's gotta do it :)

Uhm, cheese?

Finally! A sledding track!!

And now time for something different.

Jade's perfect snow brick:

I dug a snow fort. Andrew is finally done sledding and coming to help me and Tink and Jade build it too.

Filling bins for their snow bricks (and maybe eating a little snow too).

It was too cold, we gave up the project early and came in for hugs and hot cocoa!


Baked beans, perfect for warming your toes ;)

And here's the fort...for now. Once we've warmed up I think we'll go back out and keep working...

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day and Elisabeth was the first one up in the house. It wasn't long before Andrew followed us downstairs. So we dug into the stockings. Andrew's was full of the usual things (chocolate orange, Dilbert calendar...) but right at the bottom was his real Christmas present...A new wedding ring! You might recall, he lost his while working on cleaning up our building lot this fall. I couldn't find one that was exactly like his old ring, and I was dismayed with how much rings cost. But a great pre Christmas sale and a patient salesman helped me find something that I'm pretty happy with.

Next came Davey. He was still half asleep and in what I like to call his Calvin mode (notice the squishy face? Very calvinesque!) but soon woke up.

ahhhhh..our stockings were full of bandaids and socks and
masks and
Cutlery? Mum must have been desperate when she did the shopping!

Then we had some early morning revellers out to greet us!

And it was time to play with our presents.

More presents at Grandma's house...

Kathi has pictures from the dinner which I will try to steal later. Suffice it to say that it was one of our best yet. Cody and Kat supplied the turkey and mashed taters, I did stuffing, cranberries and veggies, Dave (or rather Alexis) supplied the Italian Christmas cake. YUM!

Then we kidnapped Jade and had a sleep over.

More of the Night before Christmas!

My family has a tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve. The battle was always, do you feel for something that's probably pyjamas, so that you don't only have crummy presents left for Christmas Day? Or do you open something totally awesome because you just can't wait any longer to find out what you got? Somewhere along the way, pyjamas became exciting so the decision is a little less difficult...

I still don't think Andrew believes that it's actually a tradition and not just me being impatient. But I've worn him down. So here are our kids opening their presents from the Menary side of the family. Luckily, I'd saved their birthday presents too, so there was a TON of stuff to open :P

Random Pictures from Christmas Eve Day...

Ever since we went sledding the other day, Elisabeth has been begging to go again. She really, really enjoyed it! With our busy pre Christmas schedule, we hadn't been able to go out side again, so she was improvising with a basket and a bear in the living room. (I love how she wrapped a blankie around herself to keep her legs warm. SMART kid!)

We've been borrowing dad's truck while he's in Mexico (THANK GOD we had the truck!) So we offered to pick Rob up in Vancouver if the weather was bad. On the 23rd we called to see if he wanted to come early, but it wasn't going to work. SO after looking out the window on Christmas Eve morning we told him to sky train as far as Surrey. Even so, it took Andrew 2 hours to shovel the driveway enough for us to get out. This picture is after he'd spent two hours shoveling. He came in, changed his clothes, and we went out to clean off the truck. And this is how much it had snowed in that time!

Kyles car. It just looks like a snow drift from most angles :P

You can see we're running out of places to pile the snow. Andrew was scooping snow from our driveway (this is mum's) down the side of our house where we have some retaining walls. The lowest part is higher than the highest part now.

The fence in between us and the Deckers. (and see what I mean about the driveway being covered in snow again?!)

This is our street. They don't clear it so it is miserable!

But 49th isn't much better.

This is the road in between 49th and 50th. Scary, eh?!

Davey decided he didn't want to come with us, so I left him with Grandma. Meanwhile, I was busy snapping pictures and listening to Elisabeth comment on the snow and everything she could see out the window. All of a sudden she exclaimed, "Mama? I'm HAPPY!" And this was her face...

Anyway, here we are in Surrey, almost at the Scott Road Station. You can see roads are better in Surrey, but the sidewalks weren't shovelled at all. Pedestrians were walking down the middle of King George (a little bit scary when the roads aren't very wide.)

Need a bus?

Well, long story short...we got a phone call from Rob, just as we should have been picking him up. He'd had to wait ages to actually get on a train and then his train only made it a few more stations down the line before it got stopped by a fallen tree. So while he waited in his train to see what would be happening, we tried to find a map and figure out how to get to him. This is on the other side of the Patullo Bridge. Just around here, in the other lane, was a car facing perpendicular to traffic and blocking the whole other side of the road.

Conditions were really deteriorating now, and while we weren't worried that we'd get stuck, we were a bit worried as more and more cars seemed to be getting stuck or blocking traffic. It was sometime around now though, that Rob called to say that his train was moving and he could meet us at Royal Oak.

Which was fine except landmarks were really unrecognizable with all the snow, it's been a good ten years since I've frequented this part of Burnaby and street signs were very hard to read!

We had to drive down a couple of side streets on our way. Not pretty.

Then, just as we were across from the sky train, we passed this house. For scale, look at the size of the windows, then look at the icicles again!!

We finally had Rob and could head back to the freeway and home again. We were SO thankful for the truck and the winter tires!

While I warmed up some soup, Rob and Tink shovelled the driveway again.

Meanwhile, I think davey made the right choice in staying home!

Elisabeth made a snow ball.

And Uncle Dave came out...just for a moment!

Kyle's car again. Yowsers.

Later on (after Andrew had again spent several hours shovelling), Santa came to visit. The kids were super, duper excited if a bit confused about why we weren't going to the MALL to see him!

I'm not sure what our kids think about Santa, but they're not fooled by the guy with the crooked beard in the red suit.

Or by this jolly fellow either!