Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

A Digital Picture frame filled with pics of the family
Our Christmas morning was NOT typical of a Peters Christmas Morning.  We have a clean house... we had 1 small bag of wrapping paper garbage... no need to stop and clear the floor of paper and tags.. to start opening again.  No sleepless night waiting for the kids to wake up.... no putting the chocolates up high so the dog(s) won't get them.... no line up of phone calls while trying to put the turkey in the oven... fridge is not stuffed beyond capacity .....

Our Christmas morning was filled with skyping, texting and emailing pictures.  At many points in the morning, I had MacBook and iPhone on my lap.. terry on the iPad...   Terry and I... in matching plaid Pajamas... sat on the couch and chatted around the world for well over an hour before we enjoyed coffee, scones and opening gifts.  It was quiet and slow... peaceful....  time to appreciate each other opening our gifts.
Intricate hand knit Socks 
More amazing Socks
Terry and I agreed not to buy for each other this year.. and just exchanged stockings... and one small gift each. That was so great...  because we need (or want) nothing.  Our gifts under the tree were from the hearts of each of our family members and so fun to open in the quiet.  Origami paper, pumpkin carving tools, extremely difficult mind puzzles, pizza stones and gardening, cooking and travel books.

Our family found each other apart because Stephanie and Sean are in Korea and were home in the summer...   Michelle, Scott and Jack are in Fredericton and unfortunately, we have to share them with Scott's parents.   The last two years I have been blessed and spoiled to have my house full of kids... so it was my turn to not have them.

Therefore.. today we do all those things we never get to do on Christmas Day and enjoy them.  Sit quietly and blog... Terry is napping... cats are spread all over the house.  All the opened gifts are neatly tucked under our pretty Xmas Tree.    We had a wonderful walk through the woods near our house.  Something we never seem to make time for anymore, especially at this time of the year.    We found several beaver dams (to Terry's amazement and excitement).  Many beautiful ice sculptures made by nature... animal foot prints and many signs of wildlife that I would never have notices if it was for Terry's tracking abilities.   I left the woods figuring we should have had a big stick with us!  geeesh. 

 A wonderful Christmas in its own special way.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Seems a shame to throw out a perfectly good pumpkin.  The kids in primary got to actually carve a pumpkin,  cleaning out the seeds, and separating the slim from the seeds... roast the seeds and try eating them.  But then.. what do you do with the pumpkin after halloween.  
Donna takes it... chops it all up..  roasts it in the oven for 1 hour.....

And purees it in the food process and gets about 5 cups of lovely pumpkin puree.  

 A big batch of pumpkin muffin batter and a few dozen cupcake papers (left over from Ashley's wedding shower) and we have a big Monday morning feast at school.

 Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
(recipe from Dianna Berry)

4 Eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup veggie oil
2 cups puree pumpkin
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 cup choco chips
In large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in separate bowl.
Add to pumpkin mixture, also adding chocolate chips.
FOLD ingredients together (thanks Chantal) until just mixed.
Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake in a 400 degree oven for 16-20 minutes.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Makes 24-26 muffins.  You can cut this recipe in half, no problem.. but why bother!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Christmas Parcel to Korea

 Even though its early November, I have to get this parcel in the mail before Nov 14th... so I am spending my evening wrapping up Stephanie and Sean's Christmas Parcel.

The first year they were in Korea I sent a huge box and it was filled with so many Xmas items from Canada and I sent it in Mid October.  I tracked it to Montreal within the first 3 days and there is sat until Mid December.  7 Weeks it sat in Montreal and when I talked to the post office, they told me it was waiting for a container to fill up before it went on the container ship to Asia.
That Xmas day... Stephanie had no parcel and my heart broke for her and Sean.  Their first Xmas away from home and it was lonely enough without the fun and excitement of opening gifts from home.   Her parcel arrived in Mid January and I learned a very valuable lesson.
This parcel is much smaller, filled with more appropriate gifts.. and toys for the kitty.  I will send it via Air Mail and it will be sure to get there by Dec 25th.  This is the 4th year that Sean and Stephanie are away from home.. and we were so lucky to have them here for Christmas just 2 years ago.. and had them home for 2 weeks this summer!
On there way back to Korea after a very busy and fun filled 2 weeks in Canada.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Jack Turns One today!

This week has been a full week of reminiscing about one year ago... and all the waiting, waiting, waiting.
 We thought for sure Jack would come before Halloween.... and he almost did.. but he changed his mind.  Meanwhile, I drove up while Michelle was experiencing labor... but by the time I got there.. all the action had stopped.  My thinking was, that it was going to happen any day, so I chose to stay a few days.. because I knew it would happen any day.

The next 6 days were very long and Michelle and Scott were nervous, tired, sore, stressed... and miserable.  It was my job as their mama to keep them active, and well fed... so they wouldn't be so anxious.  We carved pumpkins, and went to the market... got a big bag of samosa.  Jack's actual due date came and went.  

 an October  Snow storm... came... and went...

In line at the market.. waiting for their favorite treat.. Samosa

  Halloween came... and... went....
 Every day, we went to my sisters and worked on an amazing quilt she planned on making for Aurora for Christmas.  It was a big and overwhelming project and it was meant to be that we (Michelle and I) were looking for a BIG distraction.  Every day we traced flowers onto paper, then cut all the parts out. We talked about what we would do the NEXT day... if... Michelle was still around.  Then the next day.. we irons the papers onto fun fabrics which were spread out, all over Gail's kitchen.
notice the snow in the window.

Then the next day... we cut out all the flowers.... and ironed all the pieces together... Each one of these flowers had 3 to 4 different circles or squiggles and we had to write on each shape in code so we knew which fabric went on what flower... there were cats and lady bugs and butterflies too

Cutting out flowers... even Scott and lucy got into the act... it was something to do!

 This was the finished quilt, which we never did see.. because Gail had a ton of work to do on it before Christmas.

And we waited..... Gails Grandkids made a big sign for the window.... and Aurora put the final touches on it... and we waited.  Aurora was pretty excited for Jack to arrive because FINALLY she would be older than someone else.  She has been the baby of the gang for 3 years now.

 Finally, the quilt was organized, the snow stopped falling... and I had to leave to back to Greenwood.  Still no baby.  I went home.. but I left my suitcase packed.  Every day, I called and talked to the waiting parents and they got sadder and more anxious.....  and then Friday came... and Jack didn't... and the doctor said... Tomorrow is the day.

 They had the above sign on the fridge all week... and Jack never made his move.. so they arrived early Saturday morning, Nov 5... and the games began.   I left early Saturday morning amongst black ice and snowy skies.  I was so intent on getting there.. I forgot to check my fuel level.  Now, that would have been the worse thing.. but I was looking at the snow on the road and a thought came to me that I hadn't stopped for gas... and when I looked at my gauge... the light was on!  For how long.. who knows.. but I stopped at the very next exit and filled her to brim! (Don't even look at the fact that I was driving 110 km and taking a picture)

I arrived in Fredericton, just on time, to be a part of a very amazing experience... which I blogged from the heart about here.   
This is the VERY first picture of Jack... peeking out from him mothers grasp.. to see his Grammie, I think

My very first babysitting job... We sat in the warm sun from the window and waited for mama to have a shower, and I got to tell Jack all  about the waiting and waiting... 
All snuggled up, waiting to go home!
Seems like a life time ago now... and I guess it was.. Jack's lifetime, really.  We are so lucky and thankful to have our little Jack.. who is so happy all the time.. and so healthy and fun!
Heading to visit Grammie and Grampie!

Cherrios... a beautiful thing!

Aylesford Tartan jacket, just like his Grampie and daddy

Happy 1st Birthday Jack.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Last Paddle of the year...2012

On the last Sunday of October (28th), with long sleeves on and long pants... Terry and I, along with our kayakin' friends, Robin and Bill, make our way out to McGill Lake.  It was my first time this year to go to McGill, even though the past 3 years its been one of our favorite lakes.  This year we kayaked in so many different rivers and lakes..... we didn't even make it to McGill.  Or, I should say, I didn't make it there... Terry has been with Bill and some guys.  The water was choppy in the main part of the lake, and the winds were bitter cold.  We met up with an old gentleman on a 4 wheeler and we chatted for a bit.  He told us that they opened the dam up yesterday, and we might have trouble getting to the next lake.  But we put our boats in at the little wooden bridge and headed towards Big Mollie (I think).  But on our way there.. there were beautiful stumps and coves to explore and by the time we made it to the bubbling, torrent of water that was coming out the channel that goes to the Mollie.. we had paddled enough.

 It was not easy getting into this stump to get a picture.  There were jagged rocks all around the stump and leading into the stump and we sort of played a labyrinth game to get there.  We squeezed into the stump and my mind was racing.... thinking... how many of the giant spiders are living amongst the knots and gnarls of this trunk.   A few pictures and then we carefully backed out of the labyrinth... not as expertly as going in.. and both Robin and I scrapped into rocks and tipped a few times... laughing all the way.  I was just happy to be away from the stump... to tell you the truth.

After paddling the shoreline for 10 minutes, to find a place to pull in, we found a spot with no wind, lots of places to pull in, and exit the water without risk of tipping in.  I must say, we were very careful this time, to find a safe spot to park... since the water was FREEZING and neither of us were that eager to get even a little wet.  All of our excursions this summer were a little more carefree...  and we usually ended up at the end of the trip with wet legs, wet feet, or wet all over (mostly Bill).  

 The colors were spectacular, the sun was warm and the view was awe inspiring.  Terry built a little rock tower in honor of his sister, who started this tradition in Cape Breton this summer.  We will paddle back next summer to see how it made out during the winter!

The end of a great day... the end of a great Kayaking season.  I am sad to put them away for the winter.. and already looking forward to next summer.