Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Gingerbread Houses 2014

We always make gingerbread houses over the Christmas holidays.

I've been doing this with the kids since they were small....little bitty wee things....and it's something that they always look forward to doing.  Eating candy for an entire can't grow out of that...right?

I knew that it would eventually happen.

Grady refused to do it this year.  He's a young man....he can't be making gingerbread houses. 

I told him that next year, I would invite all his friends over to make them with us.  And then it would be okay.  His buddies would be all over the making of gingerbread houses.  I know it.  He tried not to laugh.


Tuesday, 30 December 2014

A Christmas Dream

This girl.

She dreams.

She dreams big.

Her biggest dream for Christmas was 'fake nails'.  Seriously.

Where did she get this 'dreamy' idea? 

At Mass.

She told me that Carter Mac's mom has fake nails. 

She saw her wearing them at Mass.

and she needed some.

Her dream came true. 

But she soon realized that fake nails are a real pain.

You can't get dressed.

You can't eat.

You can't use the ipad.

You can't do anything.

Fake nails are nothing but trouble.

And you look like Cruella DaVil.

Luckily, those fake nails fall off.


Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Parade 2014

People see us like this...

We are so happy.  We are having SO MUCH FUN.  It's ridiculous.

Actually....we did eventually have fun. 

And we won FIRST PLACE for the best float. 

So....I guess it was all worth it.


People don't know how much work goes into putting this little float together.

AND....then the complaining.

Baby Jesus was bribed.  She didn't want to be baby Jesus.  I confess....she got chocolate.  and promises.  But she did it.  I don't think she smiled once during the whole parade....but we caught her waving a small little wave a few times at the crowds.  So I think that she actually did had fun.

Grady refused to get on the float with us.  I knew that bribing was not going to work with him.  He's 15 and he's a young man....and he didn't want to be a shepherd.  He rode in the truck with Grandpa.  But he did lots of work putting the float there was no way that I was going to complain to him.

Jack really didn't want to be on the float....he would rather have been up front in the truck.  BUT.....there was a sheep on the float....and he is actually a shepherd in real life....and he needed to be there with the sheep.  for the sheep.  controlling the sheep.  So, he got on the float.  He wasn't impressed when I put the pillowcase on his head....I told him that he didn't need to wear the full out sheet like his father.  BUT he needed the pillowcase....he needed to blend in with the rest of us.  And when the crowd kept commenting on the 'real' sheep.....he couldn't help but smile.  The newspaper got a great photo of him!

Our little 'Mary'....Sophie....was over the top excited about the whole thing.  She was waving and shouting 'Merry Christmas' the whole entire time.  That girl was born for parades.

Johanna didn't complain.  She knew that there was no way of getting out of it.  And she even had to try to put me together....after I had dressed everyone else.

Being an angel was not easy....

And Terry....he does not complain.  EVER.  Not about any of my ideas anyway.

But the whole entire thing was exhausting.  I said 'enjoy this guys....because this is it.  no more floats.  no more parades.  no more crazy.'

And then Terry mentioned to me today....something about the St. Patrick's Day Parade in March.


Friday, 19 December 2014


We have had a busy week preparing for Christmas.

We all attended the penitential service on Tuesday night.  Sophie made her First Reconciliation.  So proud of that was such a special night.

Wednesday was a little crazy...not only was it Jack's Birthday but also the day of the Christmas Concert at Sophie's school.

THIS.  This is Christmas....

The Christmas baking is done!

These whipped shortbreads are my weakness.....a whole pound of butter in one batch....melt in your mouth goodness...

Chocolate cake balls....

And toffee bark....aka crack...

There is also ginger cookies, coconut macaroons, nainamo bars, marshmallow squares (with the social teas), skor squares and buttertarts.  There might be more....I have forgotten.  Much of it will be given as gifts but I made enough for us too.

Up next....
the making of a float for the Christmas parade on Sunday.
get the tree in and up and decorated.
do some shopping....and then some wrapping.

AND....Secret Santa is a go around here again.  Sophie got us all organized last night.  We picked names and she made a sign....
"dote let anyone no who you have.  Spred Christmas Cheer.  Have fun!  Let's start now!"
I think she might be a motivational speaker....
I hope it works out this time.


Thursday, 18 December 2014


Yesterday, we celebrated Jack.



So hard to believe.  Now there are three teenagers in this house!  EEEEK!

He requested a leg of lamb for supper.  And a shrimp ring.  And blackforest cake.

He has an interesting 'palate' for a thirteen year old.  Johanna was home from school one day with strep throat and Jack unthawed lamb chops for his lunch....marinated them in rosemary, garlic and onion.  He fried them up himself and warmed up some whipped potatoes.  Johanna asked if he ate like that everyday....and I told her no....not everyday.  But he is quite a chef.

Terry bought a bottle of pure prune help with his constitution....and it just happened to be in the fridge.  Jack got it out, poured himself a glass and drank it down.  Didn't even flinch.  I guess the look on Terry's face told him that something was up and he asked "WHAT....was I not suppose to drink that?"  Terry told him that he could drink it if he wants....but really why would you want to drink prune juice just for fun?

He is an interesting lad indeed.

He is still designing his barn floor plans.  But he has upgraded.  Those little sheets of graph paper just weren't cutting it.  I bought him an industrial size roll of graph paper....the kind that an architect would use.  He rolls it out right across the living room floor.....AND he not only designs the barn to size but now he estimates the entire cost to build it.  He is always calculating something.  It's really quite amazing.


Monday, 15 December 2014

Family Photos 2014

A couple of months ago....when it was still warm outside and the leaves were beautiful....I suggested we get a family photo taken.  It's been over two years.  But all I heard were groans.  They just avoided the subject.  I think they were thinking....she'll just forget about it.

And when I kept mentioning it, Terry said, "Let's wait and do it in the snow."

The snow?  Why?

And then I asked Johanna....I figured she'd be on my side....lets get these photos done.  But no....she surprised me when she said, "Let's do it in the snow."

Good grief.  The snow?  Really? was put off.

Until yesterday.

I really didn't think it was going to happen.  But Aimy came to the rescue....THANK YOU AIMY....and we got it done.

I didn't fuss with matching clothes this year.  I told them they could wear whatever they wanted.  I just asked that they have clean faces.




Friday, 12 December 2014

Recap of the Week

This was a busy week.

There was all the usual stuff....with a bit of Christmas on top.

The kids thought it would be fun to play 'secret Santa' here.  So we picked names.  But no one can keep a secret.  So we picked names again.  But no one can keep a secret.  So we picked names again.  This happened about 5 more times.  We called it off.  Forget it.  There is no secret Santa here.  No one can keep a secret.

We got some snow yesterday...enough to cancel the busses.  The kids skated on the pond and played in the snow and I baked for most of the day.  Baking for a like therapy.  It was heavenly.  And when I asked them to make some pizza crust for supper, it was Jack that volunteered.  I came home to the most amazing pizza crust ever.  How did he do it?  He's not sure.  My recipe book is so messed.  He said there was one recipe in ink and then another recipe beside it in pencil and he didn't know which one to do so he sort of did both.  I told him the numbers in ink are the regular recipe and the numbers in pencil are when we have visitors and we need more crust.  Oh.  It was beautiful.  And he will be making it again.  And he will open a pizzeria.  I hope.


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Ottawa Valley Headcheese

Terry's mom makes headcheese.

The guys at the hunt camp look forward to it every year.

I can't seem to eat it....or smell it.  My kids can't either.  I call it shiny meat.

It's like jello and meat.  Together.

But there is something about headcheese and men...

Just within the last couple of weeks, a few different guys have asked Terry if he would get his mom to write down that headcheese recipe of hers.

And she did.

And I need to share it.

She says that it's just her own version of an imitation's not 'traditional' headcheese.  She is actually on a search for a 'Traditional Headcheese Recipe'.

But I believe that she already has it.

This is traditional.  This is authentic.  This is the real deal.

Ottawa Valley Headcheese.  Including 'tips' on the reverse side of the page.